Impalement is the penetration of an organism by an object such as a stake, pole, spear or hook, by complete (or partial) perforation of the central body mass. This article has a primary focus on impalement as a form of execution, how it was performed, and highlighting some places where it was used. Apart from judicially approved executions, examples from wars, rebellions and persecutions, along with customs of sacrifice are included. Impalement has also been used as a way of inflicting post mortem indignities (like shaming the dead). Impalement has also figured prominently in certain magical rituals, for example to prevent the dead to rise from their graves. Impalement has also figured in myths, legends, literature and films, and a short review of such instances is included. Finally, a few examples are given of impalement in context of animals, as in animals using impalement on prey, and hunting and preservation techniques in which impalement is a central element.
Main uses 
The reviewed literature suggests that impalement across a number of cultures was regarded as a very severe punishment, as it was used particularly in response to "crimes against the state". Impalement is predominantly mentioned as punishment within the context of war, treason against "the fatherland", against some "cause" or as punishment for rebellion. As another martial example, soldiers found guilty of cowardice, or grave dereliction of duty were punished with impalement among Zulus. Disregard for the state's responsibility for safe roads and trade routes by committing highway robbery/grave theft, violating state policies/monopolies, subverting standards for trade or even just involuntarily threatening public security are also recorded among offenses where impalement was occasionally used as punishment. For example, visiting Egypt for the first time 1657–58 Jean de Thévenot observed a man impaled for using false weights. For having just inadvertently threatened public security, the authorities at the Sultanate of Aceh are asserted to have instituted impalement for the crime of uncontrolled fire. At various times and places, individual murderers have been punished with impalement, either by prescribed law, or in cases regarded as particularly heinous.
Several cases show that impalement was a technique used in extrajudicial, summary executions and in massacres, or in cases of institutional religious persecution, or more generalized massacres with a religious slant. As a punishment for grave cases of religious crimes impalement was on occasion used in different parts of the world, and there are a few cases of human sacrifice by impalement. Some instances of impalement prescribed by law for adultery and other sexual crimes are also noted.
Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese colonialists are reported to have used impalement to subjugate indigenous tribes, or as a punishment meted out to slaves. In the latter half of the 18th century, British colonialist authorities in India seem to have, on occasion, approved of, and advocated, the local practice of impaling robbers.
Impalement typically involves the body of a person being pierced through by a long stake, but sharp hooks, either fully penetrating the body, or becoming embedded in it, have also been used.
The stake is variably described as a sharpened wooden pole, or being tipped with iron or being called a lance, or made entirely of iron. Henry Blount, travelling the Levant in 1634, says that the three robbers he saw impaled in Egypt were impaled by their own half-pikes and that afterwards, they were bound fast, in impaled condition, to some upright stakes. One account alleges the tip of the impaling stake was rounded, rather than sharp, in order to move aside internal organs, rather than piercing and damaging them in the insertion process. Its length is reported to be from 6–15 feet,in one description as "four paces" in length. Reported thickness ranges from a man's thigh, a man's leg, a man's arm, or thick as the wrist or as thick as a foot at its thickest.
Alternatively, impalement could be in the longitudinal or vertical direction, along the body length. A 17th century eyewitness account that incorporates and highlights a number of the features detailed below of the longitudinal impalement method of execution is the one given by Jean de Thevenot.Quote a The longitudinal penetration could be through the rectum, through the vagina, or through a wound opened specifically for the occasion, such as making a transverse incision to the os sacrum. In the cases where the cutting instrument is specifically mentioned, it is usually said to be a knife or razor, but a case is also recorded the wound was made with a hatchet/ax. One report says some sort of salve was used to stop the bleeding made during the cut.
The person to be impaled is generally said to have been undressed, and then been placed on his belly, face down. His hands might be tied behind his back, legs spread-eagled,. Alternatively he could be bound or held fast or sat upon by some of the executioner's assistants. In Pierre Belon's account from the 1540s, immobilization prior to impalement was effected by securing each limb to its own pole. In one case, though, it is alleged the victim was hoisted up by means of a pulley, in order to be inserted on an already erect (iron) pole.
Prior to stake insertion, some sources say the stake was greased. Typically, the actual insertion is said to have been by hammering the stake inwards by means of a mallet, with one of the executioner's team guiding the stake where he wanted it to go. However, a couple of accounts assert that the victim was gradually impaled by pulling his legs. Alternatively, as told by Stephan Gerlach who was priest for the imperial embassy at Constantinople from 1573–78, ropes were bound to the convict's feet, and after the stake has been partially inserted, typically some Christians were given the job to pull the ropes, until the stake had fully penetrated the body. While the previous notes does not mention explicitly the use of a mallet while others were pulling, Peter Mundy, staying in Constantinople from 1617 to 1620, does say exactly that. What he could hear through the throng of people surrounding the person being impaled, was "..the blowes of the Mallet, and the most horrible and fearfull Crye of the tortured Wretch". A variant of the impalement process is attested on the Indian sub-continent that seems to have been rather different than the mallet driven processes highlighted above. The shula was a "stout iron rod with a thin point on the top", presumably fixed to the ground. "The condemned person was made to sit on the top which penetrated into his body slowly and went out by the head".
The impalement could either be partial, the stake becoming embedded in the body, or a full impalement where the exit wound is variously described as being, for example, "at the nape of the neck", "at the back of his neck", "close to the shoulder" or "at the breast".
After impalement, many accounts state the pole was hoisted vertically and fixed in the ground, but one account, by Samuel Gridley Howe, being in Greece 1824-27, asserts that most were left writhing on the ground in impaled condition, and that being raised vertically was a "refined punishment" meted out to the few. Another technique of displaying the impaled is that observed by Godfrey Vigne in Kabul 1836. Here, the condemned murderer was, after impalement, hoisted up and left hanging by the feet, rather than having the impaling stake fastened in the ground.
When raised vertically, a few accounts states that the body was made to rest on a fixed plank or scaffold to avoid sliding, or that the stake and person was affixed to a wooden cross, or that the impaled legs were tied to the stake itself or that the individual's legs and arms were bound tight to adjacent poles Another source says that the victim was, at times, only partially impaled, letting the individual slide downwards on the stake on his own, due to gravity. In the Khanate of Khiva ca. 1820, the wooden stake had been, by design, left "roughly sharpened", and was only partially forced in. The idea here was that the impaled person, whose arms and legs were left free after hoisting the stake, should, by his own writhings in pain, thereby drive himself deeper onto the stake, until he died.
Whenever mentioned, the height attained by the impaled above the ground when the stake was fixed vertically is variably described. In one account, the person was "at least three feet above the ground", in another, that the stake "was too high for wild beasts to reach the body". In a third account, a ditch had been dug out prior impalement, and the stake was placed upright in that ditch, so that the person looked just like a coney on a spit, according to that author. In a fourth account, where scores of Serbs where impaled on wooden stakes on the way to Belgrade around 1810, dogs were able to gnaw at their feet. Several of the impaled lived for days. Finally, in a 1769 account from Batavia where the impaled ended up sitting on a little wooden bench, that wooden bench was the top of a scaffold, some ten feet above the ground.
The survival time on the stake is quite variedly reported, from instantly or to a few minutes to a few hours or 1 to 3 days. The Dutch overlords at Batavia, present day Jakarta, seem to have been particularly proficient in prolonging the lifetime of the impaled, one witnessing a man surviving 6 days on the stake, another hearing from local surgeons that some could survive 8 or more days. A critical determinant for survival length seems to be precisely how the stake was inserted: If it went into the "interior" parts, vital organs could easily be damaged, leading to a swift death. However, by letting the stake follow the spine, the impalement procedure would not damage the vital organs, and the person could survive for several days. The actual manner used are said in some accounts to have been at the discretion of the executioners, if they wanted the person to suffer for a long time, or being mercifully quick about it. In one account, the stake was by design partially impaled into the body's interior, in such a manner that full impalement would kill him off instantaneously. After three hours suffering, the executioners killed him by simply pulling his body downwards. In that case, his intestines were quite possibly ruptured, since he was swiftly taken down after death, because he "stunk horridly".
In other cases, bystanders would be allowed to kill the victim out of mercy after a few hours on the stake. Leaving the impaled to expire on his own account, or letting others kill them out of mercy, may have been the more usual patterns. However, from 1606 Ansbach, there is preserved a receipt that not only details the expenses for the executioner, but also specifies the amount used for "refreshments" for the impaled individual.
A Russian clergyman visiting ravaged Christian villages in northwestern Persia during the Assyrian genocide found the remains of several impaled people. He notes: "The bodies were so firmly fixed, in some instances, that the stakes could not be withdrawn; it was necessary to saw them off and bury the victims as they were."
Gaunching, and other methods 
Tournefort, travelling on botanical research in the Levant 1700–02, observed both ordinary longitudinal impalement, but also a method called "gaunching", in which the condemned is hoisted up by means of a rope over a bed of sharp metal hooks. He is then released, and depending on how the hooks enter his body, he may survive in impaled condition for a few days. 40 years earlier than Tournefort, Thévenot described much the same process, adding it was seldom used, because it was regarded as too cruel.
Less usual methods of impalement have been alleged, like direct cranial impalement by driving a long nail or spike into a victim's head. The Tunisian Arab merchant Muḣammad ibn ʻUmar (1789-?) made extensive travels in his time, and relates a story of how a very unfortunate Jew is to have met his end: "A Sultan of Morocco once put a Jew in a barrel, the inside of which bristled with nails, and ordered it to be rolled down a hill" From time to time, it is recorded that "ordinary" impalement was aggravated beyond that punishment, in that the impaled individual also was roasted over a fire, for example.
Christian martyrology is replete with horror stories of how saints supposedly were martyred for their faith. Whatever truth value belongs to these tales, one particularly bad fate is said to have befallen Saint Benjamin in AD 424 Persia. According to his hagiography, when the king was apprised that Benjamin refused to stop preaching, he "...caused reeds to be run in between the nails and the flesh, both of his hands and feet, and to be thrust into other most tender parts, and drawn out again, and this to be frequently repeated with violence. Lastly, a knotty stake was thrust into his bowels, to rend and tear them, in which torment he expired...."
Behaviour of the impaled 
Many accounts speak of the impaled one writhing and screaming in agony, begging passersby to kill them. A particular feature about this manner of dying is said to be to feel a "ravaging thirst" and the impaled victims are often reported begging for water. Others are reported to have been quite able to converse with people while impaled, sometimes smoking or drinking rakia on the stake as, for example, the Austrian bureaucrat Friedrich Wilhelm von Taube noted during his official inspection tour in the Kingdom of Slavonia in 1776. Some seem to have retained a grim sense of humour in their impaled condition. For example in 1714 in the Cape Colony under the Dutch, the black slave Titus, who had been the lover of his master's wife and conspired to murder her husband, was sentenced to be impaled. Four hours after being impaled, he was given some arrack to drink, but advised not to drink too much, lest he become drunk. Titus retorted that it hardly would matter, since he sat fast enough, and was in no danger of falling down.
At times, soldiers were placed on duty to prevent people from assuaging the thirst of the impaled by giving them something to drink. According to the same source, the Dutch captain Johan Splinter Stavorinus, witnessing such an execution in Batavia 1769, the impaled victim would quickly die if it began to rain, because the water entering the wound would lead to swift mortification of the flesh, and development of gangrene within "the nobler parts". The man he saw was, composed and conversing with passers by in the morning, but expired within an hour after it began raining, just three hours later than Stavorinus saw him last. During the Khmelnytsky Rebellion, in 1649 Mazyr, a Cossack rebel leader was sentenced to be impaled, and wanted to spend his last hours in communion with God. He was given drink, and his request that he might die while he heard the church bells tolling was granted. In deep prayer and to the sound of church bells, he passed away after 6 hours on the stake. Being at Tripolitsa around 1800, M. Pouqueville tells of a Greek robber chief Zacharias, who was impaled outside the city walls. Pouqueville himself had not the stomach to witness the execution, but his servant was deeply impressed by Zacharias behaviour: "He said that this robber showed a resolution beyond what had ever before been witnessed. Fixed upon the stake, in that state of torture he never ceased replying coolly to the reproaches with which he was loaded by the multitude, till an Albanian put an end to his sufferings by striking off his head." The French naturalist Sonnini was struck by the impression of the impaled along the road to Chania on Crete, which he visited in 1778:
"It is on the edge of this same road, which leads to the only gate that Canea has on the land side, that criminals, who have undergone the terrible punishment of empalement, are exposed. They are ranged on each side of the road; and in this dreadful rank are seen men whose body is longitudinally transpierced by a stake, some dead, others expiring; some smoking their pipe, with as much sang-froid as if they were sitting on cushions, railing at the Europeans, and living, as long as twenty-four hours, in the most excruciating torments."
Some of those impaled are attested to have maintained pride and defiance against their executioners. In 1666, for example, when Moulay al-Rashid conquered Fes, the previous ruler Muhammad Adridi was sentenced to be impaled. The chronicler, a supporter of al-Rashid, feels obliged to mention the obstinate pride of Adridi:
And he seized the sons of the enemy and oppressor, Muhammad Adridi, may his bones be scattered, and he hanged him and impaled him and he gave permission for anyone who desired and wished to see him in his ugliness to go and see him (...) And come and see how proud is the evildoer Muhammad Adridi after he has been hanged and impaled; he would say to all who saw him; once I was above you and today I am still above you
Even more remarkable is, perhaps, the defiance, pride and stoic embrace of his fate shown by the Mapuche chief Caupolicán, who was condemned by the Spanish to be impaled in 1558. A scaffold had been erected where a sharpened wooden stake was fastened, the intention being to force Caupolicán to sit upon it. The proud chief's last act of defiance, refusing to be tortured in such an ignominous way by the approaching executioner was to kick the executioner off the scaffold, and impaled himself, without any force or assistance given to him.
Some anecdotes of the behaviour and fates of the impaled remain which, if true, would be unique in the history of impalement. The first was narrated as a proof of the efficacy of praying to Saint Barbara. In the woods of Bohemia around 1552, there was a robber band roaming, plundering and murdering innocent travelers. A manhunt was organized, and the robber chief was apprehended and sentenced to be impaled. While one of his associates, likewise impaled, swiftly expired, the chief was not so lucky. All day long, he writhed on his stake, begging to be killed, but all in vain. That night, in his despair, he prayed to St. Barbara that he was truly sorry for all his evil doings in life and that all he hoped for was to reconcile with God and to be graced with a good death. Seemingly in response, the man's stake broke, and with great effort and pain, he managed to de-impale himself. Crawling along, he came to a house, and his cries of help were heard. He was helped into a bed, and a priest was sent for. The former robber chief then gave his death bed confession, grieving over his misspent life, but properly grateful to God and St. Barbara. He then died in peace, his hands folded over his chest.
Another incident, which was, allegedly, partially witnessed by the editor of a "Ladies' Journal", is said to have occurred in Wallachia in the 1770s. He had been present in Arad when 27 robbers had been impaled. It was strictly forbidden to give the impaled persons any water, but one woman took mercy on one of the robbers, and fetched water for him in a kettle. As she was glancing anxiously about to check if anyone took notice of her forbidden act of mercy, the robber smashed her head in with the kettle, killing her on the spot. The editor avers he was present when the robber was asked why he had done such a thing, and he merely replied he had done it on a whim, and just had felt like killing her then and there.
