The Saw

The Medieval Torture Museum

San Gimignano, Italy

This instrument had widespread diffusion all over Europe. The saw was inflicted for a great variety of crimes (rebellion, witchcraft, military disobedience), probably owing to its being easily found in all houses so enabling a quick execution.

As we can see from a series of printings and engravings of that period, the victim was hung in an inverted position in order to assure sufficient oxygenation of the brain and to slow down the general loss of blood so that he didn't lose consciousness at once, thus to inflict a longer suffering before death struck.

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