not such a capital idea

Lucha Loco found here

Silly me, I thought capital punishment was for serious offences like murder.  Not so in ancient times….

Gina Lollobrigida as the Queen of Sheba

Places Offenses Punishments
Hebrew transgressions affecting whole community stoning
mob beating
Babylon selling bad beer
sex with mother
accepting pawns from slaves, minors
perjury in murder trials*
unproveable murder claim
kidnapping a boy
helping slaves escape
not capturing rebels in your bar
a non-temple priestess in a bar
poor house carpentry
father’s carpentry kills a boy**
stealing sacred property
inability to pay for stolen property
robbery of a free person
the usual
Assyria being a bad barber the usual
Egpyt injuring a cat the usual
Greece transgressions affecting whole community stoning
mob beating
forced suicide
Rome singing unruly songs
immorality in vestal virgins
the usual
feeding to lions
gladiator battles
India stealing a royal elephant the usual

* the penalty for perjury in a murder trial was for the perjurer to be executed by intravenous embalming while still alive.

**In Babylonia a punishment had to fit the crime, often in a bizarre parallel. If a poorly erected home collapsed on the owner, the architect was executed. If the home fell in the owner’s son, the architect’s son was put to death. If the homeowner’s wife or daughters were killed, the architect was only fined.

image of Rita Tushingham found here

Published in: on December 29, 2009 at 7:25 am  Comments (26)  
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26 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That picture of Rita Tushingham is from ‘A Taste of Honey’, a black and white film from the sixties. One of my favourites. I think it was originally a play. Poignant is the word that first springs to mind. Deals with prejudice, poverty, single motherhood, homosexuality and friendship. And so forth.

  2. There was a whole genre of kitchen sink dramas made by the Brits back then. I liked Saturday Night and Sunday Morning too

  3. seems being a barkeep was risky business. would have had to rethink my retirement plans!

    • No, don’t! I was planning on spending my retirement in your bar

  4. Singing unruly songs when in Rome? Guilty of heedlessness – and by implication I suppose, headlessness.

  5. Thank God I didn’t live in India back then!

    Wait…what’s “the usual” anyway?

  6. Were but that only I were Assyrian, I would be giving the barber who made the back of my head look like a giant thumb the usual right now. Make mine the usual, barkeep, and nice job capturing those rebels.

    Dimmie Jean

  7. No wonder population didn’t explode until centuries later

  8. If selling bad beer were still so harshly punished, it might be some incentive for American brewers to stop producing such swill.

  9. yes, i’d like to kill that fuc*##@ bastard that installed a lift in my home. the one that collapsed on my son. oh no! i got way off the subject didn’t i NM? … a thought-provoking post as always my friend.

  10. Injuring a cat…the usual is too good for ’em!

  11. Virgins in vests are very tempting …… even string ones …….

  12. Mexican luchadore wrestling is always a capital idea. Especially if it’s with the Queen of Sheba.

    • I guess I could rustle up a Sheba costume if you were in the mood to wrestle….

  13. at one time in the UK for stealing a spoon could mean you were sent to Oz 😉

    • If that were still the case there’d be a lot more spoon stealing going on

  14. Can you IMAGINE what they would do to the financiers who trashed the world economy? I’d buy a front row seat to their collective disembowelment.

  15. Tricky subject Nurse. Topical too, what with the execution of the UK born alleged drug smuggler in China.

    I think peeping tom’s used to get the chop too, although if you were wealthy enough to afford servants, they had to do master’s bidding.

    Oh for the good old days…

  16. I bet some of these laws are still in effect in some of those crazy Middle Eastern Countries

  17. Singing unruly songs is worth a beheading? Boy, I could really use that rule.

  18. PS – The guy in the pink superhero duds at the top is a goner.

  19. Death penalty for making bad beer? Well, that does seem like a just punishment.

  20. i certainly don’t want to be an architect or live in ancient rome.
    of course, here in america, watching television is a form of capital punishment.
    it’s a slow, painful death.

  21. So when are you channeling the Queen of Sheba?

  22. I can’t decide whether I should be laughing my arse off or crying “oh the humanity!” Husb would agree that selling bad beer is worth the death penalty. Love your India punishment…”the usual.” And reading through the comments on your last post, what a trip. I enjoyed them.

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