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Title: Religion, conflict and criminal justice in 13th and 14th century Siena
Author: Domingues, Lidia Zanetti
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 3797
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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This doctoral thesis is an in-depth comparison of lay and religious sources produced in Siena (1260-1330) on the topics of criminal justice, conflict and violence. Two main trends have been highlighted in the development of criminal justice in late medieval Italy. Firstly, that the practice of revenge was still popular among members of all social classes. Secondly, that crime was increasingly perceived as a public matter that needed to be dealt with by the government, and not by private citizens. These two aspects are partly contradictory, and the extent to which these models reflect the reality of communal justice is still open to debate. This thesis aims to shed light on this question through the contribution of religious sources. Recent works have highlighted the need to associate the study of political and judicial practices of conflict to that of religious elaborations - something that scholars have started attempting only very recently. The argument underlying this research is that religious people were an effective pressure group with regards to criminal justice, thanks both to the literary works they produced and their direct intervention in political affairs, and their contributions have not received the attention they deserve. The thesis suggests that the dichotomy between theories and practices of 'private justice' (e.g. revenge) and of 'public justice' (trials) should be substituted by a framework in which three models, or discourses, of criminal justice are recognised as present in late medieval Italian communes: in addition to the trends described above, also a specifically religious approach to criminal justice based on penitential spirituality should be recognised as an influence on the policies of the communes. This case study shows that, although the models were competing, they also influenced each other; and none of them managed, in this period, to eliminate the others, but they coexisted.
Supervisor: Wickham, Chris Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Religion ; Medieval History ; Siena