This article explores medieval French attitudes towards physical intra-familial violence, and asks why some acts of brutality were defined as reprehensible and deviant 'violence', while others were lauded as normal patriarchal discipline of a deviant victim. Using legal records from Picardy and Paris, repertoires of violent gestures are analysed and set in the context of the interplay of the practice of domestic violence, canon law discussions, and contemporary legal proceedings. Thirteenth-century legal and …
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