Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I found it!! The Poisoning Trials of 331 BCE

"The first known instance of the crime of poisoning at Rome was in
331 B.c.,when a high mortality, the result, probably, of a pestilence,
was attributed to poisoning. Even Livy doubted the validity of the
charges, but he gives the whole account as found in his sources. After
many leading citizens had died from the same disease, a slave-girl gave
information to the curule aediles that the reason for this high mortality
was the poisons prepared and administered by the Roman matrons.

On investigation they found about twenty matrons, including patrician
ladies, in the act of brewing poisons, which they declared were
salutary. On being forced to drink their own concoctions to prove
the charges false, they perished by their own wickedness. Following
this, a hundred and seventy more were found guilty of the same
offense." - Poisons and Poisonings Among Romans by David P. Kaufman


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