Gallonio: Tortures
The text of Gallonio: Tortures


This fashion is spoke of by Bishop Philæas, as quoted by Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History, as follows: “Others again were bound facing each other, suspended from pillars with their feet not reaching the ground, in such a way that the greater the strain put upon the ropes and the tighter these were drawn, the more cruelly did the victims feel the agony caused by the dragging weight of their own bodies. Nor was it for a short while only, just while the Magistrate was putting them to cross-examination, and was at liberty to question them, but pretty well all day long they endured this kind of torment. Moreover when, as he went on from them to others, he left officers subordinate to his authority to watch carefully the first batch, if so be any of them should seem like being overmastered and yielding to the torture, giving orders that they be racked by means of the ropes without an instant’s respite, and finally, when on the point of giving up the ghost, that they be let down again to the ground and dragged unmercifully to and fro.”

The same writer saith in the same sense a little higher up, “Others were suspended from the portico or arch, attached by one arm, and did endure the stretching and straining of all their limbs and joints,—a bitter torment surpassing almost every other in severity. Others again were bound to pillars, their faces turned inward toward one another, with nothing for their feet to rest upon.”

Now as to the fashion wherein the Martyrs were lashed to the pillars, we should understand there were fastened to the upper portions of these pillars either iron rings or, more likely still, sundry pulleys, over which ropes were led. By means of these ropes the Blessed Martyrs were then, with arms tied behind their backs and faces turned toward the pillars, all day long first hoisted up by the tormentors, and afterward let down again with a rush, yet in such wise that they never quite touched the ground, this being done that they might suffer the more agonising pain. Finally, when they were on the point of yielding up the ghost, the executioners, at a sign from the Judge, would lower them to the earth again and drag them cruelly hither and thither.