Not for the faint-hearted

Posted by Word Camel on March 30, 2002

In Reply to: Not for the faint-hearted posted by R. Berg on March 30, 2002

: : : : Thank you very much, everyone who posted a reply. I am more than pleastanly surprised and the speed at which you all did so. Thanks again :)

: : : Just a cheery tale I thought I'd share with you that's vaguely related. A friend of mine who's a historian and usually a credible source, assures me that the Druids used occasionally sacrifice unfortunate victims by making a small incision in their lower abdomen, reaching inside and severing the large intestine as low as they could reach. They then festively pulled out the cut end, nailed it to the treetrunk and forced the victim to run round and round the tree - presumably at sickle-point. Enjoy your Easter lunches, all :)

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: : I believe your little 'story' about the activities of the Druids is completely without foundation but if your 'friend' - the notable historian - has any credible evidence then I'm sure we would all be interested and you will doubtless hasten to deliver it - won't you?

: I doubt that a person with such a wound would be able to run at all. I also doubt that the intestine would unroll like film coming off a reel; isn't it attached to other structures in the abdomen, not simply piled in there? Let's await the judgment of someone with more medical knowledge.

I think it's entirely plausible. I have heard of this practice before, and while I can not speak about the druids with much authority, my uncle is has written several books about the Indian Wars here in the US.

According to him, accounts of things that went at that time make it clear that doing nasty things with intestines while a victim was still alive was widely practiced. Possibilities included feeding them to the dogs or simply yanking them out. I'm not sure they could run around but I bet they could stagger.

On the guts for garters theme, it was also popular to take the sinews of people one had killed in battle. Apparently the sinews made very tough but flexible cords that came in handy for all sorts of things.

It doesn't seem a great leap to imagine similar things going on in Europe.