Medieval Prison A Social History

ISBN-10: 0691135339

ISBN-13: 9780691135335

Edition: 2008

Authors: G. Geltner

List price: $39.95
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Description:

The modern prison is commonly thought to be the fruit of an Enlightenment penology that stressed man's ability to reform his soul.The Medieval Prisonchallenges this view by tracing the institution's emergence to a much earlier period beginning in the late thirteenth century, and in doing so provides a unique view of medieval prison life. G. Geltner carefully reconstructs life inside the walls of prisons in medieval Venice, Florence, Bologna, and elsewhere in Europe. He argues that many enduring features of the modern prison--including administration, finance, and the classification of inmates--were already developed by the end of the fourteenth century, and that incarceration as a formal punishment was far more widespread in this period than is often realized. Geltner likewise shows that inmates in medieval prisons, unlike their modern counterparts, enjoyed frequent contact with society at large. The prison typically stood in the heart of the medieval city, and inmates were not locked away but, rather, subjected to a more coercive version of ordinary life. Geltner explores every facet of this remarkable prison experience--from the terror of an inmate's arrest to the moment of his release, escape, or death--and the ways it was viewed by contemporary observers. The Medieval Prisonrewrites penal history and reveals that medieval society did not have a "persecuting mentality" but in fact was more nuanced in defining and dealing with its marginal elements than is commonly recognized.
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Book details

List price: $39.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 7/21/2008
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 224
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

G. Geltner is professor of medieval history at the University of Amsterdam.

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
A Note on Dates and Money
Prologue
Introduction
Italian Prisons: Three Profiles
Venice
Florence
Bologna
Conclusions
Aspects of Imprisonment
Urban Development
Administration and Bureaucracy
Finance and Economy
Punitive Imprisonment: Jurisprudence, Legislation, and Practice
Conclusions
Prison Life
The Terror of Arrest
First Nights
Familiar Order: The Wards
Daily Life: Order and Dissidence
The World Outside
The Journey's End: Death, Escape, Release
Conclusions
The Prison as Place and Metaphor
Early Imaginaries: Martyrdom, Monasticism, and Purgation
Excursus: Jail-Breaking Saints
From Purgation to Purgatory: God's Great Prison
This World and the Next: The Urban Prison
Conclusions
Conclusion: "Marginalizing" Institutions, Instituting Marginality
A Prison Inventory from Bologna, 1305
Poems from the Prison
Le Stinche, a Reconstruction
Abbreviations and Archives
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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