Enemies of the Count and of the City. The Collective Exile of Rebels in Fourteenth-Century Flanders

Milan Pajic, Jan Dumolyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the fourteenth century, the struggle for power between the craft guilds and patricians dominated the county of Flanders to such an extent that it resulted in three major revolts between 1302 and 1361. A common punishment for collective action was banishment from the city or from the entire county, either temporarily or for life. A mitigation of the capital punishment, sending those politically defeated into exile, partially transferred social and political tensions abroad and allowed the victorious party to restore order, although sometimes only until the return of the exiles under new political conditions. Thus these revolts were followed by waves of large scale collective expulsions, in the execution of which both princely and urban authorities were involved. After these, however, the importance of collective exile as a measure of repression sharply declined and other types of punishment were inflicted on rebellious communities. The purpose of this article is to explain this brief but intensive legal phenomenon within the judicial and political structures of the county.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-501
JournalThe Legal History Review
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 09 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


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