01 Religious Icon, A saint flagellating himself and holding a crucifix, with footnotes #15
Ivory, carved in relief. Representation of a saint flagellating himself and holding a crucifix. In the lower area depiction of a skull (Memento-Mori). Several cherubim appear in the upper area. More on this relief
The Flagellation, in a Christian context, refers to an episode in the Passion of Christ prior to Jesus’ crucifixion. The practice of mortification of the flesh for religious purposes has been utilised by members of various Christian denominations since the time of the Great Schism in 1054. Nowadays the instrument of penance is called a discipline, a cattail whip usually made of knotted cords, which is flung over the shoulders repeatedly during private prayer.
In the 13th century, a group of Roman Catholics, known as the Flagellants, took self-mortification to extremes. These people would travel to towns and publicly beat and whip each other while preaching repentance. The nature of these demonstrations being quite morbid and disorderly, they were during periods of time suppressed by the authorities. They continued to reemerge at different times up until the 16th century. Flagellation was also practised during the Black Plague as a means to purify oneself of sin and thus prevent contracting the disease. Pope Clement VI is known to have permitted it for this purpose in 1348. More on Flagellation
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