Top 10 Historic Brutal Executions

Capital punishment has come a long way as far as our styles of execution. In most civilized countries, we have humanitarian ways to put criminals to death. Even in third world or semi civilized countries and kingdoms, beheading is pretty much the worst of it. We also hear of torture and humiliation techniques that we believe to be inhumane and downright barbaric. Folks, what happens in today’s world are child’s play as compared to how we used to carry out punishments just a few hundred years ago. In fact, humankind has become downright gentlemen about capital punishment. Read on as you discover the horrible and painful ways in which brutal executions were carried out in our Top Ten List of Historic Brutal Executions.

10. Saint Andrew Bobola 1657


Saint Andrew was an advisor, preacher, and teacher of the Jesuits. He was well respected, loved, and died at age 65 in the year 1657. This was not a great period in which to be a Christian as they were tortured and martyred for their belief in Jesus and their refusal to deny Him. His death was neither quick nor peaceful. The terrible torture that Saint Andrew endured inspired many people as to his faith in the Lord and his willingness to give his life to prove his faith. During his torture, he prayed continuously for his tormentors as they tore off his Holy Habit, tied him to a tree, and scourged him. To “scourge” is to whip with a lash or cat o’ nine tails with pieces of bone or metal tied to the end allowing it to rip the flesh from the bone. They forced a crown of thorns on his head, ripped out one of his eyes, and burned his flesh repeatedly by jabbing him with torches. Terribly, they were just getting warmed up. One of his captors used his dagger to trace a chasuble, a type of vest worn by priests of the time, into his bare back and then peeled the skin out of the trace. They also tore the skin from his fingers where he had been given the unction or, blessed with drops of oil. Then they drove needles under his fingernails. Finally tiring of his constant prayers for them as they tortured him, they tore out his tongue and crushed his skull.
The most amazing part of this is that two hundred years later, when the body was exhumed (part of the canonization process) from the crypt for identification; it had not decayed at all. His corpse was in nearly perfect condition.

9. Isaiah 740 BC


Many religious historians believe that Isaiah was executed by sawing, a type of capital punishment used in that period. It is one of the most brutal and painful ways in which a man can die. A favorite execution method of the Roman Emperor Caligula, it involved sawing a man in half, lengthwise. The person being executed is hung upside down with each leg tied to a pole so that the legs are spread. The executioner then saws him in half with a huge saw, starting at the groin. The person, screaming in agony, lives much longer then they would like to as the brain is being supplied with blood continuously via gravity and no major arteries are severed until the saw reaches the mid-abdomen. It will also give you a splitting headache. (Sorry, I just could not resist.)

8. Li Si 208 BC


Leave it to the Chinese to invent an execution so hideous that it makes their “Water Torture” and “Death by a Thousand Cuts” seem like something we do at our children’s birthday parties. The Five Pains death also has an incredible irony attached to it as the sick asshole who invented this insidious style of lethal punishment (Qin Shi Huangdi, chief advisor to the emperor) was executed with it, giving him first hand knowledge of his work. It begins with cutting off the condemned one’s nose. Then they chop off a hand. After he has suffered a while with no nose and only one hand to pick it with if he had, they lob off a foot. If that does not make your sphincter pucker, men, grab your balls. The fourth pain is castration, followed by what I hope they do before the fourth pain, should I ever do something to deserve this, (which I will not) they saw you in half at the midsection. Talk about your emperor with little or no sense of humor and absolutely no mercy, this is one death that would be hard to swallow.

7. Mithridates 401 BC


Scaphism is a form of extended or drawn out death that is so insidious I am ashamed to be a part of a species that would invent it. Mithridates, pronounced Myth ri date eez, was just a poor slob in the wrong place at the wrong time. During a battle, Mithridates stuck a dart in the temple of Cyrus the Younger, accidentally mistaking him for the enemy. His punishment was death by bug. Scaphism is the taking of two small boats or hollowed out trunks and the accused lays down in one while the other is placed over him. The only thing sticking out of this little prison is his head, hands, and feet. They force him to drink a huge, bloating amount of honey and milk, causing severe diarrhea. They rub even more honey all over the body of the poor, confused, dead man walking. (or in this case, dead man crapping) Once Mithridates was locked in, they set him in the water and anchored him so that his face was in constant sunshine, possibly on a scum filled, stagnant pond. From this point forward, nature takes over. Covered in feces and his own excrement, bugs are soon swarming him. From the flies, maggots, and beetles that eat decaying flesh to wasps and hornets attracted by the sweet nectar, his body is stung and eaten away. He was given no food or water but the force-feeding most likely continued to occur daily to ensure fresh feces for the hungry insects. He became a floating buffet. Hungry, dehydrated, and delirious, poor Mithridates lasted an astonishing 17 days and he suffered miserably every minute of it.

6. Saint Catherine of Alexandria 307


Saint Catherine was a martyr and a noted scholar. She converted from pagan to Christianity in her teens and was a powerful speaker and converter of souls. She took it upon herself to visit one of the worst persecutors of Christians, the Roman Emperor Maximinus, to convince him to stop. While Maximinus resisted her, she did succeed in converting his wife and many of his advisors. The emperor sent several of his pagan philosophers to convert her but they returned to Rome as Christians. He was compelled to imprison her only to have all that visited her leave converted so he sentenced her to death on the breaking wheel. The wheel, according to legend, broke at her slightest touch so he had her beheaded. Legend has it that angels came and flew her body away.

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