“Unbridled Tongues.” Honour, Speech and Forms of Slander in Bardejov from the Middle of the 16th to the Middle of the 18th Century

„Bezuzdné jazyky.“ Česť, reč a podoby nactiutŕhačstva v Bardejove od polovice 16. do polovice 18. storočia

Honour was a universally present theme in the social interactions of pre-modern European societies. The current paper aims to analyse this concept through the urban community of Bardejov between approximately 1550 and 1750, focusing on verbal offences against honour. The topic is approached from two perspectives. Firstly, an emphasis is placed on the Reformation and humanist discourse in urban communities, the roles placed on preserving one’s own and one’s neighbours’ good reputation, and appropriate reactions to becoming the object of slander. In the second part, social practice is emphasised. On the basis of the source material and brief case studies, examples of three levels of offences are identified: individual, collective/institutional and transcendental. The last two categories suggest possible approaches for future research on honour in the context of variously defined collective identities analysis.