Middle Ages

Download PDF by Nigel Cawthorne: A Brief History of Robin Hood

By Nigel Cawthorne

Who used to be Robin Hood? all through heritage the figures of the hooded guy of Sherwood woodland and his band of outlaws have transfixed readers and audience; yet the place does the parable come from? the tale seemed out of the legend of the golf green guy yet discovered its place throughout the reign of Richard II, the Lionheart, who was once clear of England struggling with within the crusades. In his absence his brother John lay waste to the rustic. yet does this inform the complete tale? used to be Robin a bandit prince sooner than a troop of brigands? Who used to be the Sherrif and used to be he in truth the valid legislations within the land struggling with vigilantes?

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T h e extent to w h i c h an e m p e r o r c o u l d take a personal hand in the religious life o f his subjects w a s d e m o n s t r a t e d , ironically, b y the m a n w h o b e c a m e a s y m b o l o f reaction against the policies o f C o n s t a n t i n e and his Christian successors. T h e revival o f paganism in Julian's short reign (361—3) w a s n o t a return to the e a s y - g o i n g past. L i k e A u r e l i a n and C o n s t a n t i n e before h i m , Julian w a s p r o m o t i n g a state cult w i t h the political function o f uniting the e m p i r e ; ' O n e G o d , one Julian', said his v o t i v e inscriptions.

Greece, Rome and absolute monarchy Political t h e o r y after A r i s t o t l e w a s n o t , h o w e v e r , c o n c e r n e d e x c l u s i v e l y w i t h the i d e o l o g y o f k i n g s h i p , any m o r e than the political history o f the ancient w o r l d after A l e x a n d e r w a s e x c l u s i v e l y a story o f k i n g d o m s . U n d e r the s h a d o w o f the great m o n a r c h i e s , G r e e k city-states s u r v i v e d and in fact multiplied. R e t a i n i n g considerable local a u t o n o m y , they p r o v i d e d scope for politics o f a traditional k i n d , l o n g after the Hellenistic m o n a r c h i e s had b e e n absorbed b y the R o m a n E m p i r e .

L a w s m e r e l y w r i t t e n can be d i s o b e y e d and thus fail to d o g o o d ; b u t a g o o d ruler can detect disobedience and punish it, thus r a n k i n g for X e n o p h o n as ' l a w w i t h sight' (Cyrop. v m . 1 . 2 2 ) . F u r t h e r m o r e , a l a w o n the s t a t u t e - b o o k m a y p r o v e to be quite inadequate for c o m p l e x c h a n g i n g circumstances; that w a s w h y Plato expressed a preference for the k i n g l y statesman w i t h practical w i s d o m .

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A Brief History of Robin Hood by Nigel Cawthorne


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