Torquemada Revisited

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The implicit contemporary corollary is that Arabs have no real interest in peace or accommodation with the Jews in Israel, except as strictly controlled and fearful second-class citizens. There does seem to be evidence that Marrano practices persisted: the Inquisition, after all, went so far as to look for recipes from suspected crypto-Jews and seems to have found them. The revisionism that Murphy finds in the work of another leading historian of the Inquisition, Henry Kamen, a Brit now resident in Barcelona, is at once more academically orthodox and more unsettling.

In a much praised study, Kamen meticulously takes apart the acts of the inquisitors in Spain, turn by turn and torture by torture. And yet he concludes by saying, basically, Well, sure, they burned people alive and tortured people and organized nightmarish parades where people were forced to wear degrading uniforms—but they did it differently and less often than you might think.

The sequential inquisitions had different degrees of severity, authority, and bureaucratic power. This meant that pretty much everyone was implicated—that the Spanish Inquisition was more Spanish than Inquisition. Nor could the Inquisition alone have condemned Spain to centuries of backwardness in science and education; after all, Cervantes thrived while the Inquisition did.

There were a lot of other reasons, economic and linguistic, that Spain became a backwater for so long. Where, for obvious reasons, most twentieth-century accounts of the Inquisition focus on the persecution of the Jews, older accounts make more, for equally obvious reasons, of the persecution of Protestants. Like a lot of modern academic historians, Kamen and Rawlings risk turning history into all nuance and no news. The pursuit of scholarly rigor too easily leads historians to erase any signs of the historical imagination from their work. What is the historical imagination?

Just thinking big leads you to Spenglerian melodrama and fantasy; just seeing small makes you miss history altogether while seeming to study it. After all, any significant change in human consciousness can be dissolved if you break it down into its individual parts, which are bound to seem contradictory or many-sided—you can dissolve anything by dissolving it. The Italian Renaissance can be argued out of existence as easily as the Spanish Inquisition. In fact, Europeans had constant contact with Greek and Roman styles right through the Middle Ages, and the fifteenth-century Italian way of seeing antiquity was more Catholic-minded and anachronistic than its predecessors had been.

History helps us to understand reality by disassembling the big nouns into the small acts that make them up. Their purpose was to frighten and terrorize; the mark of their success is that they did not need to happen every day. That the Inquisition did not often burn men alive for thinking the wrong thoughts does not alter the truth that it burned men alive for thinking the wrong thoughts—that it raised the casual cruelty of previous intolerance to a theatricalized black Mass.

And then history written without sufficient imagination risks a failure of basic human empathy. We sometimes think that the historical imagination is the gift of seeing past —seeing past the surface squalors of an era to the larger truths. Really, history is all about seeing in , looking hard at things to bring them back to life as they were, while still making them part of life as it is.

Murphy, to his credit, makes us feel not just what it was to see the Inquisition at work but what it was to suffer from it. We learn, for instance, that it was considered a special favor and mercy to supply a heretic, about to be set alight, with a bag of gunpowder to tie around his neck so that he would die from the explosion before he died from the flames.

Reading the revisionist histories, one is often startled by the introduction of shocking material that fails sufficiently to shock the author. Well, not if one imagines asking the threatened conversos how they felt about it. Pain is pain in any period. They live in the particular. The point of an inquisition is to reduce its victims to abstractions, and abandoning the effort to call their pain back to particular life is a true trahison des clercs.

The painter knew that, even if the Inquisition and its hideous rituals were becoming archaic, their presence had maimed the imagination of his civilization and his country: the knowledge that a man could be forced into a tall cap and robe and reduced to an object to be mocked, that he could be tortured in the name of the God he importuned for help, was now part of the inexpugnable bad conscience of his civilization.

Spain, as Kamen argues, made the Inquisition—and then the Inquisition unmade Spain. Especially if you close your eyes. Sorry is easy. I want to hear the Catholic Church—I want to hear the pope—say he is ashamed. The real issue is why and when they ever stop. And here a little bit of self-congratulation seems in order. Murphy nears his conclusion with a glance at our own Torquemada, J. Edgar Hoover, who was as scary an inquisitorial type as could exist, and who would surely have tortured and executed the Communists he imagined besieging America and for the same good reason the Inquisitor always has: Dr.

King did have suspected Communists near him , if he had had the chance. In any other area cases were considered an issue of civil authorities, and even then was not very actively investigated. The Crown of Aragon was the only area in which they were considered under the Inquisitorial jurisdiction, probably due to the previous presence of the Pontifical Inquisition in that kingdom.

