‘Komt voor de deur op straat!’ | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 130, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



The location of early-modern interpersonal violence has long been treated merely as a setting in which violent acts unfolded. But by spatially analysing two distinct categories of violence in Amsterdam in the 1730s, this article demonstrates that space played a crucial and meaningful part in the use of violence. Space could either be fought over or have the potential to direct the course of action during the actual fight. In the former, the ambiguity of the tavern meant that space itself could be an object of contest. In the latter, highly ritualized honour-related knife fighting depended on its surroundings. In order to be successful, these fights had to attract an audience as large as possible, turning the different spaces it inhabited – especially the doorstep – into ritualized liminal zones.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Amsterdam; liminality; space; taverns; violence
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