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or, less correctly, Equuleus. An instrument of torture commonly used at Rome in extracting evidence from slaves. It was a wooden horse, as the name implies, on which the sufferer was mounted and then stretched or racked with weights or pulleys (Plin. Ep. 67.3). Rich (s. v.) thinks that the infliction consisted in being seated on a sharp point, as in impalement—a form of

Supposed form of Eculeus. (Rich.)

cruelty not unknown in recent times, of which he gives a specimen. Very little is really known about this and the other engines of torture among the Greeks and Romans. Cicero says that slaves accused of murder might expect the eculeus at the trial, the crux on conviction (Pro Mil. 21.57; 22.60). Seneca mentions as the usual modes of torture, fidiculae, talaria, eculeus, and ignis (De Ira, iii. 19.1). Rich supposes the criminal to have been made to sit upon a sharp point with weights attached to his arms and legs, as shown in the illustration here given, representing an instrument of torture formerly used at Mirandola in Italy and, curiously enough, called “the colt” (il cavaletto). See Crux; Fidicula; Flagellum; Tormentum.

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