GOD'S TRUCE (Lat. Trevga, Del, or Treat Dei, from the Ger. Treu, true), one of the most singular among the institutions middle ages, which prevailed specially in France and the Germanic empire, but was also received for a time in the other coun tries of Europe. It consisted in the suspension for a stated time, and at stated seasons and festivals, of that right of private feud for the redress of wrongs, which, under cer tain conditions, was recognized by medimval law or usage. Private feuds, it is true, could only, by the mediaeval law, which was called faustrecht and fehdereeht, be under taken when judicial redress had failed or could not be enforced, and after formal notice had been served upon the party against whom they were levied. But even with this lim itation, private feuds multiplied exceedingly. The public peace was subject to constant interruption; the weak were without resource; the strong bore down all by the terror of their arms; and.the whole soeiid framework was so. utterly disorganized, that men, by one of those religious impulses of which this age offers so many examples, fell back upon the aid of the church, and invoked her influence, as the only effectual means of staying the evil. It was in this crisis that the "God's Truce" originated. In the end of the 10th c., a council Asembled at Limoges, at which the princes and nobles bound themselves, by solemn vow, not only to abstain from all unlawful feuds, but also to keep the peace mutually towards each other, and to protect from violence all defense less persons, clerics, monks, nuns, women, merchants, pilgrims, and tillers of the A similar engagement was entered into in a council at Orleans in •1016; and_ the whole body of the bishops of Burgundy enforced it upon their flocks everywhere throughout that duchy. A plague which visited a great part of Europe soon afterwards gave a
fresh impulse to thd movement; and in the year 1033, the " Holy Peace" was almost universally received, and for a time continued to be religiously observed. But as the old abuse began to revive by degrees, it was that the observance would carry with it more of religious authority, if, instead of being, as it had originally been instituted, universal, it was limited to certain times and clays, which themselves had certain religious associations connected with theM. Accordingly, in 1041, the bishops of Aqui tame limited the God's Truce to the week-days specially consecrated by the memory of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ—that is, from the sunset of Wednesday to sun rise of Monday. The same decree was renewed at Narbonne in 1054, and at '1 roycs in 1093. At Clermont, in 1095, it was extended to the whole interval from the beginning of Advent to the Epiphany, and from the beginning of Lent to Pentecost, to which were afterwards added several other festivals. enactments were adopted or renewed at several later councils; and although they were often disregarded, it is i impossible to doubt that they had a wide and lasting influence in mitigating the evil against which they were directed. This singular institution fell gradually into disuse, and at last disappeared altogether, when the right of pirate redress was restricted, and at last entirely abolished, by the law of the empire.