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Blood and Violence in Early Modern France$
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Stuart Carroll

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199290451

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199290451.001.0001

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Quantifying Violence

Quantifying Violence

(p.257) 11 Quantifying Violence
Blood and Violence in Early Modern France

Stuart Carroll (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Even after the end of the civil wars, the duelling craze continued in France. The propensity to feud and duel ran in families. By quantifying violence involving the nobles, this chapter looks at the impact of civil war and the success or otherwise of royal pacification. Under Henri IV, deaths from duelling were estimated to be between 6,000 and 10,000, or approximately 350 per year. This chapter also presents a survey of the deaths of 772 gentlemen in duels and other forms of vindicatory action in the period 1550 to 1659 derived from all the sources, documentary and literary. Statistics on executions and punishment are also analysed. The very high death rates among gentlemen is not surprising; more surprising is that violence continued to remain high throughout the first half of the 17th century. An unshakeable belief in the right to violence lay at the heart of noble egotism.

Keywords:   France, duelling, statistics, nobles, violence, civil war, deaths, executions, punishment

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