As men in the Middle Ages coped with gossip wives
Women who gossip in the Middle Ages faced social humiliation - husbands wore Skold on them for several hours.
Like modern women, ladies in the Middle Ages often met to discuss the latest gossip. I like to imagine how they gathered for a medieval Sunday brunch and chatted about fresh rumors. However, unlike modern women who do not face almost any consequences of their idle chatter, women of the Middle Ages were subjected to a terrible kind of corporal punishment - Skold Bridle.
Bridle Skolda - one of those things that proves that no matter how difficult it is sometimes to be a woman, compared to the Middle Ages, today their life is very good.
Bridle Skolda consisted of several strips of iron, which wrapped around the woman's face, like a mask.A small piece of iron, known as a “bridle”, was placed in a woman’s mouth and pressed on her tongue, making it difficult to speak (like the thing that you put in a horse’s mouth when you want to control it).
Sometimes there was even a spike on the bridle, which pierced the tongue while trying to speak. The husband, having heard that his wife participated in the discussion of gossip, put a bridle on her to teach a lesson.
As if the iron mask was not insulting enough - the husband usually tied a mask to his wife in a mask and took her out of the city for a walk, under the approval of passersby who insulted or spat on her. Sometimes the bridle was tied to the bell to attract more attention during the walk.
The name Skold comes from a term that was commonly applied to a woman who often grumbles or is constantly unsatisfied. The name “Bridle”, of course, comes from the bridle that is put on the horse when the rider wants to gain more control over her movements.
The idea of corporal punishment for gossip was not innovative. In the Christian religion, the most widespread at the time, it was believed that corporal punishment was the only way to atone for sins and better understand the weight of crimes against the church.It is only through pain that true understanding comes, and therefore forgiveness can be earned.
The idea of Skold Bridle was also not new. Similar things were used to control slaves for hundreds of years and continued to be used almost until the 19th century.
Fortunately, by the end of the 16th century, Skold Bridle began to lose popularity. It is not known whether women began to gossip less or men decided that other forms of punishment were more effective, but the bridle was unnecessary. And, indeed, by the time the colonists mastered the New World, they practically stopped using the bridle.
Although, of course, public humiliation was still common, as the new and exciting practice of putting people in the pads has become the preferred method of public shame.