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Thread: The Catherine Wheel

  1. #1 The Catherine Wheel 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Came across this interesting device when it popped up as an answer on a cryptic crossword I was working on. Had to look it up and this is what I found*

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaking_wheel

    Also known as the Breaking Wheel and not pleasant. If there’s one thing we’re good at, it’s torture and execution. Publicly on display, some methods of execution and torture were meant for the locals for viewing. Christ got off easy.

    Were people much tougher back then? At least have the stomach for watching torture? Maybe the public was used to violence and death was more commonly accepted or shrugged off. Maybe they enjoyed it…idk

    No shortage of torture/execution devices in our past.

    *also the name of a band and a firework.


    Last edited by zinjanthropos; January 24th, 2023 at 05:40 PM.
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  3. #2  
    ox
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    Listening to bagpipe music would break me as I'm sure it would to others.
    That's why I don't go to Scotland any more.
    Not Holland either.
    https://torturemuseum.org/en/

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/08/10...20Netherlands.


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  4. #3  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Listening to bagpipe music would break me as I'm sure it would to others.
    That's why I don't go to Scotland any more.
    Not Holland either.
    https://torturemuseum.org/en/

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/08/10...20Netherlands.
    Continuous bagpipe music would push some over the edge. My wife’s father fought in Indonesia and although I know she’s proud of her fathers military history, which also included WWII, I make sure she doesn’t bring it up at the wrong time. Don’t want to rag on the deceased but I have a feeling he saw and did more than she was ever told.

    Have to wonder what qualifications one needed to become an executioner or torturer? Were they convicts themselves, doing society’s work to avoid death row? Religious eye for an eye fanatics? Mentally ill patients from local insane asylum?
    Last edited by zinjanthropos; January 25th, 2023 at 10:29 AM.
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  5. #4  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    Even in the dark days of the past where public executions and tortures were common the executioner's were seen as a breed apart and "untouchable" or "dishonourable". Oliver Pötzsch, a historian and a descendant of a family of public executioner's in Germany has written a series of historical novels about a family of executioners. Well worth a read. (The "wheel" is only one of the punishments on offer!)
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_...n%27s_Daughter
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Even in the dark days of the past where public executions and tortures were common the executioner's were seen as a breed apart and "untouchable" or "dishonourable". Oliver Pötzsch, a historian and a descendant of a family of public executioner's in Germany has written a series of historical novels about a family of executioners. Well worth a read. (The "wheel" is only one of the punishments on offer!)
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_...n%27s_Daughter
    I wonder if that was because the people who were responsible for the punishments wanted to shift the blame and so painted the "hit men" as different from them (who had pure motives of course)
    Catherine,I think means pure in Greek .Was the Catherine wheel intended to "purify" the soul of its victims I wonder.
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    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Even in the dark days of the past where public executions and tortures were common the executioner's were seen as a breed apart and "untouchable" or "dishonourable". Oliver Pötzsch, a historian and a descendant of a family of public executioner's in Germany has written a series of historical novels about a family of executioners. Well worth a read. (The "wheel" is only one of the punishments on offer!)
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_...n%27s_Daughter
    I wonder if that was because the people who were responsible for the punishments wanted to shift the blame and so painted the "hit men" as different from them (who had pure motives of course)
    Catherine,I think means pure in Greek .Was the Catherine wheel intended to "purify" the soul of its victims I wonder.
    From wiki article link in OP

    . it could be related to Greek αἰκία (aikía, "insult, outrage, suffering, torture");
    Speaking of torture , I was a little surprised to see Australia mentioned in a UN news release re torture. Appears Oz has a dark past that apparently hasn’t seen the light yet. Aboriginals know all about it.

    https://theconversation.com/dragging...l-shame-171729
    Last edited by zinjanthropos; January 26th, 2023 at 08:50 PM.
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  8. #7  
    ox
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    Was the past this barbaric?
    https://www.thecollector.com/brutal-...ancient-world/

    Some could be hoaxes but at least one your ancestors would have suffered a fate something like this.
    Strange how the Dutch feature in this.
    Glad we beat them 3 to 1 in the Anglo-Dutch wars.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    could be related to Greek αἰκία (aikía, "insult, outrage, suffering, torture");
    Ah,I see.That is for the derivation of the name Katherine itself.

    The actual machine just was named after her .

    Interesting how these punishments were institutionalized and the executioners could also be punished for not following "correct" procedures.

    They were I suppose just "following orders" and the prevailing zeitgheist.
    The punishment was supposed to make it harder for them to get to heaven(which people actually believed in.
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