The Return of City Rights

During the time of the Holy Roman Empire, and really anywhere you had walled cities and fortified communities, it was understood that only those with city right, what we’d call citizenship, had the right to be protected by the walls. In ordinary times, non-citizens could stay overnight for business, or to spend money, or as diplomats or common workers. When war, natural disaster, or plague struck, non-citizens could not remain. The city only had enough food, water, shelter, and other supplies for citizens. A citizen had duties to the city, duties of prayer, support, and defense as well as paying taxes and providing labor. Continue reading


A Little Learning

is a dangerous thing. Drink deep or taste not of the Pierian spring. – Alexander Pope

A WuFlu rant follows. Sorry, I needed to grouse. Come back tomorrow for non-current-events and lighter topics.

The line is part of Alexander Pope’s very long poetic essay An Essay on Criticism. It is not an easy work to read, and most of us no longer connect the Pierian Spring with the inspiration of the Nine Muses. Which fits my muddled meanderings on the modern media’s practitioners, a little learning, and the near-hysterical narrative shaping society in the US at the moment. Continue reading