The Invention of the Eyewitness: Witnessing and Testimony in Early Modern France
In an examination of eyewitness travel writing in thirteenth- through sixteenth-century France, Andrea Frisch studies the figure of the witness at a historical juncture and in a cultural context in which that figure is generally thought to have begun to assume a recognizably modern form and function.
Whereas most accounts of early modern travel literature tend to read modern presuppositions about witnessing and testimony back into the material, Frisch approaches the early modern witness in terms of the cultural legacy of the Middle Ages. Through primary readings in law and theology, Frisch documents the tension between the ethical witness (the characteristic witness of premodernity) and the epistemic witness (the modern witness) and explores the impact of that tension on the figure of the witness in pre- and early modern French-language travel literature.
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Though one cannot yet speak of a single , unified “ French ” procedure by the end
of the sixteenth century , sixteenth - century French sovereigns , especially
François I and Charles IX , significantly expanded the role of the inquest in the
Despite the significant expansion of the inquest in France from the fourteenth to
the sixteenth centuries , the criteria for evaluating witnesses remained largely
unchanged and primarily ethical up through much of the sixteenth century . As
... it was administered in early years of the inquisition is stretched to the breaking
point in sixteenth - century procedure . ... in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries ,
by the sixteenth century , it could be said that the dilation of legal proceedings ...