Forks

The gallows. (Latin, furca.) Cicero (de Divinitate, i. 26) says, “Ferens furcam ductus est, ” often quoted in proof that criminals condemned to the cross were obliged to carry their own cross to the place of execution. But the ordinary meaning of furca is a kind of yoke to which the hands of criminals were fastened. The punishment was of three degrees of severity: (1) The furca ignominiosa; (2) the furca pænalis; and (3) the furca capitalis. The first was for slight offences, and consisted in carrying the furca on the shoulders, more or less weighted. The second consisted in carrying the furca and being scourged. The third was being scourged to death. The word furcifer meant what we call a gallows-bad or vile fellow.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

More on Forks from Fact Monster:

  • Caudine Forks - Caudine Forks Caudine Forks , narrow passes in the Southern Apennines, S Italy, on the road from ...
  • tuning fork - tuning fork tuning fork, steel instrument in the shape of a U with a short handle. When struck it ...
  • Caney Fork - Caney Fork Caney Fork, river, 144 mi (232 km) long, rising in central Tenn. and flowing NW to the ...
  • Grand Forks - Grand Forks Grand Forks, city (1990 pop. 49,425), seat of Grand Forks co., E N.Dak., at the ...
  • North Fork - North Fork North Fork, river, c.100 mi (160 km) long, rising in the Ozarks, S Mo., and flowing S, ...

Related Content