from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Coat of arms of the Spanish Inquisition : In addition to the cross as a symbol of the spiritual character of the Inquisition, the olive branch and sword are balanced, which should indicate the balance between grace and punishment.

As Inquisition ( Latin inquisitio , investigation ' ) are a legal process procedures ( inquisitorial system referred to) and keeping working institutions in the late Middle Ages and the early modern period to combat heresy served. The chairman of an inquisition court is called an inquisitor .

From its creation at the beginning of the 13th century until its largely disappearance at the end of the 18th century, the Inquisition was mainly used as an instrument of the Roman Catholic Church to facilitate the detection, conversion or condemnation of heretics (see also: Heretics ), for which a new one in the late Middle Ages Form of legal proceedings, the inquisition proceedings , was developed. The main phase of the creation of the Inquisition falls in the first half of the 13th century. In addition to the crime of heresy at the time , the Inquisition also made it possible to prosecute other criminal offenses, especially when they touched on questions of faith such as blasphemy or magic . The Inquisition played a subordinate role in the witch hunt in the early modern period , which was mainly supported by secular rulers . The church saw the use of the Inquisition against heretics legitimized with reference to biblical texts or texts by church authorities.

The medieval Inquisition did not have its own superordinate authority and was not a permanently active phenomenon. The Inquisition took action where it was deemed necessary by the church and where the requirements were met. It was therefore used at different times in different areas, especially in southern and central Europe, and was supported by different organs of the estates , sometimes with different motives. The use of torture during interrogation varied, as did the extent of the death penalty . As inquisitors, the presidency of a church inquisition procedure was primarily bishops or religious. In the early modern period, the shape of the Inquisition changed: It was institutionalized in Spain, Italy and Portugal and embedded in state structures and has since been used almost exclusively within the sphere of influence of the rulers there. At the beginning of modern times, Protestants were also persecuted by the Inquisition.


To distinguish in principle between the Inquisition and the underlying inquisitorial system . Although the inquisition procedure was initially used as an internal church procedure under Pope Innocent III. It was not only used in the ecclesiastical field, but also became the main form of criminal proceedings in secular jurisdiction during the late Middle Ages in various variations, for example in the case of the Venetian State Inquisition .

In the Middle Ages, the inquisition was referred to as inquisitio haereticorum (heretic inquisition ) or inquisitio haereticae pravitatis (inquisition against heretical depravity). Since the 1240s, the task of the inquisitors has been understood as an official activity and subsequently referred to several times as the officium inquisitionis or sanctum officium (holy office), which is why the Holy Inquisition has occasionally been referred to since then . The modern Roman Inquisition referred to itself from 1542 as the Sacra Congregatio Romanae et universalis Inquisitionis and formed the historical forerunner organization of today's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith .

scope of application

The medieval Inquisition remained geographically limited to Central and Southern Europe and was active there at irregular intervals and in different areas. According to the church leadership, the presence of heretics was decisive for their activity. The medieval inquisition was used particularly in the areas of what is now France, Italy, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland. The modern Inquisition remained essentially concentrated on the areas of influence of the Papal States and the Spanish and Portuguese rulers.

Persecuted saw themselves mainly as heretically classified Christian denominations, including the Amalricans , Apostle Brothers , Beguines and Begarians , Brothers and Sisters of the Free Spirit , Flagellants , Fraticelles , Hussites , Joachimites , Cathars (Albigensians), Lollards , Protestants , Anabaptists , Waldensians , but also smaller groups or individuals with differing views, such as Saint Joan of Arc (1412–1431), the penitential preacher Girolamo Savonarola (1452–1498) or the natural philosopher Giordano Bruno (1548–1600). The modern Spanish and Portuguese inquisition authorities took action primarily against Jews who had converted to Christianity, so-called conversos , or converted Muslims, the Moriscos .

Starting from the core area of ​​heresy, the Inquisition was also able to prosecute crimes related to this criminal offense, provided that they affected faith. These included usury , magic , witchcraft , blasphemy, or moral or sexual crimes. The main field of activity of the Inquisition, however, remained the fight against heretics. In addition to the ecclesiastical inquisition, these crimes could also be prosecuted by sovereign or municipal courts.

Inquisition proceedings

Pope Innocent III (1161–1216) laid the foundation stone for the development of the inquisition procedure, a new form of investigation and criminal process for the Middle Ages. Originally it was planned to use the procedure for the elimination of internal church grievances. In the late Middle Ages, however, the inquisition process, based on its application in the heretic inquisition, developed in various variants to become the predominant form of litigation in both ecclesiastical and secular jurisdiction. In contrast to the accusation process , which was the predominant form of process in the Middle Ages up to the introduction of the inquisition process, in the inquisition process it was no longer one party to the conflict that brought charges, but an authoritarian accuser who also had judicial powers. Establishing the truth by means of rational evidence was in the foreground, with particular use being made of witness statements. Archaic evidence such as divine judgments or cleaning silk were no longer permitted, and the processes involved in inquisition proceedings were documented in protocols. Some elements of the inquisition procedure thus represent a modernization compared to the accusation procedure.


In contrast to older religions, Christianity , as a monotheistic revelation religion, represented a universal claim to truth and exclusivity and, as the state religion of the Roman Empire, was embedded in the state structure. The idea of ​​the unity of the state was thus combined with the idea of ​​the unity of the church, whereby “deviants” were now also suspected of questioning Roman sovereignty. Heresy became an act of "public insurrection," whose followers were persecuted and punished as heretics .

Persecution of Heretics in the Early Church

Icon: First Synod of Nicaea under Emperor Constantine (325). The text shown is not the Confession of Nicaea (325), but liturgical, based on the revision of the First Synod of Constantinople (381).

Already in the 2nd and 3rd centuries there was a certain consensus in Christianity about what the general Christian teaching was, what could be accepted as a variant and what was to be regarded as teaching of a fringe group, cf. Irenaeus of Lyon . Nevertheless, at all times there have been groups who for their part took the view that they were the only real Christians ( Marcion , Montanism ). Some of these Christian communities were also close to other religions ( Gnosis , Manichaeism ). In the early Church, only bishops could take action against heretics at first .

At the beginning of the 4th century, the Roman emperor decided to move his capital to Byzantium, Greece . In order to enforce this and to consolidate the cohesion of the empire, Constantine the Great invited around 300 elected bishops of the almost exclusively Greek Christian communities of the empire to the First Ecumenical Synod in nearby Nicaea at his own expense . There he placed the bishops present under his leadership and ensured that they put an end to their disputes, agreed on a common creed and achieved through this "nationalization" of Christianity its equality with the old religions of the empire. In this way, from now on, Constantine established the connection between secular power and the statutes of faith adopted by the synods in the person of the Roman Augustus.

He imposed an exile against Arius because he saw in his teachings a danger for the unity of Christianity and its function for the unity of the empire. For similar reasons, he and his successors also banished Athanasius and numerous other bishops in the fourth century . Later, "false teachers" were prosecuted under imperial law due to an edict of Emperor Theodosius I from the year 380. In the far west of the empire in Trier in 385, the prosecution against Priscillian escalated to the point of the first recorded execution of a heretic. It was achieved through the intrigues of his internal church enemies there. The massive protest of Martin von Tours against the death sentence and against the bishops involved shows how controversial the abuse of state power was in this church process .

Heretic persecution before the Inquisition

Persecution of heretics, expulsions and executions in France, Germany and Italy have existed since the turn of the millennium, both by secular rulers and by local ecclesiastical authorities, but not as part of the Inquisition proceedings , for example 1004 in Champagne , 1022 in Orléans or 1135 in Liege . More important persecuted personalities before the inquisition began included Petrus Abelardus (accused of heresy in 1141), Heinrich von Lausanne (persecuted until approx. 1145), Arnold von Brescia (executed in 1155) or the father of the pre-Reformation Waldensian movement Petrus Valdes (expelled approx . 1183).

Heretics were initially attacked by ad hoc reports. At the Council of Tours , Pope Alexander III emphasized . a need for temporal penalties against dissenters.

middle Ages

The former Cathar stronghold of Carcassonne
Dominic , Legate of Innocent III. against the Cathars and founders of the Dominican order, which has been effective against heretics from the very beginning (painting by Claudio Coello , 17th century)

History of origin

The cause for the emergence of a church-organized fight against heretics is the emergence of several Christian lay movements at the end of the 12th century, which the church regarded as heresies, above all the Cathars , but also the Waldensians or the Humiliates . There had never been such a large number of heretics in the West until then.

The emergence and development process of the Inquisition as a church reaction to this social phenomenon can only be limited roughly in time. The decisions of the Third Lateran Council (1179) and the papal decree Ad extirpanda (1252) are often seen as the beginning and end of development .

First convictions and the episcopal inquisition

Pope Alexander III (1159–1181) convened in 1179 the Third Lateran Council . Section 27 of the Council's resolutions constitutes the first strict decree against heretics, specifically directed against the Cathars: They and everyone who defended or accepted them should henceforth be considered excommunicated . Their goods should be confiscated and a church burial withheld from them.

