Ancient Roman Crosses were produced as a device that was used to kill criminals. This was the ancient Roman equivalent to capital punishment, and was created by Roman soldiers. An ancient Roman cross was made out of wood that was either formed and shaped into planks, or a tree in the shape of a cross was used in a ceremony that was known as a crucifixion. Crucifixions were performed on people who were deemed as the worst criminals. The crucifixions were a horrible and horrifying way to die. They were horrible for the criminal for many reasons.
First, the criminal had the mental torture of having to carry their own cross to the site where it would be erected, and that they would hang. This would typically be after they would be whipped and lashed on their back and shoulders. Not only this, but the cross would weigh about 300 pounds. So the criminal would endure the torture of carrying their own cross. When the criminal would get to the spot where the cross would be erected, they would be hoisted up on the cross. The cross was shaped either like a T, or the cross that we are used to seeing in Christian culture. Sometimes a simple tree with two extending branches were used. The criminal would have their legs broken and would hang by rope from the cross. Sometimes they would be nailed to the cross.
The criminal would die a very slow, painful, and humiliating death on the cross. A plaque would be nailed to the cross detailing the crimes of the criminal. The criminal would hang naked, and have to perform their bodily functions on themselves out in the open. This would attract bugs that would eat at the bodies of the hanging person on the cross. This was all a disgusting and a horrifying site. This was the point; the cross was used as a deterrent for crime for all who would see a criminal hanging from a cross.