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  #51  
Old 05-20-2016, 10:56 AM
XT XT is offline
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Originally Posted by Lumpy
Of course that puts the burden of transferring gold around on the Templars, unless the traffic both ways averaged the same.
They already had it there, as well as fortresses to protect it. This was a business model that evolved, IIRC, and stemmed from their earlier one where they provided escort and assistance to pilgrims going to the holy land...which stemmed from their own part in earlier crusades to the area. In a lot of cases what the KT would do is take notes on land or property and give receipts for gold, and the traveler would either redeem the notes (and pay whatever was used plus fees) when the pilgrimage or whatever was over and they returned or the KT would take possession of the property. This turned out to be quite lucrative for the KT over time.

(Note, this is my very History Channel centric view of this, so grain of salt)
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  #52  
Old 05-24-2016, 12:40 AM
Sleel Sleel is offline
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One of the ways the Tokugawa Shogunate kept the daimyô (大名 lords; lit: great name) in line was to require them to travel to the capital every other year. This not only kept them out of their homelands and strongholds regularly, but required them to spend money and resources traveling and split their forces between the retinue and their home territory. It also kept their wives, heirs, etc. partially hostage since it left lords with the choice of risking everyone in the family on the road, or keeping some in a stronghold in home territory but separate from the lord on his visit. Depending on past history, they might be specifically required to bring hostages to the capital.

Here’s the brilliant part; other lords would have to play host to them along the way. This meant that they had constant ongoing contact with each other. It forced them to trade favors, and put them in mutually vulnerable positions. Plus, they ended up blowing money and resources on proxy warfare like elaborate hosting parties. A visit by a peer would be bad enough, but if someone higher on the ladder visited, it could put one of the lower houses in debt. There were deliberate “revenge visits” where someone’s liege-lord would invite himself and hist retinue over for a season, using the hosting customs and conspicuous consumption traditions to force a troublemaker into indebtedness and keep him from being a pain in the ass for a while.

Of course, this kind of enforced mutual hosting wasn’t exactly perfect for preventing conflict. jidaigeki (時代劇 lit; period drama) are based on all the ways this could go wrong. One of the most famous stories outside Japan, The 47 Rônin was precipitated by a provoked attack that may have been caused by deliberate manipulation; stories vary on motivation and characters of the three principal individuals involved.

The benefit was that the conflicts tended to be more personal, small-scale, and less ambitious than they would be otherwise, and intrigues were mostly directed away from the Shôgun or Emperor. Some happy side effects — though I’m not sure most realized it at the time — were an increase in trade and capital flow from one area of Japan to another, and a really good incentive for maintaining roads and other infrastructure. When you travel the same roads everyone else does every couple of years, you notice the potholes.

The development of shops and other facilities along major routes contributed to the rise of a stronger middle class than was typical under most feudal systems, to the point where specific laws and customs were made to prevent the craftsman/merchant class from completely outstripping many of the poorer samurai (侍).

European fiefdoms didn’t have the benefit of a lack of external conflict, so as far as I know they never developed customs like this to the same level that the Japanese did, but I do know that there were some similar visiting requirements for lords in France and England, and probably in many other places too.
  #53  
Old 05-24-2016, 03:10 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Also remember that a lot of travel in the middle ages was done by ship - you bypassed the robber class, and were surrounded by several dozen able-bodied seamen with a vested interest in protecting you and them from pirates... your value as a slave or hostage, plus the value of the boat you were travelling on and its cargo, probably exceeded the value of any valuables the vessel carried.
The road to Santiago, specifically the French Road which is what most people think of, was built in order to try and create a controlled highway that, being kept clear of bandits, would be less risky than travel by sea. It's full of towns, monasteries, bridges and hospitals (in the double sense of hostal and hospital) founded/funded by this or that King or Queen.

And yes, piracy by the hired crews themselves is mentioned in the documents from the time.
  #54  
Old 05-24-2016, 01:27 PM
Mk VII Mk VII is offline
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A Royal Progress around England could, and did, mire the 'honoured host', who might be fomenting mischief, in debt for several generations in providing the hospitality to the Court for an extended period - as it was intended to.
  #55  
Old 05-25-2016, 06:24 PM
MacLir MacLir is offline
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As Muffin mentioned, the Knights Templar played a role. They are largely credited with creating the early version of our modern banking system. Think of it as the first ATM system. They are also believed by many to be the founders of Freemasonry (there's too much in the story to post, but you have google).

Essentially, pilgrims and crusaders going to the Holy Land were under constant attack - often robbed and/or slaughtered. So, to minimize risk, you could stop in at the Templar spot in France (for example) and give them your money and receive a statement of credit. As you moved along the pilgrimage/crusade trail, you could withdraw money be visiting other Templar locations and giving them your chit. Another would be drafted to reflect your standing balance (with an "ATM fee" associated). The Templars amassed such a vast fortune in currency and land that practically all of the potentates in Europe (including the Vatican) were in their debt, so they were same Church that created them excommunicated them and allowed Phillip the Fair of France to launch an inquisition against them.

