Rods, peas and a corner: how children were punished in Rus'

Rods, peas and a corner: how children were punished in Russia

Children in Rus' were kept in strictness: fearing to harm the child, they praised him extremely rarely, but they did not skimp on punishments – for the slightest misconduct and pranks he had to be answered in full. Disobedient children were not treated with ceremony either at home or at school – both peasants and nobles were flogged with rods not only for serious offenses, but simply for prevention. The harsh methods of ancient Russian education – in a harsh retrospective of the harsh “Subtleties”.

4. In the corner on the peas

In the old days it was difficult to find a child who at least once in his life would not kneel on peas. This punishment was applied everywhere and was considered not too severe. Children were sent to a corner for peas for any reason: they didn’t obey their parents, didn’t do something around the house, were rude to their elders, froze their finger, or were just naughty. Dry peas strongly stuck into the knees and in a few hours brought the prankster to complete exhaustion.

It was believed that standing in a corner for many hours brought up humility, and the accompanying pain made one feel one's own fault especially deeply.

3. Spoon on the forehead

Instant karma for inappropriate behavior at the table. In peasant families, a cast-iron pot was placed in the center of the table, and food was scooped from it according to seniority: first the father or grandfather, then everyone else. Climbed forward father? Get a ringing wooden spoon on the forehead for disrespect for the breadwinner. Dripping stew on a clean table, hurrying, munching loudly, chatting at dinner? Put your forehead up again.

A heavy spoon taught the younger generation to eat carefully, thoughtfully, slowly, not to break the rules, to behave modestly. ://” media=”(max-width: 549px)”>

Rods, peas and corner: how children were punished in Russia


2. Rods on Saturdays

A bunch of rods soaked in water is perhaps the most common punishment in Rus': this is how children were raised in families and schools, regardless of social status, until the end of the 19th century. Rods were familiar not only to peasants, but also to noble offspring. Why are there nobles: physical punishment was used even at the royal court. The monk Sylvester, the author of Domostroy, a medieval set of rules for everyday life, actively urged children to flog: “Do not spare a child: if you cut him with a rod, he will not die, but he will be healthier.” It was proposed to subject descendants to a soul-saving procedure on a regular weekly basis, on Saturdays.

At the end of the 18th century, corporal punishment in schools was canceled for a short time, and during this time “unwhacked generations” managed to grow up in Russia, whose representatives came to Senate Square in December 1825. After that, gymnasiums and schools again allowed to punish students physically.

What else to read on the topic

  • 8 amazing facts about how people lived in Rus' before Christianity
  • Sex in Rus' : how then they conceived and gave birth to children
  • Hygiene in Ancient Rus': is it true that we were cleaner than Europeans?

1. Without tasty and sweet

In families, corporal punishment was gradually replaced by less harsh methods of influence – for example, a system of prohibitions. The most popular was the restriction in food: for loud laughter, displeased facial expressions, arguing with adults, a child could be put on bread and water for several days. Often children were deprived of sweets, and sometimes they stopped feeding altogether for a while.

Especially got to those who guessed to indulge in the church during the service – such an offense was subject to a strict 12-day fast with many daily prostrations.

Similar punishments were also practiced in imperial families: the children of Alexander II could be deprived of sweets or put in a corner for a pie eaten before dinner. Nicholas I, whom his teacher beat with rods and a rifle ramrod in childhood, forbade physically punishing his sons and daughters – instead, they were excommunicated from their father's attention, left without a second course or dessert. At the beginning of the 20th century, the methods of education remained approximately the same: in the cycle of stories “Lelya and Minka”, Zoshchenko describes a typical case – children interrupted adults and were rude, so they were kicked out from the table and forbidden to dine with everyone for two months. Well, at least without the rods and peas.

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