We tend to think of a feud as being a long established state of hostilities, especially between families or clans, which normally manifests itself in revengeful violence. One of the articles in this volume thus states: "What began as a dispute over the property rights of a woman to whom both parties were related quickly mutated into a violent clash between men, in which honour and reputation were at stake -- and from here to a full-blown feud the distance was rather short". However, the studies of feuds presented in this publication leave no doubt that they were very different in different societies. The phenomenon of feud turns out to be intimately connected with developments in society and state. Consequently, in recent years a growing interest has been aroused in further researching the topic and the aim of this book is therefore to present some of the principal positions of this new research. Contributions by leading scholars in the field cover a large span of years, from the classic Icelandic feuds of the Sagas to more recent Early-Modern incidents. One contribution even takes us back to the roots of mankind, but the focus of the book is mainly on the Medieval and Early-Modern period. The volume is opened with a comprehensive introduction to the field, followed by a chapter that seeks general definitions. Hereafter, we are presented with specific cases of Icelandic women from the Sagas who promote feuds, studies of feuds in 14th century Marseilles, Italian Medieval vendettas, and feuding in Medieval Germany and Denmark.
Publisher: Aarhus University Press