Rituals of impalement 
Execution as pageantry 
The execution of a human being has not always been only the mere killing of that person, but also a carefully staged ritual prior to, during and after the execution act. For example, both the chaplain at Aleppo, Henry Maundrell, who left a travel account from 1697, and the Scottish physician and naturalist Alexander Russell staying there 1740–54 note a local custom in which those criminals condemned to be impaled had to carry their own stakes to the execution site. Commenting further on the local execution rites one still notorious pasha had staged as he toured the country around Aleppo to distribute justice, Russell writes:
"The bodies however were not permitted to be taken down, and remained a horrid and offensive spectacle. It was the custom of that Bashaw, when he travelled, to carry malefactors, already condemned, along with him, and to empale one at every stage, leaving them to be devoured by the birds of prey, as the stake was too high for wild beasts to reach the body. His frequent exercise of this punishment, procured him the title of Hasookgee, or Empaler"
Refusing an executed criminal to be buried within the culturally perceived appropriate time of burial after death, and instead leaving the body exposed to rot or be devoured are ways to shame the dead that are quite often reported for victims of impalement, across a range of cultures. Although shaming the dead, and also to provide a deterrent for potential evil-doers by letting the bodies remain on public display beyond the proper burial time for non-criminals is well attested, different cultures exbibit debates on what is a proportionate post mortem punishment for the criminal, and what would exceed the bounds of propriety, even for them. For example, the 12th century Hanafi scholar Burhan al-Din al-Marghinani in his highly influential Al-Hidayah thinks it is impermissible that the body should remain on display beyond 3 days, regarding the exposed rotting process of the criminal to be forbidden, and dismisses those jurists who think the body must be left to rot publicly for deterrence effect by thinking "sufficient" deterrence is given by 3 days display. Ancient Hebrew law, which seems to have accepted that executed criminals could be exposed on a stake, seems to have been even stricter as to the maximally allowed time such an exposure might have, according to Deuteronomy 21:22-23:
"If a man is guilty of a capital offense and is put to death, you must not let his corpse remain on the stake overnight but must bury him the same day. For an impaled body is an affront to God; you shall not defile the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess"
An example of post-mortem impalement following the strictures laid down in Deuteronomy can be found in the Book of Joshua 10:22-27, where 5 kings are dragged out of the cave they were hiding in, slain, and then impaled for public display until evening. In Book of Numbers 25:4, it is not entirely clear that the divine instruction to Moses to impale those Israelites who have had sexual relations with Moabite women concerns post mortem impalement, but whether dead or alive, they are to be impaled "in the sun before the LORD"
- Trampling on the dead
Sometimes, however, the shaming of the dead seems to have gone beyond any "proper" degree of shaming, into a calculated display of maximal indecency and contempt for the deceased. One such example is from English history:
John Tiptoft, 1st Earl of Worcester reportedly had twenty men, found guilty of rebellion against King Edward IV, hanged, drawn and quartered. Each corpse was beheaded and hung by the legs. Then stakes sharpened at both ends were used, so that one of the ends was pushed into the anus, and the severed head was then placed on the remaining free end. For this act, the chronicler remarks, he became deeply hated by the people for acting contrary to the laws of the land, and Tiptoft was later executed at the Tower of London
- Mass executions and spectacles of horror
Occasionally, impalement has been an element in grand spectacles of horror, in which a large number are executed, often with other types of grievous punishments recorded as well. Some examples are:
"Those who were taken captive by the Britons were subjected to every known form of outrage. The worst and most bestial atrocity committed by their captors was the following. They hung up naked the noblest and most distinguished women and then cut off their breasts and sewed them to their mouths, in order to make the victims appear to be eating them; afterwards they impaled the women on sharp skewers run lengthwise through the entire body."
In ancient Tamil Nadu, in present-day India, impaling was referred to as Kazhuvetram. A notorious episode from Tamil Nadu, under the old Pandyan Dynasty, ruling from 500 BC- 1500 AD, the 7th century King Koon Pandiyan had 8000 Jains impaled. This act is still commemorated in "lurid mural representations" in several Hindu temples in Tamil Nadu. In that particular case, the Jains were massacred for blasphemy, for having taken the name of Shiva in vain. An example of such depictions in temples can be found in the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, around the holy tank enclosure to the shrine of Meenakshi. There, a long line of impaled Jaines are depicted, with dogs at their feet, licking up the blood, and crows flying around to pick out their eyes.
The Mughal emperor Jahangir made his rebellious son Prince Khusrau Mirza ride an elephant down a street lined with stakes on which the rebellious prince's supporters had been impaled alive. In his purported memoirs, Jahangir writes:
"In the course of the same Thursday I entered the castle of Lahour, where I took up my abode in the royal pavilion built by my father on this principal tower, from which to view the combats of elephants. Seated in the pavilion, having directed a number of sharp stakes to be set up in the bed of the Rauvy, I caused the seven hundred traitors who had conspired with Khossrou against my authority to be impaled alive upon them. Than this there cannot exist a more excruciating punishment, since the wretches exposed frequently linger a long time in the most agonizing torture, before the hand of death relieves them; and the spectacle of such frightful agonies must, if any thing can, operate as a due example to deter others from similar acts of perfidy and treason towards their benefactors."
Human sacrifice 
The Greek historian Herodotus avers that at the anniversary of a great Scythian king's death, a grand ritual of human and animal sacrifice was performed, where (post mortem) impalement was a critical factor in order to get the desired effect:
"When a year is gone by, further ceremonies take place. Fifty of the best of the late king's attendants (...) are taken, and strangled, with fifty of the most beautiful horses. When they are dead, their bowels are taken out, and the cavity cleaned, filled full of chaff, and straitway sewn up again. This done, a number of posts are driven into the ground, in sets of two pairs each, and on every pair half the felly of a wheel is placed archwise ; then strong stakes are run lengthways through the bodies of the horses from tail to neck, and they are mounted up upon the fellies, so that the felly in front supports the shoulders of the horse, while that behind sustains the belly and quarters, the legs dangling in mid-air ; each horse is furnished with a bit and bridle, which latter is stretched out in front of the horse, and fastened to a peg. The fifty strangled youths are then mounted severally on the fifty horses. To effect this, a second stake is passed through their bodies along the course of the spine to the neck; the lower end of which projects from the body, and is fixed into a socket, made in the stake that runs lengthwise down the horse. The fifty riders are thus ranged in a circle round the tomb, and so left"
"The horrid custom of impaling alive a young female, to propitiate the favour of the goddess presiding over the rainy season, that she may fill the horn of plenty, is practised here annually. The immolation of this victim to superstitious usage takes place soon after the vernal equinox; and along with her are sacrificed sheep and goats which, together with yams, heads of maize, and plantains, are hung on stakes on each side of her. Females destined thus to be destroyed, are brought up for the express purpose in the king's or caboceer's seraglio; and it is said, that their minds have previously been so powerfully wrought upon by the fetiche men, that they proceed to the place of execution with as much cheerfulness as those infatuated Hindoo women who are burnt with their husbands. One was impaled while I was at Lagos, but of course I did not witness the ceremony. I passed by where the lifeless body still remained on the stake a few days afterwards."
Regional and other historical studies 
Archaic age/Antiquity 
The earliest known use of impalement as a form of execution occurred in civilizations of the Ancient Near East. For example, the Code of Hammurabi, promulgated about 1772 BC by the Babylonian king Hammurabi specifies impaling for a woman who killed her husband for the sake of another man. In the late Isin/Larsa period, from about the same time, it seems that, in some city states, mere adultery on the wife's part (without murder of her husband mentioned) could be punished by impalement. From the royal archives of the city of Mari (at the Syrian-Iraqi border by the western bank of Euphrates), most of it alsio roughly contemporary to Hammurabi, it is known that soldiers taken captive in war were on occasion impaled.
From ancient Egypt, in the so-called Papyrus Boulaq 18, a so-called "Theban Book of calculation", by some dated to the reign of Sobekhotep II in the 18th century BC, there is a brief mention of impalement as punishment. Only two instances of impalement used in military context by Egyptians are clearly attested; once under the pharaoh Akhenaten (r. 1353-1336 BC), where he had 80 Kushites/Nubians impaled during a campaign and once under Merneptah (r.1213-1203 BC), in a campaign against Libyans, somewhere south of Memphis. Otherwise, Egyptians reserved impalement as a punishment for severe religious crimes, in particular for tomb robbery.
From the Middle Assyrian period, around 1500-1000BC, the law code discovered and deciphered by Dr. Otto Schroeder contains in its paragraph 51 the following injunction against abortion: "If a woman with her consent brings on a miscarriage, they seize her, and determine her guilt. On a stake they impale her, and do not bury her; and if through the miscarriage she dies, they likewise impale her and do not bury her" King Sennacherib (r. 705-681 BC) sought to keep the royal roads in perfect condition by instituting the death penalty, followed by post-mortem impalement for those who "lessened"/obstructed the roads. Evidence by carvings and statues is found as well, for example from Neo-Assyrian empire. For the Neo-Assyrians, mass executions seem to have been not only designed to instill terror and to enforce obedience, but also, it can seem, as proofs of their might that they took pride in. For example, Neo-Assyrian King Ashurnasirpal II (r.883-859 BC) was evidently proud enough of his bloody work that he committed it to monument and eternal memory as follows:
"I cut off their hands, I burned them with fire, a pile of the living men and of heads over against the city gate I set up, men I impaled on stakes, the city I destroyed and devastated, I turned it into mounds and ruin heaps, the young men and the maidens in the fire I burned"
Nor is this particular commemoration of massacre anything unique in Ashurnasirpal II's reign, but rather, a variation on the theme of self-glorification due to proved might and will to effect large scale destruction of human beings. For example, Charles Boutflower, in an essay devoted to elucidate the meaning of the word "asitu" (something like "tower", or "mound"), cites the commemoration Ashurnasirpal II made in honour to himself for the massacre of the subjects of Aziel, a ruler of a small kingdom on the middle Euphrates:
I built an "asitu" at the entrance to his city gate; the chief men, as many who had rebelled against me, I flayed, and covered the "asitu" with their skins. Some I walled up within the "asitu", others I impaled on stakes upon the "asitu", others again I fixed on stakes around the "asitu"
Paul Kern, in his (1999) "Ancient Siege Warfare" provides some statistics on how different Neo-Assyrian kings from the times of Ashurnasirpal II commemorated their punishments of rebels. Relative to impalement, for example, Ashurnasirpal II is credited with 5 distinct incidents, Shalmaneser III (r.858-824 BC), Tiglath-Pileser III (r.745-727) and Ashurbanipal (r.668-627 BC), all with a couple of commemorated incidents of impalement of rebels. The image of the impaled Judeans is a detail from the public commemoration of the Assyrian victory in 701 BC after the Siege of Lachish, under King Sennacherib (r.705-681 BC), who proceeded similarly against the inhabitants of Ekron during the same campaign. From Sennacherib's father Sargon II's time (r.722-705 BC), a relief from his palace at Khorsabad shows the impalement of 14 enemies during an attack on the city of Pazashi. Although impalement of rebels and enemies is particularly well-attested from Neo-Assyrian times, the 14th century BC Mitanni king Shattiwaza charges his predecessor, the usurper Shuttarna III for having delivered unto the (Middle) Assyrians several nobles, who had them promptly impaled. Even if it is true that the Neo-Assyrians utilized impalement more often than the Middle Assyrians, this should possibly be regarded more as a simple change or evolution in the techniques of mass executions, rather than that mass executions as such, and the self-congratulation thereof, was of recent date. For example, the Middle Assyrian king Tukulti-Ninurta I (r.1243-1207 BC) boasts, at one point, of having burnt alive a whole city of rebellious vassals.
A peculiarity about the "Neo-Assyrian" way of impaling was that the stake was "driven into the body immediately under the ribs", rather than along the full body length. In addition, several depictions of impalement seem to indicate that the stake protruded from a large, heavy socket, rather than being stabilized in erect position by digging it into the ground.
- The Bible
- "And they handed them over to the Gibeonites, and they impaled them ויקיעם on the mountain before YHVH, and all seven of them fell together. And they were killed in the first days of the harvest, at the beginning of the barley harvest."
Some controversy exist concerning the actual fate of the 5th century BC Persian minister Haman and his ten sons, whether they were impaled or hanged (Haman conspired to have all the Jews in the empire killed, the Book of Esther tells that story, and how Haman's plan was thwarted, and he was given the punishment he had thought to mete out to Mordecai). For example, in the English Standard Version, Esther 5:14 reads:
"..and all his friends said to him, “Let a gallows fifty cubits high be made, and in the morning tell the king to have Mordecai hanged upon it. Then go joyfully with the king to the feast.” This idea pleased Haman, and he had the gallows made."
The New International Reader's version, however, reads:
"They said to him, “Get a pole. In the morning, ask the king to have Mordecai put to death. Have the pole stuck through his body. Set it up at a place where it will be 75 feet above the ground. Everyone will be able to see it there. Then go to the dinner with the king. Have a good time.” Haman was delighted with that suggestion. So he got the pole ready."
The Assyriologist Paul Haupt opts for impalement in his 1908 essay "Critical notes on Esther", while Benjamin Shaw has an extended discussion of the topic on the website ligonier.org from 2012 Although conclusive evidence might be wanting either way, the Neo-Assyrian method of impalement as seen in the carvings could, perhaps, equally easily be seen as a form of hanging upon a pole, rather than focusing upon the stake's actual penetration of the body.
The Book of Ezra contains numerous documents purporting to be official decrees from Persian kings. In one of those, reputedly by Darius I for the protection of Jewish rites, quoted in Ezra 6.1-12, we read:
"Herewith a command is issued that if anyone changes this edict, a beam must be pulled out of his house and he must be impaled on it and his house be turned into a dunghill on account of this"
Whatever veracity is contained in the Book of Ezra, Darius I of Persia is credited on several occasions to have imposed the penalty of impalement on rebels
- Roman Empire
In ancient Rome, the term "crucifixion" could also refer to impalement. This derives in part because the term for the one portion of a cross is synonymous with the term for a stake, so that when mentioned in historical sources without specific context, the exact method of execution, whether crucifixion or impalement, can be unclear. In his funerary inscription Res Gestae Divi Augusti recording what he thought of his most notable achievements, Emperor Augustus highlights that he had ordered those slaves impaled who did not return to their masters after the civil wars period preceding his reign.
Thomas Shaw, who was chaplain for the Levant Company stationed at Algiers during the 1720s, differentiates between punishments meted out to different population groups, impalement primarily being used as a form of capital punishment for Arabs and Moors:
"When a Jew or a Christian slave, or subject is guilty of murder, or any other capital crime, he is carried without the gates of the city, and burnt alive: but the Moors and Arabs are either impaled for the same crime, or else they are hung up by the neck, over the battlements of the city walls, or else they are thrown upon the chingan or hooks that are fixed all over the walls below, where sometimes they break from one hook to another, and hang in the most exquisite torments, thirty or forty hours. The Turks are not publickly punished, like other offenders. Out of respect to their characters, they are always sent to the house of the Aga, where, according to the quality of the misdemeanor, they are bastinadoed or strangled."
According to one source, these hooks in the wall as an execution method were introduced with the construction of the new city gate in 1573. Before that time, gaunching as described by de Tournefort was in use. Laurent d'Arvieux, who was French consul in Algiers in 1674-75, says the hooks were spaced closely, resembling fishing hooks. Those thrown on the hooks were, according to him, typically Moors, or rebels and traitors, or those who were thought to deserve long torments. He also notes that the convict was usually bound hands and feet prior to being thrown off the wall, and if he was unlucky enough to survive for a few days, his body would typically begin rotting prior to death. Taken captive in 1596, the barber-surgeon William Davies relates something of the heights involved when thrown upon hooks (although it is somewhat unclear if this relates specifically to the city of Algiers, or elsewhere in the Barbary States): "Their ganshing is after this manner: he sitteth upon a wall, being five fathoms high, within two fathoms of the top of the wall; right under the place where he sits, is a strong iron hook fastened, being very sharp; then he is thrust off the wall upon this hook, with some part of his body, and there he hangeth, sometimes two or three days, before he dieth."
