Final destination for the cross and the crucified
Upon arrival at their final destination, the victim would be attached to their cross by any combination of ropes and nails. Nails would be struck though the wrist or palm and also at the ankle. A peg was placed near the groin area so that while the victim hung arms outstretched horizontally and feet firmly attached together vertically, they would have access to a small seat. The purpose of the peg was to give the victim a place to attempt to balance for temporary relief as to fail to do so left the victim at the mercy of gravity forcing their thorax down, compressing the space for their lungs to expand and therefore making it impossible for their diaphragm to allow oxygen into their chest cavity.
The cause of death in crucifixion
Thusly, if the victim failed to pull themselves up onto the peg, then they were unable to breathe. Since the victim was already fatigued and the points of their body at which they would have to leverage themselves had recently been impaled, the resulting effect was a choice left up to the victim to decide: suffocate slowly while you fight for air, or bear weight on the points where you have been impaled, thus reopening any wounds that have clotted on your back as well as re-experiencing the pain that comes with impalement while enduring whatever body weight has not been accounted for sitting squarely on your genitofemoral nerves.
The resulting predicament for the victim begins a set of simultaneous potential causes of death:
Cardiac Rupture: this is where one or more ventricles or atria of your heart muscle becomes lacerated and you bleed out internally.
Heart Failure: in this case, the victim’s heart becomes so fatigued that it stops beating all together.
Hypovolaemic Shock: this is when you bleed out to such a degree that there is no longer enough blood to carry oxygen to the rest of your body and you experience multiple organ failure.
Syncope: In this case, the victim loses consciousness due to a fall in blood pressure and fails to regain consciousness fast enough to bring their body back to balance on the peg.
Respiratory Acidosis: This occurs when carbon dioxide builds to a toxic level in the bloodstream; which can occur when the victim is subjected to prolonged respiratory distress weakening the muscles in the chest wall.
Asphyxia: Death by suffocation.
Pulmonary Embolism: When an artery in the lungs becomes blocked by a blood clot and removes the person’s ability to process oxygen.
Takotsubo Syndrome: Otherwise known as death by broken heart, is an emotional stress or anxiety-induced surge of adrenaline and norepinephrine that creates a toxic environment for cardiac tissue. The victim’s arteries tighten to such a degree that it stuns the heart into a rapid rise of blood pressure, the consequence of which is congestive heart failure.