Brilliant discussion about the treatment of children throughout history
In the dark ages, when most of Europe is illiterate, a man needs to sign a legal document. The man knows that, years from now, he may be summoned to court and made to prove that he signed this document on this day. At dawn that morning, the man wakes up his eldest son, and bids him to come with his father. The boy pads after his father into the yard. Whereupon the father turns to his son and begins to give him the thrashing of his life. The father beats the child, breaking bones, kicking him, punching his son. When the son has been bruised and agonized and terrified and beaten to within inches of unconsciousness, the father stops, and tells the boy to go get dressed. The boy staggers away to dress, as a man from the court arrives with papers in hand for the father to sign. The father signs the papers, with his son as a witness. Years later, the son is called into court and put on the witness stand.
"Where were you on October 24, 1227?" asks the judge.
"Oh," says the young man. "I remember perfectly. I was home, and my dad beat the living daylights out of me."
The judge asks, "And what else happened that day?"
To which the young man replies, "Oh, my father signed these papers."
Throughout the ages, as Dan Carlin makes clear, children have been routinely abused, beaten, tortured, and worse — all for reasons that strike us today as ludicrous.
I adored this world-class lecture about a little-known topic: the changing social norms and societal attitudes on child abuse through the ages.
Dan Carlin, master storyteller of pivotal events in the history of the world, changes tack in this "Blitz edition" of his brilliant Hardcore History series. Here (as in his other "Blitz" shows) he weaves the results of exhaustive research, together with well-documented historical anecdotes, into a jaw-dropping analysis of trends in social, cultural and political history. As usual, Carlin's unique perspective reveals key aspects of history that are seldom studied, let alone approached.
This show is well worth ten times the asking price. Why? Because it's true, and it's Important. And, thanks to Carlin, it's also wonderfully entertaining.