Pope Lucius III (1181–1185) issued the bull Ad Abolendam after the Council of Verona in 1184 in collaboration with Friedrich Barbarossa . The circle of groups branded as heretical has now been expanded: The Cathars , the Waldensians , the Humiliates , the Arnoldists and the Josephines are mentioned by name . It was also decided that those who preach as laypeople should be excommunicated . Anyone who did not obey the ban on lay preaching - the Church saw the right to preach only for its priests - should be handed over to secular jurisdiction for condemnation. It was also determined that in the future all bishops of each diocese would visit their parishes two to three times a year to look for heretics. Since the responsibility for the persecution of heretics was now transferred to the bishops, one speaks of the episcopal inquisition from this early point in the history of the origins of the Inquisition .

Establishment of the procedure with secular assistance

Heretic cremation in the late Middle Ages

Pope Innocent III (1198–1216), in his decretals Vergentis in senium , written in 1199, equated the crime of heresy with that of lese majesty . In 1206 he sent a group of Cistercian monks to the south of France, including Pierre de Castelnau , Diego de Acebo and the young Dominic , in order to win the Cathars back to the Church by means of preaching and conversation. But because neither these measures nor the ecclesiastical prohibitions led to the desired success, in 1209 he called for a crusade against the Cathars (see: Albigensian Crusade ). From 1212 he began to develop the inquisitio as a new form of procedure (see: Inquisition procedure ). At the Fourth Lateran Council , which met under his chairmanship in 1215, the heretics were not only once again excommunicated, but for the first time a binding creed was issued for all Catholics so that there would be clarity about the right faith in the "future" (= future).

The church was able to pronounce judgments on heretics through the inquisition procedure, but had no blood jurisdiction , but was dependent on the support of the "secular arm" for this. With the edict of Emperor Frederick II Cum ad conservandum in 1224, the highest secular authority established it as its divinely given duty to protect the faith against heretics and to burn convicted heretics at the stake or to punish them in some other way (cutting out the tongue) . In a further edict of 1232, heretics were sentenced to permanent infamy with the loss of their property and their rights if they could not receive church absolution within one year , and the secular incumbents were obliged by oath and under threat of losing their official authority, "to exterminate" the heretics designated by the church and to enforce the imperial legal measures against them.

Papal Inquisition and the Introduction of Torture

Autodafé chaired by St. Dominic (fantasy painting by Pedro Berruguete , around 1495)

Pope Gregory IX (1227–1241) for the first time embarked on a new path in the fight against heretics: instead of the bishops who were actually responsible for this and who only inadequately fulfilled their task, he appointed his own special commissioners as inquisitors in 1227 to search for heretics in Germany, including Konrad von Marburg . This procedure, in which it is not the bishops but the Holy See itself that becomes active, is also known as the papal inquisition . As a result, Gregory IX gave birth. the bishops from the obligation to investigate and in future mainly commissioned Dominicans to prosecute heretics, even if many later inquisitors were members of other orders or of the secular clergy . Gregory IX appointed a particularly large number of inquisitors. in the years 1231–1233. At this time, a number of similar letters from the Pope, all with the incipit Ille humani generis , were sent to several Dominican convents in Germany, France and Austria with the task of persecuting heretics. Bishops could also continue to act as an inquisitor on their own initiative. The reason for the use of the Dominicans in particular as inquisitors was that this mendicant order had become active early on in the theological fight against heretics and had correspondingly good experience.

The 1229 after the end of the Albigensian Crusade under Gregory IX. The Synod of Toulouse that was in session again tightened the provisions against heretics and stipulated strict measures for the ecclesiastical province of Toulouse, in which the Cathars had previously been strongly represented: The secret refuge of the heretics was to be tracked down and discovered heretics should be imprisoned, including the means of clandestine denunciation should be used. Anyone who hid a heretic was threatened with the loss of property or even death. Any house in which a heretic is found should be torn down. Anyone who socialized with a heretic - even if it was only in a pub - or gave him alms or was married to him, was just as suspicious. The person who did not appear at a summons or who had fugitive was considered guilty without further ado. Anyone who appeared was incarcerated. In addition, a dense network of visitations was arranged for the territory of the ecclesiastical province , as would later become characteristic of the Inquisition.

1231 put Pope Gregory IX. In a new edict, the criminal law provisions for the persecution of heretics are established.

Pope Innocent IV. Approved in his adopted 1252 decretal Ad extirpanda the torture to establish the truth in Inquisition processes with the formal qualification that the person concerned no permanent physical damage could be inflicted.

Regional history

The medieval Inquisition was active to varying degrees in different regions of southern and central Europe. The following illustration provides an overview of the main inquisition cases and is based on the current state territories:


The Waldensian monument in Steyr : In 1397, under Petrus Zwicker , who was active in Germany and Austria, around a hundred Waldensians were executed there.
Joan of Arc being questioned by the Cardinal of Winchester (painting by Paul Delaroche , 1824)
The execution of Templars in a medieval chronicle
The Martyrdom of Peter of Verona (painting by Giovanni Bellini )
Jan Hus at the stake, Spiezer Chronicle (1485)

One of the first inquisitors with a direct papal mandate to track down heretics was Konrad von Marburg . He was looking for alleged Luciferians - a sect that Pope Gregory IX. Described in his letter Vox in Rama - pronounced numerous executions and was murdered in 1233. Against the opposition of some princes, Frederick II had to issue ordinances for the execution of the blood court , which Charles IV had to protect through further mandates. In the diocese of Regensburg were since 1262 by Dominikanerinquisitoren Waldensian pursued. Augsburg was ravaged by the Inquisition in 1393. In Nuremberg several times inquisition courts were held in the 14th century, namely 1332-1333, 1354, 1378, 1379, 1399 and 1418, with Waldensians among others being tracked down. Under Pope Clement VI. Johann Schadland was appointed Grand Inquisitor for Germany in 1348 . He held this office until 1364. Pope Urban V sent two Dominican monks to Germany as inquisitors in 1367 , of whom Walter Kerlinger , who primarily led trials against beguines and begarians , proved to be particularly cruel. In Strasbourg in the years 1317-1319, 1368/69 and 1374 inquisitions against Beguines were held. The inquisitor Martin of Prague persecuted the Waldensians in Bavaria in 1380, in Würzburg and Erfurt in 1391 and in Nuremberg in 1399. Between 1391 and 1403 numerous Waldensians were executed under the inquisitor Petrus Zwicker in Austria , Pomerania and the Mark Brandenburg . In 1458 the Inquisition worked in Neumark and Angermünde , and Waldensians who were close to the Taborites were persecuted. Pope Innocent VIII extended the Inquisition in 1484 with the Bull Summis desiderantes affectibus . In this so-called witch bull, which the zealous inquisitor Heinrich Kramer had designed, Innocent VIII solemnly described the witchcraft as something real. Heinrich Kramer published a description of the inquisition process in the Hexenhammer (malleus maleficarum) in 1486 . He named the inquisitor Jakob Sprenger as a co-author of the work, although this - according to the thesis of some historians - did not conform to the practices mentioned therein. With the Reformation , the heretic inquisition largely disappeared from Germany.


The first heretic persecutions before the inquisition took place in Austria under Duke Leopold VI. between 1207 and 1215, although it is very likely that they were Cathars . In 1231 Pope Gregory IX issued an appeal. to persecute heretics to the Dominican convent in Friesach . The results of this possible inquisition are unknown. In the years around 1260, on the initiative of the Passau bishop Otto von Lonsdorf, a large-scale inquisition was carried out in the southern Danube region between the Salzkammergut and the Vienna Woods . It was mainly directed against Waldensians who were discovered there in over forty communities. In 1311 the Inquisition was again active in the Austrian stronghold of the Waldensians, in Steyr , under the Passau Bishop Bernhard von Prambach , around 1315 the Inquisition took hold of the areas around Krems , St. Pölten and Vienna . Another inquisition took place in the Steyr area between approx. 1365 and 1370. Under the inquisitor Petrus Zwicker there were again severe persecutions from 1391 to 1402, among others in Steyr, Enns , Hartberg (Styria), Ödenburg (Hungary) and Vienna. In 1397, between 80 and 100 Waldensians were burned in Steyr alone, as a memorial erected there in 1997 commemorates. At the beginning of the 15th century there were still occasional heretic trials, around 1467 in Vienna against Stephan von Basel , an important member of the Bohemian Brothers . In the 1480s the witch inquisitor Heinrich Kramer worked in Innsbruck , but where he was stopped, his judgments overturned and he was expelled from the country. This was the reason for Kramer's justification, the witch's hammer .


In France , the activity of the Inquisition is to be seen in close connection with the Cathars, who are particularly well represented in southern France . After the end of the Albigensian Crusade against them, a dense network of inquisitorial investigations was laid over the diocese of Toulouse after the Council of Toulouse in 1229. In each location, detection teams should track down the followers of the heretical community. 1233 gave Pope Gregory IX. this task to the Dominicans. As a result, inquisitions were held several times, especially in southern France. In the French landscape of Lauragais (between Toulouse and Carcassonne ) in 1245/46 under the Dominicans Bernard de Caux and Jean de Saint-Paul, the most extensive investigation that had brought about the medieval Inquisition was carried out: All of the adult inhabitants of the landscape were summoned from the traditional ones Fragments of this investigation could be reconstructed 5,400 interrogations. In the middle of the 13th century France was divided into six inquisition districts and both the Dominicans and the Franciscans were entrusted with inquisitorial investigations. Important inquisitors included Robert le Bourge 1232–1244 in the Franche-Comté area or in La Charité-sur-Loire , Petrus Seila 1241/42 in the Quercy area , Jacques Fournier in the southern French county of Foix between 1318 and 1326, Bernard Gui 1307-1323 among others in Toulouse and Carcassonne. The Inquisition was instrumentalized for the purposes of the French King Philip the Fair in the destruction of the Templar Order from 1307. The heretic trial against Joan of Arc in 1431 also had political backgrounds .


