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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Strappado

DEFINITIONS

Strappado:

A form of torture used during the Spanish Inquisition, often against people (primarily women) suspected of Witchcraft. It was a popular form of such harsh interrogation because of it did not require an expensive apparatus.

The victim’s hands were tied behind his or her back. A rope was then tied to the bonds and the person was lifted to the roof by these ropes. The pain was excruciating.

If the inquisitor did not receive the desired confession, he might convert the torture to a practice called squassation. The victim raised to the ceiling was dropped so that they fell, but the rope was short enough so they did not reach the ground. The result dislocated the bones and damaged the muscles of the victim beyond any repair.




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