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history of torture part 4 ~ roman tortures ~heather

  Author:  25828  Category:(Interesting) Created:(11/12/2004 8:01:00 AM)
This post has been Viewed (87037 times)

Roman torture

the romans regarded torture as a legitimate way of obtaining the truth in legal proceedings. the law permitted slaves and foreigners to be tortured before a specifically licensed court, and later it was commonplace in any case involving treason or sorcery.

the decadence of the late roman empire and the absolute power invested in its rulers allowed the likes of nero, tiberius, and caligula to pursue their sadistic inclinations unchecked. for these monsters, torture was almost a hobby.

torture was a penalty in itself or a prelude to death or banishment. it was used for both civil and criminal offenses (creditors, for instance, were allowed to torture their debtors), and later, christian emperors decreed heresy was punishable by flogging. the roman flogging whip, or flagellum, would often kill.

the roman historian suetonius, writing in his 'lives of the twelve caesars', described how tiberius invented a method of torture to inflict on suspected lawbreakers. the emperor would force 'the poor wretches to drink a great quantity of wine, and presently to tie their members with a lute string, that he might rack them at once with the girding of the string, and with the pressure of urine'.

the rack, more properly known as the equuleus (young horse), was a favored instrument of torture and probably looked something like a gymnasium vaulting horse. it was equipped with heavy weights that were hung from the victim's limbs, slowly stretching him to death.

sawing a man in half.

tiberius was particularly sensitive to rumors of treason..when in AD 31 the commander of his praetorian guard, lucius aelius sejanus, was suspected of murdering the emperors only son, drusus, a ruthless witch-hunt followed. tiberius executed sejanus and tortured almost everyone he thought he should mistrust. it was even claimed that he racked to death a close friend who merely happened by on a social visit.

tiberius's successor, caligula, had a reputation for watching prisoners suffer while he ate. his torturers were told a victim should "feel himself die"- a term which required them to inflict dozens of small cuts and stab wounds to ensure a lingering end ***this one is PARTICULARLY nasty and a sore spot for me ~heather***

caligula's many atrocites included sawing men in half and burning them alive as a sideshow in the roman circus. according to suetonius he once ordered a gladiator master to be 'cramped with irons, and beaten for two days'..and 'did not kill him outright till his brain was putrefied and offended him with the stench'.

persecution of christians was a feature of the late empire, the 4th century emperor maximinus pursued this policy with particular relish. a description of the execution of apphianus by the theologian eusebius records how the prisoner was hung up high to suffer sharp combs being dragged down every side of his body. "his feet were burning in a sharp fire so that the flesh of his feet, as it was consumed, dropped like melted wax and the fire burst into his very bones like dry reeds".

history of torture and execution by jane kellaway

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Halloween is Right around the corner.. .







 
Replies:      
Date: 11/12/2004 8:05:00 AM  From Authorid: 46527    Ad & went to the Museum of Torture in Carcassonne in the south of France last year, a number of these torture methods were depicted there....  
Date: 11/12/2004 8:11:00 AM  From Authorid: 59418    Woah, That's horrible...I can't believe people used to do that!  
Date: 11/12/2004 8:38:00 AM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 25828    that's cool LSR, ididn't know there was such a musuem..that one i'd like to attend 8-P  
Date: 11/12/2004 8:41:00 AM  From Authorid: 62675    This is all facinating!! And make me be glad I live here and now!!  
Date: 11/12/2004 10:13:00 AM  From Authorid: 46527    Erm....can you read French? I guess you could always run it through Babelfish and translate the site: http://www.croa-at.com/animat/torture/  
Date: 11/12/2004 10:24:00 AM  From Authorid: 53284    Your posts make me appreciate a judicial system that presumes a person is innocent until proven guilty.  
Date: 11/12/2004 10:37:00 AM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 25828    yes i can LSR, i got french departmental award in high school 8-P thanks for the link  
Date: 11/12/2004 10:38:00 AM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 25828    what a cool site, i see they have a gibbet picture..that post is coming soon 8-P  
Date: 11/12/2004 10:46:00 AM  From Authorid: 46527    There were many devices not pictured on that site, I must see if I can find pictures.  
Date: 11/12/2004 11:01:00 AM  From Authorid: 61977    These posts thus far are very educational....and I will add string many chords of mine as I read them....on I go to the next post....Thanks Heather....from Heather...LOL  
Date: 11/12/2004 11:26:00 AM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 25828    your name is heather , mother love? cool 8-) thanks for reading  
Date: 11/12/2004 11:27:00 AM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 25828    p.s..you know you're old when you've been here long enough that you got to use your first name 8-P  

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