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Mechanisms of the Hue and Cry in Kolozsvár in the Second Half of the Sixteenth Century

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image of Journal of Early Modern History

This essay looks at a voluntary form of law enforcement based on trial records of late sixteenth-century Kolozsvár. It reconstructs mechanisms of hue and cry to show how social processes of control touched on culture and bore on the articulation of public and private domains in the early modern town. In witnesses' depositions hue and cry emerges as a customary practice with agents who could equally engage public opinion on behalf of victims against law-breakers, or make the system fail, and turn against the denouncer. Special attention is paid to the ways the town's landscape and soundscape interacted with raising the hue and cry. People's moves in response to the outcry effaced the usual divide between in and out, between domestic space and street, so with hue and cry, street and house, normally distinct, merged in ways otherwise abnormal.

Affiliations: 1: Department of History, Central European University, Budapest


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