Visual History of the World

(CONTENTS)
 

 


HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION & CULTURE

From Prehistoric to Romanesque  Art
Gothic Art
Renaissance  Art
Baroque and Rococo Art
The Art of Asia
Neoclassicism, Romanticism  Art
Art Styles in 19th century
Art of the 20th century
Artists that Changed the World
Design and Posters
Photography
Classical Music
Literature and Philosophy

Visual History of the World
Prehistory
First Empires
The Ancient World
The Middle Ages
The Early Modern Period
The Modern Era
The World Wars and Interwar Period
The Contemporary World

Dictionary of Art and Artists

 




The Early Modern Period

16th - 18th century


 


The smooth transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age is conventionally fixed on such events as the Reformation and the discovery of the "New World," which brought about the emergence of a new image of man and his world. Humanism, which spread out of Italy, also made an essential contribution to this with its promotion of a critical awareness of Christianity and the Church. The Reformation eventually broke the all-embracing power of the Church. After the Thirty Years' War, the concept of a universal empire was also nullified. The era of the nation-state began, bringing with it the desire to build up political and economic power far beyond Europe. The Americas, Africa, and Asia provided regions of expansion for the Europeans.
 



Proportions of the Human Figure by Leonardo da Vinci (drawing, ca. 1490)
is a prime example of the new approach of Renaissance
artists and scientists to the anatomy of the human body.

 

 


INQUISITION

The Spanish Inquisition
 

 

 

Inquisition

Roman Catholicism

Main
a judicial procedure and later an institution that was established by the papacy and, sometimes, by secular governments to combat heresy. Derived from the Latin verb inquiro (“inquire into”), the name was applied to commissions in the 13th century and subsequently to similar structures in early modern Europe.


An image frequently misinterpreted as the Spanish Inquisition burning prohibited books.
This is actually Pedro Berruguete's La Prueba del Fuego (1400s).
It depicts a legend of St Dominic's dispute with the Cathars:
they both consign their writings into the flames, and while the Cathars' text burns,
St Dominic's miraculously leaps from the flames.



The Middle Ages » History


In 1184 Pope Lucius III required bishops to make a judicial inquiry, or inquisition, for heresy in their dioceses, a provision renewed by the fourth Lateran Council in 1215. Episcopal inquisitions, however, proved ineffective because of the regional nature of the bishop’s power and because not all bishops introduced inquisitions in their dioceses; the papacy gradually assumed authority over the process, though bishops never lost the right to lead inquisitions. In 1227 Pope Gregory IX appointed the first judges delegate as inquisitors for heretical depravity—many, though not all, of whom were Dominican and Franciscan friars. Papal inquisitors had authority over everyone except bishops and their officials. There was no central authority to coordinate their activities, but after 1248 or 1249, when the first handbook of inquisitorial practice was written, inquisitors adopted common procedures.
 


Lucius III
pope
original name Ubaldo Allucingoli
born 1097?, Lucca, Tuscany [Italy]
died Nov. 25, 1185, Verona

Main
pope from 1181 to 1185.

A Cistercian monk whom Pope Innocent II had made cardinal in 1141, Lucius was bishop of Ostia (consecrated 1159) and papal counsellor when elected on Sept. 1, 1181, to succeed Alexander III. As pope, Lucius was forced to leave Rome because the Romans had earlier declared their city a republic free from papal interference.

At the Synod of Verona in 1184, Lucius, in agreement with the Holy Roman emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, decreed the excommunication of heretics and their protectors; after ecclesiastical trial, heretics who refused to recant were transferred to civil authorities for punishment—usually death by burning. Lucius’ synod activated the strict decrees of the third Lateran Council (1179); founded the medieval Inquisition to repress and punish heretics; and instigated the church’s attack against the Cathari, a heretical sect that held that good and evil had separate creators. Apart from Frederick’s promise to renew the Crusades, relations between Emperor and Pope were strained.

 

Lateran Council
Roman Catholicism
Main
any of the five ecumenical councils of the Roman Catholic Church held in the Lateran Palace in Rome.

The first Lateran Council, the ninth ecumenical council (1123), was held during the reign of Pope Calixtus II; no acts or contemporary accounts survive. The council promulgated a number of canons (probably 22), many of which merely reiterated decrees of earlier councils. Much of the discussion was occupied with disciplinary or quasi-political decisions relating to the Investiture Controversy settled the previous year by the Concordat of Worms; simony was condemned, laymen were prohibited from disposing of church property, clerics in major orders were forbidden to marry, and uncanonical consecration of bishops was forbidden. There were no specific dogmatic decrees.

The second Lateran Council, the 10th ecumenical council (1139), was convoked by Pope Innocent II to condemn as schismatics the followers of Arnold of Brescia, a vigorous reformer and opponent of the temporal power of the pope, and to end the schism created by the election of Anacletus II, a rival pope. Supported by St. Bernard of Clairvaux and later by Emperor Lothar II, Innocent was eventually acknowledged as the legitimate pope. Besides reaffirming previous conciliar decrees, the second Lateran Council declared invalid all marriages of those in major orders and of professed monks, canons, lay brothers, and nuns. The council repudiated the heresies of the 12th century concerning holy orders, matrimony, infant Baptism, and the Eucharist.

The third Lateran Council, the 11th ecumenical council, was convoked in 1179 by Pope Alexander III and attended by 291 bishops who studied the Peace of Venice (1177), by which the Holy Roman emperor, Frederick I Barbarossa, agreed to withdraw support from his antipope and to restore the church property he had seized. This council also established a two-thirds majority of the College of Cardinals as a requirement for papal election and stipulated that candidates for bishop must be 30 years old and of legitimate birth. The heretical Cathari (or Albigenses) were condemned, and Christians were authorized to take up arms against vagabond robbers. The council marked an important stage in the development of papal legislative authority.

The fourth Lateran Council, the 12th ecumenical council (1215), generally considered the greatest council before Trent, was years in preparation. Pope Innocent III desired the widest possible representation, and more than 400 bishops, 800 abbots and priors, envoys of many European kings, and personal representatives of Frederick II (confirmed by the council as emperor of the West) took part. The purpose of the council was twofold: reform of the church and the recovery of the Holy Land. Many of the conciliar decrees touching on church reform and organization remained in effect for centuries. The council ruled on such vexing problems as the use of church property, tithes, judicial procedures, and patriarchal precedence. It ordered Jews and Saracens to wear distinctive dress and obliged Catholics to make a yearly confession and to receive Communion during the Easter season. The council sanctioned the word transubstantiation as a correct expression of eucharistic doctrine. The teachings of the Cathari and Waldenses were condemned. Innocent also ordered a four-year truce among Christian rulers so that a new crusade could be launched.

The fifth Lateran Council, the 18th ecumenical council (1512–17), was convoked by Pope Julius II in response to a council summoned at Pisa by a group of cardinals who were hostile to the Pope. The Pope’s council had reform as its chief concern. It restored peace among warring Christian rulers and sanctioned a new concordat with France to supersede the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges of 1438. In dogmatic decrees the council affirmed the immortality of the soul and repudiated declarations of the councils of Constance and Basel that made church councils superior to the pope. The Orthodox churches do not accept these councils as truly ecumenical.

 

Gregory IX
pope
original name Ugo, or Ugolino, Di Segni
born before 1170
died Aug. 22, 1241, Rome

Main
one of the most vigorous of the 13th-century popes (reigned 1227–41), a canon lawyer, theologian, defender of papal prerogatives, and founder of the papal Inquisition. Gregory promulgated the Decretals in 1234, a code of canon law that remained the fundamental source of ecclesiastical law for the Catholic Church until after World War I.

Ugo, nephew of Pope Innocent III, studied theology at the University of Paris, but his early ecclesiastical career marked him as a diplomat. Shortly after his creation as a cardinal-deacon by his uncle in 1198, he was involved in peace negotiations with Markwald of Anweiler in southern Italy. Twice before 1210 he served Innocent as a papal legate in Germany. In 1206 Innocent promoted him to the cardinal bishopric of Ostia, the port city of Rome. During the pontificate of Pope Honorius III (1216–27), Ugo continued to play a leading role. He enjoyed not only the support of the Pope but also that of the youthful emperor-elect, Frederick II, king of Sicily, whose cause he had supported during the reign of Innocent III. Ugo was a deeply religious man, closely attuned to the great spiritual movements of his time. He was friend to both St. Dominic and St. Francis of Assisi, founders of the first mendicant orders. He served as cardinal-protector of the Franciscans and adviser to St. Clare of Assisi, the founder of the Poor Clares. Like his predecessors, Ugo firmly supported the crusading movement, and it was from his hands that Frederick II took the cross as a symbol of his intention to lead a crusade. Ugo was an austere man of decisive mind and somewhat harsh personality. Even those he loved and admired most sometimes felt the strength of his convictions and the force of his will. But there can be no doubt about his moral integrity and dedication to the church. Still, it was his quickness to anger and his impatience with opposition that marked the character of his pontificate.

When Ugo ascended the papal throne as successor to Honorius III on March 19, 1227, he had already lost patience with the moderate policies of his predecessor. In particular, he had grown increasingly disenchanted with Emperor Frederick II. Frederick’s delays in embarking on his promised crusade and his efforts to hold both the imperial throne and the crown of Sicily aroused opposition to him in the Roman Curia. The rupture broke into the open shortly after Gregory’s election, when Frederick, who had finally launched his crusade, was forced to return to Brindisi because of an outbreak of plague. Already suspicious of Frederick’s sincerity, the Pope excommunicated him on Sept. 29, 1227, and issued a pained and angry encyclical to justify his action. Frederick responded by an attack on the excommunication as unjustified and a denunciation of the Roman Curia.

Nevertheless, Frederick embarked for the East, where he conquered Cyprus and negotiated with the Sultan of Egypt for Jerusalem. Gregory was incensed at Frederick’s presumption in leading a crusade while under ban of excommunication. Claiming provocation by Frederick’s vicar in the Kingdom of Sicily, Gregory raised an army and launched an attack on the kingdom. This war marked the end of the policy of negotiation. Though Frederick’s return witnessed the defeat of the papal forces, the deep fears aroused by his policies remained unsettled by the Treaty of San Germano (1230). In 1231 Gregory sharply protested Frederick’s issuance of the Liber Augustalis, or Constitutions of Melfi, a code of laws for the Kingdom of Sicily. Though there was little in these laws that was actually objectionable, their thrust in the direction of a strong monarchy contained a threat to the church.

During the early 1230s Gregory took advantage of the respite in his struggle with the Emperor to turn his attention more to the internal and spiritual problems of the church. He ordered the canonist Raymond of Peñafort to compile the Decretals, a code of canon law based both on conciliar decisions and on papal letters, which he promulgated in 1234. He also entered into negotiations with the Greek Orthodox Church that resulted in a series of conferences at Nicaea in January 1234 but proved abortive. Gregory continued the policies of his predecessors against heresy in southern France and northern Italy. He strengthened the Inquisition and entrusted its operations to the Dominicans. One of these inquisitors, Bernardo Gui, wrote the principal contemporary biography of Gregory IX.

The truce between Gregory and Frederick II was severely strained in 1235 by imperial accusations that the Pope had been working with the Lombards of northern Italy to undermine imperial influence. While Gregory denied the charge, the work of the Dominicans among heretics in northern Italy, many of whom were leagued with Frederick’s supporters, did provide a foundation for imperial fears. Frederick’s invasion of Sardinia, a papal fief, on behalf of the candidacy of his son Enzio for the Sardinian crown, led to a renewal of the excommunication on March 20, 1239, and caused Gregory to seek supporters in northern Italy. The propaganda war that accompanied the renewed hostilities is noted more for vitriolic than for reasoned argumentation. Gregory accused Frederick of crimes against the church in the Kingdom of Sicily and labelled him a blasphemer. The effort to find a settlement between the secular and the spiritual powers of medieval society received a decisive blow in this struggle. No definitions of separate spheres of authority would ever again overcome the reality of the fears that dominated both the papal Curia and secular powers.

With Frederick’s army invading the Papal States, Gregory summoned a general council of the church, which met in Rome on Easter Sunday 1241. The capture of a large number of prelates on their way to the council by Frederick’s Pisan allies put an end to this project, at least during Gregory’s pontificate. Gregory IX died soon after, his work unfinished. He had attempted to carry on the work of Innocent III and was successful in many of his efforts. Historians have judged him harshly because of his conflict with Frederick II, but too often their judgments have turned on the defects of his personality rather than the objectives of his policy.

James M. Powell


 

Dominican
religious order
byname Black Friar, member of Order of Friars Preachers, also called Order of Preachers (O.P.)
Main
one of the four great mendicant orders of the Roman Catholic church, was founded by St. Dominic in 1215. Dominic, a priest of the Spanish diocese of Osma, accompanied his bishop on a preaching mission among the Albigensian heretics of southern France, where he founded a convent at Prouille in 1206, partly for his converts, which was served by a community of preachers. From this developed the conception of an institute of preachers to convert the Albigensians, which received provisional approval from Pope Innocent III in 1215. Dominic gave his followers a rule of life based on that of St. Augustine and made his first settlement at Toulouse; on Dec. 22, 1216, Pope Honorius III gave formal sanction. The novelty of the institute was the commission to preach Christian doctrine, a task previously regarded as the prerogative and monopoly of bishops and their delegates; a corollary was the obligation of theological study, and, as early as 1218, Dominic sent seven of his followers to the University of Paris.

From the beginning the order has been a synthesis of the contemplative life and the active ministry. The members live a community life; and a careful balance is maintained between democratically constituted chapters, or legislative assemblies, and strong but elected superiors. In contrast to the monastic orders that predated it, the Dominican order was not a collection of autonomous houses; it was an army of priests, organized in provinces under a master general and ready to go wherever they were needed. The individual belonged to the order, not to any one house, and could be sent anywhere at any time about its business; this innovation has served as a model for many subsequent bodies.

Within 40 years of the order’s foundation, talented members were concentrated in the schools at Paris, Bologna, Cologne, and Oxford; many eminent masters of the universities took the Dominican habit and became in time regents in the friaries. Originally students of theology only, and with no distinguishing philosophical opinions, they were led by Albertus Magnus and his pupil Thomas Aquinas to a study of the newly available works of Aristotle that had been transmitted to Europe by Muslim scholars and to the integration of philosophy and theology. After a short initial opposition, the system of St. Thomas Aquinas was adopted as official (1278). Meanwhile, the Dominicans pursued their vocation to preaching. In southern France they spoke out against the Albigensians and, in Spain and elsewhere, against the Moors and Jews. They evangelized the non-Christians in northern and eastern Europe, in the lands of the eastern Mediterranean, and in India. When the Inquisition was established, Dominicans were entrusted with its execution. They were among the first and most energetic missionaries in the “expansion of Europe” under the Spanish and Portuguese explorers and later under the French. In modern times they have broadened their preaching apostolate to include work in the fields of radio, television, films, and stage.

The Dominican order has continued to be noted for an unswerving orthodoxy, based upon the philosophical and theological teaching of Aquinas, and has steadfastly opposed novelty or accommodation in theology. The 19th and 20th centuries have witnessed a tremendous development of congregations of Dominican sisters engaged in teaching, nursing, and a wide variety of charitable works. Some of these congregations, such as the Maryknoll Sisters, are devoted to work in foreign missions.


 

Franciscan
religious order
Main
any member of a Christian religious order founded in the early 13th century by St. Francis of Assisi. The members of the order strive to cultivate the ideals of the order’s founder. The Franciscans actually consist of three orders. The First Order comprises priests and lay brothers who have sworn to lead a life of prayer, preaching, and penance. This First Order is divided into three independent branches: the Friars Minor (O.F.M.), the Friars Minor Conventual (O.F.M. Conv.), and the Friars Minor Capuchin (O.F.M. Cap.). The Second Order consists of cloistered nuns who belong to the Order of St. Clare (O.S.C.) and are known as Poor Clares (P.C.). The Third Order consists of religious and lay men and women who try to emulate Saint Francis’ spirit by performing works of teaching, charity, and social service. Strictly speaking, the latter order consists of the Third Order Secular, whose lay members live in the world without vows; and the Third Order Regular, whose members live in religious communities under vow. Congregations of these religious men and women are numerous all over the Roman Catholic world. The Franciscans are the largest religious order in the Roman Catholic church. They have contributed six popes to the church.

It was probably in 1207 that Francis felt the call to a life of preaching, penance, and total poverty. He was soon joined by his first followers, to whom he gave a short and simple rule of life. In 1209 he and 11 of his followers journeyed to Rome, where Francis received approval of his rule from Pope Innocent III. Under this rule, Franciscan friars could own no possessions of any kind, either individually or communally (i.e., as the property of the order as a whole). The friars wandered and preached among the people, helping the poor and the sick. They supported themselves by working and by begging food, but they were forbidden to accept money either as payment for work or as alms. The Franciscans worked at first in Umbria and then in the rest of Italy and abroad. The impact of these street preachers and especially of their founder was immense, so that within 10 years they numbered 5,000. Affiliated with them were the Franciscan nuns, whose order was founded at Assisi in 1212, by St. Clare, who was under the guidance of St. Francis. Clare and her followers were lodged by Francis in the Church of San Damiano, where they lived a severe life of total poverty. They later became known as the Poor Clares or the Order of St. Clare.

