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Tablillas were an implement of torture alleged to have been used by the Inquisition, in Larousse Enciclopedia Gran Universal Ilustrada.

They consisted of small tablets of wood, each sporting five narrow holes, that were designed to immobilize the toes of either foot as the prisoner was immobilized on the rack. For each refusal to confess or answer, the torturer drove a razor-sharp wedge head-on into the tip of one of the toes with a single, swift blow of a heavy mallet, shattering the bones of the toe. Although the technique could theoretically be applied to fingers as well, it met with considerably less success in that milieu, since fingers were long and thin and tended to snap under the wedge, whereas short, stubby toes were more likely to cooperatively pulverize.

The Larousse article also cites a putative ancient Spartan torture device, the dactylethra, made of iron and featuring screw-operated jaws capable of slowly crushing toes, though the historical accuracy of threaded devices existing in that era may be questionable.


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