Torture has been around since the times of Ancient Greeceand is still around today, usually in the Mafia. Other than the mob, tortureisnt very common in our society. Punishments arent near as harsh as theyused to be back in medieval times. The only punishments we have now are jails,the punishments there were in medieval times were numerous and downright inhuman. Torture would keep criminal from doing something wrong again, assuming he livedthrough the torture.
The punishments we have today are laughable and dumb. Big deal, you are thrown in prison for a few years, you dont suffer one bit,but to the inmates, being thrown on a chain gang is so terrible. Being givenhundreds of paper cuts and being rolled in salt, now thats terrible and Imsure the convict will never break the law again. Places like Singapore stilloperate like this. It happened to that one teen who decided to spraypaint somecars. He thought he could get away with it and he almost did, but he shortlyfound out that he had a little pay-back coming to him.
The kid was caned, andhe hasnt done anything dumb since. Torture like this works, torture is a waythat can really make you have second thoughts before you do anything stupid. Torture was practiced in numerous ancient civilizations. Convicts and warprisoners were put to death by using torture to give them a slow, humiliatingdeath. To some American Indian tribes, it is a custom to torment and burn prisoners.
Crucifixion was a popular torture technique in ancient Rome. Rome also usedtorture to get slaves, criminals, just about anybody, to get them to talk aboutsecretive information. You see in these ancient Roman times, people were giveninformation and were told that they should never tell this information to noone, well the Romans found out about this and this caused a major uprise inthe use of torture. In 12th century Europe torture became very widespreadlike it had just did in Rome. Before Europe began using torture, they reliedon a more common judicial type of settlements for crimes, by the 13th centuryconfessions and eyewitness testimonies came about and were used to determineif a person were guilty or innocent.
But guess what was used to get these confessionsfrom convicts, torture was used, torture was used a lot, but it could onlybe used if there was a numerous amount of evidence against the defendent. Fromthe 14th to 18th centuries in Europe, torture was a very common thing of thelegal process of a majority of the European countries and even the Roman Catholicchurch. The Roman Catholic church used torture as a way of punishingheretics at the order of inquisitors. The Inquisition played a big part inthe world of torture.
The inquisition was a church founded in medieval timesthat was setup to find and prosecute heretics. The punishments for being aheretic were extreme punishments, stuff you would cringe at thinking about,such as the vise. You might have seen this device on the movie Casino. Thevictims head would be put in the vise and then the executioner would beginto tighten a little screw at the top of the vice, causing the victims headto start to compress. This technique was used a lot for getting people to confess.
The Inquisition was greatly defended during the middle ages. People saw itas okay, since it was a religious thing. Father Saint Augustine perceived Luke14:23; So the master said to the servant, Go out to the country roads andlanes and make people come in, so that my house will be full. , as biblicalproof of endorsing the punishment of heretics.
The Art of Torture: Believe it or not, torture was considered an artform. Were these peopledesperate for entertainment, though I would never see a person getting torturedas entertaining (unless it was a few of my most despised teachers, your notone Ms. Blohm) but some messed-up indivduals did. In the words of Victor Hugo,The guillotine is the ultimate expression of Law, and its name is vengence. The executioner, in the theatre of the guillotine, has a very special role.
He is the first one to walk on stage and that last one to walk off. The executioneris the only permanent member after he and the victim end their very short uneasyrelationship, as he releases the rope. The guillotine was one of the mostpopular spectacles to the people in the Middle Ages. The decapitation of theenemies of the people was used as celebrating. Some people saw the guillotineas too quick to be dramatic, so they made up for that by the way they wouldbring up the victims to the stage where the guillotine standed tall in allits gory glory.
The victims were usually aristocrats, the people would singand dance while the soon-to-be-dead rich guy was escorted by the man who wouldend his life. People took pleasure in seeing the ultimate law enforcementdevice in action. These people really took executions seriously, andwould go crazy if anything would malfunction during the execution. For instancethe story of Chalier, a man who constantly threatened the bourgeoisie of Lyons. A brand new guillotine was going to be used on Charlier.
