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Title: Mediæval Heresy and the Inquisition
Author: Turberville, A. S.
Language: English
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    A. S. TURBERVILLE, M.C., M.A., B.Litt.






The aim of this book is to provide, within a short space, and primarily
for the general reader, an account of the heresies of the Middle Ages
and of the attitude of the Church towards them. The book is, therefore,
a brief essay in the history not only of dogma, but, inasmuch as it is
concerned with the repression of heresy by means of the Inquisition,
of judicature also. The ground covered is the _terrain_ of H. C. Lea’s
immense work, ‘A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages’; but
that was published more than thirty years ago, and since then much
has been written, though not indeed much in English, on the mediæval
Inquisition and cognate subjects. As the present work has been
undertaken in the light of some of these more recent investigations, it
is hoped that it may be of utility to rather closer students, as well
as to the general reader, as a review of the subject suggested by the
writings of Lea’s successors, both partizans and critics. At the same
time this book does not profess to be a history, even the briefest, of
the mediæval Inquisition. Its main concern is with doctrine, and for
that reason chapters on Averrhoïsm and on Wyclifitism and Husitism have
been included, though they have little bearing on the Inquisition.

The entire subject, on both its sides, is complex and highly
controversial. Probably no conceivable treatment of it could commend
itself to all tastes, be accepted as impartial by the adherents of
all types of religious belief. It can, however, at least be claimed
that this work was begun with no other object in view than honest
enquiry, with no desire whatever to demonstrate a preconceived thesis
or draw attention to a particular aspect of truth. The conclusion
arrived at in these pages is, that the traditional ultra-Protestant
conception of ecclesiastical intolerance forcing a policy of
persecution on an unwilling or indifferent laity in the Middle Ages
is unhistorical, while, on the other hand, some recent Catholic
apologists, in seeking to exculpate the Church, have tended to
underestimate the power and influence of the Church, and to read
into the Middle Ages a humanitarianism which did not actually then
exist. Heresy was persecuted because it was regarded as dangerous to
society, and intolerance was therefore the reflection, not only of the
ecclesiastical authority, but of public opinion. On the other hand,
clerical instruction had a large formative influence in the creation of
public opinion.

This book inevitably suffered a prolonged interruption owing to
the War. That there was not a complete cessation at once I owe to
my Father, who most ungrudgingly devoted valuable time to making
transcriptions from needed authorities in the British Museum, at a
time when other duties debarred me from access to books. My friend
and former colleague, Mr. W. Garmon Jones, Dean of the Faculty of
Arts of the University of Liverpool, gave me the benefit of his ripe
scholarship and fine judgment in reading through the greater part of
the work in manuscript, though I need hardly say that any errors in
statement or opinion are to be attributed to me alone. I have to thank
the Rev. T. Shankland of this College for generously undertaking the
thankless task of reading the proofs, and my Wife for the compilation
of the Index and for other help besides.


    BANGOR, _April_, 1920.



    PREFACE                                                   v

    PART I



      I. ORIGINS OF MEDIÆVAL HERESY                           1

     II. WALDENSES AND CATHARI                               14

    III. ‘THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL’                            34

     IV. AVERRHOÏST INFLUENCES                               55

           AND THE COUNCIL OF CONSTANCE                      77

     VI. THE MAGIC ARTS                                     105




     II. THE BEGINNINGS OF THE INQUISITION                  140



      V. INQUISITORIAL PENALTIES                            206

     VI. CONCLUSION                                         229

    NOTE ON AUTHORITIES                                     244

    INDEX                                                   255






Ages of Faith—the term has often enough been applied to the long era
that separates the days of the Carolingian empire from those of the
Italian Renaissance. Like most of the other generalizations that it is
customary to make of the Middle Ages the statement is true only with
important qualifications. It is with the qualifications that this book
is concerned. But to appreciate the exceptions, it is first necessary
to realize the full significance of the rule—the very pregnant reality
concerning Church and State upon which the general statement is based.
That reality, the understanding of which is essential to a grasp, not
only of the ecclesiastical, but of any aspect of mediæval history, is
the magnificent conception of the _Civitas Dei_. The Kingdom of God on
earth was conceived, not as a vision of the future, but as a living and
present reality—the Visible Church, Christendom. Church and Christendom
were one, for the Church was Catholic. The distinction which we of
the modern world, as the Renaissance and Reformation have made it,
are wont to make between Church and State, spiritual and temporal,
was wholly foreign to mediæval thought. There was but one society,
not two parallel societies. Society had indeed two aspects—one which
looked to things mundane and transient, the other which looked to
things heavenly and eternal. To safeguard its earthly interests the
world had its secular rulers and administrators; to aid its spiritual
life it had as guides and mediators the sacred hierarchy. But the
secular rulers, on the one hand, and the priesthood, on the other,
were officers in the same polity. The secular authority of the Empire
was in the days of Frederick Barbarossa acknowledged to be derived
from the Pope by consecration; later, as in Dante, it was conceived as
collateral with that of the Pope. But always the two authorities were
regarded as essentially related. It is true that the reality never
corresponded with the august theory, that the _Respublica Christiana_
never was universal, that there were always those who disputed the
authority of Emperor or Pontiff or both; worse still, that Christendom
was distracted by bitter strife between Emperor and Pontiff. But always
such warfare was regarded as domestic, not one between two different
states, but between two officers in one state.

It is important to bear in mind that the conception of the universal
church and empire was not regarded simply as an idea which the
philosopher and the publicist wrote and disputed about, but as manifest
in facts, which every eye could see and every mind realize. There
actually existed an empire, an imperial crown and coronation; there
actually existed a Holy See and a ministering priesthood. And the
authority of the rulers of the universal state was not simply vague and
theoretical; it was discernible in crusades, in pilgrimages, in the
‘Truce of God.’ Men realized themselves no doubt in an ever increasing
degree through the Middle Ages, national characteristics becoming more
and more pronounced, as Englishmen, Frenchmen or Spaniards; but they
also thought of themselves quite naturally as members together of the
common society of Christendom.[1]

If we comprehend the _oneness_ of human society in the Middle Ages, as
actively believed in by the average thinking man and unquestioningly
accepted as a patent fact by the average uneducated man, we can realize
what is meant by the phrase ‘ages of faith’ and at the same time avoid
some of the pitfalls that lie in the path of any one seeking to study
the exceptions to the rule, namely, the heresies of these ages of faith.

What were the conditions that generated heresy? First, there were
psychological conditions. In contrast to the bustling and multiform
activity of the modern world the Middle Ages may at a first glance give
an impression of inactivity and sameness. Such an impression, if it is
encouraged by the intellectual dormancy of the ninth and tenth and,
in some degree, of the eleventh centuries, is completely at variance
with the facts of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, in which the
mind of Western Christendom was very much awake indeed. The impression
also ignores what is one of the most marked characteristics of mediæval
history as a whole—the clash and conflict and the dissonances of
it. While the idea of the universal empire still held sway, secular
princes, pursuing purely separatist ambitions, made war one upon
another and the nations of Europe were in the throes of parturition.
Typical of the incongruities of mediæval life was the glaring contrast
between the glorious minster and the mean and filthy hovels round it
to be seen in every city; but that there was incongruity in spending
immense wealth, time and labour on building a house for God to dwell
in, while housing themselves in dwellings rude and insanitary was
not apparent to the occupants. There was another incongruity inside
the churches themselves. Together with images that were sacred and
beautiful there were hideous gargoyles, grotesque figures, whose
inspiration was not Christian but pagan. Congregated together were
saints and satyrs, and Pan is found in company with Christ. Art was
made the handmaiden of religion: that did not mean that she was wholly
consecrated. St. Bernard complained that the eyes of monks as they
walked round their cloisters were too often assailed by pictures
which could only awaken thoughts unsanctified. If the first of these
two discords is eloquent of the faith which set the worship of God
far before the common needs of men, the second is indicative of that
alien spirit, untamed and powerful, which fights against the higher
nature and the devoted life. From rebellious nature sprang all manner
of unholy lusts and ambitions, productive of wars and enmities and
other kinds of evil, which rendered the reality of human existence so
divergent from the Christian ideal. But Christianity accepted these
inevitable consequences of original sin, providing through repentance
and penance reconciliation and the possibility of amendment. In the
elemental passions, however, the Church found itself faced by a
problem which presents one of the most interesting features of the
ecclesiastical history of the Middle Ages.

It is ever a hard task to expel nature, and often, where she has been
renounced and thwarted, she has her revenge by returning, clothed in
her grossest forms. The literature of the Thebaid and of mediæval
hagiology is eloquent testimony to the fact that extreme asceticism and
extreme profligacy are often found in close proximity. The fugitive
from the insurgent passions of his own being, seeking to overcome the
temptations of the flesh by severe macerations and scourgings, has only
too often found his voluntary existence of self-discipline intolerable
without the relief of an occasional wild debauch or has found that in
his savage attempt to subdue the senses he has come to take a sensual
delight in self-torture and that he is falling into the lowest depths
of bestiality. The very fervour of religious zeal in the Middle Ages
is a token of the fierceness of the passionate fires that tortured
men’s hearts. It was always doubtful what outlet these fires would
find. Would they glorify God in the martyrdom of the lower nature or
would they rage untamed, flames solely of desire, destroying the soul?
Was it a pure religious passion or a depraved sensual passion that,
when the Albigensian Crusade was being preached in Germany, drove
women who could not take the cross to run naked through the streets in
ecstasy? Which was it that was really evidenced by the practices of
the Flagellants, who at one time obtained considerable influence in
different parts of Europe? They were simply doing in public what the
monk did in seclusion and in the perfect odour of sanctity. The idea
of bringing the soul nearer to God by the wounding of the sinful flesh
had the Church’s fullest sanction. Yet the Flagellants were eventually
declared heretics. Why? Because it became plain after a time that the
motive of some of those who joined the sect was unholy—not a desire to
seek salvation, but only a perverted lust. Secondly, because alike the
genuine and the false devotee were moved in the excess of their strange
enthusiasm to build upon it a theory of the efficacy of flagellation
which made it the only means to salvation, a sacrament, indeed the
essential sacrament.

In yet another way the unregenerate part of man’s nature might breed
heresy. The lust not perhaps of the flesh so much as of the eye and the
pride of life led men to take a delight in pleasure, in the sensuous
pagan world, that was not a wholly hallowed delight. Such superabundant
joy in life was apt to produce over-confidence in the individual’s
powers unaided by religion, leading to presumption and disobedience.
The phenomenon of such rebelliousness in the later Middle Ages is
sometimes forgotten. Yet the legends of the blossoming pastoral staff
and of the Holy Grail pictured also the Venusberg and the garden of
Kundry’s flower-maidens. In remembering the figures of the anchorite
and the knight-errant one must not lose sight of the troubadour and the
courtesan. Eloquent of the movement of revolt is the famous passage in
‘Aucassin et Nicolette’ in which Aucassin, threatened with the pains
of hell if he persists in his love for the mysterious southern maid,
exclaims that in that case to hell he will go.

    For none go to Paradise but I’ll tell you who. Your old priests and
    your old cripples, and the halt and maimed, who are down on their
    knees day and night, before altars and in old crypts; these also
    that wear mangy old cloaks, or go in rags and tatters, shivering
    and shoeless and showing their sores, and who die of hunger and
    want and misery. Such are they who go to Paradise; and what have I
    to do with them? Hell is the place for me. For to Hell go the fine
    churchmen, and the fine knights, killed in the tourney or in some
    grand war, the brave soldiers and the gallant gentlemen. With them
    will I go. There go also the fair gracious ladies who have lovers
    two or three beside their lord. There go the gold and silver, the
    sables and the ermines. There go the harpers and the minstrels and
    the kings of the earth. With them will I go, so I have Nicolette my
    most sweet friend with me.[2]

Comparable with the fearless scepticism of this romance is the
outspoken unorthodoxy produced by the intellectual ferment of
the twelfth century. That epoch which saw the new movement of
monastic reform which gave birth to the order of Grammont, of the
Carthusians and the Cistercians, is most notable in the history of the
universities—of Paris, Oxford, Bologna. From one to another, from the
feet of one learned doctor and teacher to another, flocked wandering
scholars athirst for pure knowledge which, if it had a theological
bias and a religious garb, nevertheless inevitably tended to produce
a spirit of rationalism, to substitute freedom for discipline, the
individual consciousness for authority. The philosophy of the day—the
Scholastic Philosophy—sprang from the concentration of the thought of
theologians trained in logic on the question of the relation between
the individual unit and the universal, the εἴδος: for if the Middle
Ages knew little of Plato they were conversant with his doctrine of
ideas. The scholastic philosophers are remarkable for their great
erudition within the limitation of contemporary knowledge: but still
more for the extreme acuteness and subtlety which came from their
dialectical training. Such subtlety might at times be no better than
verbal juggling; but it always indicated alertness of mind. Such
intellectual nimbleness was generally at the service of the Church, to
elucidate doctrine, uphold and defend the Catholic faith. On the other
hand, the curious mind, even when starting with the most innocent, most
orthodox intent, was sometimes beguiled into surmises and speculations
of a dangerous nature. Logic, if untrammelled, has a way of leading
to untraditional conclusions. When this happened it was possible to
escape from an awkward dilemma by submitting that philosophy was one
thing, theology another, and that there could be two truths, in the two
different planes, subsisting together though mutually contradictory.
But this convenient compromise was obviously only a pious subterfuge
and grotesquely illogical. Unfortunately both of the two principal
schools of thought were prone to lead to error. Realism, which found
reality in the universal substance, subordinating the individual to
humanity and humanity to the Godhead, logically led to Pantheism; while
Nominalism, finding reality solely in each disjointed unit, if applied
to theology, left no choice except between Unitarianism and Tritheism.
In the year 1092 a nominalist philosopher Roscellinus was condemned
at Soissons for teaching Tritheism and denying the Trinity. Another
nominalist, Berengar of Tours, skilfully dissected the doctrine of
Transubstantiation, which had grown up in its grossest form during the
Dark Ages and was first really developed in an answer to Berengar by
Anselm of Bec. There was a greater than either Roscellinus or Berengar,
who was neither a nominalist nor a realist, but a conceptualist,
the greatest of all the wandering scholars of his time, gifted with
extraordinary vividness of personality and brilliance of intellect.
Abelard’s love story in the world of actual fact is as wonderful as
that of Aucassin in the world of romance. His teaching has the same
note of freedom and fearlessness as that which sounds so clear in the
old French story. There was nothing very alarming in his doctrines;
his conclusions were generally orthodox enough. It was the methods by
which he arrived at those conclusions that aroused the fear and the
wrath of his adversaries. For he put Christian dogma to the touchstone
of reason, accepting it because it was reasonable, not following reason
just as far as it was Christian. To St. Bernard, Abelard appeared as
a virulent plague-spot, a second Arius. But there were coming other
heresies of a more disturbing nature, for the source of whose influence
if not inspiration we must seek among facts of a different character.

Though their extent is certainly a matter of dispute, there is no doubt
about the fact of serious clerical abuses in the twelfth and thirteenth
centuries. There is no need here to trench upon contentious ground;
and it should be said that when a catalogue of offences is produced as
a picture of the mediæval church without giving the other side of the
picture, only a most erroneous impression can be created. There was
extraordinary greatness in a church that could produce a St. Bernard,
a St. Francis, an Anselm, a Grosseteste. Yet even if we leave out of
account the invectives of professed enemies altogether and only rely
upon the unimpeachable authority of the Church’s leaders themselves,
we are left with rather a dark picture. We must remember that would-be
reformers are prone to indulge in highly coloured language with
reference to the evils they seek to eradicate. Yet, simony must have
been a crying abuse, or it would not have received so much attention
from zealous pontiffs. We know too of many bishops who neglected their
spiritual duties and were nothing more than feudal barons, sometimes
fattening upon riches amassed by extortion. It cannot be denied that
there were numerous instances of absenteeism and pluralities; while for
the sexual immorality to be found among both regular and secular clergy
we have the excellent authority of great men who were scandalized by
it and sought to produce amendment, such as Honorius III, St. Bernard
and Bishop Grosseteste. Monastic reforms had been tried, the Cluniac
being followed by the Cistercian and others of a like severity. A fine
attempt had been made to assist the endeavour of the parish priest
to strive after personal holiness by the institution of the orders
of the Praemonstratensians and the Austin Friars. And much good was
unquestionably accomplished; yet order after order eventually fell
away from its pristine purity and the seed of corruption remained
uneradicated. At the very least, we can say that most men must have had
from personal experience knowledge of some glaring contrast between
clerical profession and accomplishment. That some such contrast should
at all times in greater or less degree exist is only the inevitable
result of the weaknesses of human nature. It has invariably been the
case, however, that when the ministers of a religion have failed to
proclaim their gospel in their lives as well as in their preaching,
they have sowed doubt and distrust and lost adherents.

Bishop Grosseteste told Pope Innocent IV that the corruption of the
priesthood was the source of the heresies which troubled the Church.[3]
We may feel sure that it was _one_ source at all events when we note
in the twelfth century a most marked revival of the Donatist doctrine
that the sacrament is polluted in sinful hands. By similar reasoning
the score of a great composer might be regarded as tainted for our
hearing because the members of the orchestra performing it were not all
high-minded men. That would be similar reasoning: but it would not be
the same. Skill in his art is what we expect from the musician; without
it he cannot mediate between the composer and his audience, he cannot
interpret the music, he can only jar and lacerate the feelings of his
hearers. There is the skill also of the priest. He has to interpret
spiritual things and needs therefore to be spiritually-minded. God
may not be dependent upon the worthiness of His interpreters; none
the less their unworthiness may jar upon and lacerate the feelings
of worshippers, conscious of the scandal of such unworthiness. When,
for example, priests are found abusing the confessional by actually
soliciting their female penitents to sin, a moral revulsion against
such a practice is inevitable. Such a revulsion may in some cases
generate an attack upon the whole system of confession—and that is

An intense dissatisfaction with the moral condition of the world, more
especially as revealed in the Church, is one of the dominant features
of the neo-Manichæan heresy, known as Catharism or Paulicinianism,
of Waldensianism, of Joachitism. The last actually postulated that
Christianity had failed and that mankind stood in need of a new
revelation and a new Saviour. Corruption in the Church was, then, one
of the contributory causes of mediæval heresy, and anti-sacerdotalism
was one of its features.

It must not be assumed, however, that because heretical sects protested
against scandals in the Church, they necessarily exhibited a higher
standard of morality themselves. The reverse is in some cases the
truth. Among the heresiarchs and their followers are found men who were
mere half-crazed fanatics, others whose passion was more of lust than
for righteousness. We have to bear in mind that our knowledge of the
heretics is almost entirely derived from their adversaries; unbiased
contemporary testimony there is none. Yet, even remembering this, we
can appreciate the repugnance which many heretical sects inspired in
their own day. In the second place, the Church was itself alive to the
need of reform. The best minds always were; and to all the outbreak
of heresies in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, though it was
so ruthlessly and thoroughly suppressed, was a significant warning.
Unhappily the abuses actually tended to increase in the fourteenth
century, and the papacy in particular lost heavily in moral and
spiritual authority when it allowed itself to become the mere catspaw
of the French monarchy at Avignon, when it became rent asunder by the
even greater disaster of the Schism.

But the task of the Church in reforming itself was one of very great
difficulty. It was essential in purifying conduct to take the utmost
precautions against adulterating the purity of the faith, in reforming
the papacy to maintain the fundamental continuity of the Church, of its
orders, its sacraments, its traditions. Individual would-be reformers
were carried away by their perfervid zeal, led into proposing the
most unheard-of innovations. Wycliffe actually demanded the sweeping
away of the higher orders of the priesthood and the monastic orders
as a condition of the suppression of corruption. Such theories were
clearly heretical, and it was no solvent of the spiritual troubles
of the Church to weaken it still further by making concessions to
revolutionaries, by invalidating sound doctrine. Such was the point
of view of moderate reformers like Gerson, D’Ailly, Niem—men perhaps
just as earnest as Wycliffe and Hus in their desire for purity, but
anxious, as these were not, for the preservation of the Catholic faith
untouched. And it is easy to understand the position they adopted.
The general conditions of their time, political and social as well as
religious, made a strong appeal to the conservative instinct. England
and France were both suffering from the havoc of the Hundred Years War.
There was schism in the empire as well as in the papacy. The terrible
scourge of the Black Death laid all countries low. Social unrest was
widespread and alarming. Vagrant, masterless men devoured with avidity
any doctrines of a communist saviour, and to such the Wycliffite
thesis of dominion founded on grace had an obvious and dangerous
attractiveness. Just as in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, so
now in the case of Wycliffitism and Husitism, heresy was regarded not
as a purely religious matter, but also as a social danger. Another
phenomenon which conservatives naturally viewed with misgiving was
early translations of the Scriptures into the vernacular. Parallel to
the peril of revolution from social ideas among the servile classes
of the community was that of the ‘open’ Bible among the ignorant,
uninstructed laity. For many reasons, then, the conservatives were
prompted to be cautious. Their heroic attempt to secure reform from
within—made in the great Conciliar movement—definitely failed. It
failed in the main because it was not sufficiently drastic, and
because, while it healed the Schism, it did not secure the moral
elevation of the papacy. The Council of Basel proposed the most
elaborate measures for reform; but they were never confirmed by the
papacy. The loftiest aspirations were represented within the Church.
They had always been. The Canon law had been clear and unequivocal
enough on the subject of clerical conduct. The difficulty lay in
making these aspirations, reflected alike in the Canon law and in the
proposals of the Councils, thoroughly effective.

