The Peace and Truce of God Movement

The Peace of God and the Truce of God were medieval movements that utilised spiritual authority in order to limit violence of private war in feudal society.

Peace of God
The Peace of God was led by the Roman Catholic Church to protect religious property, women, pilgrims, priests, merchants and other citizens who could not defend themselves, from violence. It was the response to the breakdown of public order, and the royal authorities increasing inability to maintain order. The Peace of God movement began in France in the late 10th century, at a Church Council. At these councils, churchmen gathered with regional lay authorities and attempted to make clearer the protective power of God. The Peace of God prohibited nobles from invading churches, beating the defenceless and burning houses. Merchants and their goods were also added to the protected groups. Significantly, the Peace of God movement began in areas where central authority had broken down. Peace of God can also be used as a general term that means "under the protection of the Church" and was used in multiple contexts in medieval society.

Truce of God
The Truce of God was a measure put into place by the Catholic Church to suspend warfare. The Truce of God began in southern Italy in the 11th century, and set aside certain days of the year when violence was not permitted. Where the Peace of God prohibited violence against the church and the poor, the Truce of God was more focused on preventing violence between Christians, specifically between knights. A ban of fighting on Sunday and holy days was extended to include all of Lent, and the Friday of every week.

Chivalry and Just War