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38

In Antiquities of the Jews, the ancient historian Josephus reported an incident where the Emperor Tiberius explicitly ordered a woman to be crucified: Mundus had a freedwoman, who had been made free by his father, whose name was Ide, one skillful in all sorts of mischief ... Tiberius inquired into the matter thoroughly by examining the priests about it, ...


21

Yes, there were extensive rapes by American soldiers during the Second World War. During the Second World War American GIs in Europe raped around 14,000 civilian women, in England, France and Germany. There were around 3,500 rapes by American servicemen in France between June 1944 and the end of the war ... some Allied troops were punished for sexual ...


21

Arrr, tharr niver has been an orgarrrnization o'pirates in t'traditional sense. Tharr may well ha' been brief alliarrrnces o' convenyence, for when ye can trust a man no to make ye walk the plank, ye may help each other in gathering in the booty! Also now an' then a Cap'n of dark renown might set up his followers as minor cap'ns in their own right, and so ...


17

You may want to check the cour des miracles (court of miracles) as a real life example of a "thieves guild". Clearly reading about the Mafia, Tong, and Yakuza should be compulsory as those are crime organisations. Look at your local law enforcement web site for further information on organised crime as well if you are looking for more modern organisations. ...


13

Loki and Hermes are well-known gods of thievery. As for saints, St. Nicolas is the patron of thieves. As for clans, often there was some community of people that had any normal work forbidden by the society or some inner rules. Some opressed small nation could choose non-collaboration policy and crime remained their only way of living. Gipsies or ...


10

Yes. In 1730 and again in 1789, Britain sent convict ships to Newfoundland. However, neither experiment was successful as they found that St. John's could not incorporate the scores of new residents. There were scattered instances of a handful of convicts being sent to Newfoundland for seven-year terms, but no other large-scale attempts to export convicts to ...


9

The common date is the massive introduction of the automobile, in the early 1900s (interpreting these data) or 1908 (Ford T model production start). After the US civil war, a lot of train robberies happened, but the trains (as later the planes again high-jacking) were rapidly secured. The car itself rapidly became more value for potential robbers than most ...


9

Romans never believed the emperor to be god. This is a popular misconception. The emperors could be declared divine (divinus) by the senate (god-like), which is not the same as being a god (divus). At the same time there was a cult of the emperor's genius: the Romans believed that each person had a supernatural protector (genius), similar to Christian ...


8

As stated, the question has a simple answer: no! In Rome the right to mint currency was strictly reserved to the emperor. The emperor might at times devolve the right to mint copper or silver (but not gold!) coins to certain favoured cities, but it was his to grant and his to withdraw. There were severe punishments for counterfeiters (don't remember ...


8

There's a good chance he thought he did. There's actually an 18.5 minute gap in the tapes, about 3 days after the Watergate break-in. Of course that could have contained anything, including unrelated material. However, even sympathetic administration officials of the time now admit it was probably material that implicated him in the coverup of that ...


7

Semaphore's answer is excellent, as usual. Let me add just an anecdotal perspective. Is their any evidence that rape was perpetrated by American soldiers during WWII? My grand-mother, a teenager at the time, was part of a fairly active resistance network interacting with the British military. On the wake of the liberation of her area of France, her ...


7

Ancient sources are pretty vague about crucifixion. My understanding is that the naked element comes from two sources: a single sentence in the Oneirocritica and from ancient Jewish practice/law. In the Oneirocritica the reference is to "naked (gumnos) flesh" on the pole (stauron). However, this work is about dreams and the context is pretty philosophical, ...


6

Of course, proof of absence is a very hard thing to achieve, but I'm going to argue that the US Army at least absolutely did not organize military brothels in Western Europe. My main source is What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France by Mary Louise Roberts. This book is somewhat unfavorably reviewed on Amazon by veterans who state ...


6

Its been two years since this question was scribed, and nobody else be bringn' it up, so perhaps now be th' time to be tellin' th' tale o' th' Red Flag Fleet. It be also th' tale o' Cheng I Sao, th' pirate queen o' th' South China Sea. Cheng originally got into th' business by th' traditional method: being captured by pirates. She hit it off well enough ...