The history of mediæval heresy takes us as far as the Conciliar
movement. There we stand on the threshold of the modern world, the
scene changes, with new actors and a new atmosphere. The Protestant
Reformation is much more familiar than the earlier movements. Yet
the subject of these is one of great and manifold interest. For the
heresies of the Middle Ages were of various types and arose from a
variety of causes. Broadly speaking, we may say that any circumstances
which tended to break up the unity of the _Civitas Dei_, whether in
the sphere of action or of theory, might be productive of heresy.
That is obviously a very rough generalization indeed; but only
broad generalization can include such diverse sources of heresy
as the obsessions of fanatics like Eon de l’Etoile and Dolcino,
the dialectical disputations of theologians like Roscellinus and
philosophers like Siger, the anti-sacerdotalism of Waldenses and
Cathari, the profounder searchings of heart and mind that inspired the
revolts of Wycliffe and Hus. Nor must we forget the influence of the
political factor, the contention between papacy and secular princes
regarding rights and jurisdiction, which was a potent encouragement
to controversy. Such strife, where in theory there should have been
complete harmony, was in itself productive of doubt and unsettlement.
The very heinousness of heresy to the mediæval mind lay largely in its
challenge to the essential social, ecclesiastical, doctrinal unity
of Christendom. Whether the springs of its being were an emotional
afflatus, a moral revulsion, or an intellectual ferment, heresy was
in any case a challenge to the existing order. Its adherents were
always a comparatively small and unpopular minority. Society as a whole
regarded it as dangerous and was convinced of the necessity of its
repression. By far the most important, as it is the most notorious,
instrument devised for the repression of heresy in the Middle Ages was
the tribunal of the Inquisition.[5]



In the year 1108 there appeared in Antwerp a certain eloquent zealot
named Tanchelm. Apparently there existed in Antwerp only one priest,
and he was living in concubinage. In these circumstances the enthusiast
easily obtained a remarkable influence in the city, as he had
already done in the surrounding Flanders country. His preaching was
anti-sacerdotal, and he maintained the Donatist doctrine concerning
the Sacrament. He declared indeed that owing to the degeneracy of the
clergy the sacraments had become useless, even harmful, the authority
of the Church had vanished. He is also credited with having given
himself out to be of divine nature, the equal of Christ, with having
celebrated his nuptials with the Virgin Mary, with having been guilty
of vile promiscuous excesses, with having made such claims as that
the ground on which he trod was holy and that if sick persons drank
of water in which he had bathed they would be cured. We need not
necessarily take these stories seriously. Our knowledge of Tanchelm
and his followers is derived mainly from St. Norbert, Archbishop of
Magdeburg and founder of the Praemonstratensian order, who after the
leader’s death undertook the task of winning back his followers to
the true faith. The evidence comes, as usual in these cases, entirely
from hostile sources, and may easily be based on credulous gossip.
Certain it does, however, appear to be that the man succeeded in
obtaining a remarkable influence, surrounding himself with a bodyguard
of 300 men and making himself a power and even a terror throughout the
neighbourhood. That he cannot have regarded himself as an apostate is
clear from his having paid a visit to Rome in 1112 on the question of
the division of the bishopric of Utrecht. On the way back he was,
together with his followers, seized by the Archbishop of Cologne. Three
of the disciples were burned at Bonn; he himself escaped, to be killed
three years later by a clout on the head administered by an avenging

Somewhat similar to Tanchelm, but indubitably a madman, was Eudo or
Eon de l’Etoile, who created trouble a little later on in Brittany,
declaring himself to be the son of God. The madman had convinced
himself of his divine origin from reading a special reference to
himself in the words: ‘Per _eum_ qui venturus est judicare vivos et
mortuos.’ Eon, in virtue of this high claim, plundered churches and
monasteries, giving their property to the poor, nominated angels and
apostles and ordained bishops. It is not easy to be certain as to the
extent of his influence; for it is not possible to tell whether there
was any direct connection between him and a sect who were spread abroad
in Brittany about the same time, 1145-8, but were connected with others
calling themselves Apostolic Brethren who, having their headquarters
within the diocese of Châlons, were found in most of the northern
provinces of France, their main tenets being that baptism before the
age of thirty, at which Christ Himself was baptized, was useless, that
there was no resurrection of the body, that property, meat and wine
were to be adjured.[7]

Of much more serious consequence than either of these two fanatics
was Arnold of Brescia, who, a pupil of the errant Abelard and accused
of sharing his master’s heterodoxies, was proclaiming a much more
inconvenient heresy when he invoked the ancient republican ideals of
the city of Rome, maintaining that the papal authority within the
city was an usurpation; and indeed that the whole temporal power of
the papacy and all the temporal concerns of the Church as a whole
were an usurpation—so that his crusade in Rome involved a larger
crusade against the alleged secularism, wealth and worldliness of the
clergy.[8] After his death, there remained a certain obscure sect of
Arnoldists, calling themselves ‘Poor Men,’ a devoted unworldliness
their gospel, who no doubt provided a receptive organism in which the
later culture of Waldensianism might thrive.

But it was neither in the Low Countries and northern France nor in
Italy that heresy was first recognized as a formidable menace. The
danger came from southern France, particularly from Provence, from the
country of the _langue d’oc_. In the fertile and beautiful territories
of the Counts of Toulouse, between the Rhone and the Pyrenees, a
land altogether distinct from the rest of France, where there was a
vernacular language and literature much earlier than elsewhere in
Europe, there existed a civilization unique, vivid and luxuriant.
It was distinctive in that it was not in inspiration and essential
character Catholic, for it owed much to intercourse with the Moors from
across the Pyrenees, whose trade, whose special knowledge and skill,
in particular medical skill, were welcomed there. The population was
itself of mixed origin, having in it even Saracenic elements. This
Provençal country, peculiar in Christendom, was pre-eminently the
land of chivalry, of the troubadour, of romance and poetry and the
adventures of love, of all the grace and mirth and joyousness that
were in the Middle Ages. Clearly the atmosphere was not religious,
the Church had little influence and the priesthood were disliked and
despised. It was an atmosphere in which any anti-sacerdotal heresy
might flourish.

In this country there was preaching early in the twelfth century a
certain Pierre de Bruys, denouncing infant baptism, image-worship,
the Real Presence in the Sacrament, the veneration of the Cross. He
declared indeed that the Cross—simply the piece of wood on which
the Saviour was tortured—should be regarded as an object rather of
execration than of veneration. As nothing save the individual’s own
faith could help him, vain and useless were churches and prayers
and masses for the dead. No symbol had efficacy; only personal
righteousness. Pierre de Bruys was burnt, but a small sect of
Petrobrusians survived him for several years, their heresies being
dissected by Peter the Venerable of Cluny.[9]

Much more numerous and more troublesome than the Petrobrusians were the
followers of Henry, a monk of Lausanne, of whose original doctrines
little is known save that he rejected the invocation of saints and
preached an ascetic doctrine, with which was inevitably associated a
denunciation of worldliness among the clergy. Later on he became more
venturesome, rejecting the Sacrament and avowing many of the tenets of
Pierre de Bruys. So successful was his teaching in the south of France
that St. Bernard was wellnigh in despair. Christianity seemed almost
banished out of Languedoc. With fiery zeal Bernard threw himself into
the work of reclamation, and apparently met with much success, the
refusal of Henry of Lausanne to meet him in a disputation going a long
way to discredit his influence. His sect survived his death, the nature
of which is uncertain. It is possible that the Apostolic Brethren found
in Brittany and elsewhere in France, if they were not connected with
Eon de l’Etoile, were really Henricians.[10]

The chief interest of the heresies so far mentioned is the indication
they afford of the potential popularity of any anti-sacerdotal
propaganda. Apart from the crusade of Arnold of Brescia, which had a
special significance of its own belonging less to the history of dogma
than of politics, none of the movements had within them the power of
inspiration and sincerity to make them of permanent influence and
importance. It was otherwise with the movement set on foot by Peter
Waldo, a wealthy merchant of Lyons, uncultured and unlearned, but
filled with an intense zeal for the Scriptures and for the rule of
genuine godliness. From diligent study of the New Testament and the
Fathers he came to the conclusion that the laws of Christ were nowhere
strictly obeyed. Resolved to live a Christ-like life himself, he gave
part of his property to his wife and distributed the proceeds of the
remainder among the poor. He then started to preach the gospel in the
streets, and soon attracted admirers and adherents, who joined him in
preaching in private houses, public places and churches. As priests
had been very neglectful of that part of their duty, the preaching
apparently had something of the charm of novelty.

The small band, adopting the garb as well as the reality of poverty,
came to be known as the Poor Men of Lyons. At first their ministrations
were approved, and even when the Archbishop of Lyons prohibited their
preaching and excommunicated them, the Pope, Alexander III, appealed
to by Waldo, gave his benediction to his vow of poverty and expressly
sanctioned the preaching of himself and his followers, provided they
had the permission of the priests. This proviso, however, in time
came to be disregarded, and the Poor Men, becoming more and more
embittered in their denunciation of clerical abuses, began to mingle
erroneous doctrines with their anti-sacerdotalism. The clergy, who
naturally resented the onslaught upon their alleged shortcomings,
resented also the usurpation of the function of preaching. It was not
difficult to maintain that such usurpation was itself indicative of
heresy. Richard, monk of Cluny, writing against the Waldenses near
the close of the century, while admitting the merit of the rich man
in voluntarily embracing poverty, on the other hand found that Waldo
read the Scriptures with little understanding, that he was proud in his
own conceit, and possessing a little learning assumed to himself and
usurped the office of the Apostles, preaching the Gospel in the streets
and squares. He caused many men and women to become his accomplices in
a like presumption, whom he sent to preach as his disciples. They being
simple and illiterate people, traversing the village and entering into
the houses, spread everywhere many errors.[11]

That they were a heretical sect and no part of the true Church is
demonstrated by Moneta, the chief authority on Waldensianism, from
the question of orders. Who gave the Poor Men of Lyons their orders,
without which there can be no Christian Church? No one but Waldo
himself! From whom did Waldo obtain them? No one. Waldo ‘glorified
himself to be a bishop; in consequence he was an antichrist, against
Christ and His Church.’[12] From preaching it was an easy transition
to hearing confessions, absolving sins, enjoining penances. The Poor
Men came eventually to undertake all these offices. By the time of the
Council of Verona of 1184, when the attitude that the Church ought
to adopt towards the new organization was first seriously discussed
as a matter of urgent moment, the points of importance were—that the
Waldenses refused obedience to the clergy, held that laymen and even
women had the right to preach, that masses for the dead were useless,
and that God was to be obeyed rather than man.[13]

The last article is clearly a butting against sacerdotal authority.
In fact, anti-sacerdotalism is still the real sum and substance of
the teaching. There was no explicit doctrinal, intellectual error of
the first magnitude. Implicitly, however, there was; for underlying
the whole Waldensian propaganda lay a heretical principle: that which
bestows authority to exercise priestly functions is not ordination at
all, but merit and the individual’s consciousness of vocation.[14]

The Church felt Waldensianism to be a serious menace because it
speedily became popular and spread rapidly. The Poor Men later came to
believe themselves the true Church, from which Catholicism had in its
corruption fallen away. And in support of this they were wont to point
to their own personal purity. To secure godliness was ever their main
concern. A simple adherent of the Waldensian creed, interrogated as to
the precepts his instructors had inculcated, explained that they had
taught him ‘that he should neither speak nor do evil, that he should do
nothing to others that he would not have done to himself, and that he
should not lie or swear.’[15]

It would be difficult to find an apter summary of the ideals of
Christian conduct! On certain points of behaviour the Waldenses laid
particular stress—perhaps most of all upon the necessity of scrupulous
truthfulness; and like many people who have a keen sense of the
compelling beauty of truth for its own sake, they strongly disapproved
of the taking of oaths.

Simple goodness and high-mindedness have rarely at any time of history
failed to make their appeal to men’s hearts; and it is clear that in
the Middle Ages especially a strict rule of life, particularly if it
had something austere and ascetic in it, held a remarkable attraction
and influence. A writer, inveighing against the Waldenses towards the
end of the fourteenth century, admits the efficacy of their purity in
promoting their teaching. ‘Because their followers saw and daily see
them endowed with exterior godliness, and a good many priests of the
Church (O shame!) entangled with vice, chiefly of lust, they believed
that they are better absolved from sins through them than through
the priests of the Church.’[16] An inquisitor bears testimony—and no
testimony could be less biased in their favour—to the moral excellence
of the sect. ‘Heretics,’ he goes so far as to say, ‘are recognized by
their customs and speech, for they are modest and well-regulated. They
take no pride in their garments, which are neither costly nor vile.
They do not engage in trade, to avoid lies and oaths and frauds, but
live by their labours as mechanics—their teachers are cobblers. They
do not accumulate wealth, but are content with necessaries. They are
chaste and temperate in meat and drink. They do not frequent taverns or
dances or other vanities. They restrain themselves from anger. They are
always at work; they teach and learn and consequently pray but little.
They are to be known by their modesty and precision of speech, avoiding
scurrility and detraction, light words and lies and oaths.’[17] That
the Waldenses should sometimes have been accused of hypocrisy and have
met with ridicule from sophisticated enemies is not surprising; but
generally there is striking evidence as to their simple piety. There
were some stories told at times of sexual immorality among them. These
we need not take very seriously. Similar stories were told against all
heretical sects; and they can be accounted for easily in this case by a
confusion found frequently between the Waldenses and the Cathari. The
preponderating evidence in favour of the moral excellence of the former
is strong. It is not perhaps too much to say that the distinctive
dangerousness of the former lay in the fact of such excellence, such
fruits of the spirit being brought forth among a sect which arrogated
to itself apostolic functions without lawful authority.

The other great contemporary heresy—Catharism—has some striking
points of resemblance with Waldensianism, but more important points
of contrast. The new Manichæism emanated from the East, being found
in the Balkans in the tenth century tolerated and flourishing under
John Zimiskes, especially in Thrace and Bulgaria, after a period
of attempted extirpation under Leo the Isaurian and Theodora. The
Manichæan belief appeared in Italy about 1030, and speedily made its
way into France, first entering Aquitaine, then spreading over the
whole country south of the Loire. Early in the twelfth century it
penetrated further north—into Champagne, Picardy, Flanders; and at the
same time in one form or another it was found in Hungary, Bohemia,
Germany. It was so far-spread indeed that its existence presented a
very serious problem for the Church.[18]

There were several varieties of Manichæan doctrine, corresponding with
the different sects of Bogomiles, as they were called in Bulgaria and
other Slavic lands, Paulicians among the Greeks, Cathari in Western
Europe; but the different varieties were united in their fundamental
dualism. The Manichæan idea started in an attempt to find a solution
for the problem of good and evil presented by the assumption that God
the Creator is all-good and all-wise.[19] Could such a Creator be
the author of all the evil abroad in the world? Yet evil could not
be fortuitous; the material universe presented too much evidence of
purpose and design. A creator of the evil there must have been; but an
evil person or principle. To this creator—call him Satan or Lucifer,
what you will—must be due sin and such disasters as famines, wars and

For such a dualism—two creators, one beneficent, the other malign—the
Catharan discovered abundant evidence in the Scriptures. In the
Temptation Satan offers Christ all the glories of the earth, which must
mean that they, constituting the material world, belong to Satan.[21]
There were numerous passages descriptive of the discrepancy between
the earthly and the heavenly. Christ said, ‘My Kingdom is not of
this world.’ One Catharan tenet was that Jehovah, the God of the Old
Testament, was the malign creator. For he was a sanguinary deity,
dealing in curses and violence, wars and massacres. What single point
in common, urged the Catharan, was there between this deity and that
of the New Testament, who desired mercy and forgiveness? The Catharan
dubbed Jehovah a deceiver, a thief, a vulgar juggler. He strongly
condemned the Mosaic law, declaring it radically evil. Had it not been
entirely abrogated by the law of Christ, according to Christ’s own

There were differences among the Manichæans as to whether the evil
deity was equal to the other or not. The Bogomiles believed that God
had two sons, the younger Jesus, the elder Satan, who was entrusted
with the administration of the celestial kingdom and the creative
power. Satan revolted, was turned out of heaven, and thereupon created
a new world and, with Adam and Eve, a new race of beings. Another
Manichæan system saw in Lucifer, not a son of God, but an angel,
expelled from heaven. Two other angels—Adam and Eve—agreed to share his
exile. In order to secure their permanent allegiance to himself Satan
created Paradise to drive the idea of heaven from their minds. Not
satisfied with this device he hit upon another—the union of the sexes.
He accordingly entered into the serpent and tempted Eve, awakening the
carnal appetite, which is original sin, and has ever since been the
main source of the continuance of the Devil’s power.[23]

The Manichæans of all sections regarded Jesus as having been sent by
the good God to destroy the power of the evil one by bringing back
the seed of Adam to heaven. In their view Jesus was inferior to God,
not God Himself, but rather the highest of the angels.[24] Denying
His divinity, they also denied His humanity. For holding Satan to be
essentially the lord of the material world and the originator of the
propagation of the human race, they could not allow that Christ’s body
was of the same substance as of the ordinary man. According to them,
the transfiguration was Christ’s revelation of His celestial body to
the disciples.[25] The Passion and Crucifixion had no significance for
the Cathari. Indeed Christ’s death was a delusion. The Devil tried to
kill Jesus, under the impression that His body was vulnerable; whereas
in reality it was as invulnerable as His spirit. There was, therefore,
no death, and of course no resurrection.[26]

The dogma of the expiatory character of Christ’s life the Cathari
necessarily rejected. He came, according to them, solely to teach the
duty of penitence and to show the way to salvation, which lay only
through membership of the Catharan church.

The Virgin Mary possessed the same form of celestial body as Christ;
though apparently a woman, she was actually sexless. Some Cathari held
that the Virgin was only symbolical—of the Catharan church.[27] Some,
too, held that John the Baptist was one of the demons of the evil
god, who acted as an obstacle to the beneficent God, by preaching the
material baptism of water instead of the true baptism which is purely

Such were some of the main doctrinal features of Catharism. Its ethical
teaching was intimately connected with its theology. Refusing to credit
that the good God could predestine any to perdition, they held that
salvation ultimately awaited all. What gain, in these circumstances,
had the Catharan over his unconverted neighbours? Only a gain in
point of time. Life on earth, the Devil’s domain, was thought of as
a dwelling in and with corruption, a penance, a probation. The aim
was to have done with such life, such probation, as soon as might be.
The unbeliever, though he eventually reached heaven, did not do so
immediately after death, but had to continue his penance in another
material form. One of the essential ideas of Catharism, then, was the
transmigration of souls.[29] But for the Catharan, death meant the
instant discarding of the filthy garment of the decadent flesh, the
entrance at once into glory.

It was in the ability to cast aside the bondage of the material world
that there consisted the Catharan’s supreme advantage over other
people. The feeling that this _was_ an advantage clearly depended on
one’s attitude towards human life. To the Catharan the essential sin
was worldliness. The Catharan made no distinction between mortal and
venial sins for this reason. All concern and pleasure in the affairs of
the world was mortal sin. Money-making was of course depraved; but so
also was devotion to parents, children, friends. Had not Christ said
as much?[30] The Catharan must give up everything he held dear in life
for the sake of the truth, which was the Catharan faith.[31] While the
Bogomiles sanctioned prevarication in order to escape persecution, the
stricter adherents of the creed combined together with a Waldensian
devotion to strict truthfulness without oaths, a conviction that to
deny the smallest article of their faith was a heinous offence.[32]

His belief in metempsychosis meant that the Catharan was a vegetarian.
He abjured cheese, milk and eggs as well as meat; but flesh was worst
of all, because all flesh is of the Devil.[33] But the human spirit was
regarded with the greatest sanctity. The effusion of blood was always
wrong, the circumstances made no difference—it was always murder. The
parricide was no wickeder than the soldier in battle or the judge
condemning the criminal to death.[34] No human being was ever justified
in preventing his fellow men from following out their own course to
salvation. It may seem at first sight curious that the Catharan, so
strongly condemning the taking of another’s life, should in certain
cases condone and even encourage suicide. The explanation is, however,
simple enough. Once granted the conception of the radically evil
nature of the world and, secondly, of entrance into the Catharan fold
as ensuring immediate entrance into glory without further probation
after death, it was legitimate for a believer, conscious of his having
accomplished the object of his earthly penance and made his salvation
secure, to hasten the time of his departure into heaven. Hence the
initiated would sometimes escape the sufferings of illness, or the
recent convert flee from the temptation of the desire for the temporal
things he had renounced, by suicide. Such Catharan suicide was known as
the Endura.