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Within the Crown of Aragon, the tribunal of the city of Zaragoza was famously harsh even at the time. It was seen as a symptom of them more than as a condition or peculiarity in itself. The Roman Catholic Church has regarded Freemasonry as heretical since about ; the suspicion of Freemasonry was potentially a capital offense. Spanish Inquisition records reveal two prosecutions in Spain and only a few more throughout the Spanish Empire. As one manifestation of the Counter-Reformation , the Spanish Inquisition worked actively to impede the diffusion of heretical ideas in Spain by producing "Indexes" of prohibited books.

Such lists of prohibited books were common in Europe a decade before the Inquisition published its first. The first Index published in Spain in was, in reality, a reprinting of the Index published by the University of Leuven in , with an appendix dedicated to Spanish texts.

Subsequent Indexes were published in , , , , and The Indexes included an enormous number of books of all types [ citation needed ] , though special attention was dedicated to religious works, and, particularly, vernacular translations of the Bible. Included in the Indices, at one point, were many of the great works of Spanish literature [ citation needed ]. Also, a number of religious writers who are today considered saints by the Catholic Church saw their works appear in the Indexes. At first, this might seem counter-intuitive or even nonsensical—how were these Spanish authors published in the first place if their texts were then prohibited by the Inquisition and placed in the Index?

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The answer lies in the process of publication and censorship in Early Modern Spain. Books in Early Modern Spain faced prepublication licensing and approval which could include modification by both secular and religious authorities. However, once approved and published, the circulating text also faced the possibility of post-hoc censorship by being denounced to the Inquisition—sometimes decades later. Likewise, as Catholic theology evolved, once-prohibited texts might be removed from the Index.

At first, inclusion in the Index meant total prohibition of a text; however, this proved not only impractical and unworkable, but also contrary to the goals of having a literate and well-educated clergy. Works with one line of suspect dogma would be prohibited in their entirety, despite the orthodoxy of the remainder of the text. In time, a compromise solution was adopted in which trusted Inquisition officials blotted out words, lines or whole passages of otherwise acceptable texts, thus allowing these expurgated editions to circulate.

Although in theory the Indexes imposed enormous restrictions on the diffusion of culture in Spain, some historians argue that such strict control was impossible in practice and that there was much more liberty in this respect than is often believed. And Irving Leonard has conclusively demonstrated that, despite repeated royal prohibitions, romances of chivalry, such as Amadis of Gaul , found their way to the New World with the blessing of the Inquisition.

Moreover, with the coming of the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century, increasing numbers of licenses to possess and read prohibited texts were granted. Despite the repeated publication of the Indexes and a large bureaucracy of censors, the activities of the Inquisition did not impede the development of Spanish literature's "Siglo de Oro", although almost all of its major authors crossed paths with the Holy Office at one point or another. La Celestina , which was not included in the Indexes of the 16th century , was expurgated in and prohibited in its entirety in Some scholars state that one of the main effects of the inquisition was to end free thought and scientific thought in Spain.

As one contemporary Spaniard in exile put it: "Our country is a land of Thus silence was imposed on the learned. The censorship of books was actually very ineffective, and prohibited books circulated in Spain without significant problems. The Spanish Inquisition never persecuted scientists , and relatively few scientific books were placed on the Index. On the other hand, Spain was a state with more political freedom than in other absolute monarchies in the 16th to 18th centuries. The list of banned books was not, as interpreted sometimes, a list of evil books but a list of books that lay people were very likely to misinterpret.

The presence of highly symbolical and high-quality literature in the list was so explained. These metaphorical or parable sounding books were listed as not meant for free circulation, but there might be no objections to the book itself and the circulation among scholars was mostly free. Most of this books were carefully collected by the elite.

The practical totality of the prohibited books can be found now as then in the library of the monasterio del Escorial , carefully collected by Philip II and Philip III. The collection was "public" after Philip II's death and members of universities, intellectuals, courtesans, clergy, and certain branches of the nobility didn't have too many problems to access them and commission authorised copies.

The Inquisition has not been known to make any serious attempt to stop this for all the books, but there are some records of them "suggesting" the King of Spain to stop collecting grimoires or magic related ones. This attitude was also not new. The first preserved copy dates from the 13th century. However, like the bible of Cisneros they were mostly for scholarly use, and it was customary for laymen to ask religious or academic authorities to review the translation and supervise the use. The Inquisition also pursued offenses against morals and general social order, at times in open conflict with the jurisdictions of civil tribunals.

