The Medieval Inquisition was a series of Inquisitions (Catholic Church bodies charged with suppressing heresy) from around 1184, including the Episcopal Inquisition (1184–1230s) and later the Papal Inquisition (1230s). The Medieval Inquisition was established in response to movements considered apostate or heretical to Christianity, in particular Catharism and Waldensians in Southern France and Northern Italy. These were the first inquisition movements of many that would follow.
The Inquisition started in 12th-century France to combat religious dissent, in particular the Cathars and the Waldensians. It was a type of government institution within the Catholic Church whose main goal was to eliminate heresy. Other groups investigated later included the Spiritual Franciscans, the Hussites and the Beguines. Beginning in the 1250s, inquisitors were generally chosen from members of the Dominican Order, replacing the earlier practice of using local clergy as judges. The term Medieval Inquisition covers these courts up to mid-15th century.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.
Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. A heretic is a proponent of such claims or beliefs. Heresy is distinct from both apostasy, which is the explicit renunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is an impious utterance or action concerning God or sacred things.
The Cathars were first noted in the 1140s in Southern France, and the Waldensians around 1170 in Northern Italy. Before this point, individual heretics such as Peter of Bruis had often challenged the Church. However, the Cathars were the first mass organization in the second millennium that posed a serious threat to the authority of the Church. This article covers only these early inquisitions, not the Roman Inquisition of the 16th century onwards, or the somewhat different phenomenon of the Spanish Inquisition of the late 15th century, which was under the control of the Spanish monarchy using local clergy. The Portuguese Inquisition of the 16th century and various colonial branches followed the same pattern.
The Waldensians, Vallenses, Valdesi or Vaudois) are an ascetic movement within Christianity, reputedly founded by Peter Waldo in Lyon around 1173.
The Roman Inquisition, formally the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition, was a system of tribunals developed by the Holy See of the Roman Catholic Church, during the second half of the 16th century, responsible for prosecuting individuals accused of a wide array of crimes relating to religious doctrine or alternate religious doctrine or alternate religious beliefs. In the period after the Medieval Inquisition, it was one of three different manifestations of the wider Catholic Inquisition along with the Spanish Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition.
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition, was established in 1478 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms and to replace the Medieval Inquisition, which was under Papal control. It became the most substantive of the three different manifestations of the wider Catholic Inquisition along with the Roman Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition. The "Spanish Inquisition" may be defined broadly, operating in Spain and in all Spanish colonies and territories, which included the Canary Islands, the Spanish Netherlands, the Kingdom of Naples, and all Spanish possessions in North, Central, and South America. According to modern estimates, around 150,000 were prosecuted for various offenses during the three centuries of duration of the Spanish Inquisition, out of which between 3,000 and 5,000 were executed.
An inquisition was a process that developed to investigate alleged instances of crimes. Its use in ecclesiastical courts was not at first directed to matters of heresy, but a broad assortment of offenses such as clandestine marriage and bigamy.
French historian Jean-Baptiste Guiraud (1866–1953) defined Medieval Inquisition as "... a system of repressive means, some of temporal and some others of spiritual kind, concurrently issued by ecclesiastical and civil authorities in order to protect religious orthodoxy and social order, both threatened by theological and social doctrines of heresy".
Bishop of Lincoln, Robert Grosseteste, defined heresy as "an opinion chosen by human perception, created by human reason, founded on the Scriptures, contrary to the teachings of the Church, publicly avowed, and obstinately defended."The fault was in the obstinate adherence rather than theological error, which could be corrected; and by referencing scripture Grosseteste excludes Jews, Muslims, and other non-Christians from the definition of heretic.
Robert Grosseteste was an English statesman, scholastic philosopher, theologian, scientist and Bishop of Lincoln. He was born of humble parents at Stradbroke in Suffolk. Upon his death, he was almost universally revered as a saint in England, but attempts to procure a formal canonization failed. A. C. Crombie calls him "the real founder of the tradition of scientific thought in medieval Oxford, and in some ways, of the modern English intellectual tradition".
