chapter  7
Was There Really Such a Thing as Feud in the High Middle Ages? 1
ByPaul R. Hyams
Pages 26

This chapter revises arguments of book Rancor and Reconciliation in Medieval England, where fuller documentation may be found. It shows one significant way in which the men and women of the High Middle Ages managed and waged their conflicts and vengeance within a set of behavior patterns their repertoire, if one like inherited from the past and widely recognized at the time. The semantic field covered by guere is not quite as clear as a philologist might wish. It seems to cover conflicts not covered by Latin bellum, which essentially denotes the kinds of war started by a recognized authority like king or pope that can be justified along the lines of just war theories. In consequence, the modern Continental secondary literature describes as private war most situations where Anglophone scholars habitually talk of feud.