History News: The Blood of King Louis XVI

From Discovery News:

“Carved pumpkins abound this Halloween season, but a decorated gourd dated to 1793 may be the spookiest of them all. New research determines it may contain the blood of Louis XVI, who was executed by guillotine that same year. ”

Humans have always attached great significance to blood, the very essence of life itself. It is equated with power, both good and evil, and sometimes is assumed to have magical properties. What could be more potent than the blood of royalty?

For centuries in Europe, executions were public spectacles, with citizens invited or even required to attend. It was common for spectators to dip handkerchiefs or other pieces of cloth into the blood that pooled below the executions scaffold. According to the text inscribed into this gourd, it was used as a container by one Maximilien Bourdaloue to store his gory prize, nothing less than the blood of  Louis XVI, who was beheaded in 1793. Now the dried residue is being subjected to DNA testing, which supports the information written on the gourd.

Further details:

article

Happy Halloween!

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