• About this Legend: a medieval torture device made of iron, used in European dungeons, it works like a sarcophagus: you put someone inside, iron spikes pierce their internal organs and -- *AUDIBLE GASP* -- Eek! how awful and uncivilized!!
• History: Although pop culture would largely have you believe that it was an instrument of torture used in the dark ages or during medieval times. - The use of the iron maiden for torture in Medieval Europe is in fact, little more than a myth. [There's very little concrete evidence that they where ever actually used ever used for torture (or even existed at all!)] - Iron maidens never actually physically existed until purported replicas (based off early illustrations, hoax accounts & similar devices) that were built in the 1800s. - It seems they were created simply for the purpose of display in museums. - The same holds true for a number of torture devices such as the "pear of anguish." - Another myth about the device is that the face is intended to resemble the "Virgin Mary."
The most popular 'historical' iron maiden was designed in Nuremberg, Germany but the original one was destroyed during WWII. - A replica of the device was made for future public display:
[a 1930s article on the subject of the myth , read more here.]
This has been all obviously been known for a while, but its still not exactly 'public knowledge' and so the myth continues. - a few other "dark age myths" include: peoples bathing habits (often suggested that peasants did not bathe when in-fact records suggest otherwise.) the origins of the plague being blamed on rats (it was in fact, the ticks fault.) - [I could go on but its probably a good idea to save these for future stickers should I ever decide to do a dark age myth book] ...Regardless, today the item is still practically synonymous with torture, and so. it will likely remain as a symbol of such. Anyway, Humans have done far worse, often I see people talking about “brazen bulls?” -- But I’d imagine it’s a similar case...
PS: this one makes for a pretty good bookmark!! :-)
art sticker by !samkalensky part of my urban legends collection of stickers.