Yet more remarkable than the sanction of suicide was another
consequence of the Manichæan creed—the condemnation of matrimony.[35]
The connection of thought was logical and the conclusion perhaps
logically inevitable. If it be accepted that the carnal body is the
invention of the Devil and the propagation of the species his device
for prolonging his power, the love of the sexes original sin, then it
is clear that marriage is service of Satan. So the Cathari enjoined the
severest possible chastity.[36] As usual they found evidence of their
belief in the Bible. But for them there was no difference between one
form of sexual intercourse and another. Adultery, even incest, was not
one whit more iniquitous than marriage. On the whole they were rather
less evil. For adultery was only temporary and produced a feeling
of shame; whereas marriage was permanent, a lasting living in sin,
contemplated without shame. The bearing of children was regarded with
horror. Every birth was a new triumph for the evil one; a pregnant
woman was possessed of the Devil, and if she died pregnant, could not
at once be saved.[37]

Catharan beliefs inevitably involved the denunciation of
Catholicism.[38] It was the Catholic that was the heretic; the wearer
of the pontifical tiara could not possibly be even a disciple of Him
who wore a crown of thorns, was indeed antichrist. The clergy from the
highest to the lowest were pharisees; the sacraments—infant baptism,
the sacrificial mass—were declared to have no warrant in Scripture, to
be mere figments of the imagination.[39]

The Cathari, it has to be remembered, were a church. They had an
organization, held services with a certain very simple ritual, for
example substituting for the mass a simple blessing of bread at table,
the Catharan meal bearing a close resemblance to the early Christian
ἀγάπη. Confessions were made to elders of the church once a month.
But the most distinctive ceremony of the sect was the Consolamentum,
an imposition of hands whereby the ordinary believer was admitted
into the select ranks of the Perfected. The number of the latter was
always small, and consisted principally of the avowed ministers of the
faith. The Consolamentum, which meant re-entrance into communion with
the spiritual world, was the desire of all true Cathari, but was apt
to be postponed until late in life, often until the death-bed. The
actual ritual of the Consolamentum—or hæretication, as Catholics termed
it—was very brief. The candidate, after a series of genuflections and
blessings, asked the minister to pray God that he might be made a good
Christian.[40] Such prayer having been offered, the candidate was then
asked if he was willing to abjure prohibited foods and unchastity, and
to endure persecution if necessary. When the Consolamentum was given
to a man on his death-bed, it was frequently followed by the Endura,
which commonly took the form of suffocation or self-starvation.

The Perfected consisted of four orders—bishop, filius major, filius
minor, deacon—their duties being to preside at services and missionary
work, in which the Cathari were zealous. Outside their ranks were
the simple adherents, the Believers or, as they were sometimes
called, Christians. These bound themselves eventually to receive the
Consolamentum; but, generally speaking, they were under no obligations
save to venerate the Perfected who, in the strictest sense, composed
the true Catharan Church, and to live the pure life their faith
enjoined. But they were under no coercive authority, and were even
permitted to marry.

Wherein lay the attraction of the Catharan doctrine and system? For
evidently they were attractive, as their great and rapid spread over
Europe shows. It is at first difficult to discern anything attractive
in teaching so austere; and if the Catharan promised a reward in
heaven, so also did the Catholic. In his case purgatory had first
to be faced, but then the ordeal on earth was less exacting. There
would appear to be two explanations, the one high-minded, the other
the reverse. In its early days the gospel of Catharism probably
made to some a lofty appeal. It denounced palpable clerical abuses,
repugnant to the moral consciousness. The austerity of its ethical
principles seemed to point to a higher standard of living in days
when any outstanding examples of asceticism, whether in the Church or
outside it, evoked admiration. In its hatred for the evil spirit of
materialism, in its detestation particularly of that worst of human
passions, cruelty, there was an element of nobility which finds a
response in the instinct which we to-day call humanitarian.[41] In
so far as its appeal was of this nature, it was sincere and fine.
Unhappily, however, Catharism unquestionably developed another appeal
of a wholly different character, which resulted almost inevitably from
the complete impracticableness of its ideal. A creed that approved of
suicide and denounced marriage stands self-condemned. It was at war
with the very principles of life itself. The ascetic rule it enjoined
was one ‘more honoured in the breach than the observance.’ There was
taint of unhealthiness and corruption in a rule so hopelessly at
variance with nature; while a creed which, if it meant anything, held
as its highest hope the speediest possible destruction of all human
life, was devoid of the balance and sanity which is essential in any
doctrine that is to be of any practical service in the world. Such a
religion as Catharism could not harmonize with the most elementary
facts of life and human nature. The consequence was—and herein lies
the greatest condemnation of the sect—that it went on proclaiming
an impracticable ideal while admitting that it was impracticable,
sanctioning a compromise, itself antithetical to its essential dogma,
whereby alone the heresy was able to continue at all. The compromise is
seen in two practices—the distinction made between the Perfected and
the Believers and the postponement of the Consolamentum, or complete
initiation, until the end of life. The Believers—the great bulk of the
adherents of the creed—might do pretty well as they liked, in fact
ignore all the Catharan precepts of conduct, might marry, have riches,
make war, eat what they chose, provided only they were prepared to
receive the Consolamentum before they died. Such an arrangement is
merely the apotheosis of the system of the death-bed repentance, it
is an encouragement to insincerity and hypocrisy. This does not mean
that most, or necessarily even many, Cathari were hypocrites. Most of
them, probably, were originally simple-minded labourers and artisans,
attracted by a novel gospel, which discerned the evils of the times,
gave hopes of heaven and was marked by the ascetic and missionary
enthusiasms which were then regarded as the hall-mark of a spiritual
origin and divine inspiration.

Nevertheless, the temptation to insincerity was clearly present.
‘Believe in the Catharan creed, venerate the Perfected, receive the
Consolamentum before death,’ made a simple and an attractive faith
for one who wished to enjoy the pleasures of life to the full, yet to
whom the tortures of a material hell were painfully vivid. ‘We are
the only true Christians, the Catholic church is but an usurpation,
utterly corrupt,’ made a convenient excuse for the feudal lord, by
whom only the excuse was wanted, to harry the clergy and make inroads
on their property. Nor need we wonder that these holders of a doctrine
of ultra-asceticism, of a complete celibacy, were credited with even
the foulest of sexual orgies. The distinction between Perfected and
Believers was an antinomian arrangement. Intense asceticism among the
very select number of the former was made compatible with excesses
among the latter. Was not the very rigour of existence among the
completely initiated an invitation positively to extreme indulgence
prior to such initiation? It would be highly uncritical to place a
great deal of credence in the many stories told of immoral practices
among Cathari. Such stories were bound to be told. We find them in
connection with practically every mediæval heresy; it was such an
obvious device for the discrediting of unholy beliefs to demonstrate
that they involved unholy lives. But it would also be uncritical to
reject the stories altogether. There is an inherent probability that
a certain percentage—it may be only a small percentage—of those told
of the Cathari were true. The critic’s objection, ‘what abomination
may one not expect of those who hold incest no worse a crime than
marriage?’ is pertinent and sound.[42] What results are likely, once
given the impossibility of complete continence, from such a perverted

Indeed, notwithstanding its better qualities, its still better
possibilities, Catharism was essentially perverted: and the
antagonism it aroused and the efforts made to suppress it are in no
way surprising. It has been termed ‘a hodge-podge of pagan dualism
and gospel teaching, given to the world as a sort of reformed
Christianity.’[43] A hodge-podge it undoubtedly was, an amalgam of
ancient Manichæism and elements of eastern origin, which were not
Christian at all but Mazdeist, together with certain features of pure
Christianity. It is no wonder that the Catholic Church viewed with
alarm the challenge made by a faith so compounded when it claimed to
be the only true Christianity. Catharism was not an antagonist to
be despised. Its missionary enterprise, its anti-social tendencies
and the evident popularity of its anti-sacerdotal features made it
undeniably dangerous. Moreover, it did not stand alone. Taken together,
the different anti-sacerdotal heresies, of which Waldensianism and
Catharism were the chief, which were abroad in Europe before the end of
the twelfth century, presented a serious problem and indeed a menace.
Was not the widespread phenomenon of organized heresy a challenge to
the whole conception of the _Civitas Dei_ alike on its spiritual and
its secular side? If only in self-defence must not the Church—society
on its spiritual side—take special measures to counteract the influence
of rebels, who had deliberately made war upon it by declaring
themselves alone to be the true repositories of the sacred truths upon
which God’s Kingdom here upon earth was founded? There were three
possible methods of answering the challenge of heresy. The first was
reform, the weeding out of those abuses which gave anti-sacerdotalism
its case and its opportunity, reform whereby all might be enabled to
recognize incontestably that Christ was plainly revealed in the life
of His Church. The second was missionary propaganda, the utilization
of the same weapon which the enemy so trenchantly wielded—that of
persuasion. The third possible method was constraint.



In 1196 Pope Celestine III gave his sanction to a new order, of which
the mother-house was in Fiore. From this place its founder derived his
name, and he is generally known as Joachim of Flora. Born of a noble
family and intended for a courtier, he had joined the Cistercians in
the desire for a life of austere discipline, but finding its severities
insufficient to satisfy his zeal had retired into a hermitage, where
however would-be disciples sought him out, so that he had to put
himself at their head. Joachim, who has been described as ‘the founder
of modern mysticism,’[44] regarded himself as inspired, and in his
own life-time obtained the reputation of a prophet. As a prophet he
is recognized in Dante.[45] There is no question that Joachim was
much under Greek influences. Calabria itself, the scene of most of
his labours, was half-Greek; he paid more than one visit to Greece,
came in contact with the Greek Church and also almost certainly with
the Cathari, for Greece was a hotbed of their doctrines. There is some
common ground between Catharism and the peculiar teachings with which
the name of Abbot Joachim is associated. Except for a few unimportant
pamphlets against the Jews and other adversaries of the Christian faith
there are only three works of which he was the undoubted author—a
concordance, a psalter and a commentary on the book of the Revelation.
The authenticity of two epistles ascribed to him is probable, but many
other works put down to his authorship after his death are certainly

The contemporary reputation of Joachim would appear to have been
derived as much from his spoken utterances as from his writings: but
Adam Marsh prized the smallest fragments of his works, sending them
whenever he could obtain them from Italy to Bishop Grosseteste. On
the other hand, however interesting and indeed startling they may
have been, they were not during their author’s lifetime regarded as
in any way injurious. His reputation as a seer was wholly orthodox
and unexceptionable. In 1200 he submitted his books to the Holy See
for its approval, and the verdict was that they were undoubtedly of
divine inspiration. Thirteen years later, indeed, certain speculations
concerning the Trinity in one of his minor tracts were condemned by the
Council of the Lateran. But the author was not personally condemned,
and his order was definitely approved; while in 1220 Honorius III
issued a bull declaring Joachim to have been a good Catholic.[47]

It is doubtful if the name of Joachim of Flora would ever have been
of any more than very transitory importance had it not been for the
appearance in 1254 of a work entitled ‘The Eternal Gospel,’ of which he
was stated to be the author. No book of that title figures among the
authentic works of Joachim, nor did he give that name to any collection
of them. It seems that the book which appeared in Paris in 1254
consisted of Joachim’s three principal works—which had none of them
been hitherto deemed heretical—with explanatory notes and a lengthy and
all-important introduction (_Introductorius in Evangelium Aeternum_).
It must have been rather in the notes and introduction than in the
text that the heresy lay, in the interpretations put upon Joachim’s
apocalyptic effusions rather than in the effusions themselves. The true
author, therefore, of the heresies associated with ‘The Everlasting
Gospel’ would appear to be the commentator, not the originator. The
authorship of the introduction and the glosses was early ascribed to
one of two persons—to a certain Gherardo da Borgo San Donnino by the
contemporary chronicler Salimbene, to John of Parma by the inquisitor
Eymeric in his ‘Directorium Inquisitorum,’ written more than a century
later. In any case the author was a Franciscan.[48] And between the
conceptions contained in ‘The Everlasting Gospel’ and the Franciscan
Order, it will be seen, there was a very close and a very significant

We may take it that the compiler of the work which startled the world
in 1254—whether it was Gherardo or John of Parma—is to be regarded less
as an expounder of the teaching of Joachim of Flora than as an original
thinker, either honestly finding a preceptor and a kindred soul in
the prophet and simply elaborating his thesis, or else utilizing the
apocalyptic utterances of a man who had died in the full odour of
sanctity in order to build up a thesis essentially his own on esoteric
writings easily susceptible of a new construction. It is sufficient
that ‘The Everlasting Gospel’ has direct reference to that section of
the Franciscans which was at the time led by John of Parma, and that
in the new religion which the work predicts the Friars are to play
the leading part as inaugurators. The work is indeed astoundingly
revolutionary. In much the same way that Mazzini in his ‘From the
Council to God’ proclaimed the emergence of a new religion of Humanity
superseding Christianity did ‘The Everlasting Gospel’ proclaim a
new religion, that of the Holy Ghost. But whereas condemnation of
the Catholic Church was commonplace in the nineteenth century and
humanitarian ideas familiar; in the thirteenth century it is rather
astonishing to find an admission that Christianity has failed and that
a new dispensation is necessary for the salvation of mankind. The text
of ‘The Everlasting Gospel’ is the words in the book of the Revelation,
‘And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the
everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to
every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud
voice, Fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is
come.’[49] Joachim had foretold in his ‘Concordia’ that the world would
go through three cycles, those of the Father or the circumcision or the
law; of the Son, crucifixion, grace; of the Holy Ghost, peace and love.
The first had been the era of Judaism, of the Old Testament. It had led
on to that of the New Testament and the Christian Church. The second
period was very shortly to reach its accomplishment, and the third and
last era, that of ‘The Everlasting Gospel,’ to be inaugurated by a new
religious order. By mystic computations the date of the commencement of
the final era was found to be 1260.

Fundamental to such a mystic conception of human history is the
assumption that Christianity is not the whole and the sole truth, that
it is not complete in itself, but only a partial revelation of God to
man, destined to be superseded by a fuller, ampler revelation in the
same way in which it had superseded Judaism. Such an assumption could
only rest upon a pessimistic view of contemporary life and society,
a feeling that it urgently needed a new saviour. Joachim strongly
denounced the evils of his day, especially those evinced by the Church,
which was given up to carnal appetites and neglected its duties, to
the advantage of proselytizing heresies, for which it was thus itself
indirectly responsible. The author or authors of ‘The Everlasting
Gospel’ illustrated this very conception by elaborating a thesis really
more destructive of the Catholic faith than Catharism itself. The
ending of the second era was to be accompanied by great tribulations,
but these grievous troubles would usher in the millennium, days of
perfect justice, peace and happiness, in which God would be worshipped
everywhere and in which the Eucharist and indeed all other sacraments
would be needless, mankind being liberated from such burdens, so
complete would be the knowledge of God in the heart of the individual
man. The conversion of the world to this new dispensation, in which
each man would live the devoted life of a monk, was to be brought
about by the new mendicant order, in which would be manifested all the
highest powers of man. What order could this be but the Franciscan?

The personality and career of St. Francis of Assisi are of profound
significance in the history of mediæval Christianity. Their sanctity
and spiritual power gave other men, such as Peter Damiani, Bruno,
Stephen Harding, Norbert, Bernard, Dominic, a great reputation and
authority even in their own lifetime. But Francis stood apart from and
above all of them, even Bernard. His intense sincerity, his absolute,
unconditional renunciation of all worldly things, the charm and beauty
of his character made the man, upon whose body the στίγματα of Christ
were said to have been seen, appear to his own day as one different
from all other men—indeed so miraculously near to the spirit of his
Master as to be hailed by some even as a second Christ. Simple,
unlearned, not interested in intellectual matters, making religion
an inward matter of spiritual experience, intense conviction of sin
and of repentance together with unreserved devotion of life and soul
to God in personal service, St. Francis was no organizer, and when
the nucleus of an order gathered round him viewed the future with the
utmost disquietude, fearing in the very fact of organization a falling
away from those ideas of strictest poverty and personal holiness which
marked out the Minorites from all other religious associations. Yet if
the influence of St. Francis was to survive his death, organization,
whatever its drawbacks, was an imperative necessity. This work was
carried out by a man of rare energy and constructive powers, Elias
of Cortona, with the active support of Gregory IX. Elias did for
the Franciscans what St. Paul did for primitive Christianity. But
between the spirit of Elias and that of Francis there was a difference
equivalent to that between the zeal of a prophet and the skill of
a statesman. The Franciscan Order as it came to be, if it gained
something by its organization, lost also, as the founder had foreseen.
With organization there came indeed recruitment from the ranks of
scholarship, and the followers of the unlearned saint of Assisi
included in Alexander of Hales, Bonaventura and Roger Bacon men who
could take stand with Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas himself among
the followers of the learned Dominic de Guzman. But there came also
with organization temporal influence and worldly wealth, entirely out
of harmony with the mind and ideals of Francis, and proving indeed a
snare and a temptation to those very clerical abuses against which the
whole life of Francis had been a protest.

Accordingly, there came about a very serious and indeed irreconcilable
cleavage among the Grey Friars. There were on the one side the
followers of Elias who came to be known as the Conventuals,
arguing that a strict compliance with the principles of Francis
was impracticable, indeed fanatical, that compromise involving the
abandonment of the mendicant ideal and the acceptance of property was
not only justifiable but unavoidable for the continued existence of
their society. On the other side were the Spirituals, arguing that the
policy of compromise meant nothing less than the repudiation of the
distinctive characteristics of the order which had led to its creation
and justified its continuation, and urging to the full the strictest
conformity with all their uncompromising sincerity. The dispute between
the two parties had been some years in progress when ‘The Everlasting
Gospel’ was published, the John of Parma to whom the authorship of the
work was by some attributed being at that time General of the order
and a most perfervid Spiritual. St. Francis himself had indeed been
orthodox enough, for the most part accepting the articles of faith in
a spirit of unquestioning obedience, though the bent of his mind and
his marriage to the Lady Poverty caused him to attach more importance
to some dogmas than to others, and in particular to shorten and to
simplify all forms and ritual. But in the beautiful fancifulness of
Francis there was a strong element of mysticism, and this element was
a marked characteristic of those who sought to retain his ideal of
asceticism in the order. To such the mystical outpourings of the Abbot
Joachim made a powerful appeal. For they perceived in his predictions
a clear reference to themselves, found in Francis the forerunner and
in themselves, his true followers, the destined preachers of the new
era of the Holy Ghost in which the carnal-mindedness of a decadent
Church and the corruption and indeed the worldliness of the whole human
race were to be known no more. To some extremists Francis figured not
as a great saint and servant of Christ seeking to reclaim the world
to His truth, but as an equal with Christ—not as the restorer of an
existent religion, but as the creator of a new religion. So completely
heterodox a construction was it possible to place upon the mission of
St. Francis, in the light of Joachite prophecy.[50]

It can easily be understood that the taint of Joachitism among the
Spirituals gave a splendid opportunity to their adversaries, which the
latter were not slow to take. The Pope, Alexander IV, was appealed to;
John of Parma was forced to resign, and his successor, Bonaventura,
who belonged to neither party, was made, however unwillingly, to take
action against John himself and his most outstanding adherents. Already
evidence was accumulating of heretical dangers which might accrue from
the wedding together of Franciscan ideas of poverty with Joachitic
mysticism, and Spirituals began to be looked upon askance. Already
Languedoc, abundant source of all manner of onslaughts upon the faith,
was beginning to welcome the ideas of Joachim, and it was possible for
the Conventuals to argue that their opponents were no better than a
heretical sect, another form of Cathari. Later on there came successors
to the author of ‘The Everlasting Gospel,’ in the Franciscan Pierre
Jean Olivi in France, in Italy Arnaldo da Villanova, who pronounced the
vices of the clergy to be eloquent signs of the presence of Antichrist.

To begin with the Spirituals were in the ascendant. Bonaventura, in
controversy with William of Saint Amour, a virulent enemy of the whole
Franciscan order, maintained that poverty was an essential feature
of Christianity and that neither Christ Himself nor His disciples
owned property of any kind. Pope Nicholas III by the bull _Exiit qui
seminat_ gave the sanction of the Holy See to the view that St. Francis
had been inspired in his creation of the Rule by the Holy Ghost; that
Christ had completely renounced the ownership of property and that such
renunciation was most laudable and Christian. At the same time he drew
a distinction—no new one, because it had already been put into practice
by Innocent IV and Alexander IV—between ownership and use, and laid
down as a rule always to be followed that the ownership of Franciscan
property was vested in the Holy See, the Franciscans themselves
simply having the usufruct. This bull did not, as might have been
anticipated, settle the dispute between the two Franciscan factions.
Laxity increased among the Conventuals, and Joachite tendencies still
subsisted among their opponents. The pontificate of Boniface VIII,
which began in 1294, brought upon the scene a man most eminently
practical, essentially worldly. To the Pope, who had designs on the
temporal power and eventually announced categorically, ‘I am Caesar,
I am Emperor,’ the ascetic ideal of the Spirituals was a ridiculous
fanaticism, which was also a positive nuisance. The mendicant orders
had been especially the servants of the papacy; the Spirituals were
apt to refer to it as Antichrist. Moreover, the existence of wandering
friars, actually beggars, under no proper discipline and supervision—as
some of the Spirituals had become—outraged his sense of order and
decency. Boniface decided that these lawless bands must be hunted
down, and utilized the Inquisition for this purpose. Under Clement
V the lot of the Spirituals considerably improved, and inveighing
against the abuses of their false brethren they very nearly succeeded
in securing a permanent separation into an order of their own. Instead
of this Clement, while declaring in favour of the ascetic party and
favouring them generally during his pontificate, endeavoured to induce
the rival factions to drop their quarrels and live together in amity.
His efforts at settlement were defeated by the action of Spirituals
in Italy, who at the very time when a Council at Vienne, sitting in
1311-12, was declaring in favour of the Spirituals and prohibiting
their enemies from referring to them as heretics, proclaimed themselves
a separate community and brought down the Pope’s wrath upon them as
rebels and schismatics and indeed founders of a pestilential sect.

