40.0 MB (1.7 MB compressed)
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39.4 x 25.4 cm ⏐ 15.5 x 10.0 in (300dpi)
NYPL / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NYPL / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The Five Punishments was the collective name for a series of physical penalties meted out by the legal system of pre-modern Dynastic China. Over time, the nature of the Five Punishments varied. One of the Five Punishments in Imperial China was Si, death. Following the Sui and Tang Dynasties there were generally two options: strangulation or decapitation. In traditional China, decapitation was considered a more severe form of punishment than strangulation, although strangulation caused more prolonged suffering. This was because in Confucian tradition bodies were gifts from their parents, and so it was therefore disrespectful to their ancestors to return their bodies to the grave dismembered.
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