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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.