The controversy came to a head under Clement’s successor, the
resolute and aggressive John XXII, to whom the pauper ideal was
particularly obnoxious. He was extremely avaricious and full of
worldly ambitions which involved him in frequent wars in Italy. This
pontiff—possessing in his nature not one single feature in common with
St. Francis—determined on restoring order within the Franciscan fold
and bringing the Spirituals to obedience.[51] The first attack on the
ascetic party was made in Languedoc. One of the minor distinctive
features of the Spirituals was their wearing smaller gowns and hoods
than the Conventuals. The Spirituals in the province of Aquitaine,
in Béziers, Narbonne and Carcassonne, were forbidden to wear this
distinctive garb. Twenty-five, to whom the wearing of their habit was
symbolical of the whole principle for which they stood, refused to
submit and were delivered to the Inquisition at Marseilles. Already
the Pope had declared that all the wandering Spirituals in Languedoc
who styled themselves _Fratres de paupere vita_ or _Fraticelli_ were
heretics, and had stated very significantly in the bull _Quorundam_
that however praiseworthy poverty might be, more praiseworthy was
obedience. Four of the twenty-five remained obdurate to the last, were
handed over to the secular arm, and burnt. This proved to be but the
beginning of a persecution carried out most rigorously by means of the
Holy Office, particularly in the south of France, but also in Spain
and Italy.

The rebel Franciscans were persecuted because they were heretical, and
it is important to note in what their heresy consisted. It was not
because of Joachite tendencies—these might or might not exist, they
were not a criterion—it was because of disobedience pure and simple.
To disobey the constitution _Quorundam_, to dispute its ruling as to
the wearing of a habit and the question of ownership of property—that
was heresy. It is true that the motive which induced the recalcitrant
to refuse obedience to the bull was a repudiation of papal authority
to lay down such a regulation regarding the Franciscan Rule, and that
such repudiation was connected with Joachite views as to the degeneracy
of the Church and the unique reforming rôle of the Franciscan order.
None the less the fact remained that in running directly counter to the
ruling of the bull _Exiit qui seminat_ and the decisions of the Council
of Vienne John XXII had actually created a new heresy, had asserted
that what had seemed most Christian and laudable to Nicholas III and
Clement V was an error in the faith. The persecution had the result
of actually encouraging Joachitism. ‘As well to be hanged for a sheep
as a lamb’ is a proverb of very general validity. If it was heresy to
disobey a papal bull—granted that that _had_ to be disobeyed—why not go
to the full length of rejecting the papacy and declaring it superseded
by the era of St. Francis and the Holy Ghost? The papal pronouncement
made the fanatical Spirituals more and more convinced that the
Roman Church was indeed ‘the whore of Babylon,’ the Pope veritable
Antichrist. And certainly we may regard the extremists latterly, under
the goad of persecution, as having developed into a sect, definitely
believing itself to be the true Church—that of St. Francis and the Holy
Ghost. But such fanatical Spirituals were exceedingly small in numbers,
their influence very restricted, and their extinction was brought about
without very much difficulty.

But it was not only the extremists that were made victims. On November
12, 1323, John XXII, to whom the Spirituals’ conception of the place
of poverty in the Christian Church was definitely anathema, so
irreconcilable was it with his papal policy, issued the bull, _Cum
inter nonnullos_, in which it was authoritatively denied that Christ
and His Apostles possessed no property. To assert that they held none
was error and heresy.[52] This question of dogma became involved with
secular politics, when Lewis of Bavaria, being claimant to the imperial
crown and at enmity with Pope John, found it convenient to adopt the
cause of the Franciscans and to denounce the Pope himself as a heretic
for not believing in the absolute poverty of Christ, as he did in a
formal indictment of John known as the Protest of Sachsenhausen. A
controversy between Empire and Papacy was thus started which is of
great interest because it evoked the ‘Defensor Pacis’ of Marsiglio
of Padua and the numerous polemical works of William of Ockham on
the imperial side. This controversy is of much greater interest and
significance than the story of the persecutions of the _Fratres de
paupere vita_, or _Fraticelli_, which continued as the result of John
XXII’s action, more especially in Italy, into the later decades of
the fourteenth century. The significance of the persecutions lies
in the virtual creation of a heresy by a papal bull. That it should
be possible for any individual wearer of the papal tiara to declare
heretical what his predecessors had held to be praiseworthy and to
stigmatize as heretics his opponents in secular politics revealed a
great danger. To hold fast to an immutable faith is easy, but what if
the immutable faith does as a matter of fact change! The bull _Cum
inter nonnullos_ made it possible that a man might be condemned as
a heretic because he held a certain view as to Christ’s poverty,
although perfectly able and willing to subscribe to every article in
the Christian creed as defined in the great councils of the early
Church. Catharism may have been a real peril to the Church; but to
maintain that men who had no other wish but to preserve the strict Rule
of St. Francis in the order constituted such a peril is impossible. And
men might well be bewildered by the fact that whereas the revolutionary
teachings of Joachitism were not at first proscribed, the wearing of a
particular type of hood became heretical not many years later.

The importance of ‘The Everlasting Gospel’ lies principally in
its influence on the Franciscan order, but it had several other
developments which are of distinct interest as remarkable illustrations
of the strange fanaticisms and superstitious credulities possible
in the thirteenth century. The Joachite idea of a new era and new
religion led to the astonishing discovery of incarnations of the
divine. One was found in a certain woman, a native of Milan, called
Guglielma, who seemed to have been in no way remarkable save for her
piety.[53] Yet the little band of followers who gathered round her
came to venerate her as a saint and a miracle worker. The biographies
of mediæval worthies are full of tales of the miraculous, and there
was nothing strange in this. But the extraordinary absurdity followed
of finding her to be the Holy Ghost in female form. The woman herself
never countenanced such fantastic ideas and expressly repudiated any
supernatural powers. But after her death a small circle of fanatic
devotees established her worship in Milan with a certain Maifreda at
their head, performing high sacerdotal functions and destined in the
eyes of her associates to succeed to the papal throne when the corrupt
Roman Church should have passed away.

The Guglielmites were a very insignificant sect, easily extinguished.
Potentially more dangerous were the followers of one Gherardo
Segarelli, a very ignorant and very demented enthusiast of Parma, who,
being rejected on his seeking admission into the Franciscan order,
determined to outdo St. Francis in the exact reproduction of the life
of Christ.[54] His method of accomplishing this purpose was to have
himself circumcised, wrapped in swaddling clothes and suckled by a
woman—after which preliminaries he stalked into the streets of his
native town, a wild, uncouth figure, calling all men to repentance. In
time the madman succeeded in attracting devotees from among herdsmen
as ignorant and almost as foolish as himself. The movement began to
be formidable when it spread beyond Parma, even beyond Italy, being
found in 1287 in Germany; and it appeared that Segarelli aimed at
proselytizing the world. The papacy was roused, the Inquisition put
into action, Segarelli himself in 1300 burnt in Parma, his disciples,
known as Apostolic Brethren, energetically persecuted.

They were not, however, entirely eradicated. Some remained—men of more
intellect than the lunatic heresiarch and his half-witted herdsmen—and
among them a certain Fra Dolcino, who saw in the appearance of
Segarelli in the all-fateful year 1260 a fulfilment of the prophecies
in ‘The Everlasting Gospel.’[55] He chose to regard himself as a
heaven-appointed messenger of the new dispensation. As fanatical as
Segarelli himself, he was more dangerous because apparently gifted with
the capacity of leadership and of inspiring even enthusiastic loyalty.
Beginning in Milan, Bergamo, Brescia, Vercelli, he had by 1304 created
a distinct religious community among the Italian Alps. It appears that
in order to maintain their supplies of provisions they were wont to
resort to robbery, and must have become a public nuisance. But they
were also dangerous heretics; it is a remarkable tribute to the mark
made by Dolcino’s personality that Dante makes Mohammed send a warning
message to Dolcino, as to a kindred false prophet, lest he fall into
the same ill-case as himself.[56] In June, 1305, Clement V resolved
upon drastic measures to wipe out this ‘son of Belial who had been
polluting Lombardy.’[57] A crusade was organized against the Dolcinists
in their mountain fastnesses, and after a desperate defence against
no fewer than four different expeditions, in which there was much
bloodshed and ferocity and in which the heretics were so reduced as to
have recourse to cannibalism, they were forced to surrender.[58] The
punishment of Dolcino—for the nature of which, it should be remembered,
the state and in no way the Inquisition was responsible—was terrible
in the extreme. He was gradually torn to pieces by red-hot pincers—an
appalling torment which he bore with an almost incredible fortitude.

Indirectly connected with the ascetic and mendicant enthusiasm
of the Spiritual Franciscans were certain heretical movements in
Germany—those of the Beghards or Beguines. The names are used somewhat
indiscriminately to denote Fraticelli, who were simply wandering
Spirituals asserting the supreme virtues of poverty, and other
sectaries, much more extravagant, whose only likeness to the Spirituals
lay in their mendicancy. The indiscriminacy of nomenclature undoubtedly
denotes a very comprehensible failure at times to distinguish between
vagrants outwardly alike and all of them at least under the suspicion
of heretical tendencies.[59] Among the extravagants to whom this title
was given were followers of two teachers of a crude mysticism and
pantheism—one Amaury de Bène,[60] whose doctrine had a very marked
antinomian tinge, for he maintained that no one filled with the Holy
Ghost and the spirit of love could commit sin; the other, Ortlieb of
Strassburg, whose pantheism caused him to include Satan in the divine
essence, so that his followers, generally known as Brethren of the
Free Spirit, were also sometimes known as Luciferans and credited with
devil-worship and the perpetration of the most disgusting obscenities
at the initiation of novices into the faith. The Brethren of the Free
Spirit were never numerous, but in spite of constant persecution they
appear to have existed right up to the days of Lutheranism. Their
doctrines were not without significance, because together with an
exalted claim to impeccability which prescribed the severest tests
of sexual purity they combined a mystic belief, which under the
term Illuminism, a name they themselves adopted, had a considerable
influence on the theological thought of Germany. The most remarkable
of these was the distinguished Dominican, Master Eckhart, who appears
to have maintained that man shared the divinity of God and that in the
eyes of God virtue and sin were alike.[61]

The existence of such venturesome pantheistic speculations as these
broad-cast in Germany reacted very unfavourably on all unrecognized,
and particularly on migratory, religious associations, which became
involved in the persecutions set on foot in consequence of the
undoubted heresies of the pantheists. Such associations tended to
increase in the thirteenth century. They were not necessarily connected
with the Spiritual Franciscans or Fraticelli; but they certainly owed
their origin to the popularity of the mendicant idea as practised by
the friars, in particular the Minorites. They are found in France,
Germany, Italy and the Low Countries; and to such voluntary fellowships
there could be no legitimate objection in themselves; they might be
the most laudable instruments for the exploitation of religious zeal.
Only they called for thorough supervision. Beguinages, therefore—large
permanent houses—were established in such towns as Cologne, Ghent, and
Paris, such establishments being under careful management, the special
protection of the popes and secular princes, and enjoying often the
highest reputation for sanctity. But with wanderers it was different.
They could not be supervised, and to distinguish between the orthodox
and the schismatic mendicant was difficult. Undisciplined vagrancy
was in itself an invitation to temptation. The Inquisition in Germany
represented to Boniface IX in 1396 that for a hundred years all manner
of heresies had lurked under the outward fair-seeming of the Beghards
and that their suppression was impeded by certain papal constitutions
urged in their protection.[62] It is true that at times, owing to the
extent to which the innocent were wont to suffer with the guilty, the
papacy had ere that come to the rescue of the former, as for example
Benedict XIV in 1336 and Gregory XI in 1374. It had in particular been
necessary to protect women, large numbers of whom joined themselves
not only to the permanent mendicant communities, but to the wandering
mendicants. In times that were hard and wild and disordered, when there
was no system of poor-relief save through the Church, the lot of widows
and of women and girls who had no male protectors was exceedingly hard,
and for such the mendicant associations had a clear attraction as a
means of asylum and refuge. The war upon the Beghards in many cases led
to many respectable women being led into a life of misery and want and
sometimes prostitution, until Benedict XIV intervened on their
behalf.[63] At the Council of Constance certain rules were drawn
up for the regulation of beguinages, but beguines did not thereby
escape persecution. In 1431 we find Eugenius IV intervening for their
protection. Ever in danger of persecution, wanderers over the face
of the land, these mendicant communities, whether remaining within
the Church’s fold or not, were a source of religious unrest, of
dissatisfaction with the hierarchy, of aspiration for new doctrines
which would attune with the intense individualism of a mystic
illuminism. By such men and women Lutheranism might well be welcomed
and its progress materially assisted.[64]

One of the strangest of the fanatical outbursts of the Middle Ages,
especially in Germany, is indirectly connected with the Brethren of the
Free Spirit, some of whom joined themselves with the Flagellants. The
latter first made their appearance in Europe in 1259 in Italy, whence
the movement spread to Bohemia and Germany. A more important outbreak
occurred in the middle of the next century, when the appalling ravages
of the Black Death had no doubt brought home to many thousands of the
survivors the awful fragility and insecurity of human life and the need
for repentance and godliness. It was the consciousness of the impotence
of man probably that gave popularity to the abasement and self-torture
of the scourge. There was a positive luxury of misery in the suggestion
of so drastic a means of grace for a polluted people, smitten by the
heavy hand of an angry God. Through Hungary, Germany, Flanders, Holland
marched these penitents, proclaiming complete regeneration for all who
should persevere in flagellation for thirty-three days and a half,
chanting weird prayers in which this creed was enshrined.[65] Theirs
was a new gospel—the all-sufficient efficacy of the voluntary effusion
of blood.[66]

It is no wonder that the authorities became alarmed. Legitimate
exception was taken to the enthusiasts’ indecency—men went virtually
naked, women insufficiently clad, all were under a temptation to sexual
excesses.[67] Worse was the doctrinal error involved—the attack upon
sacraments and priesthood contained in the preaching of the strange
means of grace by these new priests of Baal.[68] In 1349 Clement VI,
condemning the movement on the ground of the contempt of the Church
implied in the formation of such an unlicensed fellowship, ordered the
suppression of the Flagellants, who thereafter came under the purview
of the Inquisition. The heretical doctrine inherent in the Flagellant
mania was enunciated in its most extravagant form by a native of
Thuringia, named Conrad Schmidt, who in 1414 was maintaining that
all spiritual authority had passed from the Catholic Church to the
Flagellants, that not only were the sacraments useless, but they had
been proscribed by God and it was mortal sin to partake of them, so
that, for example, the ceremony of marriage polluted the union.

The fundamentally anti-sacerdotal character of the Flagellant
movement was shared by another contemporary mania in Flanders and the
Rhinelands—a dancing mania, under whose impulse fanatics would leap and
convulse themselves in the most violent contortions in fierce ecstasies
of religious frenzy.[69]

It is a most curious and remarkable story that is made by these
interconnected heresies, more especially of the thirteenth century,
and by others like them. In the midst of the Ages of Faith individual
emotional outpourings or intellectual speculations would lead to
strange results of fanaticism or dogma. There were indeed some that
were mainly sensual in origin, but others betokened an earnest desire
for a new heaven and a new earth and demanded a moral progression in
human affairs not visible in existing human society. Such an aspiration
is implicit in all the strange theories connected with ‘The Everlasting
Gospel’ and in all the ideas of the Spiritual Franciscans, their
offshoots and their companion sects. How much of such aspiration,
such opinions could the mediæval Church absorb within herself? It was
ever doubtful. It would have been impossible to predict beforehand
upon which side would eventually be found many of the remarkable men
referred to in this chapter—Francis, John of Parma, Bonaventura,
Marsiglio of Padua, William of Ockham, Roger Bacon, Amaury, Master
Eckhart. The pope who condemned the Spiritual Franciscans might
easily have regarded Francis himself as a heretic. Fortunately for
herself the Church, while repudiating doctrines which were obviously
unchristian, those that were the mere frenzies of the ignorant and the
demented, succeeded in absorbing a large measure of the enthusiasm and
the thought of the age, incorporated the mendicant orders, produced the
scholastic philosophy. Nevertheless there were abroad in the mediæval
world moral and intellectual ferments, yearnings for regeneration and
guesses at truth which found within her fold no satisfaction.

    _Note._—In O. Holder-Egger’s (complete) edition of Salimbene
    (_Monumenta Germaniae Historica_, vol. xxxii, Hanover and Leipzig,
    1905-13) the most important references to Joachitism are on pp.
    231-41, 292-4, 455-8.



The great intellectual achievement of the Middle Ages was the recovery
of the learning of the world that had vanished before the onset of
the Hun, the Vandal and the Lombard.[70] That learning was in part
classical, in part patristic. But as the process of absorption was
the achievement of the Church, the emphasis was on theology, and the
works of the Fathers bulked very much more largely than the profane
literatures of Greece and Rome. There was much in the teaching of
Augustine that was Neoplatonic, that was akin to the speculations of
Plato himself. But the whole point of view, method and cast of mind of
the mediæval thinker were radically different from those of the pagan
philosopher. The latter set out upon the search for abstract truth
without any preconceptions; the former started from the postulate
of a divine revelation. His primary object was not to investigate,
but to justify the ways of God to man. For him all knowledge must
be a theodicæa. He was not, therefore, an original thinker; for the
foundations of his scholarship being revealed truth, his most marked
characteristic was a sincere deference to authority. He was, moreover,
ever conscious that the salvation of the soul was a matter of greater
cogency than even the exposition of God’s dealings with the world. At
the same time mediæval philosophy was of a peculiarly formal pattern;
and to the modern world it is apt to appear pedantic indeed, ‘cabined,
cribbed, confined.’ It rested upon the tripod of grammar, rhetoric,
logic. It was a matter very largely of dialectic, and it may seem
to us of mere verbal juggling. The _Trivium_ was an introduction to
metaphysics, but the metaphysics were strongly theological in bias and
nakedly logical in form. Their clue to the processes of thought being
logic, not psychology, mediæval thinkers did not clearly distinguish
between problems of the human mind and problems of reality, assuming an
exact correspondence between mental conceptions and the ultimate facts
of the universe.

Yet whatever the defects of the scholastic philosophy, it holds
a great and significant place in the history of the intellectual
development of western Europe, since it was the means whereby the
learning of the ancient world was recovered and preserved and an
intellectual continuity rendered possible. Such is one out of many of
the great contributions made by the mediæval Church to the cause of
civilization. Secular knowledge was not proscribed, but on the contrary
adopted and utilized, by the Church; enquiry and research not looked
askance upon, but encouraged. The universities of the Middle Ages were
ecclesiastical in origin; their teachers and scholars were clerks. The
great University of Paris, the very centre of the intellectual life of
Christendom in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, was an object
of very special solicitude to the Holy See. The two great mendicant
orders, the Prædicants and the Minorites, taking the lead in the
schools and universities only a few years after their own inception,
speedily produced some of the most erudite and the most brilliant minds
of the Middle Ages.

In the twelfth century the leading scholastics were Augustinians; in
the middle of the thirteenth the dominant philosophy was still of
a Neoplatonic character. The great Franciscans Alexander of Hales,
Bonaventura, Peckham belonged to that school of thought. In many of
them, notably in Bonaventura, there was a marked strain of mysticism.
The mystic note in Plato, his insistence on moral and spiritual
values had made his doctrine harmonize easily with Christian dogma.
The appropriation of pagan thought and secular science had not so
far produced any discord with the truths of the Christian faith, or
any serious tendency to question them. It is indeed significant that
the pupils of Anselm of Bec should have asked him for a _rational_
justification of Christian dogma; but that had not betokened any doubt
as to the possibility of reconciling faith with reason, but only an
appreciation of the desirability of being able to demonstrate that,
however superfluous, such justification was perfectly possible. Again,
in the vast compendious treatises of such encyclopædic scholars as
Vincent of Beauvais, Hugo of St. Victor and Peter Lombard, there was
the explicit recognition that, while secular learning is a thing to be
desired for its own sake, yet its stages of _cogitatio_ and _meditatio_
are only the threshold before the portal of the shrine, wherein the
divine nature may be contemplated. Reason cannot unaided explain the
ineffable; the visible world is but the _simulacrum_ of the unseen.[71]
Once or twice indeed there had been hints of danger. Right back in the
ninth century a certain very self-confident Irishman, by name John
Scotus Eriugena, had declared the supremacy of reason over authority;
for while authority sometimes proceeded from reason, reason never
proceeded from authority. In the eleventh century there had been the
aberrations of Berengar of Tours and Roscellinus. In the next century
a new and more brilliant Eriugena arose in the person of Abelard, a
man even more self-opinionated and self-confident, one who treated
the seeming contradictions of the Fathers as opportunity merely for
mental calisthenics, whose whole method of thought appeared to enthrone
reason at the expense of authority. But the potential danger was never
realized. The trained dialectician trembled before the unlearned
spiritual dictator of Christendom; the man who exalted himself in his
own eyes dared not face Bernard, to whom God was all in all and man
as nothing: and at the last Abelard, a monk of Cluny, died humbled, in
the odour of sanctity. Up to the end of the twelfth century, then, the
free play of enquiry and discussion in the schools had not threatened
defilement of the purity of the Christian faith. Heresy had indeed been
a serious danger; but not among the learned, not in the precincts of
the university, had it been bred.

