ABSTRACT

The power to apply the death penalty showed who possessed full jurisdiction, and this came to be represented by the building of gallows. The high degree of fragmentation of jurisdiction in Catalonia led to a proliferation of gallows that took over the landscape to indicate when one changed jurisdiction, that is, to symbolise—and flaunt—who held this full jurisdictional power. 1 The type of punishment allowed exhibited the degree of jurisdictional domain held. Those who only enjoyed the mixtum imperium, that is, the power to punish minor offences, showed this with the costell 2 (the pillory) where physical punishment was applied. This was identical to other parts of the Iberian Peninsula, such as Castile, 3 where each place had to attend to “the work of the pillory”. 4 In contrast, he who enjoyed the full jurisdiction could flaunt “patibula, gallows, half gallows, costellos and bars”, 5 as a clear “signa denotantia merum et mixtum imperium et omnimodam aliam iurisditionem”, 6 that is, “faciendo erigi et erigendo in dictis locis et quolibet eorum furchas, patibula, custellos, perticas et alia merum et mixtum imperium et signum et exequtionem denotancia et designancia”. 7 What there really was were two things in different places: the scaffold denoted the jurisdiction and, at the same time, in the main square, the pillory was there to serve its function for punishment, like the example described in Vic, where a point of reference in the city was “the pillory in the Market Place”. 8