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Study & Research Medieval Europe 814-1350: Politics, Law, Military

This Study Guide consists of approximately 97 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Medieval Europe 814-1350.
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Origins. Beowulf, an Anglo-Saxon epic poem written just before 800, is a story of bravery, vengeance, and justice that reveals much about legal procedures, crime, and punishment in early medieval Europe. The monster Grendel slays Hrothgar's warriors until the hero Beowulf arrives. Beowulf kills Grendel and peace is briefly restored, but Grendel's mother soon appears seeking blood vengeance. Eventually, Beowulf slays Grendel's mother, and the feud ends because Grendel has no living relatives.

Kinship. The control of crime in Europe became a question of kinship after the fall of the Roman Empire. The unwritten code of the blood feud demanded vengeance whenever kin or a knightly retainer was killed. Crimes were viewed as attacks on entire families, and thus families were expected to pursue justice. Merchants, peasants, and others who lacked large and powerful families were forced to seek protection from local overlords. One who...

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This section contains 3,149 words
(approx. 11 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Medieval Europe 814-1350: Politics, Law, Military Encyclopedia Article
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