Data from Historical Studies of Murder
(February 2014 Version)
Compiled by Joachim Eibach, University of Berne
Student research assistants: Roman Bonderer, Arno Haldemann and Angela Peter
Historians of Germany have published excellent studies of homicide. They include studies of rural and urban communities, and span the centuries from late medieval to early modern and modern times. Joachim Eibach and his research assistants have gathered the data from those studies (including population counts) so we can make them available through the Historical Violence Database. Their compilation includes complete references for the studies from which the data are compiled. The data have important implications for the study of long-term trends in European violence.
A note of caution is in order, however. Many studies do not note precisely which cases they include as “homicides.” Some count only deaths classified legally as murders, and others count murders and manslaughters. These legal categories were not consistent across time or space, and manslaughters often included deaths that would better be classified as accidental rather than as deaths from intentional assaults. We hope that scholars will eventually provide access to the raw data that they have found in the archives, so scholars can prepare lists of homicides and other kinds of deaths that are based on consistent definitions.
Spreadsheet (February 2014 version)
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