Interesting facts about the executioners

• Executioners called those who brought into effect the death penalty or corporal punishment, as well as persons who carried out interrogations and torture, the Russian word "executioner" comes from the Turkish pala - "sword, dagger"

• The first executioners appeared already in Ancient Greece. More often this work was done by powerless slaves who had nothing to lose;

• Criminals who agreed to take on the role of executioner were exempted from execution;

• The profession of the executioner became a family affair - the son continued the work of his father, wives were sought among the daughters of other executioners or gravediggers. The executioner was forbidden to engage in other activities, to appear in public places, moreover, the executioner had no right to change his profession;

• If the executioner did not have children capable of continuing his craft, he had to present a candidate for his post when he retires. Cutting off the head of a criminal was considered an exam for the new executioner;

• Many executioners in their knowledge of the anatomy of the human body were not inferior to professional surgeons;

• The executioner usually himself disposed of the entire process of execution, starting from its implementation and ending with the burial of the body. In some medieval cities there was even such a custom that when society needed the services of an executioner, a black glove was left at his window.

• Highly professional executioners were relatively rare and were valued literally worth their weight in gold.

• The executioner's mask is a fiction of writers and artists. In fact, the executioners did not cover their faces;

• The executioner was given the clothes of the executed, but only those below the belt;

• A special place was allocated for the remains of the executioner in the cemetery;

• In France, executioners in the Middle Ages received for their work the right to take free food from the market. After the abolition of this decree in 1721, the executioners were given a salary;

• In the church, the executioner was given a special place, and he had to come to communion last;

• Often the executioner sold dried bodies of corpses and drugs made from them;

• The executioner was entrusted with the supervision of city prostitutes. In fact, he was a brothel keeper;

• The duties of the executioner included killing stray dogs, removing carrion and corpses of suicides from the streets of cities;

• The executioner had to expel lepers from the city;

• Sometimes executioners were responsible for cleaning public latrines;

• Women could become executioners, and sometimes they were not inferior to men in skill and cruelty;

• In most cities, the executioner was allocated a separate house, standing at a distance from the rest; in Spain, the executioner's house was painted red .;

• After the French Revolution, attempts were made in France to change the attitude of society towards the executioners. They are encouraged to open the ball during official celebrations. It was forbidden to call them the offensive name "executioner". A new term for them was discussed - "The People's Avenger".

• The executioner had the right to legally dissect and study corpses. Medieval doctors were deprived of such a right, therefore they secretly ransomed the corpses from the "shoulder masters" themselves;

• The executioner profession was absolutely official, it required permission, and the city authorities paid the worker a salary. The executioner had a uniform. In Spain, executioners were dressed in a black cloak with a red border and a yellow belt; an image of a scaffold was embroidered on a wide-brimmed hat;

• Often a flayer and a carpenter were given to assist the executioner (for the construction of scaffolds);

• The executioner in Russia was also called the "master of the shoulder" and "kat".

• It is interesting that the profession of the executioner exists in our time. So, in Saudi Arabia, the death penalty is still practiced by cutting off the head with a sword, and it is carried out by representatives of one of the currently operating dynasties of executioners

Source: Wikipedia