Conferenza / Incontro

Carolingian Studies : Poisoning as a Crime in Lombard and Frankish Law:

From Early Medieval Law-givers to the Carolingian Leges Reform
9 aprile 2024
Orario di inizio 
Palazzo Paolo Prodi - Via Tommaso Gar 14, Trento
Aula 004
Ingresso libero
Online su prenotazione
Scadenza prenotazioni: 
8 aprile 2024, 12:00
Katharina Von Winckler
Staff Dipartimento di Lettere e Filosofia
0461 281788 - 282913
Thom Gobbitt, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, ÖAW Wien


Poisoning as a crime takes a small but very interesting and informative role in early medieval law-codes. The aim of this lecture is to explore how poisoning is framed as a crime in the Leges barbarorum from the sixth to early eighth centuries (focusing on the Lombard and Salic laws), and how attitudes the develop in Carolingian capitularies and related texts in the later eighth and ninth centuries. I shall address developing attitudes to poisoning across these two broad historical phases, through a number of key questions:

  • How much do these regulatory texts actually tell us about the practicalities of deliberately poisoning another person in the early middle ages?
  • How do the law-givers imagine poisoning in relation to more ‘ordinary’ modes of plotting, killing or otherwise inflicting injuries?
  • How does poisoning interconnect with magic in the laws and capitularies?
  • To what extent do these discourses of poisoning understand it to be an inherently secretive and nefarious crime?