As for the actual frequency of throwing persons on hooks in Algiers, Capt. Henry Boyde, in one of his acerbic comments and footnotes to translated accounts from Catholic priests' narratives of the redemption of slaves notes that in his own 20 years there, he knew of only one case where a Christian slave who had murdered his master had met that fate, and "not above" two or three Moors besides. Even as close in time to the 1720s observations of Thomas Shaw and Henry Boyd, the 1730s-40s writer and compilator Thomas Salmon observes that it is "many years" since anyone were thrown upon the hooks. This discontinuation seems to have been not only a temporary respite, since 60 years later than Shaw, in a 4-year stay around 1789 in Algiers, Johann von Rehbinder notes that throwing people on hooks, the "chingan" mentioned by Shaw, is a wholly discontinued practice in Algiers, and that burning of Jews had not occurred during his residence there.
While practically all instances of use of stakes designed to impale other human beings can be thought of as acts of aggression, either within the context of war, or as a punishment meted out to criminals deemed deserving of it, some Amazon tribes developed a use of stakes meant primarily as a defensive measure. In a review of Thomas Whiffen's account of his 1908-09 exploration, we read: "For defense the Indians depend mainly upon the secrecy of the tribal dwelling, an easy matter in the absence of direct foot-paths. In addition, each tribe prepares a series of pit-falls in the forest avenues with poison stakes to impale the foe". Some centuries earlier, in other parts of the Americas, in the sixteenth century, the Spanish conquistadores were exasperated at the "very crude warfare" some of the Indians made: They covered deep pits with stakes on the bottom, upon which many Spaniards and their horses were impaled. The Spanish in the sixteenth century did not just meet "crude warfare" in the shape of mere pit traps, though. As the Aztec Empire crumbled in the 1520s and the Spanish gradually extended their sway northwards, allying with some tribes, enslaving others (for work in the silver mines, for example), in the middle century, they met a "scourge (...) so strong that Spaniards tremble at the mere mention of them". That scourge was the largely nomadic indigenous tribes of Northern Mexico, loosely called the Chichimecas. For the next four decades, these embittered foes of the Spanish made lightning swift, devastating raids. Their cruelty was legendary, steeling the Spanish and their allies into both a propaganda, and an extermination war against them. Among the Chichimecas noted cruelties were to chop off men's genitalia and stuff them into the victim's mouth, or slow dismemberment of a captive, removing one body part at a time (a leg, an arm, or just a rib), until the captive died. They were also alleged to impale their captives "as the Turks do".
"Not long ago, (continued he) I saw a black "man suspended alive from a gallows by the ribs, between which, with a knife, was first made an incision, and then clinched an iron hook with a chain: in this manner he kept alive three days, hanging with his head "and feet downwards, and catching with his tongue the "drops of water (it being in the rainy season) that were "flowing down his bloated breast. Notwithstanding all this, he never complained, and even upbraided a negro "for crying while he was flogged below the gallows, by calling out to him: "You man ?—Da boy fasy? Are you a man? you behave like a boy". Shortly after which he was knocked on the head by the commiserating sentry, who stood over him, with the butt end of his musket"
It was not only the Dutch who resorted to extreme forms of penalties if slaves revolted or murdered, and from what became USA, several cases exist where slaves were burnt alive if they transgressed. In one New York case from 1708, two slaves found guilty of murdering a white family were sentenced to be put to death by "all manner of torment possible". One of them was burned alive over a slow fire, and the other was partially impaled and then hung alive in chains in order to prolong his suffering for hours.
Eunice Cole, or "Goody" Cole (ca 1590-1680) was a woman in New Hampshire widely reputed to be a witch, and was several times jailed for "slanderous speech" and other offences. Legend has it that when she died, "her body was dragged outdoors, pushed into a shallow grave, and a stake driven through it in order to exorcise the baleful influence she was supposed to have possessed."
- Near East
Reportedly, members of the Alawite sect centered around Latakia in Syria had a particular aversion towards being hanged, and the family of the condemned was willing to pay "considerable sums" to ensure their relation was impaled, instead of being hanged. As far as Burckhardt could make out, this attitude was based upon the Alawites' idea that the soul ought to leave the body through the mouth, rather than leave it in any other fashion.
On the other hand, the mid-17th century merchant and traveller Laurent d'Arvieux became witness to an Arab robber who begged to be spared of impaling, asking to be flayed alive instead. The reason was that that had been the fate of his father and grandfather, so he wanted to die like them. His request was granted.
In 1838, Faisal bin Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud was ousted from the throne by Egyptian intrigues, and Khalid ibn Saud from the senior Saudi line was installed as pasha. He, however, became deeply hated for introducing punishments like impaling in the Nejd, and in 1840, he was replaced by Abdullah ibn Thuniyyan. If anything, the new ruler intensified the use of impaling and became even more hated than Khalid, preparing the takeover in 1843 by Faisal yet again.
- Indian sub-continent
A case in point where we have several explicit law codes or alleged general laws concerning punishments in general, and impalement in particular, is the Indian sub-continent. In the Mahabharata, it is said that the (mythical) king Ugrasena ordained that wine drinking was to be forbidden, on pain of impalement. The old, yet historical, Bengali law code Arthashastra (composed between the 4th century BC and 200 AD), specifies the following crimes as punishable by impalement, or suka: murder with violence, infliction of undeserved punishment, spreading of false reports, highway robbery, and theft of or wilful injury to the king's horse, elephant or chariot. In the celebrated Laws of Manu, paragraph 276 states: "Of robbers, who break a wall or partition, and commit theft in the night, let the prince order the hands to be lopped off, and themselves to be fixed on a sharp stake." The 3rd-5th century law code Yājñavalkya Smṛti stipulates that he who rescues a prisoner should be impaled. In early 16th century Malabar, on authority Ludovico di Varthema, who visited there in the first decade of the century, the prescribed law for murder was impalement. Fernão Nunes, being 1535-37 in the Vijayanagara Empire that covered the southern part of present day India notes that nobles found guilty of treason had a wooden stake pushed through their belly. (He also mentions that those found guilty of great theft or having raped a respectable woman or virgin would be hanged up by means of a hook impaled through his chin.) The early 10th century prominent leader of the Ghaznavid Empire, Mahmud of Ghazni is said on several occasioned to have ordered opponents, or malefactors, impaled.
Judicial ideas concerning the punishment of impalement did, of course, vary over time, and from place to place, on the Indian sub-continent. For example, the emperor Akbar, in his 16th century regulations on the proper conduct of magistrates, says explicitly that the magistrate should not suffer anyone to be impaled (along with other such humane commands, for example to ensure that no widows were to be burnt alive unwillingly, and that no boy should be circumcised before the age of 12, after which it should be the boy's own decision). His son, Jahangir, however, had no scruples reinstating the punishment, also on the level of mass execution.
The ascendancy of the British as rulers in India did not spell an abrupt end to punishments like impalement. In 1764, for example, occasioned by, in particular, the murder of a British merchant by robbers operating in the marshlands/mangrove area by the Ganges called the Sunderbans, and in general the increased frequency of such robberies, British local authorities advocated to the local ruler that man hunts should be organized to repress the robbery, and that impalement should be used for purposes of deterrence and for the benefits of trade. In 1777, the magistracy at Chittagong (control ceded to the East India Company in 1760) reported that a bandit had been sentenced to be impaled. In 1781, Warren Hastings, Governor-General of Bengal from 1772-1785 gave his formal approval to four cases of impalement. In addition, during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, one British general became so incensed that he asked for permission to impale rebels (although it does not seem it was granted, or carried out).
During the Vietnam War of the late 1960s, one account alleges that a village headman in South Vietnam who cooperated in some way with the South Vietnamese Army or with U.S. soldiers might have been impaled by local Viet Cong as a form of punishment for alleged collaboration. The method of impalement was alleged to have been the insertion of a sharpened stake through the anus; the stake was then supposedly planted vertically in the ground in view of his village. The victim was allegedly tortured and humiliated by complete castration, with the amputated genitalia being forced into his mouth. Another account alleges that the pregnant wife of a village headman was vertically impaled. There is also an allegation from the Vietnam War of coronal cranial impalement. In this case, a bamboo stake was supposedly thrust into the victim's ear and driven though the head until it emerged from the opposite ear opening. The act was allegedly perpetrated on three children of a village chief near Da Nang.
Impalement and other methods of torture were intended to intimidate civilian peasants at a local level into cooperating with the Viet Cong or discourage them from cooperating with the South Vietnamese Army or its allies. The main culprits for the use of impalement appear to be members of the Viet Cong of South Vietnam. No allegations have been made against soldiers of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), nor is there any evidence that either the NVA or the government in Hanoi ever condoned its use.
Impalement was only occasionally used by samurai leaders during the Age of Warring States. Early in 1561, the allied forces of Tokugawa Ieyasu and Oda Nobunaga defeated the army of the Imagawa clan in western Mikawa province, encouraging the Saigo clan of east Mikawa, already chafing under Imagawa control, to defect to Ieyasu's command. Incensed at the rebellious Saigo clan, Imagawa Ujizane entered the castle-town of Imabashi, arrested Saigo Masayoshi and twelve others, and had them vertically impaled before the gate of Ryuden Temple, near Yoshida Castle. The deterrent had no effect, and by 1570, the Imagawa clan was stripped of its power.
- England, Edward II and the shaming of suicides
It has long been believed that Edward II (1284–1327) was impaled by a heated poker thrust into his anus. This is, for example, contained in Christopher Marlowe's play Edward II (c. 1592). That story of Edward II's death can possibly be traced back to the late 1330s; however, the very earliest accounts of Edward's demise do not corroborate impalement, but speak instead of death by illness or suffocation. It is generally accepted by historians that he was murdered by an agent of his wife, Isabella, on 11 October 1327 in Berkeley Castle.
Not formally abolished until 1823, suicide victims and anyone killed during the commission of a crime could be punished post mortem with impalement. The law designated these deaths as felo de se ("felony against the self") and declared the dead person's movable property forfeit to the Crown (but not his lands). The body was buried at an unconsecrated location and early ecclesiastical law, like that of King Edgar in 967, forbade celebrating mass for the soul, nor commit his body to the ground with hymns or other rites of "honourable sepulture". The burial location was usually at a crossroads or highway. In some locations, a stake was driven through the corpse's heart. Following William Blackstone's reasoning, Moore is explicit upon that public shaming of the self-murderer is an important part of this tradition:
"By virtue of this authority the body of the self-murderer is cast with the burial of a dog into an hole dug in some public highway, which fulfils the law in this point. But in some places an additional (though not an enjoined) ignominy is practised, which consists in driving a stake through the body, and also inscribing the name and crime on a board above—" as a dreadful memorial to every passenger, how "he splits on the rock of self-murder.""
No evidence has surfaced in which impaling alive has been sanctioned by written law in Britain as valid on British soil, although some examples of alleged practice are attested from British history.
- Holy Roman Empire and Switzerland, custom of live burial+impalement
In the Holy Roman Empire, there existed a curious execution method of combined premature burial and impalement. While article 131 in the 1532 Constitutio Criminalis Carolina recommended that women guilty of infanticide should be drowned, the law code allowed for, in particularly severe cases, that the old punishment could be implemented: that is, the woman would be buried alive, and then a stake would be driven through her heart. Cases from the 15th/ early 16th century show that not only women found guilty of infanticide could be punished in this manner, but also women guilty of theft. From 1340 Vienna, women caught in flagrante in the act of adultery could face the punishment of impalement.
In some Landrechte and city statutes, like that for Husum in 1608, live burial and impalement is prescribed for parents who murder their children, or vice versa. At times, the impalement might precede the burial, as shown in a very late case from 1686. A woman strangled her newborn, and she was executed by impaling a stake directly through her heart. As a post mortem punishment for women found guilty of infanticide, the custom of driving a stake through the body was kept active even later, in some places. For example in 1738, it is reported that in Bohemia, such women had a stake driven through their hearts, after they had been beheaded.
While it seems that execution by impalement following live burial was primarily a punishment for female criminals, it is also attested for rapists of virgins. In one description, the rapist was placed in an open grave, and the rape victim was ordered to make the three first strokes on the stake herself; the executioners then finishing the impalement procedure.
From the 1348 statutes of Zwickau, it seems that an adulterous couple could be punished in the following way: They were to be placed on top of each other in a grave, with a layer of thorns between them. Then, a single stake was to be hammered through them.
The 1. August 1465 in Zurich, Switzerland, Ulrich Moser was condemned to be impaled, for having sexually violated 6 girls between the ages four and nine. His clothes were taken off, and he was placed on his back. His arms and legs were stretched out, each secured to a pole. Then a stake was driven through his navel down into the ground. Thereafter, people left him to die. Throughout the 400 years 1400–1798, this is the only known execution by impalement in Zürich, out of 1445 recorded executions.
Impalement was, on occasion, combined with other execution methods than live burial prevalent in the empire, in cases perceived to be of a particularly heinous nature. In 1600 Bavaria, the Pappenheimer family went on trial for having murdered and dismembered numerous children for the purposes of witchcraft. Prolonged torture brought confession of these and other crimes. The patriarch Paulus was condemned to the rarely used longitudinal impalement, and the criminally culpable family members (after the men had had their arms broken, and the mother Anna having her breasts sliced off) were dragged on top an enornous pile of brushwood that was set on fire. The 11-year old son was forced to watch the execution of his family, and he saw his mother writhe in agony, he screamed out: "My mother is squirming"
In Breslau 1615 a man confessed, after torture, to 96 acts of murder (including cutting up some pregnant women) and severals acts of arson and theft. He was sentenced to be pinched several times with glowing pincers, then be broken on the wheel, and finally to be impaled. The chronicler remarks the man showed "unbelievable composure" during this horrific execution, and adds that he even was able to speak after being impaled.
- Wallachia, the case of Dracula
During the 15th century, Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, is credited as the first notable figure to prefer this method of execution during the late medieval period, and became so notorious for its liberal employment that among his several nicknames he was known as Vlad the Impaler. After being orphaned, betrayed, forced into exile and pursued by his enemies, he retook control of Wallachia in 1456. He dealt harshly with his enemies, especially those who had betrayed his family in the past, or had profited from the misfortunes of Wallachia. Though a variety of methods was employed, he has been most associated with his use of impalement. The liberal use of capital punishment was eventually extended to Saxon settlers, members of a rival clan, and criminals in his domain, whether they were members of the boyar nobility or peasants, and eventually to any among his subjects that displeased him. Following the multiple campaigns against the invading Ottoman Turks, Vlad would never show mercy to his prisoners of war. The road to the capital of Wallachia eventually became inundated in a "forest" of 20,000 impaled and decaying corpses, and it is reported that an invading army of Turks turned back after encountering thousands of impaled corpses along the Danube River. Woodblock prints from the era portray his victims impaled from either the frontal or the dorsal aspect, but not vertically. As an example of how Vlad Țepeș soon became iconic for all horrors unimaginable, the following pamphlet from 1521 pours out putative incidents like this one:
"er liess kinnder praten die musten ire mütter essen. Und schneyd den frawen den prüst ab den musten ire man essen. Darnach liess er sie all spissen."
He let children be roasted; those, their mothers were forced to eat. And (he) cut off the breasts of women; those, their husbands were forced to eat. After that, he had them all impaled
- Russia, tradition of rebellion and suppression thereof
In medieval Russia impalement in its traditional way was sometimes used as a punishment for some serious crimes or, more commonly, for treason. In particular, there are some evidences of this penalty being used during the reign of Ivan the Terrible. For example, the Elizabethan diplomat and traveller Jerome Horsey notes how swift the wheels of fortune turned for one nobleman, Boris Telupa, from being a great favourite, to ending his life on the stake Faced with serious revolts, the Czars' suppressions could be extremely bloody. For example, the following is told of how Stenka Razin's rebellion was crushed:
"In November, 1671, Astrakhan, the last bastion of the rebels, fell. The participants of the revolt were subject to severe repressions. Trained troops hunted down exhausted and fleeing rebels, who were impaled on stakes, nailed to boards, torn to shreds, or flogged to death. 11 thousand people were executed in the town of Arzamas alone."
