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subject = World History
title = Medieval Torture
The Art Of Torture
Going by the title of this paper you are probably asking yourself "How in
Godís name can torture be seen as an art, were these people mentally ill?"
well it was, but I talk about that later, let me tell you a little about the
history of torture. Torture has been around since the times of Ancient Greece
and is still around today, usually in the Mafia. Other than the mob, torture
isnít very common in our society. Punishments arenít near as harsh as they
used 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 lived
through the torture. The punishments we have today are laughable and dumb.
Big deal, you are thrown in prison for a few years, you donít suffer one bit,
but to the inmates, being thrown on a chain gang is so terrible. Being given
hundreds of paper cuts and being rolled in salt, now thatís terrible and Iím
sure the convi
ct will never break the law again. Places like Singapore still
operate like this. It happened to that one teen who decided to spraypaint some
cars. He thought he could get away with it and he almost did, but he shortly
found out that he had a little pay-back coming to him. The kid was caned, and
he hasnít done anything dumb since. Torture like this works, torture is a way
that can really make you have second thoughts before you do anything stupid.
Torture was practiced in numerous ancient civilizations. Convicts and war
prisoners were put to death by using torture to give them a slow, humiliating
death. 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 used
torture to get slaves, criminals, just about anybody, to get them to talk about
secretive information. You see in these ancient Roman times, people were given
information and were told that they should never tell this information to no
one, well the Romans found out about this and this caused a major uprise in
the use of torture.
In 12th century Europe torture became very widespread
like it had just did in Rome. Before Europe began using torture, they relied
on a more common judicial type of settlements for crimes, by the 13th century
confessions and eyewitness testimonies came about and were used to determine
if a person were guilty or innocent. But guess what was used to get these confessions
from convicts, torture was used, torture was used a lot, but it could only
be used if there was a numerous amount of evidence against the defendent. From
the 14th to 18th centuries in Europe, torture was a very common thing of the
legal process of a majority of the European countries and even the Roman Catholic
The Roman Catholic church used torture as a way of punishing
heretics at the order of inquisitors. The Inquisition played a big part in
the world of torture. The inquisition was a church founded in medieval times
that was setup to find and prosecute heretics. The punishments for being a
heretic were extreme punishments, stuff you would cringe at thinking about,
such as the vise. You might have seen this device on the movie Casino. The
victims head would be put in the vise and then the executioner would begin
to tighten a little screw at the top of the vice, causing the victims head
to 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 it
as okay, since it was a religious thing. Father Saint Augustine perceived Luke
14:23; "So the master said to the servant, Go out to the country roads and
lanes and make people come in, so that my house will be full.", as biblical
proof of endorsing the punishment of heret
The Art of Torture:
Believe it or not, torture was considered an artform. Were these people
desperate for entertainment, though I would never see a person getting tortured
as entertaining (unless it was a few of my most despised teachers, your not
one Ms.Blohm) but some messed-up indivduals did. In the words of Victor Hugo,
"The guillotine is the ultimate expression of Law, and itís name is vengence".
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