Immurement

execution method

Immurement (from Latin "immurus", meaning " wall in" or "enwall"), immuration or live entombment is a historical form of imprisonment, generally until death, in which someone is/was placed in an enclosed space with the opening walled off. Immurement has been used as a punishment and as a form of human sacrifice. As a punishment, live entombment was largely used on members of clergy (monks, nuns and ancient Rome's Vestal Virgins for example) and others whose blood was not allowed to be spilled according to custom and or law. Also in Mongolia, women who were accused of adultery were often immured in crates which had a holes for the head and one arm to poke through. The latest documented case of immurement as a form of execution occurred in 1906 in Morocco. The one walled up in this case was a Serial killer named Mohammed Mesfewi who was originally sentenced to crucifixion before foreign dignitaries talked the Moroccan government out of crucifying Mohammed. As a form of human sacrifice, live entombment was intended to ensure that buildings and bridges remained standing. It was thought that immuring living people in this manner would bring good luck to the structure. Usually the entombed victim would be left to starve to death, but sometimes they were fed regularly. In the latter case, immurement was more life imprisonment than a form of execution. There have been historical and fictional accounts of people being walled in alive. One story of fictional immuration is in the story The Cask of Armontillado by Edgar Allen Poe.

SourcesEdit

  • Altekar, Anant S. (1959). The Position of Women in Hindu Civilization: From Prehistoric Times to the Present Day. Madras: Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 9788120803244.
  • Baltikumresan. "The immured knight". aulik.se. Baltikumresan. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03.
  • ibn Batuta; Lee (1829). The Travels of Ibn Batuta. London: Oriental Translation Committee.
  • Bechstein, Ludwig (1858). Thüringer sagenbuch. Coburg: C. A. Hartleben.