In 1698, when Peter the Great was on his great European tour, the military contingent known as the Streltsy chose to rebel, in favour of Peter's half-sister Sophia. Peter rushed back, and quelled the revolt brutally, with several implicated impaled. Eugene Schuyler, in his biography of the czar shows the level of anxiety in Peter during the 1707–08 Cossack revolt under Bulavin
"He ordered Prince Basil Dolgoruky (...) to march against the insurgents and "put out the fire once for all", ' burning villages and impaling and breaking on the wheel the inhabitants in order to deter the wavering from rebellion.' He recommended him to study the history of the rebellion of Stenka Razin,(...) His letter ended with the phrase: "These locusts cannot be treated otherwise than with cruelty". In another letter written at a cooler moment he recommended Dolgoruky to treat the repentant with clemency, and not to use blind terrorism..
As Eugene Schuyler remarks, "Dolgoruky was in great perplexity", not the least due to his emperor's changing instructions.
A notable execution outside wartime in Peter's reign is recorded in 1718, when he ordered Stepan Glebov, the lover of Peter's ex-wife Eudoxia Lopukhina, to be impaled publicly as a traitor. Just a few years later, in 1722, when Peter the Great demanded an oath of allegiance from his subjects, tumults broke out in the little Siberian town Tara by the Irtysh river, and 700 men are said to have been impaled alive in one day. In 1739, a peasant conceived the idea that he was, actually, Alexei Petrovitch, the son of Peter the Great, who had died in 1718 in dismal prison conditions on his father's suspicion he was trying to supplant him. The peasant in 1739 did not get much of a following, but he earned for himself the punishment of being impaled alive for his attempt at the crown.
According to some sources, punishments like impalement through the side and hanging people from the ribs were first discontinued under Empress Elizabeth (reign 1741–62). In the same vein, in 1754, Elizabeth abolished de facto, if not de jure, the death penalty in Russia, except for cases of treason. That attitudes towards impalement as punishment had changed considerably in imperial circles by the latter half of the 18th century is readily seen in the aftermath of the 1774–75 Pugachev's rebellion. While the rebels impaled the governor of Dmitrefsk in 1774, in addition to the astronomer Lowitz, Pugachev himself was merely beheaded. The effective abolition of the death penalty under Elizabeth is all the more remarkable considering that just a few decades earlier, under Peter the Great, the number of offenses meritable by death (by various means) had increased from the roughly 60 in 1649 to 123 different types of offenses. Also, under Peter the Great, the number of executions reached unprecedented levels, with, occasionally, more than a thousand executed per month.
Byzantine Empire 
Impalement was used by the Byzantine Empire against various groups.
Deserted soldiers would be thrown to wild animals or impaled. In 533 CE, the general Belisarius once impaled a couple of Massagetae allied soldiers, for having killed a fellow soldier in a drunken brawl. When the Massagetae complained (joined by several Roman soldiers as well), saying that according to their laws, no men should be executed in that way for such a crime, Belisarius retorted:
"Know that I am come to fight with the Arms of Religion and Justice(..) I will never suffer that Man in my Army whose fingers are stain'd with Blood, though he be a Mars in war. Force without Justice and Equity is Cowardice, not Valour"
From 821-23, Thomas the Slav led a large scale rebellion/civil war against Michael II. Besieged in Arcadiopolis, Thomas' troops finally yielded, and delivered him up to the emperor. Michael II ordered Thomas' hands and feet to be cut off, and then to be impaled. During dowager empress Theodora's regency (842-855), persecutions against the sect of Paulicians began in earnest. This policy backfired to some extent, for example:
"Theodotos Melissenos was functioning as commander of the Anatolikon theme and serving him in the office of protomandator was a man named Karbeas, an adherent of the faith of the Manichees (i.e, Paulicians). When he heard that they had impaled his own father, he was outraged by this atrocity beyond sufferance and deserted to Amr, the emir of Melitene, together with five thousand of his co-religionists. (...) Pledges of loyalty were exchanged, and before long these same men marched out to attack Roman territory"
Enemy soldiers could also be impaled as happened to a group of captured Saracen raiders in 1035. They were impaled along the coastline from Adramytion to Strobilos. In 880 the crews and soldiers of some Byzantine ships who deserted during an Arab raid in southern Greece were paraded with ignominy through Constantinople and impaled. Emperor Basil II impaled captured rebel commanders in 989.
Ottoman Empire 
The Ottoman Empire used impalement during, and before, the last Siege of Constantinople in 1453. For example during the buildup phase to the great siege the year before, in 1452, the sultan declared that all ships sailing up or down through the Bosphorus had to anchor at his fortress there, for inspection. One Venetian captain, Antonio Rizzo, sought to defy the ban, but his ship was hit by a cannon ball. He and his crew were picked up from the waters, the crew members to be beheaded (or sawn asunder according to Niccolò Barbaro), whereas Rizzo was impaled. In the early days of the siege in May 1453, contingents of the Ottoman army made mop-up operations at minor fortifications like Therapia and Studium. The surrendered soldiers, some 40 individuals from each place, were impaled. In 1517, Selim I ordered the last Mamluk sultan of Egypt, Tuman bay II impaled at the city gate of Cairo.
Impalement seems to have been mostly used against perceived rebels during some of the more brutal repressions of nationalistic movements, such as reprisals following insurrections in Greece and other countries of Southeast Europe, or against Kurdish or Arab subjects. Highway robbers were still impaled into the 1830s, but one source says the practice was rare by then. Travelling to Smyrna and Constantinople in 1843, Stephen Massett was told by a man who witnessed the event, that "just a few years ago", a dozen or so robbers were impaled at Adrianople. All of them, however, had been strangled prior to impalement. Writing around 1850, the archaeologist Austen Henry Layard mentions that the latest case he was acquainted with happened "about ten years ago" in Baghdad, on 4 rebel Arab sheikhs. Massett says that even executions in general, and not just impalement, had become rare in Turkey at his time, and that the one happpening when he was there caused more of a stir than what would have happened in the USA. These observations from various travellers may be viewed in connection with the judicial reforms instigated under sultan Mahmud II. Writing in "Das Ausland" in 1839, M. d'Anbignose notes that a principal reform Mahmud II was to severely limit the governors' powers to independently decide upon, and execute the death penalty. As an illustration of Mahmud II's personal unwillingness to implement the death penalty, he notes that from October 1836 to May 1838, the sultan only ratified two death penalties. Charles MacFarlane, revisiting after 20 years absence Turkey in 1847 not only confirms the decreased frequency of executions, but also a marked change in the mentality to such spectacles (at least in Constantinople), in the case where the clerics pushed through a beheading of an apostate from Islam:
..the young Sultan was known to be averse to his execution, but the Sheik ul Islam, and all the fanatics of Constantinople, insisted that, in so solemn a case as this, the law must take its course; and in the end, the poor Armenian was led out to be executed. But instead of running to the horrid spectacle and exulting at it, the Turks ran away from the spot, and shut themselves up in their houses, and the man who was constrained to act the part of executioner fainted when he had performed his office. Twenty years ago heads were cut off with gaieté de coeur
It should not be presumed, however, that impaling, or even crime itself, was very common in the Ottoman empire in previous centuries, either (Charles MacFarlane says crime actually had increased quite sharply since his first visit in 1828). For example, Aubry de La Motraye, lived in the realm for 14 years from 1699 to 1713 and claimed that he hadn't heard of twenty thieves in Constantinople during that time. As for highway robbers, who sure enough had been impaled, Aubry heard of only 6 such cases during his residence there. Staying at Aleppo from 1740–54, Alexander Russell notes that in the 20 years gone by, there were no more than "half a dozen" public executions there. Jean de Thévenot, traveling in the Ottoman Empire and its territories like Egypt in the late 1650s emphasizes the regional variations in impalement frequency. Of Constantinople and Turkey, de Thévenot writes that impalement was "not much practiced" and "very rarely put in practice". An exception he highlighted was the situation of Christians in Constantinople. If a Christian spoke or acted out against the "Law of Mahomet", or consorted with a Turkish woman, or broke into a mosque, then he might face impalement unless he converted to Islam. In contrast, de Thévenot says that in Egypt impalement was a "very ordinary punishment" against the Arabs there, whereas Turks in Egypt were strangled in prison instead of being publicly executed like the natives. Thus, the actual frequency of impalement within the Ottoman Empire varied greatly, not only from time to time, but also from place to place, and between different population groups in the empire. Caution should also be kept against assumptions of general simultaneous decline in impaling, for widely different types of perceived crime. For example, although the heyday of impalement as a regular execution method for highway robbers and the like within the Ottoman Empire may have petered out about 1840 or so, historian James J. Reid, in his "Crisis of the Ottoman Empire: Prelude to Collapse 1839-1878" notes several instances of later use, in particular in times of crises, and ordered by military commanders. As examples, he notes late instances of impalement during rebellions (rather than cases of robbery) like the Bosnian revolt of 1852, within the 1860s Macedonian times of trouble, during the Cretan insurrection 1866-69, and during the insurrections in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1876-77.
Tales and anecdotes concerning swift and harsh Ottoman justice for comparatively trivial offenses abound. Dimitrie Cantemir, a Moldavian noble living in Constantinople at the end of the 17th century, and often engaged in pleas of cases towards Ottoman authorities, narrates a tale from the building of a great mosque there in 1461. The Greek architect was amply rewarded by the sultan, so that a whole street was privileged to the Greek populace in recognition of his efforts. However, some asked the architect if he could even build a greater and more beautiful mosque than the one completed. Incautiously, the architect said sure enough, if I were given the materials. The sultan, upon hearing this, was so fearful that his successors might create an even more beautiful mosque than his own, that just in case, he chose to impale the architect to deprive successors of that genius, commemorating the event by erect a huge iron spike in the middle of the mosque. Not even bothering to refute this tale of impalement, Cantemir says that he does, however, believe in the grand gift of the street, because he had used the original charter from the sultan to protect the Greek interest when somebody wanted to deprive the Greeks of the privilege. Cantemir won his case. In 1632, under Murad IV (r.1623-40), a hapless interpreter in a fierce dispute between the French ambassador and Ottoman authorities was impaled alive for faithfully translating the insolent words of the ambassador. Furthermore, Murad IV sought to ban the use of tobacco, and reportedly impaled alive a man and a woman for breaking the law, the one for selling tobacco, the other for using it. Another such anecdote, illustrative of European ideas of "topsy-turvy" Oriental governments with scant respect for rank and "proper" ways for the people to address the powers of the State is said to have occurred in 1695 under Mustafa II: The Grand Vizier prevented access to the sultan to a poor shoemaker who had a petition for his sovereign. Once the sultan learnt of it, he promptly ordered the Grand Vizier to be impaled, although the Grand Vizier was the son of the sultan's favourite concubine.
Examples exist, though, of what might be called corruption of justice, in which local potentates like pashas at, for example, the instigation of one population group delivered severe penalties on another. For example, in 1762, there was a Franciscan monastery situated some distance from Gradiška, on the way to Banja Luka. The Greek Orthodox clergy convinced the local pasha to put pressure on the Franciscan monks that they should recognize the Patriarch at Constantinople as the head of the true, Christian faith. The monks refused to do so, and in consequence, the abbot was impaled, and the 26 other monks beheaded.
During the Ottoman rule of Greece, impalement became an important tool of psychological warfare, intended to put terror into the peasant population. By the 18th century, Greek bandits turned guerrilla insurgents (known as klephts) became an increasing annoyance to the Ottoman government. Captured klephts were often impaled, as were peasants that harbored or aided them. Victims were publicly impaled and placed at highly visible points, and had the intended effect on many villages who not only refused to help the klephts, but would even turn them in to the authorities. The Ottomans engaged in active campaigns to capture these insurgents in 1805 and 1806, and were able to enlist Greek villagers, eager to avoid the stake, in the hunt for their outlaw countrymen.
Impalement was, on occasion, aggravated with being set over a fire, the impaling stake acting as a spit, so that the impaled victim might be roasted alive. Among other severities, Ali Pasha, an Albanian-born Ottoman noble who ruled Ioannina, had rebels, criminals, and even the descendants of those who had wronged him or his family in the past, impaled and roasted alive. For example, Thomas Smart Hughes, visiting Greece and Albania in 1812–13, says the following about his stay in Ioannina:
"Here criminals have been roasted alive over a slow fire, impaled, and skinned alive; others have had their extremities chopped off, and some have been left to perish with the skin of the face stripped over their necks. At first I doubted the truth of these assertions, but they were abundantly confirmed to me by persons of undoubted veracity. Some of the most respectable inhabitants of loannina assured me that they had sometimes conversed with these wretched victims on the very stake, being prevented from yielding to their torturing requests for water by fear of a similar fate themselves. Our own resident, as he was once going into the serai of Litaritza, saw a Greek priest, the leader of a gang of robbers, nailed alive to the outer wall of the palace, in sight of the whole city."
During the Greek War of Independence (1821–1832), Athanasios Diakos, a klepht and later a rebel military commander, was captured after the Battle of Alamana (1821), near Thermopylae, and after refusing to convert to Islam and join the Ottoman army, he was impaled, and died after three days. Diakos became a martyr for a Greek independence and was later honored as a national hero.
One of the worst atrocities committed by the Greeks was the massacre following the Siege of Tripolitsa in October 1821, where several thousands were massacred, many impaled and roasted. To believe, however, that the massacre at Tripolitsa was the only, or the first atrocity committed by the Greeks would be wrong. Just two months earlier, in August 1821, for example, about the same time that some 40 Ionians were impaled by the Turks, Greek insurgents chose to roast a few Turks alive at Hydra William St Clair, in his "That Greece Might Still Be Free" warns against the skewed perception the Greek War of Independence received in Europe, and writes: "The Turkish atrocities against the Greek population were (...) witnessed with horror by many Europeans and soon were reported all over Europe. The initial atrocities in Greece, on the other hand, were seen by very few Europeans. If any were reported they were put down to justifiable hatred arising from extreme provocation, and explained away in the same terms as the occasional atrocities committed by European armies"
The "bamboo torture" 
A recurring horror story on many websites and popular media outlets is that Japanese soldiers during World War II inflicted "bamboo torture" upon prisoners of war. The victim was supposedly tied securely in place above a young bamboo shoot. Over several days, the sharp, fast growing shoot would first puncture, then completely penetrate the victim's body, eventually emerging through the other side. The cast of the TV program MythBusters investigated bamboo torture in a 2008 episode and found that a bamboo shoot can penetrate through several inches of ballistic gelatin in three days. For research purposes, ballistic gelatin is considered comparable to human flesh, and the experiment thus supported the viability of this form of torture, if not its historicity. In her memoir "Hakka Soul", the Chinese poet and author Woon-Ping Chin mentions the "bamboo torture" as one of those tortures the locals believed the Japanese performed on prisoners.
This tale of using live trees impaling persons as they grow is, however, not confined to the context of WW2 and the Japanese as torturers, but was recorded in the 19th century as an allegation Malays used against the Siamese after the Siamese invasion of Kedah in 1821. Amongst other alleged punishments, the sprout of the nipah palm was used in the manner of a "bamboo torture". A "Madras civilian", in his travel description from 1820s India asserts that it is a well known punishment in Ceylon to use a bamboo shoot in this way.
