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Open Access (free)
Hans Peter Broedel

TMM3 8/30/03 5:39 PM Page 40 3 The inquisitors’ devil Institoris and Sprenger begin their analysis of witchcraft by observing that for witchcraft to have any effect, three things must concur: the devil, the witch, and the permission of God. For them, as for us, the devil provides a convenient starting point, because the witchcraft of the Malleus depends upon an unusual conception of what the infernal side of the Christian pantheon is all about. Like so many late-medieval cultural icons, the inquisitors’ devil is not amenable to simple definition; nor is it

in The Malleus Maleficarum and the construction of witchcraft
John H. Arnold and Peter Biller

Part VII: Legal Consultations and Inquisitors’ Manuals Introduction to Part VII As mendicant inquisitors got under way in the 1230s, they rapidly developed their procedures. This process was helped along by consultations with legal experts and ecclesiastical councils on many technical questions about definitions of different sorts of support for heresy, how to set up an inquisition, and the work of interrogation and sentencing. We provide here two consultations of lawyers (Docs 33 and 35) and sets of responses and

in Heresy and inquisition in France, 1200-1300
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

The Malleus Maleficarum is one of the best-known treatises dealing with the problem of what to do with witches. It was written in 1487 by a Dominican inquisitor, Heinrich Institoris, following his failure to prosecute a number of women for witchcraft, it is in many ways a highly personal document, full of frustration at official complacency in the face of a spiritual threat, as well as being a practical guide for law-officers who have to deal with a cunning, dangerous enemy. Combining theological discussion, illustrative anecdotes, and useful advice for those involved in suppressing witchcraft, its influence on witchcraft studies has been extensive.

The only previous translation into English, that by Montague Summers produced in 1928, is full of inaccuracies. It is written in a style almost unreadable nowadays, and is unfortunately coloured by his personal agenda. This new edited translation, with an introductory essay setting witchcraft, Institoris, and the Malleus into clear, readable English, corrects Summers’ mistakes and offers a lean, unvarnished version of what Institoris actually wrote. It will undoubtedly become the standard translation of this important and controversial late-medieval text.

Theology and popular belief

The Malleus Maleficarum is one of the best-known treatises dealing with the problem of what to do with witches. Written in 1487 by a Dominican inquisitor, Heinrich Institoris, following his failure to prosecute a number of women for witchcraft, it is in many ways a highly personal document, full of frustration at official complacency in the face of a spiritual threat, as well as being a practical guide for law-officers who have to deal with a cunning, dangerous enemy. Combining theological discussion, illustrative anecdotes and useful advice for those involved in suppressing witchcraft, the treatise's influence on witchcraft studies has been extensive. The only previous translation into English, that by Montague Summers in 1928, is full of inaccuracies. It is written in a style almost unreadable nowadays, and is unfortunately coloured by Institoris's personal agenda. This new edited translation, with an introductory essay setting witchcraft, Institoris and the Malleus into clear English, corrects Summers' mistakes and offers an unvarnished version of what Institoris actually wrote. It will undoubtedly become the standard translation of this controversial late medieval text.

John H. Arnold and Peter Biller

Part V: Letters and Papal Bulls Introduction to Part V In this part we present a variety of letters, from a very public letter, widely circulated with the aim of stirring prelates into action against heresy (Doc. 21), to administrative letters, sent in the course of dealing with the practicalities of prosecuting heresy (Docs 25, 26), to a petitionary letter sent by the townspeople of Carcassonne complaining about an inquisitor (Doc. 27B). The bulk of material here comes however from papal bulls – letters and

in Heresy and inquisition in France, 1200-1300
Open Access (free)
Katherine Aron-Beller

2 Procedure and reaction This chapter studies the procedure adapted by Modenese Inquisitors in their trial proceedings against Jews, and the Jews’ reactions to the expanding jurisdiction of this court. It begins with a comparison of the tribunal’s treatment of Jews with that of other Inquisitorial courts in Italy in the early modern period, and then examines the judicial procedure to reveal what was distinctive about the Holy Office’s prosecution of Jews in contrast to Christians. The Inquisition’s policy of expurgation and removal of prohibited books in the

in Jews on trial
John H. Arnold and Peter Biller

brutality or moderation of medieval inquisitors, but has focused also more closely on the changing political climate of its operation, and the developing ways in which it was understood and practised. To analyse these aspects, historians have looked not only at the materials produced by inquisition – the depositions and sentences – but the materials that framed and guided the process of inquisition, setting out its ground rules, providing the practical detail and problem-solving that arose as it was carried out. Fundamental here are two

in Heresy and inquisition in France, 1200-1300
Abstract only
John H. Arnold and Peter Biller

position in the sequence. The forms of the records that survive vary, from the agreed record of interrogation – a ‘deposition’ like Docs 41, 43, 48, 49 (II), 50–2, 54 and 57(b) – to extracts produced for the inquisitor to assess guilt and draw up sentences (Doc. 42 – there given very succinctly – and Doc. 55). We have juxtaposed deposition and sentence in two cases, Docs 45 and 48, and the reader will note the contrast: the length and detail of the deposition as against the brevity and lack of detail of the sentence. Finally, Doc

in Heresy and inquisition in France, 1200-1300
Abstract only
John H. Arnold and Peter Biller

very much shaped our selection here. Were there any inquisition registers or sentences surviving for the activities of the early inquisitor Robert Lepetit (also known as Robert le Bougre), our sense of heresy in this period might be transformed. As it is, the report of Robert’s activities, and of the earlier episcopal condemnation of heretics at La Charité, provides a glimpse of major and violent ecclesiastical activity in the north, known to us otherwise only via some papal letters (see Docs 20–3) and mention of La Charité in a

in Heresy and inquisition in France, 1200-1300