5

You are not going to find these statistics. I put the evidence for this “below the fold.” Basically, crime stats experts all say that crime stats are unreliable before the mid-20th century. However, I think private trips must have been robbed at much higher rates than commercial trips for the simple reason that the vast majority of highwaymen operated in ...


5

A prison is expensive: you have to build the installation with all the necessary security precautions (fixed costs), and then feed and cloth the inmates and guards (variable costs). This is completely unaffordable for a subsistence society (IOW, before feudal castles provides dungeons). The Biblical law provides for 3 kinds of penalties: death, flogging (at ...


5

I just watched a report on TV in Germany about a book recently published "Als die Soldaten kamen" (When the soldiers came). The author researched the subject and interviewed numerous survivors all around Germany. She conservatively estimates some 860.000 women and children were being raped by the allies, the dark figure perhaps twice to three times as much ...


5

Most lower class Romans and slaves wore only a knee length tunic, if they even had that much clothing. Many in modern times have indicated that wearing an undergarment was considered being naked, yet the Greek word that was usually used in the period to refer to someone who was naked was gymnos, which means a complete lack of clothing. Those who try to say ...


5

There is a very good article written in 1999 discussing in detail the pros and cons of Kosminski as a suspect. The article is very long, so I have included a few excerpts from casebook.org: In assessing the status of Kosminski as a suspect we are left with this to judge its strength. Sir Robert Anderson, whose main case seems to rest upon the ...


4

There are quite a few great sources on this topic. If by “how common”, you are implying that you are looking for hard, measurable and very-much-incomplete sample data (that you have to, of course, collate yourself), this is going to come from digitized historical court records like the Assize Courts that @Kobunite linked to, or from the proceedings of the ...


4

After liberation of Normandy, US soldiers felt like it is time for reward and French women soon started complaining about behavior of the US soldiers in Normandy. Fear spread among the people in the France and that fear is best explained in this joke: "Our men had to disguise themselves under the Germans. But when the Americans came, we had to hide the ...


4

Prisons, as we understand them today serve the purpose of depriving an individual of their liberty; that idea of liberty did not exist at the time that you refer to. The liberty of an individual to live their life as they see fit within the restraints of the law is a modern concept, therefor the idea of punishing a person by depriving them of something of ...


3

The ancient Romans had prisons, such as Mamertime Prison, but imprisonment was just a temporary measure before trial or execution, not a punishment in itself. The English Houses of Correction introduced a more modern system of mass incarceration, with hard labor.


3

The source of this information comes from the personal memoirs of Yakuza crime boss Kodama. The event never took place, though, so verifying or disproving it is impossible. According to Kodama, he was asked to raise a small army to put down the protests and protect the US president's motorcade and says that he prepared to do this. His proof is that in ...


3

In medieval India, or, at least the portions ruled by Hindu empires (considered "Classical India" until the late 18th century), the functions of society were arranged differently than in modern nations or contemporaneous societies in Europe or Asia. Most notably, the caste system played a very important part - different castes were responsible for ...


3

The DoJ published this paper in December 2011 and released prison statistics for 2010. According to the article the number of people in prison at year-end'10 was 7.1 million of which 2,226,800 people were sentenced in 2010 itself [table 1, in that paper]. This wikipedia article also has a lot of detail on this subject. I think you can extrapolate the ...


3

I'd also do some research into Tammany Hall particularly under the guidance of the infamous William "Boss" Tweed. While more of an example of political corruption than outright organized property crime, it is a very illustrative example of the interplay between criminals and public officials. In this particular example the line between the two became very ...


2

Technically, the gap in the tapes was caused by Nixon's secretary, Rosemary Woods. But most people consider it unlikely that she would erase part of the tapes without the direction, or at least the consent of her boss. But here, the issue is one of the "slip between cup and lip." While Nixon is generally held responsible for the erasing of the tapes, he ...


2

Here is a figure of homicide rates from Stephen Pinker's Better Angels of our Nature: I wouldn't worry about medical science interfering with these trends much, as doctors were as likely to hurt patients as help them until the 19th century. Really high quality crime stats only started to be collected in the 19th century, so Pinker's measures here are ...


2

As the previous answers document, rape was common among American soldiers. Negro soldiers were disproportionately punished, however, this was partially a side effect of their role in the war since they were service troops in the back lines they had a much greater opportunity to commit rape than men who were fighting in forward areas from which civilians had ...



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