Flaying Judges

Artaxerxes of Persia had placed his satrap Tiribazus on trial for suspected disloyalty and he was to be judged for this by three judges. The judges sat on benches adorned with the flayed skin of corrupt judges who’d taken bribes. This was to always remind them of the punishment of being corrupt (Diodorus 15.10). Another example of this occurring was when Cambyses II, son of Cyrus the Great and second king of Perisa, flayed Sisamnes, a judge he accused of taking a bribe to pass an unjust ruling. He tanned strips of his skin and put them on the bench he had used to pass rulings. Then he gave Sisamnes’ son the position and reminded him to remember what happens to people who he found to be corrupt (Herodotus 5.25). I don’t think that’s what he thought when people said to be close to your father but it certainly gives a lot of motivation.

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Diodorus Siculus, Library – Book 15, Chapter 10


Herodotus, The Histories – Book 5, Chapter 25

Read more about Persian History


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