the public executioner at Rome, who put
slaves and foreigners to death (Plaut. Bacch.
5.4, 22), but no citizens except in the case of
those convicted of perduellio,
under the empire. It was also his business to administer the torture. He was
usually a public slave, and his office was considered so disgraceful that he
was not allowed to reside within the city (Cic.
pro Rab. Perd. 5
, 15), but he lived without
the Porta Esquilina (Plaut. Pseud.
1.3, 98; cf. Ritschl,
2.382), near the place destined for the punishment
of slaves (Plaut. Cas.
2.6, 2; Tac.
; Hor. Epod.
5.99), called Sestertium or
Sessorium under the emperors (Plut. Galb.
It is thought by some writers, from a passage in Plautus (Rud.
3.6, 19), that the carnifex was anciently keeper of the prison under the
triumviri capitales; but there does not appear sufficient authority for this
opinion. (Lipsius, Excurs. ad Tacit. Ann.
] [A. S. W.]