During the first years of the Franciscans, the example of Francis provided their real rule of life, but, as the order grew, it became clear that a revised rule was necessary. After preparing a rule in 1221 that was found too strict, Francis, with the help of several legal scholars, unwillingly composed the more restrained final rule in 1223. This rule was approved by Pope Honorius III.

Even before the death of Francis in 1226, conflicts had developed within the order over the observance of the vow of complete poverty. The rapid expansion of the order’s membership had created a need for settled monastic houses, but it was impossible to justify these if Francis’ rule of complete poverty was followed strictly. Three parties gradually appeared: the Zealots, who insisted on a literal observance of the primitive rule of poverty affecting communal as well as personal poverty; the Laxists, who favoured many mitigations; and the Moderates, or the Community, who wanted a legal structure that would permit some form of communal possessions. Something of an equilibrium was reached between these different schools of thought while St. Bonaventure was minister general (1257–74). Sometimes called the second founder of the order, he provided a wise, moderate interpretation of the rule. During this period the friars spread throughout Europe, while missionaries penetrated Syria and Africa. Simultaneously, the friars’ houses in university towns such as Paris and Oxford were transformed into schools of theology that rapidly became among the most celebrated in Europe.

With the death of Bonaventure, the internal dissensions of the order flared up anew. The Zealots, who now became known as the Spirituals, demanded absolute poverty. Opposed to them were the Community, or the Conventuals, who stood for a more moderate community life adapted to the needs of study and preaching. Papal decisions favoured the Conventuals, and the Spirituals ceased to be a faction of importance in the order after 1325.

The latter part of the 14th century saw a great decline in the religious life of the friars. But throughout that century a series of reformers initiated groups of friars, known as Observants, living an austere life apart from the main body of Conventuals. Under the leadership of St. Bernardino of Siena and St. John of Capistrano, the Observants spread across Europe. Though several attempts were made to reconcile them with the Conventuals, the outcome was in fact a complete separation in 1517, when all the reform communities were united in one order with the name Friars Minor of the Observance, and this order was granted a completely independent and autonomous existence. It is estimated that in 1517 the Observants numbered about 30,000, the Conventuals about 25,000.

The union of the Observants was short-lived as several stricter groups arose. One of these reform groups, the Capuchins, founded in 1525, was separated as the third branch of the Franciscan Order in 1619. The other groups were finally reunited to the Observants by Pope Leo XIII in 1897 with new constitutions and the official title Order of Friars Minor. All three branches of the Franciscans suffered in the French Revolution, but they revived during the 19th century.

The Franciscans have popularized several devotional practices in the Roman Catholic church. Among the best known are the Christmas crib, the Stations of the Cross, and the Angelus. Besides their traditional role of preaching, Franciscans have been active in the work of foreign missions and have made many contributions to the field of education and scholarship.




Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition, painting by Cristiano Banti



In 1252 Pope Innocent IV licensed inquisitors to allow obdurate heretics to be tortured by lay henchmen. It is difficult to determine how common this practice was in the 13th century, but the inquisition certainly acquiesced in the use of torture in the trial of the Knights Templar, a military-religious order, in 1307. Persecution by the inquisition also contributed to the collapse of Catharism, a dualist heresy that had great influence in southern France and northern Italy, by about 1325; although established to defeat that heresy, the inquisition was assisted by the pastoral work of the mendicant orders in its triumph over the Cathars.

The inquisition declined in importance in the late Middle Ages, though it continued to try cases of heresy—e.g., the Waldenses, the Spiritual Franciscans, and the alleged heresy of the Free Spirit, a supposed sect of mystics who advocated antinomianism—and cases of sorcery. The most vigorous dissenting movements of the 15th century, Lollardy in England and Hussitism in Bohemia, were not subject to its jurisdiction.


Innocent IV
pope
original name Sinibaldo Fieschi
born 12th century, Genoa
died Dec. 7, 1254, Naples

Main
one of the great pontiffs of the Middle Ages (reigned 1243–54), whose clash with Holy Roman emperor Frederick II formed an important chapter in the conflict between papacy and empire. His belief in universal responsibility of the papacy led him to attempt the evangelization of the East and the unification of the Christian churches.

Early life and early career
Sinibaldo Fieschi’s father, Hugo, called Fliscus, was the count of Lavagna and member of a rising family in both the economic and ecclesiastical realms. Sinibaldo, the 6th of 10 children, studied at Parma under the direction of one of three uncles who were bishops and then at Bologna in the school of the most illustrious canonists of the age, where he himself became a master of canon law. He was a canon of the cathedral of Genoa and later of Parma. He was consecrated bishop of Albenga, Italy, in 1225; in 1227 he was made vice chancellor of the Roman Church and cardinal priest of St. Lawrence in Lucina by Pope Gregory IX. He continued the work and, in great part, the spirit of Gregory IX, first as rector to the March of Ancona (1235–40), where he took up the side of the Guelphs at Camerino and at Ravenna, and later during his own reign as pope.

His study and experience in the field of law (testimony of his expertise exists in his celebrated commentary on canon law, Apparatus in quinque libros Decretalium) prepared him to enter as one of the key figures into the conflict between the church and the empire. The emperor Frederick II sought to restructure the imperial authority, with a strong state in Italy as the basis; he was convinced that he had the right to exercise autocratically his imperial power, the imperialis potestas. He thus came into head-on collision with the church’s claim to universal power, the universalis potestas, theoretically elaborated by the canonists of that time, including Sinibaldo Fieschi. According to their theory, the pope possessed universal dominion, which in the abstract juridical order extended to all kingdoms, although in the practical order he had to leave the temporal rule to the emperor and to the kings. On the basis of these two antithetical conceptions, the interests of different parties came into conflict time after time. The last phase of his conflict, which began under Gregory IX, reached its zenith under Innocent IV.


Pontificate
Frederick II was encouraged by the election of Cardinal Fieschi on June 25, 1243, after the see of Rome had been vacant for 18 months following the brief reign of Celestine IV. He immediately entered into negotiations with the new pope, who took the name Innocent IV, to have the excommunication imposed on him by Gregory IX lifted. The Pope, however, did not trust Frederick, despite an agreement reached on March 31, 1244. He felt unsafe in Rome and secretly fled the city, interrupting the negotiations with the Emperor. Genoese galleys prepared by his relatives were waiting for him at the port of Civitavecchia to take him to Genoa and then to Lyon. Although Lyon was nominally subject to the empire, Innocent IV was under the protection of Louis IX of France.

Late in 1244 the Pope called a general council to meet in Lyon the following summer. Gregory IX had earlier announced such a council, but Frederick II had impeded it by holding as prisoners more than 100 bishops who had fallen into the hands of the Pisans in the naval battle of Meloria. Three themes were to be treated in the council: the question of the Emperor, the liberation of the Holy Sepulchre, and the defense of Christianity against the advance of the Mongols. Thaddeus of Suessa tried in vain to defend the Emperor before the council. Frederick II was solemnly condemned, his subjects were freed from their bond of loyalty to him, and he was deposed on the basis of the triple charge of perjury, sacrilege, and suspicion of heresy. The Pope himself admonished the German princes to elect a new emperor. They named Henry Raspe, landgrave of Thuringia, and, at his death in 1247, William of Holland. The condemnation of Frederick II did not obtain the desired political effects in Germany, but it did show the effectiveness of the network of ties that the papal family had succeeded in tightening in northern Italy, which contributed to the Emperor’s defeat at Parma (1247).

Frederick II died on Dec. 13, 1250. The Pope left Lyon and triumphantly returned to Rome in 1253. Meanwhile, he had to continue the struggle against Frederick II’s son Conrad IV and also to find a king to whom he could entrust the Kingdom of Sicily as a fief. The Pope offered Sicily first to Richard of Cornwall, then to Charles of Anjou, both of whom refused, and later to Henry III of England, who accepted for his son Edmund. After the death of Conrad IV in May 1254, the papal army was defeated by Manfred, Frederick II’s illegitimate son, who had become regent for Conradin, the infant son of Conrad IV. The Pope died soon after at Naples in December 1254.


Assessment
The struggle against Frederick II brings to light a striking characteristic of Innocent’s pontificate and of the period as a whole. A close relationship existed between the political activity and the personal and family fortunes of the Pope and the cardinals. Only relatives and those who received benefices could be counted upon to maintain their political loyalty beyond ideological motivations. That explains the constant presence of Innocent’s family in his ecclesiastical, political, and military affairs and his frequent recourse to the distribution of ecclesiastical benefices in their behalf. He took steps to return the expenses incurred by his nephews in their combat with Frederick II, distributed the bishoprics of England and the East to cousins, and supported the creation of a strong family estate at the foot of the Ligurian Apennines, provoking opposition from bishops and lay lords in that area.

In this policy of giving church offices to his relatives, Innocent went far beyond what his predecessors had done and established a pattern of nepotism that came to be recognized as a normal papal prerogative as time went on. In addition, it was his habit to systematically intervene in the affairs of local churches, disposing of ecclesiastical posts in order to settle disputes, to help university students, to reward devout persons, or to help needy clergy. This long-distance intervention often made situations worse, because the Pope ended up promising people more benefices than were available. Innocent’s successor, Alexander IV, condemned the practice.

Innocent IV’s attention to all parts of Christendom and his interventions carried him beyond his conflict with the Emperor to a vivid awareness of other problems that agitated Europe even to its borders. Echoing the appeals of the Christians in Palestine, he induced Louis IX to undertake a crusade, which ended dramatically with the King’s imprisonment (1250); he sent a mission (1245–47) to the Grand Khan of the Mongols, led by Giovanni Carpini, in the hope of arresting the advance of the Mongols on eastern Europe; he established contacts with the Eastern Church to prepare for ecumenical union with Russia and the Ukraine. None of these missions attained its desired success, yet he deserves credit for ferreting out the problems in the church and establishing the bases for resolving future conflicts.

The judgment of historians about Innocent IV has been conditioned by their opinion about his struggle against Frederick II. Those who see in Frederick the forerunner of the modern lay state (Jacob Burckhardt and Hermann Kantorowicz) condemn the universalistic claims of the Pope. In general, it is still difficult for German historiographers to form a dispassionate judgment. On the part of ecclesiastics, the tendency is to emphasize Innocent IV’s missionary projects and his indisputable qualities as a canonist—his acuteness, openness, and solicitude for human dignity.

 

Templar
religious military order
also called Knight Templar
Main
member of the Poor Knights of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, a religious military order of knighthood established at the time of the Crusades that became a model and inspiration for other military orders. Originally founded to protect Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land, the order assumed greater military duties during the 12th century. Its prominence and growing wealth, however, provoked opposition from rival orders. Falsely accused of blasphemy and blamed for Crusader failures in the Holy Land, the order was destroyed by King Philip IV of France.

Following the success of the First Crusade (1095–99), a number of Crusader states were established in the Holy Land, but these kingdoms lacked the necessary military force to maintain more than a tenuous hold over their territories. Most Crusaders returned home after fulfilling their vows, and Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem suffered attacks from Muslim raiders. Pitying the plight of these Christians, eight or nine French knights led by Hugh de Payns vowed in late 1119 or early 1120 to devote themselves to the pilgrims’ protection and to form a religious community for that purpose. Baldwin II, king of Jerusalem, gave them quarters in a wing of the royal palace in the area of the former Temple of Solomon, and from this they derived their name.

Although the Templars were opposed by those who rejected the idea of a religious military order and later by those who criticized their wealth and influence, they were supported by many secular and religious leaders. Beginning in 1127, Hugh undertook a tour of Europe and was well received by many nobles, who made significant donations to the knights. The Templars obtained further sanction at the Council of Troyes in 1128, which may have requested that Bernard of Clairvaux compose the new rule. Bernard also wrote In Praise of the New Knighthood (c. 1136), which defended the order against its critics and contributed to its growth. In 1139 Pope Innocent II issued a bull that granted the order special privileges: the Templars were allowed to build their own oratories and were not required to pay the tithe; they were also exempt from episcopal jurisdiction, being subject to the pope alone.

The rule of the order was modeled after the Benedictine Rule, especially as understood and implemented by the Cistercians. The Knights Templar swore an oath of poverty, chastity, and obedience and renounced the world, just as the Cistercians and other monks did. Like the monks, the Templars heard the divine office during each of the canonical hours of the day and were expected to honour the fasts and vigils of the monastic calendar. They were frequently found in prayer and expressed particular veneration to the Virgin Mary. They were not allowed to gamble, swear, or become drunk and were required to live in community, sleeping in a common dormitory and eating meals together. They were not, however, strictly cloistered, as were the monks, nor were they expected to perform devotional reading (most Templars were uneducated and unable to read Latin). The knights’ primary duty was to fight. The Templars gradually expanded their duties from protecting pilgrims to mounting a broader defense of the Crusader states in the Holy Land. They built castles, garrisoned important towns, and participated in battles, fielding significant contingents against Muslim armies until the fall of Acre, the last remaining Crusader stronghold in the Holy Land, in 1291. Their great effectiveness was attested by the sultan Saladin following the devastating defeat of Crusader forces at the Battle of Ḥaṭṭīn; he bought the Templars who were taken prisoner and later had each of them executed.

By the mid-12th century the constitution of the order and its basic structure were established. It was headed by a grand master, who was elected for life and served in Jerusalem. Templar territories were divided into provinces, which were governed by provincial commanders, and each individual house, called a preceptory, was headed by a preceptor. General chapter meetings of all members of the order were held to address important matters affecting the Templars and to elect a new master when necessary. Similar meetings were held at the provincial level and on a weekly basis in each house.

The Templars were originally divided into two classes: knights and sergeants. The knight-brothers came from the military aristocracy and were trained in the arts of war. They assumed elite leadership positions in the order and served at royal and papal courts. Only the knights wore the Templars’ distinctive regalia, a white surcoat marked with a red cross. The sergeants, or serving-brothers, who were usually from lower social classes, made up the majority of members. They dressed in black habits and served as both warriors and servants. The Templars eventually added a third class, the chaplains, who were responsible for holding religious services, administering the sacraments, and addressing the spiritual needs of the other members. Although women were not allowed to join the order, there seems to have been at least one Templar nunnery.

The Templars eventually acquired great wealth. The kings and great nobles of Spain, France, and England gave lordships, castles, seigniories, and estates to the order, so that by the mid-12th century the Templars owned properties scattered throughout western Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Holy Land. The Templars’ military strength enabled them to safely collect, store, and transport bullion to and from Europe and the Holy Land, and their network of treasure storehouses and their efficient transport organization made them attractive as bankers to kings as well as to pilgrims to the Holy Land.

The Templars were not without enemies, however. They had long engaged in a bitter rivalry with the other great military order of Europe, the Hospitallers, and, by the late 13th century, proposals were being made to merge the two contentious orders into one. The fall of Acre to the Muslims in 1291 removed much of the Templars’ reason for being, and their great wealth, extensive landholdings in Europe, and power inspired resentment toward them. Although an ex-Templar had accused the order of blasphemy and immorality as early as 1304 (though more likely 1305), it was only later—after Philip IV ordered the arrest on October 13, 1307, of every Templar in France and sequestered all the Templars’ property in the country—that most of the people of Europe became aware of the extent of the alleged crimes of the order. Philip accused the Templars of heresy and immorality; specific charges against them included idol worship (of a bearded male head said to have great powers), worship of a cat, homosexuality, and numerous other errors of belief and practice. At the order’s secret initiation rite, it was claimed, the new member denied Christ three times, spat on the crucifix, and was kissed on the base of the spine, on the navel, and on the mouth by the knight presiding over the ceremony. The charges, now recognized to be without foundation, were calculated to stoke contemporary fears of heretics, witches, and demons and were similar to allegations Philip had used against Pope Boniface VIII.

The reasons why Philip sought to destroy the Templars are unclear; he may have genuinely feared their power and been motivated by his own piety to destroy a heretical group, or he may have simply seen an opportunity to seize their immense wealth, being chronically short of money himself. At any rate, Philip mercilessly pursued the order and had many of its members tortured to secure false confessions. Although Pope Clement V, himself a Frenchman, ordered the arrest of all the Templars in November 1307, a church council in 1311 voted overwhelmingly against suppression, and Templars in countries other than France were found innocent of the charges. Clement, however, under strong pressure from Philip, suppressed the order on March 22, 1312, and the Templars’ property throughout Europe was transferred to the Hospitallers or confiscated by secular rulers. Knights who confessed and were reconciled to the church were sent into retirement in the order’s former houses or in monasteries, but those who failed to confess or who relapsed were put on trial. Among those judged guilty was the order’s last grand master, Jacques de Molay. Brought before a commission established by the pope, de Molay and other leaders were judged relapsed heretics and sentenced to life in prison. The master protested and repudiated his confession and was burned at the stake, the last victim of a highly unjust and opportunistic persecution.

At the time of its destruction, the order was an important institution in both Europe and the Holy Land and already an object of myth and legend. The Templars were associated with the Grail legend and were identified as defenders of the Grail castle through the remainder of the Middle Ages. In the 18th century the Freemasons claimed to have received in a secret line of succession esoteric knowledge that the Templars had possessed. The Templars were also identified as Gnostics and were accused of involvement in a number of conspiracies, including one that was allegedly behind the French Revolution. In the 20th century the image of Christ on the Shroud of Turin was identified as the head allegedly worshipped by the Templars. Resurrecting a vein of pseudohistory and Grail legends, authors in the 20th century, claiming to assert historical fact but writing what most scholars regard as fantasy, implicated the Templars in a vast conspiracy dedicated to preserving the blood line of Jesus. Similar occult conspiracy theories were also used by writers of fiction in the 20th and 21st centuries.


