Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(845 words)

1. Definition and origins

In general under early modern law, lèse-majesté was understood as encompassing every and any injury (Iniuria) to a monarch. It did not emerge as an offense with distinct elements that separated it from political offenses (Criminal offense) until the mid-19th century. Until the end of the 18th century, this violation of honor was understood as a form of a comprehensive crime of lèse-majesté.

In the German-speaking lands, the crime derived, on the one h…

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Collin, Peter, “Lèse-majesté”, 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 26 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_023613>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801

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