Published Online: 13 NOV 2011
Copyright © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.
The Encyclopedia of War
How to Cite
Ambühl, R. 2011. Ransoms. The Encyclopedia of War. .
- Published Online: 13 NOV 2011
In Middle English raunsom or raunson derives from the old French raencon (or raenson, rancon, ranson, ranchon, etc.) and from the Latin redemptio. Ransom is commonly defined as the price or sum paid or demanded for the release of a prisoner. However, it has not always been strictly financial. This nuance is highlighted by the medieval use of the term finance (fenaunce, fynance, financia), which seemed to designate a ransom that was paid in money, whereas ransom could also be partly or entirely paid in goods.
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