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Christopher B Lellis




Location: Houston, Texas
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Jul, 2013 9:54 pm    Post subject: Where knights... gangsters?         Reply with quote

Doing some causal research, just trying to learn as much as I can about the old world and came across this.

Peace and Truce of God 1083
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_and_Truce_of_God

Apparently everybody feared them, even the chuch.

Here is part of the oath that I particularly took interest in.

I will not invade a church for any reason...
I will not size villeins of either sex, or servants or merchants, or their coins, or hold them for ransom...

I will not attack merchants or pilgrims or take their possessions unless they commit crimes.

That last bold part would be incredibly easy to exploit and tells me they did it regularly.

He looked at me wrong
He was blasphemous
He attacked me

Nobody could prove otherwise.

It must have been good to be a knight back them, absolute power over almost everyone.
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Scott Hrouda




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Jul, 2013 10:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not sure if you are focused on a particular period or region for your casual research, but if you want to read about some bad boys try Medieval Mercenaries - The Business of War by William Urban.

The tales of historical mercenary armies, their origins, antics, payoffs, devastation, naughtiness, and honor is a very worthwhile read.

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Christopher B Lellis




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Jul, 2013 10:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Hrouda wrote:
I'm not sure if you are focused on a particular period or region for your casual research, but if you want to read about some bad boys try Medieval Mercenaries - The Business of War by William Urban.

The tales of historical mercenary armies, their origins, antics, payoffs, devastation, naughtiness, and honor is a very worthwhile read.


Period was shortly after the viking era, even into the late part of it and the region seems to be that of modern France and parts of Germany. At least from the perspective of this "oath" that the knights were pressured to take.
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Colt Reeves





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PostPosted: Mon 29 Jul, 2013 10:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Knights, Samurai, Norse Vikings, etc, etc, none were as pure as the driven snow so to speak, regardless of specific codes of honor.

I look at it this way: People today are commonly called upon to swear and take oaths to do certain things, and while a lot of people do kind of slide by, doing more or less what everyone expects out of them, there are always a few who either live that oath in true spirit or simply ignore it as they like. I see nothing to indicate people back then were any different. People are people. Some do what they need to get through the day, others do whatever they think they can get away with, and a few go above and beyond the call of duty.

Another point might be that if every knight/samurai/etc embodied the virtues and values "expected", then why are there always heroes who are praised for doing exactly that? Wouldn't make much sense unless it is also known that some do not do as they are supposed to...

"Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown.
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.
As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small.
For Iron, Cold Iron, must be master of men all..."
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Christopher Lee




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Jul, 2013 10:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Hrouda wrote:
I'm not sure if you are focused on a particular period or region for your casual research, but if you want to read about some bad boys try Medieval Mercenaries - The Business of War by William Urban.


Sorry, that would have to be one of, if not the worst, book on medieval mercenaries I have ever read, rambling and content free, coupled with appalling prose.

But on to the main topic: this sort of subject has come up in the past and it has resulted in some fairly interesting discussions. It seems that there are people who only want to believe that 'knights' were the paragons of excellence, piety and chivalry, and others like myself) who believe that they were like every other human throughout history who has had the opportunity to exercise power over their fellow humans - they exploited that power to their own ends, and if painting a cross on your shield was good PR and a license to do what the hell you wanted on crusade, then pass the paint brush! There are some who think that viewing knights as anything but, "Knights" (with a capital K) is a modern, leftist, greeny, commie, revisionist history plot to tear down peoples heroes and paragons of excellence. Big Grin
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Michael Parker




