A Dictionary of All Religions and Religious Denominations/Flagellants
FLAGELLANTS, a denomination which sprang up in Italy in the 1260, and was thence propagated through almost all the countries of Europe. They derive their name from the latin, flagello, to whip. The society that embraced this new discipline, ran in multitudes, composed of persons of both sexes, and of all ranks and ages, through the public streets, with whips in their hands, lashing their naked backs with astonishing severity, thinking to obtain the divine mercy for themselves and others, by their voluntary mortification and penance was of equal virtue with the sacraments; that the forgiveness of all sins was to be obtained thereby; that the law of Christ was soon to be abolished; and that a new law, enjoining the baptism of blood, to be administered by whipping, was to be substituted in its place.
- <osheim, vol. iii. p. 94, 206, 277.