How many people did Rome crucify?

How many people did Rome crucify?

The exact number of people killed in this horrible manner is unknown for their deaths often were not recorded. Only people of means death were recorded.

There was a gory road leading from Rome heading toward Jerusalem called Christian Way where untold number of Christians lost their lives to this barbaric method of execution. The road was designated as a way to display Christians to the Roman public.

Christianity was viewed as protest or insurgency against the authority of Rome because it spoke of another king and not the emperor of Rome.

Crucifixion was meant to degrading and a slow death. I know it’s shown in painting the victim wearing a loincloth but in reality they were nailed to a cross shaped two beams naked and bleeding.

Hundreds of thousands of early Christians lost their lives before the reign of Constantine. Entire towns and villages have been known to be killed in this manner.

The most famous crucifixion in the world took place when, according to the New Testament, when Jesus was put to death by the Romans. But he was far from the only person who perished on a cross. Thousands perished before and afterward.

Below is an ancient Roman graffito of Jesus on the Cross. He was called a donkey as to the why the graffiti shows a donkey head on a human. His followers were called Ass Followers.

Donkey headed Jesus- A graffiti made nearly 2,000 years ago.

It’s believed that 2,000 Jews were crucified. The practice became especially popular in the Roman-occupied Holy Land. In 4 B.C., the Roman general Varus crucified 2,000 Jews, and there were mass crucifixions during the first century A.D., according to the Roman-Jewish historian Josephus.

In antiquity, thousands upon thousands of people were crucified, which at the time was considered to be one of the most brutal and shameful ways to die.

In Rome, the crucifixion process was a long one, entailing scourging (more on that later) before the victim was nailed and hung from the cross.

How did this terrible death sentence begin? And what types of people were usually crucified? Here’s a look at the history of this savage practice.

Crucifixion most likely began with the Assyrians and Babylonians, and it was also practiced systematically by the by the Persians in the sixth century B.C., according to a 2003 report in the South African Medical Journal (SAMJ). At this time, the victims were usually tied, feet dangling, to a tree or post; crosses weren’t used until Roman times, according to the report.

From there, Alexander the Great, who invaded Persia as he built his empire, brought the practice to eastern Mediterranean countries in the fourth century B.C. But Roman officials weren’t aware of the practice until they encountered it while fighting Carthage during the Punic Wars in the third century B.C.

For the next 500 years, the Romans “perfected crucifixion” until Constantine I abolished it in the fourth century A.D., co-authors Francois Retief and Louise Cilliers, professors in the Department of English and Classical Culture at the University of the Free State in South Africa, wrote in the SAMJ report.

However, given that crucifixion was seen as an extremely shameful way to die, Rome tended not to crucify its own citizens unless the person was rebellious against the republic. Instead, slaves, disgraced soldiers, Christians, foreigners, and β€” in particular β€” political activists often lost their lives in this way, Retief and Cilliers reported. When Rome’s legions crucified its enemies, however, local tribes wasted no time in retaliating.

For instance, in 9 A.D., the victorious Germanic leader Arminius crucified many of the defeated soldiers who had fought with Varus, and in 28 A.D., Germanic tribesmen crucified Roman tax collectors, according to the report.

The practice became especially popular in the Roman-occupied Holy Land. In 4 B.C., the Roman general Varus crucified 2,000 Jews, and there were mass crucifixions during the first century A.D., according to the Roman-Jewish historian Josephus.

“Christ was crucified on the pretext that he instigated rebellion against Rome, on a par with zealots and other political activists,” the authors wrote in the report.

What did crucifixion entail?

In Rome, people condemned to crucifixion were scourged beforehand, with the exception of women, [ The scourging marks on woman named Alkimilla proved that women were scourged as well.]

Alkimilla-crucifixion- Nothing else is known about her other than her name was craved on her right shoulder.

