Cover: Crime and Forgiveness: Christianizing Execution in Medieval Europe, from Harvard University PressCover: Crime and Forgiveness in HARDCOVER

Crime and Forgiveness

Christianizing Execution in Medieval Europe

Product Details


$39.95 • £34.95 • €36.95

ISBN 9780674659841

Publication Date: 07/14/2020


640 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

8 photos, 18 color photos

Belknap Press


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  • Preface to the English-Language Edition
  • Preface
  • Introduction: Justice—Revenge or Reconciliation?
  • 1. Thou Shalt Not Kill
  • 2. A Starting Point: Cesare Beccaria
  • 3. The Law of Forgiveness, the Reality of Vengeance
  • 4. The Murderer’s Confession
  • 5. The Earthly City, the Right to Kill, and the Ecclesiastical Power to Intercede
  • 6. Bodies and Souls: Conflicts and Power Plays
  • 7. Confession and Communion for the Condemned: A Rift between Church and State
  • 8. Buried with Donkeys
  • 9. A Special Burial Place
  • 10. The Criminals’ Crusade
  • 11. “I Received His Head into My Hands”
  • 12. Factional Conflict and Mob Justice in the Late Middle Ages
  • 13. “Holy Justice”: The Turning Point of the Fifteenth Century
  • 14. The Service
  • 15. Political Crimes
  • 16. Rome, a Capital
  • 17. Reasoning on Death Row: The Birth and Development of the Arts of Comforting
  • 18. A Charity of Nobles and the Powerful: The New Social Composition of the Companies
  • 19. The Voices of the Condemned
  • 20. Compassionate Cruelty: Michel de Montaigne and Catena
  • 21. The Fate of the Body
  • 22. Public Anatomy
  • 23. Art and Spectacle at the Service of Justice
  • 24. Capital Punishment as a Rite of Passage
  • 25. The Arrival of the Jesuits: Confession and the Science of Cases
  • 26. Laboratories of Uniformity: Theoretical Cases and Real People
  • 27. Devotions for Executed Souls: Precepts and Folklore
  • 28. Dying without Trembling: The Carlo Sala Case and the End of the Milanese Confraternity
  • 29. Comforting of the Condemned in Catholic Europe
  • 30. “…y piddiendo a Dios misericordia lo matan”: The Jesuits and the Export of Comforting around the World
  • 31. The German World, the Reformation, and the New Image of the Executioner
  • 32. Printing and Scaffold Stories: Models Compared
  • 33. The Slow Epilogue of Comforting in Nineteenth-Century Italy
  • Afterword
  • Notes
  • Index

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