Scaphism was a method of torture
that caused its victims to be eaten to death by bugs. It’s even more horriffic than it sounds.
Scaphism, also called “the boats,” was an ancient Persian method of torture and, inevitably, execution.
The victim would be placed in a boat, and then another boat would be placed on top. The victim’s feet, head and hands were left exposed to the elements. The victim would be left to bake in the hot sun between the boats for days while being eaten alive by bugs and vermin. Unable to escape their floating death chamber, the victim would eventually succumb to the slow, painful death caused by the many bites and infectious wounds they endured.
To make things worse, before being placed between the boats, the victim would be forced to ingest massive amounts of milk and honey. Extra honey was placed onto the body to attract even more insects and vermin which would eventually devour the live victim bite by bite. The victim usually dying of exposure and infection rather than the bites themselves.
Sometimes, this torture would last for several days. If the victim survived the first day of being devoured by insects and whatever other creatures came by to take a nibble, they would be taken back to shore, only to have to return to the torture again the next day. More honey being drizzled upon their bodies before being placed back between the boats and sent adrift again.
After several days, the victim’s body would be brought to shore and disposed of. The sweet but horrific stench that no image of foulness could ever describe. The body would usually be eaten and rotted down to the bones after just two to three days of enduring this torture. Scaphism is a horrible way to die.
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