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The practice of feuding amongst noblemen and princes represented a substantial threat to law and order, yet it was widely accepted and deeply embedded in late medieval and early modern German society. Hillay Zmora offers a new interpretation of this violent social practice, which has long confounded historians and social scientists. His ground-breaking study explains feud violence in its social context, demonstrating that, paradoxically, nobles feuded mostly not against strangers but with neighbours, relatives and their feudal lords. Focusing on the ambivalent relationships and symbolic communication between nobles, this study explores how values, norms and moral sentiments linked to reciprocity provided the most powerful incentives to engage in violent conflict. It will be essential reading for historians, anthropologists, psychologists and anyone who seeks to understand the link between culture, moral systems and endemic violence.
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.47(d)|
About the Author
Hillay Zmora is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern European History at Ben Gurion University, Israel. His previous publications include Monarchy, Aristocracy, and the State in Europe, 1300-1800 (2001).
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: the struggle over the feud in early modern Germany; 2. The rules of the game; 3. Values and violence: the morals of feuding; 4. The wages of success: reproduction and the proliferation of conflicts; 5. Enemies of the state? Feuding nobles, ruling princes, and the struggle for mastery in early modern Germany; 6. The politics of civility: the decay of the feud.