Forces of Order, Chaos and eternal doubters

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  • Marcos24 wrote:

    Doesn't slave come from Slav, and servus just means servant?
    Where the specific word 'slave' comes from isn't all that important, since obviously 'slave' isn't the Latin for "slave", and the point was about 'serf'. (FWIW, 'slave' comes from Medieval Latin 'sclava' ~9th c., which is a slavonic captive, but that was neither the word for any slave, nor a word available to the classical Romans, so irrelevant to anything related to what classical Romans would call "slaves").

    'Servus' can mean both "servant" and "slave" in Latin (that combination is probably not accidental - most servants were slaves in Rome). But here's a bunch of etymologies for 'serf':

    Google search's dictionary: "late 15th century (in the sense ‘slave’): from Old French, from Latin servusslave’."

    Mirriam Webster: "French, from Old French, from Latin servus slave."

    Wikipedia/Wiktionary: "The word serf originated from the Middle French serf and was derived from the Latin servus ("slave")"

    Dictionary.com: "1475–85; < Middle French < Latin servus slave"

    Collins Dictionary: "from Old French, from Latin servus a slave; see serve"

    And so on. Pretty much every etymology I can find for 'serf' explicitly derives it from from the "slave" meaning of 'servus'.
    Just because I'm on the Legal Team doesn't mean I know anything about rules or background in development, and if/when I do, I won't be posting about it. All opinions and speculation are my own - treat them as such.

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  • Squirrelloid wrote:

    Serfs are definitionally slaves, because they were bound to the land, owned by the owner of the land, and sold with the land.
    Serfs and slaves have very distinct conceptual differences, even if their daily life looked similar.
    From a legal point of view, serfs were persons with rights, slaves were considered as things with no rights.
    Serfs were associated with their land. They were not sold with the land, the land was sold with the serfs attached to it; same effect, different meaning.
    Serfs could not be chased from the land they were attached to, and the contract they had granted them the right for protection; they were granted a piece of land to cultivate for themselves and feed their family; they could marry freely. Very sensible differences with slavery.

    -=-=-
    Etymology shows the evolution of the words Serf and Slave.

    If I understand well, "servus" comes from "servare", to serve, which indicated doing work for someone else, which is the case of both serf and slave, no matter the legal status. In Roman times, there were no distinction, all those called servus had a slave status.

    Christianity loathed slavery but economic necessity and human nature remained. My personal understanding is that the formal status evolved according to Christian principles (people gained dignity), while the necessity of economy and class power remained and the actual condition did not evolve so much. The old word servus evolved to become serf, at the same time as the old status of being considered as an object evolved and serfs were granted human legal rights. There must have been confusion as the status of slavery coexisted with the status of serf for centuries.

    The word slave appeared in the Middle Ages, in particular when Otto the Great in the Xth century captured many Slavs who became serfs, but possibly without similar legal contract than the actual serfs, so the distinction could be made at that time.

    tl;dr: servus had the status of slaves in Roman time but the status was soften in the Middle Ages and the name became serf, at a time when Slaves populations were captured and given the harsher legal status of servus.

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  • Calisson wrote:

    Squirrelloid wrote:

    Serfs are definitionally slaves, because they were bound to the land, owned by the owner of the land, and sold with the land.
    Serfs and slaves have very distinct conceptual differences, even if their daily life looked similar.From a legal point of view, serfs were persons with rights, slaves were considered as things with no rights.
    Serfs were associated with their land. They were not sold with the land, the land was sold with the serfs attached to it; same effect, different meaning.
    Serfs could not be chased from the land they were attached to, and the contract they had granted them the right for protection; they were granted a piece of land to cultivate for themselves and feed their family; they could marry freely. Very sensible differences with slavery.
    Not all slavery is chattel slavery. Roman slaves and Biblical slaves also had 'rights'.

