Violence: Friars under Fire

G. Geltner

in The Making of Medieval Antifraternalism

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199639458
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741098 | DOI:
Violence: Friars under Fire

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Based on numerous sources both in and out of print, this chapter establishes the scale and scope of aggression against friars across Europe in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. It documents a modest, if consistent, rate of physical aggression: a surprise for those (including medieval mendicants) who assumed or sought to establish major and continuous suffering. As for scope, a careful examination of more than 100 cases reveals a wide range of goals and motivations for targeting the brethren, be it as aliens, political scapegoats, landlords, abusers of privileges, or even innocent bystanders in military campaigns and factional struggles. The friars’ ubiquity, accessibility, and wealth thus often put them in the line of fire, and yet there were few signs of contemporaries’ desire to see the brethren disappear from the urban landscape.

Keywords: urban violence; communicative action; antifraternalism; inquisition; social control; mendicant orders

Chapter.  16713 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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