Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(813 words)

A feud is a formally declared enmity and in that context the violent assertion of rights on one’s own authority. The requirements of a “right feud” were personal justification, legal grounds, declaration (for instance, by feud letter), and the use of permitted means, although there was no generally valid definition for several of these criteria. This was especially true of the justification for a feud; distinctions were frequently drawn between conventional blood vengeance and “knights’ feuds.” The archaic roots of feuds stretch far back in Germanic prehistory.

Contrary to the con…

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Kohl, Gerald, “Feud”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 30 January 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_019175>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180126

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