Flogging Others: Corporal Punishment and Cultural Identity by G. Geltner

By G. Geltner

Corporal punishment is frequently thought of a relic of the Western prior, a suite of thinly veiled barbaric practices mostly deserted within the means of civilization. As G. Geltner argues, in spite of the fact that, the infliction of physically soreness was once now not inevitably common for past societies, nor has it vanished from glossy penal conception, coverage, and perform. on the contrary, corporal punishment nonetheless prospers this day because of its skill to outline otherness successfully and unambiguously. difficult a few universal myths and misconceptions approximately actual punishment’s value over the centuries, Flogging Others bargains a brand new viewpoint on modernization and Western id.

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Last, Koran 5:33 lists cutting off the opposite hand and foot (cross-amputation) as one among several penalties that can be imposed upon anyone found guilty of corruption. Beyond these contexts corporal punishment in any form could be applied as a discretionary punishment whenever a defendant was awarded ta‘zīr. 95 Bodily integrity in particular came to impinge upon another form of corporal punishment, namely tashhīr or rendering someone infamous via public humiliation. Prescriptions and descriptions of such rituals from across the Islamicate world strongly suggest that culprits were routinely subjected to injury alongside verbal abuse, since executors burdened them physically in diverse ways and observers hurled objects at them or even beat them.

If a man fractures another man’s skull in a fistfight, they will flog him 180 times; 34  §26. If a freedman beats a slave, they will whip him sixty times with a strap and sixty times with a belt; §30. If a slave girl insults someone who is acting as her mistress they will rub her mouth with one sila of salt. Legal texts do not always convey penal realities, but at least at the normative level it appears that Ur-Nammu’s policies more often than not aimed at sparing the rod and filling the purse.

Yet while the Edict of Caracalla (212 CE) broadened the political, economic, and demographic base of Rome, it also prompted a closing of the ranks among members of  43 the elite citizenry. In the third and fourth centuries CE a distinction between a class of honestiores (noble) and humiliores (base) men restricted the latter’s access to numerous legal privileges, also in the realm of penal law. 72 Yet there is strong evidence to suggest that humiliores too could be put into the latter group for penal purposes, especially with judges’ new ‘extraordinary’ capacities.

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