The succeeding century, however, did bring with it an anxious problem.
There came a large influx of new learning out of the pagan past—the
encyclopædic knowledge of Aristotle. Aristotle had been introduced
into the world of Latin Christianity long ere this through the medium
of Boëthius in the days of Theodoric.[72] The Dark Ages had intervened
since then. Now came a second and a much more significant advent of
Aristotle. This time he came through a non-Christian medium, through
the interpretations of the ‘great commentator,’ the Moslem Ibn-Roschd,
Averrhoës. Could the Stagirite be won for Christ; could his teachings
be enlisted for the Christian theodicæa? The Church could not but be
alive to the risks involved in any converse with Aristotelianism.
There were radical contrasts between the Platonic and Aristotelian
methods. The latter was inductive, non-committal, denoted an impartial
examination of natural phenomena, the range of which was infinitely
more comprehensive than anything which any other human mind had ever
attempted. Aristotle seemed intent rather upon coldly collecting
evidence from the operations of a soulless Nature than extolling the
wonders of God in a beatific vision. The extent of secular knowledge
opened up in the writings of Aristotle was, then, vast and their
attraction to the alert and curious mind correspondingly vivid; but the
attractiveness had to be viewed with caution.

The Church perceived that there were in the Peripatetic philosophy
elements which must be repugnant to truly devout minds. This would
have been true even had the pure unadulterated text of Aristotle been
in question; it was the more cogently true seeing that Aristotle was
presented to the Christian world through the voice of Averrhoës and the
commentary was more familiar than the original.

During the tenth and eleventh centuries when Christendom was for
the most part wrapped in a barbarous ignorance, Saracen culture,
in the caliphates of Baghdad and Cordova, had kept alive the
sciences—mathematics, astronomy, medicine—and speculative thinkers had
preserved, not indeed uncorrupted, yet always as a vital influence,
the ancient philosophy of Greece, when to the Christian world it
was lost in oblivion. Side by side with an orthodox philosophy in
consonance with the teachings of the Koran, Islam had produced a
heretic philosophy, which though written in a Semitic language and
modified by an oriental environment, was essentially Greek, essentially
Aristotelian.[73] To the Arabian thinkers the Stagirite represented the
utmost limit of the human intelligence; they could not conceive that
there could ever be improvement upon knowledge so Catholic, synthesis
so complete.

The first of the great Arabian philosophers, Alfarabi, had been
Neoplatonist in thought, Aristotelian in method.[74] His great
successor, Avicenna, was Aristotelian both in the content and the
logical scheme of his work.[75] The distinctive teachings of Avicenna
were, first, the nominalist doctrine that universality exists not in
reality, but in thought only; secondly, that matter is uncreated and
eternal; thirdly, that the first and only direct emanation from God
or the First Cause is Intelligence, νοῦς, but that this communication
of intelligence to lesser beings is not a single act in time, but
a constant process or an everlasting act. While in the eastern
caliphate these bold speculations were strongly denounced by the later
philosopher of Baghdad, Ghazali, and were repudiated in a powerful
orthodox reaction;[76] in Spain at the beginning of the twelfth century
Avempace and Abubacer were teaching that the life of the soul is a
progress from a purely instinctive existence shared with the lower
animals to a spiritual absorption in the divine essence and intellect;
while the latter philosopher added the contention that religious creeds
were but types of, or approximations to, absolute truth, which the
philosopher, but never the mere theologian, may attain. The greatest
of all the Arabian thinkers, Averrhoës, whose life extended over the
greater part of the twelfth century was, in even greater degree than
Avicenna, a worshipper of Aristotle.[77] While Avicenna occasionally
questioned his great original, Averrhoës never did. He laid no claim to
originality. To him the substance of human wisdom could never alter,
being enshrined for ever in Aristotle’s pages. If Averrhoïsm differs
from Aristotelianism, it does not differ consciously. Averrhoïsm is
simply and solely the undiluted gospel of Aristotle, as Averrhoës
conceived it.

Its principal theses—the Averrhoïst version of Aristotle—are the
eternity of matter and the unity of the intellect.[78] Matter is
uncreated. God did not create; He is Himself the primordial element
in things, the latent force or impulse in the universe, which gives
it both its being and continuance. Emanating from the First Cause is
the _active_ intellect. For Averrhoës makes an important distinction
between νοῦς ποιητικός and νοῦς ποθητικός, the latter being the human
intellect. Averrhoës explains the difference by the analogy of the
sun and the human vision. Just as by the light which it sheds the sun
produces the capacity to see, so the active intellect produces the
capacity to understand. But the human intellect has no individual
immortality, being at death absorbed in the universal mind. Man,
indeed, possesses no personal immortality. Only in man’s power of
reproducing his species can there be said to be any human immortality.
The human race is permanent. In the fullest sense, however, only the
active intellect is eternal.

The attitude of Averrhoës to Islam, and indeed to all religion, is
important. It may be summed up by saying that he was the friend of
religion, the enemy of theology, for which he could see no excuse.
There could be no compromise between faith and philosophy. The
theologian was at the outset hopelessly hampered in the search for
truth, because he had to premise all the articles of his creed. His
system, thus conditioned, became a mere hodge-podge of sophistic
quibblings, groundless distinctions, fanciful allegories, which did
but serve to obscure and distort the religion which it pretended to
expound. The sincere and exact thinker could accept no such postulates,
start with no preconceptions. Philosophy and religion must be kept
completely apart; the attempt to suffuse them—made in theology—did but
corrupt both. They were not, however, mutually subversive. Religion
was no branch of knowledge, no matter of arid formularies; it was
an inward power, an inspiration. It was indispensable, because it
was the basis of morality for the multitude who could not aspire to
philosophy. But while Averrhoës thus discountenanced any attempt to
instil religious doubts into the popular mind, his attitude towards
religion was exclusively utilitarian, and he obviously regarded it as
the inferior of philosophy. The special religion of philosophers, he
declared, was to study what exists, for the noblest worship of God was
in the contemplation of his works. Philosophy, in short, the pursuit
of wisdom, was the highest form of religion, higher than that which is
based upon prophecy.[79]

Averrhoïsm speedily penetrated into Christendom. Aragon and Castile
naturally received it early. In Languedoc, at the schools of
Montpellier, Narbonne, Perpignan, Arabian medicine and philosophy
both flourished. Scholars from central and western Europe, visiting
the medical schools of the Moors, no doubt brought back with them
the current views of the Saracen philosopher as well as the Saracen
physician. The first Latin version of Averrhoës’ commentaries is
attributed to Michael Scot, who came fresh from Toledo to the court
of Frederick II; while there is a tradition that the son of Averrhoës
lived for a time in the palace of that most eclectic potentate.[80]
From Saracen Toledo itself, from Christians and Jews in Spain and
Provence, came translations of Averrhoës. It was probably with
extraordinary rapidity that the ideas of the Arabian philosopher became
the common property of the Christian schoolmen.[81] Quite certainly
Latin Averrhoïsm was a force to be reckoned with by the middle of the
thirteenth century.[82]

The Averrhoïst was not the only Latin version of Aristotle current
in western Christendom in the twelfth century. The capture of
Constantinople by the crusaders in 1204 had brought Catholic Europe
directly into contact with Greek philosophy, and translations direct
from the Greek into Latin had been attempted, one of the earliest being
made by Bishop Grosseteste. Various translations of Aristotle were,
then, available. Were they to be regarded as open without restriction
to the curious eye of scholarship? The Church decided against such
freedom. In 1210 a council of the ecclesiastical province of Sens,
held at Paris, having publicly condemned the heresies of Amaury de
Bène, went on to protect the unwary from another source of possible
contamination by commanding that neither the works of Aristotle nor
the commentaries upon him should be read in Paris under pain of
excommunication.[83] The commentaries referred to must be either those
of Averrhoës or similar Arabian treatises. In 1215 this prohibition was
renewed by the papal legate, under whose supervision the schools of
Paris came. Gregory IX, in a regulation addressed to the masters and
students of Paris on April 13, 1231, made the prohibition provisional,
until such time as the books of Aristotle could be examined and
expurgated. At the same time he entrusted this important task to
William of Auxerre and two others. The project is very much to the
credit of the Pope, a genuine supporter of learning who, however, had
probably not realized how great an undertaking it was. At all events
it came to nothing; and the prohibition, although renewed by Urban IV,
in January 1263, would appear to have remained a dead-letter. In 1255
the ‘Physics’ and ‘Metaphysics’ of Aristotle were prescribed for the
course in the Arts’ faculty in the University. In fact the Aristotelian
impulse in the vivid and vigorous atmosphere of the youthful Parisian
schools was too strong. Neither Aristotle nor Averrhoës could be got
rid of by papal inhibition. The keenest interest had been aroused in
them. It were better, as it was simpler, to utilize such keenness
rather than to attempt to combat it. Of all the great services rendered
to the Church by the Dominican order none was greater than its capture
of profane learning for orthodox Christianity. The great Franciscans
were expounding the current theology of the day with its tinge of
Platonism; the Dominicans now came forward to adapt Aristotle for the
service of Christianity. In 1256 Alexander IV commissioned Albertus
Magnus to write his ‘De unitate intellectus contra Averroëm’: a fact
that is proof positive of the headway that had already been made not
only by Aristotelianism but by the tenets of the ‘great commentator.’
The tractate is indeed written against Averrhoës himself, not
Averrhoïsts, but the fact that the Pope entrusted Albert of Cologne
with the task of answering the former is evidence of the activity of
the latter.[84] Fifteen years later Thomas Aquinas produced another
work on the same subject: but this one definitely ‘contra Averroïstas.’
Between the years 1261 and 1269 Aquinas was, together with William
of Moerbeke, at the court of Rome engaged upon the great task, now
at length undertaken under the auspices of the Holy See, of making a
translation and commentary on Aristotle. In the latter year he appeared
at Paris on the occasion of the assembly there of a chapter-general of
the Dominican order. It has been maintained that the real reason of his
presence was to clear the Prædicants of the suspicion of Averrhoïsm.[85]

The middle and the latter half of the thirteenth century were years
of violent controversy in the University of Paris. Fundamentally the
source of this was the jealousy of the secular clergy against the
Mendicant orders, which had succeeded in establishing themselves in
the University earlier in the century, the Dominicans securing their
first chair in 1217, the Franciscans theirs in 1219. Apprehensive
lest the Friars should achieve a complete predominance, the seculars
under the leadership of Gerard of Abbeville and the acrimonious
William of Saint-Amour led a heated attack upon them, first only on
the practical question of university privileges. But it was not long
before matters of doctrine were involved, and regulars and seculars
were soon denouncing each other as heretics and antichrist.[86] It is
not easy to discover what was the doctrinal position of the seculars,
but they seem to have reproached the Dominicans at all events with
overfondness for philosophy as distinct from theology.[87] Together
with the contest between seculars and regulars in the University there
went also one between the two great Mendicant orders. The same charge
seems to have been preferred against the Prædicants by their rivals.
They cared too much for knowledge that was not wholly sacred; they
were too scientific, too intellectualist.[88] Such is the gist of the
diatribes launched against the Dominicans, especially Thomas Aquinas,
by Archbishop Peckham.[89] There is no doubt that he deliberately
tried to involve Aquinas in the suspicion of Averrhoïsm. A certain
Gilles de Lessines, sending to Albertus Magnus a list of fifteen errors
current in Paris, includes in the number thirteen definitely Averrhoïst
doctrines together with two theories of Aquinas, not Averrhoïst, to
which, however, the Augustinians took exception.[90] Clearly the
Franciscans were endeavouring to discredit not only the Averrhoïsts,
but the Aristotelians. In the year 1270 there appeared two important
treatises: the one by a certain Siger of Brabant, entitled ‘De anima
intellectiva,’ the other by Aquinas, ‘De unitate intellectus contra
Averroïstas.’ The latter is defending himself vigorously against the
charge of Averrhoïsm by himself vigorously attacking the Averrhoïsts.
In a sermon preached before the University of Paris St. Thomas
vehemently denounced the self-confidence and self-sufficiency of the
Averrhoïsts, and contrasted the contradictions and the uncertainties of
philosophy with the clearness and certitude of revealed religion.[91]
In this same year 1270 the Bishop of Paris, Etienne Tempier, solemnly
condemned the thirteen propositions mentioned in Gilles de Lessines’
letter to Albertus of Cologne. They were the doctrines being taught at
the time by the two leaders of Averrhoïsm in the University, the Siger
of Brabant just mentioned and Boëthius of Dacia.

Of Siger’s works a number are extant. Two or three are concerned with
the sort of logical conundrums popular among mediæval dialecticians
or with theories of Aquinas and are orthodox enough, but the ‘De
aeternitate mundi’ and the ‘De anima intellectiva’ contain the whole
gospel of Averrhoës.[92] Their contentions are so completely a
transcription of the ‘great commentator’ that it is unnecessary to
do more than summarize them briefly. For Siger, as for the Arabian,
Aristotle is the one and only philosopher. Like Averrhöes too, Siger
makes no attempt to reconcile Aristotle with revealed religion,
but carries his teaching to its supposed logical conclusion. Both
Albertus and Aquinas, Siger maintained, had perverted Aristotle.[93]
Not they, but Averrhoës, was the true exponent of the Stagirite.
He proclaimed, then, in all boldness the doctrine of the unity of
the intellect together with its inevitable corollary, the denial
of personal immortality; the doctrine of the eternity of matter,
which involved the negation of the Biblical story of creation, the
intervention of providence, the free will and moral responsibility of
the individual.[94]

Such were the fundamental conceptions of Siger’s teaching and of
the propositions condemned by the Bishop of Paris in 1270. The
condemnation did not silence the Averrhoïst champion and his friends.
For six or seven more years they continued to be possibly a small,
but apparently an energetic and defiant, body among the masters of
arts in the University. Between 1272 and 1275 Siger was in open revolt
against the authority of the rector, Amaury of Rheims. The Averrhoïsts
separated themselves from the rest of the faculty; but the force and
skill, perhaps the very audacity, of their leader attracted a large
number of students to his lectures.[95] The doctrinal controversy
continued. It was one not so much concerning the truth or erroneousness
of the Averrhoïst position as on the question of fact—was Averrhoës
or Aquinas the more faithful interpreter of Aristotle? Aegidius
Romanus triumphantly vindicated the Stagirite from the Averrhoïst
deductions.[96] On the other hand, there continued to be those to
whom Aristotelianism and the expositions of Albertus Magnus and
Aquinas were anathema.[97] In the end the latter triumphed over their
adversaries: Aquinas was canonized, Aristotle was vindicated, and
the Alberto-Thomist principle tended to take the place of Platonic
Augustinianism as the most authoritative philosophy of the schools.
It was far otherwise with the anti-scholastic faction of Siger.
They, the literal slaves of Aristotle, accepting the Averrhoïst
interpretations of him without emendation, refusing to accept the idea
of any compromising adaptation to suit the requirements of revealed
truth, were accused of maintaining that the Christian faith, in common
with all other religious creeds with their fables and errors, was an
obstacle to scientific enquiry leading to the acquirement of exact
truth.[98] Here was Averrhoïsm naked and unashamed indeed; but it is
difficult to believe that this accusation can be true. However that
may be, the Paris Averrhoïsts—and Siger very outspokenly—asserted the
collateral existence of two distinct truths, the religious and the

It is remarkable that principles of this type should have been
tolerated so long. In 1277 there came a change. In January of that
year Pope John XXI addressed a letter to Etienne Tempier in which
he bids him search out notable errors in doctrine, since it is
deplorable to find the pure streams of Catholic faith, which it is the
special function of the University to send forth, being grievously
polluted.[99] Thus commanded, Tempier set to work once more, and
this time produced a list of no fewer than 219 errors.[100] Again an
attempt was made to confound the Thomists with the Averrhoïsts, and the
long list included many very petty points. But the principal errors
enumerated are Averrhoïst and the list is obviously aimed chiefly
against Siger and Boëthius. The Bishop not only produced the catalogue,
but he fulminated a decree pronouncing excommunication against all
those who harboured the opinions therein condemned. Henceforward such
persons were ‘suspect’ of heresy; and it is not surprising that either
in November 1277 or 1278—probably the former—Siger and Boëthius were
cited to appear before the inquisitor of France, Simon du Val, in
the diocese of Noyon.[101] The two Averrhoïsts seem to have appealed
against the inquisitor direct to the court of Rome, probably on
the grounds of the special privileges of the University of Paris,
the peculiar solicitude of the papacy for the University, their
own intrinsic importance as teachers of great reputation and their
persistent declaration that they were true Catholics. The circumstances
of their latter days are obscure; but the strong probability is that
they made their way to Rome to purge themselves from the suspicion
of heresy, were tried before the Inquisition of Tuscany, abjured
their errors, were duly reconciled and then penanced with perpetual
imprisonment.[102] Siger died at Orvieto, certainly before 1300, since
in that year Dante imagines a meeting with him in his journey through
Paradise. How comes it that Dante places this heretic in Paradise? Two
possible conjectures have been put forward. The first that Dante did
so in ignorance of Siger’s true character, not being sufficiently well
versed in the current philosophy of the time; the other, that he wanted
to place in Paradise some one who should represent the philosopher _par
excellence_ as distinct from the theologian. It was not easy to find
such a one; and of the possible candidates, Siger of Brabant was the
most distinguished.[103]

Parisian Averrhoïsm, despite the condemnation of its chief exponents,
did not die with Siger, Boëthius and the thirteenth century. In the
next century a certain John of Landun or of Ghent was preaching
Averrhoïst doctrine in the University and attacking the reputation
of St. Thomas; and he had numerous followers.[104] But by this time
the chief centre of Averrhoïsm was tending to be Padua rather than
Paris. Here the Averrhoïst school was founded by Peter of Abano,
equally famous as physician, magician, astrologer and Averrhoïst, who
only escaped the clutches of the Inquisition by dying an opportune
natural death in 1316.[105] The school there also admitted its direct
indebtedness to the Parisian, John of Landun. From his days right down
to the seventeenth century speculations of an Averrhoïst character
continued to be discussed in northern Italy, especially in Padua. In
the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries there were two rival
Aristotelian parties in Padua and Bologna, Averrhoïsts and Alexandrists
(so-called after the Greek commentator, Alexander of Aphrodistias), who
disputed academic-wise concerning the personal or impersonal nature of
immortality. Of the Averrhoïsts the most distinguished were Achellini,
Augustino Nifo and Zimara; of the Alexandrists, Pomponazzi. Although
an Alexandrist, this bold and lively thinker owed much to Averrhoës;
while it is an indication of the very academic nature of Italian
Averrhoïsm that Nifo, it is true after somewhat modifying his views,
was commissioned by Leo X to prove as against Pomponazzi that Aristotle
believed in the immortality of the soul.[106]

The most perfervid opponent of Latin Averrhoïsm in the Middle Ages was
Raymond Lully, who made it his dominant object in life to combat Islam
in all its shapes and forms. His schemes embraced the recovery of the
Holy Sepulchre and the conversion of all Jews and Saracens; but he
desired to attack not only the Koran, but Moslem heterodoxy also, and
to rescue the truths of Christianity from the contaminations of the
‘great commentator.’ To these ends he laboured untiringly and with an
intense zeal. We find him approaching the Council of Vienne in 1311,
with projects for the amalgamation of the great military orders, a
new crusade against the infidel, the foundation of colleges for the
study of Arabic so that Moslem errors may be the more easily confuted.
Lully also desired the suppression of the works of Averrhoës in all
schools, and the prohibition of all Christians from reading them.[107]
It is remarkable that the works of this great antagonist of Averrhoïsm
should have themselves come under suspicion of heresy. It is probable
that his followers, rather than Lully himself, were responsible for
the damaging of his reputation, since some of them held opinions
of a Joachite character. But it is clear that in his animosity to
Averrhoïsm Lully went to the opposite extreme. Condemning the tenet of
the incompatibility of philosophy and revealed truth, he was moved to
maintain that there was no difference between them, that there was no
dividing line between the rational and the supernatural.[108] Therein
was perhaps as great error as in the contrary opinion. However that may
be, Nicholas Eymeric determined to have Lully’s memory condemned, and
in the ‘Directorium’ is particularly venomous against him. In 1376 he
exhibited a papal bull condemning no fewer than 500 Lullist opinions
as heretical. The results were curious. These were in the days of the
Schism; and the Aragonese acknowledged neither pope. Declaring the bull
a forgery, perpetrated by the inquisitor himself, the Lullists secured
his banishment, and Eymeric died in exile.[109]