An interesting source by a vetted historian is "Born in Blood."
The persecution of the Templars is also the origin of that phrase, so beloved of Special Forces - "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

The actual quote as I heard it rendered in English is "Kill them all. God will know his own." Since the Pope said it, it was probably in Latin.
  #56  
Old 05-25-2016, 08:08 PM
Pleonast Pleonast is offline
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Originally Posted by MacLir View Post
The persecution of the Templars is also the origin of that phrase, so beloved of Special Forces - "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

The actual quote as I heard it rendered in English is "Kill them all. God will know his own." Since the Pope said it, it was probably in Latin.
I may be wrong, but I always heard that attributed to the genocide in Languedoc, ostensibly of Cathars, but in practice purging almost everyone.
  #57  
Old 05-25-2016, 11:03 PM
Nava Nava is offline
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And it wasn't the Pope but a bishop.
  #58  
Old 05-25-2016, 11:16 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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Originally Posted by Mk VII View Post
A Royal Progress around England could, and did, mire the 'honoured host', who might be fomenting mischief, in debt for several generations in providing the hospitality to the Court for an extended period - as it was intended to.
One thing too that I recall reading was that the court of the French kings in the late middle ages / early renaissance would circulate among the chateaux of the Loire and back to Paris because there was not enough supplies in one area to continuously feed the entire court entourage, so like a cloud of locusts, they would descend upon an area, strip it clean, and in a month or a few move on.

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I may be wrong, but I always heard that attributed to the genocide in Languedoc, ostensibly of Cathars, but in practice purging almost everyone.
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Originally Posted by Nava View Post
And it wasn't the Pope but a bishop.
the Papal legate, the Abbot of Citeaux, Arnaud Amalric, about the siege of Beziers, where over 20,000 were allegedly massacred. The town refused to hand over the Cathar heretics and the Catholics refused to leave town with the attackers' negotiation team.
Quote:
When they discovered, from the admissions of some of them, that there were Catholics mingled with the heretics they said to the abbot “Sir, what shall we do, for we cannot distinguish between the faithful and the heretics.” The abbot, like the others, was afraid that many, in fear of death, would pretend to be Catholics, and after their departure, would return to their heresy, and is said to have replied “Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius - Kill them all for the Lord knoweth them that are His” (2 Tim. ii. 19) and so countless number in that town were slain
  #59  
Old 05-25-2016, 11:27 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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The important thing to remember about travel in the middle ages was that it was NOT SAFE. Too small a group risked robbery, if they carried enough for stay at comfortable inns for several nights - which seems to be the typical medieval fantasy scenario. By paying the innkeeper and possibly telling them you final destination you hinted at how much money you must be carrying.

London to Oxford is 50 miles; London to Salisbury is 80 miles. London to Nottingham is 108 miles. Not sure what a "typical" travel day would be, but I suspect 30 miles is pretty good; and England is comparatively small. Paris to Brussels is short, 160 miles. Paris to Munich, Bavaria - 420 miles. A lot of stops in country inns needed.
  #60  
Old 05-26-2016, 08:40 AM
MacLir MacLir is offline
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Originally Posted by Nava View Post
And it wasn't the Pope but a bishop.
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Originally Posted by Pleonast View Post
I may be wrong, but I always heard that attributed to the genocide in Languedoc, ostensibly of Cathars, but in practice purging almost everyone.
OOPS. Right on both counts. I conflated the two events, but had always heard that the quote was direct from Pope Clement when his guidance was sought.

That's what I get for relying on protein memory.
  #61  
Old 05-26-2016, 08:52 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Not sure what a "typical" travel day would be, but I suspect 30 miles is pretty good...
It would vary with the terrain, of course; one of my family's amusements with maps consists of verifying the "40 km hypothesis", that on the easy to travel parts of Spain if you have a biggish town in a certain spot there will be other biggish towns at about 40km on each major road. Smaller towns at the 20km markers. My ancestral home village is 10km from the capital and it used to be considered "close enough to go, run one errand and come back in the day, under good conditions"; distant enough that the family usually kept a house in the capital (you know, in case they needed to run two errands).

When traveling over the mountains, "get over the pass and to the next village" was and still is considered good enough: the distance from St Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles Abbey is 30km and many people think they'll be able to do that comfortably (many think they can go all the way to Pamplona, 40km further), yet very often they end up getting from the top of the pass to the abbey in the abbot's van, too tired to even wonder out loud when did their legs atomize.

40km are aprox 25 miles.

Last edited by Nava; 05-26-2016 at 08:55 AM.
  #62  
Old 06-02-2016, 08:26 PM
Melbourne Melbourne is offline
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Originally Posted by Nava View Post
The road to Santiago, specifically the French Road which is what most people think of, was built in order to try and create a controlled highway that, being kept clear of bandits, would be less risky than travel by sea. It's full of towns, monasteries, bridges and hospitals (in the double sense of hostal and hospital) founded/funded by this or that King or Queen.

And yes, piracy by the hired crews themselves is mentioned in the documents from the time.
At the time of the Dutch wars of independence, the Spanish Crown was unable to send gold by either land or sea. This led to a collapse of credit for the Spanish Crown, and an inability to pay for civilian government or military effort.
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