Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hoist By His Own Petard

Maxmilien Robespierre was executed by guillotine on this day in 1794. He was 36. It was Robespierre who "popularized" this new form of public decapitation, turning it into a form of popular theater attended by thousands. The mob enjoyed it because the individuals losing their heads were all aristocrats. But eventually other revolutionaries began losing their heads, then people who disagreed with the ruling clique, people Robespierre suspected of plotting against the Revolution or against him. This was the period of the French Revolution that became known as The Terror. Robespierre appears only once in A Book of Ages, at age 36.

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