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Burned at the stake

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Staff member
By Firehottt





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Assistant executioner
Found a description how Galerius burned Christians (google translate):
He had first allowed this type of death sentence against the Christians by prescribing by law that after torture they would be burned in slow fire. Then, when bound to stakes, they were first put under the feet on a gentle fire, for so long, until the skin of the soles shriveled from the heat and broke away from the bones. Then torches, which were occasionally lit and extinguished, were held to all their limbs, so that no spot was left intact. And in the meantime, their faces were covered with fresh water, and their mouth was rinsed with liquid, lest the throat be dulled by dryness, and the respiration too soon brought about. This occurred late when, during many hours of the day, the whole skin was gradually scorched and the power of fire penetrated the innermost parts of the nobler parts. Then a pyre was set up and the burned bodies burned again.
Did this Galenius say how tortured Christian women would behave?
She screamed for long hours?


Poet Laureate
Staff member
#4 is curious, and #5 looks like an outdoor sculpture somewhere?

View attachment 1116600
#4 is by Kiki Smith, 'Pyre woman kneeling' 2002. We're told:

Smith illuminates an abused and sick body, the body as a political and social object raising existential questions about identity, ownership or control. In Pyre Woman Kneeling, 2002, we see an example of Smith using religious imagery to answer such questions. The posture of the naked woman, arms wide open and eyes up to the sky, reflects that of Jesus on the cross saying his last words "My God, My God, why did you abandon me?"

This particular work where the female figure is kneeling over a ‘not-yet-lit- bonfire commemorates the millions of women murdered in Europe, over the centuries, as part of the witchcraft trials. Kiki Smith is fascinated by women’s social, cultural and political roles in society, but also the universe of fantasy, popular folklore the great myths of creation. Her work often sits at the crossroads linking these aspects together.

“If a male body can represent all of humanity then a female body or a transgender body or anyone can represent all of humanity also.”


Poet Laureate
Staff member
Unfortunately I don't know the artist, but it's done very realistically
View attachment 1116978
Ignitrix would be a feminine ignitor, one who sets fire. Neither word seems to be recorded in Latin of any date, though at least from the late Empire, when the transitive verb ignio 'I set fire' comes into use, they could very well have been formed.
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