A better known enemy of Averrhoïsm than Raymond Lully was Petrarch,
who like Lully hated everything that savoured of Islam. He hated its
medicine and its astronomy, but above all its philosophy. He makes the
Averrhoïsts—of whom it is clear he must have known a number—targets
of an indignant irony. They are men who make it a point of honour to
deny Christ and the supernatural. Petrarch, his inspiration drawn from
the classics of paganism, a man who had witnessed and loathed the
abominations of Avignon, who regarded Rome as ‘the temple of heresy,’
had no brief to defend the orthodox creed. But to him Christianity was
endeared because of its humility, Averrhoïsm abhorrent because it was
dogmatic, self-confident, pedantic.[110]

This to the mediæval mind is the outstanding characteristic of
Averrhoïsm. It is insolent in the assurance of its denials. In
the fourteenth century Averrhoës himself stands as the unique
personification of the spirit of unbelief; and as such is bracketed
with Antichrist and Mohammed.[111] In this light he figures in the
paintings of Orcagna and others. To Gerson he is the most abominable
of all enemies of Christianity, to Petrarch a rabid dog ever raging
against the Catholic faith.[112] The famous phrase ‘the three
impostors,’ which had first been attributed by Gregory IX to Frederick
II, and the essential conception of which in book form was destined
to be attributed to many others from Boccaccio to Erasmus, Rabelais
to Milton, was fathered upon Averrhoës.[113] He had declared—so it
was believed—that Moses, Christ and Mohammed were three impostors who
had deluded the world; also that of the three religions, Judaism,
Christianity, Mohammedanism, the first was a religion for babes,
the second a sheer impossibility, the third fit only for hogs. The
Eucharist was the impossible feature of Christianity, and Christians
were especially hateful because they ate the flesh of the God whom they
professed to adore.[114]

Perhaps the most interesting fact connected with the story of the
Islamic philosophy in Europe is the fact that it helped to familiarize
Christendom with some of the features of another religion. It was not,
of course, the sole agency to do that; the Crusades played their part.
It is significant that many of the mediæval stories and mystery plays
have as their central idea apostasy, which as a rule takes the form of
conversion to Mohammedanism. Even the religious wars in Palestine
did not breed exclusively antagonism to the faith of the infidel,
and friendly intercourse with Saracen Spain and academic interest in
Islamic philosophy produced a knowledge that was less critical than
sympathetic. Such familiarity with the main conceptions of other creeds
rendered feasible the comparative study of religion. That was to be an
achievement for a future age. Yet it needed no exact science of the
subject to encourage the spirit of toleration. When other religions
were discussed, were it only for the sake of attacking and refuting
them, still the curious eye could not fail to be aware of their
common elements. Not even in Marsiglio is the principle of religious
toleration more notably set forth than in one of the tales of the
‘Decameron,’ the pithy parable of ‘The Three Rings,’ which inspired
Lessing’s ‘Nathan the Wise.’[115] Melchizedek in Boccaccio’s tale
emphasizes in his analogue the common elements in the three religions
of Jew, Moslem and Christian, each claiming to be the sole truth, and
no doubt one of them being in fact the truth, yet so alike that none
can tell which that one is. Boccaccio’s attitude is one of sceptical
indifference, and it is no far cry from that to the attitude of Pulci
in the ‘Morgante Maggiore,’ in which the mood is one of complete levity
and all the forces of ridicule are brought against the quips and
quiddities of the theologian and the superiority of Orlando’s God over
Morgante’s original deity is made to look exceedingly equivocal.

We must not allow ourselves to discover an Averrhoïst origin for all
the outspoken language used in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries,
in which Christianity is regarded critically, objectively.[116] It
is no doubt true that Averrhoïsm was principally an academic force
belonging to the universities, and that even there its adherents were
never numerous. On the other hand, there must inevitably have been
some infiltration of Averrhoïst ideas through the general community.
There must have been some dispersal through the agency of the scholars
who thronged the seats of learning, who were more often than not
wanderers from one school to another, from Spain to France, from
France to England, from England to Italy, and who must have scattered
abroad the influences under which they themselves were brought. There
were from the point of view of the Church two obviously dangerous
features in Averrhoïsm. First there was its anti-scholastic nature,
its determination to follow philosophy wheresoever it might lead,
regardless of whether it could be reconciled with Christian dogma
or not, a determination which was accompanied by a bold insistence
upon their incompatibility in point of fact. In the resolution to
follow truth, untrammelled by religious dogma, there might at the
surface appear to be something of that critical spirit which produced
another anti-scholastic revolt, that of Roger Bacon. But whereas in
his case the inductive method gave promise of progress in knowledge,
the possibility scarcely existed with philosophers who were just as
completely persuaded as was the most orthodox mediæval saint that
the truth had once and for ever been vouchsafed to mankind, with the
sole difference that whereas the saint found the truth in the Bible,
the Averrhoïst found it in the treatises of Aristotle. But the fact
that he did so find it—in pagan and not in sacred writ—was, one would
have thought, radical enough and dangerous enough; while the actual
doctrines he professed were as divorced from Christian belief, as
wildly heretical as any that the most fiercely persecuted mediæval
sect ever expressed. Nevertheless as a rule the Averrhoïst was not

At first glance this appears very surprising. Yet the explanation is
in reality simple enough. In the first place, the Church was no enemy
of speculative thinking as such. The doctors, the masters and the
students who debated so earnestly, so vehemently, abstract questions
in philosophy as well as in theology were themselves clerics; the
universities were ecclesiastical foundations; their studies were
essentially sacred, not profane. It was no part of the policy of the
mediæval Church to stifle enquiry and discussion by those properly
qualified concerning the ultimate truths of existence. Such work
might well be to the glory of God and the permanent enrichment of
the Church. And if the Averrhoïsts did not, like Albertus Magnus
and Aquinas and the great Franciscan Augustinians, convert their
learning into Christian apologetics; on the other hand, they were
not like the wandering sectaries, whom the Church did persecute,
irresponsible unlearned laity, who spoke of mysteries they were not fit
to understand, but they were themselves clergy under proper academic
discipline and supervision. Moreover, they did not attack the Church;
on the contrary, they professed themselves the most devout true
Catholics. Their interest in philosophy was purely abstract; they had
no ulterior motives, no remotest idea of propaganda with a view to
shaking the authority of the Church or the filial allegiance to her of
a single one of her children. On the contrary, they repeatedly and most
emphatically asserted that their philosophical tenets were exclusively
academic and not intended to have any bearing upon life and conduct.
Thus the Averrhoïst postulate of a double truth, one philosophic, the
other religious, stood its adherents in good stead. We cannot to-day
see into the minds of these Latin Averrhoïsts, cannot tell whether they
persuaded themselves that they really were Christians, were sincere in
their conception of two irreconcilable truths or adopted it merely as
a convenient subterfuge and were flippantly cynical or sardonically
insolent in their hypocrisy. The subterfuge served the Averrhoïsts;
whether its acquiescence in the subterfuge served the Church is another
matter. While the obviously honest Waldensian and Beghard were harried
to the stake, the obviously dishonest Averrhoïst was usually left at
large. Was not the tendency of such discrepancy of treatment to place
a premium upon mere lip-service and religious insincerity? From the
fourteenth-century Averrhoïst, with his idea of the double truth, it
is but one step to the fifteenth-century humanist, openly indifferent
to religion altogether, not troubling to consider whether such a thing
as religious truth exists at all, seeking and discerning truth in the
pagan world only.



The earlier heresies of the Middle Ages were of importance for their
own day and generation only, leaving no permanent imprint on history.
The Church was on the whole very successful in combating them, actually
securing the destruction of the Albigenses and throughout western
Europe generally keeping the danger well in check by the activities
of the Holy Office. The story of the Spiritual Franciscans, on the
other hand, has a deeper significance, for it is intimately connected
with momentous events which betokened the overthrow of the mediæval
order, the rooting up of certain fundamental ideas associated with
the matured conception of the _Civitas Dei_. The one feature common
to Waldensianism, Catharism and the other early mediæval heresies,
which gives them any lasting importance, was their anti-sacerdotalism.
Clerical, and in particular papal, pretensions tended to increase
after the fall of the Hohenstaufen, which left the papacy triumphant
as the result of its long struggle with the empire. The high-water
mark of those assertions was reached in 1300, when Boniface VIII
declared himself to be not only Pope but also Caesar.[117] By two
most important bulls Boniface sought to put his claims into practice,
_Clericis laicos_, which defined the rights of the clergy to immunity
from secular taxation, _Unam sanctam_, which declared unequivocally the
absolute supremacy of the pope over the lay power, over every human
creature in all respects. The same uncompromising spirit was shown a
little later on by John XXII, the oppressor of the Spirituals, an old
man of immense vigour and a range of view which embraced even the
minute concerns of the secular states of Europe.[118]

Unhappily for itself, the setting forth of the papacy’s highest
pretensions was coincident with the maturing of certain forces which
tended to render those pretensions null and void. The most important
of these was the force of nationality, the growth of nation-states,
in particular under the strong royal houses of the Capets and the
Angevins respectively in France and England. In such nation-states the
papacy was to find a more formidable obstacle to the realization of
its temporal ambitions than the Empire had ever presented, especially
as they had no such tradition of alliance with the papacy as was the
heritage and indeed the technical origin and justification of the Holy
Roman Empire.[119] The distinction between the relation of the Pope
to the Emperor and the relation of the Pope to the King of France is
brought out forcibly in a work entitled ‘An Enquiry touching the Power
of the Pope,’ by Peter du Bois, who in the year 1300 published a very
remarkable treatise which advocated a modest proposal for uniting the
whole of Europe under French sovereignty. The Emperor was dependent
upon the Pope, because he had to be confirmed in his office and crowned
by the Pope. No such necessity existed in the case of the French

Certainly the conduct of Philip IV showed plenty of independence in his
relations with the Roman pontiff. When Boniface in 1301 asserted that
Philip held his crown of him and summoned him to appear at a council
about to be assembled at Rome, the papal bull was solemnly burnt in the
French capital. The States-General was then convened to give national
expression to a protest against the action of Boniface; and bishops
and lesser clergy united with the people as a body, and most important
with the lawyers, to address letters of remonstrance to Rome. The civil
law directly challenged the canon law.

In England the national feeling against papal exactions and
interference was extremely bitter and vociferous under Henry III.
Edward I gave a blunt answer to the claims of _Clericis laicos_ in
ruling that if the clergy were to be free of the law in respect of
its duties they should be free of it also as regards its privileges
and its protection, should be outlaws in fact. The stand taken by the
French and English kings on the subject of clerical taxation was so
firm that Boniface was forced to nullify the bull _Clericis laicos_ by
the bull _Etsi de statu_. Not only the royal will, but popular feeling
is evidenced under Edward III by the statutes of _Provisors_ and

While in Germany the imperial dignity had much sunk in credit since
the days of the Hohenstaufen, on the other hand the importance of a
national sentiment there was revealed in the general support given to
Lewis of Bavaria. It is true that he failed in his expedition to Italy,
whither the German king journeyed in order to establish his imperial
dignity, despite his excommunication by John XXII, by coronation
at Rome, but in Italy his forces were recruited by adherents more
valuable than armies in the General of the Franciscan Order, Michael
of Cesena, and a yet greater Franciscan, William of Ockham. The issue
that had been joined was in reality one between papal and national
sovereignty; but in the lengthy war of words that ensued upon Lewis’s
failure in Italy the controversy appeared to be concerned with the
theological question of the poverty of Christ, so that the feud between
Spiritual and Conventual became a European question. It now possessed a
significance extraneous from, and much wider than, the original cause
of quarrel: for in the doctrine of apostolic poverty could be focussed
all the widespread anti-sacerdotal feeling which revolted at the
secular preoccupations and ambitions of the clergy.

A heavy blow was struck at the overweening claims of the papacy by
Philip IV’s attack upon Boniface VIII, and, as it has been said, ‘the
drama of Anagni is to be set against the drama of Canossa.’[121] But
worse humiliations were to follow, when the papacy was brought under
French tutelage by the ‘Babylonish Captivity’ of Avignon. Worse still,
to the humiliation was added infamy. The corruption at the new papal
court speedily became notorious. It surpassed all previous bounds, and
the cost of its luxury and prodigality was defrayed by unparalleled
extortion and simony.[122] More powerful than ever, therefore, became
the denunciation of the ugly materialism and spiritual decadence of
the papacy. The scandal of Avignon was followed by one more deplorable
still—the Schism. Christendom was presented with the unedifying
sight of successive rival pontiffs, each anathematizing the other
and reviling him in terms of vulgar scurrility.[123] No mystic halo
could remain undimmed, no sense of reverence unimpaired by a spectacle
so profane. The resistance of princely prerogative, the emotion
of national resentment against caste privilege and exemption were
reinforced by a general consciousness of the violence done to men’s
ordinary sense of fitness, a consciousness mirrored in the literature,
and particularly the polemics, of the day.

If disgust with the papacy led Dante in his ‘De Monarchia’ to find
a solution of the world’s troubles in a revival of the universal
empire, of an effective imperial authority, his vision being one of
a golden age in the past, in this respect he stood alone, and other
writers looked forward to a radical alteration and amendment in the
ecclesiastical polity. It was indeed a radical innovation, but it was
not so conceived by its authors, who regarded it as the true practice
of the Church and were in some cases ready to denounce the Pope as a
heretic for disregarding it. The pulpits of the Grey Friars resounded
to denunciations of John XXII as a heretic because he clave to earthly
possessions and repudiated the doctrine of the poverty of Christ and
His Disciples. But indeed the arguments of John’s opponents were often
so startling that it is in no way surprising that he with all honesty
perceived in _them_ the heretics. Michael of Cesena, in a tract against
the errors of the Pope, treated John as a mere heretic, and appealed
from him to a General Council representative of the Catholic Church,
since a Pope might err both in faith and in conduct, as indeed many
had erred before, while the Catholic Church was infallible, and its
representative, a General Council, was necessarily endowed with the
like infallibility.[124]

Of far greater weight than that of the Franciscan leader was the
authority of William of Ockham in recommending the device of a
General Council. Only, unlike the former, William of Ockham discerned
infallibility in neither Pope nor General Council. All human beings
are liable to err, whether individually or collectively, but the
ultimate power in the Church must be the Church itself, the whole body
of the faithful.[125] In his enormous work, his ‘Dialogus,’ there are
contradictions and qualifications which indicate that the author was
perplexed by the manifold practical difficulties of the problem of how
to reunite Christendom.[126] But as a Spiritual Franciscan he was clear
that the Pope had no right to secular property, and as a philosopher
preferred the Church Universal itself to its pontiff as the repository
of truth.

Of much less influence and reputation in his own lifetime than Ockham,
yet of infinitely greater originality, penetration and width of view,
astonishingly farseeing and modern in his standpoint, was Marsiglio of
Padua. The central argument of his ‘Defensor Pacis’ is that the cause
of all the turmoil and disturbance of the world has been the bid for
temporal power made by the clergy, and especially the papacy.[127]
Christ had definitely stated, ‘My Kingdom is not of this world’;
yet the clergy had become utterly immersed in affairs of the earth.
Marsiglio equally combatted two sacerdotal contentions—the right to
intervene in secular matters in despite of the spiritual office, on the
one hand; on the other hand, the right of exemption from the ordinary
payments and obligations of citizens in virtue of the same spiritual
office. He held that the clergy had one duty only, and that a spiritual
duty—to attend to the welfare of the souls of their flock. They had no
legitimate claim whatever, in his opinion, to special treatment from
the lay authority.[128] Their spiritual character was relative only to
their performance of spiritual functions; in so far as they performed
any others they were on exactly the same footing as laymen. Their
tenure of land should be on precisely the same conditions as that of
the laity; the civil obligations of the layman were incumbent upon them
also. Similarly, they had no right to special jurisdiction, involving
the infliction of the same sort of penalties—fines and imprisonments
for example—as appertained to the secular courts. Such jurisdiction
was abhorrent to the spirit of the Gospel.[129] To counsel and to warn
was within their province; to go beyond that was not. This, according
to Marsiglio, applied even to heresy. If a heresy were dangerous to
society, it was for the civil authority to deal with it. Merely as
wrong opinion it was not punishable at all in this world.[130] While he
thus restricted and narrowly defined the functions of the priesthood,
Marsiglio in no wise narrowed the conception of the Catholic Church,
but rather broadened it. For his outstanding argument is that the
clergy _have_ been narrowing that conception by arrogating to
themselves a position and powers which belong to the whole community.
While perniciously extending the meaning of the word ‘spiritual’ to
cover such essentially secular things as property and political power,
they have as falsely contracted it to exclude from all control of the
Church’s destinies the mass of the laity. They also, although not in
orders, are religious men, members of the Church; numerically they
are by far the greater part of the Church. Consequently, in a General
Council, which is a representative of the entire Christian communion,
and not merely a part—the fact of ordination not making the clergy any
the less a fragment—in a General Council resides the ultimate authority
of the Church.[131]

In these remarkable pronouncements of Marsiglio of Padua are
contained the doctrines of democracy and of toleration: so also in
the careful allocation of the clergy to purely spiritual functions
is contained the suggestion of that precise differentiation between
Church and State which perhaps more than anything else marks off
modern from mediæval society. The whole conception of the ‘Defensor
Pacis’ was revolutionary. No heresy of the Middle Ages had been more
dangerously subversive of the whole system of the Catholic Church as
it then existed. The perverse absurdities of Catharism and other such
half-crazed cults were abhorrent to all sane and healthily-minded men.
But the doctrines taught by Marsiglio have commended themselves to many
of the most sincere, the most devout and religious of men from his own
day to this.[132]

Were these opinions heretical or not? They were declared to be so by
John XXII; but amid the warring religious factions of the period it
was no easy matter to say what was orthodox and what was not. The
controversy regarding mendicancy raged. The Minorites declared Pope
John a heretic because he would not agree that mendicancy was enjoined
by Scripture. The view of the Pope was shared and soberly argued by
Fitzralph, Archbishop of Armagh. It was not only the worldly cleric
necessarily that failed to find warrant for the contentions of the
Spirituals in the Bible.[133] A second new tenet of the time—the dogma
of the Beatific Vision—John XXII, after first inclining to believe,
latterly decided to reject; and in 1331 a certain English Dominican,
for daring to assert that the souls of the righteous were immediately
wafted into the presence of God and beheld Him without having to wait
for the Day of Resurrection, was by the Pope’s orders brought before
the Inquisition, and was thrown into gaol. John’s political opponents
in Germany and France, together with the Spiritual Franciscans,
immediately asserted the truth of the doctrine he had denounced, the
French King writing to point out that the Pope’s ruling must seriously
invalidate the belief in the invocation of saints and also all pardons
and indulgences. John was forced to give way, and on his death-bed
affirmed his adhesion to the doctrine of the Beatific Vision. As he
did not make a formal recantation, however, of his previous error,
Michael of Cesena held him to have died a contumacious heretic.[134]
A third new doctrine, a little later on, after considerable and
powerful opposition, gained a great triumph mainly through the
instrumentality of the University of Paris, which forced Pope Clement
VII to acknowledge its truth. This was the doctrine of the Immaculate
Conception. It had been resolutely condemned by St. Bernard, Peter
Lombard, and later by Thomas Aquinas. But the appeal to the popular
imagination of Mariolatry was too strong, strong enough even to defeat
the decision of the great Doctor. It became inconceivable to the
popular imagination, which ever tended to prefer the sweetness and
gentleness of the Virgin to the awfulness of the Trinity, to believe
that she could have had any connection whatever with sin. In 1387, when
a certain Dominican professor at Paris preached a sermon maintaining
that the Virgin was conceived in sin, there was a violent uproar,
leading to Clement VII’s consenting to declare all those who held
this view to be heretics.[135] The confusion as to the definition of
orthodoxy and heresy, inevitably produced by the introduction of such
new tenets as those just enumerated, was heightened by the decadent
unreality of philosophy, when it permitted of the idea of a double
truth, one theological, the other philosophical, and rendered it
possible for a scholar to assert that even such cardinal doctrines as
those of the Trinity, immortality, the resurrection, the efficacy of
prayer might be true in theology, yet quite untrue in philosophy.[136]
Such a disingenuous compromise put a premium at once upon scepticism
and insincerity.

