From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"Love won the day, and there was the foremost scholar in the world prancing about on all fours like a colt, with a saucy girl on his back, when Alexander appeared at the window." --Women of Mediaeval France (1907) by Pierce Butler
Etymology: Late Latin humiliatus, past participle of humiliare, from Latin humilis low. To reduce to a lower position in one's own eyes or others' eyes. While related to the word "humble," it is possible for one to be humiliated and not humbled.
Humiliation of the self
Humiliation need not involve another person; it can be a recognition of one's own standing, and can be a way of casting away false pride.
Humiliation of others
Humiliation of one person by another is often used as a way of asserting power over others, and is a common form of oppression or abuse. However, it can also be consensual, as part of an agreement with a lover of erotic humiliation. In either of these cases, it may be motivated by sadism. In addition, many punishments are deliberately designed to be humiliating, e.g. tarring and feathering, pillory, mark of infamy (stigma).
Physical abuse is, in addition to the physical damage, also humiliating, as is intimidation. Rape may, in addition to being humiliating, cause physical damage, including being infected by a sexually transmitted disease, and also the physical abuse of making an unwilling woman pregnant. Some find humiliation by others erotic in certain circumstances: see erotic humiliation. Most use of humiliation is not sexually motivated; many times seen in positions of authority (like parents) or as corrective in certain circumstances.