Different forms of execution have dominated civilisations throughout history. Sometimes criminals were strapped to a wheel, where their bones and legs were broken. During the Inquisition of the Middle Ages the Roman Catholic Church persecuted many non-believers. Especially women, convicted as witches, were burned to death at a stake.
In ancient times crucifixion was a widespread method of execution. People were nailed to the cross and died a slow and painful death. It was practised until the 4th century AD. Stoning and beating were also common methods of execution. They are still used in some states of the Middle East and Asia.