In an overfurious mood’: Emotion in medieval Frisian law and life

Research output: Chapter in book/volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


Despite the rapid growth of the history of emotions over the past two to three decades, legal sources have only recently started to be analysed in more detail. Laws, nonetheless, offer an attractive field of investigation for the study of emotions. As it happens, the vernacular literary legacy of the medieval Frisians, written down between the early thirteenth century and the early sixteenth century, consists almost entirely of legal texts. These range from native customary laws, statutes, and extensive registers of compensations to legal riddles and learned comments based on Roman and canon law. However, the laws do not make for dull reading. On the contrary, they are often striking for their imaginative discourse and open a wonderful window on life in medieval Frisia in many respects. This chapter explores the role of four basic emotions—joy, sadness, fear and anger—in as far as they occur in medieval Frisian lawbooks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmotional Alterity in the Medieval North Sea World
EditorsErin Sebo, Matthew Firth, Daniel Anlezark
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)9783031339653
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2024

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in the History of Emotions
ISSN (Print)2946-5958
ISSN (Electronic)2946-5966

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