    I'm also not entirely sure what you think serfs 'rights' entailed, but it's hardly our modern conception of rights. They had no right to their own bodies, for example, and could be physically abused by their lord. Their rights were to protection (by their lord), justice (according to their lord), and ability to work a plot of land for their own subsistence (which was still property of the lord).

    They could not necessarily marry whom they wanted to. The lord choosing whom his serfs would marry was neither unheard of nor even uncommon.

    "Associated with the land" is so innocuous sounding as to be whitewashing. They were legally bound to it, could not move from it, and were sold with it (their 'pledge' to the lord being transferred to the new landowner). Some cases even allowed for serfs to be sold independent of the land. (Kholops in Russia and Villeins in Gross in England, for examples). That most serfs could only be sold with the land doesn't change the fact they could be sold, it just means there were conditions on the ability to sell them. (The inability to leave the land was so fundamental and rigorously enforced in later serfdom that both Austria and Russia limited Railroad expansion in the 19th century because it made it too easy for serfs to disappear.)

    I mean, I will readily grant there are differences between chattel slavery and serfdom, but there are also differences between both of those and biblical slavery, or Roman slavery, or Ottoman slavery, or etc.... Nor is all serfdom identical, as parts of the practice varied by location and time period. None of those differences stops any of them from being slavery.

    I'm not sure what the resistance is to calling something that's obviously slavery what it is.

    Edit: (in response to your addition)

    Calisson wrote:

    Etymology shows the evolution of the words Serf and Slave.

    If I understand well, "servus" comes from "servare", to serve, which indicated doing work for someone else, which is the case of both serf and slave, no matter the legal status. In Roman times, there were no distinction, all those called servus had a slave status.

    Christianity loathed slavery but economic necessity and human nature remained. My personal understanding is that the formal status evolved according to Christian principles (people gained dignity), while the necessity of economy and class power remained and the actual condition did not evolve so much. The old word servus evolved to become serf, at the same time as the old status of being considered as an object evolved and serfs were granted human legal rights. There must have been confusion as the status of slavery coexisted with the status of serf for centuries.

    The word slave appeared in the Middle Ages, in particular when Otto the Great in the Xth century captured many Slavs who became serfs, but possibly without similar legal contract than the actual serfs, so the distinction could be made at that time.

    tl;dr: servus had the status of slaves in Roman time but the status was soften in the Middle Ages and the name became serf, at a time when Slaves populations were captured and given the harsher legal status of servus.
    I am unconvinced that 'serfs' were materially any better off than Roman slaves, considering Roman slaves could actually buy their freedom, whereas serfs generally could not.

    Nor did the use of the word soften. In actuality, the conditions of tenant-farmers degraded. Those who would be serfs started originally as Coloni in the Roman manorial system. Their conditions worsened, and the control exerted over them by lords increased. Thus the use of the word 'serf' isn't a softening of 'servus', but reflects a worsening of the conditions of 'coloni' to 'servus' status.

    And Christianity hardly 'loathed' slavery for most of its history. Some examples:
    1. The early Roman Catholic church condemned with anathema slaves who fled their masters, and refused them the Eucharist.
    2. The synod of Gangra (340AD) condemned the Manicheans for, among other things, urging slaves to liberate themselves. The synod's conclusions were affirmed at the Council of Chalcedon for the wider church.
    3. John Chrysostom was against 'unjust' slavery (but not the institution of slavery itself), and instead taught that masters should love their slaves.
    4. No less a theologian than Augustine thought that slavery was appropriate and socially useful in a world with Original Sin.
    5. As late as the 16th c., several popes endorsed the slavery of non-christians.

    Which is not to say there weren't Christians - individuals, groups, and organizations - which weren't involved in abolitionist movements or otherwise opposed to slavery. But you can hardly say Christianity as a whole was anti-slavery for its entire history.
    Just because I'm on the Legal Team doesn't mean I know anything about rules or background in development, and if/when I do, I won't be posting about it. All opinions and speculation are my own - treat them as such.

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    The post was edited 2 times, last by Squirrelloid ().


