Why in the Middle Ages, women wore the iron mask
• Why in the Middle Ages at the Women wear iron masks
Middle Ages known for its sophisticated torture and humiliation "for the good," and the iron mask that fits over the women of middle and low class, too, of course, be used exclusively "for good purposes."
XVI century, Scotland. The mask is stored in the Glasgow Museum.
Iron masks were like a bridle that fits over the horses to control their behavior. And women while trying with the help of such masks "to teach some good sense." If a woman accused of slander or spreading rumors, it might well have to dress in such a terrible "outfit" and navigate through all of the settlement of so-called "Dora shame." Typically, a woman kept on the leash by her husband. If she dared to desecrate his honor, as he did himself, and punish - this behavior was considered then it is quite logical. The husband drove his wife to the mask through the main square, and the assembled people called him a woman shouting her hurtful words and spat into it.
XVIII century, the mask is in one of Berlin's museums.
Despite the cruelty of this punishment, backbiting and gossip spread was not considered then as a serious offense to use physical violence. People in the main square is not allowed to throw stones at the accused or otherwise push it. It was believed that a woman is responsible for its own language - it is as if by itself. And because women are punished more mouth than she did.
The mask with a bell - thus punishable by a woman draws more attention. For this reason, most of the masks had a small iron "tongue": putting on a mask, this turned out to be the tongue in the mouth woman without giving her a chance to speak. For particularly svernoslovnyh individuals had a special mask, which had spikes on the tongue, so that even attempt to say anything cause injuries. But again - nothing personal, "all the punishment received language, not a woman."
Lithography 1885. A woman wearing a mask in New England.
The first mention of such a punishment refers to 1567 and it happened in Scotland. This barbaric custom was prevalent mainly in the UK, but over time also became "popular" and in Germany, where a woman, in addition to the mask, still putting on the bell, which was ringing during the passage of "the road of shame."
mask with an iron tongue, which was to immobilize the female language.
What's interesting is subjected to such punishment is only a woman, and only poor women. Backbite and spread rumors among the aristocrats are not considered shameful, and certainly the punishment of this speech could not be. On the other hand, women who have had to walk in the Iron Mask through town again, we can say relatively lucky. At that time, for the wrong, and not just spoken words could be obtained the charge of witchcraft and to be burned alive at the stake.