The urban area of ​​northern Italy, especially Lombardy , which was dense by medieval standards , formed a good prerequisite for religious movements of all kinds. Above all, proselytized here, with partial support from local rulers, Cathars , Waldensians or humiliates . The first executions took place in Italy under the mayor of Verona , the Dominican John of Vicenza , in 1233. The by Pope Gregory IX. Legate Roland of Cremona , appointed inquisitor , was murdered in 1234. At the beginning of the 1240s, Ruggiero Calcagni and Petrus von Verona were inquisitors in Florence , who was murdered by the Cathars in 1252 and then canonized. His successor as inquisitor was the former Cathar Rainer Sacconi . Under Pope Innocent IV Italy was divided into eight inquisition provinces, Dominicans and Franciscans provided inquisitors for more intensive action against heretics. Due to political disputes between the Pope and the Emperor and the cities of Lombardy, whose self-interests were mainly represented by the influential Ezzelino da Romano , the Inquisition was hindered for a long time. After the papal allies, under the leadership of Charles of Anjou, had triumphed over the papal adversaries in the Battle of Tagliacozzo in 1268 , the way for persecuting heretics in northern Italy was clear. In 1278, 178 leading Cathars were caught in Sirmione and executed. A large number of Cathars submitted to the Inquisitor Salomone da Lucca in 1282 . Following the victory of Charles of Anjou in 1268, the Inquisition in the Kingdom of Naples began persecuting converted Jews who were suspected of having returned to their original religion. In doing so, it exerted such pressure on the Jewish communities that in the years 1290 to 1292 many Jewish communities collectively converted to Christianity. In the years around 1300 the Inquisition was active in Bologna , also against Cathars. Between 1312 and 1395 a total of 13 inquisitors took action against Waldensians in the diocese of Turin . In the 13th and 14th centuries, Joachimites , Fraticelles and Brothers of the Apostles were persecuted in Italy . For the history of the Inquisition in Venice in the Middle Ages and modern times, see below .

Czech Republic

Hustaler , medal around 1717 to commemorate the death of the Bohemian reformer Jahn Hus

As early as 1257, at the request of Ottokar II, Pope Alexander IV appointed two Franciscans as inquisitors for Bohemia . In 1315 14 heretics were burned in Prague with the participation of the local bishop, in 1318 a number of inquisitors were appointed for Bohemia, including the Dominican Colda , who temporarily interdicts in Prague . A larger wave of heretic persecution took place in South Bohemia between 1335 and 1353/55 under the inquisitor Gallus von Neuhaus . Most of the heretics persecuted by the Inquisition were Waldensians , possibly also Beguines and Begarians . The followers of these heresies in Bohemia were mainly German speakers. The Inquisition remained active in Bohemia as well as in Moravia until the Hussite "revolution" . The instrument of the inquisition could hardly be used effectively against the Hussites and their successor organizations, who were named after Jan Hus , who was burned as a heretic in Constance in 1415 . Pope Martin V launched his own crusade here in March 1420 (see: Hussite Wars ). Nicolas Jacquier also worked as an inquisitor in Bohemia between 1466 and 1468.

Goals, organization and financing

The Pope and the Inquisitor (painting by Jean Paul Laurens , 1882)

According to the Church's understanding, the main goal of the Inquisition was to keep the faith pure. Heretics were to be dissuaded from their path in order to also lead their souls to "eternal salvation". The inquisition trials should first and foremost lead to repentance and penance among heretics; where all means were useless, however, disbelief should also be physically destroyed. Religious tolerance in the modern sense did not exist in the Middle Ages, neither on the Catholic side nor on the side of the heretical groups.

The medieval inquisition had no higher authority, unlike the modern inquisition in Spain, Italy or Portugal. It was “not a super-institution based on the modern totalitarian model”. Inquisition orders were given by the Pope to bishops, legates or orders, who in turn were active to varying degrees. Sometimes bishops or orders (primarily Dominicans and Franciscans) initiated inquisitions of their own accord, or they took place at the suggestion of a secular ruler, whereby in the latter case political interests (e.g. in the case of the trial against the Templars ) could play a role . The degree of organization of inquisitions varied. In the 13th century France and Italy were divided into Inquisition districts; in the South of France the Inquisition had its own houses and archives and had a large staff. In contrast, the Inquisition of Conrad von Marburg in Germany had a disorderly and, moreover, very arbitrary character . Inquisition provinces of their own were never established there either. Sometimes there were also conflicts of competence between papal legates and local bishops.

In order to be able to pass on knowledge about the procedure against heretics, several inquisitors created their own manuals, for example the Ordo processus narbonensis written by Wilhelmus Raimundi and Petrus Durandi in 1244 , Bernard Guis between 1309 and 1325 written Practica inquisitionis haereticae pravitatis , the 1376 by Nicolaus Eymerich written Directorium inquisitorum or, last but not least, Heinrich Kramer's Hexenhammer (1486) aimed at the destruction of witchcraft .

Inquisition trials, like other medieval criminal trials, were financed from the assets of the convicted. In the bull Ad extirpanda 1252 it was stipulated that thirds of the property that was taken in through confiscations and fines should go to the township, the officials involved in the investigation and the local bishop or the inquisition commission.


In order for a heretic inquisition to take place in an area, certain prerequisites were necessary:

  1. The presence of a significant number of heretics.
  2. The action of a competent church office to combat it (local bishop, individual papal legates or entrusted orders).
  3. The support of the project by secular rulers for the provision of executive staff and prisons.

Thereafter, the Inquisition usually proceeded according to a similar pattern: First, clergymen, usually monks, were sent to the villages of the target area, who preached there publicly, warning of heresy, announcing the impending investigation and threatening punishment. After that, a fixed date was set for possible witnesses to appear at the Inquisitor to reveal their knowledge of heretics. The inquisitor and his staff (clerical assessors, clerks, notaries, guards) either came to the affected location or acted from a nearby and safer central location, such as a monastery, where witnesses and accused were summoned. The statements of the witnesses were put in writing, their names were later kept secret from the accused. If inquisitorial investigations had already been carried out in the Inquisition area in earlier years, the Inquisition Commission could, if necessary, fall back on an archive with older statements, compare them with the newer ones and thus quickly uncover contradicting statements. After these initial inquiries, the defendants were questioned. In other cases, the entire population of legal age in an area was questioned without distinction before the Inquisition Tribunal, such as in 1245/46 in Lauragais, France . All statements before an inquisition court were recorded and notarized in the presence of at least one inquisitor and two witnesses. Pre-prepared interrogation protocols could be used to speed up negotiations and filter the statements according to relevance. From the middle of the 13th century it became customary to grant confessors a grace period (tempus gratiae) , within which a reduction or exemption from punishment could be expected. Suspects could be questioned both in groups and individually. In any case, the latter was the case when someone did not confess voluntarily. Suspects were usually left at large, but detention could also be ordered in the case of more serious suspicions. The judgments were also put down in writing after different lengths of proceedings and then announced.

Interrogation practice

Various means have been used to obtain confessions during interrogation in serious suspected cases. The severity of their severity varied, and their use was a matter of choice for the inquisitors. The amicable conversation, the confrontation with testimony or the recourse to older file notes could already achieve success. In "persistent cases" (from the perspective of the Inquisition), imprisonment could wear down the defendant. Finally, torture could also be threatened and used if necessary.

In the 13th century, torture was increasingly used as a possible means of interrogation in both ecclesiastical and secular criminal proceedings. It can therefore not be seen as a peculiarity of the heretic inquisition.

Since the papal decree Ad extirpanda from 1252, the embarrassing questioning could be used to establish the truth during the church inquisition proceedings , provided that no permanent physical harm was inflicted on the person in question. In 1254 the inquisitors were allowed to supervise torture interrogations under Pope Alexander IV . In this context, inquisitors were allowed to give one another absolution for their actions .

The threat of torture alone could evoke confessions to defendants. The actual use of torture varied and depended on the particular inquisitor. It has been proven that it was not used during the Inquisition of Jacques Fournier in the southern French county of Foix between 1318 and 1326. During Petrus Zwicker's activity as an inquisitor in Stettin in 1392, however, its use could be proven.


Heretic cross as a visible punishment for heretics

Heretics who renounced their heresy prior to the Inquisition received absolution and usually faced light penalties intended as penance. This included the mostly temporary wearing of mostly yellow or blue heretic crosses sewn onto the robe , house arrest (except for attending church services), fines or the obligation to pray for penance or pilgrimages . In the case of "relapsing" heretics or particularly serious cases, imprisonment or, ultimately, the death penalty by burning could be ordered.

