Even the harshest realists among us are going to tell us that they tremendously appreciate human creativity. It is one of the main reasons why movie directors, musicians and writers attract a high amount of attention and why we admiree and painters and sculptors that much. In business relations we will also gladly look for help from a creative guy when we need an iinnovative business solution which will bring us advantage over the competition.
Nevertheless, there are not too many fields of human deliberationa and action where the creativity was as much expressed as in devising the mediveal torture devices. Evenmore, it often went so far that from that from the apsect of usual admiration for someone's imagination it was transferred into the one of sheer horror due to an unbelievable level of cruelty and thirst for blood.
Sometimes you don't even need a specially complex devise in order to inflict terrible pain to a victim, and perhaps even kill them in the end. Even a simple water beam can become an instrument of ultimate ruthlesness andi brutality.
However, in order to make things easier for the executioner, a special devise was created for the water torture. A defendant would be tied to bed, which also used to be called quill, and then a specially made funnel would be pushed into his mouth. You're probably guessing already what happened next. A significant amount of wateer would be pourred into the body victim. You know that being forced to drink is not the most pleasurable experience in the world. Now try to imagine what it looks like when you're lying on your back with your head bent backwards, and your torturer puches your stomach which is full of water.
Those specially creative in the Middle Ages devised anothr, alternative, way of water torturing. Cloth tapes would be pushed into the victims throat and they would get intervowen. The cloth would swell so the unfortunate guy would start suffocating. If he survived that horror, the executioner would pull the cloth quickly out of his mouth and make the irreversible damage to his intestines with, of course, terrible pain. Go ahead, walk now to the fridge and pour a glass of water...
But if you were tortured by the Virgin of Nurenberg, it's hard you could walk anywhere. This particularly cruel instrument was sometimes also called the iron maiden. However, regardless of the fact that its name implied virginity, this carefully devised torture instrument could rather be called anything else than pure and innocent.
One of the persons who was particularly fond of it was a notorious Hungarian countess Elizabet Batory, today the object of admiration by the fetishists with the BDSM preferences and teenage girls who won't see too much of a difference između betweeen her callous drinking of her numerous lovers' blood and Edward Cullen, a fictious vampire played by a cute Brit Robert Pattison in the movie trilogyTwilight.
Nevertheless, to the victims of the Virgin of Nuremberg the experience was neither attractive, nor sexually stimulating. Just the opposite. The defendant would be locked inside of the instrument that you can see in the picture, and the door would be, of course, locked. It's not difficult to guess what happened next, didn't it? The mere fact that the defendant was locked in a narrow and dark room - which certainly isn't the most pleasurable experience in the world, particularly if you tend to be claustrophobic - wasn't considered to be creative enough. Just remember, the Middle Ages were a time when people were forced to live without the TV and the internet therefore another type of fun had to created.
Because of that reason, the sharp spikes would be inserted into the instrument and those would stab the victim. They would be strategically placed so that they cannot kill him instantly. Apart from that, they would cause him seriious injuries and terrible pain, but they could keep him alive for a while, so that his sufferings are even more horrible. Historians are familiar with th case of a certain forger from 1515 who endured tortured like that for full three days suffering terrible cramps. And you thought that it was bad to get stuck in an elevator?
One of the most famous medieval torture instruments was certainly the breaking wheel. In some countries it is also known as the 'St. Katherine's wheel' since Katherine of Alexandria was tortured on it. She lived at the beginning of the 4th century AC and she was the daughter of Costus, ruler of Alexandria, a pagan. She was a very beautiful girl, perfectly aware of her beauty, so she announced to her father that she would take for a husband only the one who was worthy of her looks and social status.
However, she discovered Christian faith in her late teenage years and because its strong supporter. She converted many to it, including Valeria, wife of the Roman emperor Maxentius. The emperor himself didn't want to accept Katherine's promotion of a Christian faith, but this highly intelligent woman caught his eye. Since she refused to obey to him, he had her locked in a dungeon where she was tortured at the breaking wheel. However, according to one of the legends, the torture never happened since the wheel broke as soon as Katherine touched it so her head was cut off instead.
All in all, it was a tremendously cruel instrument of torture. Its name itself, as well as the picture, what it was all about. Nails, knives or any other type of blade would be attached to an ordinary wheel. Then the victim's arms and legs would be broken, and following very painful arms and legs injuries, the offender would be - unless he died already at the instrument - executed, usually by hanging or decapitation. Sometimes it would happen that the unfortunate guy sentenced to this type of torture would spend hours, or even days, at the wheel before dying, due to pain, and also due to hunger and dehydration.
The breaking wheel was most often used for the murder suspects or for those who commited murder within a family or those who would commit a murder as part of anothr crime, say, robbery. It was used all the way to the 19th century therefore it is considereed to be one of the longest lasting instruments of torture.
Nevertheless, perhaps the most popular instrument of torture was th rack. Remember the scene where William Wallace is tortured in the movie Braveheart? It is precisely in it that you can see what the rack torture looked like.
Actually, it was a large table which could be with legs or without them. A victim would be lain on it, and legs and arms - placeda above his head- would be chained and attached with the pieces of wood. A person tied that way would stretch and a dislocation of limbs would occur which, of course, caused terrible pain
Some thought that it was necessary to advance this torture device so they embedded rotating devices for pulling the chains. For God's sake, no one should have even thought that you were torturing people in a primitive way, right? The mere act of stretching could have prolongued the victim's body for full 30 centimeters before the limbs would start breaking. The torturer himself would often cut his muscles with a knife so that he can cause the damage and final breaking of a tissue.
While the convicted unfortunate guy was tied to the rack, he could be additionally tortured by various other cute instruments such as nipple pliers or red hot pokers which were branding his body. It wouldn't be correct if someone thought that the torture was too mild...
As the last instrument in this story of torture devices we left the one that horrified us the most. It is a a hand saw. I believe that the picture is sufficient to you to understand in which way it functioned. Nevertheless, we will briefly describe you this trullly creepy type of torturing.
The victim would be hanging upside down, tied for his legs. Such a position was not only the reflection of creativity by those who created this type of torturing but also of their medical skills. When you're hanging upside down, your blood is flowing into your head so you can stay conscious for a while. What sense does the torture make if it doesn't last long enough?
Of course, it's already clear to you that the mere fact that someone was hanging upside down is not sufficient. Therefore what was needed were too jolly volunteers who cut the victim in half. In order not to realize something wrong, take a good look at the picture one more time - yes, they were sawing him vertically, and not horizontally. Do we even need to say how painful it was and how disgusting, and that the victim was finally dying in a terrible pain?
This type of torture was usually applied for homosexuals and women suspected of whichcraft, expecially those for which it was believed that they concieved a child with the devil. It was particularly popular among the French. When you read this, one of their most popular inventiions, guillotine, almost seems to appear human, doesn't it?
Many will say that there are not too many human aspects in the medieval instruments of torture that we presented to you in the three sequels of this story. However, what should be pointed out is that it is precisely them that imply in the best way to that type of human nature with which today, in the world obsessed with the political correctness and security, many refuse to face, and that is the man's inexhaustible creativity in inflicting pain and suffering to another person.
Perhaps these instruments horrify us so much precisely because they ruthlessly remind us of what we somewhere deeply in our nature truly are.