History needn’t be torture!

Just over a week ago I wrote here on my new book 101 Most Horrible Tortures In History which has had its most successful first week of sales of all my books save for one. Obviously there are quite a few sick and twisted people out there who like a light hearted look at history!

Today when I checked Amazon I saw that it was now the winner of its very first 5 star review which is quite a thrill….

Was a very good book to read, was very interesting and couldn’t put the book down will have to read again!

Today also sees my new pride and joy released on Apple iBooks.  All my fellow Apple devotees can get in on the action by clicking the link below.

As such I thought I would post one of the original tales I first heard about all the way back in 1997.

Death By Molten Silver.

Following the Persians capture of the Roman Emperor Valerian during battle around A.D. 260, Persia’s King Shapur I is said to have humiliated Valerian by using him as a footstool. But it only got worse for the fallen Roman Emperor.

Valerian himself offered a king’s ransom for his release but his offer was met by King Shapur forcing molten gold down his prisoner’s throat, stuffing him with straw, and then putting him on display, where he stayed for a few hundred years.

A millennia or so later those Khans of torture The Mongols revived memories of this when they came across a provincial governor. Inalchuq was governor of Otrar in the Khwarezmian Empire in the early 13th century and is best remembered for possibly inducing the most deadly and unwanted invasion of all time by helping to provoke the successful and catastrophic invasion of Khwarezmia by Genghis Khan.

In 1218, a Mongolian trade caravan of around 450 men arrived in Otrar, including an ambassador of Genghis Khan. Inalchuq feeling insulted by one of the members of the caravan and accusing them of being Mongolian spies which they possibly were (as well as possibly being tempted by the huge wealth of the caravan) had arrested them.

With the assent of his uncle, Sultan Muhammed, the Shah of the Khwarezmian Empire, he executed the entire caravan, and its goods were sold in Bukhara. 

A camel driver who escaped this massacre managed to report back to Genghis Khan, who responded by sending a delegation to Sultan Muhammad demanding that Inalchuq be punished. Muhammad responded by beheading the ambassador and shaving off the beards of his two companions which was about the biggest insult possible and thus provoked Genghis Khan’s invasion.

Genghis Khan besieged Otrar for five months in 1219, eventually breaching its walls. Inalchuq barricaded himself in its inner citadel,was was reduced to hiding on the roof of his palace with his wife and throwing roof tiles down at his pursuers.   As the Mongols wished to capture him alive in order to publicly execute him he was able to hold out another month before being captured.  He was executed by means of having molten silver poured into his eyes and ears and his skull was later reputed to be served as a drinking vessel by Genghis Khan.

101 Most Horrible Tortures in History

101 Most Horrible Tortures in History

101 Most Horrible Tortures is available from the UK in Kindle format from Amazon here and paperback format here.      American Amazon readers can squirm their way through the book in Kindle format here and in paperback format here.    If you enjoy my blog please do consider having a look.

As well as being available through Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Nook, you can also get in on the action on your favourite Apple product but purchasing the book on iBooks by clicking below!

About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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4 Responses to History needn’t be torture!

  1. EBotziou says:

    Terribly good Stephen! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sarij says:

    Bought the Kindle edition and found it very interesting. Would have read it in one sitting, but found i depressing that the human animal continues to find more and more ways to torture and kill each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad that you found it interesting. Yes it is a shame that one of the things we all seem to have in common around the world and across the ages is how badly some of us treat each other.


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