The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Posthumous execution

Posthumous execution is the ritual execution of an already dead body.

Examples include:

  • Pope Formosus (died 896), whose body was exhumed by his successor, Pope Stephen VII, dressed in papal vestments and seated on a throne to undergo a "trial", later known as the Cadaver Synod or the Synod Horrenda. Found guilty, the body was stripped, three fingers from its right hand cut off, and the corpse thrown into the Tiber.

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