Medieval Europe was far from the most pleasant and comfortable place. According to the official version of history, more than two hundred thousand people living in Germany, Sweden, France, Britain and other countries were involved in terrible tests, the purpose of which was to reveal whether they were witches.
Witch hunters used absolutely wild methods to test women for their adherence to evil spirits. Some of these methods were as brutal as they were stupid, as they left no chance for the suspects to survive. We invite you to familiarize yourself with some of these methods.
In this video, we offer an alternative perspective on the trials that women suspected of witchcraft have been subjected to. If in Russia, where there was definitely no Inquisition, the word "witch" came from the phrase "knowing mother", then in Catholic Europe women who were tortured and burned were called not "witches", but "malefics": from the word "malefic" - "Wrecker". Significantly, there are also words “Benificia” - good income, and “maleficia” - bad income. Obviously, in the Middle Ages, it was about metal alloys in general, and about coins in particular. And this is proved by a strange choice of torture methods that were allegedly used for living people.
We quote a description of one of such tests: it was necessary not to get burned, stepping barefoot on burning plowshares (that is, the metal parts of the plow), or, without prejudice to the palms, hold a red-hot bar of iron for several minutes. In the Middle Ages, an illustrative plot was known on this topic: a woman was suspected of murdering her husband. But she proves her innocence by the fact that she can hold a red-hot iron bar.
At the same time, in the paintings depicting history, the entire spectrum from the table of incandescent colors is clearly visible. Based on which, you can see what temperature the bar was at the time of testing - the entire range - from dazzling white to light red in the center and dark brown at the other end of the bar. The picture clearly shows that the woman is holding not just a hot, but a bar heated to a temperature of 830-900 degrees Celsius. What for? Here's a rational explanation. The pure silver coin melts at a temperature of 960 degrees.
And iron, heated to this temperature, will not cause any harm to a real silver coin. And any alloy of silver with impurities below the 910th test will begin to melt at a temperature of 779 degrees Celsius. The bottom line is this: a test with a red-hot iron for a person is unrealistic.
And for a coin made of silver - the very thing. Another indicative test was testing a woman for involvement in witchcraft by piercing the skin with needles. It is perplexing that the flow of blood from the wound was considered a sign of a witch, and not vice versa. What about the coins?
Let's open the assayer's handbook, for example, 1953 edition. “Assay needles. When testing precious metals on an assay stone, assay pins are used as standards, which are alloys of platinum, gold and silver, or gold and silver of a certain standard, in various combinations, of a certain composition. " In addition, copper-doped needles are used to test precious metals. In one of the engravings depicting the process of testing malefica, we see hints that many needles were used in this process, more precisely, 15. Another needle is in the hands of the inspectors.
Which corresponds to 16 lots of pure silver, namely the modern 999th standard of silver. But why not depict the coin itself directly? The answer is obvious: do not give criminals information about methods of checking precious coins, so that they do not interfere with a well-functioning system for detecting counterfeits. It has always been that way. The same is the case in our time: many methods of detecting counterfeits of money and jewelry are classified as “for official use”. The most famous test of witches was as follows.
A potential malefic was tied hand and foot and thrown into the water. If she surfaced, then she is a pest. This method of identifying unwanted elements is perfectly applicable to the probing of precious coins. If the product is even a milligram lighter due to a cheaper alloy or imperceptible grinding, then it will float.
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