In the case of men, the penalty was two hundred lashes and five to ten years of "service to the Crown". Said service could be whatever the court deemed most beneficial for the nation but it usually was either five years as an oarsman in a royal galley for those without any qualification [91] possibly a death sentence , [92] or ten years working maintained but without salary in a public Hospital or charitable institution of the sort for those with some special skill, such as doctors, surgeons, or lawyers.

Under the category of "unnatural marriage" fell any marriage or attempted marriage between two individuals who could not procreate. The Catholic Church in general, and in particular a nation constantly at war like Spain, [94] [95] emphasised the reproductive goal of marriage. The Spanish Inquisition's policy in this regard was restrictive but applied in a very egalitarian way.

It considered unnatural any non-reproductive marriage, and natural any reproductive one, regardless of gender or sex involved. Female sterility was also a reason to declare a marriage unnatural but was harder to prove. Despite popular belief, the role of the Inquisition as a mainly religious institution, or religious in nature at all, is contested at best. Its main function was that of a private police for the Crown with jurisdiction to enforce the law in those crimes that took place in the private sphere of life. The notion of religion and civil law being separate is a modern construction and made no sense in the 15th century, so there was no difference between breaking a law regarding religion and breaking a law regarding tax collection.

The difference between them is a modern projection the institution itself did not have. As such, the Inquisition was the prosecutor in some cases the only prosecutor of any crimes that could be perpetrated without the public taking notice mainly domestic crimes, crimes against the weakest members of society, administrative crimes and forgeries, organized crime, and crimes against the Crown. Examples include crimes associated with sexual or family relations such as rape and sexual violence the Inquisition was the first and only body who punished it across the nation , bestiality , pedophilia often overlapping with sodomy , incest , child abuse or neglect and as discussed bigamy.

Non-religious crimes also included procurement not prostitution , human trafficking , smuggling , forgery or falsification of currency , documents or signatures , tax fraud many religious crimes were considered subdivisions of this one , illegal weapons , swindles , disrespect to the Crown or its institutions the Inquisition included, but also the church, the guard, and the kings themselves , espionage for a foreign power, conspiracy , treason.

The non-religious crimes processed by the Inquisition accounted for a considerable percentage of its total investigations and are often hard to separate in the statistics, even when documentation is available. The line between religious and non-religious crimes did not exist in 15th century Spain as legal concept.

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Many of the crimes listed here and some of the religious crimes listed in previous sections were contemplated under the same article. For example, "sodomy" included paedophilia as a subtype. Often part of the data given for prosecution of male homosexuality corresponds to convictions for paedophilia, not adult homosexuality. In other cases, religious and non-religious crimes were seen as distinct but equivalent.

The treatment of public blasphemy and street swindlers was similar since in both cases you are "misleading the public in a harmful way. Making counterfeit currency and heretic proselytism was also treated similarly; both of them were punished by death and subdivided in similar ways since both were "spreading falsifications". In general heresy and falsifications of material documents were treated similarly by the Spanish Inquisition, indicating that they may have been thought of as equivalent actions. Another difficulty to discriminate the inquisition's secular and religious activity is the common association of certain types of investigations.

An accusation or suspicion on certain crime often launched an automatic investigation on many others. Anyone accused of espionage due to non-religious reasons would likely be investigated for heresy too, and anyone suspected of a heresy associated to a foreign power would be investigated for espionage too automatically. Likewise, some religious crimes were considered likely to be associated with non-religious crimes, like human trafficking, procurement, and child abuse was expected to be associated to sodomy, or sodomy was expected to be associated to heresy and false conversions.

Which accusation started the investigation isn't always clear. Finally, trials were often further complicated by the attempts of witnesses or victims to add further charges, especially witchcraft. Beyond its role in religious affairs, the Inquisition was also an institution at the service of the monarchy. The Inquisitor General, in charge of the Holy Office, was designated by the crown. The Inquisitor General was the only public office whose authority stretched to all the kingdoms of Spain including the American viceroyalties , except for a brief period — during which there were two Inquisitors General, one in the kingdom of Castile, and the other in Aragon.

The Inquisitor General presided over the Council of the Supreme and General Inquisition generally abbreviated as "Council of the Suprema" , created in , which was made up of six members named directly by the crown the number of members of the Suprema varied over the course of the Inquisition's history, but it was never more than Over time, the authority of the Suprema grew at the expense of the power of the Inquisitor General.

The Suprema met every morning, except for holidays, and for two hours in the afternoon on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The morning sessions were devoted to questions of faith, while the afternoons were reserved for "minor heresies" [97] cases of perceived unacceptable sexual behavior, bigamy , witchcraft , etc. Below the Suprema were the various tribunals of the Inquisition, which were originally itinerant, installing themselves where they were necessary to combat heresy, but later being established in fixed locations.

