2 Historical Background The methods used to prove the truth of accusations were cruel and brutal.Primitive trials were unreliable, ineffective, and most of all unjust.These trials did not consider evidence as we know it today.
3 Historical Background Guilt or innocence was determined by what was accepted to be divine intervention. Frequently, the accused was subjected to physical ordeals on the supposition that God would protect the innocent and punish the guilty.
10 The RackTied to the rack and stretched gradually (or quickly) for days, elongation of bodies was reported by various sources to cases of twelve inches, a result of systematic dislocation of every joint in the body. With the prisoner tied to this horrific device, the inquisitor would then employ a variety of more subtle tortures.
11 The Rat TortureRat torture was cheap and easy. Not used for confession, rather punishment. They would heat the cage until the rat dug its way into the intestines.
12 The PressPressing, or crushing under boards with weights on them (also called the 'turtle'), was another way of dispatching condemned prisoners. In this English woodcut from the late 1500's, we see the added feature of a wooden wedge or 'scale' placed under the victim's back.
13 A Garroting ChairA garroting chair. Italian, 1500's. On the left, a close up of the restraint for the victim's neck. On the right, the death of the condemned as the point is slowly driven into the back of the neck
16 The PearThey are forced into an orifice of the victim and there expanded by force of the screw to the maximum aperture of their segments. The inside of the cavity in question is irremediably mutilated, nearly always fatally so. The pointed prongs at the end of the segments serve better to rip into the throat, the intestines or the cervix."(This instrument is Venetian, late 1500's, and consists of bronze segments and key, iron screw. Notice the etched face of Satan in the picture on the left.) 3