In the middle ages torture was used to extract information, force confessions, punish suspects, frighten opponents, and satisfy personal hatred. Historically, ancient Greeks and Romans used torture for interrogation.
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In refusing to plead was deemed to be equivalent to pleading guilty. Horses were lied to his arms and legs, but the attempted regicide's' limbs did not separate easily. Although the king forgave him before he died, Basile was flayed subsequently alive after the King's death, by order of the mercenary leader Mercadier.
History of the Torture Rack – Torture Device
The crushing bars were sometimes lined with sharp metal points to puncture the nails and inflict greater pain in the nail beds. Public holidays were often declared and free penances given to spectators to ensure large attendences. Oxford University Press. The liquid was then boiled.