Public executions — a European entertainment

The role of the public execution in the history of Europe and Russia radically different. To begin with, the different scale of the phenomenon.

Penalty — a rule or an exception to the rule?

Arguing that sits in every Russian executioner and that our history — a continuous escalation of violence, foreigners are somehow overlooked compare their legislation and Russian … and for good reason! Very useful …

So, the death penalty is provided for in Articles 14 Saxon truth VI-IX centuries. According to the city Magdeburg Law in Germany XIV-XVI centuries punishable by death from 20 to 40 crimes.

In England, the XV century was executed for 80 offenses. In France, the XVII-XVIII centuries — from 134 articles.

Offense punishable by death royals, blasphemy, stealing cows, seducing nuns and secret penetration night in a royal palace.

In Britain the same time punished with death for more than 200 kinds of crimes. Could execute for being overtaken by an armed man dressed in a strange or wood, for malicious destruction or cutting of trees, malicious destruction of livestock, for bigamy, for pickpocketing in excess of one (!) Shillings (if theft accomplished in a public place).

In 1819, the death of 225 crimes are punished. Inflation forced to raise the amount stolen, for which relied death, from 1 to 5 shillings (stolen from the shop) and 40 shillings (stolen from the home). However, the death penalty is now the court may humanely replaced by a reference to the colonies or imprisonment. Rational decision. The growing British Empire is now needed is not indicative corpses and free slave power in the colonies.

Against this background, the nightmare of the Code Napoleon in France was just a song of triumphant humanity: he called for the sanction of the death penalty "only" 30 cases.

Actually, from the Code Napoleon and the gradual easing of legislation in Europe. Vive la Bounaparte!

But in the early XX century in Spain was punishable by death to 70 crimes, including cattle rustling and the celebration of pagan holidays.

Comparable with Russia?

I must say: this comparison is not a stone was left of the thesis of the "blood" of Russian history. Because the history of Russia shows much greater softness legislation. Most legal scholars believe: in ancient Russia did not have the death penalty. What is the first time in Russian legislation was introduced Dvina charters in 1397 in Pskov.

Others believe that the death penalty existed in ancient Rus 'Chronicle' reports that Prince Vladimir, on the advice of the bishops and elders in 996 introduces the death penalty. It is a place in the annals caused much controversy among scientists. The chronicler has described the episode: "" … I will greatly robbers, — said the bishops. — Why do not execute them "-" I'm afraid of sin "(!) — Said the prince. — "You're put to death by God evil, you're worthy of kazniti robbers, but with test tapping." Volodimer also rejected vira, beginning kazniti robbers. And solves the bishops and elders, army much; Auger Veera, then on the arms and wake konih: and he saith Volodimer: taco wake. And zhivyashe Volodimer for dispensation otnyu and Dednev. " In general, if there was a death penalty, then as something exceptional, extraordinary. Something that requires intervention on the prince.

Criminal Law of Novgorod and Pskov already familiar with the death penalty, but is not so fierce. For most of the misconduct and could be bought off by paying a fine (selling). The death penalty has relied just some of the most serious crimes: for "perevet", that is treason, theft from the Kremlin, for arson and for theft, perfect for the third time.

According to the Moscow Law in 1497, the death penalty is provided for in Articles 60 — almost like in Europe. But the legislation Muscovy experienced the clear influence of the Horde. Not West, East, and not the most civilized part of it.

Of Law in 1550 further expanded the scope of crimes punishable by death: in the second, and the second theft fraud (if the offender has confessed to it), for robbery, murder (murder) of yabednichestvo (slander) or other "spirited" thing, for the murder of Mr, treason, church theft, arson.
In the XVII century, is now under the Romanovs, began easing of legislation …

When Peter, and here it is clearly under strong Western influence, the number of "deaths" articles again risen to 123. Among them: the resistance of the authorities, lacerations and blackened decrees preventing executions, injustice, extortion, perjury, embezzlement, forgery, fight, rape, sodomy (hm! like this here!), Fornication, stealing money from her purse, blasphemy, idolatry , witchcraft, black magic, sacrilege. Punishable by death, even cutting of oak forest — the state needed a oak wood for the construction of the fleet.

Prior acts of France and especially Britain us away, but apparently the West's influence even more harmful to our east … And when Russ at all, no one and nothing to borrow — quite nicely. Because right after Peter wave subsided, and started various legislative attempts to undo / restriction of the death penalty.

When Anna Ivanovna was executed, and the worst way — just like in Europe, including in Courland, where she spent many years of future queen.
But Elizabeth, from 1741 to 1761 years in the Russian Empire did not have the death penalty.

