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Prisoner of war

A prisoner of war is a non-combatant—whether a military member, an irregular military fighter, or a civilian—who is held captive by a belligerent power during or after an armed conflict. The earliest recorded usage of the phrase "prisoner of war" dates back to 1610. Belligerents hold prisoners of war in custody for a range of legitimate and illegitimate reasons, such as isolating them from enemy combatants still in the field, demonstrating military victory, punishing them, prosecuting them for war crimes, exploiting them for their labour, recruiting or conscripting them as their own combatants, collecting military and political intelligence from them, or indoctrinating them in new political or religious beliefs. For most of human history, depending on the culture of the victors, enemy combatants on the losing side in a battle who had surrendered and been taken as prisoners of war could expect to be either slaughtered or enslaved. Early Roman gladiators could be prisoners of war, categorised according to their ethnic roots as Samnites and Gauls.

Homer's Iliad describes Greek and Trojan soldiers offering rewards of wealth to opposing forces who have defeated them on the battlefield in exchange for mercy, but their offers are not always accepted. Victors made little distinction between enemy combatants and enemy civilians, although they were more to spare women and children. Sometimes the purpose of a battle, if not of a war, was to capture women, a practice known as raptio. Women had no rights, were held as chattels. In the fourth century AD, Bishop Acacius of Amida, touched by the plight of Persian prisoners captured in a recent war with the Roman Empire, who were held in his town under appalling conditions and destined for a life of slavery, took the initiative in ransoming them by selling his church's precious gold and silver vessels and letting them return to their country. For this he was canonized. During Childeric's siege and blockade of Paris in 464, the nun Geneviève pleaded with the Frankish king for the welfare of prisoners of war and met with a favourable response.

Clovis I liberated captives after Genevieve urged him to do so. Many French prisoners of war were killed during the Battle of Agincourt in 1415; this was done in retaliation for the French killing of the boys and other non-combatants handling the baggage and equipment of the army, because the French were attacking again and Henry was afraid that they would break through and free the prisoners to fight again. In the Middle Ages, a number of religious wars aimed to not only defeat but eliminate their enemies. In Christian Europe, the extermination of heretics was considered desirable. Examples include the Northern Crusades; when asked by a Crusader how to distinguish between the Catholics and Cathars once they'd taken the city of Béziers, the Papal Legate Arnaud Amalric famously replied, "Kill them all, God will know His own". The inhabitants of conquered cities were massacred during the Crusades against the Muslims in the 11th and 12th centuries. Noblemen could hope to be ransomed. In feudal Japan, there was no custom of ransoming prisoners of war, who were for the most part summarily executed.

The expanding Mongol Empire was famous for distinguishing between cities or towns that surrendered, where the population were spared but required to support the conquering Mongol army, those that resisted, where their city was ransacked and destroyed, all the population killed. In Termez, on the Oxus: "all the people, both men and women, were driven out onto the plain, divided in accordance with their usual custom they were all slain"; the Aztecs were at war with neighbouring tribes and groups, with the goal of this constant warfare being to collect live prisoners for sacrifice. For the re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, "between 10,000 and 80,400 persons" were sacrificed. During the early Muslim conquests, Muslims captured large number of prisoners. Aside from those who converted, most were enslaved. Christians who were captured during the Crusades were either killed or sold into slavery if they could not pay a ransom. During his lifetime, Muhammad made it the responsibility of the Islamic government to provide food and clothing, on a reasonable basis, to captives, regardless of their religion.

The freeing of prisoners was recommended as a charitable act. On certain occasions where Muhammad felt the enemy had broken a treaty with the Muslims, he ordered the mass execution of male prisoners, such as the Banu Qurayza. Females and children of this tribe were divided up as ghanima by Muhammad; the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years' War, established the rule that prisoners of war should be released without ransom at the end of hostilities and that they should be allowed to return to their homelands. There evolved the right of parole, French for "discourse", in which a captured officer surrendered his sword and gave his word as a gentleman in exchange for privileges. If he swore not to escape, he could gain the freedom of the prison. If he swore to cease hostilities against the nation who held him captive, he could be repatriated or exchanged bu

Sibylla, Queen of Jerusalem

Sibylla was the Countess of Jaffa and Ascalon from 1176 and Queen of Jerusalem from 1186 to 1190. She was the eldest daughter of Amalric I of Jerusalem and Agnes of Courtenay, sister of Baldwin IV and half-sister of Isabella I of Jerusalem, mother of Baldwin V of Jerusalem, her grandmother Melisende had provided an example of successful rule by a queen regnant earlier in the century. She was born into the Frankish noble family of the House of Anjou. Sibylla was raised by her great-aunt, the Abbess Ioveta of Bethany, sister of former Queen Melisende of Jerusalem, who founded the convent of St. Lazarus in Bethany for her sister in 1128, died there in 1163. In the convent Sibylla was taught scripture and other church traditions. In 1174, her father sent Frederick de la Roche, archbishop of Tyre, on a diplomatic legation to Europe to drum up support for the Crusader states, to arrange a suitable marriage for Sibylla; as her only brother Baldwin suffered from an illness confirmed as leprosy, Sibylla's marriage was of paramount concern.

