Monday, May 2, 2011

What Would The Romans Do?

FLG was just thinking about the decision to bury OBL at sea. It makes perfect sense and all, but it made FLG wonder.

If the Romans had to deal with OBL would they have:
1) killed him on the spot like the United States did?
2) captured and then crucified him?
3) captured and then sewn him into a sack with a snake, dog, and cock before throwing him in the ocean?

4 comments:

arethusa said...

Good question.

I think 3) was reserved for patricides only, but I am not up on Roman law.

I'd add 4) OBL, if he survived an initial Roman attack and wasn't able to commit suicide (both big ifs) might have been paraded through the streets of Rome in a triumph for Imperator Obama or Petraeus, then thrown into the Carcer and executed.

On the other hand, they might have seen him as a criminal and crucified him.

The Maximum Leader said...

That arethusa is smart. I was just about to type "parade him behind the victor in a triumph" but she beat me to the punch.

Weren't the paraded vanquished ritually strangled at the end of the triumph? Or am I mixing something I saw in a film with real history?

Andrew Stevens said...

Most of them were strangled, yes, though some were freed as well. There was a lot of ritual involved in the triumph, though I don't think the strangulation itself was particularly ritualistic. Roman gods didn't demand human sacrifice or anything. (In fact, by the late Republic, the Romans forbade the practice in most of their conquered territories and it was, of course, also illegal in Rome.)

The Ancient said...

I'm holding out for the wicked Roman emperor with a sense of humor.

You know, the one who stuffed the remains inside a pig's carcass and buried them in the desert.

P.S. Strangled, yes, and then the bodies were often tossed down the steps outside the prison.

 
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