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14 Medieval Torture Devices and Methods That Date Back to the Ancient World

From the heretic's fork to being eaten alive by insects, these grisly old torture methods prove that humans have always been brutal.

torture-methods-of-the-ancient-world
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  • Photo Credit: Wikipedia

1. Keelhauling

Origin: Ancient Greece

torture methods of the ancient world
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  • 'The keelhauling of the ship's surgeon of admiral Jan van Nes' by Lieve Pietersz.

    Photo Credit: Wikipedia

2. Live Burial

Origin: Ancient Rome

3. Lingchi

Origin: Imperial China

torture methods of the ancient world
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  • 1858 illustration of the lingchi execution of a French missionary in China.

    Photo Credit: Wikipedia

4. Poena cullei

Origin: Ancient Rome

5. Elephant Trampling

Origin: Ancient South Asia

torture methods of the ancient world
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  • Photo Credit: Wikipedia

6. The Rack

Origin: Antiquity

the rack medieval torture
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  • Photo Credit: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

7. Judas Cradle

Origin: Ancient Rome

8. Brazen Bull

Origin: Ancient Greece

torture methods of the ancient world
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  • Photo Credit: Wikipedia

9. Heretic's Fork

Origin: Medieval Spain

10. Choke Pear

Origin: Unknown (first mention in France)

choke pear medieval torture device
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  • Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

11. Rat Torture

Origin: Unknown (possibly Britain)

12. Crucifixion

Origin: Various pre-Roman cultures

crucifixion ancient torture
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  • Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

13. Scaphism

Origin: Ancient Persia

14. Saw Torture

Origin: Various part of the the ancient world

ancient torture
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  • Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons