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infernal device


 

Heretic's Fork

 

Abiuro - "I recant" - the latin phrase engraved into the side of this double-ended two-pronged fork, was the only phrase that the prisoner was allowed to speak. The head was tilted back sharply, with the top two prongs embedded deeply under the flesh of the chin; the bottom two prongs likewise embedded into the flesh above the sternum. The leather strap was fastened tightly behind the neck.

 

Used during the Inquisition to hasten the confession of heresies real or imagined, those that refused to repent were summarily executed at the stake or by hanging - but were allowed Christian rites, no doubt a consoling factor.

Trivia & Comment

In 1995, Spahn Ranch recorded a song titled Heretic's Fork for their album The Coiled One.