Stephen D. White
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The problem of treason
The trial of Daire le Roux
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In c. 1150 the author of Le roman de Thèbes supplemented a retelling of Statius's Thebaid with an original episode in which King Eteocles' appeal of treason against his man Daire le Roux is debated in the king's court. A fuller study of imaginary treason trials yields different conclusions partly because it reveals noteworthy continuities throughout this period not just in the motifs and stock characters found in trial scenes but in the manner of representing the bilateral ordeal (that is, a judicial duel or trial by battle) as an effective means of disproving false accusations of treason. In addition, the study of trial scenes shows significant continuities in the representation of treason against a lord, not as a clearly definable offence against so-called 'feudal law', but rather as a politically and legally problematic category of wrongdoing.

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