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Medieval Crime and Punishment
Transcript of Medieval Crime and Punishment
Through out the time, torture has been used commonly as punishment for criminals. During the medieval times the villagers had to watch the torture of others, it was a part of the torture! Many people enjoyed it as entertainment! Throughout the medieval period it was believed that the only way to keep order was to make sure that the people were scared of the punishments given for crimes committed. For this reason all crimes from stealing to murder had harsh punishments. Types of crimes that were common The most common crimes in the medieval towns were fights and thefts. Sometimes, there were brutal assaults or murders. Crimes, such as rape and economic crimes - like frauds and swindle, existed in the Middle Ages, but are more common today. Working on a Sunday, treason, breaking a church rule and heresy- threatening the monarchs position, stealing, pickpocketing, witchcraft, murder, vagrancy- wandering from place to place without a home or regular work. Matilda Murrihy Ways to prove their innocence The Ordeal
In absence of oath-helpers, the accused often was provided another chance to prove his innocence by means of the process of ‘the ordeal.’
Ordeal by Battles
In certain cases involving two nobles, trials were often decided through battles. The winner of these battles was considered to be innocent because it was believed that God would protect the innocent. However, it was not necessary for a person of nobility to fight for himself as he could choose any experienced fighter to fight for justice on his behalf.
Ordeal by Bread
This was another method to prove innocence of an accused if he belonged to the nobility. Under this ordeal, the accused was forced to eat full bread without chewing it. If the accused succeeded in eating the slice of bread without chewing it, he was considered innocent. On the other hand, if he choked, he was considered guilty. It was believed that God would help an innocent to eat the bread without chewing it. Charlotte Cameron Impaling Where a sharp stick is shoved vertically through the victim's body, usually through one of the lower orifices and if done successfully, the stick came out through the mouth of the victim but this was rare and it usually came out through the shoulders or another part of the upper body. Flaying
Flaying was often used to torture and kill criminals, captured soldiers and witches.
One type of flaying torture was the victim's arms were tied to a pole above his head while his feet were tied below. His body was uncovered and the torturer, using a small knife, peeled the victim's skin slowly peeled.
In some circumstances, the torturer off the skin on the victim’s face first, slowly working his way down to the victim's feet. Most victims died before the torturer even reached their waist.
In another version, the victim was dipped into boiling water and was taken out after a few minutes. He was then slowly flayed The Crocodile Tube
The victim was fixed inside a tube just big enough for the victim's entrance. The tube, having crocodile teeth-like spikes, was slowly compressed leaving the victim totally immobilized. The torturer could only see his face and feet.
With the help of carbon and fire underneath the tube, the torturer gradually heated the tube until he extracted a confession or killed the victim. Ducking Stool Thumbscrews The Heretics Fork There may be disturbing information in this
PowerPoint Caution Thumbscrews were first used in medieval Europe. It is a simple vice, sometimes with protruding studs on the interior surfaces. The victim's thumbs or fingers were placed in the vice and slowly crushed. Brazen Bull The brazen bull is hard-boiled device first invented in Ancient Greece.
When a victim is placed inside the brazen bull, he or she is slowly burned to death. This device gradually became more sophisticated until the Greeks invented a complex system of tubes in order to make the victim's screams sound like an infuriated ox.
Even though this torture was not used as frequently during the Middle Ages as it was used earlier by the Greek and Romans, it was still used in Central Europe. This torture is similar to being boiled alive. The Spanish Donkey Victims are put astride, naked, the apparatus, which is actually a vertical wood board with a sharp V-shape wedge on top. Varying weights are then attached to their feet.
Eventually, the victim's own weight and the extra baggage cause the wedge to slice through their bodies, splitting them in half. With the face and feet exposed, the torturer was able to inflict painful wounds on the victim. Facial mutilation and toe ripping were preferred choices.
Other methods included forcing the victim to crouch inside the ring, thereby compressing the lungs and causing the intestines to burst. The heretics fork was used in the Middles Ages mainly during the Spanish Inquisition. Heretic means person believing in or practicing religious heresy
The instrument consists of two forks set against each other that penetrated the flesh under the chin in one end and the upper chest in the other.
The Heretics Fork made speech and neck movement almost impossible and was used after a confession to avoid hearing the victim any further. The thumbscrew was also applied to crush prisoners' big toes. The crushing bars were sometimes lined with sharp metal points to puncture the nails and inflict greater pain in the nail beds. ... The ducking stool was used to torture women. The crimes that were punishable by the Ducking stool were prostitution, witchcraft and scolds (bad tempered, abusive, gossip women).
The device was a chair, which was held from the end of a free moving arm. The women was strapped in the chair and dunked in freezing cold water for as long deemed fit by the person in charge and depending on the crime. Minor lords of the manor generally sentenced minor offenders, and had the power to inflict any sentence except death. That included fines, extra duties, whipping, branding, the stocks and the pillory, and mutilation.
If the offense warranted death, the lord of the manor consigned the accused to prison and he would be thrown into a lockup or castle dungeon. When the King, or his justices, visited the area, the accused would be tried by jury. If found guilty, the judge, or the King, sentenced them to death.
In a Church court, the Bishop decided the sentence. Instead of death, Church courts consigned the guilty to life imprisonment (which often meant starvation or burial alive) or condemned to burn. Who decided? Amelia Mazzeo Faye Gesalta Poor guy... Head Crusher The head crusher was a torture device that stayed very true to it's title, It crushed heads! The head crusher had a upper cap, a bottom bar, and a screw that was connected to the upper cap. The chin was placed over the bottom bar, the the upper cap placed on the top of the head, then the torturer would twist the screw creating a smaller space for the head, first the teeth were shattered then the jaw broken, then after the victim would die a slow painful death. Rat Torture Rat torture is an old ancient chinese technique that involved of course, rats. The victim was placed naked on a table with their arms and legs strapped down to the corners. Then disease infected rats were placed on the human abdomen, a bowl was placed to trap the rats. Once done hot coals would be placed on the bowl, whilst the rats try to escape the heat, they must gnaw through the human stomach to escape. Thanks for watching!