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The Role Of War As A Legal Instrument In The Middle Ages

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concentrates upon two related areas, beginning with an examination of the concept of the feud, the legal reasoning behind it and the way violence was used and increasingly restricted within it. From here the chapter moves on to look at the rise and fall in the use of the judicial ordeal, concentrating in particular on the duel and its relationship with the feud. This sets up the legal context of medieval warfare. Force or might of arms has always been used to resolve disputes but in the middle Ages, certain types of violence came to be placed within a formal context.

Keywords: feud; judicial ordeal; medieval warfare; Middle Ages

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