Saturday, July 23, 2005


common to a number of the proto-judicial systems that were being codified throughout Europe during the Middle Ages was the concept of weregeld, or 'the value of a man's life' (women, being chattel - either their father's or their husband's property, were valued more directly). so, according to your social rank, if someone injured or killed you, and was found to be guilty of that crime, he had to pay your next of kin his weregeld to forestall the otherwise inevitable vendetta.

as 'blood money', this concept still exists in many older cultures - something which the occupying armies of Iraq, coming from their own highly developed culture of compensation, have quickly adjusted to, discovering that an Iraqi's life comes quite cheap compared with, say,
a rich man's hurt feelings (or, at the median point,
a poor woman's health).

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