Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Murder
(1,387 words)

1. Crime

Murder is the technical term for a form of homicide qualified by certain criteria that differ in detail (cf. Infanticide). Historically, the distinction between murder and manslaughter was made either on the basis of psychological or ethical criteria.

As the etymology shows (Old English morðor, “secret killing,” “mortal sin,” ultimately from IE *mer-, “to die”; cf. Medieval Latin mordrum, French meurtre, German Mord), the qualifying criterion for murder as opposed to “open” killing…

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Maihold, Harald, “Murder”, 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 15 April 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_024297>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200128



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