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Conclusion - The Long High Middle Ages

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Chapter Summary

Criminalisation implied that the individual became liable to prosecution. The younger Christian laws of around 1250 decreed the criminalisation of the complete spectrum of extramarital sexuality for the entire country. Criminalisation led to sentences, commonly fines payable to the Church, sometimes also to the Crown. During the second half of the twelfth century, the number of crimes punishable by outlawry increased. It is to be stressed that there is continuity in the principle of publicity for the formalisation of betrothals and marriages in the legislation of the High Middle Ages and that of the post-Reformation period. One of the clear principles of the Reformation was that laws were to be derived from Gods word alone and improvements of and discussions on the post-Reformation laws were also made with reference to the Bible.

Keywords: Christian Law; criminalisation; Middle Ages; outlawry



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