Modernity and Terrorism

Authored by: Roger Griffin

The Routledge History of Terrorism

Print publication date:  April  2015
Online publication date:  March  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415535779
eBook ISBN: 9781315719061
Adobe ISBN: 9781317514879


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“Finally, he was quartered.… This last operation was very long, because the horses used were not accustomed to drawing; consequently, instead of four, six were needed; and when that did not suffice, they were forced, in order to cut off the wretch’s thighs, to sever the sinews and hack at the joints.” 1 This brief extract from the protracted description of Robert-François Damiens’ execution in 1757 in Paris by the French absolutist regime for the attempted regicide of Louis XV forms the famous opening to Michel Foucault’s classic study of the birth of the modern prison, Discipline and Punish. The elaborate public execution of Guy Fawkes and his accomplices in 1605 in the Old Palace Yard in Westminster under James I was only marginally less refined.

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