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Suicide in the Middle AgesVolume ii: The Curse on Self-Murder$
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Alexander Murray

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207313

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207313.001.0001

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The Property

The Property

(p.54) 2 The Property
Suicide in the Middle Ages

Alexander Murray

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the handling of the property of the one who committed suicide. As far as can be divined from the treatment of a suicide's property, it examines by whom suicide was conceived to be a wrong. It considers ethical comments on suicide, and the doctrines embedded in law, implicitly or explicitly, have their own message in this context. In particular, it estimates the degree to which the Church may have influenced suicide laws in any of its varied roles. The first section depicts usages which treated property and body as the same. The second section looks more closely at the rules of confiscation. The third section deals with the main modifications allowed by late medieval law, to understand in what respects the economic debt was seen as open to remission.

Keywords:   bodies, possessions, confiscation, late medieval law, property, economic debt

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