 

Cathari
Christian sect
Main
(from Greek katharos, “pure”), also spelled Cathars, heretical Christian sect that flourished in western Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Cathari professed a neo-Manichaean dualism—that there are two principles, one good and the other evil, and that the material world is evil. Similar views were held in the Balkans and the Middle East by the medieval religious sects of the Paulicians and the Bogomils; the Cathari were closely connected with these sects.

In the first half of the 11th century isolated groups of such heretics appeared in western Germany, Flanders, and northern Italy. In the late 11th century no more was heard of them; then in the 12th century they reappeared. A period of rapid growth came in the 30 years following 1140. At about this time the Bogomil Church was reorganizing itself, and Bogomil missionaries, as well as Western dualists returning from the Second Crusade (1147–49), were at work in the West in the middle of the century. From the 1140s the Cathari were an organized church with a hierarchy, a liturgy, and a system of doctrine. About 1149 the first bishop established himself in the north of France; a few years later he established colleagues at Albi and in Lombardy. The status of these bishops was confirmed and the prestige of the Cathar Church enhanced by the visit of the Bogomil bishop Nicetas in 1167. In the following years more bishops were set up, until by the turn of the century there were 11 bishoprics in all, 1 in the north of France, 4 in the south, and 6 in Italy.

Although the various groups emphasized different doctrines, they all agreed that matter was evil. Man was an alien and a sojourner in an evil world; his aim must be to free his spirit, which was in its nature good, and restore it to communion with God. There were strict rules for fasting, including the total prohibition of meat. Sexual intercourse was forbidden; complete ascetic renunciation of the world was called for.

The extreme asceticism made the Cathari a church of the elect, and yet in France and northern Italy it became a popular religion. This success was achieved by the division of the faithful into two bodies: the “perfect” and the “believers.” The perfect were set apart from the mass of believers by a ceremony of initiation, the consolamentum. They devoted themselves to contemplation and were expected to maintain the highest moral standards. The believers were not expected to attain the standards of the perfect.

The Cathar doctrines of creation led them to rewrite the biblical story; they devised an elaborate mythology to replace it. They viewed much of the Old Testament with reserve; some of them rejected it altogether. The orthodox doctrine of the Incarnation was rejected. Jesus was merely an angel; his human sufferings and death were an illusion. They also severely criticized the worldliness and corruption of the Catholic Church.

The Cathar doctrines struck at the roots of orthodox Christianity and of the political institutions of Christendom, and the authorities of church and state united to attack them. Pope Innocent III (1198–1216) attempted to force Raymond VI, count of Toulouse, to join him in putting down the heresy, but this ended in disaster; the papal legate was murdered in January 1208, and the Count was generally thought to have been an accessory to the crime. A crusade—the Albigensian Crusade—was proclaimed against the heretics, and an army led by a group of barons from northern France proceeded to ravage Toulouse and Provence and massacre the inhabitants, both Cathar and Catholic (see Albigenses). A more orderly persecution sanctioned by St. Louis IX, in alliance with the nascent Inquisition, was more effective in breaking the power of the Cathari. In 1244 the great fortress of Montségur near the Pyrenees, a stronghold of the perfect, was captured and destroyed. The Cathari had to go underground, and many of the French Cathari fled to Italy, where persecution was more intermittent. The hierarchy faded out in the 1270s; the heresy lingered through the 14th century and finally disappeared early in the 15th.



 

Waldenses
religious movement
also spelled Valdenses, French Vaudois, Italian Valdesi, Main
members of a Christian movement that originated in 12th-century France, the devotees of which sought to follow Christ in poverty and simplicity. In modern times the name has been applied to members of a Protestant church (centred on the Franco-Italian border) that formed when remnants of the earlier movement became Swiss Protestant Reformers.

Early Roman Catholic and Waldensian sources are few and unreliable, and little is known with certainty about the reputed founder, Valdes (also called Peter Waldo, or Valdo). As a layman, Valdes preached in Lyon (1170–76), but ecclesiastical authorities were disturbed by his lack of theological training and by his use of a non-Latin version of the Bible. Valdes attended the third Lateran Council (1179) in Rome and was confirmed in his vow of poverty by Pope Alexander III. Probably during this council Valdes made his Profession of Faith (which still survives); it is a statement of orthodox beliefs such as accused heretics were required to sign. Valdes, however, did not receive the ecclesiastical recognition that he sought. Undeterred, he and his followers (Pauperes: “Poor”) continued to preach; the archbishop of Lyon condemned him, and Pope Lucius III placed the Waldenses under ban with his bull Ad Abolendam (1184), issued during the Synod of Verona.

Thereafter, the Waldenses departed from the teaching of the Roman Catholic church by rejecting some of the seven sacraments and the notion of purgatory. Their views were based on a simplified biblicism, moral rigour, and criticism of abuses in the contemporary church. Their movement, often joined to and influenced by other sects, spread rapidly to Spain, northern France, Flanders, Germany, and southern Italy and even reached Poland and Hungary. Rome responded vigorously, turning from excommunication to active persecution and execution. Though the Waldenses confessed regularly, celebrated communion once a year, fasted, and preached poverty, they repudiated such Roman practices as prayers for the dead and the veneration of saints, and they refused to recognize secular courts because they did not believe in taking oaths.

In the early 13th century a number of Waldenses returned to orthodoxy; by the end of the century persecution had virtually eliminated the sect in some areas, and for safety the survivors abandoned their distinctive dress. By the end of the 15th century they were confined mostly to the French and Italian valleys of the Cottian Alps.

A second period in their history began when the French reformer Guillaume Farel introduced Reformation theology to the Waldensian ministers (barbes) in 1526. The Waldenses raised questions concerning the number of sacraments, the relationship between free will and predestination, and the problem of reconciling justification by faith with the scriptural emphasis on the necessity of good works. At a conference at Cianforan in 1532 most Waldenses accepted secular law courts and celibacy for their barbes and agreed to accept only two sacraments (baptism and Holy Communion) and the doctrine of predestination as presented by the Protestants in attendance. By further adapting themselves to Genevan forms of worship and church organization, they became in effect a Swiss Protestant church. Years of persecution continued, however, before they received full civil rights in 1848.

During the second half of the 19th century, Waldensian emigrants arrived in Uruguay and later moved from there to the United States. There, strengthened by arrivals from France and Switzerland, they established small communities in Missouri, Texas, and Utah and, most importantly, around Valdese, in Burke county, N.C., now a thriving industrial town whose population of about 3,000 is still largely Waldensian.

Today the Waldenses are governed by a seven-member board, called the Tavola (“Table”), elected annually by a general synod that convenes in Torre Pellice, Italy.


Spiritual
religious order
also called Spiritual Franciscan
Main
member of an extreme group within the Franciscans, a mendicant religious order founded by St. Francis of Assisi in 1209; the Spirituals firmly espoused the austerity and poverty prescribed in the original Rule of St. Francis. Called the Fraticelli, they were opposed, to some extent, by St. Bonaventure, a leading Franciscan theologian, and some were condemned and executed as heretics. Among the Spiritual Franciscans, the works of the late 12th-century mystic Joachim of Fiore were influential, and because of their ideals the Spirituals became sources of inspiration to Protestant mystics of the 16th-century Reformation.


 

Antinomianism
religion
Main
(Greek anti, “against”; nomos, “law”), doctrine according to which Christians are freed by grace from the necessity of obeying the Mosaic Law. The antinomians rejected the very notion of obedience as legalistic; to them the good life flowed from the inner working of the Holy Spirit. In this circumstance they appealed not only to Martin Luther but also to Paul and Augustine.

The ideas of antinomianism had been present in the early church, and some Gnostic heretics believed that freedom from law meant freedom for license. The doctrine of antinomianism, however, grew out of the Protestant controversies on the law and the gospel and was first attributed to Luther’s collaborator, Johann Agricola. It also appeared in the Reformed branch of Protestantism. The left-wing Anabaptists were accused of antinomianism, both for theological reasons and also because they opposed the cooperation of church and state, which was considered necessary for law and order. For similar reasons, in the 17th century, Separatists, Familists, Ranters, and Independents in England were called antinomians by the established churches. In New England, Anne Hutchinson was accused of the doctrine when she said that the churches were preaching “the covenant of works.” The Evangelical movement at the end of the 18th century produced its own antinomians who claimed an inner experience and a “new life,” which they considered the true source of good works.

 

Lollard
English religious history
Main
in late medieval England, a follower, after about 1382, of John Wycliffe, a University of Oxford philosopher and theologian whose unorthodox religious and social doctrines in some ways anticipated those of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation. The name, used pejoratively, derived from the Middle Dutch lollaert (“mumbler”), which had been applied earlier to certain European continental groups suspected of combining pious pretensions with heretical belief.

At Oxford in the 1370s, Wycliffe came to advocate increasingly radical religious views. He denied the doctrine of transubstantiation and stressed the importance of preaching and the primacy of Scripture as the source of Christian doctrine. Claiming that the office of the papacy lacked scriptural justification, he equated the pope with Antichrist and welcomed the 14th-century schism in the papacy as a prelude to its destruction. Wycliffe was charged with heresy and retired from Oxford in 1378. Nevertheless, he was never brought to trial, and he continued to write and preach until his death in 1384.

The first Lollard group centred (c. 1382) on some of Wycliffe’s colleagues at Oxford led by Nicholas of Hereford. The movement gained followers outside of Oxford, and the anticlerical undercurrents of the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 were ascribed, probably unfairly, to the influence of Wycliffe and the Lollards. In 1382 William Courtenay, archbishop of Canterbury, forced some of the Oxford Lollards to renounce their views and conform to Roman Catholic doctrine. The sect continued to multiply, however, among townspeople, merchants, gentry, and even the lower clergy. Several knights of the royal household gave their support, as well as a few members of the House of Commons.

The accession of Henry IV in 1399 signaled a wave of repression against heresy. In 1401 the first English statute was passed for the burning of heretics. The Lollards’ first martyr, William Sawtrey, was actually burned a few days before the act was passed. In 1414 a Lollard rising led by Sir John Oldcastle was quickly defeated by Henry V. The rebellion brought severe reprisals and marked the end of the Lollards’ overt political influence.

Driven underground, the movement operated henceforth chiefly among tradespeople and artisans, supported by a few clerical adherents. About 1500 a Lollard revival began, and before 1530 the old Lollard and the new Protestant forces had begun to merge. The Lollard tradition facilitated the spread of Protestantism and predisposed opinion in favour of King Henry VIII’s anticlerical legislation during the English Reformation.

From its early days the Lollard movement tended to discard the scholastic subtleties of Wycliffe, who probably wrote few or none of the popular tracts in English formerly attributed to him. The most complete statement of early Lollard teaching appeared in the Twelve Conclusions, drawn up to be presented to the Parliament of 1395. They began by stating that the church in England had become subservient to her “stepmother the great church of Rome.” The present priesthood was not the one ordained by Christ, while the Roman ritual of ordination had no warrant in Scripture. Clerical celibacy occasioned unnatural lust, while the “feigned miracle” of transubstantiation led men into idolatry. The hallowing of wine, bread, altars, vestments, and so forth was related to necromancy. Prelates should not be temporal judges and rulers, for no man can serve two masters. The Conclusions also condemned special prayers for the dead, pilgrimages, and offerings to images, and they declared confession to a priest unnecessary for salvation. Warfare was contrary to the New Testament, and vows of chastity by nuns led to the horrors of abortion and child murder. Finally, the multitude of unnecessary arts and crafts pursued in the church encouraged “waste, curiosity, and disguising.” The Twelve Conclusions covered all the main Lollard doctrines except two: that the prime duty of priests is to preach and that all men should have free access to the Scriptures in their own language. The Lollards were responsible for a translation of the Bible into English, by Nicholas of Hereford, and later revised by Wycliffe’s secretary, John Purvey.



 

Hussite
religious movement
Main
any of the followers of the Bohemian religious reformer Jan Hus, who was condemned by the Council of Constance (1414–18) and burned at the stake. After his death in 1415 many Bohemian knights and nobles published a formal protest and offered protection to those who were persecuted for their faith. The movement’s chief supporters were Jakoubek of Stříbro (died 1429), Hus’s successor as preacher at the Bethlehem chapel in Prague; Václav Koranda, leader of the Taborites (extreme Hussites named for Tábor, their stronghold, south of Prague); and Jan Želivský, who organized the extreme reform party in Prague.

The Hussites broke with Rome in using a Czech liturgy and in administering Holy Communion to the laity under the forms of both bread and wine. (The doctrine supporting this was called Utraquism and the more moderate Hussites were called Utraquists.)

Under King Wenceslas (Václav) IV of Bohemia, the movement spread widely. In 1419, however, he died and was succeeded by a bitter enemy of the Hussites, his half brother Sigismund, king of the Romans and of Hungary. The Hussites would have acknowledged Sigismund had he accepted the Four Articles of Prague that Jakoubek had formulated: (1) freedom of preaching; (2) communion in both kinds; (3) poverty of the clergy and expropriation of church property; (4) punishment of notorious sinners. In 1420, however, Sigismund, who had failed to get possession of Prague, published a bull of Pope Martin V proclaiming a crusade against the Hussites. The Hussite union, which included the municipalities of Prague and other cities and the chief military power of Bohemia, deposed Sigismund and repelled two crusading attacks against Prague. Various crusades and battles against the Hussites failed for the next several years. In 1427 the Hussites, led by Prokop Holý, began a more revolutionary, rather than defensive, political program. Pope Martin V organized another crusade against them but did not live to see it decisively beaten by the Hussites in 1431.

Peace negotiations began in 1431, when the Council of Basel of the Roman Catholic Church agreed to negotiate with the Hussites on an equal basis, which Pope Martin V had refused to do. A Hussite delegation spent three months in Basel in 1433 discussing the Four Articles of Prague. The Council then sent a mission to Prague, which granted communion in both kinds to the Hussites. This grant split the Hussites, since the Utraquists were willing to make peace on these terms, but the Taborites were not. Utraquists and Catholics then joined forces to defeat the Taborites in a battle at Lipany in 1434, which ended the Taborites’ influence.

The Utraquist Hussites then resumed peace negotiations, and in July 1436 they obtained a peace treaty (the Compact of Iglau) that ensured all the principal gains of the war: communion in both kinds, the expropriation of church lands (which broke the economic power of the Roman Catholic Church in Bohemia), and an independent Bohemian Catholic church under Jan Rokycana as its elected archbishop. Although association with the Roman Catholic Church continued, the church of the Utraquist Hussites survived schisms and periodic persecutions until c. 1620, when it was finally absorbed by the Roman Catholics.

In the mid-15th century the Unitas Fratrum (Unity of Brethren) movement began in Bohemia among some of the Hussites, and it established its own independent organization in 1467. During the Reformation, the Unitas Fratrum was in contact with Lutheran and Reformed Protestants. Eventually, however, Bohemian and Moravian Protestantism was suppressed, and the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation was victorious after 1620, when the Protestant barons were defeated at the Battle of the White Mountain during the Thirty Years’ War.

Remnants of the Unitas Fratrum remained, however, and in 1722 a group of them fled Moravia and settled on the estate of Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf in Saxony. A number of exiles from Moravia and Bohemia followed, and they formed the community of Herrnhut, where they were organized as the Moravian Church . There is also some continuity with 20th-century Czech Protestantism.




Copper engraving intitled "Die Inquisition in Portugall",
by Jean David Zunner from the work Description de L'Univers,
Contenant les Differents Systemes de Monde, Les Cartes Generales
& Particulieres de la Geographie Ancienne
& Moderne by Alain Manesson Mallet, Frankfurt, 1685.




The Middle Ages » Procedures and organization

When instituting an inquiry in a district, an inquisitor would normally declare a period of grace during which those who voluntarily confessed their own involvement in heresy and that of others would be given only light penances. The inquisitor used these confessions to compile a list of suspects whom he summoned to his tribunal. Failure to appear was considered evidence of guilt. The trial was often a battle of wits between the inquisitor and the accused. The only other people present were a notary, who kept a record of the proceedings, and sworn witnesses, who attested the record’s accuracy. No lawyer would defend a suspect for fear of being accused of abetting heresy, and suspects were not normally told what charges had been made against them or by whom. The accused might appeal to the pope before proceedings began, but this involved considerable expense.

After consulting with canon lawyers, the inquisitor would sentence those found guilty at a sermo generalis, or public homily. Judicial penances were imposed on those who had been convicted of heresy and had recanted. The most common punishments were penitential pilgrimages, the wearing of yellow crosses on clothing (which was feared because it led to ostracism), and imprisonment.

The inquisition employed two kinds of prisons, both staffed by laymen. One type was the murus largus, or open prison, which consisted of cells built around a courtyard in which the inmates enjoyed considerable freedom. The other type was the murus strictus, a high-security prison, where inmates were kept in solitary confinement, often in chains. Heretics who admitted their errors but refused to recant were handed over to the secular authorities and burned at the stake. There were usually not many cases of this kind, because the chief aim of the inquisitors was to reconcile heretics to the church. On rare occasions, however, large public executions did take place, as at Verona in 1278, when some 200 Cathars were burned.

