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Thread: Torture Practices of the Ancient World

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    Senior Member Verđandi's Avatar
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    Torture Practices of the Ancient World

    Source: Spiegel Online (5-15-09)
    Was the cradle of civilization also the birthplace of atrocity? Historians have been researching the most extreme forms of torture in the ancient world. Among other things, they have found that, back then, "sitting in the tub" was actually a pretty nasty way to kick the bucket.

    In total, Julius Caesar reckoned that he had 1,192,000 enemies killed during his reign. Meanwhile the Emperor Tiberius would have young men's urethras laced shut before force-feeding them wine. And, under Caligula, it became customary to saw noblemen in half.

    It sounds bad -- but were these the cruellest of them all? Would they qualify for the barbarity top 10?


    More...

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    Until reformed under the Treason Act 1814,[2] the full punishment for the crime of treason was to be hanged, drawn and quartered in that the condemned prisoner would be:

    1. Dragged on a hurdle (a wooden frame) to the place of execution. This is one possible meaning of drawn.[3] The more likely meaning of Drawn is the act of disembowelment.[4]
    2. Hanged by the neck for a short time or until almost dead (hanged).
    3. Disembowelled and emasculated and the genitalia and entrails burned before the condemned's eyes (this is another meaning of drawn—see the reference to the Oxford English Dictionary below).[5]
    4. The body divided into four parts, then beheaded (quartered).

    Typically, the resulting five parts (i.e. the four quarters of the body and the head) were gibbeted (put on public display) in different parts of the city, town, or, in famous cases, in the country, to deter would-be traitors who had not seen the execution. After 1814, the convict would be hanged until dead and the mutilation would be performed post-mortem. Gibbeting was later abolished in England in 1843, while drawing and quartering was abolished in 1870.

    There is debate among modern historians about whether "drawing" referred to the dragging to the place of execution or the disembowelling, but since two different words are used in the official documents detailing the trial of William Wallace ("detrahatur" for drawing as a method of transport, and "devaletur" for disembowelment), there is no doubt that the subjects of the punishment were disembowelled.[6]

    Judges delivering sentence at the Old Bailey also seemed to have had some confusion over the term "drawn", and some sentences are summarized as "Drawn, Hanged and Quartered". Nevertheless, the sentence was often recorded quite explicitly. For example, the record of the trial of Thomas Wallcot, John Rouse, William Hone and William Blake for offences against the king, on 12 July 1683 concludes as follows:

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    Senior Member Segestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verđandi View Post
    Source: Spiegel Online (5-15-09)
    Was the cradle of civilization also the birthplace of atrocity? Historians have been researching the most extreme forms of torture in the ancient world. Among other things, they have found that, back then, "sitting in the tub" was actually a pretty nasty way to kick the bucket.

    In total, Julius Caesar reckoned that he had 1,192,000 enemies killed during his reign. Meanwhile the Emperor Tiberius would have young men's urethras laced shut before force-feeding them wine. And, under Caligula, it became customary to saw noblemen in half.

    It sounds bad -- but were these the cruellest of them all? Would they qualify for the barbarity top 10?


    More...
    None sense , Rome is the foundation of modern day law. If you really want read on barbaric practices see the Eastern Kings. They skinned there enemies alive , removed ears, eyes, legs , arms , tongues . Took spear heads and gouged out the eyes slowly , burned children to their gods. Rome never did these things and most person who were latter in the Empire sent into the arena were captive enemies. The Gauls for example, hung heads of those they had killed in battle from the manes of there horse.
    Rome was the Center of Civilization and tolerance.... we can see what reward was theirs.

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    Senior Member velvet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Segestan View Post
    Rome was the Center of Civilization and tolerance....
    Eh, what?
    Rome was neither civilised until it learned civilisation from the Greeks and Celts, and it surely wasnt 'tolerant'. If anything, they didnt care about certain things, as long as the people took their service for Rome serious.

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    Senior Member Segestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velvet View Post
    Eh, what?
    Rome was neither civilised until it learned civilisation from the Greeks and Celts, and it surely wasnt 'tolerant'. If anything, they didnt care about certain things, as long as the people took their service for Rome serious.

    Praise the victory written history!
    Please point me in the direction of an ancient power that was better.

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