Torture Throughout The Ages Essay Research Paper

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Torture Throughout The Ages Essay, Research Paper Whoever?s listening, Do you know what an Iron Maiden, a Garrote, or maybe Water Torture are used for? No? Well here?s the answer; they were all forms of torture a long time ago. Iron Maiden?s were female effigies constructed of wood or iron with the inside hollowed out and filled with sharp iron spikes. The iron maiden would be opened up and the offender placed inside. The person would then be embraced by the iron maiden, being impaled by all the spikes. A Garrote was anything that was tied around someone?s neck that would tighten and eventually they would suffocate. Water Torture was when water was poured on top of the prisoner’s head and a large bucket of water was also placed under their chin to simulate the feeling of

drowning. Torture started because people thought the legal codes should be tougher. Reasons for this was simply that people thought that criminals, traitors, or just ?wrong-doers? should be tortured instead of killed because they will die sometime anyway so they didn?t consider it much of a punishment. Because of this they began torture. As time went on and civilizations grew, the need for a code of laws came. Because of this code of laws, people could now perform torture only on enemy tribes and animals. In many cultures, religious sacrifices were the start of torture practices. The early European codes were usually based on the principle of Lex Talionis, who gave the idea of an eye for an eye in the Bible. ?Punishment for crimes should be similar to the offense? is the Law of

Hammurabi, written around 2000 BC. This civil code would soon be expanded to include other crimes in the Mosaic Code 1000 years later. This code formed into the basis of Hebrew, Greek and Roman legal systems. The Greeks and others were still operating under the Law of Lex Talionis and at the time, torture was mainly used as a means of extracting retaliation for real or imagined (accused) crimes or wrongs. Public displays such as stoning (throwing stones at a person) or crucifixion were used mainly to discourage other criminals from committing crimes. The savagery of torture had not yet entered into the European culture yet. All this, however, would soon change. Early Roman rulers were actually quite humane; it was only Julius Caesar that tortured his conquered enemies as an

example for other likely adversaries. Eventually things would change, Roman savagery was the greatest in its public appeal and widespread usage. The first roman gladiatorial contest started in 264 BC as a match of man against man, but eventually turned into an all out slaughter. When prisoners could not be found, slaves were more often than not starved and then thrown into the arena with one or more wild animals. The insatiable bloodlust of the Roman public was hard to satisfy; by the time Claudius ruled, there were often 1000 or more victims in the arena at one time. During the fall of Rome till the 13th Century, torture was used as a weapon of private citizens and eventually the State; rulers that realized they could gain respect by publicly showing these displays of force and

power then adopted torture. Also during this time period the Church used torture in its proceedings, this would soon prompt civil authorities to adopt the practice as well. All this changed in the 6th Century, when the order of Pope Gregory the First made torture unacceptable. Torture was then not used as a punishment for nearly 800 years. Torture, however, was still an option for mob justice. This remained until it was banned by the Papacy in 1225. Heretics or non-believers, were one of the most common people for torture practices to be used on, but there were many leniencies with them up until the 13th Century. Then the rise of the Albigeneses and other religious groups prompted Pope Innocent the Third to start the Holy Inquisition of Toulouse to destroy the threat to the