There were many different types of inquisitions depending on the location and methods; historians have generally classified them into the episcopal inquisition and the papal inquisition. All major medieval inquisitions were decentralized, and each tribunal worked independently.Authority rested with local officials based on guidelines from the Holy See, but there was no central top-down authority running the inquisitions, as would be the case in post-medieval inquisitions.
The Holy See, also called the See of Rome, is the apostolic episcopal see of the bishop of Rome, known as the Pope, ex cathedra the universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church, and a sovereign entity of international law. Founded in the 1st century by Saints Peter and Paul, by virtue of Petrine and Papal primacy according to Catholic tradition, it is the focal point of full communion for Catholic bishops and Catholics around the world organised in polities of the Latin Church, the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, and their dioceses and religious institutes.
Early Medieval courts generally followed a process called accusatio, largely based on Germanic practices. In this procedure, an individual would make an accusation against someone to the court. However, if the suspect was judged innocent, the accusers faced legal penalties for bringing false charges. This provided a disincentive to make any accusation unless the accusers were sure it would stand. Later, a threshold requirement was the establishment of the accused's publica fama, i.e., the fact that the person was widely believed to be guilty of the offense charged.
By the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, there was a shift away from the accusatorial model toward the legal procedure used in the Roman Empire. Instead of an individual making accusations based on first-hand knowledge, judges now took on the prosecutorial role based on information collected. Under inquisitorial procedures, guilt or innocence was proved by the inquiry (inquisitio) of the judge into the details of a case.
The mechanism for dealing with heresy developed gradually. Bishops had always the authority to look into alleged heretical activity, but as it wasn't always clear what constituted heresy they conferred with their colleagues and sought advice from Rome. Legates were sent out, at first as advisors, later taking a greater role in the administration. Procedures began to be formalized by time of Pope Gregory IX.
Practices and procedures of episcopal inquisitions could vary from one diocese to another, depending on the resources available to individual bishops and their relative interest or disinterest. Convinced that Church teaching contained revealed truth, the first recourse of bishops was that of persuasio. Through discourse, debates, and preaching, they sought to present a better explanation of Church teaching. This approach often proved very successful.
In 1076 Pope Gregory VII excommunicated the residents of Cambrai because a mob had seized and burned a Cathar determined by the bishop to have been a heretic. A similar occurrence happened in 1114 during the bishops absence in Strassburg. In 1145 clergy at Leige managed to rescue victims from the crowd.
The first medieval inquisition, the episcopal inquisition, was established in the year 1184 by a papal bull of Pope Lucius III entitled Ad abolendam , "For the purpose of doing away with." It was a response to the growing Catharist movement in southern France. It was called "episcopal" because it was administered by local bishops, which in Latin is episcopus, and obliged bishops to visit their diocese twice a year in search of heretics.
The spread of other movements from the 12th century can be seen at least in part as a reaction to the increasing moral corruption of the clergy, which included illegal marriages and the possession of extreme wealth. In the Middle Ages, the Inquisition's main focus was to eradicate these new sects. Thus its range of action was predominantly in Italy and France, where the Cathars and the Waldensians, the two main heretic movements of the period, were.
During the pontificates of Innocent III, papal legates were sent out to stop the spread of the Cathar and Waldensian heresies to Provence and up the Rhine into Germany.
The Cathars were a group of dissidents mostly in the South of France, in cities like Toulouse. The sect developed in the 12th century,apparently founded by soldiers from the Second Crusade, who, on their way back, were converted by a Bulgarian sect, the Bogomils.
The Cathars' main heresy was their belief in dualism:the evil God created the materialistic world and the good God created the spiritual world. Therefore, Cathars preached poverty, chastity, modesty and all those values which in their view helped people to detach themselves from materialism. The Cathars presented a problem to feudal government by their attitude towards oaths, which they declared under no circumstances allowable. Therefore, considering the religious homogeneity of that age, heresy was an attack against social and political order, besides orthodoxy.
