The bizarre medieval trials against animals

Even if it might seem bizarre to modern observers, animal trials were commonplace public events in medieval and early modern Europe. Pigs, cows, goats, horses, and dogs that allegedly broke the law were routinely subjected to the same legal proceedings as humans, in a court of law, where they were treated as persons. The history of animal trials has its roots in the Low Middle Ages, and saw a series of “beasts” being judged, in some cases executed, according to the normal human laws. From the thirteenth century until the…

Read More