The new machine wasntset up properly causing the guillotine huge blade to slowly slide down to Charliersneck. Three attempts later did nothing but deepen the cut on his neck. Ripert,the executioner had to get the job done by using a knife and since Charlierwas a bald man, he had to hold up the head by the ears instead of the hair. This grotesque scene of death led to the execution of the executioner and hisassistant. Back then you were killed for not killing the correct way.
TheTools of Medieval Torture: The tools used for torture range from completelypointless and humorous to flat out excruciating. Some tools were used to embarrasswhile others were to severly punish people and others were to torture a personwith classified information to the point of pain where the victim would justlie so that his misery would end. The Iron mask was an iron mask thatwas bolted shut. The mask usually displayed the face of something funny, likea pig or boar. You had to sleep, eat, and walk around with this iron pig facestuck to your head.
This wasnt really torture, it was usually used for peoplethat talked to much or compained about society. The Nags Bridle was a devicethat was locked over peoples mouths to prevent them from talking, if the personstill talked, it was removed and replaced with one that had spikes all aroundthe mouth area. This wasnt really a light torture but it was a lot lighterthan others such as the Pears, needles, thumbscrew, bamboo, and Painful cutstortures, these tortures were used to just plain hurt. Pears were pear-shapedmetal objects that were inserted in the victims mouth and the victims anus. After the device was in place, a screw at the top of the Pear could be turned,causing the Pear to open up.
The needle torture was very, very painful. Hugeneedles were pierced through certain parts of your body and left there. Theexecutioner would leave after this. The unknowing victim might try to removethe needles which was very, very dumb. You see, in the needle torture, everysingle time you moved muscle tissue began to rip, even if you moved just aninch or two. The thumbscrew was a very popular technique that used for gettingpeople to talk.
The victims thumbs were placed on the device and tightenedlike a vise. The victims thumbs would be crushed until he or she would saywhat they were hiding. The bamboo torture is like was done to torture POWsin Vietnam. Bamboo reeds are shoved under your finger nails, after a whileyou get used to the throbbing pain, until you figure out that the bamboo startsto grow. You see, bamboo can use body fluids to grow, imagine a bamboo reedgrowing all the way to your wrist then being yanked out. The Painful cuts tortureis a very crude one like the bamboo torture.
The executioner would give thevictim paper cuts all over his or her body, then the executioner would pickupthe victim and roll him or her in salt. The shock of pain sometimes killedsome of the victims. Now to execution, the torture to the death, a slow death. The Ordeal of Three is one of the most gruesome and least known of all tortures. The victim is cut open, then a Gila monster, a live Gila monster is sewn insidethe victim.
The carcass of a dead buffalo is opened up and the victim is placedinside, sewn in, and left to die. The Hook is another gruesome torture in whichthe victim is impaled on a hook and hung for everyone to see. The Spanish Horseis one the nastiest ways to die. A spiked pole pushed into the anus of thevictim and then standed up. The victim dies of being impaled by his or herown body weight.
The Columbian Necktie is what this torture technique is callednow. The Columbian Necktie is when the victim throat is slit open and the tongueof the victim is pulled through the opening. This is one of the few torturesstill used today, this technique is usually used by mobs. To concludethis paper on the history, art, and tools of medieval torture, all I can sayis that the Middle Ages were a time were crime was not tolerated.
Punishmentswere sever and done to keep a criminal from ever breaking the law again. Thisuse of severe punishments worked unlike the legal system of today where criminalsare living a better life in prison than most of the poor are living. Prisonersjust go back to what they were doing after they are released from prison, andthey usually end up back in prison. Not too many criminals in the Middle Ageswere dumb enough to go out and break the law after being tortured, there wasno prison were they could spend years in, torture was a fast and effectiveway of showing a criminal to never ever break the law again. Torture, oneof the few legal systems that worked.
B I B L I O G R A P H YThe Gullotineand the Terror, Arasse, Daniel. 1987 Penguin Press. The Executioner’s Homepage,http://www. luh. K12.
ca. us/%7Ebg659808/torture. htmland ID Software at http://www. idsoftware. com,for the cool picture.