During the first phase numerous tribunals were established, but the period after saw a marked tendency towards centralization. In the kingdom of Castile, the following permanent tribunals of the Inquisition were established:. There were only four tribunals in the kingdom of Aragon : Zaragoza and Valencia , Barcelona , and Majorca Initially, each of the tribunals included two inquisitors, calificadors qualifiers , an alguacil bailiff , and a fiscal prosecutor ; new positions were added as the institution matured.

The inquisitors were preferably jurists more than theologians; in Philip III even stipulated that all inquisitors needed to have a background in law. The inquisitors did not typically remain in the position for a long time: for the Court of Valencia , for example, the average tenure in the position was about two years. The fiscal was in charge of presenting the accusation, investigating the denunciations and interrogating the witnesses by the use of physical and mental torture. The calificadores were generally theologians; it fell to them to determine if the defendant's conduct added up to a crime against the faith.

Consultants were expert jurists who advised the court in questions of procedure. The court had, in addition, three secretaries: the notario de secuestros Notary of Property , who registered the goods of the accused at the moment of his detention; the notario del secreto Notary of the Secret , who recorded the testimony of the defendant and the witnesses; and the escribano general General Notary , secretary of the court.

The alguacil was the executive arm of the court, responsible for detaining, jailing, and physically torturing the defendant. Other civil employees were the nuncio , ordered to spread official notices of the court, and the alcaide , the jailer in charge of feeding the prisoners. In addition to the members of the court, two auxiliary figures existed that collaborated with the Holy Office: the familiares and the comissarios commissioners. Familiares were lay collaborators of the Inquisition, who had to be permanently at the service of the Holy Office. To become a familiar was considered an honor, since it was a public recognition of limpieza de sangre — Old Christian status — and brought with it certain additional privileges.

Although many nobles held the position, most of the familiares came from the ranks of commoners. The commissioners, on the other hand, were members of the religious orders who collaborated occasionally with the Holy Office.

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One of the most striking aspects of the organization of the Inquisition was its form of financing: devoid of its own budget, the Inquisition depended exclusively on the confiscation of the goods of the denounced. It is not surprising, therefore, that many of those prosecuted were rich men. That the situation was open to abuse is evident, as stands out in the memorandum that a converso from Toledo directed to Charles I :. Your Majesty must provide, before all else, that the expenses of the Holy Office do not come from the properties of the condemned, because if that is the case, if they do not burn they do not eat.

When the Inquisition arrived in a city, the first step was the Edict of Grace. Following the Sunday mass, the Inquisitor would proceed to read the edict; it explained possible heresies and encouraged all the congregation to come to the tribunals of the Inquisition to "relieve their consciences". They were called Edicts of Grace because all of the self-incriminated who presented themselves within a period of grace usually ranging from thirty to forty days were offered the possibility of reconciliation with the Church without severe punishment.

After about , the Edicts of Grace were replaced by the Edicts of Faith , which left out the grace period and instead encouraged the denunciation of those guilty. The denunciations were anonymous, and the defendants had no way of knowing the identities of their accusers. In practice, false denunciations were frequent. Denunciations were made for a variety of reasons, from genuine concern, to rivalries and personal jealousies. After a denunciation, the case was examined by the calificadores , who had to determine if there was heresy involved, followed by detention of the accused.

In practice, however, many were detained in preventive custody, and many cases of lengthy incarcerations occurred, lasting up to two years, before the calificadores examined the case. Detention of the accused entailed the preventive sequestration of their property by the Inquisition. The property of the prisoner was used to pay for procedural expenses and the accused's own maintenance and costs. Often the relatives of the defendant found themselves in outright misery. This situation was remedied only following instructions written in Some authors, such as Thomas William Walsh , stated that the entire process was undertaken with the utmost secrecy, as much for the public as for the accused, who were not informed about the accusations that were levied against them.

Months or even years could pass without the accused being informed about why they were imprisoned. The prisoners remained isolated, and, during this time, the prisoners were not allowed to attend Mass nor receive the sacraments. The jails of the Inquisition were no worse than those of secular authorities, and there are even certain testimonies that occasionally they were much better. They also show the accuseds' answers, in which they address each accusation specifically. Given that they would be informed anyway, it makes little sense for the accused to be kept in the dark prior to the trial, unless the investigation was still open.

