In the movies  on the crucifixion, were committed a serious mistakes, from the medical point of view, probably dictated by the official iconography that sees the crucifixion with the sounding of the nails at the palms of the hands. 

In ancient Rome, things were different because from the anatomical point of view this method would lead to a laceration of the hand and the fall of the body forward, so the crucifixions, took place with the sounding of the nails at the wrists. 

Thus the torture lasted for several hours. The condemned tended to make a look "at fontoccio" with the body that slides down between his shoulders. Accordingly, the sentenced tended to recover by force on the muscles of the legs to avoid traumatic asphyxia and in cases of great physical strength that procedure lasted for several hours. 

In these cases was expected by soldiers, the crushing bones of the legs and subsequent death by asphyxiation. Another possible cause of death was hypovolemic shock. (Abstract). 

This religious 30-year-old man reported the spontaneous appearance of uniform round ulcers on his hands and feet in the distribution of stigmata. (Abstract)

Prof. Camillo O. Di Cicco, MD

American Association for the History of Medicine, Roma, Italy

7th EADV Spring Symposium,  Cavtat/Croatia.