Brazen Bull Torture *Perillos of Athens

The Brazen Bull torture device was a Greek device used to torture criminals till death. It was one of the most gruesome methods of executing criminals during the medieval period.

Greek Torture Devices *Brazen Bull

Greek Torture Devices *Brazen Bull

In order to discourage people from committing crimes, criminals were executed publicly by this method. They screamed, suffered, and ultimately died of the extreme heat.

Brazen Bulll Torture Device

Brazen Bull *Torture Device

Brazen Bull Torture *History and Origins

The Brazen Bull was invented by Perillos of Athens in the 6th century BC. He suggested Phalaris, the tyrant of Akragas, use the torture device as the new method for executing criminals.

It is believed that Phalaris was so disgusted by the description of the working of the bull presented by Perillos, that he ordered him to enter the Brazen Bull and show him how people’s screams would actually sound.

Perillos of Athens *Forced into the Brazen Bull Torture Device

Perillos of Athens *Forced into the Brazen Bull Torture Device

Once Perillos was inside, orders were passed to lock its doors and light a fire under it. Perillos screamed and suffered inside the bull and when he was about to die he was taken out. He thought that Phalaris would reward him for this invention, instead, he threw him from the hill and was eventually killed.

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This History of the torture device was repeated when Phalaris was overthrown by Telemachus as it was believed that he also died inside the Brazen Bull.

How Did the Brazen Bull Work?

  1. Criminals were ordered to enter the bull and then the door was locked.
  2. A fire was lit up under the bull and it was heated to a point that it was red hot and the criminals inside were roasted to death.
  3. Weirdly the head of the Bull had specialized tubes that converted the screams of the tortured criminals into the bellowing of an infuriated bull.

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How was the Brazen Bull Made?

The Brazen Bull torture device was completely made from Bronze and was hollow inside. It was of the same size and shape as an original bull and had a door on one side that was large enough for a man to easily enter.

The Brazen had an acoustic setup that converted human screams into the sound of a bull. This acoustic step up was inside the head of the bull and consisted of a complex system of tubes and stops

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Types of Crimes punishable with the Brazen Bull?

Criminals that had carried out serious crimes such as treason were subjected to punishment with the Brazen Bull. Criminals were given such punishments in order to discourage the poor population from committing any more crimes.

The bull was also used in order to punish people on the basis of Religious differences as historically it is believed that many Jews and Christians were executed with the Brazen Bull.

Brazen Bull Torture

Brazen Bull Summary

Human beings have always tried to invent new ways of torturing their fellow human beings in order to punish them for different crimes, but seldom have they created such artistic devices as the Brazen Bull.

The Bull was used to burn and roast criminals alive and let people know of their fate if they committed similar crimes.