Frederick convinced Stephen I of Sancerre, a well-connected young nobleman, to come east and marry the princess. Shortly after his arrival in Jerusalem, Stephen changed his mind and he returned to France. On their father Amalric's death, Baldwin IV became king in 1174. First Miles of Plancy Raymond III of Tripoli became regent during his minority. In 1176, Baldwin and Raymond arranged for Sibylla to marry William Longsword of Montferrat, eldest son of the Marquess William V of Montferrat and his wife Judith or Ita von Babenberg, a cousin of Louis VII of France and of Frederick Barbarossa. Sibylla was created Countess of Jaffa and Ascalon, the title associated with the heir to the throne. In autumn they were married. William died by June the following year. In the tradition of the dynasty, Sibylla named her son Baldwin; the widowed princess remained a prize for ambitious nobles and adventurers seeking to advance themselves and take control of Jerusalem. Philip of Flanders, a first cousin of Sibylla, arrived in 1177 and demanded to have the princess married to one of his own vassals.

By marrying Sibylla to his vassal, Philip could control the kingship of Jerusalem. The Haute Cour of Jerusalem, led by Baldwin of Ibelin, rebuffed Philip's advances. Affronted, Philip left Jerusalem to campaign in Antioch. Sibylla did not remarry until 1180. Popular narrative histories have favoured an account from the 13th century, Old French Continuation of William Tyre attributed to Ernoul, associated with the Ibelin family, it claims that Sibylla was in love with Balian of Ibelin, a widower over twice her age, but he was captured and imprisoned in 1179 by Saladin. She wrote to Balian. Saladin demanded a large ransom: Balian himself could not pay the ransom, but was released with the promise to pay Saladin later. Once free, Balian went to the Byzantine court, where he received a grant from Emperor Manuel, the emperor receiving confirmation from his niece, Maria Comnena, the dowager queen, of the likelihood of the Sibylla-Baldwin match. However, Agnes of Courtenay advised her son to have Sibylla married to the newly arrived Frankish knight Guy of Lusignan, brother of her personal constable, Amalric of Lusignan, who Ernoul claims was her lover.

By this Agnes hoped to foil any attempt by Raymond III of Tripoli from marrying her daughter into the rival court faction, led by the Ibelins. It claims that Balian of Ibelin unable to wed Sibylla. With pressure mounting to have the Heir Presumptive wed, the marriage was hastily arranged, Sibylla — portrayed as fickle in this account — transferred her affections to Guy de Lusignan; this version of events is contradicted by accounts of William of others. According to this account, a plan to marry Sibylla to Hugh III of Burgundy had broken down. At Easter 1180, Raymond of Tripoli and Bohemund III of Antioch entered the kingdom in force, with the intent of imposing a husband of their own choice Baldwin of Ibelin, on Sibylla. However, a foreign match was essential to the kingdom, bringing the possibility of external military aid. Baldwin IV himself arranged the marriage to Guy, whose brother Amalric, well-regarded and able, had first come to court as Baldwin of Ibelin's son-in-law and was now constable of Jerusalem.

With the new French king Philip II a minor, Guy's status as a vassal of the King and Sibylla's first cousin Henry II of England – who owed the Pope a penitential pilgrimage — was useful in terms of offering a source of external help. Baldwin of Ibelin was in Jerusalem at the time of Sibylla's marriage, did not go to Constantinople until in the year — contradicting the claims in the Old French Continuation. In 1180, Baldwin IV further curtailed the ambitions of the Ibelins by betrothing the eight-year-old Isabella to Humphrey IV of Toron, removing her from the control of her mother and the Ibelins, placing her in the hands of her betrothed's family – Raynald of Châtillon and his wife Stephanie of Milly. Sibylla bore Guy two daughters and Maria. Baldwin IV vested much authority in Guy, appointing him his regent during times of his own incapacitation, but within a year the king was enraged by Guy's behaviour as regent. Guy overlooked Raynald of Châtillon's harassment of trade caravans between Egypt and Syria, threatening the stop-gap accord between Jerusalem and Egypt.

