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1. The Global Portuguese Penal System to circa 1830

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Chapter Summary

The punishment of exile, being excluded from society, is one of the oldest penalties recorded. This punishment was incorporated into Roman law, and further codified and made useful by directing the convict to perform certain tasks critical for the Empire. Those who violate the norms in a given society were exiled or banished from it, either being sent out of town or the region (such as the ancient Greek city states) or to a specific, distant locale, such as Moses exiled to Sinai. While many early modern and modern powers used systems of exile to their colonies, none can match the longevity of the Portuguese. Beginning with simple exile to during the Middle Ages, the Portuguese used the punishment of exile (degredo), to direct convicts to man distant locales throughout its Empire from the 1415 conquest of Ceuta until 1932 when the system finally ended.

Keywords: degredo; Portuguese penal system



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