Impalement in myth and art 
Tales and myths of impalement 
The idea that the vampire "can only be slain with a stake driven through its heart" has been pervasive in European fiction. Examples such as Bram Stoker's Dracula and the more recent Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Twilight series' all incorporate that idea. In classic European folklore, it was believed that one method (among several) to "kill" a vampire, or prevent a corpse from rising as a vampire, was to drive a wooden stake through the heart before interment. In one story, an Istrian peasant named Jure Grando died and was buried in 1656. It was believed that he returned as a vampire, and at least one villager tried to drive a stake through his heart, but failed in the attempt. Finally, in 1672, the corpse was decapitated, and the vampire terror was put to rest. Although the Easten European, in particular Slavic (but also Roumanian), conception of the vampire as an undead creature in which impaling it was central to either destroying it, or at least immobilizing it, is the most well-known European tradition, such traditions can also be found elsewhere in Europe. In Greece, the troublesome undead were usually called a vrykolakas. The archaeologist Susan-Marie Cronkite describes an odd grave found at Mytilene, at Lesbos, a find the archeologists connected with the vrykolakas superstition:
"In the north side of the cemetery, however, we came across a surprising find – a grave unlike any other found within the cemetery. This burial contained the skeleton of a good sized, middle aged man buried in a well constructed grave dug into the preserved remains of the aforementioned Late Classical city fortification wall. An area of the interior of the wall had been removed, leaving a shallow, stone-lined crypt. The body was first placed within a wooden coffin the lid of which was attached along all four edges by many small, iron nails. This coffin was then placed in the crypt and the whole grave buried. Even more surprising, during excavation three 20cm (8 inch) long, curving iron spikes were found in with the body – one at the neck, one at groin level and one at the ankles. The alignment of the spikes suggested that they had been hammered into the coffin through the lid, ensuring the coffin would never be opened.
The Norse draugr, or haugbui (mound-dweller), was a type of undead typically (but not exclusively) associated with those put (supposedly) to rest in burial mounds/tumuli. The approved methods of killing a draugr are "to sever his head from his body and set the same beneath his rump, or impale his body with a stake or burn it to ashes". Dieter Furcht speculates that the impalement in the German live burial+impalement tradition was not so much to be regarded as an execution method on its own, but rather a way to prevent the condemned to become an avenging, undead Wiedergänger. But, as shown, examples exist that impalement was, indeed, also used as the direct execution method there.
Although in modern vampiric lore, the stake is regarded as a very effective tool against the undead, people in pre-modern Europe could have their doubts. Edward Payson Evans tells the following story, from the city Kadaň:
In 1337, a herdsman near the the town of Cadan came forth from his grave every night, visiting the villages, terrifying the inhabitants, conversing affably with some and murdering others. Every person, with whom he associated, was doomed to die within eight days and to wander as a vampire after death. In order to keep him in his grave, a stake was driven through his body, but he only laughed at this clumsy attempt to impale a ghost, saying: "You have really rendered me a great service by providing me with a staff, with which to ward off dogs when I go out to walk"
A graphic description of the vertical impalement of a Serbian rebel by Ottoman authorities can be found in Ivo Andrić's novel The Bridge on the Drina. Andrić was later awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for the whole of his literary contribution, though this novel was the magnum opus.
In British Columbia, a folk tale from the Lillooet People is preserved in which impalement occurs as a central element. A man became suspicious of his wife because she went out each day to gather roots and cedar-bark but hardly ever brought anything home. One day, he spied on her, and discovered that she was cavorting with a lynx, rather than doing her wifely duties. The next day, he asked her to accompany her, and they went out in the forest, and came at last to a very tall tree. The man climbed to the top of it, the wife following. The jealous man then sharpened the top of the tree with his knife, and impaled his wife on it. On his way down, he removed the bark of the tree, so it became slick. The woman cried out her pain and her brothers heard her. They and animals they called to help them tried to rescue her, but the stem was too slick for them to climb up to reach her. Then a snail offered to help her, and slowly crawled up the tree. But alas, the snail moved too slowly, and by the time it took him to reach the top of the tree, the woman was dead.
Among tribes living around the Titicaca, tales circulated in the sixteenth century that prior to the Incas, a mysterious group of white men lived there, and their banishment was somehow connected with the birth of the Sun. A sixteenth century tale collected by a Spanish missionary tells of such an individual, called Tanupa or Taapac, who was impaled by other Indians around the Titicaca, and a shrine was set up there to commemorate the events.
- Martyrdom of al-Hallaj
The renowned Sufi mystic was in AD 922 to be impaled for blasphemy in Baghdad, for having said such things as "I am God". However, the executioners were unable to do so, because al-Hallaj floated in the air just above their reach. Then, al-Hallaj's spirit ascended to Heaven, and conversed with Muhammed, the Prophet of Islam, and al-Hallaj asked the Prophet if he should let himself be impaled. The Prophet acknowledged that al-Hallaj's spiritual state was so heightened that his utterance "I am God" was both just and true, but that for the sake of ordinary people, he should let himself be impaled, because their spiritual state was such that they would be mislead from practical religion if they were to believe in such sayings like "I am God". And thus, for the sake of preserving the religion of ordinary people, al-Hallaj let himself be impaled at last.
- Indian sub-continent
In Bengal, tales existed about a foolish king in the Pala Empire, Bhava Chandra, and his equally foolish minister. They are a pair not unlike the Wise Men of Gotham, bereft of common sense as a result of a curse laid upon them. In their last judgment, they had condemned two robbers to be impaled, but when the robbers began quarreling about who should get impaled on the longest pole, Bhava Chandra and his minister became deeply intrigued. The robbers told them that whoever died on the longest pole would be reincarnated as the ruler of the Earth, while the other would become his minister. Thinking it unseemly that two mere robbers should gain such a high position in their next life, Bhava Chandra chose to impale himself on the longest pole, while his minister happily chose to die on the shorter.
The remains of persons impaled have, occasionally, been thought imbued with certain magical properties. For example, the Arthashastra states that if one wishes to make a fire at one place, and prevent any other fire to be lit there, one could make that fire "by the friction of a black-and-white bamboo stick on the rib bone of the left side of a man who has been slain with a sword, or impaled". Virginia Saunders also mentions from the same text how to become invisible:
Or if invisibility is desired, having fasted three nights one should, on the day of the star Pushya, sprinkle with the milk of goats and sheep, barley planted in soil placed in the skull of a man who has been killed by a sword or has been impaled.
The ascetic Mandavya, when he was five years old, had amused himself with sticking a reed into a living locust. Lord Yama, the god of death, bided his time to exact what he thought was a proper punishment. As an old man, Mandavya was sitting outside his cave in deep meditation, oblivious to some thieves placing their stolen goods there. Wrongfully believing Mandavya had stolen the goods, the authorities placed Mandavya on trial. He could not answer the judge on how the goods had come to be in his hermitage, so the king declared he was to be impaled. Mandavya seemed unperturbed by the whole affair, and when he was still alive, in deep contemplation, on the stake after 4 years, the king declared Mandavya had to be innocent, and ordered him pulled down. However, the stake broke inside Mandavya's body, and the excruciating pain destroyed Mandavya's trance. In deep bitterness, he asked the gods how he had deserved such a fate, and Yama answered it was because of the locust he had tortured as a young boy. Mandavya became infuriated at Yama and pointed out how disproportionate the punishment had been. He then cursed Yama to be born as a human being, namely as Vidura, the son of a mere serving maid.
A tale from Kashmir of reincarnation after death on the stake concerns the sage Samdhimati. Samdhimati was minister under King Jayendra, when a mysterious prophecy spread through the populace: "To Samdhimati will belong the kingdom". Jayendra, on hearing of this, threw Samdhimati in prison for 10 years. When the king was on his death bed, he was unwilling to let Samdhimati have the prophecy fulfilled, so he ordered Samdhimati impaled. When Samdhimati's guru Isana heard of this, he went to the cemetery where Samhimati was impaled in order to perform the proper funeral rites. The wolves had devoured all the flesh of the body, and Isana was amazed that the prophecy was inscribed on Samdhimati's skull that he was to inherit the kingdom. Keeping watch, one night Isana saw the graveyard was filled with Yoginis (female mystics/witches). The Yoginis were drunk and "lustful for a man", and provided the skeleton with flesh (not the least, a penis) from their own bodies. They then captured Samdhimati's spirit, which was still hovering around, within the fleshed skeleton, and "spent the rest of the night sporting with him". As dawn approached, Isana, afraid that Samdhimati's new body should be dissolved by the witches, rushed out from his hiding place, and chased them away. In his new body and life, Samdhimati became known as Aryaraja, and was, indeed, crowned as King of Kashmir, thereby fulfilling the prophecy.
- Eastern Asia
In the Buddhist conception of the eight Hells, as John Bowring relates from Siam, those consigned for the Sixth Hell are impaled on spits and roasted. When well roasted, enormous dogs with iron teeth devour them. But, the damned are reborn, and must relive this punishment for 16000 years, over and over again ... Another tale popular in Siam was about Devadatta,a wily antagonist to Buddha seeking to undermine Gautama's position among his followers. For this crime, Devadatta was sent off into the very deepest Hell, the Avici, being impaled on three great iron spears in a sea of flames.
Illusions of impalement 
The 1980 Italian film, Cannibal Holocaust, directed by Ruggero Deodato, graphically depicts impalement. The story follows a rescue party searching for a missing documentary film crew in the Amazon Rainforest. The film's depiction of indigenous tribes, death of animals on set, and the graphic violence (notably the impalement scene) brought on a great deal of controversy, legal investigations, boycotts and protests by concerned social groups, bans in many countries (some of which are still in effect), and heavy censorship in countries where it has not been banned. The impalement scene was so realistic, that Deodato was charged with murder at one point. Deodato had to produce evidence that the "impaled" actress was alive in the aftermath of the scene, and had to further explain how the special effect was done: the actress sat on a bicycle seat mounted to a pole while she looked up and held a short stake of balsa wood in her mouth. The charges were dropped.
In stage magic, the illusion of impalement is a popular feat of magic that appears to be an act of impalement. Impaling tricks are not, however, a modern European invention, and some dervish orders performed such acts already in the 18th century. Carsten Niebuhr, traveling the Middle East 1761–67 on a Danish funded expedition, saw such a display at Basra:
"The scene was in the open air, and in the court of the mosque, which was illuminated with only three lamps. Several Mullahs and dervises began with singing some passages out of the Koran. They continued to sing, with the accompaniment of some drums; and, during the music, the other dervises arose, took the sharp pointed irons, and did as if they were piercing their bodies, and even driving the irons with mallets into their flesh. Next appeared the principal actor, who, assuming an air of inspiration, directed the music to proceed, and to be raised to higher animation, in, order to assist his enthusiasm, or rather to stun the ears of the spectators. In his extacy, he threw up his turban in the air, loosened his hair; for this order of dervises wear their hair; and pierced his body with five lances: then mounting upon a low building, upon which a pole, sixteen feet long, and shod with a sharp iron point, had been set up, he impaled himself upon the pole, and was carried in this condition through the square. It was an affecting sight, to see a lean man, with a long beard, and dishevelled hair, wounded all over with spikes, and then carried about spitted upon a pole. I said, as I went away, to a Mullah of my acquaintance, that the dervise performed his tricks by means of a broad belt which he carried in his long wide drawers. The Mullah replied, that he had suspected some such art, but avoided mentioning his suspicions, lest he might draw upon himself the enmity of the order of Bed-reddin; for that one of his brethren had experienced great persecution from those dervises, in consequence of presuming to hint his doubts of the reality of their miracles."
The shrike is a notable example among birds of predatory impalement. To kill its prey, a shrike will pick up an insect or a small vertebrate (mouse or lizard), and impale it on a thorn or other sharp projection. With its prey immobilized and dying, the shrike can feed with little trouble of the prey's escape. This same behavior of impaling insects serves as an adaptation to eating the toxic lubber grasshopper (Romalea guttata). The bird waits for 1–2 days for the toxins within the grasshopper to degrade, and then can eat it.
Animals have been hunted with so-called "primitive weapons", such as spears, atlatl darts, or arrows, though impalement in these cases is incidental to the kill, and the animal is usually despatched as quickly as possible.
In earlier times, it is reported that pit traps, with a stake in the bottom, and a chained dog as bait was used "in all parts of India" and the Malay archipelago to catch man eaters:
"Tigers are frequently caught in traps—the most common is the pit trap which is used in all parts of India. A deep pit is dug and the bottom staked with sharp pointed staves. The mouth of the pit is concealed by branches and leaves and the bait (a dog generally) is tied to a bar over the centre. The tiger in prowling about discovers the bait, naturally springs at it and alights on the stakes, he is often pierced through by them—if not he is easily dispatched with long spears."
In arthropodology, and especially its subfield entomology, captured arthropods and insects are routinely killed and prepared for mounted display, whereby they are impaled by a pin to a portable surface, such as a board or display box made of wood, cork, cardboard, or synthetic foam. The pins used are typically 38 mm long and 0.46 mm in diameter, though smaller and larger pins are available. Impaled specimens of insects, spiders, butterflies, moths, scorpions, and similar organisms are collected, preserved, and displayed in this manner in private, academic, and museum collections around the world.
Impaling animals alive as a sacrificial custom is well attested for several cultures. According to Pliny the Elder, it was an annual rite in Rome to impale a dog alive on an elderberry branch. More modern forms of ritual sacrifice of animals by live impalement are also recorded. For example, in 1859, the British Government in Madras decided to circulate an order by which it forbade the sacrifice of oxen in this manner to appease the goddess Ammavaru.
In Scottish Highlands lore, a terrifying ritual called Taghairm for summoning the Devil by impaling, and roasting black cats alive is recorded. Supposedly, the Devil will grant the tormentors whatever they wish, if they just stop torturing those cats.
See also 
- Impalement arts
- Iron maiden
- Penetrating trauma
- Shrike: a bird that impales its prey on thorns.
- a.^ " They lay the Malefactor upon his Belly, with his Hands tied behind his Back, then they slit up his Fundament with a Razor, and throw into it a handful of Paste that they have in readiness, which immediately stops the Blood \ after that they thrust up into his Body a very long Stake as big as a Mans Arm, sharp at. the point and tapered, which they grease a little before; when they have driven it in with a Mallet, till it come out at his Breast, or at his Head or Shoulders, they lift him up, and plant this Stake very streight in the Ground, upon which they leave him so exposed for a day. One day I saw a Man upon the Pale, who was Sentenced to continue-so for three Hours alive/ and that he might not die too soon, the Stake was not thrust up far enough to come out at any part of his Body, and they also put a stay or rest upon the Pale, to hinder the weight of his body from making him sink down upon it, or the point' of it from piercing him through, which would have presently killed him: In this manner he was left for some Hours, (during which time he spoke) and turning from one side to another, prayed those that passed by to kill him, making a thousand wry Mouths and Faces, because of the pain be suffered when he stirred himself, but afeer Dinner the Basha sent one to dispatch him j which was easily done, by making the point of the Stake come out at his Breast, and then he was left till next Morning, when he was taken down, because he stunk horridly."
References and notes 
- In particular, techniques designed to effect penetration merely of extremities like hands or feet are excluded from this article (for such cases, see, for example, crucifixion).