Although heresy was a capital offense in virtually all the states of western Europe, some rulers—for example, the kings of Castile and England—refused to license the inquisition. Even where it did operate—in much of Italy and in kingdoms such as France and Aragon—the inquisition relied entirely on the secular authorities to arrest and execute those whom it named and to defray all its expenses. The money came partly from the sale of the confiscated property of convicted heretics.

Although some scholars have denied that the medieval inquisition was an institution, others maintain that it is the best way to describe a group of men who enjoyed the same powers, were directly responsible to the pope, employed servants and officials, and had absolute control over a number of large prisons and their inmates. Nevertheless, its power was very limited, and, arguably, it was important chiefly because it established a tradition of religious coercion in the late medieval Western church that was inherited by both Catholics and Protestants in the 16th century.

Bernard Hamilton



Torture

 


Burning at the stake
punishment
Main
a method of execution practiced in Babylonia and ancient Israel and later adopted in Europe and North America.

Spanish heretics suffered this penalty during the Inquisition, as did French disbelievers and heretics such as Joan of Arc, who was condemned and burned in 1431 in Rouen, France. In 1555 the Protestant bishops Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley, and John Hooper were condemned as heretics and burned at the stake in Oxford, England. Burning at the stake was a traditional form of execution for women found guilty of witchcraft. Most accusations of witchcraft, however, did not originate in the church but resulted from personal rivalries and disputes in small towns and villages.

In some cases of burning at the stake, mechanisms were provided to shorten the victim’s suffering. These included attaching a container of gunpowder to the victim, which would explode and kill him instantly when heated by the fire, and placing the victim in a noose, often made of chain, so that death occurred by hanging. In England, the burning of heretics ended in 1612 with the death of Edward Wightman; the country’s last execution for heresy (by hanging) occurred in 1697. Burning at the stake for crimes other than heresy continued into the 18th century.

Geoffrey Abbott



Torture

 

Capital punishment
Historical considerations
law
also called death penalty

Main
execution of an offender sentenced to death after conviction by a court of law of a criminal offense. Capital punishment should be distinguished from extrajudicial executions carried out without due process of law. The term death penalty is sometimes used interchangeably with capital punishment, though imposition of the penalty is not always followed by execution (even when it is upheld on appeal), because of the possibility of commutation to life imprisonment.

Historical considerations
Capital punishment for murder, treason, arson, and rape was widely employed in ancient Greece under the laws of Draco (fl. 7th century bc), though Plato argued that it should be used only for the incorrigible. The Romans also used it for a wide range of offenses, though citizens were exempted for a short time during the republic. It also has been sanctioned at one time or another by most of the world’s major religions. Followers of Judaism and Christianity, for example, have claimed to find justification for capital punishment in the Old Testament passage “Whosoever sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed” (Genesis 9:6). Yet capital punishment has been prescribed for many crimes not involving loss of life, including adultery and blasphemy. The ancient legal principle Lex talionis (talion)—“an eye-for-an-eye, a tooth-for-a-tooth, a life-for-a-life”—which appears in the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi, was invoked in some societies to ensure that capital punishment was not disproportionately applied.

The prevalence of capital punishment in ancient times is difficult to ascertain precisely, but it seems likely that it was often avoided, sometimes by the alternative of banishment and sometimes by payment of compensation. For example, it was customary during Japan’s peaceful Heian period (794–1185) for the emperor to commute every death sentence and replace it with deportation to a remote area, though executions were reinstated once civil war broke out in the mid-11th century.

In Islamic law, as expressed in the Qurʾān, capital punishment is condoned. Although the Qurʾān prescribes the death penalty for several ḥadd (fixed) crimes—including robbery, adultery, and apostasy of Islam—murder is not among them. Instead, murder is treated as a civil crime and is covered by the law of qișās (retaliation), whereby the relatives of the victim decide whether the offender is punished with death by the authorities or made to pay diyah (wergild) as compensation.

Death was formerly the penalty for a large number of offenses in England during the 17th and 18th centuries, but it was never applied as widely as the law provided. As in other countries, many offenders who committed capital crimes escaped the death penalty, either because juries or courts would not convict them or because they were pardoned, usually on condition that they agreed to banishment; some were sentenced to the lesser punishment of transportation to the then American colonies and later to Australia. Beginning in the Middle Ages, it was possible for offenders guilty of capital offenses to receive benefit of clergy, by which those who could prove that they were ordained priests (clerks in Holy Orders) as well as secular clerks who assisted in divine service (or, from 1547, a peer of the realm) were allowed to go free, though it remained within the judge’s power to sentence them to prison for up to a year, or from 1717 onward to transportation for seven years. Because during medieval times the only proof of ordination was literacy, it became customary between the 15th and 18th centuries to allow anyone convicted of a felony to escape the death sentence by proving that he (the privilege was extended to women in 1629) could read. Until 1705, all he had to do was read (or recite) the first verse from Psalm 51 of the Bible—“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions”—which came to be known as the “neck verse” (for its power to save one’s neck). To ensure that an offender could escape death only once through benefit of clergy, he was branded on the brawn of the thumb (“M” for murder or “T” for theft). Branding was abolished in 1779, and benefit of clergy ceased in 1827.

From ancient times until well into the 19th century, many societies administered exceptionally cruel forms of capital punishment. In Rome the condemned were hurled from the Tarpeian Rock (see Tarpeia); for parricide they were drowned in a sealed bag with a dog, cock, ape, and viper; and still others were executed by forced gladiatorial combat or by crucifixion. Executions in ancient China were carried out by many painful methods, such as sawing the condemned in half, flaying him while still alive, and boiling. Cruel forms of execution in Europe included “breaking” on the wheel, boiling in oil, burning at the stake, decapitation by the guillotine or an axe, hanging, drawing and quartering, and drowning. Although by the end of the 20th century many jurisdictions (e.g., nearly every U.S. state that employs the death penalty, Guatemala, the Philippines, Taiwan, and some Chinese provinces) had adopted lethal injection, offenders continued to be beheaded in Saudi Arabia and occasionally stoned to death (for adultery) in Iran and The Sudan. Other methods of execution were electrocution, gassing, and the firing squad.

Historically, executions were public events, attended by large crowds, and the mutilated bodies were often displayed until they rotted. Public executions were banned in England in 1868, though they continued to take place in parts of the United States until the 1930s. In the last half of the 20th century, there was considerable debate regarding whether executions should be broadcast on television, as has occurred in Guatemala. Since the mid-1990s public executions have taken place in some 20 countries, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria, though the practice has been condemned by the United Nations Human Rights Committee as “incompatible with human dignity.”

In many countries death sentences are not carried out immediately after they are imposed; there is often a long period of uncertainty for the convicted while their cases are appealed. Inmates awaiting execution live on what has been called “death row”; in the United States and Japan, some prisoners have been executed more than 15 years after their convictions. The European Union regards this phenomenon as so inhumane that, on the basis of a binding ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (1989), EU countries may extradite an offender accused of a capital crime to a country that practices capital punishment only if a guarantee is given that the death penalty will not be sought.


Arguments for and against capital punishment
Capital punishment has long engendered considerable debate about both its morality and its effect on criminal behaviour. Contemporary arguments for and against capital punishment fall under three general headings: moral, utilitarian, and practical.


Arguments for and against capital punishment » Moral arguments
Supporters of the death penalty believe that those who commit murder, because they have taken the life of another, have forfeited their own right to life. Furthermore, they believe, capital punishment is a just form of retribution, expressing and reinforcing the moral indignation not only of the victim’s relatives but of law-abiding citizens in general. By contrast, opponents of capital punishment, following the writings of Cesare Beccaria (in particular On Crimes and Punishments [1764]), argue that, by legitimizing the very behaviour that the law seeks to repress—killing—capital punishment is counterproductive in the moral message it conveys. Moreover, they urge, when it is used for lesser crimes, capital punishment is immoral because it is wholly disproportionate to the harm done. Abolitionists also claim that capital punishment violates the condemned person’s right to life and is fundamentally inhuman and degrading.

Although death was prescribed for crimes in many sacred religious documents and historically was practiced widely with the support of religious hierarchies, today there is no agreement among religious faiths, or among denominations or sects within them, on the morality of capital punishment. Beginning in the last half of the 20th century, increasing numbers of religious leaders—particularly within Judaism and Roman Catholicism—campaigned against it. Capital punishment was abolished by the state of Israel for all offenses except treason and crimes against humanity, and Pope John Paul II condemned it as “cruel and unnecessary.”


Arguments for and against capital punishment » Utilitarian arguments
Supporters of capital punishment also claim that it has a uniquely potent deterrent effect on potentially violent offenders for whom the threat of imprisonment is not a sufficient restraint. Opponents, however, point to research that generally has demonstrated that the death penalty is not a more effective deterrent than the alternative sanction of life or long-term imprisonment.


Arguments for and against capital punishment » Practical arguments
There also are disputes about whether capital punishment can be administered in a manner consistent with justice. Those who support capital punishment believe that it is possible to fashion laws and procedures that ensure that only those who are really deserving of death are executed. By contrast, opponents maintain that the historical application of capital punishment shows that any attempt to single out certain kinds of crime as deserving of death will inevitably be arbitrary and discriminatory. They also point to other factors that they think preclude the possibility that capital punishment can be fairly applied, arguing that the poor and ethnic and religious minorities often do not have access to good legal assistance, that racial prejudice motivates predominantly white juries in capital cases to convict black and other nonwhite defendants in disproportionate numbers, and that, because errors are inevitable even in a well-run criminal justice system, some people will be executed for crimes they did not commit. Finally, they argue that, because the appeals process for death sentences is protracted, those condemned to death are often cruelly forced to endure long periods of uncertainty about their fate.


The abolition movement
Under the influence of the European Enlightenment, in the latter part of the 18th century there began a movement to limit the scope of capital punishment. Until that time a very wide range of offenses, including even common theft, were punishable by death—though the punishment was not always enforced, in part because juries tended to acquit defendants against the evidence in minor cases. In 1794 the U.S. state of Pennsylvania became the first jurisdiction to restrict the death penalty to first-degree murder, and in 1846 the state of Michigan abolished capital punishment for all murders and other common crimes. In 1863 Venezuela became the first country to abolish capital punishment for all crimes, including serious offenses against the state (e.g., treason and military offenses in time of war). Portugal was the first European country to abolish the death penalty, doing so in 1867; by the early 20th century several other countries, including The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Italy, had followed suit (though it was reintroduced in Italy under the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini). By the mid-1960s some 25 countries had abolished the death penalty for murder, though only about half of them also had abolished it for offenses against the state or the military code. For example, Britain abolished capital punishment for murder in 1965, but treason, piracy, and military crimes remained capital offenses until 1998.

During the last third of the 20th century, the number of abolitionist countries increased more than threefold. These countries, together with those that are “de facto” abolitionist—i.e., those in which capital punishment is legal but not exercised—now represent more than half the countries of the world. One reason for the significant increase in the number of abolitionist states was that the abolition movement was successful in making capital punishment an international human rights issue, whereas formerly it had been regarded as solely an internal matter for the countries concerned. In 1971 the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution that, “in order fully to guarantee the right to life, provided for in…the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” called for restricting the number of offenses for which the death penalty could be imposed, with a view toward abolishing it altogether. This resolution was reaffirmed by the General Assembly in 1977. Optional protocols to the European Convention on Human Rights (1983) and to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1989) have been established, under which countries party to the convention and the covenant undertake not to carry out executions. The Council of Europe (1994) and the EU (1998) established as a condition of membership in their organizations the requirement that prospective member countries suspend executions and commit themselves to abolition. This decision had a remarkable impact on the countries of central and eastern Europe, prompting several of them—e.g., the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia—to abolish capital punishment. In the 1990s many African countries—including Angola, Djibouti, Mozambique, and Namibia—abolished capital punishment, though most African countries retained it. In South Africa, which formerly had one of the world’s highest execution rates, capital punishment was outlawed in 1995 by the Constitutional Court, which declared that it was incompatible with the prohibition against cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment and with “a human rights culture.”


Capital punishment at the start of the 21st century
Despite the movement toward abolition, many countries have retained capital punishment, and, in fact, some have extended its scope. More than 30 countries have made the importation and possession for sale of certain drugs a capital offense. Iran, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines impose a mandatory death sentence for the possession of relatively small amounts of illegal drugs. In Singapore, which has by far the highest rate of execution per capita of any country, about three-fourths of persons executed in 2000 had been sentenced for drug offenses. Some 20 countries impose the death penalty for various economic crimes, including bribery and corruption of public officials, embezzlement of public funds, currency speculation, and the theft of large sums of money. Sexual offenses of various kinds are punishable by death in about two dozen countries, including most Islamic states. In China there are some 60 capital offenses, including all those listed above.

Despite the large number of capital offenses in some countries, in most years only about 30 countries carry out executions. In the United States, where roughly three-fourths of the states and the federal government have retained the death penalty, about two-thirds of all executions since 1976 (when new death penalty laws were affirmed by the Supreme Court) have occurred in just six states—Texas, Virginia, Florida, Missouri, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. China, which executes about 1,000 people annually (though no reliable statistics are published), regularly accounts for some four-fifths of all judicially sanctioned executions in the world. Although the number of executions worldwide varies from year to year, some countries—including Belarus, Congo (Kinshasa), Iran, Jordan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Yemen—execute criminals regularly. Japan and India also have retained the death penalty and carry out executions from time to time.

In only a few countries does the law allow for the execution of persons who were minors (under the age of 18) at the time they committed their crime. Most such executions, which are prohibited by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, have occurred in the United States, which has not ratified the convention and which ratified the covenant with reservations regarding the death penalty. Beginning in the late 1990s, there was considerable debate about whether the death penalty should be imposed on the mentally impaired; much of the controversy concerned practices in the United States, where more than a dozen such executions took place from 1990 to 2001 despite a UN injunction against the practice in 1989. In 2002 and 2005, respectively, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the execution of the mentally impaired and those under age 18 was unconstitutional. The court banned the imposition of the death penalty for rape in 1977 and specifically for child rape in 2008.

In the late 1990s, following a series of cases in which persons convicted of capital crimes and awaiting execution on death row were exonerated on the basis of new evidence—including evidence based on new DNA-testing technology—some U.S. states began to consider moratoriums on the death penalty. In 2000 Illinois Governor George Ryan ordered such a moratorium, noting that the state had executed 12 people from 1977 to 2000 but that the death sentences of 13 other people had been overturned in the same period. In 2003, on the eve of leaving office, Ryan emptied the state’s death row by pardoning 4 people and commuting the death sentences of 167 others. In 2007 the state of New Jersey abolished capital punishment and commuted the sentences of 8 inmates who faced the death penalty.

Roger Hood



Torture


 

Cathari
Christian sect
Main
(from Greek katharos, “pure”), also spelled Cathars, heretical Christian sect that flourished in western Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Cathari professed a neo-Manichaean dualism—that there are two principles, one good and the other evil, and that the material world is evil. Similar views were held in the Balkans and the Middle East by the medieval religious sects of the Paulicians and the Bogomils; the Cathari were closely connected with these sects.

In the first half of the 11th century isolated groups of such heretics appeared in western Germany, Flanders, and northern Italy. In the late 11th century no more was heard of them; then in the 12th century they reappeared. A period of rapid growth came in the 30 years following 1140. At about this time the Bogomil Church was reorganizing itself, and Bogomil missionaries, as well as Western dualists returning from the Second Crusade (1147–49), were at work in the West in the middle of the century. From the 1140s the Cathari were an organized church with a hierarchy, a liturgy, and a system of doctrine. About 1149 the first bishop established himself in the north of France; a few years later he established colleagues at Albi and in Lombardy. The status of these bishops was confirmed and the prestige of the Cathar Church enhanced by the visit of the Bogomil bishop Nicetas in 1167. In the following years more bishops were set up, until by the turn of the century there were 11 bishoprics in all, 1 in the north of France, 4 in the south, and 6 in Italy.

Although the various groups emphasized different doctrines, they all agreed that matter was evil. Man was an alien and a sojourner in an evil world; his aim must be to free his spirit, which was in its nature good, and restore it to communion with God. There were strict rules for fasting, including the total prohibition of meat. Sexual intercourse was forbidden; complete ascetic renunciation of the world was called for.

The extreme asceticism made the Cathari a church of the elect, and yet in France and northern Italy it became a popular religion. This success was achieved by the division of the faithful into two bodies: the “perfect” and the “believers.” The perfect were set apart from the mass of believers by a ceremony of initiation, the consolamentum. They devoted themselves to contemplation and were expected to maintain the highest moral standards. The believers were not expected to attain the standards of the perfect.

The Cathar doctrines of creation led them to rewrite the biblical story; they devised an elaborate mythology to replace it. They viewed much of the Old Testament with reserve; some of them rejected it altogether. The orthodox doctrine of the Incarnation was rejected. Jesus was merely an angel; his human sufferings and death were an illusion. They also severely criticized the worldliness and corruption of the Catholic Church.

