Re: Glorantha Digest V1 #30

From: mr happy (
Date: Wed 07 Jun 1995 - 17:20:40 EEST

Richard Crawley said:

 > Let's face it:  the Hrestoli culture as practiced in Loskalm isn't
 > even feudal in any meaningful sense so why should it adhere to real 
 > world feudal style?

The word feudalism comes from the Latin word for fief. In the Enlightenment context "feudalism" meant a caste system(what medievalists call the manorial system.) Medieval historians, such as Marc Bloch, use "feudalism" to mean the use of land instead of currency to pay soldiers at a time when there was precious little of the former. In return for a lend of the lords land the soldier would become his man by swearing fealty, doing homage, etc. A caste system can exist without a feudal system and a feudal system can exist without a caste system.

Soren Petersen said:
> Yes, the Hrestoli way of life does seem very odd. I have scanned
> through my archives of RQ Digests and other stuff (33+ MB - groan),
> but failed to find any articles that really sheds life on the
> Western lands. Maybe it's because I'm still in my heart prejudiced
> against Knights, Wizards and Lords - they just don't *feel* Gloranthan
> to me. I remember from the intro to RQ 2:
> "Glorantha is an ancient period and early Dark Ages world. It has
> far more to do with Mesopotamia, ancient China, Hyboria and
> Lankhmar than it does with medieval Europe, Le Mort D'Arthur or
> the Carolingian Cycle. Its heroes are Conans, Grey Mousers and
> Rustums, not Lancelots, Percivals and Rolands".

Ah yes, but bear in mind that the Glorantha west is -dramatically- different to medieval Europe - whether by accident or design. The most obvious example (apart from magic and monsters; which did exist subjectively in medieval Europe) is the caste system. The four orders in the Middle Ages were the serfs, the burgers, the nobility and the clergy. In Glorantha there are serfs, knights, wizards and nobles. There is a paragraph in The Glorantha Players Book which declares that the castes are: serf, burger, knight/noble and wizard, but the rest of Glorantha, GoG and even Loren's Carmania write-up says: serf, knight, wizard and noble so which is it?

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