Medieval religious sects that included public beatings with whips as part of their discipline and devotional practice.

Flagellant sects arose in northern Italy, and had become large and widespread by с 1260. Groups marched through European towns, whipping each other to atone for their sins and calling on the populace to repent. They gained many new members in the mid-14th century while the Black Death was ravaging Europe. Though periodically suppressed by the authorities, flagellant sects enjoyed sporadic resurgences into the 16th century.

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Universalium. 2010.

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