1st Edition

Peacemaking and the Restraint of Violence in High Medieval Europe

Edited By Simon Lebouteiller, Louisa Taylor Copyright 2024

    The High Middle Ages have been seen as an important point within the development of governmental and administrative bureaucracy, as well as a time in which there was frequent conflict. This volume addresses the methods by which violence was regulated and mitigated, and peaceful relations were re-established in high medieval Europe. By studying the restraint of violence and the imposition of peace, the chapters in this volume contribute to interdisciplinary discussions about the effects that violence had on medieval societies. The wide-ranging geographical scope of this volume invites comparisons to be made in relation to how violence was restrained, and peace established, in different settings.

    The chapters in the first part of this volume address the issue of how violence was moderated and curbed during and following periods of conflict. The second part explores attempts to maintain peace and the processes which developed to deal with those viewed as having broken the peace. The final part of this volume explores the ways in which conflict was avoided through the maintenance of positive relationships between individuals and groups.

    This book will be of interest to both academics and students interested in conflict, the restraint of violence, and peacemaking in medieval societies as well as those working on ritual and conflict resolution in any historical period.

    Introduction: Peacemaking and the Restraint of Violence in High Medieval Europe

    Simon Lebouteiller and Louisa Taylor

    Part 1 – Restraining Violence: Ideas and Practices

    Chapter 1 – The Submission of Rebellious Cities in the Roman-German Empire

    Hermann Kamp

    Chapter 2 – Peace or Punishment in Medieval England: From 1215 to 1322

    Stephen D. White

    Chapter 3 – ‘Be at peace with God and me’: Violence, War, and Royal Responses to Insurrection in Medieval Scotland, c. 1100–1286

    Iain MacIness

    Chapter 4 – Conflicts and the Use of Exile as a Means of Restraining Violence in Eleventh- and Twelfth-Century Castile-León

    Harald Endre Tafjord

    Part 2 – Negotiating and Defining Peace

    Chapter 5 – The ‘Old Peace’ as a Peacemaking Institution in Thirteenth-Century German-Russian Trade Treaties

    Tobias Boestad

    Chapter 6 – Encounters at the Water’s Edge: Peace Meetings on Rivers, Bridges, and Islands in Medieval Scandinavia

    Simon Lebouteiller

    Chapter 7 – God’s Peace and the King’s Peace in High Medieval Norway

    David Brégaint

    Part 3 – Establishing and Maintaining Relationships

    Chapter 8 – Food, Peacemaking, and Maintenance in Twelfth- and Thirteenth-Century England

    Lars Kjær

    Chapter 9 – Food and Clothing in Rituals of Peacemaking in Medieval Europe and the Latin East

    Yvonne Friedman

    Chapter 10 – Cloth, Clothing, and Peacemaking in Byzantium: From the Second Part of the Eleventh Century to the Middle of the Thirteenth Century

    Nicolas Drocourt


    Simon Lebouteiller holds a PhD in Medieval History and taught History and Scandinavian Studies at the Universities of Oslo and Sorbonne. He is currently an Associate Professor of Old Norse and Icelandic Studies at the University of Caen, Normandy, and a member of the research centre ERLIS (Équipe de Recherche sur les Littératures, les Imaginaires et les Sociétés). His research investigates peacemaking, rituals, political practices, and ideologies in medieval Scandinavia, as well as Norse historiography. He has also translated Icelandic sagas into French, such as Knýtlinga saga (La saga des rois de Danemark: Knýtlinga saga. Transl. Simon Lebouteiller. Toulouse: 2021).

    Louisa Taylor is Lecturer in Medieval History at Aberystwyth University and Lecturer in History at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). Her research explores elite culture and behaviour during conflict in high and late medieval Scandinavia, Iceland, England, Wales, and the Baltic region using comparative perspectives.