Coping in medieval prisons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Based on archival research in several Italian city-states, this article examines medieval prison life, its attendant pains, and inmate coping strategies by substantially engaging the variety of scholarship on modern incarceration. It demonstrates the limited degree to which current hardships overlap with those of earlier forms of captivity, and underscores the diversity of inmates' social positions in both eras. Medieval prisoners were marginalized, but they avoided social liminality (a major present-day risk) largely thanks to their visibility, accessibility, and frequent interaction with free society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-172
Number of pages22
JournalContinuity and Change
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2008
Externally publishedYes

Cite this