In ancient times there were a lot of punishments. The intention was to keep a well structured and controlled society.

In Greece, it wasn't until about 1200 BC that there were laws and punishments.Many crimes were similar to their punishments. For instance, in Greece, if you killed someone, the punishment would be death. If you stole, the amount you stole would be the amount you paid back as a fine. These ancient punishments were based on the idea of "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth". Often when someone was murdered in Greece, the victims family would have the the honour to execute the murderer. Many of these laws were made by a lawmaker called Draco*.
A criminal being thrown from the Tarpian rock - Courtesy Creative Commons

In Egypt, the Pharaoh made very harsh punishments, to scare the people out of a life of crime. Punishments were made to not only physically and mentally scar the perpetrator, but to also affect the family of the perpetrator. One punishment was one hundred strokes of a cane, and if the crime was really bad, five bleeding cuts were added. The common punishments of Egypt were exile, mutilation, branding, drowning, beheading and burning alive. According to the bible, the common Egyptian punishments were beatings, drowning, beheading and then hanged on a stake. The worst crime was tomb raiding, because the treasures inside the tomb were considered sacred. The Pharaoh usually decided the punishments, because he was considered a god and a king to the Egyptians.

Rome was considered to have the most brutal punishments of all. Much like Egypt, these punishments were made to scare and horrify the public out of criminal activities. All of the Roman punishments were either gruesome tortures, or gruesome executions. For instance, if you used slander against the Pharaoh, your tongue was cut off. Adultery and seduction were considered heinous crimes and were punished with force. If you seduced another person, both people would be punished, which was considered extremely unfair, even for the Romans. If arranged a forbidden marriage, you would be banished. If a nurse encourages someone to succumb to seduction, hot, molten lead would be poured down their mouth and throat. There were many different ways of administering executions, which were a public event.

*Draco - A Greek lawmaker - See What were some of the laws?