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University of Michigan Law School

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Beggars

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Home And Homelessness In The Middle Of Nowhere, William I. Miller Jan 2004

Home And Homelessness In The Middle Of Nowhere, William I. Miller

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In Iceland one must have a home; it is an offense not to-in some circumstances, a capital offense. A sturdy beggar was liable for full outlawry, which meant he could be killed with impunity. The laws are hard on vagrants. Fornication with a beggar woman was unactionable; it was lawful to castrate a vagabond, and he had no claim if he were injured or killed during the operation. One could take in beggars solely for the purpose of whipping them, nor was one to feed or shelter them at the Thing on pain of lesser outlawry. Their booths at the …