The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century

The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century
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The Modern Invention of the Medieval Executioner

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By Joel F. Harrington

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The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century

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Thus there was no sharp drop to break the neck, but rather prolonged choking, which might be accelerated by the executioner or his assistant pulling on the legs of the convulsing victim, typically wearing special gloves made of dog leather. To that end, building a reputation for honesty, reliability, discretion, and even piety went hand in glove with gaining experience at the gallows. View all 4 comments. The historian Joel F. If he passed this final stage, Schmidt would be considered ready to start his job, as an executioner of people. That Harrington tries to illuminate the dark, complicated world of an ambitious sixteenth-century German executioner is a worthy historical goal. Related: Medieval Torture's 10 Biggest Myths.

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ubopagerycoq.gq: The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century (): Joel F. Harrington: Books. Editorial Reviews. From Booklist. Based on the journal of Frantz Schmidt, a Nuremburg The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century . Exploring both sixteenth-century Nuremberg and the world about the city, he re-creates the social context for the flamboyant displays of.

This endeavor, as Harrington shows, had many facets. Worse than an executioner was an incompetent executioner, and Schmidt knew that those who botched these public rituals of punishment and death could themselves be torn apart by an angry crowd. This meant familiarity with swords, tongs, shackles, rope, hemp bags, hammers, and wood stakes of various sorts—all of which had to be up to the task of pulling out eyes, dismembering, or cleanly shearing off heads. Maintaining his name went beyond his gruesome professional duties.

But could an executioner really ever enjoy such pleasures? Hence, he had little compunction for his brother-in-law, an infamous country burglar named Friedrich Werner, and hanged him with stones attached to his feet. Torture is torture.

The Faithful Executioner:Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century

One would have felt more sympathy for Schmidt had he been a less faithful executioner. Without doubt, Schmidt deftly played the perverse hand fate dealt him. Surely there were many innocents among them. With a long history of pogroms against Jews, Nuremberg has long had a central place in the history of torture, execution, and the problem of how to judge such acts.

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