Unlike neighboring countries, Armenia in the 12th century didn’t impose the death penalty for murder. Armenian law demanded penance and a fine when the culprit was Armenian; only a foreigner could be hanged. This was not consistent, though, and if a king or a prince were attacked, then the culprit could be hanged, irrespective of nationality. Similarly, where older law would have demanded amputation, Mkhitar Gosh indicated that a fine and penance were sufficient. In rape cases, where earlier custom had demanded marriage without the possibility of divorce, Gosh proposed a fine if the woman would not accept marriage. There were other areas where Armenian law tempered older laws, and bias was shifted away from the male, to treat the woman more fairly.

Unlike neighboring countries, Armenia in the 12th century didn’t impose the death penalty for murder. Armenian law demanded penance and a fine when the culprit was Armenian; only a foreigner could be hanged. This was not consistent, though, and if a king or a prince were attacked, then the culprit could be hanged, irrespective of nationality. Similarly, where older law would have demanded amputation, Mkhitar Gosh indicated that a fine and penance were sufficient. In rape cases, where earlier custom had demanded marriage without the possibility of divorce, Gosh proposed a fine if the woman would not accept marriage. There were other areas where Armenian law tempered older laws, and bias was shifted away from the male, to treat the woman more fairly.

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