The inquisitorial process consisted of a series of hearings, in which both the denouncers and the defendant gave testimony. A defense counsel was assigned to the defendant, a member of the tribunal itself, whose role was simply to advise the defendant and to encourage them to speak the truth. The prosecution was directed by the fiscal. Interrogation of the defendant was done in the presence of the Notary of the Secreto , who meticulously wrote down the words of the accused. The archives of the Inquisition, in comparison to those of other judicial systems of the era, are striking in the completeness of their documentation.

The documentation from the notary usually show the following content, which gives us an idea of what the actual trial was likely to look like: []. Regarding the fairness of the trials, the structure of them was similar to modern trials and extremely advanced for the time. However, the Inquisition was dependent on the political power of the King. The lack of separation of powers allows assuming questionable fairness for certain scenarios. The fairness of the Inquisitorial tribunals seemed to be among the best in early modern Europe when it came to the trial of laymen.

In order to obtain a confession or information relevant to an investigation, the Inquisition made use of torture , but not in a systematic way. It could only be applied when all other options, witnesses and experts had been used, the accused was found guilty or most likely guilty, and relevant information regarding accomplices or specific details were missing. It was applied mainly against those suspected of Judaizing and Protestantism beginning in the 16th century, in other words "enemies of the state", since said crimes were usually thought to be associated with a larger organized network of either espionage or conspiracy with foreign powers.

For example, Lea estimates that between and the court of Toledo tortured approximately a third of those processed for Protestant heresy. Torture was always a means to obtain the confession of the accused, not a punishment itself. Torture was employed in all civil and religious trials in Europe. The Spanish Inquisition was no exception. Its main differentiation characteristic was that, as opposed to both civil trials and other inquisitions, it had very strict regulations regarding when, what, to whom, how many times, for how long and under what supervision it could be applied.

Per contrast, European civil trials from England to Italy and from Spain to Russia could use, and did use, torture without justification and for as long as they considered.

So much so that there were serious tensions between the Inquisition and Philip III, since the Inquisitors complained that "those people sent to the prisons of the King blasphemed and accused themselves of heresy just to be sent under the Inquisitorial jurisdiction instead of the King's" and that was collapsing the Inquisition's tribunals. During the reign of Philip IV there were registered complaints of the Inquisitors about people who "Blasphemated, mostly in winter, just to be detained and fed inside the prison". Despite some popular accounts, modern historians state that torture was only ever used to confirm information or a confession, not for punitive reasons.

Rafael Sabatinni states that among the methods of torture allowed, and common in other secular and ecclesiastical tribunals, were garrucha , toca and the potro , [] even though those claims contradict both the Inquisitorial law and the claims made by Kamen. The application of the garrucha , also known as the strappado , consisted of suspending the victim from the ceiling by the wrists, which are tied behind the back.

Sometimes weights were tied to the ankles, with a series of lifts and drops, during which the arms and legs suffered violent pulls and were sometimes dislocated. It consisted of introducing a cloth into the mouth of the victim, and forcing them to ingest water spilled from a jar so that they had the impression of drowning.

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The assertion that confessionem esse veram, non factam vi tormentorum literally: '[a person's] confession is truth, not made by way of torture' sometimes follows a description of how, after torture had ended, the subject freely confessed to the offenses.

The case was voted and sentence pronounced, which had to be unanimous. In case of discrepancies, the Suprema had to be informed. Frequently, cases were judged in absentia , and when the accused died before the trial finished, the condemned were burned in effigy. The distribution of the punishments varied considerably over time. It is believed that sentences of death were enforced in the first stages within the long history of the Inquisition. Although initially the public autos did not have any special solemnity nor sought a large attendance of spectators, with time they became solemn ceremonies, celebrated with large public crowds, amidst a festive atmosphere.

The autos were conducted in a large public space frequently in the largest plaza of the city , generally on holidays. The rituals related to the auto began the previous night the "procession of the Green Cross" and sometimes lasted the whole day. The Inquisition had limited power in Portugal, having been established in and officially lasting until , although its influence was much weakened with the government of the Marquis of Pombal in the second half of the 18th century.

They also took place in the Portuguese colony of Goa, India, following the establishment of Inquisition there in — The arrival of the Enlightenment in Spain slowed inquisitorial activity. In the first half of the 18th century, were condemned to be burned in person, and in effigy, most of them for judaizing. During the 18th century, the Inquisition changed: Enlightenment ideas were the closest threat that had to be fought.

The main figures of the Spanish Enlightenment were in favour of the abolition of the Inquisition, and many were processed by the Holy Office, among them Olavide , in ; Iriarte , in ; and Jovellanos , in ; Jovellanos sent a report to Charles IV in which he indicated the inefficiency of the Inquisition's courts and the ignorance of those who operated them: "friars who take [the position] only to obtain gossip and exemption from choir; who are ignorant of foreign languages, who only know a little scholastic theology ". In its new role, the Inquisition tried to accentuate its function of censoring publications but found that Charles III had secularized censorship procedures, and, on many occasions, the authorization of the Council of Castile hit the more intransigent position of the Inquisition.

