Bands of men who in later medieval times scourged themselves in public processions in penance for the sins of the world. Famine and war, and perhaps the prophecies of Joachim of Fiore, produced a conviction of Divine displeasure; in 1260 processions of penance and other activities took place throughout Italy. The movement was spontaneous and embraced all classes. It quickly spread to Germany, France, and the Low Countries, and revived after the Black Death in 1348–9. See also fraternities.
Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) — Christianity.