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61

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, ...


46

Yes, but for fixed periods of (for example) six months or 1 or 2 years rather than for life. This section of the 13th Amendment, ratified on the 6th of December, 1865, was controversial from the outset. Slavery Under the Thirteenth Amendment: Race and the Law of Crime and Punishment in the PostCivil War South by Peter Wallenstein in the Louisiana Law Review (...


34

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 ...


31

The earliest evidence for keel-hauling that I'm aware of is actually from ancient Rhodes (~800BC) in the Lex Rhodia. There are also depictions of the practice known from ancient Greece (one is included as the frontispiece of Henry Omerod's Piracy in the Ancient World). As the Wikipedia page notes, the Dutch Navy introduced the punishment in an ordinance ...


28

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 ...


21

Romans never believed the emperor to be god. This is a popular misconception. The emperors could be declared divine (divus) by the senate (god-like), which is not the same as being a god (deus). 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 concept ...


20

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 break-...


18

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.


17

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 ...


17

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 against high-jacking) were rapidly secured. The car itself rapidly became more value for potential robbers than ...


17

There was no upper limit to sanctions. From to 1936 to 1939, membership in the HJ was "voluntary". So actual punishment was not put into law until the Second Executive Order on the law about the Hitler Youth (Jugenddienstverordnung) from March 25th, 1939. What follows is my translation. I am neither a lawyer nor a professional translator. Article 12. ...


16

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 ...


14

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 ...


14

It would seem that by the mid-18th Century, the act of keel-hauling was considered (by the British public, at least) to be a Dutch punishment. A contemporary dictionary gives the following definition: Keel-Hauling, a punishment inflicted for various offences in the Dutch Navy. It is performed by plunging the delinquent repeatedly under the ship's bottom ...


14

The punishment of being "Hanged, drawn, and quartered" (sensu stricto, it should always be 'hanged', rather than 'hung') was abolished in England by the Forfeiture Act 1870: From and after the passing of this Act such portions of the Acts of the thirtieth year of George the Third, chapter forty-eight, and the fifty-fourth year of George the Third, chapter ...


13

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 ...


13

The crime reported in the newspapers as "f. and a." was "Fornication and Adultery", as in this case from 1922: The penalty handed down to Oakey Ferguson in this case of "one year on road" meant serving a year working in a NC road gang. As I understand it, Fornication and Adultery remains an offence (actually a Class 2 misdemeanour) on the statute books in ...


12

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 ...


12

The Killing a Thief Act of 1532 (24 Hen. 8, c. 5) legalised using lethal force against highway robbers or home burglars as justifiable homicide. Eventually the British Parliament closed this gap in the common law, enacting a statute in 1532 that essentially licensed the killing of robbers and other assailants on the pubic highway. This statutory defense ...


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


10

13½d is a historical value called a loonslate. According to William Hone, it has a Scottish origin, being two-thirds of the Scottish pound, as the mark was two-thirds of the English pound. The same value was proposed as coinage for South Carolina in 1700.


10

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, ...


10

The Hitler Youth Act states: Section Four All regulations necessary for the execution and completion of this law will be issued by the Führer. This is government by decree, and is how totalitarian societies work. Failure to comply would result in progressively deeper investigation until one either complied, or perhaps the authorities decide to spent ...


9

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 so ...


9

In the USA, people acting as Bounty Hunters have been (and in some cases still are today) legally allowed to arrest fugitives who have a valid warrant out for their arrest. If said fugitive uses deadly force to evade or deter capture, of course the arresting parties are perfectly legally allowed to defend themselves (also with deadly force). But ...


9

The key distinction was not between beheading and hanging, but rather "good" and "bad" beheading and "good" and "bad" hanging. Which in turn depended on the skill of the executioner. More highly regarded people got the more skillful executioners and the "better" forms of execution. During the Middle Ages, using an axe was a "good" beheading (for its time). ...


8

After the liberation of Normandy, US soldiers felt like it was time for a 'reward' and French women soon started complaining about the behavior of the US soldiers in Normandy. Fear spread among the people in 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 ...


8

To "take the cross" is to take crusader vows and participate in a crusade to the Holy Land. It doesn't seem to have been a punishment exactly. It was intended as a form of penance so the wrongdoers could redeem themselves in the eyes of God (or, more accurately, the eyes of the Church) for their misdeeds.


7

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 ...


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