Since the Inquisition itself was an arm of the state, being within the Council of Castile, civil rather than ecclesiastical censorship usually prevailed. This loss of influence can also be explained because the foreign Enlightenment texts entered the peninsula through prominent members of the nobility or government, [] influential people with whom it was very difficult to interfere. Thus, for example, Diderot's Encyclopedia entered Spain thanks to special licenses granted by the king. After the French Revolution , however, the Council of Castile, fearing that revolutionary ideas would penetrate Spain's borders, decided to reactivate the Holy Office that was directly charged with the persecution of French works.

An Inquisition edict of December , that received the full approval of Charles IV and Floridablanca , stated that:. However, inquisitorial activity was impossible in the face of the information avalanche that crossed the border; in , "the multitude of seditious papers The fight from within against the Inquisition was almost always clandestine. The first texts that questioned the Inquisition and praised the ideas of Voltaire or Montesquieu appeared in After the suspension of pre-publication censorship on the part of the Council of Castile in , the newspaper El Censor began the publication of protests against the activities of the Holy Office by means of a rationalist critique.

During the reign of Charles IV of Spain — , in spite of the fears that the French Revolution provoked, several events accelerated the decline of the Inquisition. The state stopped being a mere social organizer and began to worry about the well-being of the public. The Inquisition? Its old power no longer exists: the horrible authority that this bloodthirsty court had exerted in other times was reduced The Inquisition was first abolished during the domination of Napoleon and the reign of Joseph Bonaparte — Juan Antonio Llorente , who had been the Inquisition's general secretary in , became a Bonapartist and published a critical history in from his French exile, based on his privileged access to its archives.

Possibly as a result of Llorente's criticisms, the Inquisition was once again temporarily abolished during the three-year Liberal interlude known as the Trienio liberal , but still the old system had not yet had its last gasp. Later, during the period known as the Ominous Decade , the Inquisition was not formally re-established, [] although, de facto , it returned under the so-called Congregation of the Meetings of Faith, tolerated in the dioceses by King Ferdinand.

On 26 July the "Meetings of Faith" Congregation condemned and executed the school teacher Cayetano Ripoll , who thus became the last person known to be executed by the Inquisition.

On that day, Ripoll was hanged in Valencia , for having taught deist principles. This execution occurred against the backdrop of a European-wide scandal concerning the despotic attitudes still prevailing in Spain. It is possible that something similar to the Inquisition acted during the — First Carlist War , in the zones dominated by the Carlists, since one of the government measures praised by Conde de Molina Carlos Maria Isidro de Borbon was the re-implementation of the Inquisition to protect the Church. During the Carlist Wars it was the conservatives who fought the liberals who wanted to reduce the Church's power, amongst other reforms to liberalize the economy.

It can be added that Franco during the Spanish Civil War is alleged to have stated that he would attempt to reintroduce it, possibly as a sop to Vatican approval of his coup. The Alhambra Decree that had expelled the Jews was formally rescinded on 16 December It is unknown exactly how much wealth was confiscated from converted Jews and others tried by the Inquisition.

Wealth confiscated in one year of persecution in the small town of Guadaloupe paid the costs of building a royal residence. In an accused stated, "only the rich were burnt". In Catalina de Zamora was accused of asserting that "this Inquisition that the fathers are carrying out is as much for taking property from the conversos as for defending the faith.

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It is the goods that are the heretics. In a treasurer informed Charles V that his predecessor had received ten million ducats from the conversos, but the figure is unverified. In an inquisitor admitted that most of the fifty women he arrested were rich. The property on Mallorca alone in was worth "well over 2,, ducats".

Modern historians have begun to study the documentary records of the Inquisition. This material provides information for approximately 44, judgments. These 44, cases include executions in persona and in effigie i. This material, however, is far from being complete—for example, the tribunal of Cuenca is entirely omitted, because no relaciones de causas from this tribunal have been found, and significant gaps concern some other tribunals e.

Many more cases not reported to the Suprema are known from the other sources i. So far they support the lowest estimates given by historians for deaths and prosecution. The archives of the Suprema only provide information about the processes which took place prior to To study the processes themselves, it is necessary to examine the archives of the local tribunals; however, the majority have been lost to the devastation of war, the ravages of time or other events.

