It occurred to me that in many medieval settings, people getting killed is just a part of life.

If you angered a feudal lord or noble, they could cut off your hands or kill you and no one bats an eye. There could be bar fights leading to death. People dueled to the death for honor. Merchants get killed by bandits/thieves while traveling. Public executions (hanging, guillotine).

In the modern era, that's not the norm anymore. A single death will have dozens of LE investigating, people in the community are afraid, media attention everywhere, etc.

  • 2
    Why the irony quotes on "killing"? Are you trying to ask about Capital Punishment?
    – T.E.D.
    Mar 16 '21 at 20:04
  • 5
    I think your premise is wrong. Murdering someone could result in being put on the wheel in medieval Germany. Killing someone in a barfight carries a minimum sentence of one year in Germany today, which is short enough to be put on probation rather than put into prison. See en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaking_wheel and dejure.org/gesetze/StGB/227.html
    – Jan
    Mar 16 '21 at 20:46
  • 1
    Even in many the witch trials killing someone was still a sin. That's why with the water test (where if you floated you where a witch and if you sank you weren't) they did not set out to prove you innocent by killing you, that would lead you straight to damnation. Gore was more common, but "people getting killed is just a part of life."is simply not true. People dying on the other hand was, from a myriad of diseases accidents or other stuff, pretty common. I think with the right adjustments this question is still salvageable. @Jan has some good points too.
    – Tom Sol
    Mar 16 '21 at 20:55
  • 8
    Deaths may be a fact of life, but viewing murder as wrong is as old as history.
    – Semaphore
    Mar 16 '21 at 21:54
  • 3
    I’m voting to close this question because it is based on wrong assumptions
    – Alex
    Mar 16 '21 at 22:09

Code of Ur Nammu

According to World History Encyclopedia, the earliest known law code is "The Code of Ur-Nammu", from approximately 2030 BC.

World History Encyclopedia

Ur-Nammu (r. 2047-2030 BCE) was the founder of the Third Dynasty of Ur in Sumer who initiated the so-called Ur III Period (2047-1750 BCE) also known as the Sumerian Renaissance. He is best known as the king who composed the first complete law code in the world, The Code of Ur-Nammu. An earlier law code (known as the Code of Urukagina from the 24th century BCE) is only known through partial references to it and so, since the actual text itself has not been found, Ur-Nammu's code is considered the oldest extant.

Capital punishment

Murder was apparently considered a crime worthy of capital punishment, according to the code of Ur-Nammu

World History Encyclopedia

Although it is neither a true law code, being far from comprehensive; nor, some say, even introduced by Ur-Nammu but by his son Shulgi, code or no, although we only have fragments, they are enough to show that the laws covered both civil and criminal matters. Among criminal provisions it specifies which should be capital offences: murder, robbery, deflowering another man's virgin wife, and adultery when committed by a woman. For other misdemeanors the penalty was a fine in silver… [Ur-Nammu's code stands] in contrast to the more famous laws of Hammurabi, drafted some three centuries later, with its savage provisions of `an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth'. (148-149)

It occurred to me that in many medieval settings, people getting killed is just a part of life.

This could be more to do with policing than actual murder being acceptable by society, as murder has always been considered wrong as far back as the code of Ur-Nammu, and likely before. But perhaps the policing of the laws have not been as well enforced during certain periods of history, as they are now.

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