- Embezzlement of holy tax Khums A traveller to Algiers in 1648 notes that if the individual responsible for collecting the Khums ("the fifth of the booty for the Cause of Allah", a part of which should be distributed for the support of clerics) was found guilty of embezzling that money, he would be dragged out "naked" and impaled before the mosque. Jäck (1829), p.85 Prophecy on change of sultan In 1791, a cleric prophecied that a new sultan would become master of the Ottoman Empire. After the priest was impaled, the prophecy fell in disrepute. Anderson (1791), p.25 Arson case by Turk in 1834 on Egyptian war ship: Yates (1843), p.20 Impalement, however, at this time, only punishment for extreme cases, Scott (1837),p.115
- 969 Phillippolis massacre Prince of Kiev, Sviatoslav I impales some 20.000 captives when the city falls. Grumeza (2010), p.66 Mongol attacks 1237 Under leadership of the Mongol general Subutai and after the fall of the Russian town Riazin, "Mongol horsemen entered the city and turned it into a slaughterhouse. Men were hunted through the red snow and the alleys of the town and impaled upon stakes to wriggle out the tragic end of their lives" Gabriel (2004), p.107 Withdrawal from Vienna, 1529 In their withdrawal, the Ottoman armies and their allies massacre about 9000 individuals, many impaled, and about 10.000 taken into slavery, Hammer-Purgstall (1829), p.48, Franck (1531) p.518 1669 Crete, cowardice 15 Janissaries impaled for cowardice under siege of the Venetians, Knolles (1701), p.192 1670s civil war Hungary Schimmer (1847),p.72, author bio: Karl August Schimmer. 1685 Capture of Koroni The besieged Turks at Koroni impaled alive captured soldiers and hung them over the walls, in retaliation, the town was given over to general massacre/slave-taking, Spangenberg (1828), p.175 1815 On some 300 Wahhabi prisoners of wars promised mercy by Egyptian/Ottoman opponents:Burckhardt (1831)p. 322–323, see also McGregor (2006), p.61-62 Afghan-Persian conflict in the 1720s Krusinski (1840)p. 111–112 1824, Burmese retreating soldiers on some 40 Assamese Buckingham (1826)p.243 1799 Naples, anarchic conditions Vidler(1799) p.256 1806 Calabrian Insurrection on French and sympathizers GvG (1816) p.110 1806 Lagonegro orders from French colonel Colletta (1858)p.20 1809 Illyrian Provinces The French took it extremely unkindly that a quarrel between Turks and French soldiers at the fortress of Siszeg led to the Turks plotting, and effecting, the impalement and beheading of some 300 French soldiers. General Marmont chose to take the fortress by storm, and put every Turk to the sword. Urban (1810), p.478
- A) General law on treason: Leonhart Rauwolff, travelling the Levant 1573–75 notes impalement as Turkish penalty for traitors, Ray (1693), p.36 B) Supplying the enemy 1654 Cretan farmers for furnishing the Venetion garrison with supplies, Han (1669) p.203 C) On defection to the Swedes: 1632, Lindau: Commander Fuchs for wishing to defect to the Swedes during the 30 year's war, Schwab (1827), p.256 D) On "defection to the Turks" i) 1600 Garrison at fortress Papa rebels, seek to hand over fortress to Turks; 12 officers are dismembered by the Hungarians for treason, 3 others impaled before the gates of Vienna, Schimmer (1845), p.166 ii) 1676 5 suspected arsonists in impaled alive in Upper Hungary, reportedly sent out by the Turks Feige(1694), p.312 iii) 1686 farmer for carrying correspondence between besieged Turkish general and relief army, Rocka (1785), p.281 iv)In 1697 Venetians on 20 soldiers caught defecting Rhodes(1697), p.420 v) Late 1716, 1717 and 1739 Austrian cases :de Waldinutzy (1772) p.477,column 1 E) 1639 Kingdom of Kandy impalement of some 50 natives on treason allegation De Silva (1988) p.53 F) 1735 Corsican case of "clandestine correspondence" Ackers (1735)p.50,column 1 G) As punishment for high treason in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from 14th-18th centuries i) Generally, see: Tazbir (1993) ii) Specifically, see for example, a) in 1635 of Ivan Sulyma Gifford (1863) p.468 and b) 1768, Ivan Gonta Harmsen (1770) p.143 H) During the 17th century, Swedish impalement of pro-Danish guerrilla resistance known as Snapphanes Åberg, Alf (1951), Snapphanarna (in Swedish), Stockholm: LTs Förlag, bio "Alf Åberg" I) 18th century Austrian statute for those selling Christian children to the Turks, de Waldinutzy (1772) p.440,column 1
- Darius I on 3000 during Babylonian revolt, Herodotus (1827), p.267, Cyrenaican queen Pheretima, on conspirators in murdering her son, Herodotus (1848), p.305 Inaros II rebels again Persians around 460 BC, he is reportedly impaled/crucified, after having been flayed alive.Smith (1861), p.572 Tax revolt turning ugly in Cordoba in AD 817 resulted in some 300 inhabitants impaled and/or crucified, Conde (1854), p.261 Peasant uprising in the 940s in Normandy. Regent Rodulf of Ivry poured molten lead on some of the rebels, impaled others alive. Thierry (2011), p.103 The Hohenstaufen takeover of Sicily in 1194 von Imhof (1723), p.439 1459 conspirators seeking to supplant Bahmani sultan Humayun Shah Zalim Bahmani with his brother, Taylor (1871), p.172 In 1705, alleged plot against the king and queen of Spain discovered, at least 7 impaled alive Luttrell (1857), p.565 Morocco in general for rebellion, see for 1720s Braithwaite (1729) p.366 Specific Morocco case 1705, some 300 rebels were impaled alive, in batches of 50 Rhodes(1706)p.46, The tale of the aftermath of that rebellion is at its fullest in Dominique Busnot, focusing upon that the chief rebel was sawn in two, rather than impaled, Busnot (1717), p.167-70 1751 Tunis Crushing the revolt of his son Younes, the Bey of Tunis is reported in a letter from a European consul there to have executed, over a period of 8 days, 250 conspirators, 25 reported to have been impaled. Ranft (1753), p.607
- Called (ukujoja), this punishment was also used against people found guilty of witchcraft Cmdt S.Bourquin. "The Zulu Military Organization and the Challenge of 1879". Military History Journal, Vol. 4, Num. 4. Archived from the original on 2008-01-25. Retrieved 2010-06-04.
- Piracy cases, i) 1767 Ottoman case of Hassan Bey Hinton (1773) p.276, 1767 specified in Ranft (1768), p.345 ii) Alleged Hindu law for perpetrators of second boat robbery, Price (1782), p.11 iii) 1817 Tunis Niles (1817) p.105, column 1 1699 impalement of 200 robbers in Aleppo: von Imhof(1725) p.170 1628 Persia, two thieves under Shah Abbas, Herbert (1634), p.98 Diligent governor in 1720s Bengal against robbers Stewart (1813) p.405 1758 Latakia, 3 highway robbers, Ives (1773), p.380 1812, several cases in Asia Minor, see: Turner (1820) p.353 1748 and onwards, German regiments organize manhunts on "robbers" in Hungary/Croatia Woltersdorf (1812)p.267 Hispaniola According to some accounts, pre-Columbian culture on Hispaniola punished robbery with impalement, and crime was extremely rare there, Schröter (1753), p.621 Aceh Thrice offenders of minor theft, or offender of major theft were subject to souling, i.e., impalement, Hamilton (1727), p.111 Kidnappers, seeking ransom money by sending relatives ears and teeth of the captive, Dodwell (1819), p.58 Pilgrim robbers Reportedly, several of the guards in the Hajj caravan would clandestinely seek to plunder and kill stragglers they had sworn to protect; if discovered, the thieves would be impaled. The source says that hardly a day passed without at least one such robber was impaled. Burckhardt (1823), p.390 Cattle thieves Pre-colonial Rwanda Taylor, Grinker, Lubkemann, Steiner (2010), p.563 1860s Kashgar The Tajik adventurer Yakub Beg and strongman in Kashgaria, the extreme west of China in the 1860-70s was said to have put down thieves by impalement, and that those who just stole a knife would be hung. Shaw (1871), p.287
- Caliph Al-Mansur (.754-775) reportedly had his physician impaled for having said to Christian bishops that the Caliph intended to destroy all the churches, and only a sufficient bribe to the physician might avert this. Since such a wholesale destruction of churches is completely contrary to the basic rules by which the Islamic polity is to govern the relations with non-Muslim subjects, the caliph thought the physician had made a crime grave enough through his slander of the Caliph to be impaled. Wigram (1929), p.79-80 Grand Vizier Köprülü Fazıl Ahmed Pasha impales Turks for violating treaty conditions with Venetians, Chassepol (1677), p.260 Mid-17th century Kingdom of Kandy, illegal gem trade:Knox (1681) "p.31 Selling bullocks to Europeans Said to be a crime worthy of impalement in 18th century kingdom of Travancore, Forbes (1834), p.238
- Thévenot (1687) p.259, arrived in Alexandria New Year's Day 1657, p.119, leaving Cairo 17th January 1658, p.162
- for example, Löhr (1818), p.199
- i) Roman case of Menestheus, secretary of emperor Aurelian, who conspired to have the emperor killed Wilkes (1827)p.287 ii) Prescribed law for murder, see: di Varthema (1863): p.147 iii) 12-year old 1521 regicide in the Demak Sultanate and 70 of his relatives, Pinto (1653), p.264 iv) Brothel owner and serial killer of customers Magiary Ali Aga, under Bayezid II's rule (1481–1512).White (1845) p. 67–72 v) Asssassins in 18th century Siam, Pinkerton (1811,9), p.594 vi) Egypt 1800 Assassin Suleiman al-Halabi of French General Jean Baptiste Kléber impaled by the French. Overall(1870) p.246, vii) 1806, Constantinople: Couple, for making beauty cream of human fat extracted from numerous murdered victims, Neale (1818), p. 256–57
- Enemy of King Henry I, Robert of Belleme had fondness of impaling his prisoners, rather than ransoming them. Huntingdon (1853) p.311 In th 1358 Jacquerie revolt in France, a number of nobles were impaled and roasted by peasants, Hume (1818), p.463 During the September massacres in 1792, Armand Marc, comte de Montmorin was impaled by the mob Beauchamp (1811) p.33 On impaling infants on stakes during revolts, see i) William St. Leger during suppression of Irish rebellion of 1641Gentles (2007) p.57,fn 80 and ii) 1791 slave rebellion at Saint Domingue of white infant on stake Hopkirk (1833) p.17 The actual veracity of the Haiti allegation should be questioned, however: Dubois, Geggus, Fiering (2009), p.111-12 1784 Horea revolt, rebels impale two Austrian officers, Austrian army responds with impaling Horea's 13-year old son, Kippis (1786), p.20
- Mannar In 1544, on the Mannar Island to the north-west of the main island of Sri Lanka, 600 indigenous who had converted to Christianity were impaled.Martyn (1923), p.135-36 Provence 1553, some 1500 of the Reformed Church massacred, several impaled Cobbin (1815), p. 65–66 Germany 1631 Sack of Magdeburg One soldier boasted of having personally impaled at least 20 suckling infants, and asked why he had done such a thing, he answered: "These babies are heretics' and rebel spawn and deserved no better treatment" Baur (1818), p.37 Piedmonte 1655 at the Piedmont Easter massacre of Waldensians, virgins are said to have been impaled "by their private parts" and paraded about as standards, Helvetius (1810) p.386 Japan: Nagasaki incident 1597, some twenty Christians impaled/crucified: Bidwell (1871) p.10 Madagascar 1836–61: Persecutions of Christians, some 2000 killed, some of whom impaled Gundert(1871) p.475 Kurdistan 1846 A massacre of some 3000 Nestorian Christians occurred, at least two bishops and priests were impaled. Presb. Mag. (1847), p.33 and Global Security Nestorian Massacres - 1843-1847
- 479 BC Sacrilege: Persian governor said to have plundered the tomb of Protesilaus (a hero from the Trojan War) and was impaled/crucified on Athenian general Xanthippus' orders; Artyactes' son being stoned to death in front of him. Encycl. Brit. (1842), p.151, Herodotus translation using "crucify", Herodotus (1830), p.448 Blasphemy: Sufi mystic, Mansur al-Hallaj in Baghdad 922 Malcolm (1815) p. 400–01, al-Hallajj see also the tale in Lit.Soc. Bombay (1819), p.111-113, Destroyer of Pagodas In 1613, the governor of Syriam, the Portuguese adventurer Filipe de Brito e Nicote, who had been a mercenary under the Arakanese was besieged by Burman forces, and subsequently impaled for defiling of Buddhist temples.Phayre (1883), p.129 One of De Brito's crimes was, apparantly, to plunder shrines for sacred bronze bells, melt them down and make cannon out of the metal. Findlay, O'Rourke (2007), p.196 Sectarianism: In 1625, a Shia Muslim impaled alive in Mecca for refusing to "abjure his creed" Burckhardt (1829) p.12 Apostasy from Christianity: During the Granada War 1482–92, which led to the destruction of the last Islamic kingdom in Spain, the conquest of Malaga around 1485 was followed by burning alive Christians discovered to have converted to Islam, and impaling baptized Jews who had relapsed into Judaism. Lindo (1848) p.272 Apostasy from Islam from Islam, 1697 Aleppo: Maundrell (1732) p.141 Inducing another to apostasize from Islam to Christianity Alleged general law, Büsching (1769) p.12 In a 1771 essay by Voltaire, he alleges that in Constantinople of his day, a man would be impaled if he said he was specially favoured by the angel Raphael, since Raphael is superior in the angel hieararchy than Gabriel, the angel who brought the verses of the Koran to Muhammed. Voltaire (1771), p.180
- Impalement as element of druidic human sacrifice rituals among Celts, see Diodorus SiculusDiodorus Siculus: Library of History, 1789 report from Lagos on annual sacrifice of a virgin Adams (1823) "p. 97–99, a report about annual virgin sacrifices in Dahomey, Robertson (1819) p.293, 1790 Report about Guinea that humans were sacrificed to serve chiefs in afterlife Moore (1790) p.128 Ritual of anniversary of burial of Scythian kings Herodotus (1860) p.53, paragraph 72
- Adultery i) 13th century ordinance for Bohemian mining town Iglau, Schwetschke (1789), col. 692 ii) In Malay Adat law, known as Hukum Sula, UJAHS (1955) p.76 iii) Occasional punishment among Aztecs, stoning more usual. ABA Journal (1969)p.738 Violated maiden by Persian soldier At Apamea in 541 AD, Persian king Khosrau I has one of his soldiers impaled in camp, on basis of a citizen's complaint the soldier had violated his daughter. Hitti (2004), p.374 Christian fornicating with Turkish woman Büsching (1769) p.12 Travelling to Constantinople around 1610, George Sandys reports that Jews there still remembered a recent case of two Jews being impaled for consorting with a Turkish woman on their Sabbath, Sandys (1615), Book 3, p.148 Commoner running off with either the daughter or the debt slave of another man Kedah Port Law, ca. 1650. Falarti (2012), p.81 Sex between adolescents Writing in the 1930s, ethnologist Otto Friedrich Raum notes that among the Chaga people in Eastern Tanzania four or five generations earlier, if two adolescents had sex, and the girl became pregnant, then their punishment was to be placed one on top of the other in an open grave, and then a single stake driven through them. If there was no pregnancy, then there was no legal punishment of the act Raum (1940), p.69 Anal sex Sodomy was punishable with impalement in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Stone (2001), p.209
- Around 1540, Spanish governor Pizarro sent Fransisco de Chaves to subdue the Conchucos, which he did with great severity, impaling many of them. Stevens (1711) p.190 Executions by the Spanish of tribal chiefs Caupolican in 1558 de Vivar (1987) and 1578 Juan de Lebú Arrana (2010), p.453
- The Dutch in the Cape Colony punished a slave who had murdered his master Morris (2004) p.50 Dutch Batavia, 1769: Slave for murder of his master Stavorinus (1798) p. 288–291 1770s slave in Dutch Suriname, for rebellion, Stedman (1813) p.116 João Ribeiro, staying at the Portuguese colonies at Sri Lanka from 1640-58, states that the Portuguese governors were authorized to perform on natives capital punishments such as cutting them open with axes, or impaling them. Newitt (2005), p.196 1859, Portuguese controlled Ouidah, slave impaled on suspicion of trying to poison his master Wesl. Miss. Soc. (1859) p.166
- See: Long (1869), p.389 and Banerjee (1984), p.63
- Shaw (1757)p. 253–254
