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A New Approach to the History of Violence

“Sexual Assault” and “Sexual Abuse” in Europe, 1500-1850

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Francisca Loetz

Up to now, historical research has treated violence mainly with reference to war, murder or massacre. Francisca Loetz argues for a new, complementary approach to history of violence as an interpersonal form of social action experienced as unacceptable behavior and aiming to subjugate the victim in everyday life. Analyzing cases of what the sources call “sexual assault” and “sexual abuse” in the city state of Zurich between 1500 and 1850, Loetz discusses fundamental methodological problems such as: how can violence be defined as a concept? What makes violence what it is in a given society? Why is early modern “sexual assault” and “sexual abuse” not equivalent to modern rape and abuse? How does Zurich compare with pre-modern Europe?

For the Common Good

The Bohemian Land Law and the Beginning of the Hussite Revolution

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Jeanne Grant

In For the Common Good: The Bohemian Land Law and the Beginning of the Hussite Revolution Jeanne E. Grant presents an interpretation of the mentality of leading nobles within the Czech kingdom to understand their political actions in the Hussite Revolution. The nobles’ viewpoint derived from a confluence of legal, political, and religious ideas. Analyzing these ideas in the law book written by Ondřej z Dubé, manifestos, and political documents, Jeanne E. Grant shows that both Hussite and Catholic representatives of the kingdom who participated in the revolution adhered to consistent and widespread conceptions of their relationship to the kingdom, crown, and king that compelled them to defend the common good as they understood it.