republican marriage

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Noun[edit]

republican marriage (plural republican marriages)

  1. A form of human execution used during the French Revolution in which a man and woman were tied together naked, exposed to public view for a time in this condition, and then stabbed, shot, or thrown into a body of water to drown.
    • 2006, Ruth Scurr, Fatal Purity: Robespierre And the French Revolution, p. 305:
      Among other atrocities, he had instituted a new version of republican marriage, which involved tying a naked man and woman together and drowning them.
    • 1907, Henry Smith Williams, The Historians' History of the World, p. 330:
      "By degrees, daylight itself witnesses Noyades: women and men are tied together, feet and feet, hands and hands; and flung in: this they call Mariage Républicain, Republican Marriage."
    • 1850, Archibald Alison and Edward Sherman Gould, History of Europe from the Commencement of the French Revolution in 1789, to the Restoration of the Bourbons in 1815, p. 44:
      A Revolutionary Tribunal was established [at Nantes ], of which Carrier was the presiding demon—Carrier, known in all nations as the inventor of that last of barbarous atrocities, the Republican Marriage, in which two persons of different sexes, generally an old man and an old woman, or a young man and a young woman, bereft of every kind of clothing, were bound together before the multitude, exposed in a boat in that situation for half an hour or more, and then thrown into the river.

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