Högre seminariet i historia och idéhistoria tillsammans med Umeå Group for Premodern Studies bjuder in till seminarium med Riikka Miettinen. Riikka Miettinen is a Postdoctoral researcher at the Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences, University of Tampere, Finland. She will speak on the topic of Suicide, Law and Community in Early Modern Sweden.
Committing suicide was a felony for centuries in many parts of Europe. Suspected suicides were investigated in the local lower courts of each rural district or town in the early modern Swedish Kingdom and penalties for suicide were inflicted on the corpse of the sentenced.
Kin, friends and neighbours of the deceased as well as vicars, local office-holders, judges and juries of peasant freeholders or burghers, faced the difficult task to investigate what had happened and decide on how to dispose of the corpse according to the law.
The book explores the judicial treatment of suicides in early modern Sweden with a focus on the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, and thus Sweden's Great Power Era. In particular, this presentation deals with the selective and diverse ways in which suicides were received and treated by the local communities and the lower courts, and discusses the challenges in researching the responses and reactions based on available, fragmentary sources.