Re CHAT:Good King Wenceslas
> P.S. Martin, your answer certainly makes more sense than that of theWow! My family is saved from starvation! I don´t have to work the next
> Guardian reader who wrote in with a detailed analysis of land rights
> in 9th century Bohemia. I think you might just get first prize: the
> transfer of Simon's long-overdue debt to me, to wit, one bag of
>Hard to say. I´m not sure whether Bohemian princes were expected to have any
> BTW, Martin, does this in fact mean that far from being an act of
> generosity and kindness on Wencleslas' part, this was in fact an
> obvious case of gross neglect of his broader social responsibilities
> and probably a blatant tax dodge as well?
social responsibilities at all. As Wenceslas was said to be a highly pious
man, his (in)famous gesture could be attributed to an attempt to deal with
pangs of his Christian conscience. As to tax evasion, it ´s an interesting
legal paradigma: to evade a tax which I am supposed to pay to myself? ;-)
- --- In Czechlist@egroups.com, "Martin Janda" <martinjanda@v...> wrote:
> Wow! My family is saved from starvation! I don´t have to work
> As to tax evasion, it ´s aninteresting
> legal paradigma: to evade a tax which I am supposed to pay tomyself? ;-)
> >Of course, so-called "King" Wenceslas was in reality being heavily
leaned on by the East Franks (see message #71) and was obliged to
pay a regular "tax" to the local German protection racketeers. Such a
tax was quite possibly calculated on the basis of the number of
peasants on his lands.
What else could account for the fact that all around the royal
residence the snow "lay deep and crisp and even", i.e. without a trace
of the hordes of destitute peasants one would normally expect to see
clamouring around the palace of a king (AKA prince, duke or count)
with a troubled liberal conscience? The local peasants doubtless had
their orders to keep a low profile while the German tax inspectors
were on the prowl.
And when a lone peasant does heave into sight, why does Wenceslas go
to such trouble to take these tax-deductible goods all the way to his
dwelling? I mean it would have
been the easiest thing in the world, normally, for the page to call
out and invite the peasant up to
the palace for a banquet or two rather than to go trekking a good
league hence (4.83 km) in rapidly deteriorating weather conditions.
There are some other things which just do not add up:
Why did the peasant walk over 4.83 kilometres through one of the most
areas in Central Europe allegedly in search of wood?
And why did the "King" carry pine logs? Anybody who knows anything
about wood would tell you that pine logs splutter and
spit dreadfully when set alight. Ash and chestnut were traditionally
used as fuel in Bohemia.
Now what was inside those "pine logs" and just what was meant by the
The page-boy claims to know the peasant's permanent place of abode but
there are in
fact no historical records of this so-called "St Agnes' fountain".
Just as well, really, because this and
the heated sod of the saint's footprints would be clear evidence of
local geothermal activity
(making the 'gathering winter fuel' alibi even more dubious) and this
would doubtless have
constituted a further taxable supply in the eyes of the German tax
inspectors had they been sober enough to notice it.
So what was really going on? It all sounds like one of those lateral
thinking puzzles, doesn't it?