Medieval Monday: Rat Torture

If you’re new to these here parts, every Monday I like to do what I call Medieval Monday. I highlight a specific term from the medieval ages, and expand on the definition of that term and describe its appearance. If there is something you would like to see featured in a Medieval Monday, hop into the comments and say so.

I’ve decided to start having monthly themes, so for the month of September we’ll be seeing a torture device highlighted each Monday. This week’s feature is Rat Torture!

I know, I know. Rats really aren’t a “medieval device” so much as furry little creatures. Still, it’s a form of torture that was performed in the medieval ages, so here we are. Have you read Temple of the Winds by Terry Goodkind? Did you watch the Garden of Bones episode from Game of Thrones? What did these two things have in common? Rat torture was featured.

It’s just a prop, but it’s still gruesome.

Victims of rat torture were restrained in some fashion, generally tied down to the ground or atop a table. A single rat, or several, were then placed atop the bare stomach. A metallic container, something as simple as a bucket, was then placed over the stomach, trapping the rat. The container would then be heated. The most common way of heating was to place hot coals atop the bucket. As the container grew hot, the rat would begin to search for a way out. The rat would invariably claw and chew its way through the victim’s stomach in its effort to escape. This type of torture usually lasted hours and always resulted in death.

Do you enjoy reading about and studying the medieval ages? Tell me! I love chatting, so don’t leave me alone here. Also, if you found this post useful or entertaining, give it a retweet on twitter, please. Thanks!



  1. Wow… this is one I’d never heard of before! *shudders* Not that any of the torture devices you’ve highlighted sound particularly enjoyable (well, I guess they’re torture after all), but this one just makes my skin crawl. Eek!

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