Cruentation was one of the medieval methods of finding proof against a suspected murderer. The common belief was that the body of the victim would spontaneously bleed
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 in the presence of the murderer.

This cruentation was part of the Germanic Laws. and it was used in Germany, Poland, Bohemia, Scotland and the North-Americans colonies. In Germany it was used as a method to find proof of guilt until the middle of the 18th. century. The cruentation was mentioned in the Malleus Maleficarum
Malleus Maleficarum
The Malleus Maleficarum is an infamous treatise on witches, written in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer, an Inquisitor of the Catholic Church, and was first published in Germany in 1487...

Antonius Blancus was probably the first to raise the question of the reliability of ius cruentationis.

In cases where it was difficult for the jurors to determine whether someone accused of murder was guilty or innocent, the case could be solved by means of a trial by ordeal. The accused was brought before the corpse of the murder victim and was made to put his or her hands on it. If the wounds of the corpse then began to bleed, or if other unusual visual signs appeared, that was regarded as God's verdict (judicium Dei) announcing that the accused was guilty.

After the Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

an Reformation
- Movements :* Protestant Reformation, an attempt by Martin Luther to reform the Roman Catholic Church that resulted in a schism, and grew into a wider movement...

 of 1536 the practice of cruentation was unwarranted from a legal point of view in Denmark and Norway and during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries leading theologians of the Danish Church condemned it several times. Nevertheless, cruentation continued to be used well into the eighteenth century, and its outcome continued to be accepted as evidence by law courts - indeed, in a few cases, the ordeal was overseen or even organized by clergymen. Apparently the practice was so popular that it continued to remain judicially sanctioned for some time even when this meant circumventing the official teaching of the Protestant state church.

Michael Alberti (1682–1757), professor of medicine and natural sciences at Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, published in 1736 his "Systema jurisprudentiae medicae", a mixture of backwardness and progress. Alberti was still in favour of torture and cruentation, and he believed in magic and demons. On the other hand, he considered sorcery
Sorcery may refer to:* Magic * Maleficium * Witchcraft* Sorcery , a video game for the PlayStation 3 utilizing the PlayStation Move* Sorcery , 1995* Sorcery , 1974...

 a mental disease and had a critical attitude toward other medical problems.

The Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

ended the use of cruentation.

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