Impalement is the penetration of a human by an object such as a stake, pole, spear, or hook, often by complete or partial perforation of the torso. It was used particularly in response to crimes against the state and regarded across a number of cultures as a very harsh form of capital punishment and recorded in myth and art. Impalement was also used during wartime to suppress rebellion, punish traitors or collaborators, and as a punishment for breaches of military discipline. Offenders have also been impaled for a variety of cultural, sexual and religious reasons. Detail of an engraving in De Cruce Libri Tres by Justus Lipsius, 1570.
September 7th, 2020
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