The Underclass, Underculture  & History From Below

Religious Orders



During the Black Death of 1348, flagellants would visit many towns across Europe, self-flagellating as they went, to rid the world of the plague believed by them to be a punishment from God for their sins. Once they had arrived in a particular town or village, and after performing the ritualistic whipping in a circular fashion, they would fall to the ground and adopt such positions as: lying face up or face down, or hold 3 fingers in the air depending on their supposed sin. They were also forbidden to wash themselves for the duration of the pilgrimage, which provided another breeding ground for the plague.