Mittwoch, 15. April 2015, 18:30 - 20:00 iCal

Geschichte am Mittwoch/Geschichte im Dialog

Gijs Kruijtzer: Sodomy and Legal Consciousness in the Early Modern Persian and Latin Worlds

Jour fixe des Instituts für die Erforschung der Frühen Neuzeit

Universität Wien-Institut für Geschichte, HS 45
Universitätsring 1, 1010 Wien


Moderation: Susanne Hehenberger


In my book project "The Ethics of Exception: Transgression in the Persian and Latin Worlds in the Early Modern Period (1300-1700)", I investigate the tension between individual lives and a number of religious laws. Crucial for this research is to find sources that speak of cases in which an agent is seen to be conscious of the tension between the law and her/his practices. I would like to discuss expressions of such "legal consciousness" from the Persian cultural sphere (Iran, parts of Central and South Asia) and the Latin cultural sphere (Western and Central Europe) through a few concrete examples of strategies to get around the proscription of sodomy, or what was understood by the Latin term sodomia and by the Arabic term liwat. Through the early modern period these terms were constantly redefined - the redefining being part of what I am trying to investigate. Because the proscriptions were constantly redefined we should be careful in applying the label "transgression" to any act of same-sex intercourse in this period, but, on the other hand, we should also not underestimate the suspicion of contemporaries in either region.

Zur Person:

Gijs Kruijtzer is a historian with an eye for art history, legal history and global comparison. He is currently involved in a project comparing early modern South Asia and Europe hosted by the WISO Institute of the University of Vienna and funded by the WWTF.


Institut für Geschichte


MMag.Dr. Andrea Brait
Institut für Geschichte