Falk Bretschneider

Roads and Practices of Punishment in the Early Modern Holy Roman Empire

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Holy Roman Empire; Early Modern Period; Penal Practices; Road; Banishment.

What was the relationship between the road network and penal practices in the early modern Holy Roman Empire? This text seeks to answer this question in three areas: 1. the strategic importance of roads for positioning places of execution and their role in the empire's criminal punishment system; 2. the importance of roads as a connecting element in the territorially fragmented imperial space, including practices like the pursuit of vagrants or the extradition of offenders, and 3. the use and experience of the road in the context of banishment. Although the sources are scarce, in all of these settings the road proves to be a central medium of communication upon which the Reich was based as a political system as well as a source of practical resource for social actors.

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