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Thread: Medieval Torture Methods

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    Member Stephen's Avatar
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    Post Medieval Torture Methods

    After I've seen the beheading of Nick Berg by the Al-Kaida, and after I've experienced, that my family was shocked by the brutalism of it, I decided to start this thread, since in medieval Europe the torture was an every day thing.

    Saw

    This instrument had widespread diffusion all over Europe. The saw was inflicted for a great variety of crimes (rebellion, witchcraft, military disobedience), probably owing to its being easily found in all houses so enabling a quick execution.

    As we can see from a series of printings and engravings of that period, the victim was hung in an inverted position in order to assure sufficient oxygenation of the brain and to slow down the general loss of blood so that he didn't lose consciousness at once, thus to inflict a longer suffering before death struck.




    Rectal, Oral, and Vaginal Pear

    Its name comes from its shape. This instrument had a screw mechanism by which it was progressively expanded to the maximum aperture of the two or three elements it was made of.

    This instrument was forced into the mouth or rectum of male victims and into the vagina of female victims. The oral, rectal, or vaginal pear was inflicted on people guilty of sodomy, on women guilty of adultery, people guilty of incest or sexual union with Satan, and it was also inflicted on heretical preachers and blasphemers.

    This torture has in itself the implicit idea of inflicting punishment that was opposite to the kind of crime one had been charged with.




    Cat's Paw or Spanish Tickler

    This instrument looks very much like a cat's paw with very long and sharp claws. It was brutally used to rip the victim's flesh to shreds. Because of the dimension of the claws, muscles and bones were no obstacle in this barbaric practice. It was, of course, inflicted on victims tied up hand and foot.





    The Heretic's Fork

    This instrument was made of two little forks, one set against the other and of which the points rammed into the flesh under the chin and over the chest.

    A little collar supported the instrument to prevent any movement of the victim. The forks did not penetrate into vital points, prolonging suffering before death.

    Obviously, the victim's hands were tied behind his back.





    The Inquisitional Chairs

    All of them have common characteristics, in that they are covered with spikes on the back, on the arm-rests, on the seat, on the leg-rests, and on the foot-rests.

    It's easy to comprehend the effect of the spikes piercing the victim's body made even more effective by a screw bar system to immobilize the victim and make the pins penetrate more deeply.

    The bars, either made of iron or wood, fastened the victim around the waist, around the wrists, and around the chest or bust.

    The seat was often made of iron that could be heated. These implements were used in Germany up until the 19th century, in Italy and in Spain up until the end of the 1700s, in France and in other central European countries, according to certain sources, up until the end of 1800.






    The Wake of Juda's Cradle

    The victim was hung by an iron belt surrounding his upper waist, he was bound hand and foot, his legs were kept slightly open by a stick in such a way that he could only move them at the same time. He was hoisted over a pointed pyramid put on top of a rack. His legs were stretched out frontwards and joined with a rope at his ankles. The victim was lowered onto the pyramid point that penetrated into the anus or vagina. Thus the victim, with his muscles contracted, couldn't relax and fall asleep.





    The Virgin of Nuremberg

    The name of this instrument seems to have its origin from a prototype that was built in the town of Nuremberg. It is also said that this sort of sarcophagus had a maiden face carved on its front door probably aimed at making this horrible container look more refined.

    The sarcophagus was fitted with spikes on the inside that pierced different parts of the body but never transfixed vital organs in order to keep the victim alive, hanging upright.

    The device would be opened both from the front and from the back side without the victim being able to get out. The container was so thick that no shriek could be heard from outside unless the doors were opened.

    When the sarcophagus doors were shut back, the spikes penetrated the same parts of the body and into the same wounds as before, inflicting a long and cruel agony.




    The Garrotte

    This device has a Spanish name because it was improved in Spain where it became the official instrument of capital punishment and remained in use until 1975, when the last to be executed was a young student later to be found innocent.

    This instrument has very ancient origins. It was originally made of a pole driven in the ground and a rope to tie up round the victim's neck.

    This sort of torture was used all over the world. The Spanish version was perfected for this instrument to be used for execution. It had an iron collar that had an iron on its rear which penetrated the cervical vertebrae in a way that the convict died both for asphyxiation and because the spinal cord was crushed.





    Various other methods of torture

    - nails in heads
    - cut off of limbs
    - blinding
    - strangulation
    - burning
    - cutting off of noses and ears
    - mutilation of sexual organs
    - scalping
    - skinning
    - exposure to the elements or to wild animals
    - impalement
    Last edited by Stephen; Thursday, May 27th, 2004 at 05:04 PM.

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    Post Re: Medieval European torture methods

    You forgot the wheel. Some of the Romanian rebels around 1780 were killed like that in Transylvania, by those times authorities.

    But happened that you passed from the thread of that wonderful girl to ttorture methods?

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    Post Re: Medieval European torture methods

    I've seen the beheading of Nick Berg. That inspired me, and this is history afterall...

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    Post Re: Medieval European torture methods

    I saw the whole at few days it appeared. Let's say that the way it has been done is more rather Middle-Age-ish than 21st century style.

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    Senior Member Moody's Avatar
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    Post Re: Medieval European torture methods

    Even in torture our ancestors were the best and the most creative!

    Now I know what the lyic "cat's foot and iron claw" refers too [should be "cat's paw"].

    Excellent work Stephen!

    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
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    Post Re: Medieval European torture methods

    Germany has a Medieval Torture museum, but I forgot where

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    Post Re: Medieval European torture methods

    Rothenburg ob der Tauber, in Bavaria, not too far from Nürnberg.

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    Post Re: Medieval European torture methods

    In Vienna is one too, but I wasnt there so far...
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    Post Re: Medieval European torture methods

    Quote Originally Posted by Moody Lawless

    Excellent work Stephen!
    Thank you.

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    Post Re: Medieval European torture methods

    Interesting. I saw a small demonstration of a few torure methods during my visit to the London Dungeons a few years back, and ive heard of a few of these techniques before, but its still un-nervingly gruesome.
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