Death at the stake had already been threatened in pre-Christian times under the Roman emperor Diocletian of the religious community of the Manicheans . The anti-heretic law of Emperor Frederick II from the year 1224, which already provided for death by fire in severe cases of heresy, was passed in 1231 by Pope Gregory IX. adopted for the church sector. The formulation for the death penalty was usually that the person concerned should be handed over to "the secular arm": The Inquisition was able to pronounce death sentences, but it was up to the secular rulers to carry them out (see: Ecclesia non sitit sanguinem ), who practically always implemented these sentences . The actual extent of the death penalty varied, as the following examples show:

  • Under the Dominican inquisitor Petrus Seila, who was active in the Quercy area (FR) in 1241/42 , only the wearing of heretic crosses, the going on pilgrimages and services for the poor were decreed in around 600 judgments. The heaviest punishment was pilgrimages to Constantinople. In contrast, there are neither prison nor death sentences in the judgments.
  • Among the 207 judgments handed down by the inquisitors Bernard de Caux and Jean de Saint-Paul in Lauragais (FR) 1245/46 there are no death sentences either, but 23 prison sentences, the rest of them were for the most part ordered to wear yellow penance crosses.
  • In the total of 930 judgments passed by Bernard Guis in the area of ​​Toulouse and Carcassonne (1307-1323) against heretics, 42 executions were pronounced, 307 judgments were for permanent imprisonment. All other punishments consisted of different penalties. One third of the convicts were ordered to wear penitential crosses sewn onto their robes.
  • During his work as an inquisitor in Steyr (Austria), Petrus Zwicker sentenced 80-100 people to death in 1397 among over a thousand interrogated people. In addition, penances or the wearing of blue heretic crosses were ordered.

A reliable and scientifically proven estimate of the total number of fatalities of the medieval Inquisition is not possible, as the sources are insufficient. Although many waves of persecution are known, only a few of them contain information on judgments.


There was resistance in many places against the Inquisition, which could be directed against inquisitors as well as against the simple clergy. Since a great deal was at stake for heretics in the face of an inquisitorial investigation (freedom, wealth, life), there was no shrinking from assassinations. Here are some examples:

Modern times

On the threshold of the early modern period , the face of the Inquisition began to change. With Protestantism , the church was confronted with a completely new kind of religious contradiction due to its dimensions, for which the conventional concept of heresy was no longer sufficient. Such problems could hardly be brought under control with the means of the Inquisition. Although the medieval Inquisition was still active against the Reformation in the 16th century , the successes were moderate. The agendas of the persecution of heretics were increasingly taken over by state organs. In France, the ecclesiastical judicial competences were curtailed, the royal jurisdiction took over the jurisdiction over heretic questions in the 16th century.

The Inquisition was reorganized in three domains. In this way, the emergence of three regional acting organizations: for the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon established Spanish Inquisition after the model for Portugal created Portuguese Inquisition and in the sphere of influence of the Papal States acting Roman Inquisition . Tribunals were also set up for the overseas territories of the Spanish and Portuguese kings.

Spanish inquisition

Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile
Representation of the Inquisition Tribunal by Goya
Autodafé in Plaza Mayor in Madrid (painting from 1683)

The Spanish Inquisition was a state institution in the hands of the monarchs. The Roman Curia had only a very limited influence on its activities. With the papal bull Exigit sincerae devotionis issued by Pope Sixtus IV on November 1, 1478 , the Catholic kings were given the authority to appoint three inquisitors in Castile and did so for the first time in September 1480 when they appointed two inquisitors and an adviser in Castile. Although there were already papal inquisition courts in Aragón, King Ferdinand II got the Pope to set up a state inquisition there too. In 1488 a separate council for the Inquisition was established in Spain, the Consejo de la Suprema y General Inquisición . Inquisitor General Tomás de Torquemada became the first chairman of this council . This council, or Suprema for short , formed the cornerstone for the Spanish Inquisition, which developed into its own state authority.

Conversos were people who converted from Judaism to Christianity . They were often suspected of continuing to follow their old religion despite being baptized. In the early days of its existence, the main task of the Spanish Inquisition was to track down these people and lead them back to the right faith or punish them. According to older reports, between 1478 and 1530, ninety percent of the defendants were converts to Christianity who allegedly held onto their previous beliefs. Later, the judgment of Moriscos , Christians who converted from Islam to Christianity, became more meaningful. In the 17th century, Protestantism was another heresy negotiated before the inquisition tribunals.

Only persons with a completed theological or legal training could officiate as inquisitors. In the "Instrucciones", the initially individually published letters of the Suprema, and later in the "Compilaciones", the collections of instructions for the inquisitors, the procedure of the inquisition tribunals was precisely defined. If there were sufficient suspicions of heresy after a complaint , the suspect was arrested and his assets were initially confiscated. The inquisitors were supposed to solve the case by interrogating the accused and witnesses. The defendants were not told who had reported them or of what crime they were suspected of. As in other trials, torture could be used as a "truth-finding" tool. The judgments of the tribunals were announced publicly at a celebratory car dairy. The punishments ranged from fines and flogging to jail and galley punishment . Unrepentant or repeat offenders could be handed over to the secular arm of the criminal justice system, which then carried out the death penalty by burning. This happened in about two percent of the cases. A conviction was also possible in the absence or after the death of the convicted person. If convicted in absentia, a straw doll was burned. If someone was convicted after their death, the body was excavated and burned.

The Dane Gustav Henningsen was the first to use the data of regional historical research to present a database of all cases of the Spanish Inquisition between 1540 and 1700, which provide an approximate picture of the distribution of judgments: Of the 44,647 known trials that were conducted by the Spanish Inquisition , 1.8 percent led to death sentences (826 people) and a further 1.7 percent (778 people) to "incineration in effigy ", since the accused were of unknown residence. A total number of lawsuits or fatalities cannot be determined because not all cases have been recorded. Estimates of the fatalities of the Spanish Inquisition for the period 1481–1530 alone therefore vary between 1,500 and 12,000.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the Spanish Inquisition was abolished by both the government of King Joseph Bonaparte and the Cortes of Cádiz . It was reintroduced when King Ferdinand VII was reinstated. On July 31, 1826, there was a final death sentence from the Spanish Inquisition in Valencia. On July 15, 1834, the Spanish Inquisition was abolished after 356 years of existence under Isabella II .

Portuguese Inquisition

The Inquisition in Portugal (engraving from 1685)

Since 1515, King Manuel I tried to obtain approval from the Pope for the establishment of an inquisition authority in Portugal . In 1536 were finally with the permission of Pope Paul III. appointed three inquisitors for Portugal and granted the king the right to appoint a fourth. The Portuguese Inquisition Council was called the Conselho general . In motherland Portugal, three inquisition tribunals were finally set up in Coimbra , Lisbon and Évora , and a tribunal responsible for Asia was established in Goa in 1560 . The Portuguese Inquisition concentrated primarily on Jewish converts (so-called conversos ), and overseas mainly on seafarers of foreign faith. For the history of the Inquisition in Goa see below .

See also: Marranen"Cristãos novos" in Portugal (introduction of the Inquisition)

Roman inquisition

Relief: Giordano Bruno in front of the Inquisition Commission

The foundation of the Roman Inquisition ( Sacra Congregatio Romanae et universalis Inquisitionis or Congregatio Sancti Officii ) was through the Bulle Licet ab initio Pope Paul III. initiated on July 4, 1542. For this purpose, a competent college of six cardinals was appointed in the same year , who, as inquisitors general, were equipped with special rights, among other things, for the appointment of further inquisitors. Their competencies were expanded even further in the 16th century. The Roman Inquisition focused primarily on preventing the advance of Protestantism into Italy. In addition to the physical persecution of suspects, which came about to a much lesser extent than the Spanish Inquisition, the Roman Inquisition mainly took action against printed works that conveyed Reformation ideas. For this purpose, a separate index for forbidden books was created, the Index Librorum Prohibitorum . The most famous people condemned by the Roman Inquisition are Giordano Bruno (1600) and Galileo Galilei (1633).

Compared to all other previous forms of the Inquisition, the sentence was relatively moderate and ranged from church attendance to pilgrimages , wearing heretic crosses (see: Schandmal ), prison (usually "life sentence ", but this already led to a release after three years, if the prisoner showed repentance) and, if the accused refused to renounce, up to the execution (burning on the stake) by the secular authorities. In some cases, if the accused died before the trial could begin, the dead person or his remains could be exhumed and cremated. Execution or imprisonment for life has always involved the confiscation of the condemned's property. The sequence of the inquisition proceedings of the Roman Inquisition did not differ significantly from that of the medieval Inquisition.

With the annexation of the Papal States by Napoleon in 1798, the Roman Inquisition was abolished. Although it was reinstated in 1814, it had a completely different character in the 19th century, as it no longer had executive means and was now limited to the power of the word. Today it is often called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for short .

Inquisition against Protestants

The papal bull of Paul III. Licet ab initio of July 4, 1542 is not only considered the founding document for the Roman Inquisition ( see above ), but also represents an attempt by the Pope to combat Protestantism with the inquisition as an instrument that was sometimes quite successful in the Middle Ages. Inquisitor Jakob van Hoogstraten († 1527) persecuted Protestants in Germany. His counterpart Peter Titelmans negotiated around 1,400 heresy cases against Protestants in Flanders from 1548 to 1566. But since the Council of Trent , the Roman Catholic Church has tried to advance the Counter-Reformation with diplomacy, missionary work and the use of state repression.

Inquisition and witch hunt

The widespread assumption, especially in the 15th-18th centuries The persecution of witches carried out in the 19th century was mainly due to the Church Inquisition, which is historically incorrect. The vast majority of witch trials were tried in secular courts. According to Arnold Angenendt , the Inquisition passed only 97 death sentences in its 317 years. There are parallels in the conduct of the negotiations, however, insofar as secular court tribunals for the persecution of witches also made use of the legal instrument of the inquisition process, including torture. Although the Inquisition's share in the witch hunt is small overall, it was not uninvolved in it.

