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Ordeal, Trial by
(1,373 words)

[German Version]

I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Legal History

I. Religious Studies

Trial by ordeal is a means of decision-making as to the guilt or innocence of a suspect in legal cases where there is no available evidence or testimony, and where no guilty plea has been entered. In place of an oath, but in line with the inherent logic of the oath, a conditional self-curse was sometimes employed; this would apply in cases where, for example, a slave was disqualified from a hearing…

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Wißmann, Hans, Niehr, Herbert and Ogris, Werner, “Ordeal, Trial by”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 24 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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