In 1514, the Kingdom of Hungary was living in constant fear of invasion from the east. György Dózsa was duly elected to lead a massive crusader force comprising of roughly 100,000 peasants, called for by Cardinal Tamás Bacócz. But in May of that year, the crusade was called off. Already hungry and suffering under greedy policies enacted by the aristocracy, the peasants revolted. Dózsa led the uprising against the Hungarian ruling classes, and they looked as though they could have won when they managed to take the fortresses of Arad, Lippa and Világos. But a glorious victory for the Hungarian peasantry wasn’t to be. The rebels were routed whilst attacking Temesvár, and Dózsa was captured.
How the Hungarian King’s men punished him ranks amongst the most brutal, cruel executions ever. Days after his capture, György Dózsa was forced to sit on a red hot iron throne, a burning crown placed on his head and a near-molten iron sceptre placed in his hand in mockery of his lofty ambition to challenge the royal order. Pretty rough? It gets worse.
His co-conspirators, who’d been imprisoned and starved until the day of the execution, were brought before their commander. Dózsa’s younger brother was hacked to death in front of him for starters. The executioners then removed portions of Dózsa’s flesh. The remaining captives were then instructed to eat from the holes left by the executioners pliers. Some refused and were killed. The rest complied.