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The Making of Medieval AntifraternalismPolemic, Violence, Deviance, and Remembrance$
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G. Geltner

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199639458

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199639458.001.0001

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Violence: Friars under Fire

Violence: Friars under Fire

(p.45) 2 Violence: Friars under Fire
The Making of Medieval Antifraternalism

G. Geltner

Oxford University Press

Based on numerous sources both in and out of print, this chapter establishes the scale and scope of aggression against friars across Europe in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. It documents a modest, if consistent, rate of physical aggression: a surprise for those (including medieval mendicants) who assumed or sought to establish major and continuous suffering. As for scope, a careful examination of more than 100 cases reveals a wide range of goals and motivations for targeting the brethren, be it as aliens, political scapegoats, landlords, abusers of privileges, or even innocent bystanders in military campaigns and factional struggles. The friars’ ubiquity, accessibility, and wealth thus often put them in the line of fire, and yet there were few signs of contemporaries’ desire to see the brethren disappear from the urban landscape.

Keywords:   urban violence, communicative action, antifraternalism, inquisition, social control, mendicant orders

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