The Albigensian Crusade resulted in the defeat of the Cathars militarily. After this, the Inquisition played an important role in finally destroying Catharism during the 13th and much of the 14th centuries.Punishments for Cathars varied greatly. Most frequently, they were made to wear yellow crosses atop their garments as a sign of outward penance. Others undertook obligatory pilgrimages, many for the purpose of fighting against Muslims. Another common punishment, including for returned pilgrims, was visiting a local church naked once each month to be scourged. Cathars who were slow to repent suffered imprisonment and, often, the loss of property. Others who altogether refused to repent were burned.
The Waldensians were mostly in Germany and North Italy. The Waldensians were a group of orthodox laymen concerned about the increasing wealth of the Church. As time passed, however, they found themselves stepping beyond the bounds of orthodoxy as defined by the hierarchy of the Western Church.In contrast with the Cathars and in line with the Church, they believed in only one God, but they did not recognize a special class of priesthood, believing in the priesthood of all believers. They also objected to the veneration of saints and martyrs, which were part of the Church's orthodoxy. They rejected the sacramental authority of the Church and its clerics and encouraged apostolic poverty. These movements became particularly popular in Southern France as well as Northern Italy and parts of Germany.
One reason for Pope Gregory IX's creation of the Inquisition was to bring order and legality to the process of dealing with heresy, since there had been tendencies by mobs of townspeople to burn alleged heretics without much of a trial. Pope Gregory's original intent for the Inquisition was a court of exception to inquire into and glean the beliefs of those differing from Catholic teaching, and to instruct them in the orthodox doctrine. It was hoped that heretics would see the falsity of their opinion and would return to the Roman Catholic Church. If they persisted in their heresy, however, Pope Gregory, finding it necessary to protect the Catholic community from infection, would have suspects handed over to civil authorities, since public heresy was a crime under civil law as well as Church law. The secular authorities would apply their own brands of punishment for civil disobedience which, at the time, included burning at the stake.Over centuries the tribunals took different forms, investigating and stamping out various forms of heresy, including witchcraft.
The complaints of the two main preaching orders of the period, the Dominicans and the Franciscans, against the moral corruption of the Church, to some extent echoed those of the heretical movements, but they were doctrinally conventional, and were enlisted by Pope Innocent III in the fight against heresy. As a result, many Franciscans and Dominicans became inquisitors. For example, Robert le Bougre, the "Hammer of Heretics" (Malleus Haereticorum), was a Dominican friar who became an inquisitor known for his cruelty and violence. Another example was the case of the province of Venice, which was handed to the Franciscan inquisitors, who quickly became notorious for their frauds against the Church, by enriching themselves with confiscated property from the heretics and the selling of absolutions. Because of their corruption, they were eventually forced by the Pope to suspend their activities in 1302.
In 1231 Pope Gregory IX appointed a number of Papal Inquisitors (Inquisitores haereticae pravitatis), mostly Dominicans and Franciscans, for the various regions of Europe. As mendicants, they were accustomed to travel. Unlike the haphazard episcopal methods, the papal inquisition was thorough and systematic, keeping detailed records. Some of the few documents from the Middle Ages involving first-person speech by medieval peasants come from papal inquisition records. This tribunal or court functioned in France, Italy and parts of Germany and had virtually ceased operation by the early fourteenth century.
Throughout the Inquisition's history, it was rivaled by local ecclesiastical and secular jurisdictions. No matter how determined, no pope succeeded in establishing complete control over the prosecution of heresy. Medieval kings, princes, bishops, and civil authorities all had a role in prosecuting heresy, except where they individually opposed the practice. The practice reached its apex in the second half of the 13th century. During this period, the tribunals were almost entirely free from any authority, including that of the pope. Therefore, it was almost impossible to eradicate abuse.
In southern Europe, Church-run courts existed in the kingdom of Aragon during the medieval period, but not elsewhere in the Iberian peninsula or some other kingdoms, including England. In Scandinavian kingdoms it had hardly any impact.
