Medieval Monday: Knee Splitter

The Knee Splitter. This is perhaps one of the more accurate, straightforward names for a torture device I’ve seen yet.

knee-splitter
All I see when I look at this is a shark mouth.

This particular form of torture featured quite often during the Inquisition. The Knee Splitter was comprised of two wooden blocks lined with very large, very menacing looking spikes. The blocks were connected by two large screws. I think you can guess what would happen next. The victim’s leg was inserted between the two spiked blocks and the screws were then turned, causing the blocks to close toward each other. It would effectively maim a person and forever cripple them–if they were lucky enough to not die of infection or blood loss.

And, because driving twin rows of inch-long spikes apparently wasn’t enough, there were certain techniques used to make the device even more painful. For example, the spikes could be heated to help add that wonderful roasting element to the puncture wounds. Another technique was blunting the spikes and making them wider so that they penetrated the flesh slower, thus maximizing pain.

As always, if there’s something you’d like to see featured for a Medieval Monday, pop into the comments and say so. Until then, try to avoid any Knee Splitters.

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