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Torture Devices of the Middle Ages

TORTURE Punishment in Middle Ages Devices Execution in Prague - 1870s Vintage Antique Print

Similar to the wooden horse, the Judas cradle was a pyramid shaped and sharpened device, on which a victim was lowered via ropes. As the victim was lowered, the device would slowly tear open their anus, vulva or scrotum. Though the device is often attributed to the Spanish Inquisition, there is evidence that it existed before this time as part of carnival sideshows.

Rat Exposure. Originally, the victim had a fine cut made in the gut - leaving some of his intestines to be seen. During the early Middle Ages, it was common to simply leave him to catch an infection, causing death in a couple of days to weeks. Nevertheless, during the later Medieval Times, torturers began using small animals to cause the victim's death faster and more painful.

Flaying is an old torture method used thousands of yrs ago in the Middle East, Africa and America. In the Middle Ages, it was frequently used to torture and execute criminals, soldiers and witches. Usually the victim's arms and legs were tied to a pole. The torturer, slowly peeled the victim's skin. Often and slowly, facial skin was peeled first, down to the victim's feet. Most victims died before peeling reached their waist. Sometimes, the victim was submerged in boiling water beforehand.

The Coffin Torture. The period of time a victim was to be kept inside the coffin was determined by his or her crime. Very serious crimes, such as blasphemy, were punished by death inside the coffin where the victim was to be kept inside under the sun with animals eating his or her flesh. The coffin was sometimes placed in a public plaza so the local population would congregate around it and mock the unlucky victim.