Cover of the 7th Cologne edition of the Witches' Hammer (1520)

A connection between heresy and witchcraft was established again and again by the church: Heresy was sometimes seen as a work of Satan , the heretics working “in his service” could be clichéd all sorts of diabolical practices, including magic . An example of this is provided by the letter Vox in Rama from the year 1233 written by Pope Gregory IX, in whose service the inquisitor Konrad von Marburg was looking for Luciferians in Germany. The trial and execution of two women, one of them, belongs in this context Adoration of the Madonna Oriente in the upper class of Milan claimed. At the Council of Basel (1431–1449), a supposed witch sect was discussed that had been uncovered at the same time on Lake Geneva . Starting from this case, the ecclesiastical inquisition took up the subject. In 1484 Pope Innocent VIII officially confirmed the existence of witchcraft in his bull Summis desiderantes affectibus . In the last decades of the 15th century, Dominican inquisitors actually persecuted witches. The most famous church witch hunter was Heinrich Kramer (1430–1505), who led witch trials in Alsace, the Upper Rhine and the Lake Constance area at the beginning of the 1480s and after a clear rejection in Innsbruck in 1486 published the witch's hammer as a justification, which was preceded by the above bull . Since the church punished “repentant first offenders” in particular only mildly and the defendants had a much greater chance of survival before a church court than before a civil court, Kramer aimed to transfer the witchcraft trials from the Inquisition to secular courts.

After Kramer's death in 1505, the Inquisition de facto ceased to exist in the German Empire . The great witch hunts in Germany did not take place until decades later (especially in the 1580s and 1620s), so the role of the Inquisition in the witch hunt in Germany is minor.

The inquisition authorities of the early modern period acted quite cautiously to rejecting the contemporary witchcraft panic. In the 16th century the Spanish Inquisition only occasionally prosecuted witches and sorcerers (in contrast to the royal courts that were acting at the same time). Only individual cases in this regard are known of the Roman Inquisition .

The witchcraft suspects, against whom a trial was brought before a church court, had the opportunity, analogous to a heresy trial, to evade harsher punishments through renunciation and penance. This possibility did not exist in worldly processes.

Text legitimations

The Inquisition always referred both to biblical passages, especially to the New Testament , and to church fathers in a medieval interpretation, including Augustine of Hippo , one of the most influential theologians and philosophers of Christian late antiquity, who held the view that heretics could and should be returned to the bosom of the Church by force.

New Testament

The New Testament contains a number of biblical sentences that could be interpreted by the church for dealing with heretics:

The excommunication of a deviator was tantamount to handing him over to Satan : “In the name of Jesus our Lord we want to gather together, you and my spirit, and together with the power of Jesus our Lord, hand these people over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord ”( 1 Cor 5,5  LUT ). Correspondingly, the sentence of the apostle Paul could also be understood, who said that "those who suffered shipwreck in faith [...] handed over to Satan so that they could be disciplined and no longer blaspheme" ( 1 Tim 1:20  LUT ). Not so much the idea of ​​punishment as of isolation is reflected in Paul's view when he means: "Avoid a heretical person if he is admonished once and again" ( Tit 3,10  LUT ).

In the Gospel of John Jesus says to the fallen in the parable: "Whoever does not remain in me will be thrown away like a branch and wither and they will be gathered and thrown into the fire and they must burn" ( Jn 15 :LUT ). The burning of persistent heretics at the stake as a death sentence can be derived from this parable . Elsewhere, in another parable, a servant is urged by his master to take a coercive measure: "Go out onto the highways and to the fences and force them to come in, that my house may be full" ( Lk 14:23  ESV ).


Saint Augustine and the Devil (winged altar scene, ca.1430)

In the early 5th century, Bishop Augustine of Hippo led a dispute in Africa with the Donatist denomination , which had broken away from the Roman Church. In several works he called for either moderate severity or measures of secular power up to the death penalty towards heretics, even if he did not see the latter as desirable: Corrigi eos volumus, non necari, nec disciplinam circa eos negligi volumus, nec suppliciis quibus digni sunt exerceri ( Ep. C, n. 1): “We would like them to be improved, not killed; we want church discipline to triumph, not the death they deserve. "

Thomas Aquinas

The eminent theologian Thomas Aquinas provided the theoretical foundation for the medieval Inquisition. In his Summa theologica , he called for excommunication and the death penalty for heretics . From him comes the sentence: " Accipere fidem est voluntatis, sed tenere fidem iam acceptam est necessitatis (the acceptance of faith is voluntary, but it is necessary to maintain the accepted faith)."

Local history

In the following, the story of the Inquisition is presented at different individual locations.

Inquisition in Goa

The Portuguese King John III. has been campaigning for the missionary work of India since 1540 , which started in Goa . In order to preserve the purity of faith, the Jesuit asked Francisco de Xavier in 1545 to send the Inquisition to Goa.

Some of the victims were also newly converted Portuguese who had emigrated to Goa after the introduction of the Inquisition in Portugal. One of the most prominent was the pioneer of tropical medicine and personal physician to several governors Garcia de Orta . He was posthumously sentenced for secretly practicing the Jewish faith. His bones were burned publicly in 1580.

By Charles Dallon the "Inquisition of Goa" in a book of 1688 is described in more detail that processes were partly made out of greed:

The small boxes / in which the bones were locked / so died / and which were tried before or after their death during their imprisonment / so that one would like to get their goods to be confiscated / were also painted black and painted with devils and flames.

The Goa prison is described as "a dark (...) terrible place". The Inquisition in Goa was temporarily ended in 1774 by the Portuguese minister Marquês de Pombal . It was reintroduced after the fall of Pombal. The Inquisition was not finally abolished until 1812.

Inquisition in Venice

As a result of its historical special position in Italy, the religious jurisdiction of the Church in Venice was dependent on the approval of the Doge until 1797 and was subject to special supervision by the Venetian authorities. However, this special position did not apply to the Venetian mainland areas, the Terraferma , but Venetian authorities often urged to be more lenient here too.

As everywhere in Venice, it was first of all a matter for the bishops to pursue deviations from correct faith. The religious jurisdiction could only be active in Venice with the approval of the Doge, which was necessary for each individual case. In the Doge's promission of 1249, the persecution of heretics was recognized under the restrictive condition that both the initiation of proceedings by the bishop or patriarch and the judgment were dependent on the approval of the Doge, the Small Council and the Grand Council. It was only after lengthy negotiations that the curia reached on August 28, 1289 that the ecclesiastical inquisition tribunal in Venice consists of the nuncio , the bishop and another clergyman, and that the latter two were not allowed to exercise this office without confirmation from the doge. The same applied to the Venetian possessions outside the city. Every proceeding required the express consent of the Doge, and the overseers appointed by him (Savi contro l'Ecclesia) had the purity of faith to reconcile the protection of Venetian property and the rights of the government. They had the option to stay a trial or receive a verdict. If they weren't present at a trial, it was void. Religious jurisdiction was withdrawn from the patriarch on September 20, 1335 at the latest, and a blasphemy magistrate (Sapientes haeresiarum) was elected by the Great Council .

Venice often opposed the ecclesiastical inquisition, did not extradite the accused or refused to enforce judgments. There are numerous examples that "the Venetian authorities [...] as a rule did not oppose action by church authorities against persons suspected of being heretics", but "intervened delaying and mitigating the course of the proceedings".

Venice's great tolerance in questions of faith becomes particularly clear when dealing with Protestantism . In 1521 the ban bull Decet Romanum Pontificem was read out to Pope Leo X for Easter , but the Magistrato sopra i monasteri appointed in the same year served more to monitor the monasteries than that of the heretics . When two Padre Inquisitori wanted to organize witch hunts in the Venetian Valcamonica in the same year , it was ordered that these were to be monitored by two Dottori laici , that the torture was not to be used and that the results of the proceedings were to be submitted to the Venetian retrofit of Brescia for review: “Man must take into account that those poor people of Valcamonica are simple people with little understanding and that they need preachers with good instruction in the Catholic faith rather than persecutors. ”The request of Emperor Charles V in 1530 to persecute Protestantism rejected Venice returned with the reference to its freedom. In response to the 1545 demand from Rome that the heretical books should be delivered within eight days, it was replied that it was up to the secular and not the ecclesiastical authorities to decide which scriptures should be banned. On April 22, 1547, however, the Doge Francesco Donà declared by decree the effectiveness of the ecclesiastical inquisition in Venice, and in the following year incriminated books were burned at stake. In 1549 the Nuncio Giovanni Della Casa published a catalog of forbidden books. He was violently feuded. The decision of the Council of Ten of November 1550 that a state representative must always be present at the courts of faith seems like an answer to this, at least that was understood in Rome. The papal bull from the year 1551 directed against this determination of the Council of Ten was completely ineffective. When the Nuncio, Bishop Berlingherio Gessi of Rimini , complained in 1607 that Protestants were gathering in certain taverns, the Doge replied that they were there to relax, and some senators had laughed at it.

In the 16th century, 803 and in the 17th century 125 inquisition proceedings against Lutherans were conducted in Venice, ie around 8-13 per year. 14 death sentences by drowning were pronounced in Venice against heretics and four death sentences against Venetians in Rome, including Giordano Bruno .