The Cathar doctrines struck at the roots of orthodox Christianity and of the political institutions of Christendom, and the authorities of church and state united to attack them. Pope Innocent III (1198–1216) attempted to force Raymond VI, count of Toulouse, to join him in putting down the heresy, but this ended in disaster; the papal legate was murdered in January 1208, and the Count was generally thought to have been an accessory to the crime. A crusade—the Albigensian Crusade—was proclaimed against the heretics, and an army led by a group of barons from northern France proceeded to ravage Toulouse and Provence and massacre the inhabitants, both Cathar and Catholic (see Albigenses). A more orderly persecution sanctioned by St. Louis IX, in alliance with the nascent Inquisition, was more effective in breaking the power of the Cathari. In 1244 the great fortress of Montségur near the Pyrenees, a stronghold of the perfect, was captured and destroyed. The Cathari had to go underground, and many of the French Cathari fled to Italy, where persecution was more intermittent. The hierarchy faded out in the 1270s; the heresy lingered through the 14th century and finally disappeared early in the 15th.




Torture


Early modern Europe » History

From the 15th to the 19th century, inquisitions were permanently established, bureaucratically organized, appointed, and supervised tribunals of clergy (and occasionally laymen). They were charged with the discovery and extirpation of heterodox religious opinion and practice in Christian Europe. The institutional inquisitions were similar to other institutions of government and discipline in early modern Europe. The earliest, largest, and best-known of these was the Spanish Inquisition, established by Pope Sixtus IV at the petition of Ferdinand and Isabella, the rulers of Aragon and Castile, in a papal bull of Nov. 1, 1478. It was eventually extended throughout the Spanish empire in Europe and the Americas through a system of subordinate regional tribunals. It was formally abolished by the Spanish government in 1834. Later institutional inquisitions were established in Portugal in 1540 (abolished in 1821) and in Rome (for the Papal States and some other parts of Italy) in 1542; the latter was erected into the Congregation of the Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition, or Holy Office, one of the 15 secretariats into which the administrative reforms of Sixtus V (1585–90) divided papal government. (In 1965 the Holy Office was reorganized by Pope Paul VI and renamed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.) In 1547 the government of Venice established a tribunal of laymen, which was converted into a tribunal of clergy by 1551 but closely monitored by the Venetian government. The Venetian inquisition lasted until 1797. Another institutional inquisition, that of the city of Lucca, established in 1545, was also originally staffed by laymen but then clericalized after a few years.

The Spanish and Portuguese tribunals were departments of state intended initially to detect crypto-Judaism among Jewish converts to Christianity and their descendants and later to detect and eradicate Protestant Christianity. The Roman and other inquisitions were also departments of state, designed chiefly to combat Protestantism, which was conceived and defined as heresy in Catholic territories. All inquisitions had the power to supervise and discipline the moral failings of both clergy and laity.

These institutional inquisitions, some scholars have argued, differed from earlier inquisitorial tribunals established by papal delegation in various parts of western Europe in the 13th century and intermittently thereafter, because the earlier tribunals were either those of individual bishops acting in their ordinary judicial capacity or those of individuals commissioned by the pope to extirpate heresy in specific places or for specific periods. They used similar procedures, sometimes communicating with each other, and were instructed by the same handbooks of doctrine and procedure, but possessed no common organization or other institutional features. Although early inquisitorial practices in some instances moved toward institutionalization, only those of the 16th century displayed full institutional characteristics.



Torture

 


Sixtus IV
pope
original name Francesco della Rovere
born July 21, 1414, Cella Ligure, near Savona, Republic of Genoa
died Aug. 12, 1484, Rome

Main
pope from 1471 to 1484 who effectively made the papacy an Italian principality.

Becoming a Franciscan, he subsequently taught and was chosen minister general of his order in 1464. He was made cardinal in 1467 by Pope Paul II, whom he succeeded on Aug. 9, 1471.

Neither a crusader nor curial politician, Sixtus aimed at the aggrandizement of his family and of the Papal States, subordinating his duties as the church’s spiritual head in a manner characteristic of his era. Concurrently, the ideal of the crusade against the Turks was dying. In 1472, under Cardinal Oliviero Carafa, he sent a fleet that participated in the landing at the important Muslim stronghold of Smyrna, but a new expedition in 1473 failed. Sixtus IV’s relations were strained with France, whose king Louis XI firmly upheld the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges (1438), which had established the liberties of the French Church. His efforts in 1474 and 1476 to reunite the Russian Church with Rome and to gain Russian support against the Turks were unsuccessful.

Sixtus IV soon abandoned universal interests, concentrating on Italian politics and revealing his confirmed nepotism. His beneficiaries were members of his own family, whom he greatly enriched and who involved him in messy disputes, perhaps the worst of which was a conspiracy against Lorenzo (the Magnificent) de’ Medici. On April 26, 1478, during mass at Florence cathedral, the agents of Girolamo Riario, Sixtus IV’s nephew, wounded Lorenzo and killed his brother, Giuliano, in a plot to overthrow the Medici. Although Sixtus endorsed the plot, he did not approve of assassination. Out of this scandal and its counteraction, he justifiably managed to excommunicate Lorenzo, to put Florence under interdict, and to induce King Ferdinand I of Naples, the papacy’s ally, to declare a fruitless and inglorious war that kept Italy confused for two years. In 1480 Lorenzo boldly made peace with Ferdinand, despite Sixtus, who maintained war between the papacy and Florence. He finally absolved Lorenzo and removed the interdict.

Apart from meddling in feuds between the great Roman families, Sixtus IV committed himself rather scandalously to Venice’s aggression against the duchy of Ferrara, which he incited the Venetians to attack (1482); their combined assault was opposed by Milan, Florence, and Naples. For refusing to desist from the hostilities that he had instigated and for appearing to be a dangerous rival to the Papal States, Sixtus placed Venice under interdict in 1483.

In ecclesiastical affairs, Sixtus IV instituted for the Roman Church the feast (December 8) of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He formally annulled (1478) the decrees of the Council of Constance and condemned (1482) abuses in the Spanish Inquisition. He granted many privileges to the mendicant orders, particularly to his own Franciscans.

Above all, he was a founder or restorer of important institutions and a patron of arts and letters. He established and richly endowed the first foundling hospital and repaired and built numerous Roman churches (including Sta. Maria del Popolo and Sta. Maria della Pace); the Sistine Chapel is his principal monument. He commissioned such great artists as Sandro Botticelli and Antonio del Pollaiuolo and pensioned such eminent men of learning as Bartolomeo Platina. From 1471 he was the second founder of the Vatican Library, which he opened for scholars. During his pontificate Rome was transformed from a medieval to a Renaissance city. These outstanding achievements, however, were accomplished with heavy taxation and simony.



 

Ferdinand II
king of Spain
byname Ferdinand the Catholic, Spanish Fernando el Católico

born March 10, 1452, Sos, Aragon
died Jan. 23, 1516, Madrigalejo, Spain

Main
king of Aragon and king of Castile (as Ferdinand V) from 1479, joint sovereign with Queen Isabella I. (As Spanish ruler of southern Italy, he was also known as Ferdinand III of Naples and Ferdinand II of Sicily.) He united the Spanish kingdoms into the nation of Spain and began Spain’s entry into the modern period of imperial expansion.

Ferdinand was the son of John II of Aragon and Juana Enríquez, both of Castilian origin. In 1461, in the midst of a bitterly contested succession, John II named him heir apparent and governor of all his kingdoms and lands. Ferdinand’s future was assured when he came of age, in 1466, and when he was named king of Sicily, in 1468, in order to impress the court of Castile, where his father ultimately wished to place him. In addition to participating in court life, the young prince saw battle during the Catalonian wars.

John II was careful about Ferdinand’s education and took personal charge of it, making sure that Ferdinand learned as much as possible from experience. He also provided him with teachers who taught him humanistic attitudes and wrote him treatises on the art of government. Ferdinand had no apparent bent for formal studies, but he was a patron of the arts and a devotee of vocal and instrumental music.

Ferdinand had an imposing personality but was never very genial. From his father he acquired sagacity, integrity, courage, and a calculated reserve; from his mother, an impulsive emotionality, which he generally repressed. Under the responsibility of kingship he had to conceal his stronger passions and adopt a cold, impenetrable mask.

He married the princess Isabella of Castile in Valladolid in October 1469. This was a marriage of political opportunism, not romance. The court of Aragon dreamed of a return to Castile, and Isabella needed help to gain succession to the throne. The marriage initiated a dark and troubled life, in which Ferdinand fought on the Castilian and Aragonese fronts in order to impose his authority over the noble oligarchies, shifting his basis of support from one kingdom to the other according to the intensity of the danger. Despite the political nature of the union, he loved Isabella sincerely. She quickly bore him children: the infanta Isabella was born in 1470; the heir apparent, Juan, in 1478; and the infantas Juana (called Juana la Loca—Joan the Mad), Catalina (later called—as the first wife of Henry VIII of England—Catherine of Aragon), and María followed. The marriage began, however, with almost continual separation. Ferdinand, often away in the Castilian towns or on journeys to Aragon, reproached his wife for the comfort of her life. At the same time, the restlessness of his 20 years drove him into other women’s arms, by whom he sired at least two female children, whose birth dates are not recorded. His extramarital affairs caused Isabella jealousy for several years.

Between the ages of 20 and 30, Ferdinand performed a series of heroic deeds. These began when Henry IV of Castile died on Dec. 11, 1474, leaving his succession in dispute. Ferdinand rushed from Zaragoza to Segovia, where Isabella had herself proclaimed queen of Castile on December 13. Ferdinand remained there as king consort, an uneasy, marginal figure, until Isabella’s war of succession against Afonso V of Portugal gained his acceptance in 1479 as king in every sense of the word. That same year John II died, and Ferdinand succeeded to the Aragonese throne. This initiated a confederation of kingdoms, which was the institutional basis for modern Spain.

The events of this period bring out the young king’s character more clearly. In portraits he appears with soft, well-proportioned features, a small, sensual mouth, and pensive eyes. His literary descriptions are more complicated, although they agree in presenting him as good-looking, of medium height, and a good rider, devoted to games and to the hunt. He had a clear, strong voice.

From 1475 to 1479 Ferdinand struggled to take a firm seat in Castile with his young wife and to transform the kingdom politically, using new institutional molds partly inspired by those of Aragon. This policy of modernization included a ban against all religions other than Roman Catholicism. The establishment of the Spanish Inquisition (1478) to enforce religious uniformity and the expulsion of the Jews (1492) were both part of a deliberate policy designed to strengthen the church, which would in turn support the crown.

The years 1482–92 were frantic for Ferdinand. In the spring months he directed the campaign against the kingdom of Granada, showing his military talent to good effect, and he conquered the kingdom inch by inch, winning its final capitulation on Jan. 2, 1492. During the months of rest from war, he visited his kingdoms, learning their geography and problems firsthand.

The conquest of Granada made it possible to support Christopher Columbus’ voyages of exploration across the Atlantic. It is not known what Ferdinand thought of Columbus or how he judged his plans, nor can it be stated that the first trip was financed from Aragon; the sum of 1,157,000 maravedis came from the funds of the Santa Hermandad (“Holy Brotherhood”). Nevertheless, Ferdinand was present in the development of plans for the enterprise, in the negotiations to obtain the pope’s backing for it, and in the organization of the resulting American colonies.

At the age of 50 Ferdinand was an incarnation of royalty, and fortune smiled on him. For various reasons, particularly for his intervention in Italy, Pope Alexander VI gave him the honorary title of “the Catholic” on Dec. 2, 1496. But he also suffered a succession of tragedies: the heir apparent and his eldest daughter both died, and the first symptoms of insanity appeared in his daughter Juana. He was wounded in Barcelona in 1493, but this was unimportant compared with the family injuries he suffered, which culminated in the death of Isabella in 1504, “the best and most excellent wife king ever had.”

In 1505, to secure his position in Castile, Ferdinand signed a contract to marry Germaine de Foix, niece of the king of France. This, too, was a political marriage, although he always showed her the highest regard. A stay in Italy (1506–07) demonstrated how badly he was needed by the Spanish kingdoms. Once more in Castile, he managed his European policy so as to obtain a hegemony that would serve his expansionary ends in the Mediterranean and in Africa. In 1512, immediately after the schism in the church in which the kings of Navarre participated, he occupied their kingdom and incorporated it into Castile—one of the most controversial acts of his reign.

In 1513 Ferdinand’s health began to decay, although he was still able to direct his international policy and to prepare the succession of his grandson, the future emperor Charles V. In early 1516 he began a trip to Granada; he stopped in Madrigalejo, the little site of the sanctuary of Guadalupe, where he died. The day before his death, he had signed his last will and testament, an excellent picture of the monarch and of the political situation at his death.

Many considered Ferdinand the saviour of his kingdoms, a bringer of unity. Others despised him for having oppressed them. Machiavelli attributed to him the objectionable qualities of the Renaissance prince. The German traveler Thomas Müntzer and the Italian diplomat Francesco Guicciardini, who knew him personally, compared him with Charlemagne. His will indicates that he died with a clear conscience, ordering that his body be moved to Granada and buried next to that of his wife Isabella, so that they might be reunited for eternity. He died convinced that the crown of Spain had not been so powerful for 700 years, “and all, after God, because of my work and my labour.”

The Rev. Tarsicio de Azcona


 

Sixtus V
pope
original name Felice Peretti
born Dec. 13, 1520, Grottammare, Ancona, Papal States
died Aug. 27, 1590, Rome

Main
pope from 1585 to 1590, who reformed the Curia.

He entered the Franciscan order in 1533 and was ordained at Siena, Republic of Florence, in 1547. He served twice (1557–60) as inquisitor general in Venice, his severity there causing his recall. Pope Pius V made him vicar general of the Franciscans and bishop (1566), later elevating him to the cardinalate on May 17, 1570. He retired during the pontificate (1572–85) of Pope Gregory XIII and edited the works of Bishop Ambrose of Milan (1st vol., 1580). On April 24, 1585, he was unanimously elected successor to Gregory, who had left the Papal States in chaos. The Papal States had been financially drained to satisfy the multifarious needs of the Counter-Reformation, and lawlessness, particularly banditry, was widespread.

Sixtus swiftly restored peace and safety by harsh and repressive means, but his extreme measures in dealing with bandits created many enemies. His financial policies, which were intended to strengthen the church’s reserves, included the sale of offices, the creation of new monti (loans), the imposition of new taxes, and the regulation of prices. Immense sums were spent on his huge building program, including the completion of St. Peter’s dome, the rebuilding of the Lateran Palace and the Vatican, revision of street plans, and the general embellishment of Rome that transformed it from a medieval to a Baroque city. Yet he was able to end his reign as one of Europe’s richest princes.

Sixtus’ greatness is founded on his achievements in reforming the central administration of the church. By a bull of 1586 he defined the Sacred College of Cardinals, setting the number of cardinals at no more than 70, a limit that was not exceeded until the pontificate of John XXIII (1958–63). The secretariat of state was reorganized, and in January 1588 the Curia’s entire administrative system was overhauled. He established 15 congregations (the principal departments), specifying the form and function that remained substantially unchanged until the reforms after the second Vatican Council (1962–65). He is considered one of the founders of the Counter-Reformation because it was through his new curial machinery that the decrees of the ecumenical Council of Trent (1545–63) were effectively enforced.

Sixtus V was faced with a dilemma in international relations. He desired to stop the spread of Protestantism, especially in France, which was being torn by the complex civil Wars of Religion (1562–98) between the Huguenots and the Roman Catholics. During the War of the Three Henrys, in 1585, Sixtus excommunicated the Protestant Henry of Navarre (the future Henry IV of France) and promised subsidies in return for a Spanish invasion of England.

His attitude toward Henry changed, however, when Henry began considering conversion to Roman Catholicism. Sixtus died while negotiating with Henry over the kingship of France.
 




Torture


Early modern Europe » Procedures and organization

The institutional inquisitions bore a number of common features. Their officials were systematically recruited, appointed, and replaced, and they used well-defined and distinctive legal procedures. The inquisition possessed a vertical command-and-review structure, which required regular reports from subordinate branches, visitations and review of the activities of subordinate and regional branches, operational instructions, and preservation and regular consultation of archives. The inquisitions were also characterized by signs and insignia of membership and autonomous control of institutional finances and public activities (in Spain, the well-known autos-da-fé).

In some cases the institutional inquisitions themselves exerted considerable control over the prosecution of offenses that other courts treated with less consistency. In 1610 the Spanish inquisitor Alonso Salazar de Frias was sent by his superiors to review the evidence in a series of trials for witchcraft in northern Spain. When Salazar de Frias reported that he found insufficient evidence for conviction, and in spite of protests from two other fellow inquisitors, his program for the reform of witchcraft trials by the Spanish Inquisition was accepted and made official by the Supreme Council in 1614. In this case the institutional structure of the inquisition virtually eliminated accusations of and trials for witchcraft throughout the range of its jurisdiction.

All of the institutional inquisitions worked in secrecy, except for closely regulated public appearances. Their secrecy permitted those who opposed them to speculate about and often fictionalize dramatically their secret activities, producing many of the myths about inquisitions that are found in European literature from the 16th century to the present.

Edward Peters

 

 


Saint Dominic Presiding over an Auto-da-fe,
painted around 1495.



