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WUN seminar, Southampton. ’Two separate realms or one common ground? Violence and killing in late medieval Norway as dealt with by civil and eccelsiastical authorities. County of Telemark. Two categories of killers. Ubotamann

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Wun seminar southampton

WUN seminar, Southampton

’Two separate realms or one common ground? Violence and killing in late medieval Norway as dealt with by civil and eccelsiastical authorities



Two categories of killers
Two categories of killers

  • Ubotamann

    Person who commits murder in the qualified sense, and whose act cannot be solved by indemnification

  • Botamann

    Person who commits homicide under mitigating circumstances, declares his act in public, and solves it by indemnification


Documentation of homicide in the civil jurisdictional system
Documentation of homicide in the civil jurisdictional system

  • Gridsbrev (royal letter of preliminary safe conduct)

  • Provsbrev (letter based on investigation of the facts of the case)

  • Landsvistbrev (royal letter of ’pardon’)

  • Kvitteringsbrev (letter of receipt to confirm the payment of fines to the king)


Penalties and compensation
Penalties and compensation

  • Tegngjeld (thane geld?, compensation for having deprived the King of one of his subjects, tegn=subject)

  • Fredkjøp (purchase of the King’s peace, i.e permanent protection/pardon, fred= peace)

  • Frendebot (compensation to the kinsmen of the deceased, frende=kin)


When guilt is admitted
When guilt is admitted

  • Aim: Papal absolution

  • Result: Lifting of state of irregularity and restitution into office


Tekstexample
Tekstexample

  • Blessed Father, Your devoted Ivar Gunnarsson, priest from the diocese of Oslo, explains to Your Sanctity that he one day, instigated by the devil, killed a priest, and thereby incurring the sentence of excommunication, as generally promulgated in such cases. The said petitioner now asks that Your Holiness may absolve him from the crime of homicide and in the same way from the sentence of excommunication and from his other sins, by ordinary mandate.

  • Granted, by ordinary mandate, Dominicus, Santa Croce, Rome 18 August, 1456.


When guilt is not admitted
When guilt is not admitted

  • Aim: papal declaration to confirm innocence

  • Result: Lisfting the state of irregularity and restitution into office

    Text example (see handout)


Extenuating circumstances
Extenuating circumstances

  • Self defence - vim vi repellendo, moderamen ratione instrumenti et partis, in continenti or dum primum poterit (if ex intervallo the act would be ’revenge’)

  • Repentant/mourning heart

  • Fervent desire to to serve in one’s vocation and at the altar


When guilt is pending
When guilt is pending

  • The said petitioner did not aim to kill the deceased, but is mourning deeply, and from what has been presented he is not guilty other than in the aforementioned manner since it all happened accidentally. It seems therefore that he is almost without guilt. But it is typical for good people to fear guilt where there is no guilt. He wishes, Holy Father, as a precaution to be absolved from homicide, if he in this way has made himself guilty of it, and to remain in his orders and to serve at the altar. Therefore, he, as a precaution, asks Your Holiness to instruct that this petitioner be absolved from homicide in case he from what has been described has committed such a crime.


Concluding formula
Concluding formula

  • Granted by special and express mandate, Julianus, Bishop of Bertinoro, Regent. The case be committed to the bishop of Mylopotamos, presently residing at the Roman Curia, who will examine whether the petitioner has the necessary evidence for his case as it has been presented in this letter, granted, Julianus.

  • Rome at St. Peter’s, 16 January 1500.


Excerpt from the t nsberg concordat 1277
Excerpt from the Tønsberg Concordat 1277

  • Cases in which clergymen are at law with one another or are sued by laymen, matrimonial cases, birth, patronage, tithes, holy vows, wills – especially when gifts to churches are involved – monasteries and holy foundations, protection of pilgrims coming to Saint Olav’s or other Norwegian cathedrals’ doorsteps. Further, cases concerning church property, sacrilege, perjury, usury, simony, heresy, concubines, adultery and incest and all other things which in any way may belong to the ecclesiastical forum according to separate jurisdiction, but with the reservation of royal right in cases in which, according to custom or the laws of the country, fines are to be imposed.


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