When Catherine II, Paul I, Alexander I again began to execute … But Russian is strongly disliked! Votes in favor of the abolition of the death penalty did not cease the whole XIX century. And in a humane Europe something was heard protests against the death penalty at this time.

And statistics: only in London and the associated county of Middlesex in the years 1810-1826 were executed 2,755 people. One of the attractions of the British capital were the gallows. Home of the gallows Britain was on the uneven beams 21 loop and worked non-stop 500 consecutive years, until the beginning of XX (!!) Century.

At the same time, and even for a longer period — 25 years, in the reign of Alexander I, from 1821 to 1825 were executed in the whole Russia 24 (twenty-four) people.

You imagine! One person per year.

I. Vishnjakov "Elizabeth."
All 20 years of her reign, Russia did not know of the death penalty

Throughout the empire. Two orders of magnitude difference in absolute figures even. Calculate the brutality of the authorities, if possible, in per capita terms: in the Russian Empire then lived about 55 million people. It turns out — in 25 years put to death one of the 2 million Russians. In Middlesex and throughout Greater London lived about 8 million people. He was executed was 1 of 3 thousand. Difference 1 300 times in favor of Russia. As many times safer to live in Russia barbaric than civilized, cultural Britain.

Average European atrocity

"Asian cruelty" — a familiar figure of speech. Even the Turkish and Persian executioners — small children compared to European ones. Judge for yourself: the laws of France, Britain, the many kingdoms of Europe knew the ways of killing up to 20 and up to 40 different torture, mutilation and torture.

That just does not provide for the investigation and trial to establish the truth and punish the criminal!

Penalty … burning alive, including using wet wood to the fire blazed slowly. Swing — when the man swung from the gallows, and he then flew into the fire, it endured away. So gradually and fry. The burning of hands or feet. The burning of a gradual. Partial burning — when a person tied bundles of straw, burned and allowed to run in the open field.

Hanging by the neck from a wide strap to the agony lasted longer. Hanging on a hook in the ribs. Hanging upside down. Hanging by the hair. Hanging over the penis.

Cutting off of hands and feet. Tearing the heart. Chopping into pieces, with gradual. Tearing horses.

Stringing on a pike. Planted on a stake. Nailing a wooden statue or a tree.

Immurement the wall. Burial alive.

In the Netherlands, France and Italy, some criminals were boiled, sometimes in boiling water, sometimes in oil. And dipped in boiling water immediately, but slowly lowered on a rope, making a big stop.

Punishment … Cutting off the hand or both hands. Castration. Blinding. Spanking variety of subjects, including special boards, whips and whips of various sizes and lengths, torture wide variety of tools, all kinds of harm.

In 1584 William of Orange was assassinated. His killer, Balthazar Gerard, was executed as follows: "Resolved was that his right hand burned with a hot iron, that his flesh will be in six different places tore off the bone forceps, that it alive and quartered vypotroshat the heart torn out of his chest and throw him in the face and that he was finally beheaded. "

Oh, the good old England! So the murderer was executed statesman, but people were tortured and killed, and for domestic crimes. For those who in our time are solved more civil lawsuits than executions. Masters Iogannusa of Augsburg, the creator of one of the cathedrals of Krakow, blinded for the fact that he is not paid his debt on time. According to the court sentenced to just such a punishment and burned the master eye.

In Paris XVII century pickpockets executioner broken in many places, the leg bones with an iron rod — in many places, never to be able to walk.
Cutting off hands for theft — it's all "classic" about it and say something banal. Of course, gradually softened manners. Many of punishment remained in the law, but almost never used. Today in Britain every male citizen over 24 and under 60 years of age may be sentenced to be flogged with whips — up to 50 times. Clarification about sex — recent origin, the amendment made in 1906. But the last time the law was used in 1937.

For comparison, in the Russian Empire until the reforms of Alexander II existed serious corporal punishment: a whip, canceled only in 1864, and the passage through the system. These penalties, in many cases entailed death. The Company considers these barbaric punishment, and they were canceled. Apparently, we are not civilized.

Since 1895, the British stopped by the court to brand iron escaped convict, can only be related to flog and leave for a few days, put in the cooler filled with water, to starve. However, the army is still formally soldiers have the right to communicate, to flog and keep in solitary confinement with no light. It is in the UK! The legislation of the Austro-Hungarian whipping flogging existed until 1918.
In Russia all this exoticism was orders of magnitude smaller. Of course, you can find any, especially in the Middle Ages. There have been cases of burning: in 1505 so dealt with 10 or 12 heretics.

