Heretic laws

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Under heretic laws are understood v. a. the laws against heresy issued by Frederick II . These are in detail:

  • the Law of 22 November 1220 (on the occasion of his coronation as emperor, extended on 22 November 1232 and again extended 1238/ 39 )
  • the Law for Lombardy 1224 (especially against the Patarenes and Waldensians, who were strong in northern Italy )
  • the law for Sicily 1231, raised to the imperial law 1238/39
  • the law for Germany 1232, repeated almost verbatim and also elevated to the Reichsgesetz 1238/39.

In particular, the law for Lombardy provided for the imposition of various penalties up to the death penalty (consistently by burning) for those heretics who had been condemned by the Church and given to the secular arm. The secular authorities were obliged, if the Church or even ordinary Catholics so demanded, to arrest all suspected of heresy and bring them to justice. The Dominicans should be given all support and protection. At the same time, the French King Louis VIII also passed heretic laws.

Heretic laws were also passed in England in 1554 (persecution of Protestants ) and 1593 (persecution of Puritans ) (see Puritanism , History of England ).


  • Kurt-Victor Selge : The heretic policy of Frederick II. In: Gunther G. Wolf (Ed.): Stupor Mundi. On the history of Frederick II of Hohenstaufen (= Paths of Research 101). 2nd completely revised edition. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1982, ISBN 3-534-07887-X , pp. 449-493.
  • Sascha Ragg: Heretics and Law. The secular heretic legislation of the High Middle Ages under the influence of Roman and canon law (= Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Studies and Texts. Vol. 37). Hahnsche Buchhandlung, Hannover 2006, ISBN 3-7752-5737-3 (also: Konstanz, Univ., Diss., 2004).

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