Broken on the wheel

It’s hard to believe but up until as late as the nineteenth century, people were executed by being ‘broken on the wheel’.  That is strapped to a wagon wheel and with a heavy tool, their limbs broken repeatedly ensuring that death was slow and extremely painful.  Two things to note from this – one, France’s revolutionaries introduced the guillotine as a humanitarian alternative and two, America’s revolutionaries forbade the cruel and unusual punishments still common in Europe at that time.

Here is an image from the Middle Ages of devils torturing the wicked on a wheel.


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