Sexuality, Law and Legal Practice and the Reformation in Norway


Based on legislation and legal practice from the period c. 1250-1600 the book takes issue with the most important viewpoints in earlier research by early modernists: that the Reformation represented a watershed in a development characterized by greater criminalisation of sexual acts, increase in the severity of sentences and deterioration of the position of women. According to this study, in principle all or mostly all factors were already in place in the Middle Ages. In Norwegian historiography the period investigated is characterized by paucity of sources, and the period has tended to fall between two stools, respectively the medievalist and the early modernist. The ambition of this book has been to bridge the gap.

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Anne Irene Riisøy, Ph.D. (2006) in History, University of Oslo, is a Research Fellow at the University of Oslo. Her main field of interest is Norwegian legal history on which she has published a number of articles.

Part A Criminilisation of Sexual Acts
1. New Laws, Old Principles
2. Individual Criminal Responsibility
3. The Final Criminalisation of Sexual Acts

Part B Punishment
4. Capital Punishment
5. Fines and Confiscation of Property
6. From Penance to chruch Discipline
7. The Reward of Sin

Part c Gener Quality?
8. Who Was Punished, and For What
9. Losing One's Inheritance
10. Sexual Crimes as a Function of Marriage
11. Gender Differences

Conclusion The Long High Middle Ages

Sources and Bibliography
All those interested in Norwegian legal history and the history of illicit sexuality