Breaking wheel  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikiquote
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The breaking wheel (also known as the Catherine wheel) was a torturous capital punishment device used in the Middle Ages and early modern times for public execution by cudgeling to death. It was not used for coercion through torture.

Execution of St. Catherine

Medieval hagiographies, such as the Legenda sanctorum, record that St. Catherine of Alexandria was executed on one of these devices for refusing to renounce her Christian belief, which thereafter became known as the Catherine wheel, also used as her iconographic attribute. The wheel miraculously broke when she touched it; she was then beheaded. As an attribute it is usually shown broken in a small version beside her, or sometimes as a miniature she holds in her hand; the sword then used is also often shown.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Breaking wheel" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools