Gilles de Rais: guilty or not?


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
Giles was articulate and made his confession on the scaffold ,
there was no doubt about the fate which immediately awaited him
he had nothing to loose by telling the truth and only the certainty of loosing his soul if he lied
Likes: Shtajerc


Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
Lower Styria, Slovenia
Yes, I think so.

But in northwestern Europe they drank a lot of bier. There was also (still exists a bit) the "bière de table" (= table bier) they used to drink instead of water (that one was 2°-4°).
It makes sense. Northwestern Europe even today has a mkre developped culture of drinking beer while down here, where wine was made even before the arrival of the Romans (thus a wine culture predating the famous French!), wine is still king today. But in the middle ages they put all sorts of spices and honey in the wine. Nowadays if the grapes are not sweet enough when you harvest them, you can add sugar to make the wine strong enough. Back then you couldn't do that. Even if they had wine harvests later, in October as opposed to September, I believe they often wouldn't reach today's levels, especially because the techniques of growing grapes before the 19th century weren't all too good. I don't know how different were the vine sorts before the disasterous disease a 100 years ago though.


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
depend on the class
poor people mostly drunk water ,various juices
somewhat better off farmers drank " little beer " at around 2~3% on a daily basis
wine was always popular , especially as the growing limit was further north in the middle ages

imported expensive wine were the Hypocras a somewhat syrupy strong product
the English were big importers of claret from Bordeaux , this was mentioned as one of their reasons for holding to Guyenne
when it was lost there was a shift to port , with much lamenting
distillated strong spirits appeared around the 12th century , it was practiced mostly by monks who imported the techniques through their network of houses
it was used as part of their making of medicines
by the 14th century it had escaped the cloisters , spreading to the lay society

it seems that the Scots used distillation of beer to obtain the generic whisky ..uisque vita "water of life" , french called it the same.. "eau de vie" while Scandinavia used the same term Aquavite
Russian made it shorter still and called it " little water".. vodka
an interesting fact is that the northern climates seems to have used it earlier and faster than the Wine growing regions

by the 15th century its moral boosting properties were much appreciated all over Europe ,
if it could ferment it could be distillated

In Saudi Arabia , to avoid some of its thirsty employees from poisoning themselves Aramco had a semi official procedure with all the instructions and part numbers required to make decent stills
departing expats would advertise on the bulletin board for selling their pride and joy
Likes: Shtajerc


Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
Well, we will most probably never know for sure, but I think his guilt is most likely.
The sheer number of witnesses (over 70, according to some sources), makes it improbable they were all bribed.
Number of witnesses/accusers is a very bad indicator of guilt or innocence.

Just check how a Guillaume de Nogaret worked: Identify target, draw up a huge list of accusations, find and "convince" witnesses to testify to the accusations.
Likes: Melisende

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