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A scourge (from the Italian scoriada, ultimately from the Latin excoriare [to flay] and corium [skin]), comprises a whip or lash, especially one used for the infliction of punishment. The typical scourge (in Latin: flagellum or flagrum) has several thongs or lashes attached to a single handle, as in the "cat-o'-nine-tails". The scourge or flail, and the crook, are the two symbols of power and domination depicted in the hands of Osiris in ancient Egyptian monuments; these show the unchanging form of the instrument throughout the ages.

Adapted from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica