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Agemegos last won the day on November 16 2004

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About Agemegos

  • Birthday 09/09/1964

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  1. Re: What gives the "rightful" king the right?
  2. Re: What gives the "rightful" king the right?
  3. Re: What gives the "rightful" king the right? Even supposing that were true (our only evidence for it is that William said so), Edward the Confessor had no right to appoint his successor, or to bequeath his kingship like a piece of property. The right of choosing teh king belonged to the Witanargemot, and they had elected Harold of Wessex.
  4. Re: What gives the "rightful" king the right?
  5. Re: Military Size Not every male in the community. Only every male in the ruling class (the homoioi (Peers)). A large majority of the population of Laconia was of the helot class, forbidden arms. And a majority of what was left were perioiki, allowed arms but not required to be soldiers. I gather that the homoioi never numbered more than about 8,000 men under arms (aged 20 to 60), and by the end of the 3rd century BC they were down to 600. I don't know what the total population of Spartan territory (Laconia plus Messenia), but I would guess at least 300,000.
  6. Re: Book suggestions? You might like to try Poul Anderson's Flandry series, about a naval officer who becomes an intelligence agent in a decadent interstellar empire. Ensign Flandry, Flandry of Terra, Agent of the Terran Empire, A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows, etc.
  7. Re: Feudalism Made Simple They may even be more powerful than the king. Where the kingdom is elective they might be the king from time to time. Lots of marches developed into kingdoms in time.
  8. Re: Feudalism Made Simple Good point. In English villages, for example, it was a crime (punishable by a fine of up to sixpence) to 'harbour' a stranger (ie. let a person who was not a member of the village eat a meal or sleep a night in one's house). So if you wanted to travel, you had to either sleep rough, stay overnight only in towns, or seek shelter from lords and religious institutions. And buy provisions only in towns.
  9. Re: Monofilament Blade Indeed. And it is exactly such people who think "We've got an immensely strong, incredibly fine, light thread? Cool! That'd make great armour."
  10. Re: Feudalism Made Simple Nice idea, but a don't think it is going to pan out. The 'mar' in marshal has to do with horses. The 'mar' in 'marquis' has to do with borderlands. The marshal was originally the 'mareschal', the "horse-servant" of the king's household. As the leading members of the king's household developed into great officers of state (Steward, Chamberlain, Chancellor), the marshal became a senior officer in the army (sometimes subordinate to the Constable (the 'count of the stables')). A marquis, on the other hand, was originally a 'mark-graf': the count (graf) of a borderland (march). Speaking of marshals instantly suggests sheriffs, and thereby hangs an interesting tale. The Carolingian kings of the Holy Roman Empire ruled a kingdom that was assembled by subjecting neighbouring peoples. The leaders of those peoples became dukes (from Latin 'dux', meaning 'leader') and herzogs (from an old German compound meaning 'leader of the army'). (Later, when national groups such as the Normans migrated into the kingdoms and retained autonomy, their leaders also became dukes.) The kings then appointed trusty companions to exercise Royal authority in compact territories (which were usually within the national lands of the dukes. In French these appointed administrators were called 'comte' (from the Latin for 'companion'). In Germany they were called 'graf'. The graf of a town was a burg-graf, the graf of a 'land' was a land-graf, and the graf of a march was a mark-graf. Now the kingdom of the English was also assembled by annexing and conquering lands that had originally been independent kingdoms. And the subject leaders of these peoples were called 'earls': the earl of northumbria, the earl of Mercia etc. The king divided his kingdom up into scirs (shires), and to run each shire he appointed a scir-geref (sheriff). So originally an English earl was equivalent to a French duke or German herzog, and an English sheriff was originally equivalent to a French comte or a German graf. Then came independent deveolopment. Royal authority in German and France degenerated almost to nothing. The castellans of royal castles and the counts and grafs managed to make their offices and authority hereditary. Some became practically independent (eg. the Count of Toulouse). But in England the royal government held things together much better, and 'sheriff' remained an appointive office in the royal government, not hereditary. Then the duke of Normandy (which was in France, but practically independent of the king of France) conquered England and introduced [a tidied-up, text-book version of] the feudal system. He created lesser vassals (called lords) and great vassals, whom he called earls. But the 'earls' were really equivalent to French counts, much weaker and more numerous than the French dukes to whom the earlier English earls had actually been equivalent. The office of sheriff, though distinctly non-feudal in its character, was too useful to be got rid of. And of course it no longer resembled the French office of comte to which it had originally been equivalent. Like the earldoms, it was demoted one grade. As long as official records were kept in French, the sheriffs were described as "vicomte"--'deputy count'.
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