ladies hair

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behanner
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Re: ladies hair

Post by behanner »

Brother Ranulf wrote: Any canonical or civil law punishment at that time must have been cause enough for stress . . .
I don't think it is about stress but about openness. Like stripping yourself down to show that you have nothing to hide.

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Sophia
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Re: ladies hair

Post by Sophia »

When it comes to punishment for adultery, lewdness and other types of crimes which could be tried in a church court it could be derived from Numbers 5:11-31 which is the passage that Halachah (Jewish religious law) uses as the starting point for the rules about married women covering their hair. It might be worth checking the crimes for which these women were being punished.
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behanner
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Re: ladies hair

Post by behanner »

Sophia, yes and no, Old Testament law without a doubt influenced Canon law on this but it is very unlikely that anyone except the canonist who was in charge of the court would have known that and by the end of the Middle Ages it was just part of the culture.

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Re: ladies hair

Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

Brother Ranulf are you doubting the healing touch of St Cuthberts sock?
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Merlon.
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Re: ladies hair

Post by Merlon. »

Perhaps Brother Ranulf or other Latin speakers can peruse http://colbycanonlaw.wordpress.com/ where a transcript of mid 13th century book on canon law can be found. Liber extravagantium decretalium (Decretales Gregorii IX) (1234) all 721 pages of it....

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Brother Ranulf
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Re: ladies hair

Post by Brother Ranulf »

I have already seen that resource thanks, plus much on 12th century Canon Law debates and cases. My favourite (I have quoted it before on this forum) is this very short but complete Bishop's court case concerning one Alice, who was accused of malicious gossiping:

"Alicia dicitur esse ribalda et defamatrix suorum vicinorum Citata comparuit et negat articulum et habet diem ad proximum capitulum quo die defecit in purgatione Ideo fustigata VIies circa ecclesiam diebus dominicis"

[Alice is said to be foul-mouthed and a slanderer of her neighbours. Summoned to appear and she denied the charges and there was (only) one day until the next court hearing on which day she failed the ordeal. Therefore: beaten with sticks (fustigata could also mean clubs) on six occasions around the (outside of the) church on Sundays.]

Marcus - Cuthbert's shoe and his belt (but not, alas, his socks) were credited with healing miracles after his death, but an amazing number of miracles were associated with him during his lifetime. My favourite is the one where he and his horse, on a long journey through desolate countryside, found themselves hungry and without food. The horse began tugging at the old straw thatch on a ramshackle ruined building and a linen bundle fell out, containing bread, cheese and meat. Both horse and rider were fed. The whole point of miracles is that they have to defy common sense and logical explanation, so this one qualifies in spades.
Brother Ranulf

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Re: ladies hair

Post by Langley »

Looks like hte thing about hair being shorn as a punishment for impropriety is a re-enactorism then? Agreed? Shame - it was always a fun item for teasing MOPS.

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Re: ladies hair

Post by Brother Ranulf »

It doesn't appear as a penalty in any of the cases I have studied, but I haven't looked beyond the 13th century. I would be interested to hear if anyone knows of its use in the later medieval period.
Brother Ranulf

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behanner
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Re: ladies hair

Post by behanner »

I've never seen it or heard of it in that period and frankly I don't think it fits the mode of the period.
I suspect it comes to re-enactors as a combination of 20th century use as a punishment combined with the fact that Joan of arc in movies is always shown wearing short hair while getting burned but her hair being short is part of what she was burned for and not punishment.

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Re: ladies hair

Post by Colin Middleton »

Langley wrote:Looks like hte thing about hair being shorn as a punishment for impropriety is a re-enactorism then? Agreed? Shame - it was always a fun item for teasing MOPS.
You'll just have to tease them for having lice instead!
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Re: ladies hair

Post by Malvoisin »

Looks like hte thing about hair being shorn as a punishment for impropriety is a re-enactorism then? Agreed? Shame - it was always a fun item for teasing MOPS.
Roger Hart in "Witchcraft" states that before a witch was pricked; that is using a needle to discover hidden devil's marks, the witchs whole body was shaved. The reasons for this were three fold: "the suspect may have tiny hidden amulets concealed on her; the devil might be hiding in her hair; any devil's marks had to closely inspected."
Sir George Mackenzie describes pricking in 1666.
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behanner
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Re: ladies hair

Post by behanner »

Malvoisin wrote:Roger Hart in "Witchcraft" states that before a witch was pricked; that is using a needle to discover hidden devil's marks, the witchs whole body was shaved. The reasons for this were three fold: "the suspect may have tiny hidden amulets concealed on her; the devil might be hiding in her hair; any devil's marks had to closely inspected."
Sir George Mackenzie describes pricking in 1666.
That is signifigantly later then what we are talking but actually very interesting.

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Re: ladies hair

Post by KedlestonCraig »

behanner wrote:I've never seen it or heard of it in that period and frankly I don't think it fits the mode of the period.
I suspect it comes to re-enactors as a combination of 20th century use as a punishment combined with the fact that Joan of arc in movies is always shown wearing short hair while getting burned but her hair being short is part of what she was burned for and not punishment.
It was for witchcraft.
Malleus Maleficarum (Germany 1486) probably contains much of what you need to know about witches in the late fifteenth century. This witch hunter's manual instructed that the women should be shorn of their hair as it was believed to harbour evil.
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behanner
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Re: ladies hair

Post by behanner »

KedlestonCraig wrote:
behanner wrote:I've never seen it or heard of it in that period and frankly I don't think it fits the mode of the period.
I suspect it comes to re-enactors as a combination of 20th century use as a punishment combined with the fact that Joan of arc in movies is always shown wearing short hair while getting burned but her hair being short is part of what she was burned for and not punishment.
It was for witchcraft.
Malleus Maleficarum (Germany 1486) probably contains much of what you need to know about witches in the late fifteenth century. This witch hunter's manual instructed that the women should be shorn of their hair as it was believed to harbour evil.
Stand corrected. I wonder if it dates back earlier then that or if and when it began being practiced in England.

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