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This article describes the method of execution. Sawing is also a method of manufacturing.
Delinquent sawed in two (Drawing by Lucas Cranach the Elder)

Sawing is a method of torture and execution.

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The condemned was hung upside down and then sawed apart down the middle, starting at the rectum. Since the condemned was hanging upside-down, the brain received a continuous blood supply in spite of the severe bleeding. The condemned would remain completely conscious until the saw severed the major blood vessels of the abdomen, and sometimes even longer. In Asian countries, the condemned stood up while constrained and sawing started at the head. According to some religious histories, the prophet Isaiah was executed in this manner.

The Roman Emperor Caligula was said to particularly enjoy giving out this method of torture.[1]

Sawing was used to execute condemned in Europe under the Roman Empire, in the Middle East as referenced in the Bible and in parts of Asia.

Delinquent sawed in two while other condemned watch (Mediaeval drawing)


  1. ^ e.g. Suet. Calig. 27: multos [...] medios serra dissecuit - "He cut many people [...] in two with a saw"

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