Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 9909
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Winer , Rebecca Lynn.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Defining Rape in Medieval Perpignan: Women Plaintiffs Before the Law [the Appendix provides editions of one release and one pardon in Latin written in the 1270s].
  • Source: Viator 31, ( 2000): Pages 165 - 183.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Charters and Diplomatics Law Perpignan, Pyrénées- Orientales, France Politics Punishment Rape
  • Award Note:
  • Geographic Area: France
  • Century: 13
  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations:
  • Table:
  • Abstract: This essay argues that in order to understand medieval perceptions of the crime of rape both legal theory and practice must be placed in the wider context of communal and feudal politics. Through a careful analysis of a series of case studies the essay fleshes out the events surrounding a variety of accusations and prosecutions of rape in thirteenth-century Perpignan. In this important urban center (part of the Mediterranean kingdom of the realms of Aragon), town politics, personal rivalries, social class, and religious background were all key factors in determining which sexual assaults would be prosecuted as rapes and which would be ignored by the authorities. The social and political realities of urban life, including the value of a woman's sexuality to her male relatives and their desire to preserve that value after an assault, made the nature of the attack less important than its context, often precluding a woman's actions as a direct legal agent. [Reproduced by permission of the University of California Press].
  • Author's Affiliation: Villanova University
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2000.
  • Language: English;Latin
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00835897