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Jul, 2013 12:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you really want to see knights behaving like gangsters, read about the expeditions of 14th century "free companies" or "companies of adventure", which is what mercenary groups called themselves. The best sources that I know on the subject are "John Hawkwood: An English Knight in 14th Century Italy" and "Mercenary Companies and the Decline of Siena" both by William Caferro. Contrary to popular belief, being a knight and a mercenary were not mutually exclusive. Knights basically went wherever the fighting was, and if their own kingdom was at peace a knight might spend years away from home fighting in someone else's war trying to earn money and fame. They would eventually return home with their loot, and might rush home in response to their king or lord calling his nobles to war, so they didn't consider themselves to be breaking their allegiance to their lords. Knights of the same national origin tended to stick together for safety in numbers when they were fighting abroad, and they formed organizations that were like corporations to seek and protect their interests collectively. They had a pretty high opinion of themselves judging by their names: a predominantly German group called the Company of the Star was formed in 1364, and they might have been bringing back the name of King Jean II of France's ill-fated order of chivalry, the Order of the Star. If you asked them who they were, I bet some of them would have responded that they were honorable knights engaged in honorable combat, earning their just rewards by shedding their own blood for their employer and comrades.

In reality, these were not very nice or honorable guys. A captain Konrad von Landau once wrote a very crass and rude letter to the papal legate in Italy Cardinal Gil Albornoz, telling him that if he did not feel like paying a very large sum of money for protection he should prepare for his church lands to be invaded. They routinely wrecked churches, killed priests, raped nuns, held cities for ransom, and waged all sorts of illegal wars. On the other hand, the city-states and nobles who employed these mercenary companies--including the popes, who were not thought very highly of during the 14th century-- were not necessarily much better in terms of their morality or scruples. Some historians like Geoffrey Trease would have us think that mercenaries were like lawyers, protecting the interests of their clients in exchange for financial reward, but as Michael Mallett argued in "Mercenaries and their Masters", mercenaries and their bosses were often at loggerheads and mutually untrustworthy. Employers often stiffed their mercenaries after they had been fighting for a while by failing to pay the agreed salaries, sometimes falling months behind in back pay. Mercenaries might be inadequately provisioned and go for long periods living from hand-to-mouth, which accounted for their inordinate propensity for pillaging the land wherever they went. Sometimes disease and hunger would get so bad that the men would talk of mutiny. In response, desperate and angry mercenaries would do anything from going on strike, to capturing hostages from their employer as collateral for back pay, to going to work for the other side in order to get the money they were owed. In general they took out they worst of their frustration on the enemy civilians, leading to tragic massacres such as the sack of Faenza and the butchering of Cesena in 1377.

Some of these stories are so crazy, you couldn't make them up. I wrote my undergraduate thesis paper about these fellows and it was great fun.

"This is a sharp medicine, but it is a physician for all diseases and miseries."
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Ben Coomer




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Jul, 2013 12:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, gangster implies that they were outside of the law. A lot of what they did was sanctioned, at least by tradition. But, considering that their social place, its not hard to see why they were little better than bandits. They trained constantly for war and were given pretty strong power over a multitude of people and had some major expenses. Some were bound to be 'gangsters.'

But, let's be honest, human beings have a long and pretty violent history. Even in our 'enlightened' twentieth century, we killed people on a scale not seen outside natural disasters, and our wealth distribution is pretty medieval, right now.

We have high inspirations, but are pretty far from reaching them.
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Bjorn Hagstrom




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Jul, 2013 1:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On some broad generalizing level, I could argue that the feudal concept of protection in exchange for labour or money (especially if coupled with serfdom) is very close to what we now call racketeering, especially if the people subject to the syst have no independent justice-system.

So by this reasoning, knights where gangsters. Did not have to be all bad, though. I guess with feudal relationships it comes down to how harshly The Lord would push it, and if it granted you actual protection or just "protection" :-)

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Daniel Wallace




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Jul, 2013 8:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

there is an entire study on the 'truce of God' its origins and how it came to pass. i don't have the reference in front of me at the moment but i know there is a really great book out there that comes up time and time again through my Crusade books.

the 'truce of God' was one of many laws enacted by the Popes in order to keep the knightly classes in line. now from my studies it comes from Pope Urban IIs predecessor, and it basically didn't hold together too well. I'm focusing on the time period of the 10 -11 century in particular here. by many accounts, the time period of the Norman conquests of England and Sicily see the rise in the Norman knight and their aristocracy. by contemporary writers they indicate that there seems to be a rise in violence during this time, but i have not studied into this idea enough myself to agree or disagree with the Normans being the leading factor. however, i have heard of the gangster reference used with them.

