Oxford Dictionary defines torture as the action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a punishment or in order to force them to do or say something. In recent times, the closest we come to witnessing torture is when we see a cop beating the hell out of a suspect during investigation in movies.
It, being insanely brutal, makes us all close our eyes and pray for the victim. But what if we tell you that beating someone might be the kindest form of torture that exists.
Hard to believe? Well, here is a list of prehistoric and medieval instruments that were used in earlier times and how they inflicted horror among their victims.
Used throughout Europe for many centuries, the rack is a bedlike wooden device on which the victim is laid on. His hands and legs are tied down to a rope and then the rope is stretched so much so that his joints are torn apart.
Invented by British constable John Exeter in 1447 to torture the prisoners in the Tower of London (called the Duke of Exeter’s Daughter back then). There have been many versions of the rack, such as The Horse, wherein its shape resembles that of an actual horse.
The French did their own changes in the design. They added metal spikes in the middle which would slice into the back and tear apart the back muscles.
The Brazen Bull
Believed to have been invented by a Greek man named Perilaus, the Brazen Bull made it to the list for the immense torture that it subjected its victims to. This brass device has the shape of a bull and is surrounded by firewood.
Its inside is hollow and that is where the victim is put. The bull is set on fire and the heat conducts through brass and melts the victim’s body. His agony and screams sound like a bull’s snorts to the spectators.
Also known as the Breaking Wheel, it was a means for torturing people until the 19th century. Its first use dates back to the 305 AD when St Catherine of Alexandria died on the wheel refusing to renounce her Christian faith.
The victim’s body was tied to the vertically-placed wooden wheel in such a way that the face directs up towards the sky. The body was stretched so much that the feet almost touched the head.
To increase the agony, the wheel was often kept over fire or laden with spikes. The torture was carried out in the open, and thus the victim was also attacked by birds.
Read More: What Is An Iron Maiden? We Know Of The Band, But The Actual Thing Was A Medieval Torture Device
The Iron Maiden
It consists of an iron cabinet with 2 doors that open out front. The insides of the doors are laden with spikes. However, the spikes are not so long that the victim dies instantly. Rather, the victim suffers and bleeds for hours and days before ultimately dying.
Roman General Marcus Atilius Regulus was tortured to death using this device by the Carthaginians. The spikes only pierced his skin when he fell asleep. Ultimately, he died of sleep deprivation.
You’d be surprised to know that it was used in 2004 to punish underperforming Iraqi athletes by Uday, the son of the fifth President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein. He didn’t appreciate their defeat and it was his way of punishing them in case they didn’t perform well.
The Scavenger’s Daughter
This is the complete opposite of the Rack. The rack works on stretching the limbs of an individual to the point where the joints are ripped apart, whereas the Scavenger’s daughter compresses the body so much so that the blood squeezes out hands, nose, torso, etc.
It was designed by Leonard Skeffington, the Lieutenant of the Tower of London during the reign of King Henry VIII of England. It consists of a hoop of iron in which the victim is placed such that his torso is above the lower body.
Then this was tightened using a screw up to the point that the limbs were broken and the spine was dislocated.
Insane, right? Which of these devices horrified you the most? Tell us in the comment section below.
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This post is tagged under: the iron maiden, the brazen bull, the rack, the scavenger’s daughter, the wheel, prehistorical and medieval instruments of torture, horrific way of torturing people, breaking limbs while torturing, which is the most brutal way of torturing someone, inhumane method of torture, how were people punished in medieval ages, torture methods