Burned for Being Different

Jan 2008
44
SoCal
What all do you know about people being burned at the stake? The history, the people, the places. I'm not only asking about the Witch Trials (but I'd appreciate info on that too), but all of the known Stake-Burnings.

"Last Time We Mixed Religion With Politics People Were Burned At The Stake."
 

Nick

Historum Emeritas
Jul 2006
6,111
UK
Burning was the traditional punishment for heresy which in continental Europe included witchcraft and belonging to the wrong group in an area dominated by a particular sect, as was the case under Mary I, who burned non-Catholics.
 

Chookie

Ad Honorem
Nov 2007
7,628
Alba
Check out the Spanish Inquisition and Tomas de Torquemada, the auto da fe and political backgound to the Inquisition.

Probably the most famous victim of burning at the stake is Joan of Arc. She was not executed as a witch or as a heretic, although those were the quoted grounds. She was executed (by the English) for humiliating the English.

No change there..........
 
Jan 2008
44
SoCal
Check out the Spanish Inquisition and Tomas de Torquemada, the auto da fe and political backgound to the Inquisition.

Probably the most famous victim of burning at the stake is Joan of Arc. She was not executed as a witch or as a heretic, although those were the quoted grounds. She was executed (by the English) for humiliating the English.

No change there..........
Wow. Looks like I need to read up on my Joan of Arc history. I didn't even know she was burned at the stake.
 

Afrasiyab

Ad Honorem
Sep 2007
6,378
I want to focus on "burning" much more than the people who were burnt; why people were burnt.

People wanted to get rid of the victim that was burnt "forever"? They could easily kill them with a kniffe, for example, and leave the body till the worms eat it up or, more traditionally since Cane, bury them. But I guess people, say in Christian Europe, might have still carried some mythological heritage; that the body could still contaminate the earth; in other words, society. When you burn the body, you entirely get rid of it; well yes, There are left ashes but wind will or water will take care of it.

People still think that the bodies of the sinners will be "active" until they are totally vanished? I do not want to think of the people that were burnt alive, Jesus! What a painful death!

I heard/or read, that some of them were not burnt directly but kept close to a huge fire and they die by "melting - slowly starting to perspire and then the body heat increases so much that the body suddenly gets aflame!" - My God, this is even more painful; a longer death!

The Zoroastrians left the bodies to certain places that are called " Towers of Silence." They regarded the body as filthy and that's why they left the bodies to somewhere noone goes. I must say that the holiness of fire in Zoroastrianism derives from this belief; that the fire can "clean" everything and it is believed to beone of the strongest beings; I must point out Simourg(Angha or Phoenix) ; That the fire kills and at the same time, re-creates.But this "habit" is similar to of Aborigines in Australia; they do not bury the body, just leave in "Nature" and let wild animals eat the body since this is regarded some kind of a pay-back. In his life time, the dead used facilities of Nature and received help so when they die, letting the wild animals and plants "feed on" the their bodies is sort of an answer to good-deeds of the Nature; Animals and Plants.

I guess I am re-directing the thread : )

Again, WHY WERE PEOPLE BURNED?
 
Last edited:
Feb 2008
59
Wikipedia has a particularly gruesome entry on execution by burning.
[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Execution_by_burning"]Death by burning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
 

Afrasiyab

Ad Honorem
Sep 2007
6,378
Under the Byzantine Empire, burning was introduced as a punishment for disobedient Zoroastrians, because of the belief that they worshipped fire from Wikipedia;

This is not true; The Zoroastrians did not "worship" fire.

And in that entry, I can see that burning someone was never seen as a practice of "execution" in Islam.
 
Feb 2008
59
Under the Byzantine Empire, burning was introduced as a punishment for disobedient Zoroastrians, because of the belief that they worshipped fire from Wikipedia;

This is not true; The Zoroastrians did not "worship" fire.
It does say citation needed on that point.
There's usually an option to join in the discussion or even change the entry yourself if you're logged in. I suspect you are in a position to help improve that entry.
However - it does say that the Byzantines believed the Zoroastrians worshiped fire and not that they actually did.
 

Afrasiyab

Ad Honorem
Sep 2007
6,378
It does say citation needed on that point.
There's usually an option to join in the discussion or even change the entry yourself if you're logged in. I suspect you are in a position to help improve that entry.
However - it does say that the Byzantines believed the Zoroastrians worshiped fire and not that they actually did.
That's why i do not regard Wikipedia as a genuine source. It's mostly biased; especially in historical and political entries.

And, why would Byzantines burn Zoroastrians as a punishtment? That does not even make sense. It's like Making a Christian Jesus, if they really believed that they worshipped fire :/
 
Last edited:
Feb 2008
59
Wikipedia is a brilliant source but it's our duty as vigilant folks to make sure we put our own input into Wikipedia and make sure it's accurate.
Wikipedia has no political agenda.
It is purely the sum of its parts.