Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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Abbreviations

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pp. vii-viii

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Prologue

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pp. ix-xiv

In its medieval form, sanctuary law granted a wrongdoer who fled to a church protection from forcible removal as well as immunity from corporal or capital punishment. The fugitive might be required to pay a fine, forfeit his goods, perform penance, or go into exile, but almost without exception his...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-6

Although every medieval legal tradition offered criminals who fled to a church respite from corporal and capital punishment, in the sixteenth century kings, parliaments, and popes reached the common conclusion that the privileges that protected sanctuary seekers presented a major obstacle to...

I. THE FOUNDATIONS OF SANCTUARY LAW IN LATE ANTIQUITY

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1. Authority, Intercession, and Penance

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pp. 9-28

In the late 390s, commenting on a scene in Vergil’s Aeneid in which Greek soldiers had turned Juno’s temple into a repository for captives and war booty, pagan author Servius Grammaticus explained that the Asylum of...

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2. Roman Aristocratic Traditions, Imperial Penal Law, and Sanctuary

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pp. 29-44

Despite its theological aspect, the sanctuary protection offered by Christian churches was not entirely inconsistent with the aristocratic Roman traditions of intercession and clemency. Nonetheless, historians have assigned sanctuary...

II. THE EMERGENCE OF SANCTUARY LAW IN THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES

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3. Reassessing Early Medieval Sanctuary Legislation

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pp. 47-56

“This infamous cleric, both accused and judged, escaped from the custody of the missus to the church, which he should not have entered until after penance, and which he entered against the law.”1 These words were written...

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4. The Transmission and Reception of Sanctuary Legislation in the Early Middle Ages

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pp. 57-77

Inspired by a prevailing impulse to find what was primordially and authentically “Germanic” (as opposed to Roman) in early medieval law, nineteenth- century legal history searched for “native” sanctuary practices that...

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5. Sanctuary, Blood Feud, and the Strength of Anglo-Saxon Government

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pp. 78-92

Thus far, Frankish sources have anchored the story of sanctuary’s transmission and adoption in the early Middle Ages and demonstrated how sanctuary was insinuated into the construction of Christian identity and Frankish...

III. SANCTUARY IN LATE MEDIEVAL ENGLAND AND THE CANON LAW

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6. Sanctuary in the Century After the Norman Conquest

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pp. 95-111

Although Maitland dramatically characterized the Norman Conquest as “a catastrophe which determines the whole future history of English Law,” he regarded the immediate impact of the Normans on English law as limited.1...

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7. Sanctuary and Angevin Law Reforms

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pp. 112-151

Sometime shortly before 1241 in Berkshire, Richard le Vacher and John Dobyn came to the home of Matilda la Daye and killed her. Afterwards, they fled to the Church of St. Laurence in Reading. There, they claimed...

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8. The Role of Canon Law in the Destruction of Sanctuary

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pp. 152-174

The manner in which canonists defended sanctuary for crimes in the late medieval period signaled a remarkable change. Increasingly, they emphasized that sanctuary was a jurisdictional immunity of the Church, a territorial...

Notes

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pp. 175-236

Bibliography

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pp. 237-252

Index

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pp. 253-269