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Renaissance pranger in Poznań in the form of a column.

The pranger is a Central European physical punishment device related to the stocks and the pillory. The Middle Low German word means "something that pinches badly".

The pranger chained the victim's neck to a pair of leg restraints fastened around the ankles. Often the chain was short so that the offender was placed in an uncomfortable half-kneeling position.

In another type of pranger (pillory), the condemned person was tied to a column that stood in the town center for public view. The pranger was only used for public humiliation as punishment, not for painful interrogation or coercion.


  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Pranger". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.