At the beginning of the fourteenth century, two other movements attracted the attention of the Inquisition, the Knights Templar and the Beguines.
It is not clear if the process against the Templars was initiated by the Inquisition on the basis of suspected heresy or if the Inquisition itself was exploited by the king of France, Philip the Fair, who wanted the knights' wealth. In the search for Templars, two inquisitors were also sent to the British Isles. This is the only instance of inquisitorial action in the British Isles and not a successful one, mainly because the inquisitors could not instigate false confessions through torture, as its use was forbidden by common law.
The Beguines were mainly a women's movement, recognized by the Church since their foundation in the thirteenth century as mystics. However, with the Council of Vienne in the fourteenth century, they were proclaimed heretics and persecuted, with large numbers being burned at the stake in Narbonne, Toulouse and other French cities. They were also attacked in Germany, the first attempt of the Inquisition to operate in the area.
Another aspect of the medieval Inquisition is that little attention was paid to sorcery. In fact several Popes were suspected of having a strong interest or practicing alchemy and it was only with Pope John XXII, who was himself suspected of being a magician, that sorcery became another form of heresy and thus liable to prosecution by the Inquisition.[ citation needed ]
According to historian Thomas Madden:
The Inquisition was not born out of desire to crush diversity or oppress people; it was rather an attempt to stop unjust executions. Yes, you read that correctly. Heresy was a crime against the state. Roman law in the Code of Justinian made heresy a capital offense... [emphasis in original]
In the early Middle Ages, people accused of heresy were judged by the local lord, many of whom lacked theological training. Madden claims that "The simple fact is that the medieval Inquisition saved uncounted thousands of innocent (and even not-so-innocent) people who would otherwise have been roasted by secular lords or mob rule" [emphasis in original].
Madden argues that while medieval secular leaders were trying to safeguard their kingdoms, the Church was trying to save souls. The Inquisition provided a means for heretics to escape death and return to the community.
In the spring of 1429 during the Hundred Years' War, in obedience to what she said was the command of God, Joan of Arc inspired the Dauphin's armies in a series of stunning military victories which lifted the siege of Orleans and destroyed a large percentage of the remaining English forces at the battle of Patay. A series of military setbacks eventually led to her capture in the Spring of 1430 by the Burgundians, who were allied with the English. They delivered her to them for 10,000 livres. In December of that same year she was transferred to Rouen, the military headquarters and administrative capital in France of King Henry VI of England, and placed on trial for heresy before a Church court headed by Bishop Pierre Cauchon, a supporter of the English.
The trial was politically motivated.Cauchon, although a native of France, had served in the English government since 1418, and he was therefore hostile to a woman who had worked for the opposing side. The same was true of the other tribunal members. Ascribing a diabolic origin to her victories would be an effective way to ruin her reputation and bolster the morale of English troops. Thus the decision to involve the Inquisition, which did not initiate the trial and in fact showed a reluctance throughout its duration. Seventy charges were brought against her, including accusations of heresy and dressing as a male (i.e., wearing soldiers' clothing and armor). Eyewitnesses later said that Joan had told them she was wearing this clothing and keeping it "firmly laced and tied together" because the tunic could be tied to the long boots to keep her guards from pulling her clothing off during their occasional attempts to rape her. Joan was first condemned to life imprisonment and the deputy-inquisitor, Jean Le Maitre (whom the eyewitness said only attended because of threats from the English) obtained from her assurances of relinquishing her male clothes. However, after four days, during which she was said to have been subjected to attempted rape by English soldiers, she put her soldier's clothing back on because (according to the eyewitnesses) she needed protection against rape. Cauchon declared her a relapsed heretic, and she was burned at the stake two days later on 30 May 1431.
In 1455, a petition by Joan of Arc's mother Isabelle led to a re-trial designed to investigate the dubious circumstances which led to Joan's execution.The Inquisitor-General of France was put in charge of the new trial, which opened in Notre Dame de Paris on 7 November 1455. After analyzing all the proceedings, including Joan's answers to the allegations and the testimony of 115 witnesses who were called to testify during the appellate process, the inquisitor overturned her condemnation on 7 July 1456. Joan of Arc was eventually canonized in 1920.
