The Horror Of Roman Crucifixion
The Flogging Beforehand
Photo: A Roman flagrum or scourge with lead balls
Before the condemned man was crucified, he was tortured by being flogged with a flagrum - a whip with lead balls or bits of bone embedded at the ends. The purpose was to cause as much pain as possible prior to the execution, and in some cases was so severe that the victim died.
The Condemned Man Made To Carry His Own Cross
The condemned man was forced to carry part of his own cross to the place of execution. This was the cross bar, or patibulum, on which his arms and hands were fixed, either with nails or ropes.This cross bar was fixed to an upright stake.
A small seat (sedecula = little seat) was placed to provide some support, which only prolonged the agony.
Diagram of How A Person Was Crucified
Illustration by Harold Arandia
Further Information on Crucifixion
For a very graphic portrayal of the barbarity of Jesus' crucifixion look no further than Mel Gibson's film THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST.