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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, ...


50

That is for sure an overgeneralisation, but so is Wikipedia's. There are some elements of truth in both: Ancient Rome held that freedom could not be sold, and in principle a freeborn person could not become a slave. [F]reedom was, like servitude, conceptusliased as a natural state. Thus, it was in principle, if not quite in practice, impossible to ...


45

In the UK, the 1872 Licencing Act made it an offence to be: ... drunk while in charge on any highway or other public place of any carriage, horse, cattle, or steam engine, or who is drunk when in possession of any loaded firearms, ... I understand that parts of that Act remain in force.


45

Very little scholarly work has apparently been done on this, so may answer will closely follow the article "The Culture of Tort Law in France" by Jean-Sébastien Borghetti (2012). The question here reflects a strong perception that lawsuits are far less common in France, which is only partly accurate. Tort law does play an important role in France, although ...


42

It was a divine judgement in cases where the evidence was inconclusive and previous attempts to resolve the case had failed. In some cases at least, it was only used after other attempts at a resolution had failed. We can't be certain why it was considered a valid outcome as there is insufficient evidence, but it is likely that the apparent verdict of a god ...


41

The governance model for early corporations is the chartered city; a community granted town privileges and, if also free, independence from feudal obligations to local sovereigns or lords and debt of fealty only to the reigning monarch (ie king or emperor). In such communities the interests of its residents were represented by a council of the leading ...


40

There was a mechanism called voting against Hitler. Unfortunately, Hitler's opponents failed to set aside their differences and unite against him. It is important to realise that Hitler did not gain dictatorial powers solely by virtue of winning a democratic election (though the Nazi electoral performance helped immensely). In fact, in the last generally ...


39

The United States Supreme Court ruled unilateral secession unconstitutional while commenting that revolution or consent of the states could lead to a successful secession NOTE: The Supreme Court ruling was after the Civil War Legality: The principle of legality is the legal ideal that requires all law to be clear, ascertainable and non-...


38

The Middle Ages was not particularly known for being a civil and orderly period. Leopold V had no authority of any kind to arrest Richard I. He did it simply because he wanted to, and could. The illegality of the act is reflected by the fact that it drew official sanction from the Church: Pope Celestine III excommunicated Leopold, and compelled him to ...


37

The sandbag is from a quintain, a "jousting dummy" if you will: On Offham green there stands a Quintain, a thing now rarely to be met with, being a machine much used in former times by youth, as well to try their own activity as the swiftness of their horses in running at it. The cross piece of it is broad at one end, and pierced full of holes; and a bag ...


35

The official way we determine how the Constitution is "understood" is through US Supreme Court decisions, and there haven't been any on that particular subject. There have been basically 3 definitive decisions on the 2nd amendment, only one of which came before the 20th Century. Note first that prior to the 14th Amendment, the Bill of Rights was generally ...


34

While this isn't exactly a historical answer, it does provide a reasonable part of an explanation: Different people pay the costs in a lawsuit in the USA and France In France, the legal costs are paid by the losing side in most lawsuits (the so-called English Rule). The reasoning behind this is that a litigant (whether they bring or defend the claim) is ...


33

It is very rare for new laws to apply retroactively, even Hitler's Nuremberg Laws. In this case, the prohibition of mixed marriages did not apply to couples who were already married. However, as the paper linked above observes, the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour did include one provision in regard to existing marriages: "...


33

There are some misconceptions about what ratification means. Though it is now common for treaties to be ratified by a legislature, that has never been essential to the ratification process. In actuality, the reason for treaty ratification is that the negotiator doesn't always have the authority to bind the nation to a treaty. In most countries, historically,...


32

Ancient Rome had land deeds and registrations. Most of it has long since been lost, but there are still plenty of examples. Note that Roman rule lasted a long time and stretched across three continents; unsurprisingly, the exact details of the system in place differed across time and space. For example, there is a land deed found among the papyri excavated ...


31

The Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) is generally seen as the first company with stocks, shareholders and board members. It didn't have 1 director, it had 17: "De Heren XVII", 'The Lords Seventeen' in English. Why was it formed? First of all because of the huge investment and risks involved. Sending one ship from Holland all the ...


31

Peter Leeson from George Mason University has argued that medieval trial by ordeal worked because people believed that they worked. Thus, only the innocent were willing to undergo the ordeal. If this theory is correct, presumably the ordeal also separated the guilty and innocent via the same mechanism at the time of Hammurabi. I argue that medieval ...


28

Enforce is the wrong word to use here, because while the idea may have began with the US government, formally speaking the decision to participate or not rested with each National Olympic Committee. The US, and other Western governments in general, simply persuaded (pressured) their respective NOCs into supporting their foreign policy. Thus the USOC was ...


27

Let me answer as a German with an analogy. You can compare the German speed limit to weapon ownership in US. Any party suggesting introduction of a general speed limit would conduct political suicide and face serious debates with the automobile lobby and voters (most workplaces here come from this branch). Most rational arguments points towards a speed ...


26

Probably not. It seems to have existed as a traditional right, but was almost never exercised. Wikipedia denies the existence of this right, citing Albrecht Classen's The Medieval Chastity Belt. Snopes concurs, citing Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th ed., 10.610: [The droit du seigneur] is paralleled in various primitive societies, but the evidence of its ...


25

"Banning harmful imports" was often done. Prime example being the satanic brew. Coffee was banned in Mecca, Italy, Contantinople/Ottoman Empire, Prussia. Similarly: tea was banned in East Frisia, were and when it was already the national drink. Like all other illict drugs today, they were thought of being too stimulating and foment free thought, and ...


24

It is in the Constitution - implicitly. The it "isn't anywhere in the constitution" argument is frequently popular to different groups on different topics, but in this case at least has no legal basis in jurisprudence. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court ... The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and ...


24

An annulment does not "break" a marriage, as does a divorce. It declares that the marriage never happened in the first place. This meant that the married couple would revert to their previous legal status (the "wife" would revert to being a "spinster" if she hadn't been previously married). However, any children from an annulled marriage would still be ...


23

As other answers have mentioned, there were state and local laws that prohibited alcohol before the Constitutional amendment. And there is the obvious fact that a Constitutional amendment is a more permanent measure than a normal law, which would require a more complex measure to overturn. (There may be a parallel to the moves in recent years to enshrine ...


23

After Franklin suggested that no serf ever realized the potential of improving their conditions and the right to education, I'd like to introduce a story of Aleksandr Nikitenko, who went to school being a serf and later, as a free man, became a professor at St. Petersburg University. He was emancipated by his owner in 1824, at the age of 20. In 1824, ...


23

"Causing bodily harm by wanton or furious driving" (whether drunk or not) was made illegal by the Offences against the Person Act 1861. It is interpreted as applying to: drivers of horse-drawn carriages and vehicles motorists who cannot be prosecuted for dangerous driving because they were driving elsewhere than on a road or public place [...] ...


23

This goes back to Frederick Barbarossa. He granted the university the so called scholar's privilege the privilegium scholasticum or authentica habita in 1150s. Full universities had to be granted papal or princely privileges to be founded but from 1150s on they had judicial autonomy. It was the result of active and collective defiance of students and ...


22

I believe this is referring to the gag rule (aka: Pickney Resolution 3) of the US House, adopted in 1836. It read: Resolved, That all petitions, memorials, resolutions, propositions, or papers, relating in any way or to any extent whatever to the subject of slavery, or the abolition of slavery, shall, without being either printed or referred, be ...


21

Short answer This was a requirement for all "natives, citizens, denizens, or subjects" of the German (and, a few months later, the Austro-Hungarian) Empire; thus, 'alien enemy' registration was not about targeting individuals and - for the vast majority - did not lead to internment. It did mean, though, that thousands of people's lives were adversely ...


20

There's nothing in the Constitution specifically allowing it. The closest any part really comes to addressing seccession is the following (from Article 4, Section 3): Section. 3.New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by ...


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