Emotion, Violence, Vengeance and Law in the Middle Ages

Essays in Honour of William Ian Miller


Volume Editors: Kate Gilbert and Stephen D. White
Contributions to this Festschrift for the renowned American legal and literary scholar William Ian Miller reflect the extraordinary intellectual range of the honorand, who is equally at home discussing legal history, Icelandic sagas, English literature, anger and violence, and contemporary popular culture. Professor Miller's colleagues and former students, including distinguished academic lawyers, historians, and literary scholars from the United States, Canada, and Europe, break important new ground by bringing little-known sources to a wider audience and by shedding new light on familiar sources through innovative modes of analysis.
Contributors are Stuart Airlie, Theodore M. Andersson, Nora Bartlett, Robert Bartlett, Jordan Corrente Beck, Carol J. Clover, Lauren DesRosiers, William Eves, John Hudson, Elizabeth Papp Kamali, Kimberley-Joy Knight, Simon MacLean, M.W. McHaffie, Eva Miller, Hans Jacob Orning, Jamie Page, Susanne Pohl-Zucker, Amanda Strick, Helle Vogt, Mark D. West, and Stephen D. White.

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Kate Gilbert, M.Litt. (2010), University of St Andrews, is an independent scholar and freelance editor. Her published work includes Life in a Hampshire Village: The History of Ashley (1992) and, as associate author, The Bayeux Tapestry and its Contexts (2014).
Stephen D. White, Ph.D. (1972), Harvard University, is Candler Professor of Medieval History Emeritus, Emory University. His books include Re-Thinking Kinship and Feudalism in Early Medieval Europe (2005) and Feuding and Peacemaking in Eleventh-Century France (2005).
"The lineup in this invigorating Festschrift is a starry one. Perhaps more important, it seems genuinely to reflect the ways in which William Ian Miller has inspired a great range of scholars of legal history, Icelandic sagas, and violence, as well as emotions more broadly. The authors have done an effective job of pulling together a volume with intellectual coherence. Though there is not space here to discuss each contribution, I can attest that all are insightful and of high quality. This is a rewarding volume: a particular strength is to show how unexpected sources can shed light on more well worked topics. [...] This is a stimulating volume that resonates with a number of crucial themes for medievalists". Hannah Skoda, in Speculum, 95 (3), 2020.
List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors
List of Abbreviations

Introduction: In Search of Miller
Stephen D. White

Bill the Boundless
Jordan Corrente Beck

Miller(ed) in St Andrews
Kimberley-Joy Knight and John Hudson

Part 1 
Emotion, Violence, Vengeance, and Law in Medieval Historical Sources

1 Hot Anger and Just Indignation: Justificatory Strategies in Early Modern German Homicide Trials
Susanne Pohl-Zucker

2 Trial by Ordeal by Jury in Medieval England, or Saints and Sinners in Literature and Law
Elizabeth Papp Kamali

3 Threats and Intimidation in Anglo-Norman Legal Disputes
William Eves

4 Courts and Rule-Making in Eleventh-Century Western France
M. W. McHaffie

5 Standing up in Court: Gender and Genitalia in Fourteenth-Century Zurich
Jamie Page

6 How To Be Remembered: Securing the Memoria of a Slain Person in Medieval Denmark
Helle Vogt

Part 2 
Emotion, Violence, Vengeance, and Law in Medieval Literary Sources

7 Telling Evidence in Njáls Saga
Carol J. Clover

8 Widening Horizons in Njáls Saga
Theodore M. Andersson

9 Feud in the State: The Conflict between Haakon Haakonsson and Skule Baardsson
Hans Jacob Orning

10 ‘Waltharius’: Treasure, Revenge and Kingship in the Ottonian Wild West
Simon MacLean

Part 3 
Comparative Perspectives

11 Braveheart and Sexual Revenge
Robert Bartlett

12 Stringer’s Saga: Njal and The Wire
John Hudson and Mark D. West

13 ‘An Overdeveloped Sense of Vengeance’? The Middle Ages, Vengeance and Movies
Stuart Airlie

14 Getting a Head in the Neo-Assyrian Empire: Narratives of Enemy Decapitation in Ashurbanipal’s Sources
Eva Miller

Epilogue: Silence as a Weapon of Self-Defence in Sense and Sensibility
Nora Bartlett

Bibliography of Books and Scholarly
Articles by William I. Miller

Compiled by Lauren DesRosiers and Amanda Strick
Not only specialists and professional scholars but also students at the undergraduate level and above, as well as anyone interested in Icelandic sagas, violence and emotions, and contemporary popular culture.