Roman senators and soldiers (unless they had deserted), Retief and Cilliers wrote. During scourging, a person was stripped naked, tied to a post, and then flogged across the back, buttocks and legs by Roman soldiers.

This excessive whipping would weaken the victim, causing deep wounding, severe pain and bleeding attracting carrion birds when left to die. “Frequently the victim fainted during the procedure and sudden death was not uncommon,” the authors wrote. “The victim was then usually taunted, then forced to carry the patibulum [the crossbar of a cross] tied across his shoulders to the place of execution.”

The cruelty didn’t stop there. That was too nice for the condemned. Sometimes, the Roman soldiers would hurt the victim further, cutting off a body part, such as the tongue, or blinding him. In another heinous turn, Josephus reported how soldiers under Antiochus IV, the Hellenistic Greek king of the Seleucid Empire, would have the victim’s strangled child hung around his neck.

The heinous persecution of Christians can be historically traced from the first century of the Christian era to the present day. Christian missionaries and converts to Christianity have both been targeted for persecution, sometimes to the point of being martyred for their faith, ever since the emergence of Christianity.

Since the emergence of Christian states in Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, Christians have also been persecuted by other Christians due to differences in doctrine which have been declared heretical.

Early Christians were persecuted for their faith at the hands of both the Jews, from whose religion Christianity arose from, and the Romans who controlled many of the lands across which early Christianity was spread in the Roman Empire. The Jewish method of execution was stoning. Christians were convicted of blasphemy by saying Jesus was the Son of God and God incarnated.

During the 70 years before Rome destroyed Jerusalem, there was an assassin squad authorized by the pharisees who walked the streets with daggers under their robes and stabbed known Christians.

One of the most famous stoning was the death of Stephen, one of the original twelve Apostles. James, the brother of Jesus was executed by being thrown from the wall of Jerusalem.

Christianity was determined to be stomped out.

The next step varied with location. In Jerusalem, women would offer the condemned a pain-relieving drink, usually of wine and myrrh or incense. Then, the victim would be tied or nailed to the patibulum. After that, the patibulum was lifted and affixed to the upright post of the cross, and the feet would be tied or nailed to it.

While the victim awaited death, soldiers would commonly divide up the victim’s clothes among themselves. But death didn’t always come quickly; it took anywhere from three hours to four days to expire. Sometimes, the process was sped up by additional physical abuse from the Roman soldiers. Such as stabbing the person to death or piercing their side to drain the fluids.

When the person died, family members could collect and bury the body, once they received permission from a Roman judge. Otherwise, the corpse was left on the cross, where predatory animals and birds would devour it. To investigate crucifixion (without actually killing anybody), German researchers tied volunteers by their wrists to a cross and then monitored their respiratory and cardiovascular activity in the 1960s. Within 6 minutes, the volunteers had trouble breathing, their pulse rates had doubled, and their blood pressure had plummeted, according to the 1963 study in the journal Berlin Medicine (Berliner Medizin). The experiment had to be stopped after about 30 minutes, because of wrist pain.

That said, victims could have died from various causes, including multiple-organ failure and respiratory failure, Retief and Cilliers wrote. Given the pain and suffering entailed, it’s no wonder that crucifixion spawned the word “excruciating,” which means “out of the cross.”

Another brutal practice Rome taught the world. That is harassing and haggling an enemy or someone disliked until the person die or an agent of Rome gets the opportunity to kill them. [Sounds a lot like gang-stalking] If they can’t outright kill them because they are too powerful, then they kept up a ruthless, death campaign against the person dies or until the opportunity arrived to kill them. Their most famous victims were Cleopatra and Hannibal. But there were many more. Despite the Romans contributions to the world. The ancient Romans were perhaps some of the most brutal people to have ever lived.

