Medieval instruments of torture

Torture is an ancient pastime, the essence of which is the purposeful infliction of torture in order to obtain information, or for punishment for the sake of. Intentionally or through negligence can lead to the death of the person who is being tortured.

"Witch's Chair" - Chair of the Inquisition. It was highly regarded as a good remedy against silent women accused of witchcraft. Used extensively by the Austrian Inquisition. Chairs were of various sizes and shapes, equipped with spikes, with handcuffs, blocks for fixing the victim and, most often, with iron seats that could be heated if necessary. Evidence of the use of this weapon for slow killing has been found.

"Gag" - a piece of wood or rag that is forcibly thrust into the mouth in order to make it impossible to bite or scream.

"Heretic's Fork" - a leather belt tightly wrapping around the neck with four sharp spikes piercing the body under the chin and in the sternum, hindered any movement of the victim, without interfering, however, with the accused admitting his guilt. This type of fork has been used in court proceedings on charges of heresy and witchcraft, as well as in ordinary crimes.

"Whip" - a whip with a weighting agent at the end. There are several types of nuts: Don, Kuban, statutory (made according to the charter of the tsarist army), Ural. Nagays were used as non-lethal weapons, as well as as a hunting weapon when hunting predators. One of the varieties of the hunting whip is called the "wolfbreaker". The use of nuts by the Cossacks during the suppression of revolutionary unrest in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century gained fame and "antipopularity".

"Iron Maiden" - an instrument of capital punishment or torture, which was a wardrobe made of iron in the form of a woman dressed in a 16th century city woman's costume. It is assumed that after placing the convict there, the cabinet was closed, and the sharp long nails with which the inner surface of the chest and arms of the "iron maiden" was seated, pierced his body; then, after the death of the victim, the movable bottom of the cabinet sank, the body of the executed was thrown into the water and carried away by the current.

"Pillar of Shame" - a device used to expose to general ridicule and humiliation as a punishment. It consisted of a post installed in a public place, usually on a platform, to which the convict was chained with a collar and shackles, or from a post with blocks. They were sentenced to standing at the pillar of shame for a certain period, usually for minor crimes. Sometimes, standing at the pillar was accompanied by flogging or physical violence from the crowd, which could sometimes be fatal.

Falaka is a traditional Muslim Middle East and North African instrument for punishing the bare soles of the feet. It was widely used in Iran and the Ottoman Empire in relation to criminals, debtors, guilty children, women and apprentices, as well as in the army of the Janissaries. For XX, falaka almost lost its traditional use as an instrument of punishment and survived as an illegal method of interrogation - beating in the footsteps.

"Pear" - consists of an iron pear-shaped drop-down box and a screw. The main part was the screw. Above was a handle, which was often crowned with decoration. When the screw was twisted, the pear petals opened like a flower. There could be 3-4 petals. Tore apart the larynx (oral), colon (anal), vagina (vaginal), nostril (nasal). Can be seen in the 2009 film "Tsar".

"Gossip Girl Violin" - could be made of wood or iron, for one or two women. An instrument of mild torture, which has a rather psychological and symbolic meaning. It was applied mainly to those guilty of libel or insulting the person. The hands and neck of the victim were fixed in small holes, so that the punished woman found herself in a prayer position. One can imagine the suffering of the victim from circulatory problems and pain in the elbows when the device was worn for a long time, sometimes for several days.

"Iron Slipper" - in appearance it resembles the comfortable slippers of our time. With the help of a screw, the size was adjusted in accordance with the measure of the penalty. The culprit was obliged to walk the streets of the city with a bell so that people would know that public punishment was being carried out. This saved the strength of the executioners, since the "slippers" themselves provided torture. Just imagine what it would be like to walk in slippers three sizes smaller than yours.

"Blocks" - a wooden structure with slots for the head and hands. Used to contain prisoners or prisoners, or as an instrument of torture or punishment. In particular, the criminal chained in stocks was exposed for public ridicule. The perpetrator was sometimes left without food or water on a hot day. To such a punishment were sentenced, in particular, the writer Daniel Dafoe and Admiral Thomas Cochrane.

"Spanish boot" - an instrument of torture by compressing the knee and ankle joints, muscles and lower leg. The classic "boot" consisted of two planks with a leg between them. These boards were the inner part of the machine, pressing on them as wooden stakes were immersed in it, which the executioner drove into special nests. The metal version was an iron shell for the leg and foot and was used by the Spanish Inquisition for interrogations. The boot plates were cranked together, damaging the flesh and breaking the bones of the foot.

"Bucks" - an instrument of torture by stretching the victim's body with simultaneous tearing of the joints. Initially, the rack in Russia was the name of the instrument of punishment - a block or block, to which the accused was tied ("put in a rack").

"Nine-Tailed Cat" - a whip with nine or more tails, usually with hard tips, special knots or hooks at the ends, causing lacerations. Was invented in England. Since flogging was sanctioned in Britain in 1689, it was considered the best way to maintain discipline for nearly two hundred years. The analogy with the cat appeared, probably due to the parallel wounds that the "claws" of the weapon inflict.

"Vigil" or "Cradle Guard" - does not involve bodily harm. There are no broken vertebrae, twisted ankles or shattered joints, the only substance that suffers is the victim's nerves. The idea behind torture was to keep the victim awake for as long as possible. It was torture with insomnia. But during the time of the Inquisition, "Vigil" took various, sometimes very cruel forms.

"Mask of Shame" - a medieval instrument of torture, originally worn on grumpy wives, on women convicted of being rude in a public place. A metal structure that can be put on and fixed on the head. There is a sharp metal gag in the front of the structure. When trying to speak, the gag seriously injured his tongue and lips. Another type of mask of shame is also widely known. This is water torture. This type of mask was a metal structure that was worn over the head and completely covered the victim's face, leaving only holes for the eyes and an elongated hole for pouring water directly into the victim's mouth. The victim was unable to close his mouth and block the flow of water through the tube.

"Chastity Belt" - it is believed that such a device was worn on their wives by the crusaders to guarantee their loyalty when they left for a campaign in Palestine. However, the result was infections that penetrate the body at the points of contact of the metal edges with the body, as well as all kinds of complications arising from the inability to wash properly. It seems that the main purpose of the device was some kind of protection against rape. The women themselves asked for such belts. However, the "chastity belts" were still an instrument of torture, which women were subjected to of their own free will in order to avoid violence from men.

"Male chastity belt" is a kind of "opposition" to the female "chastity belt".

"Collar with handcuffs" - an exquisite type of handcuffs of the medieval holy inquisition. With a tool wrapped around the prisoner's neck and provided with strong handcuffs, the jailers effortlessly suppressed the will of the victim. The torture followed automatically: as soon as the victim's strength left, and she could no longer keep her hands in balance, the thorns (in the collar) pierced the flesh, often causing sepsis, and then death.