In 1682, he was burned in Pustozersk priest Habakkuk with three companions. In 1689 in Moscow, the German settlement, mystic burned along with all his books, the author obscure verses in the spirit of Nostradamus — Quirinus Kuhlmann.

In 1738, during the reign of Anna Ivanovna, burned at the stake for a transition to a different faith. Lieutenant Commander Voznitsyn, "being a Jew in Poland Borochov Leybova, took zhidovstve (Judaism) with the commission of circumcision. His wife (that's a bitch, then: who would have learned if not for her!) Voznitsyn, Helena, started a complaint against him.

Voznitsyn was brutally tortured on the rack and burned at the stake … along with his seducer Borochov Leybova Jew. "

When investigating the cause of the fire on Marine Street Secret Chancellery recognized by arsonists, "according to some evidence," the peasant's son Peter Petrov, called the "diver", but the peasant Perfilieva. They were subjected to such severe torture death that unhappy, "wanting to continue your belly, had falsely indicate if they poduchatsya the arson are other people who really were not implicated. In the end, Petrov and Perfilieva burned alive in the place where the massacre carried out a fire. "

Also in 1738 in Yekaterinburg burned Tartar Toygilda Zhulyakov. First he vykrestilsya to Orthodoxy, and then returned to Islam.

But, first, these burnings in 1738 — the latest in Russian history. In Spain, Southern France, Italy, Scotland and burned much later, to the beginning of the XIX century.
Second, very few of these burnings. So little that we can remember and take into account each burned, each individual case. When events are so numerous, they can be understood as something to think about.

And if such events solid shaft, as in Europe? As discussed, to think, to reconsider? It's simple — the time it is! What's in the barbaric atrocities Russia a lot, in civilized Europe little — everyone knows that.

After the reign of Empress Anna in 1741, in Russia there were no more barbaric methods of execution. Only in 1775 quartered Pugacheva, but he cut off the head first. It was the last quartered in Russia.

In 1826, the Decembrists, a total of 20 people have been convicted under the first category, were sentenced to beheading and five were declared out of digits — to be quartered. As a result, those sentenced under the first category were sent to prison, and five "out of digits" hanged. Even that "horrified" unaccustomed to public executions.

After that sentence to beheading and quartering more unknown.
From that time until the Revolution, used only two kinds of punishment — shooting and hanging. So the revolutionaries were executed under Alexander II and III. But even for the most serious non-political murder then relied only hard labor.

The death penalty (mainly by firing squad) used a court-martial for military offenses in the area of military operations.

In prison was executed (by hanging) murderers repeat offenders who commit another murder at the time already served his sentence.

After the Revolution of 1905 began to hang not only revolutionary, but also the common people for looting and other "disturbances", will field courts across the country. Peak executions account for the years 1907-1910, when Stolypin introduced courts-martial. But somehow I have not lifted a hand to condemn our great reformer Pyotr Stolypin for his "Stolypin's neckties."

Just remember that this prompted him. Mad Men, "revolutionaries", bombs ripped to pieces his dacha outside St. Petersburg: 30 dead, 24 seriously injured, killed — servants, workers, cooks, soldiers guard.

Stolypin was miraculously unscathed. And what am I to do with these "terrorists" whose names are tips so liked to call our streets and squares?

Attitude to executions

But the most different peoples in Russia and in the West, in their relation to the killings. In the Middle Ages to the presence of public execution was a sort of leisure for an adult. In Europe, the penalty was fun, spectacle. Converged on executions and gathered, as a theatrical performance, carried with them their wives and children. It was considered a good practice to know the names of the executioners and views of experts to discuss how and what they are doing.

It is impossible to name any affectionate, diminutive household names to the gallows or the hangman's ax … in Russia.

Neither the tender "Hangman Masha" or ironic "Skinny Thecla" we simply can not.

And in all the countries of Europe and the gallows hangman instruments and referred to it! That "Little Mary" — a full English equivalent "Masha" (in London), the "Skinny Gertrude" (in Königsberg), the "Speedy Albert" — the chief executioner executioner ax in Augsburg.

In the "enlightened and civilized" England with separation of powers and the "very first parliament" in the world could hang eight year old boy accused of stealing from the barns. And the crowd laughed and sang, watching him hang.
Children from infancy taught to not only look calmly to the atrocities.

British customs were formed even if the infant touched the pen to the hanged man — is for good luck, also used the wood chips from the gallows as a remedy for toothache. Either suck it, whether used as a toothpick.
In Germany, there was a belief that the rope in the house of the hanged man brings good fortune, and in Flanders — the hand of a hanged man can help to become invisible.
In Britain in 1788 there was a case when the crowd rushed to the just hanged and literally tore it is still warm corpse on the "souvenirs".