Auto-da-fé

public ceremony, plural autos-da-fé, Spanish auto de fé
(Portuguese: “act of faith”) Main
a public ceremony during which the sentences upon those brought before the Spanish Inquisition were read and after which the sentences were executed by the secular authorities. The first auto-da-fé took place at Sevilla in 1481; the last, in Mexico in 1850. The ceremonies, which became increasingly elaborate and spectacular, were normally staged in the city plaza, often in the presence of royalty. They usually comprised a lengthy procession, a solemn mass, an oath of obedience to the Inquisition, a sermon, and the reading of the sentences. The victims were most frequently apostate former Jews and former Muslims, then Alumbrados (followers of a condemned mystical movement) and Protestants, and occasionally those who had been accused of such crimes as bigamy and sorcery. Life imprisonment was the extreme penalty that the inquisitor could impose; the death penalty was imposed and carried out by the civil authorities. Generally, neither punishment nor the handing over of condemned persons to the secular power took place on the occasion of an auto-da-fé.

 

History » United Spain under the Catholic Monarchs » The Spanish Inquisition

With its large Muslim and Jewish populations, medieval Spain was the only multiracial and multireligious country in western Europe, and much of the development of Spanish civilization in religion, literature, art, and architecture during the later Middle Ages stemmed from this fact. The Jews had served Spain and its monarchs well, providing an active commercial class and an educated elite for many administrative posts.

By the late 14th century, however, the status of the Jews in Christian Spain began to change. Their former protectors, the monarchs in Spain, began to restrict the rights and privileges of the Jews, and the devastation caused by the Black Death led to increased popular hostility, as many believed that the plague was a plot devised by Jews to destroy Christianity. Animosity toward the Jews was stimulated further by Jewish converts to Christianity who issued polemics against their former coreligionists. Calls for the expulsion or persecution of the Jews were answered by anti-Jewish riots in 1348 and 1391. The pogroms of 1391 were especially significant because of the subsequent mass conversion of Jews to Christianity in response to the violence perpetrated against them.

The conversos and Marranos—the “new Christians”—became a highly controversial group throughout Spain. Many of these converted Jews and their descendants assumed important positions in government and society and associated themselves with powerful noble families. They also achieved economic power and prosperity, which inspired increasing hatred of them by the “old Christians,” who already questioned the sincerity of their conversions. Indeed, although there were many devout Christians among the conversos, there were also those who were at most agnostic converts, and the Marranos secretly continued to practice Judaism.

The wealth of the conversos created jealousy and their uncertain conversions hatred in a population that traditionally saw itself as the defender of Christianity against the infidel. The Catholic Monarchs, ever good tacticians, profited from this feeling. In 1478 they first obtained a papal bull from Sixtus IV setting up the Inquisition to deal with the conversos whose conversions were thought to be insincere. Since the Spanish Inquisition was constituted as a royal court, all appointments were made by the crown. Sixtus IV realized too late the enormous ecclesiastical powers that he had given away and the moral dangers inherent in an institution the proceedings of which were secret and that did not allow appeals to Rome.

With its army of lay familiars, who were exempt from normal jurisdiction and who acted both as bodyguards and as informers for the inquisitors, and with its combination of civil and ecclesiastical powers, the Spanish Inquisition became a formidable weapon in the armory of royal absolutism. The Supreme Council of the Inquisition (or Suprema) was the only formal institution established by the Catholic Monarchs for all their kingdoms together. Nevertheless, they thought of it primarily in religious and not in political terms. The Inquisition’s secret procedures, its eagerness to accept denunciations, its use of torture, the absence of counsel for the accused, the lack of any right to confront hostile witnesses, and the practice of confiscating the property of those who were condemned and sharing it between the Inquisition, the crown, and the accusers—all this inspired great terror, as indeed it was meant to do. The number of those condemned for heresy was never very large and has often been exaggerated by Protestant writers. But during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs several thousand conversos were condemned and burned for Judaizing practices. The whole family of the philosopher and humanist Juan Luis Vives was wiped out in this way. Many more thousands of conversos escaped similar fates only by fleeing the country. Many Roman Catholics in Spain opposed the introduction of the Inquisition, and the Neapolitans and Milanese (who prided themselves on their Catholicism and who were supported by the popes) later successfully resisted the attempts by their Spanish rulers to impose the Spanish Inquisition on them. Even in Spain itself, it was the sumptuous autos-da-fé, the ceremonial sentencings and executions of heretics, rather than the institution and its members, that seem to have been popular. But most Spaniards seem never to have understood the horror and revulsion that this institution aroused in the rest of Europe.

The first inquisitor general, Tomás de Torquemada, himself from a converso family, at once started a propaganda campaign against the Jews. In 1492 he persuaded the Catholic Monarchs to expel all Jews who refused to be baptized. Isabella and most of her contemporaries looked upon this expulsion of more than 160,000 of her subjects as a pious duty. At the moment when the country needed all its economic resources to sustain its new European position and its overseas empire, however, it was deprived of many of its most economically active citizens and was laid open to exploitation by German and Italian financiers.




Torture

 


Black Death
pandemic
Main
pandemic that ravaged Europe between 1347 and 1351, taking a proportionately greater toll of life than any other known epidemic or war up to that time. The Black Death is widely believed to have been the result of plague, caused by infection with the bacterium Yersinia pestis; however, modern scientific evidence has indicated that the pandemic may have been viral in origin.

Originating in China and Inner Asia, the plague was transmitted to Europeans (1347) when a Kipchak army, besieging a Genoese trading post in the Crimea, catapulted plague-infested corpses into the town. The disease spread from the Mediterranean ports (see Map), affecting Sicily (1347); North Africa, mainland Italy, Spain, England, and France (1348); Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Germany, and the Low Countries (1349); and Scandinavia and the Baltic lands (1350). There were recurrences of the plague in 1361–63, 1369–71, 1374–75, 1390, and 1400.

The rate of mortality from the Black Death varied from place to place: whereas some districts, such as the duchy of Milan, Flanders, and Béarn, seem to have escaped comparatively lightly, others, such as Tuscany, Aragon, Catalonia, and Languedoc, were very hard hit. Towns, where the danger of contagion was greater, were more affected than the countryside; and within the towns the monastic communities provided the highest incidence of victims. Even the great and powerful, who were more capable of flight, were struck down: among royalty, Eleanor, queen of Peter IV of Aragon, and King Alfonso XI of Castile succumbed, and Joan, daughter of the English king Edward III, died at Bordeaux on the way to her wedding with Alfonso’s son. Canterbury lost two successive archbishops, John de Stratford and Thomas Bradwardine; Petrarch lost not only Laura, who inspired so many of his poems, but also his patron, Giovanni Cardinal Colonna. The papal court at Avignon was reduced by one-fourth. Whole communities and families were sometimes annihilated.

The study of contemporary archives suggests a mortality varying in the different regions between one-eighth and two-thirds of the population, and the French chronicler Jean Froissart’s statement that about one-third of Europe’s population died in the epidemic may be fairly accurate. The population in England in 1400 was perhaps half what it had been 100 years earlier; in that country alone, the Black Death certainly caused the depopulation or total disappearance of about 1,000 villages. A rough estimate is that 25 million people in Europe died from plague during the Black Death. The population of western Europe did not again reach its pre-1348 level until the beginning of the 16th century.

The consequences of this violent catastrophe were many. A cessation of wars and a sudden slump in trade immediately followed but were only of short duration. A more lasting and serious consequence was the drastic reduction of the amount of land under cultivation due to the deaths of so many labourers. This proved to be the ruin of many landowners. The shortage of labour compelled them to substitute wages or money rents in place of labour services in an effort to keep their tenants. There was also a general rise in wages for artisans and peasants. These changes brought a new fluidity to the hitherto rigid stratification of society. The psychological effects of the Black Death were reflected north of the Alps (not in Italy) by a preoccupation with death and the afterlife evinced in poetry, sculpture, and painting; the Roman Catholic church lost some of its monopoly over the salvation of souls as people turned to mysticism and sometimes to excesses.




Public humiliation of man condemned
by the Inquisition

 

Converso
Spanish history
Main
(Spanish: “converted”), one of the Spanish Jews who adopted the Christian religion after a severe persecution in the late 14th and early 15th centuries and the expulsion of religious Jews from Spain in the 1490s. In the minds of many Roman Catholic churchmen the conversos were still identified as Jews, partly because they remained within the Jewish communities in the cities and partly because their occupations (merchants, doctors, tailors) had been monopolized by the Spanish Jewish people. Such identification caused many Christians to regard conversos as a subversive force within the church.

In 1499 a staunch and somewhat fanatical Roman Catholic, Pedro Sarmiento, wrote the anti-Semitic Sentencia-Estatuto, which prohibited conversos from holding public or ecclesiastical offices and from testifying against Spanish Christians in courts of law. That statute was followed by the 16th-century laws of purity of blood (limpieza de sangre) which further strengthened the laws against anyone of Jewish ancestry and were more racial than religious in nature. It was not until the late 19th and early 20th centuries that some of the legalized prejudice against Jews in Spain was modified.

 

Marrano
people
Main
in Spanish history, a Jew who converted to the Christian faith to escape persecution but who continued to practice Judaism secretly. It was a term of abuse and also applies to any descendants of Marranos. The origin of the word marrano is uncertain.

In the late 14th century, Spanish Jewry was threatened with extinction at the hands of mobs of fanatical Christians. Thousands of Jews accepted death, but tens of thousands found safety by ostensibly converting to Christianity. The number of converts is moderately estimated at more than 100,000. By the mid-15th century the persons who had been baptized but continued to practice Judaism in secret—Marranos—formed a compact society. The Marranos began to grow rich and to rise to high positions in the state, the royal court, and the church hierarchy. They intermarried with the noblest families of the land. The hatred directed against them by the old Christians, ostensibly because they were suspected of being untrue to their converted faith, was in fact directed indiscriminately against all conversos, or Jewish converts.

In March 1473, riots against Marranos broke out in Córdoba, with pillage and carnage lasting for three days. The massacres spread from city to city, carried out by fanatical mobs. In 1480 the Inquisition was introduced to provide institutional control over the persecution of the Marranos. In the Inquisition’s first year, more than 300 Marranos were burned, their estates reverting to the crown. The number of victims grew into tens of thousands.

To the Jews, the Marranos were pitiful martyrs. The Jews maintained religious bonds with the Marranos and kept strong their faith in the God of Israel. The Inquisition finally became convinced, however, that only the total expulsion of the Jews from Spain could end Jewish influence in the national life. Purity of faith became the national policy of the Catholic sovereigns, and thus came about the final tragedy, the edict of expulsion of all the Jews from Spain on March 31, 1492. Portugal promulgated an edict of expulsion in 1497 and Navarre in 1498.

A considerable minority of Jews saved themselves from expulsion by baptism, thus adding strength and numbers to the Marranos, but the mass of Spanish Jews refused conversion and went into exile. The physical separation of the Marranos from their spiritual sympathizers, however, did not make them more amenable to inquisitorial discipline. The Jewish religion remained deeply rooted in their hearts, and they continued to transmit their beliefs to the succeeding generations. Many Marranos did eventually choose emigration, however, principally to North Africa and to other western European countries. Marranism had disappeared in Spain by the 18th century owing to this emigration and to gradual assimilation within Spain.



Sixtus IV
pope
original name Francesco della Rovere
born July 21, 1414, Cella Ligure, near Savona, Republic of Genoa
died Aug. 12, 1484, Rome

Main
pope from 1471 to 1484 who effectively made the papacy an Italian principality.

Becoming a Franciscan, he subsequently taught and was chosen minister general of his order in 1464. He was made cardinal in 1467 by Pope Paul II, whom he succeeded on Aug. 9, 1471.

Neither a crusader nor curial politician, Sixtus aimed at the aggrandizement of his family and of the Papal States, subordinating his duties as the church’s spiritual head in a manner characteristic of his era. Concurrently, the ideal of the crusade against the Turks was dying. In 1472, under Cardinal Oliviero Carafa, he sent a fleet that participated in the landing at the important Muslim stronghold of Smyrna, but a new expedition in 1473 failed. Sixtus IV’s relations were strained with France, whose king Louis XI firmly upheld the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges (1438), which had established the liberties of the French Church. His efforts in 1474 and 1476 to reunite the Russian Church with Rome and to gain Russian support against the Turks were unsuccessful.

Sixtus IV soon abandoned universal interests, concentrating on Italian politics and revealing his confirmed nepotism. His beneficiaries were members of his own family, whom he greatly enriched and who involved him in messy disputes, perhaps the worst of which was a conspiracy against Lorenzo (the Magnificent) de’ Medici. On April 26, 1478, during mass at Florence cathedral, the agents of Girolamo Riario, Sixtus IV’s nephew, wounded Lorenzo and killed his brother, Giuliano, in a plot to overthrow the Medici. Although Sixtus endorsed the plot, he did not approve of assassination. Out of this scandal and its counteraction, he justifiably managed to excommunicate Lorenzo, to put Florence under interdict, and to induce King Ferdinand I of Naples, the papacy’s ally, to declare a fruitless and inglorious war that kept Italy confused for two years. In 1480 Lorenzo boldly made peace with Ferdinand, despite Sixtus, who maintained war between the papacy and Florence. He finally absolved Lorenzo and removed the interdict.

Apart from meddling in feuds between the great Roman families, Sixtus IV committed himself rather scandalously to Venice’s aggression against the duchy of Ferrara, which he incited the Venetians to attack (1482); their combined assault was opposed by Milan, Florence, and Naples. For refusing to desist from the hostilities that he had instigated and for appearing to be a dangerous rival to the Papal States, Sixtus placed Venice under interdict in 1483.

In ecclesiastical affairs, Sixtus IV instituted for the Roman Church the feast (December 8) of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He formally annulled (1478) the decrees of the Council of Constance and condemned (1482) abuses in the Spanish Inquisition. He granted many privileges to the mendicant orders, particularly to his own Franciscans.

Above all, he was a founder or restorer of important institutions and a patron of arts and letters. He established and richly endowed the first foundling hospital and repaired and built numerous Roman churches (including Sta. Maria del Popolo and Sta. Maria della Pace); the Sistine Chapel is his principal monument. He commissioned such great artists as Sandro Botticelli and Antonio del Pollaiuolo and pensioned such eminent men of learning as Bartolomeo Platina. From 1471 he was the second founder of the Vatican Library, which he opened for scholars. During his pontificate Rome was transformed from a medieval to a Renaissance city. These outstanding achievements, however, were accomplished with heavy taxation and simony.

 

Juan Luis Vives
Spanish humanist

born March 6, 1492, Valencia, Aragon
died May 6, 1540, Bruges

Main
Spanish Humanist and student of Erasmus, eminent in education, philosophy, and psychology, who strongly opposed Scholasticism and emphasized induction as a method of inquiry.

Vives left Spain at the age of 17 to avoid the Inquisition. After studies at Paris (1509–12), he was appointed professor of the humanities at Leuven (Louvain [1519]). Having dedicated his commentary (1522) on St. Augustine’s De civitate Dei to Henry VIII of England, he went in 1523 to England, where he was appointed preceptor to Mary, princess of Wales, and lectured on philosophy at Oxford. In 1527 he forfeited Henry’s favour by opposing the royal divorce from Catherine of Aragon and was imprisoned for six weeks, after which he left England for The Netherlands to devote himself to writing.

In education Vives achieved renown through such works as De ratione studii puerilis (completed 1523; “On the Right Method of Instruction for Children”) and De disciplinis libri xx (1531; “Twenty Books on Disciplines”), in which he advocated the use of the vernacular in schools, argued for the building of academies, and supported the education of women. Perhaps his greatest innovation was to recommend the study of nature for boys, applying the principle of induction from personal inquiry and experience that Erasmus had advocated for the study of Scripture and languages.

Vives’ claim to eminence in psychology and philosophical method rests on his De anima et vita libri tres (1538; “Three Books on the Soul and on Life”), in which he discusses the association of ideas, the nature of memory, and even animal psychology. The work somewhat anticipates the ideas of the great thinkers of the century following his death by its emphasis on induction as a method of psychological and philosophical discovery.

 

Tomas de Torquemada

(1420 – September 16, 1498) was a fifteenth century Spanish Dominican, first Inquisitor General of Spain, and confessor to Isabella I of Castile. He was famously described by the Spanish chronicler Sebastián de Olmedo as "The hammer of heretics, the light of Spain, the saviour of his country, the honour of his order". He is known for his zealous campaign against the crypto-Jews and crypto-Muslims of Spain. He was one of the chief supporters of the Alhambra Decree, which expelled the Jews from Spain in 1492. The number of autos-de-fé during Torquemada's tenure as Inquisitor General have been hotly debated over the years. Today, there is a general consensus that about 2000 people were burned by the Inquisition in the whole Spain between 1480 and 1530[1], while Torquemada was Grand Inquisitor from 1483 until his death in 1498.

 




Two priests demand a heretic to repent as he is tortured
(Tomás de Torquemada)
.



History » United Spain under the Catholic Monarchs » The Spanish Inquisition » The conversos

The expulsion of the Jews in 1492 did not signify the end of Jewish influence on Spanish history, as was long thought. It is not, however, easy to establish a clear-cut direction or pattern of this influence. At the end of the 15th century there may have been up to 300,000 conversos in Spain, and the majority of these remained. They had constituted the educated urban bourgeoisie of Spain, and the richer families had frequently intermarried with the Spanish aristocracy and even with the royal family itself. After 1492 their position remained precarious. Some reacted by stressing their Christian orthodoxy and denouncing other conversos to the Inquisition for Judaizing practices. Others embraced some form of less conventional, more spiritualized Christianity. Thus the followers of Sister Isabel de la Cruz, a Franciscan, organized the centres of the Illuminists (Alumbrados), mystics who believed that through inner purification their souls should submit to God’s will and thus enter into direct communication with him. While they counted some of the high aristocracy among their number, most of the Illuminists seem to have been conversos. Again, it was among the conversos that Erasmianism (named after the famous humanist Desiderius Erasmus), a more intellectual form of spiritualized Christianity, had its greatest successes in Spain. The Erasmians had powerful supporters at court in the early years of Charles I as emperor, when his policy was directed toward the healing of the religious schism by a general reform of the church. But in the 1530s and ’40s the enemies of the Erasmians, especially the Dominican order, launched a systematic campaign against them. The Inquisition annihilated them or forced them to flee the country, just as it had done in the case of the Illuminists as early as the 1520s. Nevertheless, the influence of Erasmus did not completely disappear from Spanish intellectual life, and it has been traced into the latter part of the 16th century.

