In ancient Rome, the general rule was that slaves could be tortured freely. In fact, it was strongly suggested that any free man accused of a crime should have his slaves tortured, often executed, at his place before a verdict could be reached. But that didn’t stop the Roman elite from torturing the free men and women of their country. Roman law always had loopholes, and the elite rulers took advantage of every loophole.
Saint Gregory described a heinous torture that was performed on young women by the people of Heliopolis while under Roman rule:
Any virgin who was to undergo this torture was first given to the gladiators. After the young woman was no longer a virgin, she was publicly stripped, and her belly was sliced open, spilling her innards out. Handfuls of barley were stuffed into her, and she was sewn back up—only to be given to wild hogs. She would then be torn apart.