the 'truce of God' basically failed, and by Urban's time he realized it enough to attempted to refocus knightly violence on something else, a Crusade (known as a Pilgrimage at the time). This - in some terms worked, But, more often focus falls on how it failed to stop violence in Europe. Epically to the Jews population in the German provinces as Godfrey sought out to fatten his wallet on the way to Constantinople. Although, even here, the violence directed toward the Jews is attributed to a band of Knights (whose name escapes me) that are depicted as thugs outside of Godfrey's control.


there seemed to be 2 laws during the time, the laws of knightly honor and that of the church, and men where caught in between. to be insulted (by being struck spoken to rudely etc) by knightly values allowed you the right to counter that insult by violence - however the truce of God forbid you to enact your knightly right. much like if your coworker insults/disrespects you in front of your co-works we feel the need/right to disrespect them back even though doing so could cause conflicts at your work place just to even the blow.

its interesting to read period works about the people of the time, Tancred and Raymond of Toulouse fall to particular interests to me in writhing because they both seem to have a conflicted nature. Raymond, during the crusade, is attempting to be the military leader - and fails continually, and when he captured Jerusalem (depending on what source you read for who won the city by being over its walls first) the high point of his campaign, he forfeits it. ???
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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Jul, 2013 9:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bjorn Hagstrom wrote:
On some broad generalizing level, I could argue that the feudal concept of protection in exchange for labour or money (especially if coupled with serfdom) is very close to what we now call racketeering, especially if the people subject to the syst have no independent justice-system.

So by this reasoning, knights where gangsters. Did not have to be all bad, though. I guess with feudal relationships it comes down to how harshly The Lord would push it, and if it granted you actual protection or just "protection" :-)


Well, the problem here is with that level of generalization, pretty much every legal government is a racketeer.

Every power can, and will force it's citizens to do something/

Taxes etc. are in fact often higher today, for example.

We could say that feudal lords were closer to gangsters than modern state enforcement, but it's still a bit unfair comparison.
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Jul, 2013 9:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Knights were nobles, the ruling upper class in medieval society. The nobility made and ultimately enforced the law, and at that time it was natural that there were different laws for commoners and nobles. As I understand it, even the nobility were theoretically subject to laws against theft, rape, and murder, but enforcement may have been difficult or impossible depending on the victim's status. As has been said, comparing them to gangsters is not really accurate.

Matthew
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Sam Barris




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Jul, 2013 10:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The mere existence of so many honor codes among societies of armed men is a strong indication that they're needed for something. Power corrupts, after all, and possession of weapons and armor as well as the skill to use them gives an armed and trained person a great deal of power over most other people. Factor in humanity's breathtaking ability to rationalize what we want as what is right and our tendency to divorce our moral compass from our actions when we're acting under the umbrella of a church, political party, corporation, etc. and you have a recipe for some serious potential badness.

It's a little bit amazing we've lasted this long. I guess the honor codes helped. Happy

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"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Bjorn Hagstrom




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Jul, 2013 10:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bartek Strojek wrote:
Bjorn Hagstrom wrote:
On some broad generalizing level, I could argue that the feudal concept of protection in exchange for labour or money (especially if coupled with serfdom) is very close to what we now call racketeering, especially if the people subject to the syst have no independent justice-system.

So by this reasoning, knights where gangsters. Did not have to be all bad, though. I guess with feudal relationships it comes down to how harshly The Lord would push it, and if it granted you actual protection or just "protection" :-)


Well, the problem here is with that level of generalization, pretty much every legal government is a racketeer.

Every power can, and will force it's citizens to do something/

Taxes etc. are in fact often higher today, for example.

We could say that feudal lords were closer to gangsters than modern state enforcement, but it's still a bit unfair comparison.


