The Study of Medieval Hunting

Dustin M. Neighbors

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia / dictionaryScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The pursuit and culture of hunting was and is a universal yet complex endeavour that consists of human–nature relationships, social and political behaviours, violence and conflict. The shifts of the medieval period transformed hunting from a means of survival into a ritualised form of martial training, sport and recreation, chivalric spectacle, sociability, and social discourse. Therefore, it is not surprising that an abundance of evidence relevant to the practices and culture of hunting was produced in the medieval period. Key studies on medieval hunting have been instrumental in demonstrating the significance of hunting as a cultural practice that helped shape and define the medieval period. Yet, despite this valuable scholarly foundation, the study of medieval hunting remains under-explored. It is, therefore, crucial to engage in both interdisciplinary and comparative analysis of hunting practices across the geographic spectrum to understand the distinct cultures and customs of medieval hunting, and how it differed across kingdoms, societies, communities, and individuals. Additionally, since hunting involved physical, biological, material, and practical elements, the study of medieval hunting requires the use of interdisciplinary approaches and analysis, as well as the consideration of evidence beyond the textual sources. Otherwise, our understanding of hunting will be limited. The study of medieval hunting has increasingly shed light on the significance of hunting practices within medieval societies through a strong historiographical foundation, but it has also highlighted research gaps to be new avenues of research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Medieval Studies Encyclopaedia Online
EditorsHannele Klemettilä, Samu Niskanen, James Willoughby
PublisherRoutledge
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780415791182
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoE publication typeA3 Book section, Chapters in research books

Publication series

NameRoutledge Medieval Studies Encyclopaedia Online
PublisherTaylor & Francis

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