There was one great schoolman living against whom, despite the
prolixity and barrenness of much of his logic, no charge of unreality
or insincerity can be brought—John Wycliffe. Beneath the dialectical
subtleties and sophistries common to all the works of the scholastic
philosophers there was in his case a profound sense of the obligation
to seek, and a zealous desire to discover, the absolute truth. As with
all great thinkers who have left a permanent mark on the history of
religious and political opinion, there was in Wycliffe a great moral
earnestness, an honest hatred of shams and impurities and all that is
ignoble. The scandals of Avignon and the Schism helped to form the
creed of Wycliffe, as they did that of the most religiously-minded men
of the fourteenth century. His teaching was the moral repercussion of a
sensitive and powerful mind flung back from impact against the clerical
abuses of the Church. Indeed, as in the case of Marsiglio, so in that
of Wycliffe, his attack was primarily on the polity of the Church, only
secondly on doctrine. Many of his writings are perfervid denunciations,
in the violent language common to mediæval controversialists, of the
ill-living, laxity and ostentation of the clergy. His diatribes against
successive popes and the institution of the papacy became more and more
unmeasured in the choice of epithets. The writings of Wycliffe cannot
be taken as a true description of the Church of his time, so great is
the allowance that has to be made for the hyperbolical language of
furious partizanship.

The constructive doctrine of Wycliffe is derived from his idea of
Lordship. His theology is given a feudal structure, which cumbrously
overweights it with technicalities and analogies of interest only to
a feudal age. The whole of human society is conceived as holding from
God, the suzerain of all creation. The essential characteristic which
Wycliffe ascribed to it brings out of this feudal nomenclature no
mere analogy but a pregnant idea. Wycliffe postulated a fundamental
distinction between spiritual and earthly tenure. The feudal system
on earth was one of many gradations between the supreme overlord,
the king, and the humblest holder of land. But between God and His
subjects there were no such gradations: each man held directly of
God.[137] The consequences of this statement were radical. For one
thing it was reinforced by the contention that dominion was founded in
_grace_ only (there was no other lawful claim to rule or possession)
and that no man living in sin had any right to any gift of God,
whether that gift be spiritual or secular in nature. For all other
persons the right to such gifts was equal. Thus the only test to a
man’s right to possession was a moral test.[138] These principles and
their applications, elaborated in a work of immense length, ‘Of Civil
Lordship,’ lead logically, on their political side, to Communism:
while, on the religious side, they involve a democratic theory of the
spiritual equality of all Christians, which was subversive of the
claims of the priesthood, for whom the belief in the absence of any
‘mediation’ between God and man left no function.[139]

On the one hand, community of goods was regarded as essential to
Christians; on the other—even more notably than in Marsiglio—the laity
were accorded a novel and prominent place in the Christian fellowship.
Clerical property was an abuse and the clergy ought to live on alms,
tithes being recognized as such.[140] Wycliffe did not exaggerate the
theory of clerical poverty; he did insist that the clergy must live
simply and possess nothing superfluous to ordinary needs.[141] In
accordance with the theory of ‘grace’ or merit it was laid down that
such wealth as the clergy did enjoy should be taken away from the
undeserving. Such money could with greater profit be given to the poor.
It was for the secular power to deprive the unworthy clerk of his
possessions.[142] This teaching regarding ecclesiastical property, the
disposal of which he virtually assigned to the laity, was perhaps the
most obnoxious element in Wycliffe’s general scheme in the eyes of the
Church in his day.[143]

For the regeneration of the Church Wycliffe turned from the hierarchy
to the laity. That which makes a man a member of the Church is his
own personal sanctity, and the Church therefore consists of those
predestined to salvation, of none others.[144] The mere fact of being
a pope or a cardinal, for example, is nothing. The Church can dispense
with bad popes.[145] They are antichrist. _Per contra_, a layman might
be pope, however unlearned, even if unordained, so long as God had
chosen him.[146] It is not man’s appointment, but God’s choosing—that
is to say, spiritual excellence—that matters.

The extraordinarily radical character of these theories is obvious.
They were subversive of the whole contemporary conception of the
character of the Church. For a universal society Wycliffe substituted
a small body of the elect. In all this he was emphasizing the
spiritual nature of religion, as an inward force, the possession of
the individual soul. Confession, he declared, was superfluous for the
contrite;[147] no man could be excommunicated unless he had first been
excommunicated _by himself_, and no prelate ought ever to excommunicate
anyone unless he knew that he had already been excommunicated by

Like Luther after him, then, Wycliffe insisted upon the inner reality
of religion, of which the individual is conscious in the depths of
his own being. Like Luther also he insisted on the necessity of
appeal direct to the Scriptures, as to the supreme authority for the
Christian life. As he looked to the laity to reform the Church, so it
was necessary that they should be well acquainted with its text. The
translation of the Bible into the vulgar tongue became, therefore, an
integral part of Wycliffe’s scheme. There were extant in Wycliffe’s
day portions of the Scriptures in the vernacular.[149] He conceived
the idea of translating all. Probably he himself translated only
the Gospels, or perhaps the whole of the New Testament; one of his
disciples did the translation of the Old Testament, and may have
completed most of it before Wycliffe’s own death.[150] The significance
of this great undertaking lies partly in its completeness; but even
more in the intention with which it was adopted. The laity must be able
to read the actual text of the Scriptures for themselves without the
glosses of traditional interpretation and theologians’ exegesis, so
that they may know the gospel in its simplicity and view the realities
of religion clearly for themselves. To the Bible in the vernacular as
such the Church had no objection, but there must be proper safeguards.
The people must be taught how to read the Scriptures with understanding
by their spiritual masters. The gospel of Christ had been entrusted to
the clergy for them to ‘administer gently’ to the laity. Wycliffe’s
method meant that the ‘gospel pearl’ was ‘cast forth and trodden down
by swine.’[151]

Wycliffe was an idealist, and confessedly his entire conception
of the Church and Society is an ideal conception. In spite of its
curiously matter-of-fact feudal foundations, Wycliffe’s structure is
not of the earth, but Utopian. His conclusions were indeed whittled
down by certain important qualifications. Thus, although all men
were ideally equal, the existing mode of society and government was
sanctioned by God; and it was therefore unlawful to seek to gain by
force the equality of possession which flagrantly did not exist—so
that Wycliffe’s communism, in so far as it was not spiritual only,
was purely anticipatory of a new order in the future; so also it was
unlawful to challenge the right to rule of the civil lord on the ground
of personal unworthiness, for his power also is sanctioned. As Wycliffe
put it in a celebrated phrase, ‘God ought to obey the Devil.’[152] Thus
while the ideal theory of dominion ‘founded in grace’ is suggestive
of antinomianism and revolution, Wycliffe’s practical teachings were
marked by devotion to the existing temporal order. On the other hand,
it is not surprising that both opponents and followers should have
tended to fasten upon the former aspects of his tenets and give to
them a revolutionary interpretation. And indeed the truly significant
part of Wycliffite doctrine is revolutionary in the emphasis that it
lays upon the individual; and as time went on both the logic of events
and the logic of the beliefs to which controversy drove him rendered
Wycliffe more and more unequivocal in the essential radicalism of his

Anti-sacerdotalism led Wycliffe later on to attack a doctrine to which
the clergy owed much of their hold upon the popular mind, whence
largely came the peculiar veneration in which they were held—the
doctrine of Transubstantiation. The miracle of the mass obtained a
special note of awesome mystery from that doctrine; and to the ignorant
or superstitious mind it was natural to regard those who by the simple
pronunciation of the prayer of consecration could transform bread and
wine into the body and blood of the Blessed Lord as miracle-workers.
For the orthodox philosophy of Wycliffe’s day, Nominalism, there was
little difficulty in believing in such a transformation. Wycliffe
was a realist, and to him the nominalist position seemed untenable
altogether. In the days of Abelard, and again in those of Thomas
Aquinas, Realism had been the orthodox philosophy, and Aquinas in
demonstrating that the abstract and general truths of Christianity were
acceptable to the reason did the Church of his day a great service.
But another realist had come after him, who had most trenchantly
attacked St. Thomas, destroying all the reasonableness of the great
Doctor’s philosophic structure, and emphatically ousting the reason
and substituting the authority of the Church as the only sure guide in
the sacred mysteries of religion, the only sure foundation of faith.
There were action and reaction in the abstract thought of the Middle
Ages, as indeed there have ever been in history. The reaction against
the Realism of St. Thomas, apparent in Duns Scotus, grew intenser when
the principles of Ockham became the popular, and were recognized as
the orthodox, principles of Christian theology. It could easily be
shown that Realism was apt to lead to exaggerations either heretical
or absurd, very apt to end in Pantheism.[153] The fact of the matter
was that either school of the scholastic philosophy might be productive
of heresy, by laying especial emphasis on one particular aspect of
truth to the exclusion of others; that different generations, changing
subtly in mental outlook and spiritual temperament, are susceptible to
different phases of truth. It is not a matter of Yea or Nay, but simply
a varying stress of mode or fashion. But we do not look for recognition
of such a fact on the part of any mediæval controversialist. There are
no half lights and compromises with them; they have each his own vision
of truth, and bitterly assail their opponents as enemies of the light.

So Wycliffe, beginning with a standpoint which could be shared, and in
fact was shared, by many of the most orthodox Catholics of his time,
growing as he went on more profoundly conscious of, and convinced
of, the rightness of his essential principles, became less and less
compromising, more and more the opponent not only of practices but of
the doctrines with which such practices were associated. He became
urgent against the reigning nominalist creed, but most especially
against its theories of the Sacrament. For him space and time, matter
and form were objective realities. The bread and wine were not a part
of Christ and could not become so; they remained bread and wine in
substance and could never be anything else, only Christ was present
in them.[154] The doctrine of identification between the bread and
wine and the body and blood of Christ was pernicious.[155] Nothing
could be more horrible than the notion that a priest had the ability
to ‘make’ God daily.[156] The language of the service of the Eucharist
was not literal, but figurative.[157] The literal interpretation was
an invitation to mere idolatry, an encouragement to the ignorant
to worship the Host itself.[158] Christ indeed was present in the
Sacrament, and the bread and wine were not merely commemorative
symbols; on the other hand, there was no miraculous transformation of
the elements. This is very much the same theory as Luther’s doctrine
of Consubstantiation. Wycliffe united with it the tenet that a priest
living in mortal sin could not consecrate.[159]

The extent and nature of the influence of Wycliffitism in England is a
difficult and somewhat controversial question.[160] The translation of
the Bible certainly had its permanent influence; and the device of the
Poor Preachers spread the new doctrines further afield than would have
been possible in those days only with the aid of lecture, sermon and
treatise. Wycliffe’s character does not appear to have been such as to
have enabled him to become the leader of a great popular movement. He
was too much of a schoolman; his method was too academic.[161] But the
preachers—not to be thought of as crude, semi-educated men, for they
were mostly clerks of Oxford, who had studied under Wycliffe—touched
a wider public than their master himself reached. Clearly in
popularizing, they also exaggerated his doctrines, making them more
downright, more practical, more mundane, emphasizing their social
tendencies, those communistic elements which had a natural popular

The Lollards prospered greatly at the first, being particularly
successful in the capital itself, Norwich, Bristol, Leicester,
Northampton and the larger towns generally. The protection of John
of Gaunt and other nobles helped them, while Wycliffe’s denunciation
of the friars met with the support of public opinion generally.[162]
There seemed a prospect of Wycliffitism becoming really widespread.
But separatist tendencies soon showed themselves, and already in 1392
Lollards in the diocese of Salisbury were undertaking ordinations. The
Lollards, then, soon showed a tendency to develop into a separate sect,
and their hold on the country and their national influence decayed
with extraordinary suddenness. This was partly due to the fact that
the movement had owed much to the purely ephemeral factor of John of
Gaunt’s support; partly to the fact that the favour that its social
teachings had won among the peasants was more than counterbalanced by
the conservative apprehensions of the larger population who viewed the
activities of such men as John Ball with dismay; partly to the fact
that the movement produced sharp divisions in families, between father
and son, master and servant, and this sort of thing could not last
beyond a generation.[163] Extremists took possession of Lollardy and
it began to betray a distinct iconoclastic character. But the orthodox
zeal of Henry IV and Henry V forced it very much underground, and there
were a number of recantations.[164] Lollardy survived into the days
of the Tudors, in small communities in country districts, such as the
Chilterns, and there was certainly a measure of Wycliffite leaven in
the nation; but it is going too far to discover in Lollardy a direct
and potent influence in bringing about the English Reformation.

The influence of Wycliffe was deeper and more lasting and vital
outside England than within it—for there is a clear and very important
connection between Wycliffitism and Husitism in Bohemia. On the other
hand, it would be a mistake to regard Wycliffe as the sole parent of
the movement inaugurated by Hus; for Hus had forerunners in Bohemia
itself, earnest reformers, such as Conrad Waldhäuser, John Militz
Kremsier, and Matthias of Janow.[165] The two former were never accused
of harbouring heretical opinions; they were simply protestants against
clerical abuses. Matthias of Janow, on the other hand, was definitely
interested in dogma, a professed theologian. He was notable in
appealing directly to the simple people of Christ in his denunciation
of the invocation of Saints and his insistence on the administration of
the Communion in both kinds to the laity.[166]

The beginnings of the religious movement in Bohemia centre in the
drama of the University of Prague, the struggle between the German
and native parties—a national struggle which had its significant
philosophic counterpart, for Teutonic Nominalism warred against Czech
Realism. The struggle was decided in favour of the native party by
the famous proclamation of Wenzel, which led to the German exodus
from the University. The departure of the German scholars from Prague
was a momentous event. Hus and Jerome of Prague had been expounding
the doctrines of Wycliffe; the German majority had pronounced these
heretical. Wenzel’s decision was therefore a triumph at once for
Bohemian nationalism and for the reforming Husite party, a victory
for Realism—for heresy. Hus’s satisfaction was great.[167] It was not
only the religious issue that appealed to him strongly: he was an
intense patriot as well as a religious reformer. The spread of the
Husite doctrines, however, naturally received a considerable impetus.
The association of certain religious opinions with those national
aspirations, to which the revolution at the University had given so
marked an encouragement, inevitably converted Husitism into a popular
movement. The cause of Husitism and the cause of Bohemian nationalism
became so completely dovetailed the one into the other that they were

Hus received a papal summons to appear at Bologna to answer for his
heretical opinions, which were making Husitism an European question,
a dangerous problem to the Church, as serious as Waldensianism and
Catharism had been.[168] Hus did not go, appealing from the Pope to
Christ. The opinions of the great Bohemian leader were not original;
and indeed his greatness is much more moral than intellectual. Starting
his career solely as a protestant against sacerdotal abuses, he was
led by the influence of the doctrines of Wycliffe, which the close
association between England and Bohemia at the time made familiar in
the latter country, into adopting many of the tenets of the Oxford
heresiarch.[169] His ‘De Ecclesia’ is little more than a translation
of Wycliffe. On the whole, he remained distinctly more orthodox than
his master. His writings abound in denunciations of the worldliness of
the clergy, in particular of the papacy; denunciations of simony (which
is heresy), of the claim of the papacy to overlordship of the Church,
based on no better foundation than the death of St. Peter in Rome.[170]
Heresy, he also declared, was not triable by the Church.[171] But
the really fundamental article of his questionable doctrines was his
conception of Predestination. Here he was following Augustine; but
he was under the influence of Wycliffe’s idea of ‘dominion founded
in grace,’ which gave the right of lordship and possession only to
the elect.[172] This principle, involving the position that only the
‘rule of the saints’ is legitimate, had clearly a dangerous tendency,
subversive of law and order in an imperfect world, both in the secular
and the ecclesiastical spheres. Yet the principal element of danger in
Husitism was the simple fact of its success. So serious was this that
when the remarkable attempt was made to heal the wounds of Christendom
by means of General Councils, the fathers aimed at dealing with the
problem of heresy together with those of the restoration of the unity,
which had been broken by the Schism, and the reform of clerical abuses.

The Conciliar movement—a serious and important attempt to reform the
Church from within—was brought about by the labours of certain moderate
reformers, of whom Gerson, Peter D’Ailly and Zabarella are the most
notable. Dietrich Niem represents a German influence; but the main
source of inspiration was the University of Paris, firmly orthodox and
nominalist and immensely influential. In 1394 the University invited
its members to send in opinions as to the best means of ending the
Schism. Thousands of answers were received; but the most outstanding
members of the University were convinced that the summoning of a
General Council was the only expedient that gave any hope of success.
The ideas of Marsiglio and Ockham—more especially the latter—had borne
fruit, and an age in which the idea of representation was ‘in the air’
decided to apply the principle to the Church for the urgent practical
purpose of removing a notorious scandal. The _apologia_ for the scheme
is to be found in the writings of Gerson and D’Ailly, and of Niem,
if Niem is indeed the author of the tractate, ‘De modis uniendi et
reformandi Ecclesiam.’[173] The _plenitudo potestatis_ of the Church
resided in its whole body, as represented in a General Council.[174]
With the assent of such a council, the Church could even dispense with
a pope.[175] It was legitimate for the civil authority to summon a
General Council. It was easy to cite the practice of Roman Emperors to
that effect.[176] Christ, urged representatives of the University of
Paris to the French king, had submitted to the authority of His mother
and Joseph. Was the Pope greater than Christ that he should not submit
to the authority of his mother, the Church?[177] The proposition, so
worded, seemed mildly reasonable, certainly most orthodox. In truth
it was a democratic innovation of the utmost significance. ‘Pisa,’
wrote Gregorovius, referring to the first of the series of councils
which provide the chief interest of the opening years of the fifteenth
century, ‘was the first real step towards the deliverance of the world
from the papal hierarchy; it was already the Reformation’; while
the decree of the second and most important of the councils, that of
Constance, in which it declared its superiority to the Pope, has been
pronounced to be ‘probably the most revolutionary official document in
the history of the world.’[178] When brought up against the glaring
abuse of the papal schism it was not only Wycliffe and Hus and their
followers that became revolutionaries; Gerson, D’Ailly, Niem and their
adherents became revolutionaries also. In the reforming programmes of
Wycliffe and Hus there was much that might have been expected to gain
the sympathies of the fathers who met at Constance: yet they condemned
both as heretics and consigned Hus and Jerome of Prague to the flames.

The explanation is easy enough. It was precisely because their scheme
was revolutionary that the cardinals and other clergy assembled at
Constance were so anxious to make it clear to Christendom that such
revolutionary practice was perfectly compatible with strict orthodoxy
regarding the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith, that they
were the guardians of the unity and continuity of the essential life
and identity of the Church. A proof of this was urgently needed to
safeguard a position which had precarious elements. The opportunity
of dealing with Hus would probably have been welcomed for that reason
alone. As to the fact of Wycliffe and Hus being dangerous heretics the
fathers assembled at Constance had no doubt whatever. Zealous for the
reform of clerical abuses as many of them were, they could only see
in the invectives against the hierarchy and the doctrines concerning
Predestination and the Eucharist, in which the English and the Bohemian
teachers indulged, an attack upon the whole edifice of the Catholic
Church.[179] Reconstruction they might desire; but the specific of
Wycliffe and Hus seemed to be extensive demolition preparatory to the
creation of a new structure. Hus, therefore, came to Constance as one
‘suspect of heresy,’ virtually pre-condemned.

He answered the Council’s summons, relying upon the security of
Sigismund’s celebrated safe-conduct, expecting to take part in a public
debate, to receive a fair and courteous hearing for his defence of his
theological views. Instead he found himself treated as a criminal,
thrown into prison, to answer a formidable indictment before judges who
were also prosecutors. The Council virtually resolved itself into an
inquisitorial court and followed inquisitorial methods of procedure.
Compared indeed with an ordinary trial by the Inquisition that of Hus
was remarkably lenient. He had powerful friends and the undertaking of
Sigismund counted for something, although certainly not very much.

