Online Encyclopedia

GAUNTLET (a diminutive of the Fr. gan...

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 534 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GAUNTLET (a diminutive of the Fr. gant, glove), a large form of glove, and especially the steel-plated glove of medieval armour. To " run the gauntlet," i.e. to run between two rows of men who, armed with sticks, rope-ends or other weapons, beat and strike at the person so running, was formerly a punishment for military and naval offences. It was abolished in the Prussian army by Scharnhorst. As a method of torturing prisoners, it was employed among the North American Indians. " Gauntlet " (earlier " gantlet ") in this expression is a corruption of " gantlope," from a Swedish gatlope, from gate, lane, and lopp, a course (cf. Ger. gassenlaufen, to run the gauntlet). According to the New English Dictionary the word became familiar in England at the time of the Thirty Years' War.
End of Article: GAUNTLET (a diminutive of the Fr. gant, glove)
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