from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A form of execution, among the ancient Persians, in which the victim is fastened into a hollow boat, force-fed and slathered in honey and milk and exposed to insects until the victim's death.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An ancient mode of punishing criminals among the Persians, by confining the victim in a trough, with his head and limbs smeared with honey or the like, and exposed to the sun and to insects until he died.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A barbarous punishment inflicted among the Persians, by confining the victim in a hollow tree.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The ancient Persians developed a gruesome practice called scaphism, which involved force-feeding a person milk and honey, lashing him to a boat or hollow tree trunk, and then allowing flies to infest the victim's anus and increasingly gangrenous flesh.
In my more barbaric moments I toy with the idea of bringing back the death penalty for crimes like this - but not execution by hanging - I was thinking execution by scaphism.
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