For questions related to last moments of someone's life.

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20
votes
1answer
429 views

When did the Romans begin using the sword, as opposed to the axe, for decapitation?

According to this article, the Romans first used the axe for decapitation, and then moved to using the sword later. The article states: [B]eheading, a mode of executing capital punishment by which ...
13
votes
3answers
6k views

Does the number of legs in the air of a horse statue indicate how its rider died?

I have heard that the number of legs a horse has in the air in a statue indicates how the rider died. According to what I have understood: 2 legs in the air: rider died in battle 1 leg in the air: ...
8
votes
1answer
422 views

How Many Members of US Congress Have Died While In Office?

As best I can tell, Leo Ryan of California is the only U.S. Member of Congress murdered while in office. He was killed by members of the People's Temple in Guyana in 1978. What I'm looking for are how ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How many Russian people did Tsar Ivan IV (“the Terrible”) kill?

Ivan's rule was full of contradiction, success and failure. Was his rule bloody? How many Russian people were killed by him?
6
votes
1answer
192 views

What deaths were caused by weapons deployed during a war long after the war has ended? [closed]

Inspired by Last death caused by World War I. Even as recently as 2013, we still have had casualties from abandoned munition stockpiles and the likes from WW1. I'm wondering if there are any wars ...
6
votes
0answers
264 views

Were the Nazis the first to use phenol as a means of execution?

Phenol was discovered in 1834 by Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge.... Injections of phenol were used as a means of individual execution by the Nazis during the Second World War. It was originally used by ...
5
votes
1answer
645 views

First US police officer killed in the line of duty

Who was the first US police officer killed in the line of duty? When and where did it take place? By US police officer, I mean any active-duty police officer working for any force in the US ...
5
votes
1answer
977 views

When did the Greeks start the practice of burying their dead relatives' bodies?

I was told that at the time around 1 B.C. to 2 A.D Greeks were still cremating bodies of their dead relatives. When did the Greeks start burying them?
5
votes
1answer
157 views

First recorded use of a traditional tombstone?

The question is rather straight-forward. I consider a "traditional" tombstone as some sort of monument having an inscribed name and date of birth/death or age.
5
votes
0answers
74 views

How did Pancrace Royer die?

Pancrace Royer was well known French harpsichordist who published a book in 1746. He died in 1755, but I can't find the cause of death (would probably be easier if I knew French). Does anyone know of ...
4
votes
1answer
416 views

What English king died from water intoxication?

I vaguely remember reading a story about an English king that died from drinking too much water after a hunt. I'm sorry to say that all parts of this story may be untrue…I'm not sure whether it was a ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

Was it customary for an executioner in Elizabethan England to ask for forgiveness from the executed?

The question is basically in the title already. I recently saw what is supposedly a historically correct account of Elizabeth I reign in the form of a documentary. The executioner there asked Maria I ...
4
votes
0answers
471 views

Latest recorded government sanctioned use of scaphism or cyphonism (torture)?

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. ...
4
votes
0answers
125 views

How dangerous duels were? [closed]

I know that duels (in the form popular in Europe of XIX and early XX century) didn't always end in death (dueling to death was even prohibited by some code e.g. Boziewicz code). I would like to know ...
3
votes
2answers
259 views

Did Ferdinand Magellan circumnavigate the globe?

As we know, Magellan died on the Philippines, so he did not circumnavigate the globe. However, I found an opinion claiming that he actually did, because he'd made some travels to east Asia before his ...