Baldwin I

Alan Feduccia

John Alan Feduccia is a paleornithologist, specializing in the origins and phylogeny of birds. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina. Feduccia's principal authored works include two books, The Age of Birds and The Origin and Evolution of Birds, numerous papers in various ornithological and biological journals. Feduccia opposes the scientific consensus that birds originated from and are nested within Theropoda, are therefore living theropod dinosaurs, he has argued for an alternative theory in which birds share a common stem-ancestor with theropod dinosaurs among more basal archosaurian lineages, with birds originating from small arboreal archosaurs in the Triassic. Feduccia graduated with a B. S. from Louisiana State University, taking ornithological expeditions to Honduras, El Salvador and Peru. He received his M. A. and Ph. D. from the University of Michigan. Feduccia's research has focused on ornithology, evolutionary biology, vertebrate history and morphogenesis, the tempo and mode of the Cenozoic vertebrate radiation.

His early work in the 1970s focused on clarification of the evolutionary history of modern birds, focusing, in particular, on the importance of the identification of conserved morphological characters that might elucidate phylogeny more than more functionally correlated characters. Using this approach, in a series of publications, Feduccia analyzed the morphology of the bony stapes, the ear ossicle of birds, to help elucidate the interrelationships of passeriform birds; this approach was extended to the analysis of non-passeriform birds as well, including owls and the shoebill known as the whalebill. Other studies in the 1970s focused on the analysis of the Cenozoic avian radiation, with a particular focus on the origin and relationships of waterfowl Anseriformes. Based on his analysis of the osteology of the Paleocene and Eocene duck Presbyornis, represented in large quantities from Eocene deposits from outcrops of the Green River Formation in Utah and Wyoming, Feduccia concluded that Presbyornis represents a shorebird-duck mosaic and that waterfowl evolved from shorebirds.

This is contrary to the more held view that waterfowl are most related to chickens and related fowl, but Feduccia argues that this alternative phylogeny is unsupported by fossil evidence, he suggests that any similarities between anseriform and galliform birds are attributable to homoplasy. Based on his analysis of the osteology of Presbyornis, Feduccia argued that flamingos, the phylogenetic relationships of which remain disputed, with some recent studies suggesting a sister-group relationship with grebes, were derived from shorebirds. Feduccia summarized his position in the second edition of his book The Origin and Evolution of Birds: "The study of Presbyornis planted the idea that shorebirds are the basic ancestral stock for both flamingolike birds and the anseriformes and their allies...". Feduccia's early work on flamingos and waterfowl contributed to the development of his hypothesis that there was an explosive Cenozoic adaptive radiation of neornithine birds following the extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous.

According to this hypothesis, modern orders of birds radiated principally from a lineage of "transitional shorebirds", represented by the shorebird form-family Graculavidae, from the Cretaceous-early Paleogene, that managed to survive the Cretaceous extinction event through eking out a living along marginal shoreline environments. This radiation is hypothesized to have been rapid, as many orders of modern birds have fossil representatives from the early Cenozoic. Feduccia has suggested that this rapid adaptive radiation of modern birds, compressed into such a short period of geologic time, might obscure interordinal relationships and make elucidation of the phylogeny of modern birds difficult, barring the isolation of conserved characters or mosaic fossils demonstrating transitional character states bridging extant orders; this reiterates an early theme from his research in the 1970s, in which Feduccia had emphasized the importance of homoplasy in evolution, its ability to confound the interpretation of phylogeny.

This has been a theme in his study of flightlessness in birds, a phenomenon the pervasiveness of, stressed in his work, the mechanisms by which flight is lost, including heterochrony and differential development. Feduccia has argued against the monophyly of the Ratitae, supporting instead independent derivation of ratite lineages from flying ancestral paleognathous taxa, like the Lithornithiformes. Feduccia is best known for his criticisms of the hypothesis, accepted by most scientists, that birds originated from and are nested within Theropoda, are therefore living theropod dinosaurs. Feduccia's first contribution relative to the origin and early evolution of birds, their relationship with dinosaurs, was a critical review of the evidence available for dinosaurian endothermy in 1973. In a 1979 paper and Tordoff argued, against the position taken by John Ostrom, that Archaeopteryx was capable of powered flight, as indicated by the asymmetrical vanes of its primary feathers, a feature found only in flying birds.

In a paper coauthored with Storrs Olson in the same year, Feduccia noted that the robust furcula of Archaeopteryx could have served as a site of attachment for a well-developed M. pectoralis major, the principal depressor of the avian wing, responsible for powering the downstroke during avian flight. Olson and Feduccia concluded that this provided further evidence for the flight capability of Archaeopteryx; these initial