History of Medieval
Inquisition Torture - Heresy
The Medieval Inquisition was the
institution of the Roman Catholic Church for combating or suppressing
heresy. Heresy is defined as an opinion or belief that which was held
deliberately and with knowledge against orthodox church teachings. The
Medieval Inquisition was a series of Inquisitions by the Catholic
Church to suppress heresy. The first Medieval Inquisition was
established in the year 1184 against the Cathar movement. Torture was
used after 1252 when Pope Innocent IV issued a papal bull which
authorized the use of torture by inquisitors.
Inquisition Torture Methods - No Bloodshed, Mutilation or Death
No torture methods were
allowed in an Inquisition that resulted in bloodshed, mutilation or
death. A common form of torture was hanging the accused by their wrists,
hoisted above ground and then having weights hung from their ankles.
This torture method was known as the Judas Cradle and a similar method
was called the Strappado. The rules restricting bloodshed extended to
the preferred execution method of men or women who were proclaimed as heretics by
the Inquisition was therefore being burnt to death.
List of Medieval
Inquisition Torture Methods and Devices
The following list of Medieval
Inquisition Torture Methods provides an insight to the devices and
methods used by the Medieval Inquisition:
The Boot or Spanish boot
Inquisition Methods of Torture and Execution
A skilled torturer would use methods, devices and instruments to prolong
life as long as possible whilst inflicting agonising pain. The
customs of the Medieval period dictated that prisoners were
tortured before they were executed in order to obtain additional
information about their crime or their accomplices. There were many
forms of torture and execution. The execution method itself was part of
the torture endured by prisoners. These final methods of torture and
execution included the following methods:
execution by Fire
Famous Victims of a
Many famous Medieval
people were accused of heresy and subject to an inquisition. On Friday
the 13th, in October 1307, Jacques de Molay, the Grand Master of the
Knights Templar, and 60 of
his senior knights were arrested in Paris.
Joan of Arc was also
subjected to a Medieval Inquisition and subsequently burnt at the stake.
The Law, Crime,
Torture and Punishment - Medieval Inquisition Torture
There were no laws or rules
to protect the treatment of prisoners
who faced torture or punishment, such as the Medieval Inquisition Torture.
Torture methods used during
Inquisitions were seen as a totally legitimate means to extract confessions, obtain the names of accomplices, obtain
testimonies or confessions.