[OT] Re: Sheriffs and Vigilantes

William Waites ww at styx.org
Mon Sep 29 05:19:20 CDT 2008

Le 08-09-29 à 10:40, <michael.dillon at bt.com> <michael.dillon at bt.com> a  
écrit :

>> It is not vigilantism, it is the common law, rooted in
>> ancient English history, of the "shire reeve", who we now
>> call the "sheriff".
> Reeve means "called", from the Germanic verb "rufen".
> In other words, this person is someone who is called
> to the duty by the shire.

George Trevelyan's History of England gives the distinct
impression that the sheriff was not quite so grass-roots
an office as this thread might have one believe. The office
was created at the instigation of the Norman monarchs so
that they would have a parallel administrative structure
from that of the feudal barons. This was to make it harder
for the uppity barons to unseat the king as happened regularly
in pre-Norman times.

> In other words, this person checked the property of his
> peers. He was one of the community which selected him.

I wonder if the reeve (gerefa) was thought of as called
by the community or by the king. Trevelyan and etymonline
suggest the latter. Who, within the community, got to be
sheriff was probably the community's choice. But once in
office the sheriff was likely answerable to the king. In
the absence of a monarch, is NANOG now trying to behave
like the North American Regency Council? Hmmm...

In Spain, a vigilante is a security guard, almost always
unarmed, whose job it is to be vigilant and call the police
if something bad happens and take temporary measures if
possible in the meantime. That type of vigilante would seem
to correspond quite closely with the job of the responsible
network security/operations person.


William Waites VE2WSW                <ww at styx.org>
http://www.irl.styx.org/          +49 30 8894 9942
CD70 0498 8AE4 36EA 1CD7  281C 427A 3F36 2130 E9F5

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