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Lessons from the Middle Ages: Violence and War

March 16, 2021 at 8:00 pm GMT

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Matt Clifford returns to conclude his Lessons from the Middle Ages series with a realistic exploration of medieval violence, penalty and war. 
After exploring religion and power, In our third salon in “Lessons from the Middle Ages” series, we turn our focus to violence and war – topics that are deeply intertwined with the themes of our first two salons, religion and power.

Modern culture is laden with portrayals of medieval violence from the sanitised (e.g. King Arthur) to the grim (e.g. Game of Thrones). Which is closer to the mark? And what can we learn today from the way medieval people thought about, dealt with and processed violence?

In this salon, we will explore questions including:

  • What was the psychological impact of living in such a violent society? How did people process death and terror?
  • What was the impact of the Crusades? When could war be seen as just or even holy?
  • What did people think about torture and punishment?
  • How did technology change war during this period?
  • Was “chivalry” a solution to violence or part of the problem?


Suggested pre-reading:



March 16, 2021
8:00 pm GMT
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