- Briemle, Pock (1729), p.199, Paulus, Bellon (1792), p.14, small piece of wood Hurd (1814),p.308 turks using wooden pale Dumont(1819) p.22, sharpens the end Maundrell (1732), p. 141, sharpe made stake Bond (1856) p. 172–73, scarcely sharpened 1813 Latakia incident, Stanhope (1846), p.281 (1846)made of oak Buchenbach (1612), p.87 use of nipah palm UJAHS (1955) p.76, "Aiolos (2004)"
- Buchenbach (1612), p.87, von Taube (1777), footnote ** p. 70–71,Hartmann (1799)p. 520, Steill (1849) p. 403–4, Removal of iron tip after completed impalement, Reimers (1803), p.186
- Howell(1869) p.85
- iron stake Smith (1684), p.443 iron spit Dumont(1819) p.22, sharp iron Florian (1706) p.496, column 2, polished iron Stavorinus (1798) p.288
- Blount (1636), p.52
- "Aiolos (2004)"
- 6 feet: Stavorinus (1798) p.288 8-9 feet:Hartmann (1799)p. 520, three yards long, Osborne (1745), p.478 12-14 feet: Maundrell (1732), p. 141 Dampier (1729)p.140 15 feet: Jahn (1828)p. 640 four paces: di Varthema (1863) p. 147,
- Man's thigh: Dampier (1729)p.140, man's leg: Hartmann (1799)p. 520, Maundrell (1732), p. 141, d'Arvieux (1755), p. 230–31, Osborne (1745), p.478 man's arm : Thévenot (1687) p.259, wrist: Howe (1828)p.108, foot at its thickest: Briemle, Pock (1729), p.199, somewhat thicker than a hop-pole, 1813 Latakia incident, Stanhope (1846), p.281
- Germ Mus. (1855)p.176, column 2,Example of thrusting a roasting spit through the stomach on orders of 16th Central Asian ruler Mirza Abu Bakr Dughlat upon his own nephew, Elias, Ross (1898), p.227
- For extra-cardial chest impalement Döpler (1697) p.371
- Roch (1687)pp. 350–51
- A possible case of 16th century dorsal-to-front impalement is given by di Varthema (1863) p. 147 See also wood block print in Wallachia subsection. In addition, the alleged "bamboo torture" seems to presume a dorsal-to-front impalement, see specific sub-section
- The Zulu impalement process ukujoja also differs appreciably from the main patterns sketched below: Either i) a stick of considerable length was inserted that could reach up to the lungs, or ii) several sticks were driven into the person's abdome from different angles, or iii) The person was impaled with a branched stick that would split once inserted. Berglund (1976), p.195, note 89
- Thévenot (1687) p.259 Other highly detailed accounts on methods are: i) Jean Coppin's account from 1640s Cairo, very similar to Thévenot's, Raymond (2000), p.240 ii) Stavorinus (1798) p. 288–291 iii) von Taube (1777) footnote ** p. 70–71 iv) The regrettably highly partisan "Aiolos (2004)", notes on methods partly from Guer, see for example, Guer (1747),p.162 v) d'Arvieux (1755), p. 230–31 vi) Recollection 20 years after second-hand narration, Massett (1863), p. 88–89 vii) Ivo Andric's novel "The Bridge on the Drina", containing several additional, but credible details on the impalement process. Excerpt: The Bridge on the Drina viii A literary rendition in The Casket, from 1827, Cowie and Strange (1828), p.337 ix) Koller (2004), p.145-46
- UJAHS (1955) p.76
- Possible case by 7th century Avars, Halsall (2002)p. 31–32 1655 at the Piedmont Easter massacre of Waldensians, virgins are said to have been impaled "by their private parts" and paraded about as standards, Helvetius (1810) p.386
- Stavorinus (1798)p. 288–291, d'Arvieux (1755), p. 230–31
- Razor: Thévenot (1687), p.259, Stanhope (1846), p.281, Knife: Hartmann (1799)p. 520, Hatchet/ax: von Taube (1777), footnote ** p. 70–71
- Thévenot (1687) p.259
- von Taube (1777), footnote ** p. 70–71, Hartmann (1799)p. 520, Hurd (1814),p.308, Steill (1849) p.403
- de Tournefort (1741), p.99placed on the belly Thévenot (1687) p.259, von Taube (1777), footnote ** p. 70–71, d'Arvieux (1755), p. 230–31 face held downHowe (1828)p.108, thrown to the ground, Stavorinus (1798)p. 288–291 , Hartmann (1799)p. 520
- Thévenot (1687), p.259, "Aiolos (2004)"
- held down Howe (1828)p.108, held down by four men Stavorinus (1798)p. 288–291, bound fast von Taube (1777), footnote ** p. 70–71, sat upon "Aiolos (2004)", immobilized with help of a pack-saddle, de Tournefort (1741), p.99, Stanhope (1846), p.281, hands and feet held fast by one man each, main executioner sitting on his knees upon him, d'Arvieux (1755), p. 230–31
- Paulus, Bellon (1792), p.14
- Dumont(1819) p.22
- Gerlach (1674), p.169Thévenot (1687) p.259, Bond (1856) p. 172–73, 'd'Arvieux (1755), p. 230–31, "Aiolos (2004)"
- mallet Thévenot (1687) p.259, von Taube (1777), footnote ** p. 70–71, Howe (1828)p.108, "Aiolos (2004)", 'd'Arvieux (1755), p. 230–31, Stanhope (1846), p.281, two men drove it forcibly inStavorinus (1798)p. 288–291, "Aiolos (2004)"
- von Taube (1777), footnote ** p. 70–71, Stavorinus (1798)p. 288–291, "Aiolos (2004)", 'd'Arvieux (1755), p. 230–31
- Maundrell (1732), p. 141, Dumont(1819) p.22
- Stephan Gerlach
- Gerlach (1674), p.169-170
- Mundy (1907), p.55 With a tinge of regret of unsatisfied curiosity, Mundy adds: "I could not well come neere to see him for the presse of people till hee was sett upp"
- Mukharji (1904), p.124
- For examples of varied type, Pinto (1653), p.264, Thévenot (1687) p.259, Hurd (1814),p.308, Dumont(1819) p.22, Steill (1849) p. 403–4, Hill (1709) p.17, von Taube (1777), footnote ** p. 70–71, Bond(1856) p. 172–73, Howe (1828)p.108, Stavorinus (1798)p. 288–291, Maundrell (1732), p. 141, Dampier (1729)p.140, Stanhope (1846), p.281 In a case of a full dozen post mortem impalements, the narrator was told the following: "My informant told me that only a few years ago thirteen or fourteen of these robbers were impaled at Adrianople. He was an eye-witness of the scene, and in one case he told me the stick came out at the back of the neck, in another through the chest, in two or three through a shoulder, in one through the throat! and in one instance through the top of the head!! He told me, however, that every one of the victims had first been strangled, so that they did not suffer afterwards, though the punishment appears so dreadful" Massett (1863), p. 89
- 'd'Arvieux (1755), p. 230–31
- Howe (1828)p.108
- Vigne (1840), p.375
- Bench Thévenot (1687) p.259, scaffold Stavorinus (1798)p. 288–291
- impaled person and stake affixed to (vertical) wooden cross Hurd (1814),p.308
- Bound in spread-eagled fashion Robertson (1819) p.293, bound with arms stretched out, legs left free, Paulus, Bellon (1792), p.14
- Muravyov (1824), p. 70–71 In the Khanate of Khiva, slaves caught after third escape attempt were impaled. Baer,Helmersen (1839), p.42
- Capper (1786), p.74
- Russell (1794)p.332
- d'Arvieux (1755), p. 230–31
- Singleton (1985), p.82
- Stavorinus (1798) p. 288–91
- 2 died during impalement process, Blount (1636), p.52 9 minutes, 1773 case, Hungary: Korubinsky (1786) p.139
- 1800 assassin of General Kleber a few hours Shepherd (1814)p.255, six hours Hurd (1814),p.308
- fifteen hours Bond (1856) p. 172–73 24+ hours von Taube (1777), footnote ** p. 70–71, Hartmann (1799)p. 520, two to three days von Troilo (1676) p.45, Hueber (1693) p.480, Dampier (1729)p.140, "Aiolos (2004)", 'd'Arvieux (1755), p. 230–31
- de Pages (1791) p.284
- For following the spine: von Taube (1777), footnote ** p. 70–71, Stavorinus (1798)p. 288–291 Another description, using a 15 cm thick stake, let it pass between the liver and the rib cage, Koller (2004), p.145
- von Taube (1777), footnote ** p. 70–71
- Bystanders allowed to dash in their brains, Blount (1636), p.52 By letting a bystander give the victim a stab in the heart: Maundrell (1732), p. 141, by giving liberty to shoot them after a few hours Russell (1794) p.332
- Stieber (1832) p.4, note 56 From a 1787 circular from Austrian authorities, an executioner impaling a condemned would receive 24 florins, the same as for quartering a person. 24 florins was the highest pay for an execution, a simple decapitation would, for example, only net the executioner 12 florins for his efforts. Balazs, (1997), p.236
- Shahbaz (1918), p.142
- Tournefort (1741) p. 98–100
- Thévenot (1687)p. 68–69. For a third description plus drawing, see Schweigger (1613), p.173 Schweigger adds that many times, people are allowed to shorten the gaunched individual's time of misery by cutting his throat, or decapitate him. Alexander Russell, from 1740s Aleppo knew of instances of "ganching", but said those were rare, compared to other types of capital punishment.Russell (1794)p.334
- i) Sisera by Yael in the Book of Judges 4:21, ii) Igor of Kiev on hunted monks Tooke (1800, London) p. 159–60 iii) Both Ivan the Terrible and Vlad the Impaleron unlucky ambassadors Döpler (1697) p.272
- al-Tūnusī (1854) p.263 Rolling a victim within a nail-bristled barrel is also reported from the Kingdom of Kandy on present day Sri Lanka, McGlashan (1849), p.164
- During Hohenstaufen 1194 takeover of Sicily,von Imhof (1723) p.439 1670s civil war Hungary Schimmer (1847) p.72 1699 Aleppo: bandit chief roasted, other 200 merely impaled von Imhof (1725) p.170 1799, Naples Vidler (1799) p.256 1806 Calabrian Insurrection GvG (1816) p.110 1812 Asia Minor case, aggravated punishment of a robber found guilty of stealing an ox, by setting fire to the man's shirt while he was still alive. Turner (1820) p.353 1810s Egypt Two Arabs found guilty of murdering a soldier, Belzoni (1822), p.491835 Kurdish retaliation on Turks relative to Turks' impalement of "robbers", Slade (1837) p.191 Even fateful encounters with wild cannibals are recorded: In 1514, in the Americas, Francis of Cordoba and 5 companions were, reportedly, caught, impaled on spits, roasted and eaten by the natives. In 1543, such was also the end of a previous bishop, Vincent de Valle Viridi.Perckmayr (1738), p.628
- Into his urethra, by this account: Collin (1738), p.57, the stake finally thrust up his anus was studded with sharp nails according to the same source
- Saint Benjamin
- See, for example, Thévenot (1687) p.259, d'Arvieux (1755), p. 230–31
- Ouseley (1823) p.502
- Taube, Friedrich Wilhelm von
- Sachs (1973), p.27 and Smith, Coetzee (2009), p.296
- von Stramburg (1853), p.358
- Pouqueville (1820), p.162
- Sonnini (1801),p.376
- Hirschberg (1981), p.244
- Castillo-Feliú (2000), p.21
- Vierholz (1737) p. 493–95
- Damengesellschaft (1785) p. 95–97
- Maundrell (1732), p. 141 Also mentioned in Gerlach (1674), p.169 and in Briemle, Pock (1729), p.199
- In Siam, for example, murderers, after beheading, were inflicted the post mortem indignity of being impaled, and exposed to the elements Bowring(1857) p.182
- It seems to be the consensus of al-Marghinani and other islamic scholars he mentions at that time that robbers also guilty of murder should at most be crucified (with the aggravating option of amputation of limbs), rather than impaled, since al-Marghinani only discusses variant views on crucifixion, none on impalement.al-Marghinani (1791), p.132 This may be viewed in connection with a tradition concerning the prophet Muhammad, who disapproved at one instance at the punishment of some robbers, who had their limbs lopped off, their eyes put out, and finally were impaled alive. Muhammad made public a revelation in which crucifixion, and amputation at most were stated as the most grievous permissible punishments.Muir (1861), p.19-20 The Anglo-Indian judge and politician Abdur Rahim, however, writes the following from the understanding of his day of classical muslim jurisprudence: "For waging war against God or his prophet, or for highway robbery, the malefactor is to be put to death, either by crucifixion or impalement, or by one hand and one foot being cut off, or he is to be exiled from the country", Rahim (1907), p.187
- Jew. Publ. Soc. (2010), p.573
- Meyers, Berlin, Brettler (2004), p.482
- Coogan, Brettler (2007), p.223
- Warkworth (1839) p.9 Possible inspiration for Tiptoft's act from example Hospitallers on Turkish prisoners at Rhodes in 1458, Evans (2007) p.132 Robert of San Savarino witnessed probably the same event at Rhodes (June 11th 1458), and said that the 250 Turk captives were all sabred down or impaled by the Hospitallers. Newett (1907), p.382
- Cassius Dio: Roman History
- On term, see: "Unexploited vestiges of Jainism"
- Dundas (1992) p.127 The author mentions as an example the temple to the war god Murugan in Kalugumalai
- AES (1904), p.52
- Representations of impaled members of a different religion than Hinduism seems not to be confined to the Jains, but also to Buddhists. In a temple at Trivatur, not far from Madras (present name Chennai), for example, the walls "are covered with sculptures representing the execution of Buddhists by the most horrible tortures, the martyrs being impaled alive and left to be devoured by dogs and birds of prey." Elliot (1869), p.109 This presumably commemorates an alleged persecution of Buddhists in the 2nd century BC under Hindu King Pusyamitra Sunga, as narrated, for example, in 2nd century AD text Ashokavadana
- Jahangir (1829) p.88
- Herodotus (1860) p.53; a somewhat similar, but less grand sacrificial ceremony was witnessed by the 14th century muslim traveller Ibn Batuta, see ibn Batuta, Lee (1829) p.220
- Adams (1823), p. 97–99 Dating of Adams' visit: Marris (1961) p.4
- Middle chronology is used here
- Article 153 in: The Code of Hammurabi
- Tetlow (2004) p.34 Tetlow's source on this is a reference to a schoolboy's writing exercise where a woman found on another man's lap is either "impaled or exposed on a stake", Van de Mieroop (1992), p.218
- Hamblin (2006), p.208
- Helck, Otto, Westerdorf (1984), p.153
- Kushite reference, Redford (2011), p.40
- On Libyan reference, Schulman (1988), p.91, note 123
- Darnell, Manassa (2007), p.119 Impalement seems to have been the threat against those who gave false testimony in cases of tomb robbery. Peet, (1977), p.40 Also, Seti I (r.1290-1279 BC), in order to protect the wealth of a particular religious foundation decreed that any herdsman who disposed of the foundation's cattle for his own profit should be impaled. Wilson (1951), p.241
- Schroeder (1920), Keilschrifttexte aus Assur verschiedenen Inhalts
- Jastrow (1921), p.48-49
- Yana (2008), p.123-124
- Olmstead(1918), p.66
- The Assyriologist Albert Ten Eyck Olmstead devoted on that topic a 1918 essay named "The Calculated Frightfulness of Ashur Nasir Apal" on pages 209-263 Journal of the American Oriental Society, Volume 38
- Boutflower (1898), p.50
- Paul Kern
- For a number of examples of impalement of rebels and subjugated people under Neo-Assyrian king Shalmaneser III, see Olmstead (1921), Battle at Sugania p.348,Siege of Til Bashere p.354, Battle of Arzashkun p.360,Battle of Kulisi p.368, Battle of Kinalua p.378 For the last, see also Bryce (2012), p.244
- For some specifics on Tiglath-Pileser's policy, see for example, Crouch (2009), p.39-41
- Ashurbanipal congratulates himself once over having impaled fleeing survivors from towns he has burnt down, Ehrlich (2004), p.5
- Kern (1999), p.68-76
- Ussishkin, Amit (2006), p.346
- Ekron incident from Sennacherib's own self-glorification, see Callaway (1995), p.169
- Relief and text in Ephʿal (2009), p.51-52
- where Ashur-uballit I was king at that time
- Kuhrt (1995), p.292 and Gadd (1965), p.9
- Niehaus, Millard (1994), p.304
- Relative to later impalement practices, at least
- Layard (1850) p.374
- See, for example, figure 165 in Bonomi (2003), p.319
- The theologian Adam Clarke was deeply suspicious of whether this passage ought to be regarded as part of the original Biblical text, and wrote: "(The definition of יקע (YaQ'a) in Strong's: "a prim. primitive root; prop. properly to sever oneself, i.e. (by impl. implication) to be dislocated; fig. to abandon; causat. causatively to impale (and thus allow to drop to pieces by rotting):- be alienated, depart, hang (up), be out of joint. The seven sons of Saul, mentioned here, [II Samuel 21:9], are represented as a sacrifice required by God, to make an atonement for the sin of Saul. Till I get farther light on the subject, I am led to conclude that the whole chapter is not now what it would be coming from the pen of an inspired writer; and that this part of the Jewish records has suffered much from rabbinical glosses, alterations, and additions." ),Clarke 1831, Bible ed. p. II 267
- Book of Esther, ESV Bible edition
- Book of Esther, NIRV Bible edition
- Haupt (1908), p. 122, 152, 154, 170
- Shaw (2012), Was Haman Hanged or Impaled?