I actually agree for the most part. Only the most staunch libertarian would argue that modern society is based on racketeering :-) But a most significant difference in the modern states taxation and restrictions on citizen liberty compared to the feudal is the systems we have in place to divide legislative and judicial power, and the whole democracy thing where citizens have a set system to change the lordship. At least theoretically..

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Scott Hrouda




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Jul, 2013 9:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher Lee wrote:
Sorry, that would have to be one of, if not the worst, book on medieval mercenaries I have ever read, rambling and content free, coupled with appalling prose.


I will respectfully disagree with you - and agree with you! Happy

Rambling; yes, with wild side trips including Twain, Chaucer and Doyle. Content free; no, although you do have to retain focus through the seemly random distractions. Appalling prose; yes, there is appalling prose. Eek!

Is Medieval Mercenaries, The Business of War one of the worst books on the subject? Yes, and no. From the purely academic point of view this would not be a good text book. For the casual reader (OP) it's a fun introduction to the subject matter with some trippy journeys and tentative relationships that could have been better explored or omitted altogether.

One must keep in mind that the foreword is written by Terry Jones. I personally find his alternate view on Chaucer's Knight very interesting. That said, it's no wonder that I had the voice of Sir Bedevere in my mind as I was reading it. Laughing Out Loud

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Christopher Lee




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Jul, 2013 11:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Hrouda wrote:
Christopher Lee wrote:
Sorry, that would have to be one of, if not the worst, book on medieval mercenaries I have ever read, rambling and content free, coupled with appalling prose.


I will respectfully disagree with you - and agree with you! Happy

Rambling; yes, with wild side trips including Twain, Chaucer and Doyle. Content free; no, although you do have to retain focus through the seemly random distractions. Appalling prose; yes, there is appalling prose. Eek!

Is Medieval Mercenaries, The Business of War one of the worst books on the subject? Yes, and no. From the purely academic point of view this would not be a good text book. For the casual reader (OP) it's a fun introduction to the subject matter with some trippy journeys and tentative relationships that could have been better explored or omitted altogether.

One must keep in mind that the foreword is written by Terry Jones. I personally find his alternate view on Chaucer's Knight very interesting. That said, it's no wonder that I had the voice of Sir Bedevere in my mind as I was reading it. Laughing Out Loud

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming...


Well, staying firmly off topic - my issues with the book were that after the entire rambling section upon Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain and Ellis Peters that is utterly irrelevant, in discussing Chaucer, at any moment i expected him to reference the Heath Ledger film, The Knights Tale.

Judging by the space dedicated to it the author seemed to think that the only place that mercenaries were used was in the Hundred Years War and the Baltic. However, even throughout the discussion of the hundred years war, more space is given over to other irrelevant details, anecdotes and asides than the actual business of raising and fighting mercenary armies.

There is only a superficial and inadequate coverage of Hawkwood and the Italian wars, the theatre in which mercenary generals and armies raised their practices to the highest point of professional venality. It is only finally on page 229 that we are given anything of substance about the Italian Wars (then only 30 pages of inadequate detail and asides), indeed, the word "Condottieri" only appears for the first time on page 219, with a mere three paragraphs devoted to the entire subject on page 231. In discussing the Battle of Fornovo in 1494 i am at a loss to understand the relevance of the following sentence from page 246: "Tourists ignore the statues of tough condottieri in Venice and Padua and never think of Sylvester Stallone in Rocky". WTF?!

I would thoroughly recommend Frances Stonor Saunders book on Hawkwood over this twaddle any day. Yeah, this book just did not do it for me at all. Happy
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D. S. Smith




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PostPosted: Wed 31 Jul, 2013 2:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher Lee wrote:

... It seems that there are people who only want to believe that 'knights' were the paragons of excellence, piety and chivalry, and others like myself) who believe that they were like every other human throughout history who has had the opportunity to exercise power over their fellow humans - they exploited that power to their own ends...


I liked your response Christopher, and wanted to comment on it. You make a great point, but I don't think it has to be at either extreme. I'm about as far from an expert on medieval knights as they come (I read terry Brooks novels..Big Grin) , but I do have experience when it comes to human nature and people having power over their fellow-men. Based on my experience, both you and the idealistic folks are probably right. I'm sure there were a great many knights who abused their power, and I'm sure there were also some who were paragons of excellence, piety, and chivalry.

