gaunt-let [gawnt-lit] noun--1) a
form of physical punishment or torture in which a person is forced to
run between two lines of people armed with clubs, whips and other
weapons to beat the victim 2) to offer or accept a challenge 3)
consecutive tasks endured sequentially, as these do not cause serious
injury, only bearable pain, they are sometimes eagerly anticipated by
the initiate as a sign of acceptance into a more prestigious group
In some traditions, if the condemned was able to run the Gauntlet and
exit at the far end, his faults would be deemed paid and he would rejoin
his comrades with a clean slate. In other cultures, he was sent back
through the Gauntlet until death.
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