Emperor Frederick II performed a strange experiment on children

Some experts believe that children develop a basic set of rules about language by listening to the people around them, choosing words and placing them in a sequence where they can express themselves efficiently through trial and error.

There are those who believe that they gain the ability to communicate with their parents, other adults and, in particular, other children. In other words, in any case, children learn from others.

But what does the child learn to talk about when there is no one to talk to? What is the level of communication skills, especially in the life of an adult?

At present, science explains all the variables of what can happen. However, in the thirteenth century, when this same question arose in the mind of the holy Roman emperor Frederick II, there was no shadow of the North. And so he made an unprecedented test on his unsatisfactory search for results.

A restless mind

(Source: Gianni Dagli Orti / Shutterstock)

Considered the “Wonder of the World”, Frederick II was one of the greatest figures of the Upper Middle Ages, a member of the German warrior family that controlled much of modern Germany and Italy. He was the grandson of Friedrich Barbarossa, who sought to establish German dominance in Europe, inspiring, hundreds of years later, the failed operation of Adolf Hitler.

Frederick founded a university in his name, imparted knowledge to his community through books, was a tolerant ruler and protector of the Jewish and Muslim minorities; But all this only in Sicily. Outside, he was expelled by the pope, tortured, despised, and branded as cruel and lustful.

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

This is all due to his undeniable inclination towards science, the result of his indomitable desire for knowledge. However, according to a book titled Twelve catastrophes of Emperor Frederick IIWritten by a coward named Salimben, all this had a sad tone of curiosity.

In his scientific experiments, for example, Frederick even kept a prisoner in a barrel to watch him starve through a peephole. The purpose was to determine whether the human soul would leave its body in a visible way at the time of death. He also suffocated two people to find out how the digestive system works when one person goes to bed and the other goes to work.


(Source: Welcome Image / Reproduction)(Source: Welcome Image / Reproduction)

When Frederick goes further and introduces an experiment using children, he crosses any line that still identifies him as a man in the society of that time. Fluent in the language from Latin to Arabic, obsessed with the language, the emperor made a test of whether children would speak when they grew up without hearing a word.

He kidnaps newborns and instructs nurses to quietly raise them. Frederick hoped that spoken language would be recreated in the Garden of Eden when children uttered a word, although he did not hear anything like it. After observing his guinea pigs day and night, the result was that they all died silently, only crying in their cells.

(Source: Sibeaster / Wikimedia Commons)(Source: Sibeaster / Wikimedia Commons)

Despite the seriousness of the test, it is uncertain whether Selimben invented it all, or whether Frederick II actually committed the crime. True or not, the emperor actually carried a disturbing trend of megalomania, encouraging people to call him Jesus Christ when he entered Jerusalem during the Sixth Crusade.

All these narcissisms, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy in his name not only inspired works that talked about how the moral compass of science could go both ways in discovering life, but also found distorted minds like Mengel and Hitler.

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