Phalaris of Agrigentum, a cruel tyrant, was wont to
put strangers and travellers to the most exquisite torment.
Perillus, a brass-founder, made a cow of brass, and presented it to the king for a new invention, that he might
burn strangers alive in it. Phalaris for this once was just,
in making the first proof of it upon Perillus himself; and
the invention was so artificial, that upon putting it in execution, the engine itself seemed to bellow.—Second Book
of Questions or Causes.
In Egesta, a city of Sicily, there was a certain tyrant
called Aemilius Censorinus, who was so inhuman that he
proposed rewards to the inventors of new tortures. There
was one Aruntius Paterculus that had framed a brazen
horse, and made a present of it to the tyrant to practise
with it upon whom he pleased. It was the first piece of
justice that ever the tyrant did, to make trial of the torment
upon the author of it, that he might first feel himself the
torments he had provided for others. He was afterwards
thrown down from the Tarpeian Rock. It may be thought
that unmerciful rulers are from this tyrant called Aemilii.
—Aristides's Fourth Book of Italian History.