Some archives have survived including those of Toledo, where 12, were judged for offences related to heresy, mainly minor "blasphemy", and those of Valencia. Modern estimates show approximately 2, executions in persona in the whole of Spain up to The statistics of Henningsen and Contreras, based entirely on relaciones de causas , are the following:.

The actual numbers, as far as they can be reconstructed from the available sources, are following:. Table of sentences pronounced in the public autos da fe in Spain excluding tribunals in Sicily, Sardinia and Latin America between and []. Author Toby Green notes that the great unchecked power given to inquisitors meant that they were "widely seen as above the law" [] and sometimes had motives for imprisoning and sometimes executing alleged offenders other than for the purpose of punishing religious nonconformity, mainly in Hispanoamerica and Iberoamerica.

Green quotes a complaint by historian Manuel Barrios [] about one Inquisitor, Diego Rodriguez Lucero , who in Cordoba in burned to death the husbands of two different women he then kept as mistresses. According to Barrios,. Data for executions for witchcraft: Levack, Brian P. Defenders of the Inquisition discrediting with Green are many and seem to be the growing trend in current scholarship.

Criticisms, usually indirect, have gone from the suspiciously sexual overtones or similarities of these accounts with unrelated older antisemitic accounts of kidnap and torture, [28] to the clear proofs of control that the king had over the institution, to the sources used by Green, [] or just by reaching completely different conclusions. However, the context of Hispano America, that Green refers to often, was different from the Iberian context studied for many of those authors, due to the distance from the immediate executive power of the King, and deserves to be examined separately.

Among those who do, there are also discrediting voices regarding the nature and extent of the Inquisition's abuses. How historians and commentators have viewed the Spanish Inquisition has changed over time and continues to be a source of controversy. Before and during the 19th century historical interest focused on who was being persecuted. In the early and mid 20th century, historians examined the specifics of what happened and how it influenced Spanish history.

In the later 20th and 21st century, historians have re-examined how severe the Inquisition really was, calling into question some of the assumptions made in earlier periods. Before the rise of professional historians in the 19th century, the Spanish Inquisition had largely been portrayed by Protestant scholars who saw it as the archetypal symbol of Catholic intolerance and ecclesiastical power.

Prescott described the Inquisition as an "eye that never slumbered". Despite of the existence of extensive documentation regarding the trials and procedures, and to the Inquisition's deep bureaucratization, none of these sources were studied outside of Spain, and Spanish scholars arguing against the predominant view were automatically dismissed. Said scholars would obtain international recognition and start a period of revision on the Black Legend of the Spanish Inquisition.

This influential work describes the Spanish Inquisition as "an engine of immense power, constantly applied for the furtherance of obscurantism, the repression of thought, the exclusion of foreign ideas and the obstruction of progress. Starting in the s, Jewish scholars picked up where Lea's work left off. Contemporary historians who subscribe to the idea that the image of the Inquisition in historiography has been systematically deformed by the Black Legend include Edward Peters , Philip Wayne Powell , William S.

Maltby , Richard Kagan , Margaret R.


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Contemporary historians who support the traditional view and deny the existence of a Black Legend include Toby Green. Contemporary historians who partially accept an impact of the Black Legend but deny other aspects of the hypothesis it include Henry Kamen , David Nirenberg and Karen Armstrong. The works of Juderias in and other Spanish scholars prior to him was mostly ignored by international scholarship until One of the first books to build on them and internationally challenge the classical view was The Spanish Inquisition by Henry Kamen.

Kamen argued that the Inquisition was not nearly as cruel or as powerful as commonly believed. The book was very influential and largely responsible for subsequent studies in the s to try to quantify from archival records the Inquisition's activities from to Along similar lines is Edward Peters 's Inquisition It challenges the view that most conversos were actually practicing Judaism in secret and were persecuted for their crypto-Judaism.

Rather, according to Netanyahu, the persecution was fundamentally racial, and was a matter of envy of their success in Spanish society. Challenging some of the claims of revisionist historians is Toby Green in Inquisition, the Reign of Fear , who calls the claim by revisionists that torture was only rarely applied by inquisitors, a "worrying error of fact".

Historian Thomas F. Madden has written about popular myths of the Inquisition. The literature of the 18th century approaches the theme of the Inquisition from a critical point of view. In Candide by Voltaire , the Inquisition appears as the epitome of intolerance and arbitrary justice in Europe. During the Romantic Period , the Gothic novel , which was primarily a genre developed in Protestant countries, frequently associated Catholicism with terror and repression.

