What a way to go…

by Nathan Hamm on 4/2/2004 · 3 comments

He who killed a father or mother, grandfather or grandmother, was punished, more majorum (according to the custom of the fathers) by being whipped till he bled, sewn up in a sack with a dog, cock, viper, and ape, and thrown into the sea, if the sea was at hand, and if not, by a constitution of Hadrian, he was exposed to wild beasts, or, in the time of Paulus, to be burnt. The ape would appear to be a late addition. Only the murderer of a father, mother, grandfather, grandmother was punished in this manner

This makes the tower of death method sound pleasant. One thing I want to know though… What kind of ape?

(via Catholic Encyclopedia)

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Sean-Paul April 3, 2004 at 1:35 am

If I could be pedantic for a moment, the Catholic Ency. has it a bit wrong. The proper Latin words are mos maiorum: the ways of my ancestors. I studied Latin for four years.

Solomon April 3, 2004 at 3:08 pm
Jeffery Hodges April 3, 2004 at 3:42 pm

Wouldn’t that likely be a Barbary Ape? I guess that the answer depends partly on when this “late addition” was added. There weren’t many apes around the Mediterranean other than the Barbary (unless I’m wrong about that), but if the ape element was added much later, then there might have been knowledge of apes other than the Barbary sort.

But how do we know that they didn’t mean monkey?

Jeffery Hodges

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