OR: Is ANY distinction between European military ranks futile in that sense?
Last edited by Hiro Protagonist; 8/06/2010 6:16am at .
BTW, I am writing those superlong posts because I would enjoy writing an article for BS on this behalf, since it seems to me it's one of the most common misunderstandings among laymen (which includes me).
Military ranks are irrelevant, your confusion is getting at you.
At home I still have everything I used for my thesis, there must be something (read; shitloads) about this topic laying around. Will take a week before I am there btw. Would be a nice idea to make something non-wikipedia >:D
One nice point about medieval nobility (and knighthood) would be their right to war. Something of great distinction to modern times soldiers, warfare-people and, of course, hand-to-hand (sports-)fighters.
In that sense their military or even nobility-rank really may be meaningless in the sense that as long as someone belongs to nobility (and is preferably of male gender) his right to wage war against his neighbours, merchants, free towns and cities, etc. is very real. Leaving questions of capablity, potential revange, etc. and other tactical issues aside.
Today the right to wage war is not one of private gentleman, at least not in a medieval way. This very last sentence may be some way worth discussing because of modern mercanary politics, powerfull crimesyndicatse, but propably not in this thread.
another 2 cent.
The feuding right also extended to burghers and free men. The consequences for violence in general and one's personal safety were great.
It's also the reason why I am a fervent supporter of the state's monopoly of violence and abhorr things like armed security personnel of private companies, like mall cops in Italy.
When was the right of feuding extended? Because I think in Germany it was only about 1800. Feuding in the sense of armed confrontation, not about bringing somebody to court.
duelling =/= feuding.
It was an old germanic right. My bad about my grammar that suggested it was extended to another group.
When a family, or a member of it, was harmed, there was to be compensation by the perpetrator or his family. If not, an official fued would be declared. That's a state of war sort to say, between two families. Only murder (the treacherous killing, as e.g. by night in an alley and Mordbrand (setting fire to a house killing the inhabitants, not sure if it was only during nighttime illegal) were illegal. Upfront, honest killing was ok.
This may seem drastic, but without a policeforce as we know, street lighting, banditry, people were expected to be more self reliant.
O damn, I was reading, and I forgot something: in the holy roman empire, from the high middle ages on, feuding was constrained. It was not allowed to declare a feud at once, there was the obligation to go to court first, lest one would be guilty of breaching the peace (of the church, but usually the count/king/emperor). Ghe ghe, getting rusty :D
This is what I meant.
Originally Posted by Moenstah
I think there were some laws that forbade bondsmen/thralls to carry weapons and to feud, in general. And thralls meant basically everyone who didn't live in a city. (Yeah, I am aware this is a gross oversimplifciation.)
a thrall is a completely unfree person, so less free than a serf. Thrall is a technical Scandinavian Viking Age term, you use it in one breath with cities, lmao. You see the fallacy?