Julia Felsenthal recounts some of the more extreme ways used to validate an agreement:
Cutting off a lock of hair and giving it to someone else was one way to seal a contract. Around the 13th century, agreements were sometimes marked with a slap, or some other traumatic act. The theory was that both parties would remember not only the injury but the accord that was reached on its infliction.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.