Sunday, March 04, 2012

Perillos of Athens

Of all the inventors who have died while trying to perfect their idea, this guy may be the one who most deserved to die at the hand of his own invention. Perillos was a bronze worker living in ancient Rome who designed a device called the Brazen Bull to be used to painfully execute criminals. The Brazen Bull was a hollow bull in which prisoners were locked and then roasted to death by a fire underneath. The device was even designed to channel the screams of the burning prisoner out of its nose to sound like a bull. Perillos pitched his invention to Phalaris, the local tyrant lord, and after Perillos showed Phalaris the bull, he was put inside and a fire was lit underneath him. History isn't clear about if Perillos was pulled out before dying, only to be thrown off a cliff by Phalaris' men, or if he expired within the bull. Either way, the bull did him in.

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