About unholypursuit

A. White, an award winning former librarian, who is also a long time member of Romantic Time and Publisher's Weekly. A. White has been writing for over fifteen years. She took classes in creative writing in college, specializing in ancient myths and legends. and later at a local community center while living in Chicago. In college she won the national contest to verbally list every country in the world, it's capital and ingenious language. Her works are mainly horror, fantasy, extreme, and sci-fi as well as, as some may says, "the truly strange predicament and puzzling." Books that I've written are "Clash with the Immortals, and eleven others which are part of the "Unholy Pursuit saga,". She has been working on the Chronicles since 2007. She wished to complete them all before introducing them to public so the readers wouldn't have to for the continuation to be written. The ideas of the book come from classic literature such as whose work greatly influence the world world such as Homer, Sophocles, Herodotus, Euripides, Socrates, Hippocrates, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle and many more. The "Book of Enoch" influenced the usage of Azazael as a main character and love interest. I created the primary main character from the Chronicle of Saints. I wanted to show them as real flesh and blood with thoughts, desires and yearning as any human. Not as they are so often depicted. So I created one of my own to show her as a real human that everyone can relate to.
This entry was posted in children, Christianity, evil, Historical fiction, Martyr, pain and suffering, religion and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to How many people did Rome crucify?

  1. Interesting and informative, thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

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  3. Sowmya says:

    Looks awesome

    Liked by 3 people

  4. History πŸ“œ gives us a sense of what and how events unfolded to understand our lives today. I learnt something today by reading this history here. God bless you. Reblog πŸ’«πŸŒŸπŸ’«πŸ€—

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, history and these crude art works give us a truer sense of what happened. I’m glad someone discovered them so that no one can later say these things didn’t happen. Actually these are the only actually visual recording of an actually crucifixion.


  5. Pingback: Kindness - WisdomπŸ’₯

  6. Celeste says:

    Only God knows how many people have been crucified. St. John pegged them right. Their legendarily of evil, craziness, mayhem was spread across the globe. In a way their influence is still crucifying people.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Celeste, I agree, their influence is still in the world. Most of the ways of the world today was adopted from Rome.


    • I guess Saint John did peg them correctly They imprisoned him for 33 years so I am sure he got to see them in all their ugly gory. They tried to kill him numerous times but according to the story written and reported by those smuggling Revelation off the island, they couldn’t kill him. Angels ran them from near him every time they tried once they reached the island.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. David Lim says:

    It’s a wealth of historical information that we should all know more about Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Brendan says:

    This is still frightening 2,000 years later. Every inch of her body was abused. This is a testimony to just how cruel they actually were.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, this is still scary to look at although it took place two thousand years ago. It’s scary because we know it actually happened.

      The severe disfiguration of her face is clear… the hundreds of stripes on her back is clear.
      Rome was not a good place for women. The Roman women never enjoyed even some of the freedom the Greek women enjoyed.

      Whomever she was must had been quite beautiful because the extreme torture of the face was usually done to make a woman as ugly as possible.


      • Sarah says:

        I , too, say she may had been very beautiful by they were so determined to mess up her face. This is what would have happened to Mary Magdalene had not the Roman official who was her love cared for her.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s a chilling thought Mary Magdalene came so close to being crucified or being stoned to death.


        • Kate Haight says:

          The oppressor forcing himself on a woman whose people he had conquered is not caring for someone. It’s sexual exploitation. It’s rape. But I guess the alternative would have been a lot worst. This is why the word Rome leaves a bad taste in my mouth. These sick freaks had some of the most horrifying ways of killing. Especially women. Public gang rape was one if their favorite’s.


          • That’s a bit of history I never mentioned and was surprised to see that someone else was familiar with it. You’re right, their punishment toward women were elevated to a totally unnecessary cruelty due to ancient Roman being a very male chauvinistic society. Much of their belief about women were spread all over the Roman Empire. Erasing the lenient culture of the people they conquered. Roman was far more chauvinistic than Greece. This gruesome act performed in the Roman Coliseum. The Public Gang Rape of condemned women is something not mentioned when historian speak of the sports of the Coliseum.


