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#410950 - 02/01/10 05:58 PM Interesting perspective on Medieval "Trials by Ordeal"
Liberterius Offline


Registered: 01/06/10
Posts: 241
This is an article from reason.com, a Libertarian magazine and blog, although this article is a rare, decidedly un-political one.

http://reason.com/archives/2010/02/01/trial-by-ordeal

Just thought I'd share with you guys. smile
Of course the ordeal system was still inherently unjust, but just interesting this perspective on it; that it did fundamentally WORK in the sense of deterring crime. Of course, much "crime" back then would have consisted of being a witch, blasphemy, working on the sabbath, whatever fun stuff like that. Stupid Christian medeival laws. But there was still of course real crimes like robbery and murder, and it seems the ordeal trials did actually have some effect on reducing those.
Hm.

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#411380 - 02/06/10 04:07 AM Re: Interesting perspective on Medieval "Trials by Ordeal" [Re: Liberterius]
Machismo Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 1132
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Liberterius
This is an article from reason.com, a Libertarian magazine and blog, although this article is a rare, decidedly un-political one.

http://reason.com/archives/2010/02/01/trial-by-ordeal


Not what I expected to read. I thought the ordeals worked the other way. If you survived, it meant you were in league with the devil and had to burn at the stake. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Guess not, or not always.
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#411387 - 02/06/10 04:45 AM Re: Interesting perspective on Medieval "Trials by Ordeal" [Re: Machismo]
MagdaGraham Offline
CoS Priestess

Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 13369
Loc: Scotland
http://www.planetware.com/oudewater/witches-weigh-house-nl-ut-heks.htm

Quote:
(Local Name: Heksenwaag) Oudewater's best-known sight is the Heksenwaag ("Witches' Weigh House"). The scales in this weigh house (1595) were used for the weighing of women alleged to be witches. In practice most of them were cleared of the allegation, for even in those days few Dutch women weighed less than 50kg/110lb, and if a supposed witch weighed more than that she could not be a witch, since the broomstick would have broken under her weight. Visitors can have themselves weighed, and are then given a certificate of their weight.


I have a certificate!

http://www.planetware.com/picture/oudewater-witches-weigh-house-nl-nl308.htm

Afterthought: an amusing little coincidence, this subject comes up today. Last night on Insomniacs' Television, there was Witchfinder General starring Vincent Price.


Edited by MagdaGraham (02/06/10 05:00 AM)
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