Historian Edward Peters identifies a number of illegalities in Joan's first trial in which she had been convicted.
The papal inquisition developed a number of procedures to discover and prosecute heretics. These codes and procedures detailed how an inquisitorial court was to function. If the accused renounced their heresy and returned to the Church, forgiveness was granted and a penance was imposed. If the accused upheld their heresy, they were excommunicated and turned over to secular authorities. The penalties for heresy, though not as severe as the secular courts of Europe at the time, were codified within the ecclesiastic courts as well (e.g. confiscation of property, turning heretics over to the secular courts for punishment).Additionally, the various "key terms" of the inquisitorial courts were defined at this time, including, for example, "heretics," “believers," “those suspect of heresy," “those simply suspected," “those vehemently suspected," and "those most vehemently suspected".
Legally, there had to be at least two witnesses, although conscientious judges rarely contented themselves with that number.
First, the townspeople would be gathered in a public place. Although attendance was voluntary, those who failed to show would automatically be suspect, so most would come. The inquisitors would provide an opportunity for anyone to step forward and denounce themselves in exchange for easy punishment. As part of this bargain they would need to inform on other heretics.
The inquisitorial trial generally favored the prosecution (the Church). Confessing 'in full' was the best hope of receiving a lighter punishment - but with little hope of escaping at least some punishment. And a 'full' confession was one which implicated others, including other family members. It was acceptable to take testimony from criminals, persons of bad reputation, excommunicated people, and convicted heretics. The inquisitor could keep a defendant in prison for years before the trial to obtain new information, and could return them to prison if he felt that the witness had not fully confessed.
Despite the unfairness of the procedures, the inquisitors did provide some rights to the defendant. At the beginning of the trial, defendants were invited to name those who had "mortal hatred" against them. If the accusers were among those named, the defendant was set free and the charges dismissed; the accusers would face life imprisonment. This option was meant to keep the inquisition from becoming involved in local grudges. Early legal consultations on conducting inquisition stress that it is better that the guilty go free than that the innocent be punished. Gregory IX urged Conrad of Marburg: "ut puniatur sic temeritas perversorum quod innocentiae puritas non laedatur" — i.e., "not to punish the wicked so as to hurt the innocent".
Like the inquisitorial process itself, torture was an ancient Roman legal practice commonly used in secular courts. On May 15, 1252, Pope Innocent IV issued a papal bull entitled Ad extirpanda , which authorized the limited use of torture by inquisitors. Much of the brutality commonly associated with the Inquisition was actually previously common in secular courts, but prohibited under the Inquisition, including torture methods that resulted in bloodshed, miscarriages, mutilation or death. Also, torture could be performed only once, and for a limited duration.
In preparation for the Jubilee in 2000, the Vatican opened the archives of the Holy Office (the modern successor to the Inquisition) to a team of 30 scholars from around the world. According to the governor general of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, recent studies "seem to indicate" that "torture and the death penalty were not applied with the pitiless rigor" often ascribed to the Inquisition.Other methods such as threats and imprisonment seem to have proven more effective.
A council in Tours in 1164, presided over by Pope Alexander III, ordered the confiscation of a heretic's goods. Of 5,400 people interrogated in Toulouse between 1245–1246, 184 received penitential yellow crosses (used to mark repentant Cathars), 23 were imprisoned for life, and none were sent to the stake.
The most extreme penalty available in antiheretical proceedings was reserved for relapsed or stubborn heretics. The unrepentant and apostates could be "relaxed" to secular authority, however, opening the convicted to the possibility of various corporal punishments, up to and including being burned at the stake. Execution was neither performed by the Church, nor was it a sentence available to the officials involved in the inquisition, who, as clerics, were forbidden to kill. The accused also faced the possibility that his or her property might be confiscated. In some cases, accusers may have been motivated by a desire to take the property of the accused, though this is a difficult assertion to prove in the majority of areas where the inquisition was active, as the inquisition had several layers of oversight built into its framework in a specific attempt to limit prosecutorial misconduct.