Especially the "lucky" local publican — he took over the head and showed her a long time at the pub, attracting the audience, as this head is not spoiled.
Public executions in the Place de Greve in Paris caused a surge of emotion — the crowd roared, partied, sang, cheered.

"Who had lived in Paris for a long time, like me, knows that it was for disgust: public executions that took place near the prison" La Koquette ". Disgusting, abominable, it was impossible to even imagine! Thousands of people, from secular Weaver and first-class tarts to scum — pimps, street sluts, thieves, and escaped convicts spent the night in the nearby pubs, drunk, singing bawdy songs and with the dawn of the soldiers rushed to cordon that surrounded the area where rose the "trees of justice" as officially call this hideous machine. From a distance, it was impossible to see well, but the whole mass felt in awe just because she "was on the penalty," so famously fun and spent the night in anticipation of such a captivating spectacle. In the XX century, public morality, not dorosshih to widespread abolition of the death penalty, yet grown to the cancellation of public rituals of its performance (though not in all countries). " So wrote Peter D. Boborykin, Russian writer who invented and published in 1864, the word "intelligentsia". And fanatical "Westerner", by the way.

However, in his time, and even at the time of his parents and grandparents in the despotic and barbarous Russia executed only state criminals. Ordinary murderers and robbers sent to prison. Of course, Nerchinsk and Sakhalin — not Côte d'Azur, but it's better gallows … And most importantly, there was no executions in the entertainment of the crowd, a kind of gourmet attitude toward them.

In Russia, the behavior of people standing on the square and watching the execution was different from the behavior of the Parisian crowd, joyful roar accompanying actions executioner screams of victims, the crunch of bones and other "exciting" side show.

Preserved evidence of the Dutch, who saw the execution of Stepan Razin in 1671. While butchers chopping limbs criminal, the people were silent, just sobbing and women were baptized. And immediately, without waiting for death "Gulevo chieftain", the people began to disperse in silence.

So did the Russians who came to the execution of Pugachev in 1775. Here's what he wrote in his memoirs of the XVIII century Russian scientist Andrei Bolotov the execution of Pugachev, "Depressed people began to disperse immediately after the execution, not wanting to look at the whippings rebel accomplices." What can you do — barbarians, savages with.

But seriously, what might admire? In the popular mind, Stepan Razin — a terrible and disgusting criminal, doomed forever in the world to chew on the hot bricks. People have come to participate in an act of national importance: the execution of the criminal. They agree with the verdict, they are "for". But what sadistic spectacle of admiration? What is the difference in detail?

By the way, just as was the case in more recent times. In 1883, the People executed — assassins of Alexander II and the randomly 12-year-old boy. People filled the area is not on the side of murderers. They curse, swear, yell that in his last hour they "Show Them the Emperor."

But, first, no hand is raised for vigilante justice. No one throws in the defendants' no trash, not trying to break through the guard hit the convicts. Second, people are not having fun. Does not rejoice in the suffering and death, shares his impressions, do not squeal with delight when stools knocked out from under the feet of prisoners.

The people participates in the affairs of government. He is on the side of power and condemns the perpetrators. And again, people serious, tense. In the end, the execution — it justice. Under the law, people are being killed. Must be present, it is necessary to look, but there is no reason to rejoice. Probably the same spirit moved by the Romans with their famous "The law is harsh, but it's the law."

When the French Revolution replaced the gallows guillotine (the people "affectionately" called her Lisette), Michel Foucault in Paris Chronicle writes that after the introduction of the guillotine people complained that nothing can be seen, and demanded the return of the gallows. After Napoleon and the Restoration in 1815 returned to the gallows.

Ow! Our lovely Russian ladies, lovers of Paris and Courchevel, Cote d'Azur, Moet & Chandon and oysters! Did you know that the last public execution in Paris was made before World War II?

But as of now, "Frenchies from Bordeaux 'flirty indignant:" Oh, those brutal Americans hanged Saddam Hussein! it is not comme il faut! "

Oh, and awesome remembrance of Alexander Vertinsky about how he happened to be in the area of his beloved Paris, where the crowd shouted and was glad. "Russian savage" who came from a barbaric country, did not appreciate the sight of so much that he immediately went down to the pub "fill" what they see. Following down and daveshny fan of his talent, well-dressed, as if from the ball — in evening dress. They drank together, a new acquaintance Vertinskii urged not to go to such a spectacle, it is not for human nerves of art!

This nice man later was the official executioner of Paris.

