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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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The Origins of Dispute: Status and Honour

The Origins of Dispute: Status and Honour

(p.49) 2 The Origins of Dispute: Status and Honour
Blood and Violence in Early Modern France

Stuart Carroll (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Honour is not simply a moral code regulating conduct, like magic or Christianity, it is a world view. Since physical courage and unwillingness to accept humiliation are essential to male honour, masculinity is closely associated with the right to violence. The French word for affront, injure, captures the sense of aggression and violence inherent in the impugning of honour: to take blood was an escalation of the exchange but it was not disproportionate to the initial offence. If pride and hubris were possessed in inverse proportion to wealth, then violence was often the only adequate means of gaining recognition of one's status. This chapter discusses disputes in France arising from social status and honour, honour as public property, and public proofs of status or recognition of honour among nobles.

Keywords:   disputes, France, social status, honour, violence, aggression, recognition, public property

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