The inquisitors generally preferred not to hand over heretics to the secular arm for execution if they could persuade the heretic to repent: Ecclesia non novit sanguinem. For example, of the 900 guilty verdicts levied against 636 individuals by the Dominican friar and inquisitor Bernard Gui, no more than 45 resulted in execution.
By the 14th century the Waldensians had been driven underground. Some residents of the Pays Cathare identify themselves as Cathars even today. They claim to be descended from the Cathars of the Middle Ages. However, the delivering of the consolamentum, on which historical Catharism was based, required a linear succession by a bon homme in good standing. It is believed that one of the last known bons hommes, Guillaume Belibaste, was burned in 1321.
Catharism was a Christian dualist or Gnostic revival movement that thrived in some areas of Southern Europe, particularly what is now northern Italy and southern France, between the 12th and 14th centuries. The followers were known as Cathars and are now mainly remembered for a prolonged period of persecution by the Catholic Church, which did not recognise their belief as being Christian. Catharism appeared in Europe in the Languedoc region of France in the 11th century and this is when the name first appears. The adherents were sometimes known as Albigensians, after the city Albi in southern France where the movement first took hold. The belief system may have originated in Persia or the Byzantine Empire. Catharism was initially taught by ascetic leaders who set few guidelines, and, thus, some Catharist practices and beliefs varied by region and over time. The Catholic Church denounced its practices including the Consolamentum ritual, by which Cathar individuals were baptized and raised to the status of "perfect".
The Fourth Council of the Lateran was convoked by Pope Innocent III with the papal bull Vineam domini Sabaoth of 19 April 1213, and the Council gathered at Rome's Lateran Palace beginning 11 November 1215. Due to the great length of time between the Council's convocation and meeting, many bishops had the opportunity to attend. It is considered by the Catholic Church to have been the twelfth ecumenical council and is sometimes called the "Great Council" or "General Council of Lateran" due to the presence of 71 patriarchs and metropolitan bishops, 412 bishops, 900 abbots and priors together with representatives of several monarchs.
Joan of Arc, in French Jeanne d'Arc or Jehanne, nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans", is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years' War, and was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint. She was born to Jacques d'Arc and Isabelle Romée, a peasant family, at Domrémy in north-east France. Joan claimed to have received visions of the Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine of Alexandria instructing her to support Charles VII and recover France from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent Joan to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief army. She gained prominence after the siege was lifted only nine days later. Several additional swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Reims. This long-awaited event boosted French morale and paved the way for the final French victory.
Cardinal Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, was an English prelate and statesman who held the offices of Bishop of Lincoln (1398) then Bishop of Winchester (1404) and was from 1426 a Cardinal of the Church of Rome. He served three times as Lord Chancellor and played an important role in English politics.
The Albigensian Crusade or the Cathar Crusade was a 20-year military campaign initiated by Pope Innocent III to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc, in southern France. The Crusade was prosecuted primarily by the French crown and promptly took on a political flavour, resulting in not only a significant reduction in the number of practising Cathars, but also a realignment of the County of Toulouse in Languedoc, bringing it into the sphere of the French crown and diminishing the distinct regional culture and high level of influence of the Counts of Barcelona.
Konrad von Marburg was a medieval German priest and nobleman. He was commissioned by the pope to combat the Albigensians.
Bernard Gui, born Bernard Guidoni and also known as Bernardo Gui or Bernardus Guidonis, was a Dominican friar, Bishop of Lodève, and a papal inquisitor during the later stages of the Medieval Inquisition. Due to his fictionalised portrayals in modern popular culture, most notably the 1980 novel The Name of the Rose, he is "perhaps the most famous of all medieval inquisitors", although among his contemporaries and modern historians he is more often noted for his accomplishments in administration, diplomacy, and historical writing.