Literature of the 19th century tends to focus on the element of torture employed by the Inquisition. The Inquisition also appears in one of the chapters of the novel The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky , which imagines an encounter between Jesus and the Inquisitor General. The Inquisition also appears in 20th-century literature. La Gesta del Marrano , by the Argentine author Marcos Aguinis , portrays the length of the Inquisition's arm to reach people in Argentina during the 16th and 17th centuries.

The character Magneto also appears as the Grand Inquisitor. Carme Riera 's novella, published in , Dins el Darrer Blau In the Last Blue is set during the repression of the chuetas conversos from Majorca at the end of the 17th century. In , the Spanish writer Miguel Delibes published the historical novel The Heretic , about the Protestants of Valladolid and their repression by the Inquisition.

Samuel Shellabarger 's Captain from Castile deals directly with the Spanish Inquisition during the first part of the novel. In the novel La Catedral del Mar by Ildefonso Falcones , published in and set in the 14th century, there are scenes of inquisition investigations in small towns and a great scene in Barcelona. The Spanish Inquisition is a recurring trope that makes an occasional appearance in the British parliament, similar to calling something "nazi" to reject ideas seen as religiously authoritarian.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Spanish Inquisition disambiguation. Tribunal under the election of the Spanish monarchy , for upholding religious orthodoxy in their realm. Voting system. Further information: Papal ban of Freemasonry and In eminenti apostolatus. Main article: Historical revision of the Inquisition. Universidad de Castilla La Mancha, ed. BackBay Books. Un problema europeo. Barcelona: Ariel. Wiener , Hannover , pp. Secretariado de Publicaciones e Intercambio Editorial ed. Valladolid University. Sefer Yuchasin , p. All three were conversos.

Kamen , p. Taurus, Ediciones Santillana, Islamic Law and Society, 1. Les inquisitions modernes dans les Pays-Bas meridionaux. For the purpose of clarity, in this article converso will be taken to mean one who has sincerely renounced Judaism or Islam and embraced Catholicism.

Crypto-Jew will be taken to mean one who accepts Christian baptism, yet continues to practice Judaism. Quote: "Isabella's Confessor, Torquemada , had imbued her with the idea that the suppression of all heresy within her realms was a sacred duty. Many modern writers have sought to reduce her share in the introduction of this terrible institution, but it must be remembered that Isabella herself probably considered it a meritorious action to punish with inhuman barbarity those whom she looked upon as the enemies of the Almighty.


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In , two Dominicans were appointed by her, as Inquisitors, to set up their tribunal at Seville. Before the end of the year , 2, victims were burned alive in Andalusia alone. The Pope himself became alarmed and threatened to withdraw the bull, but Ferdinand intimated that he would make the Inquisition altogether an independent tribunal. This it became later for all practical purposes, and its iniquitous proceedings continued unchecked. A History of the Jewish People. Harvard University Press, , pp. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Scott: History, Vol II, p. Secular authorities then decreed in that 40 years of religious instruction would precede any prosecution.

Fifty Moriscos were burnt at the stake before the Crown clarified its position. Neither the Church nor the Moriscos utilized the years well. The Moriscos can be stereotyped as poor, rural, uneducated agricultural workers who spoke Arabic. The Church had limited willingness or ability to educate this now-hostile group. Green , pp.

Journal of Levantine Studies, Vol. Journal of Levantine Studies, vol. History Today. Many travelled overland to France, but after the assassination of Henry of Navarre by Ravaillac in May , they were forced to emigrate to Italy, Sicily or Constantinople. December The American Journal of Human Genetics. He compares these figures with those condemned to death in other European countries during the same period, concluding that in similar periods England, under Mary Tudor , executed about twice as many for heresy: in France, three times the number, and ten times as many in the Low Countries.

Boston: Koninklijke Brill, Denslow, Harry S. Each dying wretch dumped overboard had to be replaced - and there were never enough. Fertility, Gender and War: The "culture of Contraception". University of Minnesota, It is estimated that people were executed during this period.

Retrieved 2 January Lea, III, p. Leyendas Negras de la Iglesia. Madrid: Akal, Madrid: Palibrio, Historia This practice grew beginning with the reign of Charles III. The properties were given under feudal terms to farmers or to localities who used them as community property with many restrictions, owing a part of the rent, generally in cash, to the church. One argument is that during the Ominous Decade, the Inquisition was re-established- because of a statement made by King Alphonso upon a visit to the Vatican that he would reintroduce it if the occasion arose, but the Royal Decree that would have abolished the order of the Trienio Liberal was never approved, or at least, never published.

The formal abolition under the regency of Maria Cristina was thus nothing more than a ratification of the abolition of Daily Life during the Spanish Inquisition. Greenwood Press,


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