Negotiating Violence

Papal Pardons and Everyday Life in East Central Europe (1450-1550)


Negotiating Violence examines the ways in which ordinary people used a transnational papal court of law for disputing their private local hostilities and for negotiating their social status and identities. Following the career and routine crossovers of runaway friars, the book offers vivid insights into the late medieval culture of violence, honour, emotions, learning and lay-clerical interactions. The story plays itself out in the large composite state of the Kingdom of Hungary and Croatia, which collapses under the Ottomans’ sword in front of the readers’ eyes. The bottom-up approach of the Christian-Muslim military conflict renders visible the rationalities of those commoners who voluntarily crossed the religious boundary, while the multi-tiered story convincingly drives home the argument that the motor of social and religious change was lay society rather than the clergy in this turbulent age.

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Gabriella Erdélyi is Permanent Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She has published A Cloister on Trial. Religious Culture and Everyday Life in Late Medieval Hungary (Ashgate, 2015) and edited Armed Memory. Agency and Peasant Revolts in Central and Southern Europe (1450–1700) (V&R, 2016).
“An introduction to a part of the world and its local scholarly literature seldom visited by western scholars, with well-chosen illustrations often reproduced in brilliant colour”.
Jus Gentium, Vol. 4, No. 2 (July 2019), pp. 756-757.

Acknowledgements List of Maps and Illustrations 1 Introduction  Research Agenda  The Uses of Papal Pardon 2 Negotiating Apostasy  Apostates and Evangelicals  Cloisters and Learning  The Ambitious Common Man  Storytelling Strategies  Gaps in the Narrative  Conclusion 3 The Gates of Upward Social Mobility  The Social Origin of the Friars  Choosing the Cloister  Learning in the Cloister Schools  Learning in the Parish Schools  The Protean Literacy of the Lesser Clergy  Conclusion 4 From Savage to Civilized: Village Schools and Student Life  The Interactions of Students and Locals  The Dense Network of Parish Schools in the Countryside  The Presence of Literate and “Civilized” Men in Rural Communities  Conclusion 5 Life Outside the Walls: Clergymen on the Road  The Parish Church and Cloister in the Community  Masses of Unbeneficed Clergy  The Unbeneficed as Criminals  Parish Incumbents and the Unbeneficed  Ordained in Rome  Conclusion 6 The Heyday of Popular Culture: The Shared Time and Space of Laity and Clergy  Defending Male Honor  Shared Spaces of Leisure  Carnival Every Day  Shared Practices  Leisure and Crime in the Dark  Festivities and Violence  Shared Concepts of Magic  Conclusion 7 Contested Coexistence: Lay-Clerical Disputes and Their Settlement  Enmities and the Language of Emotions  Clergymen as the Mediators of the Sacred  Clergymen as Members of Local Communities  Honor and Hatred: The Script of Lay-Clerical Conflicts  The Communal Definition of Criminals  Conclusion 8 Tales of a Peasant Revolt  Two Competing Myths of Just War  Representations of Violence: Private and Public Perspectives  György Dózsa, the Martyr b>9 Shifting Identities in the Christian-Muslim Contact Zone  “Apostate” Spouses  Christian “Bigamists”  Latin and Orthodox Christian Intermarriages  Conclusion b>10 Conclusion Bibliography Index
The book will prove useful to academics and students as well as to a more general reading public interested in the social, religious and cultural history of late medieval and reformation Europe, and especially of East-Central Europe.