Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Faux Martin Guerre A Controversial Issue, And...

In 1560, Arnaud du Tilh - the imposter who posed as Martin Guerre - was hanged, with his body burned after his death. Today, execution is a controversial issue, and mediaeval and early modern executions (especially public executions) are viewed through the lens of enlightenment rationalism. However, this is not how public execution was always seen. When studying history, it is important that the historian does not view history through the lens of their own time, but instead the lens of the time they are viewing. This is one of the aims of studying microhistory - to provide the lens through which to observe a place and time. This is how I shall endeavour to use the fascinating case of the faux Martin Guerre - as a lens through which to view the attitudes, methods and reasoning behind public executions, including the execution that claimed the life of Arnaud du Tilh. It was the attitudes towards and legal philosophy of the time towards crime and punishment that led to Arnaud du Tilhâ⠂¬â„¢s sentence, so the fundamental question that this essay seeks to answer is why Arnaud was given the sentence that he was. Execution as an institution was not an extension of the state, as it is often seen today, but was instead an extension of the community that was seen as a normal part of the ‘divine order’. Arnaud du Tilh was executed by hanging and then burned due to the specific Christian and folk beliefs and symbolism surround methods of execution, and the execution was public not as a

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