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Re: archers and fingers

Poster: "S. M. Thorson" <smt2@st-andrews.ac.uk>

Lyanna wrote:

> Alianora writes that dead nobles were worth something because relatives
> can collect
> wergild.  
> My little saying actually refers to the custom of ransoming in the
> high-late Middle
> Ages.

That was not clear from your post.  For the later middle ages, that's
correct.  However, I think that the custom of wergeld lasted longer on the
continent than you have suggested; I don't recall it being in the German
law books during, say, the 13th-14th centuries, but I'm pretty sure that
wergeld remained a technical legality (if not one often practiced) until
well into the 11th c. (1000s).  (that particular set of books is in
storage right now, so I can't double check) 

The alternative, both in Anglo-Saxon England and throughout the
Germanic-speaking zone on the Continent, was blood-feud.  They took out
one of ours, so we'll take out one of theirs.  This remained customary in
some place (eg Scotland) until well into the 17th c. (see Prof. Keith
Brown's _Bloodfeud in Scotland_ for further details).

Stephanie M. Thorson			|  SCA: Lady Alianora Munro
Dept. of Scottish History		|  Clan White Wing
University of St Andrews		|  Tarkhan, Khanate Red Lion

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