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THIS also was a military punishment in old times, to disgrace a soldier by ordering a vein to be opened, and letting blood. There is no reason assigned for this in the old records, so far as I could find; but I infer that it was first done to soldiers whose minds were affected and who were not in a normal condition, so that it appears to have been not so much a punishment as a medical treatment. But afterwards I suppose that the same penalty was customarily inflicted for many other offences, on the ground that all who sinned were not of sound mind. 1
1 Muretus, Var. Lect. xiii, p. 199, thought it was in order that they night lose with ignominy the blood which they had been unwilling to shed for their country.
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