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Staving Isidora Zamora:
>> > Whether you openly renounce allegiance to your lord/lady, or just
>> > silently betreys him/her, he/she has every right to have you executed
>> > in a maximally painful way, but only in the later case does he/she have
>> > any right to look down on you. In the former case you're an _achatear_,
>> > with your honour intact, in the later a _goembho_ ['gwemBo], something
>> > like "traitor", with your honour lost. Can anyone think of a convenient
>> > way of making the distinction achatear~goembho in English?
>
>Andreas,
>
>I was interested not only in John's historical discussion written in answer
>to your question but also in what you wrote about your conculture.  I'm
>curious about something.  Given the consequences of openly renouncing your
>allegiance, why would anyone ever do it?  I can deduce that renouncing
>one's allegiance is something that is actually done, because there is a
>special name for a person who does it, but there must be something
>sociological going on here that would induce someone to become an
>_achatear_, because doing something that would give someone "every right to
>have you executed in a maximally painful way" is a fairly counterintuitive
>move, to state it mildly.

I can think of a way that it might have happened in feudal Europe. A
mediaeval knight would have been a feudal tenant of a lord who was probably
a Tenant-in-Chief of the King. Suppose that a lord rose up against the King
and tried to usurp the throne (by the end of the fifteenth century this had
become almost a normal means of succession in England). A knight would then
have a dilemma, whether to defy his immediate overlord or the king. If he
decided that his first loyalty was to the King, he would then be in
defiance of his master, but would not have treason against the King on his
conscience.

Pete