After the forced dissolution of the Republic of Venice , Napoléon set up a conscience police in 1797 to research the political ideas of the Venetians, their customs and preferences. However, the required report was never completed. Napoléon, who ostensibly wanted to free the Venetians from aristocratic and clerical tyranny, had books confiscated by the so-called Padri Inquisitori burned on April 29, 1807 .

The ecclesiastical religious jurisdiction should not be confused with the Venetian State Inquisition , which is defamed as a bloodthirsty monster, especially in French depictions.


Official end of the Inquisition

In 1908, the Roman Inquisition as the organ of the Vatican was renamed by Pius X to Sacra congregatio Romanae et universalis Inquisitionis seu Sancti Officii, or Sanctum Officium for short . This congregation became the supervisory body of the local inquisitions. The Pope himself had the title of prefect , but did not perform any activity. Instead, he appointed a cardinal as secretary. The last secretary of the Sanctum Officium was the church lawyer and Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, feared by some theologians during his term in office (from November 7, 1959) . Pope Paul VI restructured this dicastery as part of a curia reform in 1965 . It lost its special position as the highest congregation ( Latin suprema congregatio ) and was renamed the “ Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ” (= doctrina fidei ) (abbreviation CDF). Since then the prefect is no longer the pope himself, but - as with all other congregations - a curia cardinal , first Ottaviani, and from January 1968 to November 1981 the Croatian Franjo Šeper . The third prefect was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 2005-2013 Pope Benedict XVI. who after his election appointed the Californian Archbishop William Levada as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The congregation today consists of 25 members (cardinals, archbishops and bishops from 14 nations). In addition, there are 38 employees and 28 consultors (advisors, usually theology professors from various fields). On July 2, 2012, Pope Benedict Levadas accepted his resignation due to reasons of age and appointed Gerhard Ludwig Müller Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the Pontifical Biblical Commission and the International Theological Commission.

Dominicans and Inquisition Today

In 2000 the provincial chapter of the Dominican Province of Teutonia, which also included inquisitors such as Heinrich Institoris, issued the following statement:

“German Dominicans were not only involved in the Inquisition, they also participated actively and extensively in it. Participation in episcopal inquisitions and the Roman inquisition is historically secured. Regardless of the perhaps sometimes understandable historical reasons for participating, we now recognize the devastating consequences of our brothers' actions. We feel this is a dark and depressing chapter in our history. This also applies to the proven involvement of the German Dominican Heinrich Institoris in the witch hunt. By writing the ' Witch's Hammer' (Malleus Maleficarum) he supported and promoted the inhumane practice of witch hunt. Torture, mutilation and killing have brought endless suffering to countless people; German Dominicans, along with others, created the conditions for this. The story of these victims - nameless and forgotten - we cannot undo. Making amends is impossible. We have an obligation to remember. We know that the spirit of the inquisition and the persecution of witches - discrimination, exclusion and the annihilation of those who think differently - is still latently or openly alive today in church and society, among Christians and non-Christians. To oppose this and to work for a comprehensive respect for the rights of all people is our obligation, which we Dominicans owe to the victims of the Inquisition and the persecution of witches. The provincial chapter calls on all brothers in our province to make our Dominican participation in the Inquisition and the persecution of witches a topic in preaching and preaching.

- Dominicans and Inquisition

Comparison with show trials of modern times

Historians see parallels between the inquisition proceedings and show trials in modern times in the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China . In totalitarianism research , the premodern Inquisition is regarded as the forerunner and model for modern systems of repression.

In 1936–1938, leading Bolsheviks , closest companions of Lenin, staged public confessions of guilt during the Stalinist Moscow show trials . Historians of the Spanish and Roman Inquisitions see parallels with these Stalinist methods of staging public confession procedures. Escandell refers to the totalitarian characteristics that the Spanish Inquisition exercised in its system of total control. In particular, the NKVD practices of extorted confessions are addressed. Henningsen draws parallels to the "thought reform" of the CPC , which is also referred to as "brainwashing" in the West. In his analysis of the Maoist “thought reform(sixiang gaizao), Riegel also refers to structural analogies between the Roman and Maoist control and inquisition practices, which are naturally anchored in different historical contexts. In the classical theories of totalitarian rule, the premodern Inquisition is viewed as a forerunner and model for modern systems of repression. In his analysis of the Moscow show trials, Riegel refers to the central importance of public confession rituals, which are of central importance for both systems of the inquisition. It is about the moral discrediting of heretics who threaten the existence of sacred truths in both belief systems. The most important vehicle for the desired moral discrediting of these heretical deviations is the public admission of the wrongdoing by the accused heretics and their consent to the staging of their public exposure and permanent stigmatization. After all, according to Riegel, the Roman and Stalinist institutional churches use these public tribunals in both systems of inquisition to legitimize their universal competence in questions of faith. It seems important to emphasize, however, that the premodern inquisition procedures, especially torture, were considered a legitimate means of producing confessions, which were intended to replace the arbitrariness of the previously practiced divine judgments .

See also


  • Dietrich Kurz: Sources on the heretic history of Brandenburg and Pomerania. De Gruyter, Berlin (inter alia) 1976, ISBN 3-11-004484-6 (publications of the historical commission to Berlin 45, source works 6).
  • Margaret Nickson: The Pseudo-Reinerius treatise, the final stage of a thirteen century work on heresy form the diocese of Passau. In: Archives d'histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Âge, 42 (1967), ISSN  0373-5478 , pp. 255-314.
  • Alexander Patschovsky: The Passauer Anonymous. A compilation of heretics, Jews and Antichrist from the middle of the 13th century. Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1968 (Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Writings 22).
  • Alexander Patschovsky (Ed.): Sources on the Bohemian Inquisition in the 14th century. Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Munich 1985 (sources on the intellectual history of the Middle Ages, 11; unchanged reprint d. 1979 by Verlag Böhlau, Weimar, published edition), ISBN 978-3-88612-071-0 .
  • Heinrich Kramer (Institoris): The witch hammer. Malleus Maleficarum. 6th edition, Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 2007, ISBN 3-423-30780-3 .



  • Emil van der Vekene: Bibliotheca bibliographica historiae sanctae inquisitionis (Bibliographical index of the printed literature on the history and literature of the Inquisition). Volumes 1-3. Topos, Vaduz 1982–1992, ISBN 3-289-00578-X .

Overview works

  • The book of the inquisition. The original manual by the Inquisitor Bernard Gui . From the Latin by Manfred Pawlik, introduced and edited by Petra Seifert. Pattloch, Augsburg 1999, ISBN 3-629-00855-0 .
  • Laurent Albaret: L'Inquisition: rempart de la foi. Gallimard, Paris 1998, ISBN 2-07-053458-8 .
  • Dietrich Kurz : Beginnings of the Inquisition in Germany. In: Peter Segl (ed.): The beginnings of the Inquisition in the Middle Ages. With an outlook on the 20th century and a contribution on religious intolerance in the non-Christian area (= Bayreuth Historical Colloquia. 7). Böhlau, Cologne [a. a.] 1993, ISBN 3-412-03392-8 , pp. 131-194.
  • Henry Charles Lea : History of the Inquisition in the Middle Ages. Volume 1–3, Eichborn, Frankfurt am Main 1997, ISBN 3-8289-0375-4 [reprint of the edition. 1905].
  • Henry Charles Lea: The Inquisition (repr.). Eichborn, Frankfurt am Main 1992, ISBN 3-8218-4424-8 .
  • Henri Maisonneuve: L'Inquisition. Desclée [u. a.], Paris 1989, ISBN 2-7189-0418-6 .
  • Jörg Oberste : Heresy and Inquisition in the Middle Ages (= compact story ). Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2007, ISBN 978-3-534-15576-7 .
  • Gerd Schwerhoff : The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times. CH Beck, Munich 2004, ISBN 978-3-406-50840-0 .
  • Peter Segl (Ed.): The beginnings of the Inquisition in the Middle Ages. With an outlook on the 20th century and a contribution on religious intolerance in the non-Christian area (= Bayreuth Historical Colloquia. 7). Böhlau, Cologne [a. a.] 1993, ISBN 3-412-03392-8 , pp. 1–28 (see also Winfried Trusen, ibid., pp. 39-76.).
  • Hans Conrad Zander : Brief Defense of the Holy Inquisition . Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 2007, ISBN 978-3-579-06952-4 .

