ABSTRACT

The public admonition inherent in hanging justified the permanent display of the body, without it being taken down from the gallows. This macabre show would serve as an example and dissuade the perverse, as King Peter the Ceremonious explained in 1341: “perversorum exemplo debent cunctorum occulis publice subjacere”. 1 This was a general practice in Europe, and involved transferring the bodies from the central place of execution in the town to a place outside it for permanent display. In Périgueux, for example, they were taken to Écourneboeuf, two kilometres to the south-west. 2 The idea of this was that they would be seen by travellers, so that the paths were often accompanied by bodies hanging from the gallows, as shown in many images of landscapes from this epoch. 3