  9. Kacoasom says:

    Had Hannibal taken Rome out when he had the chance it would have saved millions of lives for ages to come. The ancient world ended with the fall of Egypt and Carthage. The Romans quest for power plummeted the world into a dark age that lasted 1,900 years. Hannibal made the same mistake Lincoln made. Not wiping the enemies all out when he had them down. In the 16 years Hannibal ruled Rome he should have destroyed it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kacoasom, you are right. Every nation that became a world power in the last 2,000 years can trace it’s roots back to Roman occupation.. You are right, again, with these conquests came an age of darkness. All but small fragments of the ancient knowledge were lost to mankind. The decline into this darkness started with Alexander the Great.

      But we have 2,000 years of hindsight Hannibal didn’t have.


    • Roseque says:

      I had no idea just how long the dark ages lasted.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Brendan says:

      Kacoasom, according to revised modern history Hannibal never made the famous March through Rome riding a Giant elephant. All the elephants supposedly died in the Alps. He never gave Rome as a gift to his mother for killing his father in Spain. According to whitewashed history; He and his brother barely made it out of the Alps alive and they camped outside of Rome for sixteen years. What the revisionists forgot to explain is why on earth would Hannibal have camped outside of Rome for 16 years? That makes no kind of strategic sense.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kate Haigh says:

      Lots of people wish Hannibal had destroyed Rome when he had the chance. He spared but the Romans showed them no mercy.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Have A heart says:

    Today, the system which Rome set up is doing this to millions just as what ancient Rome did to these poor souls

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Dani says:

    The thing about these images is that you know this was a real person which this unspeakable cruelty happened to.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Milisa says:

    People were crucified through out the entire Roman Empire. This is a very difficult post to read but thanks for sharing it. πŸ˜”πŸ˜–πŸ˜±πŸ˜­

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Gilda says:

    Crucified far too many. Rome crucified Christians for 300 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right. Christians were crucified until Constantine legalized it in the Roman Empire in 313 Constantine became the Western Roman emperor. At the request of his mother he soon used his power to address the status of Christians, issuing the Edict of Milan in 313. This proclamation legalized Christianity and allowed for freedom of worship throughout the empire. 10 years later, it had become the official religion of the Roman Empire.


  14. Kate Haight says:

    The oppressor forcing himself on a woman who can’t defend herself. Raping a woman he had conquered her people is not caring for someone. But I guess the alternative would have been a lot worst. This is why the word Rome leaves a bad taste in my mouth. These sick freaks had some of the most horrifying ways of killing a person.

    Especially women. Public gang rape was one if their favorites. Bestially was another way they killed women. Gosh! The ancients were some sick bast*rds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kate, I agree. Much of the ancient world was not kind nor gentle. As if life itself wasn’t hard enough, those in power made a special mission to make it harder for those unable to defend themselves.


  15. D'Azur says:

    Rome carried out these sick practices for nearly a thousand years and no one bothered to stop them before they were too powerful to stop. I would say this woman was very beautiful or very good and kind or maybe all three by they went such great lengths to humiliate her before her death. The disfigurement of the face was reserve mainly for beautiful women.

    Those rich women of Rome would order this done to poor women who were beautiful, if they were threatened by her beauty. When you study Rome in depths it was not a nice place to be poor or different in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, you are right on all accounts. Disfiguration of the face was a special punishment usually reserved for beautiful women. And the reason could be from anything from a rejecting a man’s advantages to a wife’s jealousy.


  16. Desmonda says:

    The name Akilmilla is Egyptian. They did this for 11 centuries.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alkimilla, thanks. It makes me wonder were she a member of the Egyptian sect of Christianity? Yes, you’re right. Rome carried this practice out for over a thousand years. Revisionist want to plant this blame on Xerxes as teaching to the Romans. But they were doing this before October 486 – August 465 BC. Actually, the practice came from Greece.


  17. Blessed Childhood says:

    I think more people would learn these things if a teacher like you were teaching them.


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