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In Medieval times animals were believed to be culpable for their misdeeds and their guilt or innocence had real material and punitive consequences. In Europe as early as the thirteenth century and as late as the sixteenth century, non-human animals including rats, pigs, horses, and dogs were tried for criminal activities. Such trials were not sacrificial in nature; neither were they mock trials for entertainment. Rather, such trials were undertaken with great seriousness with appointed legal counsel for prosecution and defense, at some times before a judge and at other times before a judge and jury. This phenomenon would strike modern sensibilities are being somewhere between eccentric and completely mad, and no one today believes that animals are capable of forming criminal intentions. This book answers the question of how this rather arcane practice is to be understood because it is true that today no animals are formally prosecuted for crimes in courts of law.
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"It makes an important contribution, by revisiting the scholarship surrounding the treatment of animals in the medieval period." (Prof. Normand Perreault Georgia Perimeter College) "This presentation of many of the elements of the judicial proceedings is extremely engaging." (Prof. James Brown University of New Brunswick)"
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Book Description Edwin Mellen Press Ltd, 2013. Hardcover. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0773430814