Pre-Classical School of Criminology

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During the period of the seventeenth century Europe was characterized by a dominance of religion in state activities.  At this stage, scientific knowledge was yet unknown.  The concept of crime was vague and obscure.  Society was at the time largely unable to explain criminal

Society was at the time largely unable to explain criminal behavior.  An explanation of criminal conduct was therefore sought through spirits, demons, and other unknown powers.  The principle behind this concept was that a man commits a crime due to the influence of some external power and is not subject to the control or understanding of man.

Since the spirit world is not one that is easily understood or discernable, it formed a perfect explanation for Since the spirit world is not one that is easily understood or discernable, it formed a perfect explanation for crime.

No further attempts were made to probe the real cause of crime.  Worship, sacrifices, ordeals by fire and water were usually prescribed to pacify the spirit and relieve the victims of its evil influence.

Trial by battle was also used as a method of deciding the fate of the criminal.  The criminal was therefore treated as a person who could only be cured through torture and pain.  The pre-classical thinking has however withered away with the lapse of time and advancement of knowledge.

 

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