L'imaginaire masculin et la soumission des vassales dans le Royaume Latin de Jérusalem vers 1200: Un jalon supplémentaire dans l'histoire de la violence symbolique envers les femmes

Myriam Greilsammer

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    The particular circumstances concerning the survival of the Latin kingdom and the pivotal importance of military matters determined the priorities of its ruler. Above all, he needed to ensure effective and complete feudal service as well as the loyalty of all his vassals. This article reveals the originality of some of the clauses found in the Livre au Roi, a custumal on feudal law composed around 1200, demonstrating that its compiler did not shrink from innovating in this area in his intention of giving the monarchy the juridical basis necessary for political centralisation. By examining closely four specific examples from the Livre, which deal with noblewomen (the service of marriage of unmarried heiresses; the remarriage of widows; the rights of wives of heretical and apostate knights; and the fate of wives of knights suffering from leprosy), this analysis of the Livre au Roi shows how the monarchy of Outremer sought to strengthen its domination over noble families by manipulating the fragile status of vassals in the Latin kingdom. As the discussion sheds light on the notion of symbolic violence against women, it can also reveal much about perceptions and representations of women and of their bodies in the middle ages, as well as how male domination was, as a consequence, reinforced.

    Original languageFrench
    Pages (from-to)331-363
    Number of pages33
    JournalJournal of Medieval History
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 2001


    • Feudal service
    • Latin kingdom of jerusalem
    • Law
    • Marriage
    • Women

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