Sunday, February 25, 2007

Charny's Questions on War, #80 and #81: Subversive behavior?

I confess that I can't see how anyone but the absconder in #81 would think that his behavior had "good reason" -- not if any of the "good men at arms" ever expected to be saved by ransom, or to collect one.

80. Charny asks:

Men at arms have fought against each other until one of the parties is defeated. It happens that one man at arms takes as prisoner a man at arms of the defeated party, and guards him as he can to save him. And then comes a man at arms of the same party and acquaintance of the one who has taken the prisoner and says he will kill the prisoner. The one who has taken him tells him that the prisoner has surrendered to him and tells and entreats him not to kill him. The other does not believe him, and kills him. The next day the one who has captured the prisoner takes the one who killed him as his prisoner and takes him without any (further?) defiance and puts him to ransom for as much as he can. And the other says as an excuse that the first cannot take him or ransom him in this manner, while the one who has taken him says he will do it. How will it be judged by the law of arms?

81. Charny asks:

A man at arms takes another in a set battle and tells him, “Surrender,” and the other answers, “I won’t because I am the prisoner of such and such,” and gives a name. And the one who arrested him says, “Give me your faith that you are the prisoner of the one you name.” And the other gives his faith that such is the case, and the other frees him. When evening comes those to whom it is known that he was the prisoner of the other speak to him [i.e. the first captor] and this one knows nothing of it, nor has he taken the prisoner, nor even seen him during the whole day in which he [the actual captor] took the prisoner, and so he demands his surrender. And the prisoner says no and that he only did it to save himself. Many good arguments are given on one side or another. How will it be judged by the law of arms?

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