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The Papal Inquisition in Modena, 1598–1638

This book explores two areas of interest: the Papal Inquisition in Modena and the status of Jews in an early modern Italian duchy. Its purpose is to deepen existing insights into the role of the former and thus lead to a better understanding of how an Inquisitorial court assumed jurisdiction over a practising Jewish community in the seventeenth century. The book highlights one specific aspect of the history of the Jews in Italy: the trials of professing Jews before the Papal Inquisition at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Inquisitorial processi against professing Jews provide the earliest known evidence of a branch of the Papal Inquisition taking judicial actions against Jews on an unprecedented scale and attempting systematically to discipline a Jewish community, pursuing this aim for several centuries. The book focuses on Inquisitorial activity during the first 40 years of the history of the tribunal in Modena, from 1598 to 1638, the year of the Jews' enclosure in the ghetto, the period which historians have argued was the most active in the Inquisition's history. It argues that trials of the two groups are different because the ecclesiastical tribunals viewed conversos as heretics but Jews as infidels. The book emphasizes the fundamental disparity in Inquisitorial procedure regarding Jews, as well as the evidence examined, especially in Modena. This was where the Duke uses the detailed testimony to be found in Inquisitorial trial transcripts to analyse Jewish interaction with Christian society in an early modern community.

Open Access (free)
Katherine Aron-Beller

Conclusion This book has highlighted one specific aspect of the history of the Jews in Italy: the trials of professing Jews before the Papal Inquisition at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Inquisitorial processi against professing Jews provide the earliest known evidence of a branch of the Papal Inquisition taking judicial actions against Jews on an unprecedented scale and attempting system­atically to discipline a Jewish community, pursuing this aim for several centuries. Our purpose has been to deepen existing insights into the role of the Papal

in Jews on trial
Open Access (free)
Katherine Aron-Beller

Introduction This book explores two areas of interest: the Papal Inquisition in Modena and the status of Jews in an early modern Italian duchy. Its purpose is to deepen existing insights into the role of the former and thus lead to a better understanding of how an Inquisitorial court assumed jurisdiction over a practising Jewish community in the seventeenth century. In recent years, a significant number of publications and conferences has reflected increasing interest in the history of the Inquisition. However, efforts to identify individual Jews (who had no

in Jews on trial
Katherine Aron-Beller

1 Jews, Papal Inquisitors and the Estense dukes In 1598, the year that Duke Cesare d’Este (1562–1628) lost Ferrara to Papal forces and moved the capital of his duchy to Modena, the Papal Inquisition in Modena was elevated from vicariate to full Inquisitorial status. Despite initial clashes with the Duke, the Inquisition began to prosecute not only heretics and blasphemers, but also professing Jews. Such a policy towards infidels by an organization appointed to enquire into heresy (inquisitio haereticae pravitatis) was unusual. In order to understand this process

in Jews on trial
Author:

Feudalism, venality, and revolution is about the political and social order revealed by the monarchy’s most ambitious effort to reform its institutions, the introduction of participatory assemblies at all levels of the government. It should draw the attention of anyone interested in the sort of social and political conditions that predisposed people to make the French Revolution. In particular, according to Alexis de Tocqueville’s influential work on the Old Regime and the French Revolution, royal centralization had so weakened the feudal power of the nobles that their remaining privileges became glaringly intolerable to commoners. Feudalism, venality, and revolution challenges this theory by showing that when Louis XVI convened assemblies of landowners in the late 1770s and 1780s to discuss policies needed to resolve the budgetary crisis, he faced widespread opposition from lords and office holders. These elites regarded the assemblies as a challenge to their hereditary power over commoners. The monarchy incorporated an administration of seigneurial jurisdictions and venal offices. Lordships and offices upheld inequality on behalf of the nobility and bred the discontent evident in the French Revolution. These findings will alter the way scholars think about the Old Regime society and state and should therefore find a large market among graduate students and professors of European history.

Open Access (free)
Contested categories
Hans Peter Broedel

her fear of suspicion led her unwisely to take the offensive when the inquisitor appeared. If such were the case, her tactics were spectacularly ill-conceived. Institoris was a man who treasured his orthodoxy above all things, and we may well imagine that he was deeply offended by Scheuberin’s slander; more seriously, though, her attack upon the work of the Papal Inquisition was manifest evidence that she was herself either a heretic or a witch. A searching investigation of Scheuberin’s life and character ensued, TMM1 8/30/03 2 5:38 PM Page 2 THE MALLEUS

in The Malleus Maleficarum and the construction of witchcraft
C. E. Beneš

. 30 The verb inquirere implies official investigation, being the root of both ‘inquest’ and ‘inquisition’. (Like the Dominican order, the papal inquisition had been founded in the early thirteenth century to combat heresy.) 31 GL , p. 342

in Jacopo Da Varagine’s Chronicle of the city of Genoa
Open Access (free)
Hans Peter Broedel

by witnesses and a notary, began to hear formal testimony concerning the suspects. Although the proceedings at Innsbruck did not conform to the neat patterns laid down in inquisitorial manuals, this was not unusual for the period. As Richard Kieckhefer has shown, in late-medieval Germany the activities of the papal Inquisition (to say nothing of episcopal inquisitions) were very much ad hoc affairs.Typically, inquisitors operated as independent autonomous agents; they had little supervision outside the papal curia, and their objectives and jurisdictions were only

in The Malleus Maleficarum and the construction of witchcraft
Open Access (free)
Katherine Aron-Beller

’s evidence and character witnesses who acted as compurgators for the suspect, rarely brought the acquittal of the suspect.24 The Papal Inquisition created a less multifarious procedure. Although, as in Spain, suspects were allowed to employ their own lawyers, after gaining licences from the court, and these advocates had to provide a questionnaire that character witnesses were subjected to, the main task of these men was to create an incontrovertible defence document which was presented to the Inquisitorial consultants for consideration.25 In the Venetian archives there is

in Jews on trial
Jews as Europeans in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries
John Edwards

. 26 See note 18, above. 27 Documents 3 and 4 (iii). 28 The best brief introduction to the Papal Inquisition and its early work is Bernard Hamilton, The Medieval lnquisition , London, 1981 . Also see W. A. Wakefield, Heresy, Crusade and

in The Jews in western Europe 1400–1600