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Penalty, monetary
(915 words)

The concept of a fine or “monetary penalty” varied in the Middle Ages and early modern period. The German term, Buße, was used ambiguously for both public fines and private damages (and as “penance” in the ecclesiastical sphere; cf. Church penance; Church discipline). In each case, a Buße was a monetary penalty for a minor offense (Criminal offense) that was not subject to corporal punishment or imprisonment (PrisonPunishment). Public fines gradually supplanted private payments, thereby losing their character as an act of compensation. However, a clear distinction between pri…

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Berg, Sebastian and Oestmann, Peter, “Penalty, monetary”, 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 18 October 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_017952>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721



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