stauros - upright pole

From: Brian Sullivan (
Date: Wed Jan 05 2000 - 09:42:59 EST

Greetings to all

Without entering the translation debate of staurus as cross and/or stake,
I would like to develop a comment of Ken Johnson made on this thread:

„A cross to me was a simple stake with a cross piece used to further the
anquish of the experience of crucifixion. Just being tied to a stake would
not be much of a suffering experience, unless one lit a fire or

Joe Zias, in his article Crucifixion in Antiquity (available online points out that „If ∑ the
victims are tied with their hands extended over their heads and left
hanging, death can occur within an hour or, in minutes if the victims legs
are nailed so that he cannot use his arms to elevate the body to exhale.
For exhaling to occur in a normal manner two sets of muscles are needed,
the diaphragm and. the intercostalis muscles between the ribs. With the
victims being suspended by their arms directly over their heads, these sets
of muscles cannot function properly which results in the victims inability
to exhale and results in asphyxiation.š The article noted: „Eyewitness
accounts by prisoners of war in Dacchu during WWII reported that victims
suspended from beams by their wrist, which were tied, expired within ten
minutes if their feet were weighted or tied down and within one hour if
their feet were unweighted and the victim was able to raise and lower
himself to permit respiration. Death in this manner, which is one form of
crucifixion, was the result of suffocation."
[For those interested, the physiological suffering of crucifixion on the
cross are also excellently reviewed, demonstrating that hypovolenic shock
and not asphyxiation, is the case of death by crucifixion with outstretched
arms tied to a cross.]

My point is that whatever the instrument of crucifixion, crucifixion on a
pole was also a death of extreme suffering. I would very much like to know
Mr. Zias observations on the discussion.

I found much of this discussion highly informative and very much
appreciated the good netiquette of all participants, and would like to take
the opportunity to thank all participants who gave input on this thread.
Having just returned from holidays I hope the delay of this late
additional comment is acceptable but I thought the above may be of
interest and hope it not thought to be too much off topic.

Again, thankyou to all

Brian Sullivan

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