giving.typepad.com > Wealth Bondage

« Back to Wealth Bondage

Pharmakos

Pharmakos

Prior to being burned alive crackling and sputtering at the crossroads, the Pharmakos, was kept at public expense, as a kind of medicine (pharmakon), to be used to cure the body politic in time of plague, or social unrest. Sometimes the Pharmakoi were chosen at random, other times they were chosen among the most deformed. At other times the Pharmokoi were volunteers, drawn from the poor section of town where even a well fed reprieve was a sufficient inducement. Even then the free market system worked for the good of all.

Permalink