Chapter

Hostageship Interpreted, from the Middle Ages to the Age of Terrorism

Adam J. Kosto

in Hostages in the Middle Ages

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199651702
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741999 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199651702.003.0007
Hostageship Interpreted, from the Middle Ages to the Age of Terrorism

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This chapter begins by gathering evidence for the medieval understanding of hostageship. How did people react when a king received or granted hostages? Or when a hostage was executed? Stray remarks of chroniclers offer some answers. It also examines more closely the words and deeds of the papacy, which provide the closest thing to an interpretation that was meant to be pan-European. Certain words and deeds of the popes, those that were included in the basic texts of canon law and were much discussed by medieval commentators, prove to be at the root of our modern understanding of hostages. The book closes by following the history of hostageship to the present day, tracing the decline of medieval hostageship in the early modern era, and its replacement by the modern form addressed by the Nuremburg courts and the United Nations.

Keywords: canon law; Roman law; international law; Hugo Grotius; Jean Bodin; Francisco de Vitoria; Nuremburg tribunals; papacy; terrorism

Chapter.  16283 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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