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The Wheel Torture (Breaking Wheel) (Torture)


This device was used as a capital punishment during the Middle Ages. Reserved for hated criminals, The Wheel always killed its victim, but did so very slowly.

The Wheel originated in Greece and quickly spread to Germany, France, Russia, England and Sweden. The device consists of a large wooden wheel with many spokes. The victim's limbs were tied to the spokes and the wheel itself was slowly revolved. Through the openings between the spokes, the torturer usually hit the victim with an iron hammer that could easily break the victim's bones. Once his bones were broken, he was left on the wheel to die, sometimes placed on a tall pole so the birds could feed from the still-living human.

In France, many executioners used the coups de grĂ¢ce, which caused lethal injuries, to make the victim's death faster. When extreme pain was desired, the victim just had his bones broken and left there to die. It could take up to two or three days for him to die of dehydration.


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