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June 1965

A Ship Called Hope.

Author Affiliations

By William B. Walsh, MD. Price, $4.95. Pp 224. E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 201 Park Ave, South, New York 10003, 1964.

Arch Intern Med. 1965;115(6):744-745. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.03860180116026

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During the Middle Ages, executions of criminals were occasions for feasts and public display. Originally intended as deterrents to heresy or other crimes, these public functions became reasons for jubilation on the part of the populace—with each participant rejoicing when the condemned man was broken at the wheel or drawn and quartered or otherwise tortured. The onlookers may have secretly transferred their own sins upon the executed and in so doing purged their own consciences of their wrongdoings which had not been detected. Men of the Middle Ages prided themselves on their morality—but thus were most amoral and un-Christian in their relationships with their fellow men.

But the Middle Ages ended. The community became increasingly concerned with its sick and its poor and with those who suffered as a result of wars or natural disasters. The rise of civilization coincides with the systematic organization of means taken by the community

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