History’s Most Terrifying Ways of Punishing People

Crucifixion

23. Crucifixion

Crucifixion was a method of torture used by the Romans as a form of capital punishment. Offenders sentenced to crucifixion endured whipping and torturous beatings before the actual crucifixion.

They were normally made to carry a cross-shaped beam, that usually weighed over 135 kg, to the outskirts of the city where another crucifixion would have taken place.

Upon arrival, the victim would be stripped naked and hung on the cross, either with ropes or pierced with nails. On most occasions, their legs would be broken with an iron club and they would be on display for the public to see.

The public element of the punishment was there to evoke fear in the onlookers to prevent them from committing the victim’s crime. The death of a victim on a cross is claimed to be slow, taking some hours to days, depending on the health of the victim.

However, death could be a result of heart failure, asphyxia, cardiac rupture, an infection from the nail wounds, or eventual dehydration among many causes.

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