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Off With Their Heads
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No sooner do I refer (in the previous entry) to people losing their heads at Justinian's court, a shorthand expression we've used more than once in the books to indicate how dangerous the great palace could be, than I come upon an entry in rogueclassicism, Mysterious (?) Headless Bodies , pointing to an article in the Scotsman casting doubt on whether the Romans practiced decapitation.

Archaeologists have been left mystified by the discovery of 36 decapitated bodies, it was revealed today.

Experts from the York Archaeological Trust unearthed the skeletons of 49 young men and seven children at a Roman cemetery they discovered in The Mount area of the city.

But they were stunned to find that most of the men had had their heads chopped off, while another was bound with iron shackles.

Dr Patrick Ottaway, the trust’s head of field word, said he was left baffled by the find because Romans had no tradition of decapitations or shackling men.

Although this is before our time, Justinian and his contemporaries did consider themselves Romans, so I'm happy to report that some evidence of decapitation in the Roman world is presented. Although, Justinian's political enemies would probably not be so thrilled.

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