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Decollatio
(197 words)

[German version]

In Roman law the ‘simple’ death penalty by decapitation (whence also: capitis amputatio), as opposed to being burned alive ( crematio ) and crucifixion ( crux ). All three methods of execution appear in Paulus, Sent. 5,17,2 as summa supplicia (most severe punishments). Certainly from the time of Caligula capital punishment by damnatio ad bestias (animal combat in the arena) was also current practice. Decollatio was typically reserved for higher-status freemen ( honestiores ), while crematio and crux were carried out on ordinary freemen ( humiliores ) and slaves. D…

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Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen), “Decollatio”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 28 September 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e312330>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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