A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps. Page: 62 of 493
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44 A HISTORY OF VERONA
war with one or other of their neighbours, more especially
Vicenza, Ferrara and Padua. It would be tedious to recount
all these petty wars (which only receive the briefest mention in
the old chronicles) and the short-lived peaces and leagues which
alternated with them. One more treaty of this period must,
however, be mentioned, if only for the interesting light which it
throws on the early treatment of prisoners of war. This is an
agreement made in 1213 between Verona, Padua and Vicenza,'
with the object of mitigating the long imprisonments and other
hardships which their citizens had so often to endure, owing to
the constant prevalence of war at this epoch. The first clause
prohibits the slaying and maiming of prisoners of war. Then
follow a series of regulations which it was hoped would deprive imprisonment
of its worst horrors. Suitable food and drink were
to be provided, and facilities for dressing and undressing; every
man was to have space to lie down, and the prison itself was
to be kept clean. In return the prisoners had to pay a fixed
charge, horsemen forty pence a day, and foot-soldiers fifteen.
It was suggested, however, that when possible a man should be
allowed to ransom himself. For this a horse-soldier was to
pay eleven lire and a foot-soldier ten, but squires and pages
were to be released at once without any conditions, and archers
on giving up their weapons. It is to be feared that these were
" counsels of perfection," fated never to be realised, but at any
rate they show the growth of a more humane public opinion.
In a later clause of the same treaty the Veronese, Paduans
and Vicentines agreed to unite to coerce any rebel whom
his own authorities were powerless to subdue. They also
decided that if any of the three states should drive out one
party of its citizens the other two should combine to compel it
to restore the exiles. The last clause was due to the recent
development of factions in the North Italian cities, for the
growth of party spirit at this period was most astoundingly
rapid and astoundingly general. At the beginning of the thirteenth
century the inhabitants of most Lombard towns are
suddenly to be found ranged in rival parties which hated each
1Ex tabulario Turris Civitatis Vincentiae in libro Statutorum. Printed by
Verci, C. D. E. (vol. iii. of the Storia degli Eclini), p. 155, Doc. No. 82.
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Allen, A. M. A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps., book, 1910; New York. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1025/m1/62/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .