Middle Age Torture Tactics

Iron Balls Torture

This type of torture, most commonly used in France, consisted of the person being hung from the ceiling by the wrists with a large, heavy iron ball tied to each foot. This type of torture was commonly used at Avignon. The more horrific version of this torture, used in Italy and for more terrible crimes, was called the Veglia. The Veglia method had the victim's body horizontally stretched with the only support beneath them being a sharp stake that rested near the end of the person's backbone. The person was tied to the walls by use of ropes fastened through rings on the wall.

During the Veglia torture, there was often a doctor and/or surgeon supervising, who felt the pulse of the victim at their temples. This practice was so that they could determine the moment when the person could no longer stand the immense pain being brought upon them. At this point, the unfortunate individual was untied and revived with restoratives and hot fomentations. Subsequently, when the criminal had gained back strength, they would be retied to the wall and forced to endure another six hours of this torture.