Here are some of the most creative punishments meted out on law breakers historically
By Michael M’mata
Throughout history, societies have come up with unique and creative ways to punish those who break the law.
Here are some examples of some of the most unusual punishments from different cultures and time periods:
1. The stocks
The stocks were a common form of punishment in medieval Europe.
Offenders would be locked into a wooden frame and publicly displayed as a warning to others.
They were often pelted with rotten food and other objects by onlookers.
2. The ducking stool
This punishment was used primarily for women accused of gossiping or scolding.
The offender would be tied to a chair and lowered into a body of water, with the idea that the “ducking” would cleanse them of their sins.
3. The pillory
Similar to the stocks, the pillory was a wooden frame in which the offender’s head and hands were locked.
They would then be left standing in public view as a warning to others.
4. The cucking stool
This punishment was similar to the ducking stool, but instead of being submerged in water, the offender would be tied to a chair and launched off a raised platform into a body of water.
5. “Running the gauntlet”
This punishment, used by Native American tribes, involved the offender having to run between two lines of people while being beaten with sticks or other objects.
In ancient Rome, criminals were branded with a hot iron as a mark of shame.
They would be marked with the letter “F” for “Fur” (thief) or “M” for “Mendax” (liar).
7. “Bamboo justice”
In some parts of Asia, criminals were tied to a bamboo stake and left to suffer in the sun.
The bamboo would slowly grow and eventually crush the offender.
8. The Iron Maiden
This medieval torture device was a metal cabinet with sharp spikes on the inside.
The victim was locked inside and left to die a slow and painful death.
These are just a few examples of the many creative and brutal punishments that have been used throughout history.
While some of these methods may seem barbaric by today’s standards, they were considered a necessary means of maintaining order and deterring crime at the time.