Medieval Justice

Cases and Laws in France, England and Germany, 500–1500


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About the Book

A primer on medieval justice, this book focuses on France, Germany and England and covers the thousand years between the transformation of the Roman world in Western Europe, which took place around the 4th and 5th centuries, and the European Renaissance of the 14th and 15th centuries. It highlights key elements in the intricate, overlapping legal systems of the Middle Ages and describes a wide range of contemporary laws and cases.
A discussion of the modern legacies of medieval law is included, as are a brief overview of the Inquisition, the 27 articles of Joan of Arc and useful commentary on many other topics. Illustrations range from the earliest known depictions of English courts and illuminations of torture to pictures of important sites, events, and instruments of punishment in medieval law.

About the Author(s)

Hunt Janin is an American writer living in southwestern France. He has written numerous nonfiction and scholarly books on a range of subjects, including medieval history and cross-cultural studies.

Bibliographic Details

Hunt Janin
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 231
Bibliographic Info: 60 photos, chronology, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009 [2004]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4502-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface      1

1. Why This Book?      5

2. Justice in the Early Middle Ages      10

3. Canon (Ecclesiastical) Law and Its Variants      26

4. Feudalism and Justice in Medieval France      41

5. Anglo-Norman Justice in England Before the Common Law      64

6. Henry II and the Rise of the English Common Law      74

7. Medieval Inquisitors      93

8. A Sampler of Medieval Cases      108

9. Medieval Crime      125

10. Justice in Medieval Germany      148

11. Where Medieval Law and Politics Meet      159

12. Modern Legacies of Medieval Justice      171

Selected Chronology      179

Appendix I. A Brief Overview of the Inquisition      185

Appendix II. What Was One Penny Worth in the Middle Ages?      188

Appendix III. Medieval and Later Laws Concerning Swans      190

Appendix IV. Joan of Arc: The Twenty-Seven Articles      192

Appendix V. The High Court of Chivalry      195

Appendix VI. Justices of the Peace in the United Kingdom Today      197

Appendix VII. Listing of Selected Cases and Laws Cited in the Text      200

Notes      203

Bibliography      215

Index      223

Book Reviews & Awards

“Interesting…good reading…lively discussion”—Mediaevistik.