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Violence against wives is encouraged throughout this time.
4In England, “the Golden Age of the Rod” is used against women and children who are taught that it is their sacred duty to obey the man of the house.
5During the reign of Ivan the Terrible in Russia, the State Church sanctions the oppression of women by issuing a Household Ordinance that describes when and how a man might most effectively beat his wife.
He is allowed to kill a wife or serf for disciplinary purposes.
Since by law, a husband is held liable for crimes committed by his wife, this law was designed to protect the husband from harm caused by the wife’s actions.
These laws permit the husband to beat his wife with a rod or switch as long as its circumference is no greater than the girth of the base of the man’s right thumb, hence “The Rule of Thumb.” The tradition of these laws is perpetuated in English Common Law and throughout most of Europe.
A medieval Christian scholar, Friar Cherbubino of Siena, writes Rules of Marriage, in support of wife beating.