Homicides in Medieval and Early Modern Scandinavia

May, 2010 Version

Historians of Finland, Norway, and Sweden have authored extraordinary studies of crime and violence in medieval and early modern Scandinavia. The data on homicides in the spreadsheets below are drawn from the following studies:

  • Karonen, Petri (2001) "A Life for a Life versus Christian Reconciliation: Violence and the Process of Civilization in the Kingdom of Sweden, 1540-1700," in Heikki Ylikangas, Petri Karonen, and Martti Lehti, eds., Five Centuries of Violence in Finland and the Baltic Area. Columbus: Ohio State University Press: 85-132.
  • Koskivirta, Anna (2003) The Enemy Within: Homicide and Control in Eastern Finland in the Final Years of Swedish Rule, 1748-1808. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society.
  • Larsson, Lars-Olof (1982) Småländsk Historia: Stormaktstiden. Stockholm: P. A. Norstedt and Söners Förlag.
  • Österberg, Eva (1996) "Criminality, Social Control, and the Early Modern State: Evidence and Interpretations in Scandinavian Historiography," in Eric A. Johnson and Eric H. Monkkonen, eds., The Civilization of Crime: Violence in Town and Country since the Middle Ages. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 35-62.
  • Sandnes, Jørn (1990) Kniven, ølet og œren. Oslo:
  • Ylikangas, Heikki (2001) "What Happened to Violence? An Analysis of the Development of Violence from Medieval Times to the Early Modern Era Based on Finnish Source Material," in Keikki Ylikangas, Petri Karonen, and Martti Lehti, eds., Five Centuries of Violence in Finland and the Baltic Area. Columbus: Ohio State University Press: 1-83.

The rates in urban areas vary greatly from place to place, but with the exception of Vadstena, Scandinavian cities experienced a rise in homicide in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries and a decline from the mid-seventeenth through the eighteenth centuries—a pattern repeated in most places in northwestern Europe that have been studies to date.

The following datasets are available


 

[csv] - Some links on this page are to .csv files requiring the use of a database program. If you need these files in a more accessible format, please contact cjrc@osu.edu.

[xls] - Some links on this page are to Microsoft .xls files requiring the use of Microsoft Excel. If you need these files in a more accessible format, please contact cjrc@osu.edu.

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