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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Lauro Martines
The Renaissance is renowned as an era of intellectual and artistic excellence, centuries that produced such persons of genius as Shakespeare, Michelangelo and Montaigne. But the years had a dark side that is shunned by most historians: constant, horrific warfare that caused the deaths of countless hundreds of thousands, including hapless civilians in the path of murderous armies.
As Mr. Martines writes, "Too dispersed to resist, peasant communities appear to have cooperated with this cull, thereby keeping control over the question of the men who would be picked for war in distant fields. Well-off farmers took little poor boys into their houses, fed and clothed them, drew on their labor, and then, when the summons came, turned them over to the army as substitutes for their own sons."
Mr. Martines writes, "At the end of that day, hundreds of wounded French soldiers lay wailing and pleading for help in the ditches along the walls. Turin's defenders proceeded to throw tons of firewood, pitch and oil down into the trenches, on top of the wounded men. They then set fire to that mix of man and matter, and from the walls and ramparts snipers targeted the wounded who tried to squirm away."