And now, with descriptions and Boborykin Vertinskii you are willing to take seriously the talk of love to the Russian brutality? Barbaric, Russian fortress … And why these wild Russian during the executions were roaring in joyful excitement, and sullen silence baptized and prayed for the repose of the souls of those executed? Probably from a lack of civility, not otherwise.

Maybe instead of self-flagellation, we speak loudly just about sadism of our neighbors in Europe?

Not only penalty

In Russia it is assumed that the interest in other people's misery — not a sign of a healthy mind. But in the West think differently.

In the XIX century, Britain was the custom gentlemen of the upper society led the ladies in the prison, where on Fridays or Saturdays flogged prostitutes.

Gentlemen places paid in advance, to pay a little more, allow them to go closer, where to be seen. For good places had to pay extra to arrive early.

Gentlemen of the ladies went to the "exciting" event. It was a good practice to know the names of the executioners, comment on their actions, to know the prostitutes and compare their behavior with the "last time" or some other long flogging.

Porky prostitutes on certain days of the week was abolished in 1865. Once again: this is not the common entertainment! Aristocratic custom upper society.

For the lower classes had other things to do: for example, baiting Bulldogs tied to hedges bulls. Or dog fighting. The British are very fond of animals, especially dogs. But for some reason the spread of dog fighting, this does not hurt. Since the beginning of the XX century the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the police are trying to stop the mess, but to no avail. How organized and held dog fights, well described by Jack London in his "White fang".

Museum of Torture

Another amazing feature of the Western way of life that is hard to understand Russian. In all the countries of the West, there are museums of medieval torture.
There are exposed torture instruments, models "processed" parts of the body corresponding to the picture and the whole group of mannequins depicting judges, executioners and victims. Usually these museums reflect well this side of local history …

We could start a museum none the worse. I can imagine how would look Malyuta Skuratova Museum in Moscow or the Museum Secret Office in St. Petersburg! But we have no such museums. The closest Torture Museum is located in Kraków, at Florian street. There are museums in Cologne, and Munich, and in the cities of Britain and France. They are always a lot of visitors.

However, I admit, 5 years ago, the only time I came to Russia in the same sort of "museum of torture." It was in Nizhny Novgorod. Museum presented himself as a tiny traveling exhibition of 2 rooms. There were a couple of wax figures such as Ivan the Terrible with his staff and angry expression. A dozen retrofotografy. Well, and "spread out" under glass different "pytoshnye tools." The lack of illustrated material replaced the colorful story of the guide "as it was then."

Two girls who were with me in the same group, it was bad, and they're in the middle of the tour ran out into the fresh air. I doterpel, met with the director of the institution. He angrily complained that goes with it "good" in the Volga region and utterly bankrupt. Not a people to look at the instruments of torture.

Apparently not in our culture, in contrast to the pan something that makes people interested in cruelty, to look at the acts of inhumanity. Modern Europeans today can not get to a public execution, and even spanking prostitutes. But the Museum of Torture he goes.

On television violence

And in another place easily gets a resident of the civilized West: including television, he gets the full measure of the spectacle of cruelty, violence, hatred, death, mass death.

A related area, but requires more activity: computer games. Some experts believe these toys are even useful: people exhibit aggression in the virtual world, while remaining in the real sweet, smiling and kind.

I note important: in Russia, until recently, such original shooters do not come up. Composed a lot of computer games, but for some reason "bloodthirsty" Russian made the game a completely different direction. This stuff we usually translate, adapt …

And the movies … Although already in something we "caught up and overtaken the West" …

But to analyze the deformation of our soul and our civilizational values that have occurred in Russia over the past 20-25 years, the problem is not my work. Too much time will tell. After all, I am writing a history book than journalism.

Again switch? Nightmare films need to release aggression in the virtual and stay good in real life? Even if so, the facts show that Russians are much less fond of cruelty than the western people.

Man will never use in reality is what makes a computer game, looking at the film? Um … Intimidating cruelty of Americans in Vietnam makes me doubt this. Life has shown — a man easily moves from theory to practice. A very easy way to go!

1. Ivanov VV Great Russia. Moscow: Contemporary, 1983
2. Tenants SV death penalty in law and the jurisdiction of ancient Russia Grand Duke in its application / / Jurisprudence. 1997. Number 4
3. Motley DL emergence of the Dutch Republic. M., 1937
4. Dusty M. Old Petersburg. St. Petersburg., 1883
5. Chekhov AP Sakhalin Island / / Full. Works. Op. and letters in 30 vols. T. 14. St. Petersburg., 1893
6. Boborykin PD For half a century (my memories). Moscow-Leningrad, 1929
7. A. Vertinsky Favorites (years of emigration). M., 1990

VR Medina

See also: What is Russia lagged behind Europe in modern times?

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