Public disgrace and financial gain: Punishment of suicide in Mechelen (Belgium) 1366-1795

Karl Andriessen, Karolina Krysinska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Suicide was treated as a crime in medieval Europe. However, knowledge regarding the actual penal practice of suicide by the local courts is limited. Based on the published records of the city court of Mechelen, Belgium, 1366-1795, the current study provides an overview of the punishment of suicide and other capital crimes by this city court over a 430-year period during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The study revealed that punishment of suicide was a rare event. The findings are discussed with reference to the historical context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-60
Number of pages5
JournalSuicidology Online
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes

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