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Defending one’s rights. Aspects of Violence, Honor and Gender in Swedish Medieval Laws
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History.
2007 (English)In: Revue d'histoire nordique / Nordic historical review, ISSN 1778-9605, no 4Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article follows the research of Claude Gauvard, who argues that medieval violence was not a marginal phenomenon, but on the contrary defined social relationships, identities, and hierarchies. The first part of the article, based on a study of law codes understood as sources of ideology and mentality, confirms that masculin honour was based on the need to physcially respond to offenses, while feminine honor was based on the need to defend the pure nature of a woman’s sexuality, with the former thus as active and the second passive. The author nuances, however, this traditional approach by highlighting the fact that in certain cases, women were allowed to use force to defend their physical integrity or to take revenge, but without being able to fully adopt the masculine system of honour because their rights were more limited and they depended on their status as spouses.Thus, women had a contradictory and ambiguous status in medieval Swedish law codes.At the end of the 14th century, the Church and the king sought to reduce the right to vengeance and to change the concept of honour.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. no 4
Keyword [en]
genus, heder, medeltid, våld, rättshistoria
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-14880OAI: diva2:181400
Författarnamnet är felaktigt stavat Eckholst i publikationen.Available from: 2008-11-06 Created: 2008-11-06 Last updated: 2011-01-11Bibliographically approved

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