Ad extirpanda was a papal bull promulgated on Wednesday, May 15, 1252 by Pope Innocent IV which authorized in limited and defined circumstances the use of torture by the Inquisition for eliciting confessions from heretics.
The Directorium Inquisitorum is Nicholas Eymerich's most prominent and enduring work, written in Latin and consisting of approximately 800 pages, which he had composed as early as 1376. Eymerich had written an earlier treatise on sorcery, perhaps as early as 1359, which he extensively reworked into the Directorium Inqusitorum In compiling the book, Eymerich used many of the magic texts he had previously confiscated from accused sorcerers. It can also be considered as an assessment of a century and half of official Inquisition in the "albigensian" country.
The Historical revision of the Inquisition is a historiographical process that started to emerge in the 1970s, with the opening of formerly closed archives, the development of new historical methodologies, and, in Spain, the death of the ruling dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. New works of historical revisionism changed our knowledge of the history of the Roman and Spanish Inquisitions.
Isabelle Romée, also known as Isabelle de Vouthon and Isabelle d'Arc (1377–1458) and Ysabeau Romee, was the mother of Joan of Arc. She grew up in Vouthon-Bas and later married Jacques d'Arc. The couple moved to Domrémy, where they owned a farm consisting of about 50 acres (200,000 m2) of land. After their daughter's famous activities in 1429, the family was granted noble status by Charles VII in December of that year. Isabelle moved to Orléans in 1440 after her husband's death and received a pension from the city. She petitioned Pope Nicholas V to reopen the court case that had convicted Joan of heresy, and then, in her seventies, addressed the opening session of the appellate trial at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. The appeals court overturned Joan's conviction on 7 July 1456. Isabelle died two years later, probably at Sandillon near Orléans.
The trial of Joan of Arc, which was overseen by an English-backed church court at Rouen, Normandy in the first half of 1431, was one of the more famous trials in history, becoming the subject of many books and films. It culminated in the execution of the person known to history as Joan of Arc, the young French peasant girl who was the defendant in the case. The trial verdict was later reversed on appeal by Jean Bréhal, the Inquisitor-General in 1456, thereby completely exonerating her. Considered a French national heroine, she was declared a saint by the Roman Catholic Church in 1920.
Capital punishment in Vatican City was legal between 1929 and 1969, reserved for attempted assassination of the Pope, but has never been applied there. Executions were carried out elsewhere in the Papal States during their existence.
Ad abolendam was a decretal and bull of Pope Lucius III, written at Verona and issued 4 November 1184. It was issued after the Council of Verona settled some jurisdictional differences between the Papacy and Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor. The document prescribes measures to uproot heresy and sparked the efforts which culminated in the Albigensian Crusade and the Inquisitions. Its chief aim was the complete abolition of Christian heresy.
The Synod of Verona was held November 1184 under the auspices of Pope Lucius III and the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I.
The Retrial of Joan of Arc, also known as the "nullification trial" or "rehabilitation trial", was a posthumous retrial of Joan of Arc authorized by Pope Callixtus III at the request of Inquisitor-General Jean Bréhal and Joan's mother Isabelle Romée.
Vox in Rama is a papal bull issued by Pope Gregory IX in either 1232, 1233 or 1234 condemning a German heresy known as Luciferian, a form of devil worship. The bull was issued to King Henry, son of Emperor Frederick II, in June 1233 and subsequently to Archbishop Siegfried III of Mainz demanding they use all efforts to stop the practice.
Secular arm, in ecclesiastical law, refers to the legal authority of the civil power, the State, or any lay authority, invoked by the Church to punish offenders in cases properly belonging to the jurisdiction of the Church. In the Middle Ages especially in Inquisition trials for heresy, or grave immorality, ecclesiastical courts delivered convicted clerical and lay offenders over to the secular arm to administer severe capital punishments. The phrase "relaxed to the secular arm" was used by the Spanish Inquistion to describe the handover of the condemned heretic.