Pete Leeson håller på med en hel del spännande saker:
I argue that medieval judicial ordeals accurately assigned accused criminalsí guilt and innocence. They did this by leveraging a medieval superstition called iudicium Dei. According to this superstition, God condemned the guilty and exonerated the innocent through clergy conducted physical tests. Medieval citizensíbelief in iudicium Dei created a separating equilibrium in which only innocent defendants were willing to undergo ordeals. Conditional on observing a defendantís willingness to do so, the administrating priest knew he was innocent and manipulated the ordeal to Önd this.bMy theory explains the peculiar puzzle of ordeals: trials of Öre and water that should’ve condemned most persons who underwent them did the reverse. They exonerated these persons instead. Boiling water rarely boiled persons who plunged their arms in it. Red- hot burning iron rarely burned persons who carried it. Ordeal outcomes are indeed miraculous. But theyíre ìmiraclesî of mechanism design.