The Roman Scourge

The Romans would, according to custom, scourge a condemned criminal before he was put to death. The Roman scourge, also called the "flagrum" or "flagellum" was a short whip made of two or three leather (ox-hide) thongs or ropes connected to a handle as in the sketch above. The leather thongs were knotted with a number of small pieces of metal, usually zinc and iron, attached at various intervals. According to history the punishment of a slave was particularly dreadful. The leather was knotted with bones, or heavy indented pieces of bronze. Sometimes the Roman scourge contained a hook at the end and was given the terrifying name "scorpion."

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