Face-fart fines

Mediaeval local legal codes, fueros, all contain passages like the following, taken from the Fuero de Bejár (1290s):

Mediaeval local legal codes, fueros, all contain passages like the following, taken from the Fuero de Bejár (1290s):

386 OF MEN WHO FORNICATE WITH OTHERS.-Burn those captured in sodomitic sin.
(386 DE UARON QUE FORNICA CON OTRO.- Qvi fuer preso en sodomitico peccado, quemarlo.)

387 THOSE WHO SAY TO OTHERS THAT THEY FUCKED THEM UP THE ARSE.-He who says to another “I fucked you up the arse”, if it can be proved that this is true, burn both of them. If not, burn he who uttered such a vile thing
(387 QUI DIZ A OTRI QUEL FODIO POR EL CULO.- Qvi dixiere a otro “yo te fodi por el culo”, si pudier seer prouado que es uerdat, quemarlos a amos. Si no, quemar al que tal nemiga dixo.)

The next article is more interesting:

388 HE WHO PUTS HIS ARSE IN THE FACE OF ANOTHER.-He who puts his arse in the face of another, or delivers him a fart in the face, will be fined 300 sueldos and declared enemigo [see below], if it can be proved; if not, he is to absolve himself in the presence of 12 citizens and be believed.
(388 QUI PUSIER EL CULO EN FAZ DE OTRJ.- Qvi pusier al otro el culo en la faz, o le dier pedo con él en la faz, peche CCC sueldos e exca enemigo, si jo pudieren prouar; si non, iure con XII vezinos e sea creido.)

My acquantaince with 13th century law is fortunately fairly limited, and I’m not sure what would have been the consequences of being declared enemigo (literally: enemy). At first I thought it to mean that the culprit would be consigned to some kind of persona non grata limbo, but now I (prefer to) suspect it to be an eye-for-an-eye kind of arrangement, along the lines of those for inter-family murders, in which the victim is free to fart in the face of his aggressor. The idea of this kind of thing developing into a tit-for-tat family feud is too horrible to contemplate.

(Source: CORDE)

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