Crime and punishment in the practice of the medieval towns: The criminal cases of the town-book of Selmecbánya in the fourteenth-fifteenth centuries
The violent acts represent a very high number of criminal cases put into the town-book of Selmecbánya, most criminals, more than one hundred persons were accused of murder. There is a very high proportion of cases when the defendant resisted to the town leadership. Between 1360 and 1420 at Selmecbánya, an average of 1.6 murders were committed each year. However, the mortality in Selmecbánya caused by murders was not exceptionally high in the Middle Ages, if we compare these cases with those of Kassa, Zágráb or Western European towns. The town-book of Selmecbánya gave the punishments for each crime, however, these very severe punishment were carried out only rarely. More often, the criminals were exiled from Selmecbánya and a special type of punishment was the expiatory pilgrimage. The half of the fourty pilgrims in medieval Hungary who had to accomplish an expiatory pilgrimage came from Selmecbánya.
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