Prisons have been around since ancient times, but what exactly were they like? Let’s take a journey back in time to explore how prisons were used in the ancient world.
In ancient times, prisons were not used as a form of punishment. Instead, they were used to hold individuals awaiting trial or punishment. Prisons were also used to hold debtors who could not pay their debts and prisoners of war.
The Ancient Greeks
The Ancient Greeks had a unique way of imprisoning individuals. They would use underground cells known as kryptai.
These cells were dark and cramped with no ventilation or sanitation facilities. Prisoners would be lowered into the cells through a small hole and left to rot until their trial or punishment.
The Romans had a more developed prison system than the Greeks. They had separate facilities for men and women, and prisoners were given some basic amenities such as food and water. However, conditions in Roman prisons were still harsh, with overcrowding being a common issue.
During the medieval period, prisons began to be used as a form of punishment rather than just for holding individuals awaiting trial or punishment. Prisons during this time were often located in castles or fortresses and were used to house criminals such as thieves and murderers.
The Tower of London
One famous medieval prison is the Tower of London in England. This prison was used to hold high-profile prisoners such as members of the royal family, political prisoners, and traitors. Conditions in the Tower of London were notoriously brutal with prisoners often being tortured before their execution.
Prisons have come a long way since ancient times. Today’s prisons are more focused on rehabilitation rather than just punishment. However, it’s important to remember the harsh conditions that prisoners faced in the past and how far we have come in our treatment of those who have committed crimes.
- Ancient prisons were used to hold individuals awaiting trial or punishment
- The Ancient Greeks used underground cells known as kryptai
- The Romans had a more developed prison system with separate facilities for men and women
- During the medieval period, prisons began to be used as a form of punishment
- The Tower of London was a famous medieval prison that held high-profile prisoners