Murre and I have just been discussing the varieties of crucifixion in Rome. She says I need to watch Ben Hur, which I haven’t. It is sort of the original predicament bondage. Pain in your arms, or pain in your feet. You choose. Over and over and over.
The Christian symbolism kind of wrecks crucifixion bondage for me, which is a pity. It looks so vulnerable and uncomfortable, and it can go on for hours, or even days. And it forces the victim to writhe, and probably moan, which Murre adores. Ah well. There are other versions of predicament bondage.
Of historical interest: (1) Most people executed by crucifixion probably weren’t nailed. Nails were way too expensive for that, and they hastened death, anyway, which is at cross-purposes to the idea of torturing someone to death as a public example. Moreover, nails made it pretty clear that the executioners weren’t going to change their mind, thus destroying the most torturous thing of all: hope. (2) There’s no evidence from the Gospels that Jesus was crucified on a cross, as opposed to a simple post or the like. The cross motif in Christianity comes from a later date. (more in a sec….)