[Sca-cooks] candy and hostages

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius.magister at verizon.net
Thu Aug 3 08:58:31 PDT 2006

On Aug 3, 2006, at 1:31 AM, Stefan li Rous wrote:

> Cailte said:
>   <<< On Wed, 2 Aug 2006 12:07:31 -0400 "grizly"
> <grizly at mindspring.com> wrote:
>>  We can prove that using modern
>> candy making techniques and a list of ingredients from 1200
> Ireland, a
>> modern cook can create caramel or whatever.  But it still seems to be
>> missing the bridge to what they would have knowledge, motivation,
>> inspiration and skill to do.
> IIRC, the original recipe was a drink of extreme
> sustenance given the the young, especially those taken in
> hostage (the good kind).  >>>
> Huh? When can being taken as a hostage be good?  Other than perhaps
> being dead? Or maybe I'm just missing something. Or maybe this is
> something Irish?
> Stefan

Okay, you know the expression "suing for peace"? Consider hostages  
the collateral on a loan, or something you pawn, to keep peace  
between nations. In many ways it was not too different in its goal  
from royal intermarriage.

The Romans maintained hostages (generally the sons of client kings)  
for centuries. In general, they were [arguably] better fed, clothed,  
and educated than their parents, and raised as Roman aristocrats with  
the same civic sense/education as actual Romans. I expect some were  
actually executed at one time or another, but it was extremely rare,  
and then the Romanizing of the hostages, who were supposed to go and  
bring "civilization" to their homelands when they returned, well,  
let's say it didn't always take. Attila and Herod Agrippa come to  
mind... ;-)

But in general, the word "hostage" has its roots in the word "host",  
and it didn't have quite the same high-stress and terrifyingly brutal  
connotation that it has had more recently.


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