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See Suhaib Webb.
How the Muslims Killed Dracula
The "art" of impalement was practiced for many centuries in Eastern Europe prior to Vlad Tepes. John Man's book, Attila, tells of how two Hun royal princes, who had fled to the Byzantine Empire to seek refuge from Attila, were handed back to the latter and were immediately impaled. Man's account of how the impalement was performed is not for the weak of stomach. The point of doing impalements, at least by Attila's men, was not to kill the victim immediately, but to make him or her survive for a few days while on the stake; as Man wrote, "impaling was a skill that demanded experience and a clinical hand."
Strategy & Analysis, Islamic Perspective