Concept

Breaking wheel

Summary
The breaking wheel or execution wheel, also known as the Wheel of Catherine, Catherine Wheel, or simply the Wheel, was a torture method used for public execution primarily in Europe from antiquity through the Middle Ages into the early modern period by breaking the bones of a criminal or bludgeoning them to death. The practice was abolished in Bavaria in 1813 and in the Electorate of Hesse in 1836: the last known execution by the "Wheel" took place in Prussia in 1841. In the Holy Roman Empire it was a "mirror punishment" for highwaymen and street thieves, and was set out in the Sachsenspiegel for murder, and arson that resulted in fatalities. Punishment Those convicted as murderers, rapists, traitors and/or robbers to be executed by the wheel, sometimes termed to be "wheeled" or "broken on the wheel", would be taken to a public stage scaffold site and tied to the floor. The execution wheel was typically a large wooden spoked wheel, the same as was used on wooden transport
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