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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The penalty of blinding during Byzantine times. Medical remarks.

This paper which is based on the works of Byzantine chroniclers examines the imposition of blinding as a penalty in Byzantium. Punishment by blinding, though of extremely ancient origin, was imposed on Christians in the Roman Empire under the rule of Diocletian (AD 303). This continued up to the time of Constantine the Great and blinding as a penalty reappeared in the Byzantine Empire (AD 705) under the rule of Justinian Rhinotmitos. The writers investigate the grounds for the imposition of the penalty, and the methods employed, and a series of examples are given as handed down by Byzantine chroniclers. Finally, the ethical background of the penalty is examined according to the legislature and common-law extant in Byzantium.[1]


  1. The penalty of blinding during Byzantine times. Medical remarks. Lascaratos, J., Marketos, S. Documenta ophthalmologica. Advances in ophthalmology. (1992) [Pubmed]
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