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The Final Argument:
`Civilization consists of the attempt to reduce violence to the ultimo ratio, the final argument,' the great Spanish political philosopher JosťOrtega y Gasset once declared. This volume explores a variety of ways and purposes for which violence was employed in medieval and early modern societies, ranging from England to Spain, from Portugal to Iran. The contributions deal with the place of medieval clergy in war and peace; the institutionalisation of clan violence in medieval Iberia which eventally gave rise to the law of modern duelling, the code duello; and the emergence of norms of punishment for violence which pointed the way to the modern criminal law and penology. There is also a piece of historical detective work with a `definitive' solution for one of the crucial murder mysteries of the early middle ages - the wreck of the White Ship in 1120. Contributors: KENT G. HARE, MICHAEL FRASSETTO, JAMES R. KING, L.J. ANDREW VILLALON, DONALD J. KAGAY, THERESA M. VANN, JOHN K. BRACKETT, JOHN R. PERRY, TIMOTHY J. COATES, PATRICIA R. ORR, CYNTHIA J. NEVILLE, VICTORIA CHANDLER [via]