the first European festival on creativity

2013 Program

EVENT #23

Alessandro Barbero

Incredible Middle Ages: The ius primae noctis

 

The ancient practice of ius primae noctis (droit du seigneur, literally “the right of the first night”) has proved very useful to novelists and screenplay writers lacking ideas and has played an important role in some popular novels set in the Middle Ages – from K. Follett to I. Falcones – and in such blockbuster movies as Braveheart. Nobody seems to find it absurd that in a deeply Christian society, and at a time when the Church was launching a massive attempt at controlling people's behaviour and family life, Medieval lords and masters were entitled to the virginity of young brides without it being perceived as violence. But did our ancestors really accept such humiliating abuse? And if so, then why do countless documents from the period (lawyer's memoranda, trial minutes and proceedings as well as novels) describe in full detail the peasants' claims against their lords, but never discuss the ius primae noctis?

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Barbero

Alessandro Barbero is a historian and a writer and a tenured professor of Medieval History at Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale e Vercelli. He writes for La Stampa and Tuttolibri. He is a contributor on the television program Superquark and the shows Il tempo e la storia and a.C.d.C., broadcast by Rai Storia. His publications include: Benedette guerre. Crociate e jihad («i Libri del Festival della Mente», 2009), Lepanto. La battaglia dei tre imperi («i Libri del Festival della Mente», 2010), Donne, madonne, mercanti e cavalieri. Sei storie medievali («i Libri del Festival della Mente», 2013), published by Laterza; Gli occhi di Venezia (Mondadori, 2011); Il divano di Istanbul (Sellerio, 2011); Dietro le quinte della Storia. La vita quotidiana attraverso il tempo, written with P. Angela (Rizzoli, 2012); Le Ateniesi (Mondadori, 2015); Costantino il vincitore (Salerno Editrice, 2016); Le parole del papa (2016) and Caporetto (2017), published by Laterza.

All theevents2013


   

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Paolo Giordano

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Piergiorgio Odifreddi

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Ramin Bahrami

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Nicla Vassallo

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EVENT #17

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Between art, philosophy and science: the adventures of truth

EVENT #18

Stefano Bartezzaghi, Massimo Recalcati

To inherit or to be creative? Art in the time of disoriented generations

EVENT #19

Gabriella Caramore

Imperfect knowledge

EVENT #21

Ilvo Diamanti

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EVENT #23

Alessandro Barbero

Incredible Middle Ages: The ius primae noctis

EVENT #24

Luca Barcellona

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EVENT #26

Silvio Garattini

Brain aging: a 3rd millennium epidemic

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In conversation with literary creativity

EVENT #31

Laura Boella

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Francesca Alfano Miglietti, Antonio Marras

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Edoardo Boncinelli

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EVENT #36

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EVENT #37

Alessandro Bergonzoni

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EVENT #38

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