Cruel punishment from the 17th century for minor offenses: the finger pillory

Does holding your finger like that for a long time really hurt? I can think of about a million worse things than that.


CENTURION: You know the penalty laid down by Roman law for harbouring a known criminal?


CENTURION: Crucifixion.


CENTURION: Nasty, eh?

MATTHIAS: Hm. Could be worse.

CENTURION: What do you mean, ‘could be worse’?

MATTHIAS: Well, you could be stabbed.

CENTURION: Stabbed? Takes a second. Crucifixion lasts hours! It’s a slow, horrible death!

MATTHIAS: Well, at least it gets you out in the open air.

CENTURION: You’re weird.


Sometimes I am amazed we got this far.

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First of all, you have to stand in one place for hours, which means if you lose your balance (exhaustion, shifting position due to muscle cramping) you can literally dislocate your fingers, and secondly, locking any joint + muscles into one position and being forced to keep them there without moving for hours is incredibly painful, yes.


Yeah but looking at the apparatus doesn’t cause immediate pain the way some devices do.

Oh, we poor beleaguered bystanders!

Hey there’s a reason we don’t have televised colonoscopies.

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