wheel2.jpg (60104 bytes)

wheel1.jpg (14553 bytes)


Being broken or "braided" on the wheel was one of the most insidiously painful methods of torure and execution practised in Europe.

After hanging, “breaking with the wheel” was the most common means of execution throughout Germanic Europe from the early Middle Ages to the beginning of the eighteenth century; in Gallic and Latin Europe the breaking was done with massive iron bars and with maces instead of wheels.

The victim, naked, was stretched out supine on the ground or on the execution dock, with his or her limbs spread, and tied to stakes or iron rings. Stout wooden crosspieces were placed under the wrists, elbows, ankles, knees and hips. The executioner then smashed limb after limb and joint after joint, including the shoulders and hips, with the iron-tyred edge of the wheel, but avoiding fatal blows. The victim was transformed, according to the observations of a seventeenth-century German chronicler, “into a sort of huge screaming puppet writhing in rivulets of blood, a puppet with four tentacles, like a sea monster, of raw, slimy and shapeless flesh (rohw, schleymig und formlos Fleisch wie di Schleuch eines Tündenfischs) mixed up with splinters of smashed bones”. Thereafter the shattered limbs were “braided” into the spokes of the large wheel, and the victim hoisted up horizontally to the top of a pole, where the crows ripped away bits of flesh and pecked out eyes. Death came after what was probably the longest and most atrocious agony that the ingenuousness of the power structure could inflict.

Together with burning at the stake and drawing-and-quartering, this was one of the most popular spectacles among the many similar ones that took place in all the squares of Europe more or less every day. Hundreds of depictions from the span 1450-1750 show throngs of plebeians and the well-born lost in rapt delight around a good wheeling, better if of a woman, best of all if of several women in a row.

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.

 

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.

 

Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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