  • Squirrelloid wrote:

    (FWIW, 'slave' comes from Medieval Latin 'sclava' ~9th c., which is a slavonic captive, but that was neither the word for any slave, nor a word available to the classical Romans, so irrelevant to anything related to what classical Romans would call "slaves").
    There were no even Slavs available for Romans... Because they called them in a different way. However no one gave convincing proof how.
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  • Peacemaker wrote:

    Squirrelloid wrote:

    No, they aren't, because the corporation doesn't own the workers. They are free to quit and seek employment elsewhere. I'm not sure you grasp the concept of 'ownership'.
    when you pay a fee for someones Labour. That Labour is now 'owned'.
    Labor is not a 'thing' you can own. When you pay for someone's labor, you enter into a contract to buy the product of that labor, which is no different than buying a good (which is the product of one or more person's labor). If I buy a basket from someone, I don't buy or own the person who made the basket. When I pay a plumber to come out and fix my pipes, I don't own the plumber. And if a corporation pays someone to file paperwork, they don't own the person doing the filing.

    Your argument quickly devolves into all human relationships constituting slavery. That's extraordinarily silly, and needs to be rejected on face.
    Just because I'm on the Legal Team doesn't mean I know anything about rules or background in development, and if/when I do, I won't be posting about it. All opinions and speculation are my own - treat them as such.

    Legal

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    Chariot Command HQ

  • Historically, the rights of serfs/slaves evolved in early Middle Ages, and various status coexisted.

    Anyway, who cares, we're discussing T9A setting, not historical truth, aren't we? :)

    What I retain is that under the word "slave" can be understood various stages of dignity (between chattel slavery, no better than cattle, and the ability to reach the position of bishop or warlord) and various stages of bad treatments.

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  • Ghiznuk wrote:

    Giladis wrote:

    @Ghiznuk my man you really need to filter what you post ||
    ????It's all explained in NS 14, go filter what you publish in the Ninth Scroll then :largegrin:
    As a speculation from an unreliable in world narrator, not as something that you should go saying like it is gospel no matter how accurate it might be compared to the internal world building documents. :)

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  • Giladis wrote:

    Ghiznuk wrote:

    Giladis wrote:

    @Ghiznuk my man you really need to filter what you post ||
    ????It's all explained in NS 14, go filter what you publish in the Ninth Scroll then :largegrin:
    As a speculation from an unreliable in world narrator, not as something that you should go saying like it is gospel no matter how accurate it might be compared to the internal world building documents. :)
    Geeeeeeeez soon you will also tell me that I should go on writing everywhere that Equitaine was ruled by a vampire for centuries ? :thumbup: :whistling:

    Davaj davaj :thumbsup:

    And sorry but I hope some sources could be reliable, else whom to trust ?
    Soon you'll tell me that Charles Darwin, being an unreliable in-world narrator, made up all that story about Galapagos birds. :saint: Or that Neil Armstrong didn't walk on the Moon.
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  • As my university prof. used to tell us "trust no source or evidence, each is marred either by the creator or the person interpreting. best we can hope is a certain probability of truth."

    :P

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  • Ghiznuk wrote:

    I'm just thinking « If those guys took the pain to make up some narrative story to tell us about this and that information, then it must be for some reason ».
    Ask yourself that same question the next time you read a newspaper.

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  • Of course, but I'm basing myself on the principle that the BG team is benevolent.
    At least, more than the government people from my country elected :P
    Though I didn't vote for Scottish and Giladis myself :largegrin:

    Sorry, are we being political again ? :oops:
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  • Ghiznuk wrote:

    Of course, but I'm basing myself on the principle that the BG team is benevolent.
    BGT benevolent?
    Sure.

    The fallible PoV’s they use?
    Wouldn’t count on that for objectivity if I were you. As I understand it, they are supposed to be biased with the perspective skewed by their own cultural lenses.

    Case in point, if peanuts could write and record history, I’d probably rank as one of the most brutal, barbaric and ungodly demons in all of creation.
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