But the majority of the conversos and their descendants probably became and remained orthodox Roman Catholics, playing a prominent part in every aspect of Spanish religious and intellectual life. They range from such saints as Teresa of Ávila and St. John of God, one a mystical writer and founder of convents, the other an organizer of care for the sick, to Diego Laínez, a friend of St. Ignatius of Loyola and second general of the Jesuit order. They include Fernando de Rojas, author of La Celestina, the first great literary work of the Spanish Renaissance, and, two generations later, Mateo Alemán, who wrote a picaresque novel, Guzmán de Alfarache; Luis de León, a humanist and poet; a Dominican, Francisco de Vitoria, perhaps the greatest jurist of any country in the 16th century; and another famous Dominican, the defender of the American Indians and historian of the Indies, Bartolomé de Las Casas.

Along with Luis Vives (mentioned earlier), these are only the most famous among the many distinguished conversos who played such a central and varied role in creating the cultural splendours of Spain’s “Golden Age.” This extraordinary phenomenon had no parallel anywhere else in Europe before the 19th or even 20th century. Although any attempt at explanation is bound to be speculative, the following may be suggested. The Spanish Jews and conversos formed a comparatively large section of the relatively small educated elite of Spain who were primarily responsible for the cultural achievements of the period. Moreover, having deliberately broken with the Jewish tradition of Talmudic scholarship (from the Talmud, the body of Jewish civil and canonical law), the conversos found the glittering Renaissance world of Christian Spain ambivalently attractive and repellent but always stimulating. Their response to this stimulus was probably sharpened by the hostility that they continued to meet from the “old Christians,” who were bitterly resentful and aware of the ubiquity of the conversos, however much the conversos assimilated into Spanish culture.



Torture


 


Fernando de Rojas
Spanish writer

born c. 1465, La Puebla de Montalbán, Castile
died April 1541, Talavera de la Reina, Spain

Main
Spanish author whose single work is La Celestina, an extended prose drama in dialogue that marked an important stage in the development of prose fiction in Spain and in Europe.

Of Jewish parentage, Rojas received a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Salamanca about 1490. He later moved to Talavera, married, practiced law, and served briefly as lord mayor. The first version of La Celestina appeared under the title Comedia de Calisto y Melibea (1499) and contained 16 acts. A later version, Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea (1502), is in 21 acts or chapters. The custom of referring to the work as La Celestina began with the Italian (1519) and French (1527) translations. La Celestina was one of the first works to present romance in everyday life. It combines a tragic love story with bawdy and picaresque scenes enacted between a cast of secondary characters.

 

Mateo Alemán
Spanish author

baptized September 28, 1547, Sevilla, Spain
died c. 1614, Mexico

Main
novelist, a master stylist best known for his early, highly popular picaresque novel, Guzmán de Alfarache.

Descended from Jews who had been forcibly converted to Catholicism, Alemán expressed many aspects of the experiences and feelings of the New Christians in 16th-century Spain. His most important literary work, Guzmán de Alfarache (1599; a second part, 1604; Eng. trans., The Spanish Rogue, 1622, 1924), which brought him fame throughout Europe but little profit, is one of the earliest picaresque novels. The first part ran through many editions, almost all pirated; even before he could finish the second part, a spurious sequel had appeared. Alemán’s life, in many ways like that of his protagonist, Guzmán, was afflicted with severe economic and personal reverses. He was the son of a prison doctor and studied medicine at Salamanca and Alcalá for four years after graduating from the University of Sevilla (Seville) in 1564, but he never practiced. In 1580 he was imprisoned for debt. Only after he emigrated to Mexico in 1608 did his fortunes become settled and his life stable.

 

Francisco de Vitoria
Spanish theologian

born probably 1486, Vitoria, Álava, Castile
died August 12, 1546

Main
Spanish theologian best remembered for his defense of the rights of the Indians of the New World against Spanish colonists and for his ideas of the limitations of justifiable warfare.

Early life and education
Vitoria was born in the Basque province of Álava. He entered the Dominican order and was sent to the University of Paris, where he was to remain as student and then lecturer for nearly 16 years. He returned to Spain in 1523 to lecture in Valladolid, and he had already begun his investigation of the morality of colonization when he was elected in 1526, by an enthusiastic majority of students, to the prime chair of theology at Salamanca.

The aim of Salamanca University was to present the then new Renaissance scholarship in a framework of scholastic reasoning in the medieval style. At Salamanca Vitoria addressed himself to most of the critical debates of his time. In lecturing on the wars between France and Spain, he did not adopt the common Spanish view that the French king must be guilty because he refused to take either heresy or the Turkish menace seriously. Instead, he saw faults on both sides and warned that the Franco-Spanish feud would be the ruin of Christendom. He strongly condemned the behaviour of councillors, courtiers, and governors; he also criticized the clergy for failure to take up residence in their parishes, for holding more than one office at a time, and for their indifference to the poor.


Vitoria’s anticolonial views
Vitoria was doubtful of the justice of the Spanish conquest of the New World. As a friar, he refused to agree that war might be made on people simply because they were pagans or because they refused conversion—for belief was an act of the will and could not be forced. Nor could pagans be punished for offenses against God, because Christians committed just as many such offenses as pagans. The pope had no right to give European rulers dominion over primitive peoples; the most he could do was to allocate spheres for missionary work. Pagans had a right to their property and to their own rulers; they were not irrational. One could not speak of discovery as if the lands had been previously uninhabited; thus the only possible justification for conquest might be the protection of the innocent from cannibalism and human sacrifice. If a Christian ruler presumed to rule over a colony, it was his duty to give it benefits equal to those of the home country and to send efficient ministers to see just laws observed. The Indians were as much subjects of the king of Spain “as any man in Sevilla.”

At Salamanca, Vitoria revived the study of the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. None of his lectures survives except in students’ notes, but his recapitulations—mandatory summaries of the year’s course—survive in unusual numbers. He rewrote his lectures annually, even after 26 years of lecturing, telling his students that lecture notes from the previous year would not be useful. He answered questions both during and after class, and his style is said to have been lively and witty.

Vitoria’s writings on war were addressed to the possibility of limiting the horrors of contemporary warfare. In principle, war was not justified except as defense against aggression or to right a very great wrong. In any case, the declaration of war should be preceded by efforts at conciliation and arbitration. A ruler should also consider whether the war might not do more harm than good. Innocent persons might be killed only if it was absolutely impossible to distinguish them from participants. Finally, if a subject’s conscience told him a war was wrong, he must not take part in it.

Vitoria’s arguments, involving the application of moral principles, led to his being often consulted by the emperor Charles V. In 1530 the empress wrote to ask him about the divorce of King Henry VIII of England, and this led him to give a course of lectures on matrimony. In 1539 the emperor himself wrote to inquire about the possibility of sending 12 “learned and pious friars” to Mexico to found a university, and a second time to ask for some of Vitoria’s pupils. Vitoria’s open criticism did not affect Charles’s friendly attitude; in 1541 he wrote to Vitoria twice on the subject of the Indians. In 1545 Prince Philip (later Philip II of Spain) wrote in his father’s behalf to invite Vitoria to the Council of Trent. Vitoria declined, saying he was “more likely to go to the other world.” He died in the following year at age 60.


Influence
Vitoria’s influence was widespread; it swept the universities and even affected the royal councils. About 5,000 students passed through his classrooms; 24 of his pupils held chairs of arts or theology at Salamanca; and in 1548 two also held chairs of St. Thomas Aquinas at Alcalá, the rival university.

Vitoria and some of his contemporaries are sometimes credited with being the founders of international law. But, while it is true that their sense of living in an expanding world made them more aware than their predecessors of the unity of mankind and more anxious to assert it, their theory contained no pacts or covenants, only good and useful universal custom, which might be expected to change as nations developed. This position is much closer to the traditional law of nations, or jus gentium, than to modern international law.

Bernice Margaret Hamilton

 

Bartolomé de Las Casas
Spanish historian and missionary

born August 1474, Sevilla?
died July 17, 1566, Madrid

Main
early Spanish historian and Dominican missionary in the Americas, who was the first to expose the oppression of the Indian by the European and to call for the abolition of Indian slavery. His several works include Historia de las Indias (first printed in 1875). A prolific writer and in his later years an influential figure of the Spanish court, Las Casas nonetheless failed to stay the progressive enslavement of the indigenous races of Latin America.

The son of a small merchant, Las Casas is believed to have gone to Granada as a soldier in 1497 and to have enrolled to study Latin in the academy at the cathedral in Sevilla (Seville). In 1502 he left for Hispaniola, in the West Indies, with the governor, Nicolás de Ovando. As a reward for his participation in various expeditions, he was given an encomienda (a royal land grant including Indian inhabitants), and he soon began to evangelize the Indians, serving as doctrinero, or lay teacher of catechism. Perhaps the first person in America to receive holy orders, he was ordained priest in either 1512 or 1513. In 1513 he took part in the bloody conquest of Cuba and, as priest-encomendero (land grantee), received an allotment of Indian serfs.

Although during his first 12 years in America Las Casas was a willing participant in the conquest of the Caribbean, he did not indefinitely remain indifferent to the fate of the natives. In a famous sermon on August 15, 1514, he announced that he was returning his Indian serfs to the governor. Realizing that it was useless to attempt to defend the Indians at long distance in America, he returned to Spain in 1515 to plead for their better treatment. The most influential person to take up his cause was Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros, the archbishop of Toledo and future co-regent of Spain. With the help of the archbishop, the Plan para la reformación de las Indias was conceived, and Las Casas, named priest-procurator of the Indies, was appointed to a commission to investigate the status of the Indians. He sailed for America in November 1516.

Las Casas returned to Spain the next year. In addition to studying the juridical problems of the Indies, he began to work out a plan for their peaceful colonization by recruiting farmers as colonists. His stirring defense of the Indians before the Spanish Parliament in Barcelona in December 1519 persuaded King Charles I (the emperor Charles V), who was in attendance, to accept Las Casas’s project of founding “towns of free Indians”—i.e., communities of both Spaniards and Indians who would jointly create a new civilization in America. The location selected for the new colony was on the Gulf of Paria in the northern part of present-day Venezuela. Las Casas and a group of farm labourers departed for America in December 1520. The failure to recruit a sufficient number of farmers, the opposition of the encomenderos of Santo Domingo, and, finally, an attack by the Indians themselves all were factors that brought disaster to the experiment in January 1522.

Upon his return to Santo Domingo, the unsuccessful priest and political reformer abandoned his reforming activities to take refuge in religious life; he joined the Dominican order in 1523. Four years later, while serving as prior of the convent of Puerto de Plata, a town in northern Santo Domingo, he began to write the Historia apologética. One of his major works, the Apologética was to serve as the introduction to his masterpiece, the Historia de las Indias. The Historia, which by his request was not published until after his death, is an account of all that had happened in the Indies just as he had seen or heard of it. But, rather than a chronicle, it is a prophetic interpretation of events. The purpose of all the facts he sets forth is the exposure of the “sin” of domination, oppression, and injustice that the European was inflicting upon the newly discovered colonial peoples. It was Las Casas’s intention to reveal to Spain the reason for the misfortune that would inevitably befall her when she became the object of God’s punishment.

Las Casas interrupted work on the book only to send to the Council of the Indies in Madrid three long letters (in 1531, 1534, and 1535), in which he accused persons and institutions of the sin of oppressing the Indian, particularly through the encomienda system. After various adventures in Central America, where his ideas on the treatment of the natives invariably brought him into conflict with the Spanish authorities, Las Casas wrote De único modo (1537; “Concerning the Only Way of Drawing All Peoples to the True Religion”), in which he set forth the doctrine of peaceful evangelization of the Indian. Together with the Dominicans, he then employed this new type of evangelization in a “land of war” (a territory of still-unconquered Indians)—Tuzutlan, near the Golfo Dulce (Sweet Gulf) in present-day Costa Rica. Encouraged by the favourable outcome of this experiment, Las Casas set out for Spain late in 1539, arriving there in 1540.

While awaiting an audience with Charles V, Las Casas conceived the idea of still another work, the Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias (“A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies”), which he wrote in 1542 and in which the historical events described are in themselves of less importance than their theological interpretation: “The reason why the Christians have killed and destroyed such an infinite number of souls is that they have been moved by their wish for gold and their desire to enrich themselves in a very short time.”

Las Casas’s work finally seemed to be crowned with success when King Charles signed the so-called New Laws (Leyes Nuevas). According to these laws, the encomienda was not to be considered a hereditary grant; instead, the owners had to set free their Indians after the span of a single generation. To ensure enforcement of the laws, Las Casas was named bishop of Chiapas in Guatemala, and in July 1544 he set sail for America, together with 44 Dominicans. Upon his arrival in January 1545, he immediately issued Avisos y reglas para confesores de españoles (“Admonitions and Regulations for the Confessors of Spaniards”), the famous Confesionario, in which he forbade absolution to be given to those who held Indians in encomienda. The rigorous enforcement of his regulations led to vehement opposition on the part of the Spanish faithful during Lent of 1545 and forced Las Casas to establish a council of bishops to assist him in his task. But soon his uncompromisingly pro-Indian position alienated his colleagues, and in 1547 he returned to Spain.

Las Casas then entered upon the most fruitful period of his life. He became an influential figure at court and at the Council of the Indies. In addition to writing numerous memoriales (petitions), he came into direct confrontation with the learned Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, an increasingly important figure at court by reason of his Democrates II (“Concerning the Just Cause of the War Against the Indians”), in which he maintained, theoretically in accordance with Aristotelian principles, that the Indians “are inferior to the Spaniards just as children are to adults, women to men, and, indeed, one might even say, as apes are to men.” Las Casas finally confronted him in 1550 at the Council of Valladolid, which was presided over by famous theologians. The argument was continued in 1551, and its repercussions were enormous.

The servitude of the Indians was already irreversibly established, and, despite the fact that Sepúlveda’s teachings had not been officially approved, they were, in effect, those that were followed in the Indies. But Las Casas continued to write books, tracts, and petitions, testimony to his unwavering determination to leave in written form his principal arguments in defense of the American Indian.

During his final years Las Casas came to be the indispensable adviser both to the Council of the Indies and to the king on many of the problems relating to the Indies. In 1562 he had the final form of the Prólogo to the Historia de las Indias published, although in 1559 he had left written instructions that the work itself should be published only “after forty years have passed, so that, if God determines to destroy Spain, it may be seen that it is because of the destruction that we have wrought in the Indies and His just reason for it may be clearly evident.” At the age of 90 Las Casas completed two more works on the Spanish conquest in the Americas. Two years later he died in the Dominican convent of Nuestra Señora de Atocha de Madrid, having continued to the end his defense of his beloved Indians, oppressed by the colonial system that Europe was organizing.

At the suggestion of Francisco de Toledo, the viceroy of Peru, the king ordered all the works, both published and unpublished, of Las Casas to be collected. Although his influence with Spain and the Indies declined sharply, his name became well known in other parts of Europe, thanks to the translations of the Destrucción that soon appeared in various countries. In the early 19th century the Latin American revolutionary Simón Bolívar himself was inspired by some of the letters of Las Casas in his struggle against Spain, as were some of the heroes of Mexican independence. His name came into prominence again in the latter half of the 20th century, in connection with the so-called Indigenistas movements in Peru and Mexico. The modern significance of Las Casas lies in the fact that he was the first European to perceive the economic, political, and cultural injustice of the colonial or neocolonial system maintained by the North Atlantic powers since the 16th century for the control of Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

The most complete edition of Las Casas’s works is Juan Antonio Llorente (ed.), Colección de las obras del venerable obispo de Chiapas don Bartolomé de Las Casas (1822, reprinted 1981).

Enrique Dussel




Punishing-witches-Laienspiegel



History » United Spain under the Catholic Monarchs » The Spanish Inquisition » The statutes of limpieza

Religious, racial, and even anti-aristocratic class prejudices combined to create the obsession with “purity of blood” (limpieza de sangre) which became characteristic of the Spaniards in the 16th and 17th centuries. It first crystallized with a statute of limpieza, imposed in 1547 on the cathedral chapter of Toledo, by which purity of ancestry both from the “taint” of converso blood and from any accusations of heresy by the Inquisition was made a condition of all future ecclesiastical appointments. The author of this statute was Juan Martínez Siliceo, archbishop of Toledo, a man of humble and, hence, by definition, untainted origins who had found himself despised by the aristocratic canons, many of whom were of converso ancestry. In 1556 Philip II gave his royal approval to the statute on the grounds that “all the heresies in Germany, France, and Spain have been sown by descendants of Jews.” This remark was sheer fantasy with regard to Germany and France, and it is especially ironic that Pope Paul IV, then at war with Spain, quite correctly described Philip II himself as a Marrano, or a descendant of Jews who had converted to Christianity.