You only have to look at modern examples of this to prove my point. Without sounding arrogant about it, I think of knights in a very similar role as modern day law enforcement officers. They are both armed and armored, they both are sworn to protect the citizens, and they are/ were both probably viewed with everything from awe to distrust to respect, to downright fear or loathing by those they were assigned to protect. In many cases they were probably deserving of each of these views. There are some modern day officers who are "heroes" in the truest sense of the word, as I'm sure some knights were (and I believe the term hero is thrown around way too much). At the same time, there are some widespread examples of the misuse of power, and I bet there was back then as well.

I think that in medieval ages, just as now, a large part of whether knights were paragons of virtue or complete scumbags probably had a lot to do with who they surrounded themselves with. Their peers in other words. If you were to ask Francesco "Frank" Serpico if he believed NYPD officers in the 1960's and 70's were paragons of virtue, he'd probably have some pretty harsh words for you. If a history scholar 1,000 years from now asked whether modern day law enforcement officers were heroes or scum, and used NYPD in 1971 as a benchmark, they would have a very negative opinion. On the flip side, I work at an agency where mediocrity is not tolerated, and everyone is pushing themselves to be at a higher standard than their peers, both in terms of work ethic and morals. If you took many modern day agencies like mine as an example, you'd probably come away 1,000 years from now with a pretty favorable impression of peacekeepers of the early 21st century.

Sorry for the long-winded reply. I was basically saying that I don't think knights had to be lumped into one group or the other. Human nature says that there were probably many examples of both ends of the spectrum.

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Wed 31 Jul, 2013 5:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am going to generalize a bit on this subject.

One of the reasons for the Crusades IMHO, at least the earliest crusades, was primogeniture, the doctrine which said the oldest son in the family inherited everything from the father. The younger sons got nothing. They were urged to go take up arms and become knights or join the clergy. There really was not much of a merchant class in those days after all so these were their two outlets. Given the size of families, even with high mortality rates among children and a shorter lifespan, there were at any one time a lot of armed young men about with nothing to do. A knight was, by all accounts, expensive to support. That being the case, assuming there was a period of peace from time to time when they could not earn a living fighting as hired swords, knights might turn to looting and pillaging and most assuredly did.

Back to the Crusades. While there was certainly religious fervor involved, a primary motivation for young men to go east was the possibility of treasure and land. There was little of the latter available to them in Europe (see above) and stealing land and holding it by force was both precarious and frowned upon. The Holy Land was a different story. Not only could a knight be forgiven his sins by taking up the Cross and fighting to throw the infidels out of the holy places, after they were gone he could take their land and become something he might never be in Europe, the "Lord of the Manor", even a king. Of course that is exactly what happened. Whether or not the religious authorities had that in mind when they called for the first crusades, it was a side benefit in that it got a lot of heavily-armed and quarrelsome young men out of Europe and to the Holy Land where they could wreak havoc on God's enemies while allowing those at home respite from depredation.

Any way, that's my idea of whether knights were upstanding citizens or a major problem during the era of the Crusades.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Wed 31 Jul, 2013 7:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin Robinson wrote:
One of the reasons for the Crusades IMHO, at least the earliest crusades, was primogeniture, the doctrine which said the oldest son in the family inherited everything from the father. The younger sons got nothing. They were urged to go take up arms and become knights or join the clergy. There really was not much of a merchant class in those days after all so these were their two outlets.


Well, there certainly was a merchant class, or there would have been no manufacturing, no shipping or trade, and therefore no economy to support the upper class. But the merchants were *commoners*, and as I understand it the nobility did not really have trade as a "career option". As you say, many younger sons went on Crusade to gain land of their own, which means they respected the law and order of their own native lands enough not to just stay home and take what they wanted by force. So they were playing by the rules of law and honor. Becoming a Crusader, to fight for God and the Church, was an even better goal, and highly respected by the rest of their society. Even if war against God's enemies was brutal in our eyes, none of that says "gangster" to me.

