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Scaphism, also known as "the boats", and cyphonism both seem to involve smearing an individual in honey and exposing them outdoors to insects for a prolonged period of time as a form of torture. Plutarch reported that Mithridates, the killer of Cyrus the Younger during the Battle of Cunaxa in 401 BC, survived scaphism for 17 days before dying. The Mongols also practiced a similar type of torture. This type of torture seems particularly excruciating.

What is the latest recorded use of this type of torture (smearing in honey and outdoor exposure) with government support? Is it still in use today? This dictionary definition for cyphonism claims it is still in use in some Oriental nations but I could not find any proof and the definition is unclear on whether it is referring to government sanctioned use of cyphonism.

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This is an interesting question. I hope someone can provide an answer. How and where did you come across Scaphism/Cyphonism? –  E1Suave Aug 19 '12 at 14:42
I was reading the Anabasis (Xenophon) article on Wikipedia, then clicked through to Battle of Cunaxa, and in that article it noted that Mithridates was "executed by scaphism." Not knowing what scaphism was I researched it, which also led to cyphonism. –  Mike Rodey Aug 20 '12 at 3:19

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