Full Version: Byzantine Strategikon Extreme Punishment
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I'm curious as to what they mean when the author refers to the extreme punishment/ penalty repeatedly in the section on discipline and punishment for soldiers.
Is that book II, Part 6? My translation says Capital Punishment. In Part 8, the term, execution, is translated.
Part 1 Section 6 The Regulations About Military Crimes to Be Given to The Troops

6 If anyone who has been entrusted with the defense of a city or fortress shall betray the same or shall desert his post against the orders of the commanding officer, they shall undergo the EXTREME PENALTY.

7. If anyone be found guilty of wanting to desert to the enemy, he shall undergo the EXTREME PENALTY.

Now it could be a bad translation, but captial punishment and death are listed under most of the other death penalty offenses and while I'm sure that the extreme penalty was most likely some form of death the way it reads makes it seem more specific in relation to the way the others are listed.

the translation "EXTREME penalty" is correct. And although there's a different wording than in some other cases I think this "EXTREME penalty" also means capital punishment.

In Strategikon I. 6. 6,7 the wording is:
eschate timoria hupobletheie = shall undergo the extreme penalty
* see the translation of eschate, meaning extreme, highest, uttermost, etc. - I understand this as a death penalty - there's no higher punishment.

In some other passages, e.g. Strategikon I. 6.2, 5 the wording is:
kephalike timoria = capital punishment
* see the translation of kephalike


(I deliberately didn't use marks for lengths etc. to prevent possible font corruption)
Very true, but there are many other sections where the punishment is death and it uses capital punishment or the penalty is death. The extreme penalty almost seems to me that it could be a specific form of death sentence that is particularly horrible. I was just curious if someone was aware of what exactly the penalty was specifically. It could be a method of death or practices that followed along with it that were particularly disgraceful. Heck, in a mostly Catholic culture it could even have religious connotations attached along with it. I would consider excommunication and believing you are eternally damned to be a rather extreme penalty. I was hoping there might be some info in another source that someone is aware of, but perhaps it is just another small detail that was common knowledge (too common unfortunately so never specified) lost to the ages. Or perhaps it is just simply a death sentence where the wording seems odd to overly anal men of the future.
I think you are right and it denotes a penalty worse than merely death. Maybe it was death where they killed you and your entire family. Or death where they made sure the priest condemned you to Hell or something.

Would really stink if it was something so well known that no one ever wrote down a description of what it was.
As has been pointed out, there's death and then there's death. I was just reading that bastion of infallible wisdom, Wikipedia (!), where (in the article on Nero, discussing persecution of Christians) Tacitus is quoted as saying,
Quote: get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus,

Given that phrasing, one might conclude that the "extreme punishment" was crucifixion. Does anyone know if it was still in use in Byzantine times, and would it be appropriate in such a case?
Quote:Given that phrasing, one might conclude that the "extreme punishment" was crucifixion. Does anyone know if it was still in use in Byzantine times, and would it be appropriate in such a case?
Crucifixion was abolished by Constantine the Great in the early 4th century.

OK, thanks for setting me straight. I just read that and the phrase reminded me, so I thought it was worth asking about.
"Eschati timoria" or Eschati ton poinon" is still an official legal term for capital paunsishment (inicating death penalty) even in moder Greek.

Kind regards