- Fensham (1983), p.88
- Briant (2002), p.122-23
- Walde (1938), p. 297, Georges (1880) p. 621
- Brandenburger (1975), p.391. Also see extended discussion and examples in Allen (1896), p.40
- Hopkins (1978), p.121 Some 6000 slaves are said to have been impaled, with about 30.000 returned to their masters according to one source. Newton (2002), p.287
- Thomas Shaw
- Shaw (1757) p. 253–254 Shaw's contemporary John Braithwaite reports impalement and throwing onto hooks for Morocco as well, Braithwaite (1729) p.366
- Morgan (1729) p.392 As Morgan himself notes, his source is "Haedo, my author", that is Fray Diego de Haedo's 1612 work, Topografia e historia general de Argel Probably, however, the real author of that work is Antonio de Sosa, captive in Algiers 1577-81. See, for example, Garces (2005), p.32-33
- d'Arvieux (1755), p. 231–32
- Davies adds that "these deaths are very seldom", but that he had personally witnessed it Osborne (1745), p.478
- Authorship Boyde cast in doubt by Roland Lebel, actual author might be Joseph Morgan, see: Chaouch, Chaouch. Henry Boyde was redeemed from captivity under George I, Boyde (1736), Appendix p.144 Lebel's contention that Boyde (or Morgan) merely added the prisoners' list to the original 1721 French account of de la Faye is completely wrong, since that work does not contain the footnotes in the English book. Compare with de la Faye (1721)
- Examples on such acerbic notes: Boyde (1736) p.3, p.25, p.35, p.44 (compares French and Algerine slavery), p.45, p.51, p.52
- Boyde (1736) p.75, footnote
- Thomas Salmon
- Salmon (1746), p.75
- On time and duration of stay, Rehbinder (1798) Preface
- Rehbinder (1800) p.263
- Whiffen (1916), p.233
- Sherman (1979), p.266
- Powell (1952), p.51
- Stedman (1813) p.116
- McManus (1973), p.85-86 The murdered family were the Halletts, husband, wife and 5 children. Burrows, Wallace (1998), p.148
- Basic Facts about Goody Cole
- Burckhardt (1822) p.156 See also Kinneir, who was made to understand that when hanged, a man's soul leaves the body through the anus, Kinneir (1818), p.170
- Hartmann (1799) p.521
- Palgrave (1868) p. 47–53
- Wilson (1840), p.607
- Monahan (1925) p.126. A case in which spreaders of false reports were impaled, occurred around 1321 AD, under under the Delhi sultan Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. During a siege led by his son, some envious parties set out false rumours the commander was dead, causing the besieging forces to disintegrate. The conspirators were apprehended, and the sultan ordered them impaled. Elliot (1871), p.233
- Manu (1825), p.330 Concerning house-breakers/secret thieves, the Vyasasmrti and Bhraspatismrti codes have roughly the same content as ther laws of Menu. Bhikshu, Jha (2004), p.125 The Agni Purana also fixes impalement as the punishment for house-breaking. Das (1977), p.60
- Das (1977), p.70 "Kidnappers, stealers of horses and elephants and those who strike with violence" are pounished by impalement elsewhere in the same law code.Bhikshu, Jha (2004), p.126</
- di Varthema (1863): p.147
- Sewell (1900), p.383
- al-Utbi (1858), p.440, p.448, p.505
- ibn Mubarak, (1783) p.376
- " The number of murderers and robbers in the neighbourhood of Backergunge is daily increasing, insomuch that trading people are now afraid to pass backwards and forwards, wherefore I request that you will give orders to the Naib of Dacca to send some of the Factory Sepoys along with some of his own people to apprehend the said murderers and impale them, which will be very serviceable to traders."Long (1869), p.389.
- Aspinall (1931), p.58
- Banerjee (1984), p.63
- G. Smith (1906), p. 343. Goldwin Smith writes: "There was merciless slaughter of the people, and one British General asked for permission to impale. The good Lord Elgin, who was in India at that time, was horror-stricken at the language held even by a clergyman. Not less shocking were the cries for blood in England, especially those of literary eunuchs displaying their virility" While Goldwin Smith does not name the General, John William Kaye does quote a British colonel Nicholson (possibly Brigadier-General John Nicholson, instrumental in the Storming of Delhi?) in a letter written by Nicholson to colonel Edwardes, on urging a the passing of a bill allowing punishments like burning, flaying and impaling of those having murdered British women and children. Kaye (1988), p.401
- Baker (2001)
- De Silva (1978)
- Reader's Digest, Hubbel (1968)
- De Silva (1978, Sheehan (2009)
- Kobayashi (1994), p.612
- On chronology of allegations, Ian Mortimer.
- Estimating "scholarly consensus" of murder, See Mortimer, I.:"A red-hot poker? It was just a red herring"
- Overall (1870) p.246
- See for example, quote from Cowell, in Moore(1790) p.314
- Moore (1790) p.310
- Moore (1790) p.308
- Moore (1790) emphasizes this as a local, not general, custom:p.316
- See also Kushner (1991) p. 17–20
- "What punishment can human laws inflict on one who has withdrawn himself from their reach? They can only act upon what he has left behind him-his reputation and fortune: on the former by an ignominous burial in the highway, with a stake driven through his body; on the latter, by a forfeiture of all his goods and chattels to the King: hoping that his care for either his own reputation, or for the welfare of his own family, would be some motive to restrain him from so desperate and wicked an act", Urban (1823) p. 549–550
- Moore (1790) p.321
- See, however, examples of colonial practice within subsection on Indian subcontinent
- i) Enemy of King Henry I, Robert of Belleme had fondness of impaling his prisoners, rather than ransoming them. Huntingdon (1853) p.311 ii) William St. Leger charged with impaling an infant on a stake during suppression of Irish rebellion of 1641Gentles (2007) p.57,fn 80
- For law text, Koch (1824) p.63
- A number of such cases Döpler (1697) p. 370–74
- In Nuremberg, this was the fate of two women in 1481, and the fate of a chandler's daughter in 1508. But in 1513, when the executioner was about to bury alive another woman, she became so hysterical, that in her despair she scratched the skin off her arms and legs. Deipold, the executioner was so filled with pity that he recommended to the city council that this type of punishment should never again be implemented. The city council heeded his advice, and opted to, in the future, execute by drowning in such cases. Siebenkees (1792) p.599
- Becker (2008), p.40
- Duchy of Schleswig (1795)p.653
- Wobler (1738), p.372
- Ledebur (1834)p.158
- Engel, Jacob (2006), p.75
- On Moser's name and execution date, see Osenbrüggen (1868), p.297
- Two additional to that single case are recorded as "buried alive", but it is not recorded if these two were impaled as well, according to the German tradition Knonau (1846) p.335
- Muir (1997), p.110-111
- Roch (1687), p.249
- Such combined punishments were not, of course, limited to the Holy Roman Empire. For example in 1669 Batavia, a slave condemned for the murder of his mistress had his murderous hand pinched off with red-hot tongs, and his arms and legs broken, prior to impalement and placed on top of a wheel. He asked for a pipe of tobacco and some water, and died three hours later. Nieuwenhuys (1982), p.2
- Reid, (2000), p. 440
- Florescu (1999)
- Axinte, Dracula: Between myth and reality
- Gutknecht (1521), p.7
- Bond (1856) p. 172–73
- Quote: Prominent Russians: Stepan (Stenka) Razin , see also Avrich (1972) p. 109–110
- Rhodes, (1699), p.94
- Schuyler (2004), p.204
- Rakitin (1999) In Russian
- For background, Haywood (2010) p.105
- For situation at the Irtysh, Büsching (1762) p.508
- Mavor (1805) p.17
- Manstein (1856) p.218
- Kimber (1770) p.409
- Raleigh, ed. (1996) p. 89–90
- Tooke (1800, Dublin)p.159
- Burke (1783)p. 154–55
- Council of Europe (1997), p.67
- Cavallo (1997), page 80
- Procopius at one point identifies the "Massagetae" with the Huns,Procopius (2007), p.34
- Quote from Churchill (1704), p.345 Details of circumstances from Procopius (2007), p.37-38
- Bradbury (2004), p.181
- Skylitzes (2010), p.93
- Wortley (2010) p.375
- Haldon (1999) p.256
- Treadgold (1997), p.518
- Treadgold (1997), p.654
- Philippides, Hanak (2011), p.587
- Runciman (1965), p.67
- Pears, (2004), p.253
- Ross, Power (1920), p.123
- Bosnia and Serbia 1809, Bosnian revolt quelled, 20-50 "daily" brought in, most impaled Urban (1810) p.74 During the Serbian Revolution (1804–1835) against the Ottoman Empire, about 200 Serbs were impaled in Belgrade in 1814.Sowards, Steven W. (2009). "The Serbian Revolution and the Serbian State". Twenty-Five Lectures on Modern Balkan History (The Balkans in the Age of Nationalism). Michigan State University Libraries. Retrieved 9 February 2011.) A similar fate had befallen 42 rebels at Belgrade at the crushing of the First Serbian Uprising in 1813 Saalfeld (1821) p.682 Oct.6th notice 1839, Kurdish rebels in Mosul, Laurie (1853) p.207
- Late Ottoman cases in 1830s Balkans, i) Some five case reported 1833, Peck and Newton (1833) p. 440–41 columns 2 ii) 1834, Two such corpses, close to the village Paracini in the vicinity of Jagodina, see: Burgess (1835) p.275 iii) Rarity of such cases in the 1830s,Goodrich (1836)p.308 1835, Retaliative cycle Turkish authorities relative Kurdish "robbers", Slade (1837) p.191
- Stephen Massett
- Massett (1863), p. 88–89
- Layard (1871), p.307
- Cotta (1839), p.918
- Charles MacFarlane
- MacFarlane (1850), p.76
- MacFarlane (1850), p. 81–84
- de La Mottraye p.188
- Russell (1794) p.331
- See de Thévenot(1687), p. 68–69 and p.259 18th century case showing that death penalty for Christian making a Muslim girl pregnant was commuted if he converted to Islam, Habesci (1784), p. 395–96
- Obituary James Reid
- Reid (2000), p.441 For October 1875 case, see MacKenzie, Irby (2010), p.30
- Cantemir (1734), p.109
- The French had been accused of bringing a Muslim woman on board a ship, Browne (1751) p.248
- Sherwood, Jones (1825) p.722
- Percy (1825), p.147
- von Taube (1778)p.122 Another reported sad case, from May 1811, concerns two slaves who refused to acknowledge complicity in a grave robbery in the tomb of the mother a Sultan Selim, were impaled and lived for some 22 hours, Urban (1811) p.274
- Dumas (2008), volume 8, chapter 3
- Hughes (1820) p.454, see also: Holland (1815) p.194
- Paroulakis (1984)
- Turkish reprisals on Greek War of independence, i) 2.June 1821, 10 Greeks at Bucharest, Gross (1821) p.254 ii) During the massacre at Crete around 24 June 1821, most are said to have been impaled: Cotta (1821) p.988, column 1 iii) 36 Greek hostages, including 7 bishops at onset of Siege of Tripolitsa Colburn (1821) p.56 iv) In conjunction with the Chios Massacre in 1822, several Chiote merchants were detained and executed at Constantinople, 6 of whom were impaled alive: Valpy (1822)p.169 v) Omer Vrioni organizing in 1821 Greek hunts where civilians were, at least in one instance, impaled on his orders.Waddington (1825) p. 52–54 vi) In early 1822 Cassandreia, some 300 civilians massacred, several reported to have been impaled, Grund (1822) PT 329 vii) During the last Siege of Missolonghi, in 1826, the Ottoman besiegers offered opportunity for capitulation for the besieged, while they also sent a message of consequences for refusal by impaling alive a priest, two women and several children in front of the line. The offer of capitulation was declined by the besieged Greeks. Alison(1856), p.206
- Green (1827)p. 70–72
- Constable (1821) p.275 57 Turks roasted at Hydra, according to one source. Merry (2004), p.470
- St Clair (2008) p.25 According to one source, the early spring weeks of 1821 saw the murders of more than 20.000 Turks in Greece. Merry (2004), p.470</
- As an example of popular promotion of this horror story, see for example:JAPANESE TORTURE TECHNIQUES
- Woon-Ping Chin
- Ping (2008), p.23
- Thomson (1864) p.101, See also Osborn (1861) p. 190–94
- Buckingham (1827), p.296
- For poularity claim and example:Thought vampires were just film fantasy? Skeletons impaled on iron stakes say otherwise
- Barber (2010)
- Caron (2001)
- Bio on Cronkite
- Andrews (1913), p.603. Several examples in the essay on grave robbery and encounters with draugr there and elsewhere
- Feucht (1967)
- Evans (1906), p.196
- Excerpt of impalement in book can be accessed here: The Bridge on the Drina
- On status as Nobel Laureate, predominantly on basis of Bridge, see: A Reader's Guide to the Balkans
- The brothers later on revenged themselves on the husband, through a clever ruse. Teit (1912), p.339-40
- Bandelier (1904), impalement incident at p.224
- Lit.Soc. Bombay (1819), p.111-113
- Hiltebeitel (1991) The Cult of Draupadi
- Hunter (1875) p.313
- Saunders (1922), p.422
- Combined from two slightly variant accounts, Ward (1824), p.294-95 and Garbe (1913), p.334-35
- Brown (1919), p.425-26
- Bowring (1857) p.306
- Bowring (1857) p.313 For rather similar, vivid depictions of the sufferings in Hell from Buddhist temples in Cambodia, see Vincent Jr. (1878), p.237
- Deodato, Ruggero (2000-11-12). Cult-Con 2000. Interview with Sage Stallone. Bob Murawski. Cannibal Holocaust DVD Commentary. Tarrytown, New York.
- D'Offizi, Sergio (interviewee) (2003). In the Jungle: The Making of Cannibal Holocaust (Documentary). Italy: Alan Young Pictures.
- "Films C". Refused-Classification.com. Retrieved 2007-01-15.
- See, for example: Impaled
- Pinkerton (1811), p.172
- Clancey (1991), p.180
- "Evolutionary Ecology, Volume 6, Number 6".
- Nuttall (1891), Blackmore p. 83–84 (2003)
- Logan (1858) p.142
- Uys (2006), p.112
- Solis (2005) p.8
- VanDyk (2005)
- Hooke (1806) p.85
- Balfour (1871), s.567
- For example, see: Spence (1945), p.97
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