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Patriotism: Insights from Israel By Eyal Lewin

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At noon, soon after his trial had ended, all the man’s clothes were torn off his body and his heels were tied to a horse so that he would be dragged all the way to the gallows, where many Londoners had already been crowding, anxious not to miss the execution. August 23, 1305, was a day with perfect weather for executions, and the English subjects of that summer looked forward to the public execution of the well-known Scottish rebel. When he was hanged, he could still hear the shouting of the people who had gathered to watch his death, and for a short while, the rope strangled his neck while his body dangled in the air. Then, choking breathlessly but still alive, the rope was taken off and he was tied to a wooden block. The audience, thousands of them, roared enthusiastically. He could feel the pain as the knife slit his belly open, and his shouting gradually turned into the painful moans of a dying man as his entrails were torn from his abdomen. He could still see the crowds, the small bonfire that they had lit so close to him, and he could sense the smell of burnt flesh when his guts were thrown in. The last organs to be cut from his body were his heart and lungs to make sure that until the moment of his death,