Roman and Spanish Inquisitions

  • Peter Godman: The Secret Inquisition: from the forbidden archives of the Vatican. 3. Edition. List, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-471-79418-2 .
  • Samuel G. Goodrich (Ed.): Records of the Spanish inquisition: translated from the original manuscripts. Goodrich, Boston 1828 ( ).
  • Gustav Henningsen: The Database of the Spanish Inquisition. The "relaciones de causas" project revisited. In: Heinz Mohnhaupt, Dieter Simon (ed.): Lectures on justice research. History and theory. Vol. 2, jurisprudence (= materials and studies. 7). Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 1993, ISBN 3-465-02627-6 .
  • Fritz Heymann : Death or Baptism: Expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Portugal. Jüdischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1992, ISBN 3-633-54070-9 .
  • Henry Kamen : The Spanish Inquisition . Weidenfeld, London 1965, in German under the title Die Spanische Inquisition . Ruetten & Loening, Munich 1967 (paperback edition dtv 1969 and 1980), numerous. New editions and translations.
  • Henry Kamen: The Spanish Inquisition. A Historical Revision. Yale UP, New Haven 1998.
  • Herman H. Schwedt: The Beginnings of the Roman Inquisition. Cardinals and consultors 1542 to 1600 (= Roman quarterly for Christian antiquity and church history. Supplementary volume 62). Herder, Freiburg / Basel / Vienna 2013, ISBN 978-3-451-27144-1 .
  • Herman H. Schwedt: The Roman Inquisition. Cardinals and consultors 1601 to 1700 (= Roman quarterly for Christian antiquity and church history. Supplementary volume 64). Herder, Freiburg / Basel / Vienna 2017, ISBN 978-3-451-34867-9 .
  • Hubert Wolf (Ed.): Roman Inquisition and Index Congregation: Basic Research: 1814–1917. 7 volumes. Schöningh, Paderborn [a. a.] 2005-2007, ISBN 3-506-72950-0 .
  • Hubert Wolf (Ed.): Roman Inquisition and Index Congregation: Basic Research: 1701–1813. 6 volumes. Schöningh, Paderborn [a. a.] 2009-2010, ISBN 978-3-506-76833-9 .

Inquisition as a myth and a crime

  • Josif R. Grigulevič : Heretics - Witches - Inquisitors (= Unwanted Books on Church History , Volume 1). 2nd Edition. Ahriman, Freiburg im Breisgau 2000, ISBN 3-89484-500-7 .
  • Michael Hesemann: The dark men. Myths, lies and legends about church history. Sankt-Ulrich, Augsburg 2007, ISBN 3-86744-016-6 .
  • Friedrich Merzbacher : The witch trials in Franconia (= series of publications on Bavarian national history. Volume 56). 1957; 2nd, extended edition: CH Beck, Munich 1970, ISBN 3-406-01982-X , especially pp. 16–20 ( The persecutions of heretics in the 12th and 13th centuries ).

Individual examinations

  • Arnold Angenendt : Tolerance and Violence. Christianity between the Bible and the sword. Aschendorff, Münster / Westphalia 2007, ISBN 3-402-00215-9 , pp. 232–371.
  • Matthias Benad: Domus and religion in Montaillou. The Catholic Church and Catharism in the struggle for survival of the family of Pastor Petrus Clerici at the beginning of the 14th century. Habilitation thesis. University of Frankfurt am Main 1987. Late Middle Ages and Reformation. New series, 1. Mohr, Tübingen 1990, ISBN 3-16-145562-2 .
  • Riccardo Calimani: The merchants of Venice. The history of the Jews in the Lion Republic. Düsseldorf 1988, Munich 1990.
  • Rainer Decker : The Popes and the Witches. From the secret files of the Inquisition. 2nd Edition. Primus, Darmstadt 2013, ISBN 978-3-86312-052-8
  • Ludwig Theodor Elze: History of the Protestant movements and the German Protestant community in Venice. Bielefeld 1883, reprint o. O./o .J (2010).
  • Carlo Ginzburg: The cheese and the worms. The world of a miller around 1600. Syndicate, Frankfurt am Main 1979, ISBN 3-8108-0118-6 .
  • Herbert Grundmann : New contributions to the history of religious movements in the Middle Ages. In: Herbert Grundmann: Selected essays. Volume 1: Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Writings 25/1, Stuttgart 1976.
  • Herbert Grundmann: Religious Movements in the Middle Ages. Studies on the historical connections between heresy, the mendicant orders and the religious women's movement in the 12th and 13th centuries and on the historical basis of German mysticism (= historical studies. 267). Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1977 (= Ebering, Berlin 1935).
  • Herman Haupt: Waldensianism and Inquisition in southeastern Germany until the middle of the 14th century. In: German journal for historical science. 1, 1889, pp. 285-330.
  • Herman Haupt: Waldensianism and Inquisition in Southeastern Germany since the middle of the 14th century. In: German journal for historical science. 3, 1890, pp. 337-401.
  • Franz Ilwof : The Waldensians in Austria. In: Austro-Hungarian Review. 12, 1892, pp. 81-93.
  • Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie: Montaillou. A village before the inquisitor 1294–1324. Propylaea, Frankfurt am Main / Berlin / Vienna 1980, ISBN 3-549-07390-9 .
  • Malcom Lambert: History of the Cathars. The rise and fall of the great heretic movement. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2001.
  • Malcom Lambert: Heresy in the Middle Ages. Heresies from Bogumil to Hus. Bechtermünz, Augsburg 2004, ISBN 3-8289-4886-3 .
  • Werner Maleczek : The persecution of heretics in the Austrian high and late Middle Ages. In: Erich Zöllner (Hrsg.): Waves of persecution in Austrian history. Writings of the Institute for Austrian Studies, 48, Vienna 1986, pp. 18–39.
  • Johann Martinu: The Waldesier and the Hussite Reformation in Bohemia. Vienna (among others) 1910.
  • Amadeo Molnár: The Waldensians. History and European extent of a heretic movement. Herder / Freiburg im Breisgau / Basel / Vienna 1994, ISBN 3-451-04233-9 (= Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1980, ISBN 3-525-55373-0 ).
  • Jörg Oberste: The "crusade" against the Albigensians. Heresy and Power Politics in the Middle Ages. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2003.
  • Jörg Oberste: War against heretics? The “defensores”, “receptatores” and “fautores” of heretics and the “principes catholici” in the ecclesiastical justification of the Albigensian war. In: Andreas Holzem (Ed.): War experience in Christianity. Religious Theories of Violence in the History of the West. War in history. Schöningh, Paderborn u. a. 2009.
  • Stefan Oswald: The Inquisition, the living and the dead. Venice's German Protestants. Sigmaringen 1989.
  • Alexander Patschovsky : The beginnings of a permanent inquisition in Bohemia. A Prague Inquisitor's Handbook from the first half of the 14th century. Contributions to the history and source studies of the Middle Ages, 3, de Gruyter, Berlin a. a. 1975, ISBN 3-11-004404-8 .
  • Alexander Patschovsky: Heretics and persecution of heretics in Bohemia in the century before Hus. In: History in Science and Education. 32, 1981, pp. 261-272 ( online ( memento of February 11, 2009 in the Internet Archive )).
  • Sascha Ragg: Heretics and Law. The secular heretic legislation of the High Middle Ages under the influence of Roman and canon law. MGH, Studies and Texts 37, Hannover 2006.
  • G. Rein: Paolo Sarpi and the Protestants. A contribution to the history of the Reformation movement in Venice in the early seventeenth century. Helsingfors 1904, reprint o. O./o. J (2010).
  • Saverio Ricci: Il Sommo Inquisitore. Giulio Antonio Santori tra autobiografia e storia (1532–1602). Salerno / Rome 2002, ISBN 88-8402-393-9 .
  • Benjamin Scheller: The mendicant orders and the Jews. Mission, Inquisition, and Conversion in Southwest Europe in the 13th Century: A Comparison. In: Wolfgang Huschner, Frank Rexroth (Hrsg.): Donated future in medieval Europe. Festschrift for Michael Borgolte on his 60th birthday. Akademie, Berlin 2008, pp. 89–122.
  • Peter Segl: Heresy and Inquisition in the Diocese of Passau in the 13th and early 14th centuries. In: East Bavarian border marks. 23, 1981, pp. 45-65.
  • Peter Segl: Heretic in Austria. Investigations into heresy and inquisition in the Duchy of Austria in the 13th and early 14th centuries. Sources and research from the field of history, 5, Schöningh / Paderborn u. a. 1984.
  • Gerhard Söllbach (ed.): Pierre des Vaux de Cernay: Crusade against the Albigensians. Zurich 1997.
  • Marion Steinbach: Jews in Venice 1516–1797. Between isolation and integration. Frankfurt 1992.
  • Eric W. Steinhauer: From the Inquisition to the teaching objection: a historical review. In: Reimund Haas, Eric W. Steinhauer (ed.): "The hand of the Lord laid out this vineyard and tended it": Festgabe for Karl Josef Rivinius SVD. Monsenstein and Vannerdat, Münster 2006, pp. [289] –305 ( full text ).
  • Winfried Trusen: The Inquisition Process. Its historical foundations and early forms. In: Journal of the Savigny Foundation for Legal History . Canonical department. 74, 1988, pp. 168-230.

