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They knew better in the 14th century
April 17, 2013 - Stephen Browne
I'm waiting to comment about the bombs in Boston.
There has been no claim of responsibility, but it's been less than two days. I am almost certain there will be one.
What I'd like to comment on is some of the pictures, in particular one showing a blood-stained sidewalk and a victim who had his leg blown off.
I am no stranger to controversy concerning photos I've taken and had published, and I've had that uncomfortable conversation with outraged family members.
About taking the photos, I have no apologies. For the sake of the historical record, for what we can learn from them, it is important to record as much information as possible.
About publishing them... that's something we can argue about. Looking through generations-old newspapers one can't help but notice they were a lot less squeamish back then.
However rather than step in that issue, I'll let another journalist do it for me.
Jean Froissart has been dead for more than 600 years so I guess he can take the heat.
In his chronicle of the years between 1322 and 1400, Froissart described the aftermath of the Battle of Aljubarotta, August 14, 1385.
“There were young knights among them who had never been present at a stricken field. Some could not look upon it and some could not speak and they held themselves apart from the others who were cutting down the prisoners at My Lord’s orders, for the prisoners were a body too numerous to be guarded by those of us who were left. Then Jean de Rye, an aged knight of Burgundy who had been sore wounded in the battle, rode up to the group of young knights and said: ‘Are ye maidens with your downcast eyes? Look well upon it. See all of it. Close your eyes to nothing. For a battle is fought to be won. And it is this that happens if you lose.'”
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