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The Kings and Their HawksFalconry in Medieval England$
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Robin S. Oggins

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300100587

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300100587.001.0001

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Falconry in Medieval Life

Falconry in Medieval Life

(p.109) 7 Falconry in Medieval Life
The Kings and Their Hawks

Robin S. Oggins

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the broader social aspects of falconry in medieval life in Western Europe. People flew hawks and falcons for a number of reasons, including delight in the sport and catching prey. For those who did not engage in falconry for a living, the practice of the sport was a mark of social prestige. It is essential to stress the upper-class character of the sport. From its earliest appearance in the West, the sport of falconry has implied the possession of wealth and status by those who pursued it. Upper-class owners delegated training of their hawks to others, and not all men who flew falcons knew how to tame and train them. The compensation for stealing a hawk, in sixth-century Burgundian law, was more than that for stealing a slave.

Keywords:   falconry, social prestige, falcons, hawks

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