Lex Rex Question: "banks and marches"

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83r17h

Puritan Board Freshman
In Lex Rex, under question 4, Rutherford describes ways in which the royal power remains in the people. There is a phrase he uses describing the people limiting and moderating the exercise of royal power: "banks and marches."

The full sentence is
So as they may limit, moderate, and set banks and marches to the exercise.

Is anyone familiar with this phrase and can explain it? It sounds like a piece of military imagery, as in dictating the manner or direction in which royal power is exercised. But the "banks" term is especially tripping me up. Is there a good reference dictionary to keep handy while reading Rutherford?
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Marches in Scottish is boundary or border, so I assume banks is functioning in the same way.
In Lex Rex, under question 4, Rutherford describes ways in which the royal power remains in the people. There is a phrase he uses describing the people limiting and moderating the exercise of royal power: "banks and marches."

The full sentence is


Is anyone familiar with this phrase and can explain it? It sounds like a piece of military imagery, as in dictating the manner or direction in which royal power is exercised. But the "banks" term is especially tripping me up. Is there a good reference dictionary to keep handy while reading Rutherford?
 

Phil D.

Puritan Board Junior
I wonder if it's a metaphorical reference to convey the general concept of "barriers". According to DSL (a great resource for what you asked for), "banks" in old Scots was sometimes a metonymic term for a steep coast or a raised berm, and "march" was standard terminology for a border or boundary. But then I could be way off...
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
I believe it is used in the sense of "casting up a bank," which is a dirt berm as a barrier. It's used in tales of sieges a lot, where the attacking army digs ditches in a zigzag manner toward the city, and casts the dirt of digging into a berm or bank to give further shelter as they advance.
I though the term appeared in the KJV when Sennacherib or someone sieged Jerusalem, but I might be mistaken.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
In this book, page 521, under the definition 2 for Linch, it says: "A balk of land Kent. Any bank or boundary for the division of land..."

So it looks like 'bank' has a similar meaning to 'march' in the sense of a land boundary.

The book is

A Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, Obsolete Phrases, Phrases and Ancient Customs, from the Fourteenth Century, Volume 2

 
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