His work is known to us through thirty manuscripts; but the earliest of these cannot be dated much earlier than the year 1000; and all are defaced by interpolations which give to the work so confused a character that critics were long disposed to treat it as an unskilful forgery.
But Fulk le Rechin (the Cross-looking), brother of Geoffrey the Bearded, who had at first been contented with an appanage consisting of Saintonge and the chcitellenie of Vihiers, having allowed Saintonge to be taken in 1062 by the duke of Aquitaine, took advantage of the general discontent aroused in the countship by the unskilful policy of Geoffrey to make himself master of Saumur (25th of February 1067) and Angers (4 th of April), and cast Geoffrey into prison at Sable.
He harried the Limousin and laid siege to the castle of Chalus; while directing an assault he was wounded in the shoulder by a crossbow bolt, and, the wound mortifying from unskilful treatment or his own want of care, he died on the 6th of April 1199.
On the other hand carelessness and neglect were severely punished, as in the case of the unskilful physician, if it led to loss of life or limb his hands were cut off, a slave had to be replaced, the loss of his eye paid for to half his value; a veterinary surgeon who caused the death of an ox or ass paid quarter value; a builder, whose careless workmanship caused death, lost his life or paid for it by the death of his child, replaced slave or goods, and in any case had to rebuild the house or make good any damages due to defective building and repair the defect as well.
The rude symmetry of the feudal system had been long ago destroyed by partial and unskilful adaptations to modern commercial life, effected at various dates and in accordance with various theories.