The purpose of the thesis is to study homicide in a long-term perspective, focusing homicide in Stockholm from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. Though making reference to historical method with regard to the material studied, the thesis is specifically criminological in orientation. The thesis has two principle aims. The first of these involves an analysis of patterns in homicide over a time period of five centuries; how homicide changed over time (its form); and its changing prevalence within a given population group (its frequency). The second aim is directed at explaining the changing patterns observed.

The principle continuity which the research demonstrates is that people have tended to kill in much the same way over time, and often from the same motives and in the same places. Death typically results from male anger aroused in context where a provocation has been sustained by one or more parties to a particular dispute.

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