Definition: Disgraced criminals in the Roman Empire were thrown onto the Scalae Gemoniae or Gemonian Stairs where they were left to rot. Usually criminals were strangled prior to being discarded. Mobs could vent their hostility and dogs could ravage the body before it was pulled off by a hook and tossed into the Tiber River. The Tarpeian Rock had been similarly used during the Republican period. The Scalae Gemoniae are first mentioned in connection with the second emperor of Rome, Tiberius.
See Lacus Curtius Scalae Gemoniae for more details.
Also Known As: gradus gemitorii, gradus Gemonii, Gemoniae, ἀναβασμοί
Examples:Two high-ranking figures in the early Roman Empire wound up on the Gemonian Stairs. The first was Sejanus under the reign of Tiberius. The other was Emperor Vitellius.