chapter  5
19 Pages

Confl ict, community, and the law. Guarantors and social networks in dispute resolution in early modern Saxony


On Friday, 3 July 1545, Barthel Fleischer, Valten Schmid, and Barthel Wolff appeared before Freiberg’s city court after Fleischer and Schmid had quarrelled in public. The cause of the fracas is not specifi ed but it was suffi ciently heated that others had to intervene. When they appeared in court, Fleischer, who was clearly seen as the aggressor, named Wolff as his guarantor, and promised to behave peacefully in both words and actions towards Schmid in the future, and to pay a three gulden fi ne if he failed to do so. 1 Who were these three men, and why is this quarrel and its legal resolution of interest to the historian?