Christopher Lee wrote:
they were like every other human throughout history who has had the opportunity to exercise power over their fellow humans - they exploited that power to their own ends


Strictly speaking, everyone with power does that. It's just that some people with power choose to spend more of it protecting and serving other people. This *was* the purpose of the upper class, and a surprising number of them took that seriously. On the other hand, they *were* nobles, and had a much different viewpoint of public duty than we have today. Nobles were *supposed* to have wealth and power, while commoners had their own place--and everyone knew it. And most of them accepted it.

Ben Coomer wrote:
...and our wealth distribution is pretty medieval, right now.


Yipes, you live somewhere with 5 percent of the population being as rich as Bill Gates, and most of the rest are barely above subsistence level, not even owning their own land or vehicles? Because here in the US, most of us are middle class, and even a lot of our poor people have cars and eat too much.

Matthew
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P. Schontzler




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PostPosted: Wed 31 Jul, 2013 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:

Becoming a Crusader, to fight for God and the Church, was an even better goal, and highly respected by the rest of their society. Even if war against God's enemies was brutal in our eyes, none of that says "gangster" to me.

Matthew


But when there was not the "noble" option of crusade there were definitely knights who were akin to gangsters. (As mentioned, gangster refers to more than just brutish behavior, it includes a warped code of respect and young men with nothing to do.)
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Daniel Wallace




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PostPosted: Wed 31 Jul, 2013 9:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin, i agree with much of what you post. i think the aspect of primogeniture was a factor although it is not clearly spelled out. i do not recall a mention of it in the descriptions of the council of Clemente that propose this but i can be wrong - it has been some time since I've read through them - and most descriptions were written some time after the speech so its original discussion is a hand-me-down.

many of the leaning 'princes' of the first Crusade where, basically out cast being allowed nothing or very little as the eldest son inherited. there was a section in (i think) Thomas Asbridge's The First Crusade that studies the idea that this idea of the eldest to inherit would stop the warring between brothers that the Carolingian system of splitting a kingdom had. the trend at the time of the Crusade looked to be, eldest son to get everything and he would marry. the other sons would be expected to join the clergy.


however, the gaining of new lands and treasure loot booty etc. i do think this was a driving factor - but there are discussion within the period text that lead me to think that it was not on everyone's mind. Bohemond was always looking to carve out a kingdom in the Byzantium as his father Robert Gusicard attempted several times. his acquisition of Antioch seems to prove this as he struggled with Raymond of Toulouse for its possession. Baldwin - i think only had new lands and booty on his mind its why he broke away from the primary crusading force, his establishment in several cities and ultimately Edessa shows his lack of care in the expedition. Tancred, was a very young man, looking to prove himself, and is probably Bohemond's right hand, but in reading the Historia Iherosolimitana (Robert the monks' history of the first crusade) his personal actions are defined better than anywhere else. some of his actions are left open such as the massacre in Jerusalem. did he want to ransom those people? probably because we know he sacked the dome of the rock and immediately began to distribute its silver to his men. but why right at that moment, could be just so he held control over his men while the others were out in the streets causing chaos or just because he owed them so much back pay? its not defined, only a suggesting i bring up.

if land and treasure was all that was in mind for the crusaders, they would have stopped after Antioch, as all the princes held cities at this point and they were only forced by their soldiers to press on to complete the crusade. even afterward, once the princes were forced to march again, they wanted to attack Ascalon before Jerusalem, the door way to Egypt. this way they would control armies from Egypt coming to re-leave Jerusalem.


sorry i don't mean to knock this all over with crusade talk, and as i said i don't disagree with the motivation for the first crusade i just have a belief that the texts also highlight this was more than just a land grab for some of their princes. if it was then why didn't more of them stay? Raymond left - the biggest baddest guy (at the time) with a contingent behind him left and served the Byzantium empire. he was offered the throne and said no. Tancred only stayed because Bohemond ordered him to and gave him cities to watch over.
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