Download Captivity and Imprisonment in Medieval Europe, C. 1000-C. by Jean Dunbabin PDF

By Jean Dunbabin

This publication explores the transforming into value of prisons, either lay and ecclesiastical, in western Europe among one thousand and 1300. It makes an attempt to provide an explanation for what captors was hoping to accomplish through proscribing the freedom of others, the technique of confinement to be had to them, and why there has been an more and more shut hyperlink among captivity and suspected illegal activity. It discusses stipulations inside prisons, the technique of liberate open to a few captives, and writing in or approximately criminal.

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Both leg-irons and manacles were fastened by bolts, which sometimes proved to be the weak spot in the armoury, breaking or 34 Captivity and Imprisonment in Medieval Europe, 1000–1300 falling apart under such pressure as the prisoner could exert against them. Throughout the high middle ages, a prisoner of less than aristocratic status could expect to be fettered if imprisoned. Documentary evidence demonstrates the trouble lords took to see that chains of all sorts were kept in ready supply. In Henry II’s castle at Caen a house was provided for the blacksmith who made the fetters for his lord’s prisoners,7 a sign that the work involved was regular and important.

31 Their sufferings will have been almost as bad as those of the inmates of dungeons. On the other hand, some prisoners who did have windows in their towers may have regretted it. 33 On occasion towers and chains were thought inadequate as restraints. 34 Others suffered more fearsome constrictions. 37 A cage might also be part of a more humane regime. 38 The captors of important men clearly anticipated that the hours of darkness, when the guards might well drop into deep sleep, brought real danger of escape which had to be prevented by radical means.

Lothaire’s death the following year set them free, because the new king, Louis V, abandoned his father’s Lotharingian policy and therefore saw no bar to releasing them. As these two examples show, tenth-century prisoners of war could not be distinguished from political prisoners. But open war was not a necessary condition for the capture of political opponents; guile or ambush could be used against them. Once in their enemy’s hands The Late Roman Legacy 29 they could then either be coerced into accepting conditions they would otherwise have rejected, or could be kept off the political stage, at least temporarily.

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