Statutes of limpieza spread rapidly throughout Spain. The statutes helped to perpetuate a set of values that equated pure ancestry, orthodoxy, and personal honour. Although this certainly helped to prevent the spread of heresies in Spain, in the long run it had a blighting effect on Spanish society, especially because the statutes were linked so closely with the basically corrupt institution of the Inquisition and its encouragement of the inevitably corrupting and divisive practice of spying on and denouncing one’s neighbours.

By the middle of the 16th century the Inquisition had largely run out of suspected heretics and Judaizers. Apart from its continued concern with the Moriscos, the Inquisition began to concentrate its efforts on the censorship of books and on enforcing correct religious beliefs and moral (i.e., mainly sexual) behaviour among the “old” Christians. As religious conflicts in Europe became sharper in the second half of the 16th century, such supervision came to be practiced in Protestant as well as in Catholic countries. It was in this respect that the Spanish Inquisition, spreading its network of courts and familiars from the towns to the countryside, could surpass even the strictest Calvinist-Puritan communities, even though the use of torture was no longer deemed necessary and death sentences had become rare. Taken together with a royal prohibition against students studying at foreign universities, even Catholic ones, the Inquisition tended to isolate Spanish intellectual life from that of the rest of Europe.

On the positive side there was the Inquisition’s general unwillingness to join in the widespread mania of witch hunting that led to thousands of executions in other European countries, especially Protestant ones. Most Spanish theologians did not believe in the existence of witchcraft and held that spells and sorceries were only female vapourings that could be safely ignored or dealt with by shutting the witch-women up in convents.




The Water Torture

 


Philip II
king of Spain and Portugal

born , May 21, 1527, Valladolid, Spain
died Sept. 13, 1598, El Escorial, Spain

Main
king of the Spaniards (1556–98) and king of the Portuguese (as Philip I, 1580–98), champion of the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation. During his reign the Spanish Empire attained its greatest power, extent, and influence, though he failed to suppress the revolt of the Netherlands (beginning in 1566) and lost the “Invincible Armada” in the attempted invasion of England (1588).

Early life and marriages
Philip was the son of the Holy Roman emperor Charles V and Isabella of Portugal. From time to time, the emperor wrote Philip secret memoranda, impressing on him the high duties to which God had called him and warning him against trusting any of his advisers too much. Philip, a very dutiful son, took this advice to heart. From 1543 Charles conferred on his son the regency of Spain whenever he himself was abroad. From 1548 until 1551, Philip traveled in Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands, but his great reserve and his inability to speak fluently any language except Castilian made him unpopular with the German and Flemish nobility.

Philip contracted four marriages. The first was with his cousin Maria of Portugal in 1543. She died in 1545, giving birth to the ill-fated Don Carlos. In 1554 Philip married Mary I of England and became joint sovereign of England until Mary’s death, without issue, in 1558. Philip’s third marriage, with Elizabeth of Valois, daughter of Henry II of France, in 1559, was the result of the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis (1559), which, for a generation, ended the open wars between Spain and France. Elizabeth bore Philip two daughters, Isabella Clara Eugenia (1566–1633) and Catherine Micaela (1567–97). Elizabeth died in 1568, and in 1570 Philip married Anna of Austria, daughter of his first cousin the emperor Maximilian II. She died in 1580, her only surviving son being the later Philip III.


King of Spain
Philip had received the Duchy of Milan from Charles V in 1540 and the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily in 1554 on the occasion of his marriage to Mary of England. On October 25, 1555, Charles resigned the Netherlands in Philip’s favour and, on January 16, 1556, the kingdoms of Spain and the Spanish overseas empire. Shortly afterward Philip also received the Franche-Comté. The Habsburg dominions in Germany and the imperial title went to his uncle Ferdinand I. At this time Philip was in the Netherlands. After the victory over the French at St. Quentin (1557), the sight of the battlefield gave him a permanent distaste for war, though he did not shrink from it when he judged it necessary.

After his return to Spain from the Netherlands in 1559, Philip never again left the Iberian Peninsula. From Madrid he ruled his empire through his personal control of official appointments and all forms of patronage. Philip’s subjects outside Castile, thus, never saw him, and they gradually turned not only against his ministers but also against him. This happened particularly in the Netherlands, in Granada, and in Aragon.


Method of government
By sheer hard work Philip tried to overcome the defects of this system. His methods have become famous. All work was done on paper, on the basis of consultas (that is, memoranda, reports, and advice presented him by his ministers). In Madrid, or in the gloomy magnificence of his monastic palace of El Escorial, which he built (1563–84) on the slopes of the Sierra de Guadarrama, the king worked alone in his small office, giving his decisions or, as often, deferring them. Nothing is known of his order of work, but all his contemporaries agreed that his methods dangerously, and sometimes fatally, slowed down a system of government already notorious for its dilatoriness. Philip was painstaking and conscientious in his cravings for ever more information, hiding an inability to distinguish between the important and the trivial and a temperamental unwillingness to make decisions.

This was coupled with an almost pathological suspicion of even his most able and faithful servants. Margaret of Parma; the Duke of Alba; Don John of Austria; Antonio Pérez; and Alessandro Farnese—to name only the most distinguished—suffered disgrace. “His smile and his dagger were very close,” wrote his official court historian, Cabrera de Córdoba. It was no exaggeration, for, in the case of Juan de Escobedo, the secretary of Don John of Austria, Philip even consented to murder. As a result, Philip’s court became notorious for the bitterness of its faction fights. The atmosphere of the Spanish court did much to poison the whole Spanish system of government, and this played no small part in causing the rebellions of the Netherlanders (1568–1609), of the Moriscos of Granada (1568–70), and of the Aragonese (1591–92).

Yet the “black legend” that, in Protestant countries, represented Philip II as a monster of bigotry, ambition, lust, and cruelty is certainly false. Philip’s spare and elegant appearance is known from the famous portraits by Titian and by Anthonis Mor (Sir Anthony More). He was a lover of books and pictures, and Spain’s literary Golden Age began in his reign. An affectionate father to his daughters, he lived an austere and dedicated life. “You may assure His Holiness,” Philip wrote to his ambassador in Rome, in 1566, “that rather than suffer the least damage to religion and the service of God, I would lose all my states and an hundred lives, if I had them; for I do not propose nor desire to be the ruler of heretics.” This remark may be regarded as the motto of his reign. To accomplish the task set him by God of preserving his subjects in the true Catholic religion, Philip felt in duty bound to use his royal powers, if need be, to the point of the most ruthless political tyranny, as he did in the Netherlands. Even the popes found it sometimes difficult to distinguish between Philip’s views as to what was the service of God and what the service of the Spanish monarchy.


Foreign policy
For the first 20 years of his reign, Philip sought to preserve peace with his neighbours in western Europe. He was fighting a major naval war with the Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean and, from 1568, he was faced with rebellion and war in the Netherlands. From the late 1570s, his policy gradually changed. The death (August 1578) without heirs of his nephew, King Sebastian of Portugal, opened up the prospect of Philip’s succession to Portugal. He had to conquer (1580) by force what he regarded as his just, hereditary rights, but the rest of Europe was alarmed at this growth in Spanish power.

Both England and France gave increasing support to the rebellious provinces of the Netherlands. Gradually, in the 1580s, Philip became convinced that the Catholic religion in western Europe, and his own authority in the Netherlands, could be saved only by open intervention against England and France. To this end he fitted out the Armada that, with the help of the Spanish Army in the Netherlands, was intended to conquer England (1588). He sent money and troops to support the League, the ultra-Catholic party in France, against Henry of Navarre and the Huguenots. He even claimed the throne of France for his daughter, Isabella Clara Eugenia, after the murder of Henry III in 1589. Again, even his Catholic allies found it difficult to distinguish between Philip’s championship of the Catholic church and the interests of Spain.

All these plans failed. Henry of Navarre became a Catholic (1593) and Philip had to accept (Peace of Vervins, 1598) his succession as Henry IV of France. England and the northern Netherlands remained Protestant and unconquered. Yet Philip’s reign as a whole was not a failure. He had defeated the great Ottoman offensive in the Mediterranean at the Battle of Lepanto (1571). In the Iberian Peninsula he had completed the work of unification begun by the “Catholic Monarchs,” Ferdinand and Isabella. Most important of all, in his own eyes, he had won great victories for the Catholic church. If England, Scotland, and the northern Netherlands were lost, the southern Netherlands (modern Belgium) had been preserved. In Spain and Italy he had prevented the spread of heresy, and his intervention in France was one of the factors that forced Henry IV to become a Catholic.

When Philip II died of cancer at El Escorial in 1598, Spain was still at the height of its power; it took almost 50 years before it was clear that the Counter-Reformation would make no further major conquests.

Helmut Georg Koenigsberger



Torture

 

Paul IV
pope
original name Gian Pietro Carafa
born June 28, 1476, near Benevento
died Aug. 18, 1559, Rome

Main
Italian Counter-Reformation pope from 1555 to 1559, whose anti-Spanish policy renewed the war between France and the Habsburgs.

Of noble birth, he owed his ecclesiastical advancement to the influence of his uncle Cardinal Oliviero Carafa. As bishop of Chieti, Carafa served Pope Leo X as envoy to England and Spain. He resigned his benefices and, with St. Cajetan of Thiene (Gaetano da Thiene), founded the order of the Theatines (Congregation of Clerics Regular) in 1524 to promote clerical reform through asceticism and apostolic work. Having advised Leo’s successors in matters of heresy and reform, he was appointed to Pope Paul III’s commission for ecclesiastical reform, was made cardinal in 1536, and was responsible for a reorganization of the Roman Inquisition.

Despite his violent antipathies, austerity, uncompromising reformism, and exalted concept of papal authority, Carafa was elected pope on May 23, 1555, through the influence of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese. Even the veto of the Holy Roman emperor Charles V was ignored. When Paul’s excessive violence in orthodoxy and reform was carried over into politics, his pontificate was destined to be strife ridden. He succumbed to the counsels of his nephews, whom he elevated, and to his hatred of the Habsburgs and of the Spaniards, whom he attempted to drive from Naples by allying with France in December 1555. Thus, he provoked war against Charles and King Philip II of Spain. The Spanish victory in August 1557 at Saint-Quentin, Fr., and the advance upon Rome by the Duke of Alba forced Paul to come to terms with Spain; peace was made on Sept. 12, 1557. He continued his animosity toward Spain and the Habsburgs, however, by refusing to recognize the abdication of Charles and the election of his brother Ferdinand I (1558) as successor on grounds that the imperial transaction was effected without papal approval.

Paul’s handling of the Protestant question was as disastrous as his politics. He denounced as a pact with heresy the Peace of Augsburg, the first permanent legal basis for the existence of Lutheranism and Catholicism in Germany. In England he ruined Cardinal Reginald Pole, archbishop of Canterbury, who had infuriated Paul by trying to prevent the conflict between France and the Habsburgs. In April 1557 Paul deprived Pole of his authority and in the following June, after England’s declaration of war on France, summoned him to Rome on protests of heresy. Queen Mary I of England intervened, saving Pole from the fate suffered by his friend Cardinal Giovanni Morone, whom Paul imprisoned on illegitimate charges of unorthodoxy. He facilitated the ultimate victory of Protestantism in England by insisting upon the restitution of monastic lands that had been sold and by requiring Elizabeth I to submit her claims to the English throne to him.

An enemy to conciliar methods, Paul did not reassemble the Council of Trent (which had been suspended since 1552), preferring instead to work through commissions or congregations. Without a council he stopped many ecclesiastical abuses in Rome, disciplined vagrant clergy, and introduced firmer asceticism in the papal court, but his approach was harsh and severe.

Under him, the Roman Inquisition, established in 1542, launched a reign of terror. Following the trend in the Roman Catholic Church that wrongly suspected Jews of influencing the Reformation to some degree, Paul in 1555 established the ghetto at Rome. He enforced perpetual wearing of the Jewish badge and drastic separation of Jews from Christians. The antagonisms he aroused proved fatal to his reforming cause.


 

Morisco
Spanish Muslim
Main
(Spanish: “Little Moor”), one of the Spanish Muslims (or their descendants) who became baptized Christians.

During the Christian reconquest of Muslim Spain, surrendering Muslim (Mudejar) communities in Aragon (1118), Valencia (1238), and Granada (1492) were usually guaranteed freedom of religion by treaty. This tolerant policy was abandoned in the late 15th century, when Christian authorities began to make conversions and ordered the destruction of Islāmic theological books. The Muslims of Granada rebelled. In 1502, offered the choice of baptism or exile, many of them were baptized and continued to practice Islām secretly; in 1526 the Muslims of Valencia and Aragon were similarly forced to convert. Thereafter, Islām was officially prohibited in Spain.

The Moriscos, however, did not prove to be assimilable. Though they were racially indistinguishable from their Old Christian neighbours (Christians who had retained their faith under Muslim rule), they continued to speak, write, and dress like Muslims. The Old Christians suspected the Moriscos of abetting the Algerians and the Turks, both enemies of Spain, and were fearful of their holy wars (jihāds), which terrorized whole districts. Subjected to discriminative taxation while their staple industry, the silk trade, was reduced by a misguided fiscal policy, ill-taught in their new faith, yet punished for ignorance by church and Inquisition, the Moriscos turned outside Spain for Muslim support. They obtained legal opinions (fatwās) that assured them that it was permissible to practice Islām in secret (taqīyah), then produced books known as aljamiados, written in Spanish, using the Arabic alphabet, to instruct fellow Moriscos in Islām.

In 1566 Philip II issued an edict forbidding the Granada Moriscos their language, customs, and costume. They revolted in 1569; after two years of war they were removed en masse from Granada and scattered throughout northern Spain. Evidence of their continued political and religious infidelity led to a royal order for deportation on Sept. 22, 1609; their expulsion was completed some five years later. An estimated 300,000 Moriscos relocated mainly in Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco, where again they found themselves an alien element. They were assimilated after several generations, but something of their Spanish heritage has survived into modern times.


 

Witchcraft

Main
the exercise or invocation of alleged supernatural powers to control people or events, practices typically involving sorcery or magic. Although defined differently in disparate historical and cultural contexts, witchcraft has often been seen, especially in the West, as the work of crones who meet secretly at night, indulge in cannibalism and orgiastic rites with the Devil, and perform black magic. Witchcraft thus defined exists more in the imagination of contemporaries than in any objective reality. Yet this stereotype has a long history and has constituted for many cultures a viable explanation of evil in the world. The intensity of these beliefs is best represented by the European witch-hunts of the 14th to 18th century, but witchcraft and its associated ideas are never far from the surface of popular consciousness and—sustained by folk tales—find explicit focus from time to time in popular television and films and in fiction.

 


Auto-da-fe

 

 

Tomás de Torquemada



Spanish inquisitor

born 1420, Valladolid, Castile [Spain]
died September 16, 1498, Ávila, Castile

Main
first grand inquisitor in Spain, whose name has become synonymous with the Christian Inquisition’s horror, religious bigotry, and cruel fanaticism.

The nephew of a noted Dominican cardinal and theologian, Juan de Torquemada, the young Torquemada joined the Dominicans and in 1452 became prior of the monastery of Santa Cruz at Segovia, an office that he held for 22 years. He was closely associated with the religious policy of King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I, to whom he was both confessor and adviser (to Isabella, from her childhood). He was convinced that the existence of the Marranos (Jewish converts), Moriscos (Islamic converts), Jews, and Moors was a threat to the religious and social life of Spain, and his influence with the Catholic monarchs enabled him to affect their policies. In August 1483 he was appointed grand inquisitor for Castile and León, and on October 17 his powers were extended to Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, and Majorca.

In his capacity as grand inquisitor, Torquemada reorganized the Spanish Inquisition, which had been set up in Castile in 1478, establishing tribunals at Sevilla (Seville), Jaén, Córdoba, Ciudad Real, and, later, Zaragoza. In 1484 he promulgated 28 articles for the guidance of inquisitors, whose competence was extended to include not only crimes of heresy and apostasy but also sorcery, sodomy, polygamy, blasphemy, usury, and other offenses; torture was authorized in order to obtain evidence. These articles were supplemented by others promulgated between 1484 and 1498. The number of burnings at the stake during Torquemada’s tenure has been estimated at about 2,000.

Torquemada’s implacable hostility to the Jews probably exercised an influence on the decision of Ferdinand and Isabella to expel from their dominions all Jews who had not embraced Christianity. Under the edict of March 31, 1492, more than 40,000 Jews left Spain.

In his private life Torquemada seems to have been pious and austere, but his official career as inquisitor was marked by a harsh intransigence, which nevertheless was generally supported by public opinion, at least in the early years. Within his own order he was influential as visitator of the reformed Dominican priories of Aragon (1481–88), and his interest in the arts is evidenced in the monastery of St. Thomas at Ávila, where he died. In his final years, Torquemada’s health and age, coupled with widespread complaints, caused Pope Alexander VI to appoint four assistant inquisitors in June 1494 to restrain him.

 

 


Torture devices.


 


Torture rooms were often located in the basements of churches,
monasteries, and convents


Instruments of Torture

 


The Rack was infamous for the terrible pain that it inflicted on the victim


Instruments of Torture

 

 

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