The Middle Ages lasted approximately 1,000 years, from the 5th to 15th century. The early part of the Middle Ages is also known as the Dark Ages. The Middle Ages has many nicknames including the Golden Ages and Medieval Times. One of the most accurate nicknames for the Middle Ages is, the Age of Faith. When one thinks of the Golden Ages, famine, plague, economic depression, crusades, disease, bloody wars, Vikings, persecution, and torture all come to mind. Torture during the Medieval Times was viewed differently than it is viewed today. Today, torture is viewed as cruel, inhuman, and degrading. In the U.S. torture is illegal but is sometimes used by the CIA and correctional facilities without public acknowledgement. As Schild said, “ In general, there are many indication that the people living at the time did not perceive the brutality of execution in the same way we would perceive it today, because they were filled with a deep sense of sin and thus were open to torture” (Thedeus).
The Age of Faith is one of the best nicknames for Medieval Times for several reasons. After the fall of Rome, Europe was full of starvation and chaos and the only places that remained somewhat peaceful were the monasteries. The starvation was so great, that there’re even rumors of cannibalism in the Middle Ages. During this time, the Christian church was the most
powerful institution. The way in which the society functioned, all revolved around the church. Rome no longer had an emperor but in the hearts of the individuals Jesus Christ was the new emperor. The Spanish Inquisition was used by the Catholic Church and catholic monarch to convert, suppress, and punish heretics. The Catholic Church used the Spanish Inquisition to maintain its authority in Europe. Anyone was allowed to testify against the accused. If the accused refused to testify it meant that he or she was guilty and was then sent to torture chambers until he or she confessed. One of the most used torture devices in the Spanish Inquisition was the Head Crusher. The Head Crusher was used to compress the skull, shatter teeth, and squeeze out the eyeballs. The Inquisition was an attempt to persuade Muslims and Jews into Christianity. The Inquisition was ‘alright’ to the Christian authority because, they believed that only through gruesome punishments would criminals attain their eternal life and reserve a place in heaven. Some criminals even willingly volunteered to a gruesome death to prove and secure their place in the afterlife.
The Middle Ages was the age of violence and superstition. Torture during this era was also different depending on the location. In Germany, boiling people alive and pouring hot oil into the victims’ wounds was very common. In France, torture varied according to the provinces but the most used method of torture was hanging. In Normandy,...