Medieval Punishments: An Illustrated History of Torture

Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
2
Free sample

“The brank may be described simply as an iron framework; which was placed on the head, closing it in a kind of cage; it had in front a plate of iron, which, either sharpened or covered with spikes, was so situated as to be placed in the mouth of the victim, and if she attempted to move her tongue in any way whatever, it was certain to be shockingly injured. She thus suffered for telling her mind to some petty tyrant in office, or speaking plainly to a wrong-doer, or for taking to task a lazy, and perhaps a drunken husband.“

Dive into the macabre history of England and Old Europe in this treasure chest of historical punishments. In the pages of Medieval Punishments are punishments from a less enlightened period, creating a thoroughly researched historical document that sheds light on the evolution of society and how humans have maintained social order and addressed crime.

In a town called Newcastle-on-Tyne, a drunkard cloak was a barrel that offenders were made to wear. In Anglo-Saxon times, each town was required to build stocks to hold breakers of the peace. To the Romans, beheading was considered the most honorable of deaths. It’s these details that make Medieval Punishments a compelling read for social historians and important component of human history.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
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Published on
Aug 1, 2013
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781626365179
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Medieval
History / Social History
Social Science / Criminology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Barbara W. Tuchman—the acclaimed author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning classic The Guns of August—once again marshals her gift for character, history, and sparkling prose to compose an astonishing portrait of medieval Europe.
 
The fourteenth century reflects two contradictory images: on the one hand, a glittering age of crusades, cathedrals, and chivalry; on the other, a world plunged into chaos and spiritual agony. In this revelatory work, Barbara W. Tuchman examines not only the great rhythms of history but the grain and texture of domestic life: what childhood was like; what marriage meant; how money, taxes, and war dominated the lives of serf, noble, and clergy alike. Granting her subjects their loyalties, treacheries, and guilty passions, Tuchman re-creates the lives of proud cardinals, university scholars, grocers and clerks, saints and mystics, lawyers and mercenaries, and, dominating all, the knight—in all his valor and “furious follies,” a “terrible worm in an iron cocoon.”
 
Praise for A Distant Mirror
 
“Beautifully written, careful and thorough in its scholarship . . . What Ms. Tuchman does superbly is to tell how it was. . . . No one has ever done this better.”—The New York Review of Books
 
“A beautiful, extraordinary book . . . Tuchman at the top of her powers . . . She has done nothing finer.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“Wise, witty, and wonderful . . . a great book, in a great historical tradition.”—Commentary

NOTE: This edition does not include color images.
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