The Gemonian Stairs (Scalae Gemoniae) were a flight of steps located in the city of Rome. Nicknamed the Stairs of Mourning, the stairs are infamous in Roman history as a place of execution.
The condemned were usually strangled before their bodies were bound and thrown down the stairs. Occasionally the corpses of the executed were transferred here for display from other places of execution in Rome. Corpses were usually left to rot on the staircase for extended periods of time in full view of the Forum, scavenged by dogs or other carrion animals, until eventually being thrown into the Tiber.
Death on the stairs was considered extremely dishonourable and dreadful.