By Jean Dunbabin (auth.)

This publication explores the growing to be significance of prisons, either lay and ecclesiastical, in western Europe among one thousand and 1300. It makes an attempt to give an explanation for what captors was hoping to accomplish through limiting the freedom of others, the technique of confinement to be had to them, and why there has been an more and more shut hyperlink among captivity and suspected criminality. It discusses stipulations inside prisons, the technique of free up open to a couple captives, and writing in or approximately prison.

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31 Their sufferings will have been almost as bad as those of the inmates of dungeons. On the other hand, some prisoners who did have windows in their towers may have regretted it. 33 On occasion towers and chains were thought inadequate as restraints. 344 Others suffered more fearsome constrictions. 37 A cage might also be part of a more humane regime. 38 The captors of important men clearly anticipated that the hours of darkness, when the guards might well drop into deep sleep, brought real danger of escape which had to be prevented by radical means.

But open war was not a necessary condition for the capture of political opponents; guile or ambush could be used against them. Once in their enemy’s hands The Late Roman Legacy 29 they could then either be coerced into accepting conditions they would otherwise have rejected, or could be kept off the political stage, at least temporarily. In the crisis that followed on the election of Hugh Capet to the throne of West Francia in 987, two distinguished bishops, Arnoul, brother of the recently deceased King Louis V, whom Hugh agreed to elect to the archbishopric of Rheims to reconcile him to the Capetian succession, and Adalbéron, bishop of Laon, suffered imprisonment for short periods.

While chains were probably regarded as suitable for most people, it is apparent that they were perceived as demeaning to those of high status. Consequently captors who were not prepared to flout conventions as Ebehard was alleged to have done faced the dilemma that their important political prisoners might easily escape, as for example Adalbéron of Laon did from his first imprisonment 30 Captivity and Imprisonment in Medieval Europe, 1000–1300 by Charles of Lorraine and his sympathizers in Laon in 988.

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