Web links

Wiktionary: Inquisition  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Bernard Hamilton, Edward Peters: Inquisition. In: Encyclopædia Britannica . Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., August 10, 2016, accessed July 25, 2017 .
  2. ^ Constitutio contra haereticos Lombardiae (March 1224). In: MGH . Leges IV, Tomus II (Hannover 1896), pp. 126-127. No. 100.
  3. ^ Constitutio contra haereticos (February 22, 1232). In: MGH . Leges IV, Tomus II (Hannover 1896), pp. 194–195, no. 157.
  4. Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition. Heretic persecution in the Middle Ages and modern times. 3. Edition. Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-50840-0 , p. 42 f.
  5. Amadeo Molnár: The Waldensians. History and European extent of a heretic movement. Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau / Basel / Vienna 1994, p. 146.
  6. Information from: Franz Ilwof: The Waldensians in Austria. In: Austro-Hungarian Review. 12 (1892), p. 84.
  7. a b Letter from Avignon dated October 11, 1364 in text supplements on the persecution of the Beguine from Strasbourg .
  8. Johann Martinu: The Waldesier and the Hussite Reformation in Bohemia. Vienna (et al.) 1910, p. 98.
  9. Very detailed on this: Alexander Patschovsky: Der Passauer Anonymus. A compilation of heretics, Jews and Antichrist from the middle of the 13th century. Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Schriften 22, Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1968 (also: dissertation at the University of Munich, 1968).
  10. Cf. Werner Maleczek: The persecution of heretics in the Austrian high and late Middle Ages. In: Erich Zöllner (Hrsg.): Waves of persecution in Austrian history. Writings of the Institute for Austrian Studies, 48, Vienna 1986, pp. 18–39.
  11. a b Valentin Preuenhueber: Annales Styrenses including its historical and genealogical writings. Nuremberg 1740, p. 47.
  12. ^ A b Leopold Stainreuter: Chronicle of the 95 dominions. In: German chronicles and other history books of the Middle Ages 6: Austrian chronicle of the 95 dominions. Edited by Joseph Seemüller . Hannover 1906, p. 221 ( Monumenta Germaniae Historica , digitized version ).
  13. ^ A b Veit Arnpeck: Chronicon Austriacum. In: Hieronymus Pez: Scriptores rerum Austriacum. Volume 1, Leipzig 1721, p. 1244.
  14. a b Under age all male residents aged 14 and all female residents aged 12 years were understood. The interrogators were summoned to the Saint-Sernin monastery in Toulouse. Cf. Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times. Munich 2004, p. 30 f.
  15. Malcom Lambert: History of the Cathars. The rise and fall of the great heretic movement. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2001, p. 229.
  16. Alexander Patschovsky: Heretics and persecution of heretics in Bohemia in the century before Hus. In: History in Science and Education 32 (1981), pp. 261–270; and Herman Haupt: Waldensianism and Inquisition in southeastern Germany until the middle of the 14th century. In: German journal for historical science. 1 (1889), p. 308 f.
  17. Alexander Patschovsky: Heretics and persecution of heretics in Bohemia in the century before Hus. In: History in Science and Education 32 (1981), p. 270; and Alexander Patschovsky: The beginnings of a permanent inquisition in Bohemia. A Prague Inquisitor's Handbook from the first half of the 14th century. Contributions to the history and source studies of the Middle Ages, 3, de Gruyter, Berlin a. a. 1975, p. 28.
  18. Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times. Munich 2004, p. 47.
  19. ^ For example, the inquisition of approx. 1260 in the Austrian Danube region, suggested by Ottokar II. Přemysl . Cf. Herman Haupt: Waldensianism and Inquisition in southeastern Germany up to the middle of the 14th century. In: German journal for historical science. 1 (1889), p. 298.
  20. Cf. Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times. Munich 2004, p. 47.
  21. See Ad extirpanda , § 23.
  22. This step-by-step process was developed in the 1220s and was already used during the Dominican Acquisition in the Diocese of Toulouse in the 1230s. Cf. Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times. Munich 2004, p. 28.
  23. In the 1220s, for example, torture was widely included in the statutes of northern Italian cities. Cf. Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times. Munich 2004, p. 51.
  24. See Malcom Lambert: History of the Cathars. The rise and fall of the great heretic movement. Scientific book company, Darmstadt 2001, p. 229 and Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times. Munich 2004, p. 51.
  25. Malcom Lambert: History of the Cathars. The rise and fall of the great heretic movement. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2001, pp. 274 and 313.
  26. ^ Dietrich Kurz: Sources on the heretic history of Brandenburg and Pomerania. De Gruyter, Berlin (inter alia) 1976 (publications of the historical commission to Berlin 45, Quellenwerke 6), p. 74.
  27. Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times. Munich 2004, p. 15 f.
  28. Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times. Munich 2004, p. 29 f.
  29. Figures from: Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times. Munich 2004, p. 55.
  30. Margaret Nickson: The Pseudo-Reinerius treatise, the final stage of a thirteen century work on heresy form the diocese of Passau. In: Archives d'histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Âge, 42 (1967), p. 310.
  31. Joseph Perez: Ferdinand and Isabella . Callwey, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-7667-0923-2 , pp. 274 ff . (from the French by Antoinette Gittinger).
  32. Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times. Munich 2004, p. 60.
  33. Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times . 3. Edition. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-50840-0 , p. 66 .
  34. Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times . 3. Edition. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-50840-0 , p. 72 .
  35. Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times . 3. Edition. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-50840-0 , p. 90 .
  36. Regarding the numbers given in this paragraph: Cf. Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Heretic persecution in the Middle Ages and modern times. Munich 2004, pp. 68 and 90.
  37. Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times . 3. Edition. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-50840-0 , p. 79 .
  38. Cf. Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times. Munich 2004, p. 98.
  39. Cf. Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times. Munich 2004, p. 106.
  40. Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times. Munich 2004, p. 58.
  41. Karin Wollschläger: Church historian Arnold Angenendt is 85 years old. August 9, 2019, accessed November 2, 2019 .
  42. See this: Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times. Munich 2004, pp. 110-120.
  43. Rainer Decker: The Popes and the Witches. From the secret files of the Inquisition. 2nd edition 2013. Frankfurt am Main, p. 49 .
  44. Rainer Decker: The Popes and the Witches. From the secret files of the Inquisition. 2nd edition 2013. Frankfurt am Main, p. 53 .
  45. Information from: Gerd Schwerhoff: The Inquisition: Persecution of Heretics in the Middle Ages and Modern Times. Munich 2004, pp. 110-120
  46. ^ A b Charles Dellon: INQUISITION by GOA . Translated from French into German, and adorned with beautiful coppers. 1688, p. 115 .
  47. J. Baker: Complete History of the Inquisition . Ed .: Jacob Preus. Copenhagen 1741 ( ).
  48. Information from: Ronald Daus: The invention of colonialism . Hammer, Wuppertal 1983, ISBN 3-87294-202-6 .
  49. 'Goa Inquisition was most merciless and cruel., September 14, 2005, accessed May 20, 2017 .
  50. Jörg Reimann: Venice and Venetia 1450 to 1650. Politics, economy, population and culture: With two feet in the sea, the third on the flat land, the fourth in the mountains. Hamburg 2006, p. 73 f.
  51. Quotation from Alvise Zorzi: Venice. The history of the lion republic. German by Sylvia Höfer. Düsseldorf 1985, p. 378.
  52. ^ Letter from the Nuncio to Pope Paul V, quoted in with G. Rein: Paolo Sarpi and the Protestants. A contribution to the history of the Reformation movement in Venice in the early seventeenth century. Helsingfors 1904. Reprint, no place and year (2010), footnote 2, p. 59.
  53. ^ B. Cecchetti: La Repubblica di Venezia e la Corte di Roma nei rapporti della Religione. Venezia 1874, p. 4 ff.
  54. Jörg Reimann: Venice and Venetia 1450 to 1650. Politics, economy, population and culture: With two feet in the sea, the third on the flat land, the fourth in the mountains. Hamburg 2006, pp. 71 and 73.
  55. ^ Hans von Zwiedineck-Suedhorst: Venice as a world power and a cosmopolitan city. Bielefeld / Leipzig 1897, 1899, 2nd edition 1906, 3rd edition 1925, reprint of the edition from 1899, without place and year (2010), p. 146.
  56. Dominicans and Inquisition , Declaration by the Provincial Chapter 2000 of the Dominican Province of Teutonia (PDF; 87 kB).
  57. Bartolomé Escandell: La Inquisición como dispositivo de control social y la pervivencia actual del "modelo inquisitorial". In: A. Alcala et al., Eds .: Inquisición española y mentalidad inquisitorial. Barcelona 1984, pp. 597-611.
  58. ^ Gustav Henningsen: The Witches Advocate. Basque Witchcraft and the Spanish Inquisition (1609-1614). Reno 1980, p. 62.
  59. Klaus-Georg Riegel: The Inquisition Practice of Revolutionary Religious Communities. "Correction" and "Thought Reform" in the Chinese Communist Party. In: Titus Heydenreich, Peter Blumenthal, eds .: Belief Processes - Processes of Belief? Religious minorities between tolerance and inquisition. Tübingen 1989, pp. 263-276.
  60. ^ Hannah Arendt: Elements and origins of total domination. Frankfurt am Main 1975.
  61. ^ Carl J. Friedrich , Zbigniew Brzeziński : Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy. New York 1972, pp. 47-59.
  62. ^ Sigmund Neumann : Permanent Revolution. Totalitarianism in the Age of Internal Civil War. New York 1965.
  63. ^ Zbigniew K. Brzezinski: The Permanent Purge. Cambridge, Mass. 1956.
  64. ^ Klaus-Georg Riegel: Inquisition systems of religious communities. The role of confessions of guilt in the Spanish and Stalinist inquisition practice. In: Zeitschrift für Soziologie 16, 3, 1987, pp. 175-189.
  65. Klaus-Georg Riegel: Marxism-Leninism as a political religion. In: H. Maier, M. Schäfer, eds .: Totalitarianism and Political Religions. Vol. II, Paderborn 1997, pp. 75-128.
  66. ^ John H. Langbein: Torture and the Law of Proof. Europe and England in the Ancien Regime. Chicago 1976.
  67. ^ Original English title: A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages . Full texts of the three volumes online: Vol. 1  - Internet Archive , Vol. 2  - Internet Archive , Vol. 3  - Internet Archive
  68. the three volumes were translated into French by Salomon Reinach and appeared there between 1900 and 1902
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on March 28, 2009 .