Sigismund has been arraigned as a monster of turpitude for allowing
Hus to be tried, condemned and executed after he had granted him a
safe-conduct. It is certain that Hus, while clearly apprehensive of
what might ensue from his bold step of entering the stronghold of his
enemies, had implicit confidence in Sigismund’s protection, and when
despite the security promised by the man who was both Emperor and
president of the Council, Hus was consigned to the stake, at first
sight unmitigated baseness on the part of Sigismund would appear to
be the only explanation.[180] If he cannot be entirely exonerated, on
the other hand, it is quite clear he never had any idea of protecting
a heretic, and that he was overruled by the Council, who, arguing from
the customary rules regarding heretics, could legitimately maintain
that no guarantee could have any validity whatever in the case of one
suspected of heresy, that Sigismund’s safe-conduct might certainly
apply to the empire and secular states, might be valid while Hus was
on his journey, but had no validity as regards the Church. The heretic
or a man suspect of heresy could enjoy neither rights nor privileges.
This was good law, both ecclesiastical and civil; and once granted
that the Council must regard Hus as suspect of heresy, it was legally

The trial resolved itself into a dialectical duel between Hus and
Cardinal D’Ailly, with divers interruptions and at times uproar.
Against the uproar, with which his statements were sometimes greeted,
Hus strongly protested; and the proceedings would appear to have been
more seemly subsequently.[182] He was accused of a large number of
doctrinal errors and of such absurdities as that of claiming to be
a person of the Trinity.[183] Generally speaking, the object of his
prosecutors was to show that his opinions were identical with those
of Wycliffe, which had already been condemned as heretical by the
Council. It was easy enough to show that Hus had inveighed against
the organization and practices of the Church as then existing; it was
not so easy to convict him of heretical dogma. From the first Hus’s
attitude was perfectly consistent. He wished to argue his thesis;
but that not being allowed, he declared himself perfectly willing
to abjure all tenets which he had at any time avowed if the Council
proved them from Scripture to have been erroneous, but he strongly
protested against the ascription to him of statements he had never made
and interpretations that he had never intended.[184] The Council, on
the other hand, contended that it was the duty of the suspect heretic
to put himself unreservedly in the hands of the Council, making an
entire submission to their ruling and a complete abjuration of all
the heresies with which he was charged. One doctor told him that if
the Council told him he had only one eye, though he knew he had two,
he ought to agree that it was so. Hus replied: ‘If the whole world
told me so, so long as I have the use of my reason, I could not say so
without resisting my conscience.’ It is right to add that the doctor
subsequently withdrew his remark, agreeing that he had not used a very
good illustration.[185]

Where Hus gave his enemies their best opportunity was in his teaching
with regard to the predestined. He had declared that no man living in
a state of mortal sin had any right to exercise authority. By this
ruling Sigismund himself would have been excluded. Apart from that,
as has been said already, the doctrine was undeniably of perilous
implication. The King of the Romans could appreciate the seriousness of
the political application at all events. He pertinently reminded Hus of
the truth that no man lives without sin.[186] But the decisive factor
in the trial of Hus proved eventually to be his absolute sincerity. He
refused to be false to himself, to commit perjury in order to save his
life. ‘Serene Prince,’ said he to Sigismund, ‘I do not want to cling to
any error, and I am perfectly willing to submit to the determination
of the Council. But I may not offend God and my conscience by saying
that I hold heresies that I have never held.’[187] As he put it again
in a letter written shortly before his death, ‘Assuredly it is fitting
for me rather to die than to flee a momentary penalty to fall into
the Lord’s hand and afterwards, perchance, into everlasting fire and
shame. And because I have appealed to Christ Jesus, the most potent
and just of all judges, committing my cause to Him, therefore I stand
by His judgment and sentence, knowing that He will judge every man not
on false and erroneous evidence but on the true facts and merits of
his case.’[188] Hus died a martyr for no specific theological dogma,
heretical or otherwise, but for the noblest cause for which a man can
ever die—sincerity to the truth that is in him.

After the condemnation and burning of Hus, the Council proceeded to the
trial of Jerome of Prague, who after a recantation repented of it and
elected to die like his greater comrade. The proceedings against him
were marked by great heat and acrimony, for he had made many personal
enemies. Moreover, controversialist passions, which had indeed been
apparent in the trial of Hus—for Hus was condemned as much because he
was a realist as anything—flared up with still greater violence. Among
the interested spectators of the death at the stake of Jerome of Prague
was the great Italian humanist, Poggio. Much struck by the martyr’s
eloquence and genius, he thought it was a great pity that he should
have turned his attention to heretical ideas, and half pityingly, half
uncomprehendingly, wondered that a man should be willing to die merely
for the sake of an opinion.

This chance connection between Jerome, the ardent scholastic reformer,
and Poggio, the cynical forerunner of the New Learning—between the
old order and the new, is remarkable and prophetic. The movement
towards change, which Jerome of Prague represented, whether it was a
conservative movement as interpreted by Gerson and D’Ailly, or radical
as it became in the hands of Wycliffe and Hus, definitely failed. The
mediæval system had indeed been challenged by that movement, which had
resulted from the glaring scandals of Avignon and the papal Schism; but
the system, though severely shaken, yet remained; and pontiffs such as
Martin V, Eugenius IV and Pius II were able by politic means to bolster
it up through a restoration of influence, mainly of a temporal nature,
to the Papacy. The Conciliar method of ecclesiastical reform failed
for a variety of reasons—partly because of defects in organization and
policy, still more because of a natural failure to recognize the great
significance of national differences and the need, or at least the
demand, for variety of treatment as between states, which produced the
Pragmatic Sanctions of Bourges and Mainz, of the years 1438 and 1439
respectively; yet more, precisely because the attempted reforms were
not sufficiently far-reaching and thorough in character, a tinkering,
not a renewal.

The movements of Wycliffe and Hus were also abortive of really direct
results. Lollardy certainly lived on, but, as has been already noted,
probably did not have any considerable influence among the various
forces which brought about the English Reformation. The influence
of Hus in Bohemian history is far greater and the triumphs of Ziska
and Prokop in the wars that are known after the name of the great
heresiarch won national and religious independence for the Czechs up
to the time of the battle of the White Mountain in the Thirty Years
War. It is true also that Luther expressed his own indebtedness to Hus,
declaring, ‘We have all been Husites without knowing it.’ Nevertheless,
the decisive influences which brought about the complete overthrow
of the mediæval system and the substitution of the modern belong to
the later fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. These influences
were the humanism, which in its Italian form became critical, pagan,
drawing its influence from the Greek world to which all the ‘ages of
faith’ had been as an opaque curtain; which in its German form had
a theological bias and a moral aim, as interpreted by Reuchlin and
the school of Deventer. The other influence was the apotheosis of a
cynical nationalism, whose exponent is Machiavelli, which produced the
secularization of politics and the segregation of Church and State.

It is, therefore, fanciful and erroneous to trace back the causes of
the Reformation and the break-down of the mediæval world-state to the
mediæval heresies and movements of reform.[189] On the other hand, to
ignore them would be equally mistaken. They had a minor effect, but it
was not insignificant. It may be the violence of the storm that rends
and tears away the structure; yet its havoc has been aided by the
almost unseen, unheeded shifting of the sands.



(i) _Sorcery_

If such phenomena as the Flagellant and dancing manias, the acceptance
of such persons as Guglielma and Segarelli as divine incarnations is
evidence of the depth of credulous superstition among the ignorant
lower orders, the great witchcraft and sorcery craze, especially in
the fifteenth century, is proof of a much wider diffusion of such a
spirit in mediæval society. Christianity early accepted the belief
in magic arts unquestioningly. The story of the Witch of Endor would
have been sufficient evidence, even had it stood alone: which it was
far from doing, for the Bible was full of references to magicians,
demoniacs, and soothsayers. Thus it was in disbelief in such things,
not in belief, that heresy lay. Incredulity challenged the authority of
Scripture. Nor was it to be argued that the existence of evil spirits
in Old Testament history was no warrant of their existence now. The
mediæval world was profoundly conscious of the powers of Satan being
abroad in the earth. It discerned the clear sign of their presence in
the frequent occurrence of disaster to the undeserving, in the fits
of the epileptic; it discerned them in the wizened features of the
shrivelled old woman who muttered inarticulately as she gathered her
herbs. Given the combination of an ignorant and wondering fear of the
bewildering riddles of nature and the cold strangeness of the stars
with a sincere conviction of the reality of that evil potentate who is
at war with God, causing disaster among men and having subtle communion
with the human heart, inspiring to wicked deeds and hideous thoughts,
it is small wonder that imagination peopled the world with sorcerers,
magicians and witches.

And the evidence was so extraordinarily sound. No reasonable man could
resist the force of it. It was not only the proverbially superstitious
Middle Ages that believed in occult arts; no one had a more wholesome
faith in these matters than Luther, and no country surpassed Protestant
Scotland in the savage cruelty of its witch-trials. Richard Baxter, in
his ‘The Certainty of the World of Spirits,’ was able to give numerous
well authenticated cases from his own lifetime; and the sceptical man
of science, Glanvill, showed that unreason, not reason, rejected the
evidence for witchcraft. All history was full of the exploits of these
instruments of darkness, and not ‘the easily deceivable vulgar only,’
but ‘wise and grave discerners’ were first-hand witnesses, who had no
interest ‘to agree together in a common lie.’[190]

The magicians and witches being almost universally believed in, it
followed as a corollary that they were punished for their nefarious
practices; but whereas in the pagan Roman world they had been punished
simply on politic grounds, the magician being punished ‘because he
injured man, not because he offended God,’[191] in the Christian
era the offence was regarded as a much more heinous sin. In days of
polytheism the state could be tolerant of certain magic practices; not
so Christianity, which regarded all pagan deities as emanations of the
Devil. The punishments, save under the apostate Julian, were usually of
a most ferocious character, reputed magicians being crucified or flung
to wild beasts.[192] But while thus zealous in punishing the magician,
there is no doubt that Christianity itself became contaminated, and in
the Dark Ages thaumaturgy became rife within the Church. On the other
hand, while in the Eastern Empire sorcery continued to be punished
with severity, the Teutonic tribes in the west, who in their pagan
days had been thoroughly imbued with magic beliefs, were more or less
tolerant. During the epoch of the Carolingian empire ecclesiastical
lenience, tempered by occasional mob violence, was the rule; and such
lenience or indifference continued in western Europe till the end of
the twelfth century.[193] Roger Bacon, unlike learned philosophers of
later and presumably more enlightened periods, gave it as his opinion
that reputed sorcery was either fraudulent or a delusion. There are
instances of severity on the part of the secular authority in Spain,
and the first mediæval legislation against sorcery was introduced in
Venice in the twelfth century; yet the Church remained apparently
indifferent. And when the Inquisition came into being, it was not given
authority in cases of witchcraft and sorcery. A change is to be traced
from Alexander IV’s bull, _Quod super nonnullis_, issued in 1257, which
laid it down that inquisitors were not to be distracted from their
all-important duties by other business and were to leave cases of
simple sorcery to the ordinary ecclesiastical tribunals; on the other
hand, in sorcery cases where heresy was clearly involved, they were to
take cognizance. This became the Canon law under Boniface VIII.[194]

Now, when did sorcery clearly involve heresy? It was not difficult
to argue that it invariably did. Sorcery was invoking demons,
trafficking with Satan, and to do this a man must surely entertain
heretical ideas about Satan and demons. Certainly, if a man dealt in
such trafficking, holding it to be not sinful, he was a manifest
heretic.[195] Again, to seek to acquire knowledge of the future from
Satan, the future depending solely on the Almighty, involved heresy.
Under the title, sorcery, there came to be included astronomy’s parent,
astrology.[196] Some men of unquestioned orthodoxy gave their sanction
and support to it, notably Cardinal D’Ailly; and it was not apparently
definitely forbidden during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in
ecclesiastical formularies. But clearly, although there was no question
of invoking demons in connection with astrology, on the other hand, the
astrologer by maintaining that a man’s destiny was controlled by the
conjunction of stars and planets at his birth was denying the freedom
of the will, questioning the omnipotence of God, consequently being
guilty of manifest blasphemy and heresy. Accordingly, the astrologer
was always liable to prosecution by the Inquisition. The best security
lay in the fact that belief in astrology was extremely widespread among
all classes of society, among clergy as well as laity, of whatever
degree of education. In the fourteenth century there was a marked
increase in sorcery. This was probably the direct consequence of
persecution on the grounds of heresy—such persecution being in a way
the highest possible testimony to its genuineness. For the Inquisition
never dealt with a reputed magician as a charlatan; it dealt with him
as one really in league with Satan. Otherwise there would have been
no heresy involved. The attitude of the Church towards sorcery—its
attribution of heresy to the magician—actually put a premium upon
sorcery. The sorcerer was the more in request because people were more
than ever convinced that his claims were well founded, and he was able
to make more out of his calling because it had become precarious. For
these reasons the extreme zeal of Pope John XXII against all workers of
magic failed in its object. In 1317 he satisfied himself, on grounds
good or bad, that several persons in his household had been plotting
to take his life. Under torture they stated that they had first had
recourse to poison, but that that ordinary humdrum method having
failed, they had next invoked the assistance of demons to accomplish
their purpose. The Pope was roused to thorough and energetic action,
and started a resolute campaign against the accursed race of magicians.
Dissatisfied with the ambiguous terms of Alexander IV’s directions to
the Inquisition in matters of sorcery, he gave it direct authority
in such cases and urged it to earnest efforts.[197] Ten years later,
however, for some reason or other, he withdrew this jurisdiction from
the Inquisition; and it is to be gathered that there ensued a period of
comparative immunity for sorcery until 1374, when Gregory XI once more
entrusted the task of prosecuting magicians to the Holy Office.

The two most remarkable men to fall into the hands of the Inquisition
as sorcerers were Peter of Abano and the Maréchal Gilles de Rais.[198]
The former, an astrologer, undoubtedly harboured speculations which
were flagrantly heretical; but he escaped the stake by dying a natural
death before his trial was concluded. The latter—the original of
the Blue-beard of the fairy-tale—had been the constant and intimate
companion of Jeanne d’Arc during her leadership of the French armies.
Of such military distinction as to be made a Marshal of France
at the age of twenty-five, he was also a man of culture, of a restless
curiosity and an intense love of things brilliant and beautiful, of
rich colours and ornaments, of all that was costly, magnificent and
ornate. But beneath all the gorgeous external trappings of this æsthete
was something much more pernicious than mere vulgar ostentation. A
depraved voluptuary, he found that the ordinary modes of satisfying his
sensuality soon palled, and they were succeeded by the most horrible
unnatural lusts and the slow torture leading to murder of his victims,
in the watching of which this monster eventually came to find his
chief delight. While he indulged himself in such enormities, de Rais’
other great interest in life was the practice of the necromantic art,
by which he hoped eventually to discover the philosopher’s stone,
which would place him in command of all the wealth of the world.
Notwithstanding the character of his favourite pursuits, the Marshal
was at the same time particularly devout, showing an even perfervid
faith, and now and again resolving to make atonement for his sins by
going on crusade, never doubting that by this means he would wipe out
all the stain of his misdeeds and eventually attain to salvation. In
spite of all this outward appearance of devotion, it is remarkable that
de Rais succeeded in maintaining his abominable way so long without
question. But secrecy and immunity could not last indefinitely. Stories
came to be bruited about of strange and loathsome happenings within
the castle of Tiffanges, of children being slain in order that with
their blood the sensualist magician might write a book of necromantic
art. Even then, owing to the Marshal’s high position, it was difficult
to strike. But eventually the Bishop of Nantes took action, citing de
Rais to appear before him on the charges of having gratified his lust
on children, whom he had subsequently butchered, of having invoked a
familiar spirit with atrocious rites, and of having committed other
crimes also suggestive of heresy. The trial that ensued was abnormal in
several respects, the most notable being its publicity, public opinion
being deliberately called into play, the fathers and mothers of the
children, who had been spirited away into the monster’s castle, being
allowed to let loose their clamourings against the villain.[199] Action
was taken in a civil court contemporaneously with the ecclesiastical
proceedings before bishop and inquisitors. In the ecclesiastical court
he was found guilty on both counts—first, unnatural lust and sacrilege;
second, heresy and the invocation of demons; but his death-sentence
was pronounced in the civil court. The extraordinary man underwent
the final penalty with a contrition, an assurance of salvation and an
enthusiasm for God which must have been strangely edifying.[200]

(ii) _Witchcraft_

The great witchcraft craze did not seize upon Europe until the
beginning of the fifteenth century. It is true that for hundreds
of years before this crimes, which became associated with the name
of witchcraft, had been known and punished, but until the twelfth
century we do not find the precise well-defined conception of the
witch as a woman who has entered into an unholy compact with Satan,
is in possession of certain miraculous powers and in particular that
of transporting herself through the air to the so-called Sabbath, or
rather Sabbat, where she and her kind meet together to renew their
allegiance to the Prince of Darkness. It is very likely that the idea
of the omnipresence of the powerful and maleficent force of Satan
took greater hold of western Europe than ever before in the twelfth
century, that marvellous period of the earlier Renaissance, when
men’s minds were quickened to a new realization of the splendour and
beauty of things of the earth, when heresy took a firm root, and doubt
and hesitation sometimes usurped the place of a faith which had been
childlike and unquestioning, a period of clashing between intellectual
aspiration and the inflexibility of dogma, such that the timid and the
ignorant were assailed by a vivid consciousness of the dangers pressing
around the Ark of the Lord upon every side, of the sinister might of
the dark powers arrayed against the Redeemer. In such circumstances
more insistent, more clearly defined became the conception of those
evil beings going about in the world, who had sold themselves to the
Devil and were assisting him in his fell purposes.[201]

At first the Church refused its sanction to the popular tales
about witches, more especially to the tale of the Sabbat and the
transportation of witches through the air, often over immense
distances. The canonists, Ivo of Chartres and Gratian, dismiss this as
a fiction: which to believe is pagan, an error in the faith—in short
heresy. But popular credence triumphed over the canonists. The reports
of the activities of witches became so numerous, so determined and
so circumstantial that it was wellnigh impossible to disbelieve. It
became simply a question of how to reconcile well-authenticated facts
with the canonists. A way out of the dilemma was discovered in the
fifteenth century, at a time when the craze had almost reached its
height. The witches meant by the canonists must have been a different
order of being from those referred to by a later generation when they
spoke of witches. It was merely a matter of nomenclature after all.
Those responsible not only for guarding the purity of the faith but
also for protecting the faithful from the assaults of the Evil One
as delivered by witches could no longer allow their freedom of action
to be curtailed, the powers of the Devil actually aggrandized by the
misinterpreted ruling that belief in witches was error. Accordingly,
when a certain eminent lawyer named Ponzinibio dared to maintain
the accuracy of the canonists and to assert that all belief in
witchcraft and sorcery was a delusion, the master of the Sacred Palace,
Bartholomew de Spina, wrote a vehement and momentous reply, in which
he turned the vials of a righteous indignation against Ponzinibio and
called upon the Inquisition to proceed against the lawyer as himself
a fautor of heretics.[202] The attitude of the Church had indeed made
a complete reversal. What previously it had been heresy to assert it
now became heresy to deny. The divine law was now discovered clearly
to prove the existence of witches, and the Scriptures were reinforced
by the civil code.[203] There no longer remained any room for doubt or

Before the end of the century there appeared Sprenger’s celebrated
‘Malleus Maleficarum,’ the most authoritative work in existence on
witchcraft from the standpoint of credulity.[204] Sprenger was an
inquisitor, so that in his compendium, as in other similar treatises,
we have the conclusions regarding the nature and the practices of
witches, as ascertained by the examination of supposedly authentic
cases. We learn in the first place the fundamental fact which explains
the existence of witches—the inherent inferiority of the female sex
to the male. Women are discontented, impatient creatures, who have a
natural proclivity to evil. Woman is at the best a necessary evil. St.
Chrysostom is quoted with approval on the subject of marriage. ‘Quid
est mulier nisi amicitiae inimica, ineffugabilis poena, necessarium
malum, naturalis tentatio, desirabilis calamitas, domesticum periculum,
delectabile detrimentum?...’[205] Everything considered, it was not
at all strange that women should be particularly prone to yielding
to the corrupt wiles and solicitations of the Devil. Once bought by
him, they received the sustenance for their infamous activities in the
Sabbat, the great nocturnal assembly of the powers of darkness, held
sometimes in the Brocken, sometimes in some unidentified spot east
of Jordan, or indeed it might be in any spot chosen by Satan. To the
trysting-place, however distant it might be, the witches flew through
the air. This aërial transportation to the Sabbat was in the opinion of
Sprenger and other first-rate authorities certainly no illusion, it was
a reality—only, according to Sprenger, the witch travelled in an aërial
body, a vaporous part of herself, which issued out of her mouth and
by the existence of which she was enabled to be in two places at one
and the same time.[206] At the nocturnal assemblage there took place
the offering of unqualified allegiance to the Devil, feasting, dancing
and sexual intercourse, either with Satan himself or some of his
demons.[207] Foul details occur in plenty in all the fifteenth-century
treatises on witchcraft concerning the sexual abominations practised
by ‘incubi’ and ‘succubi’ at the Sabbat. From such horrid intercourse,
we are informed by our authors, proceed giants and wizards, such as
Merlin, but never an ordinary human being.[208]

Bartholomew de Spina gives us a variety of circumstantial stories
about women who had taken part in the witches’ gathering. One or two
may be taken as samples of a large class. A respected burgomaster
studied in his youth at Parma. Returning to his lodgings one night
late, he knocked in vain at the door. He therefore let himself in by
the window and went upstairs, where he found the maid-servant lying
prone on the floor, naked and so inert as to appear dead. When she
at last came to herself, she acknowledged that she had been to the
Sabbat. This case, comments Spina, proves that in the transportation
to the Sabbat no corporal transference is involved. The body of the
girl had lain all the time on the floor, only her aërial spirit had
been absent.[209] Again, a man one day finds his wife lying in an
outhouse insensible, and on recovery she confesses to having been to
the concourse. He is horrified, and, determined to rid himself of his
atrocious spouse, gives information against her to the Inquisition,
so that she may be burnt. The woman apparently escaped this fate by
drowning herself.[210] One suspects a somewhat simpler explanation than
witchcraft of this tale of conjugal infelicity. Another similar account
is of a citizen of Ferrara, whose wife was in the habit of attending
the Sabbat. One night he, pretending to be asleep, saw his wife rise,
anoint herself and fly out of the window. As soon as she was gone he
got up, and apparently succeeded in tracking her to the wine-cellar
of a noble of the town, where he found her together with a number of
witches. Directly he was seen, they all disappeared. The unfortunate
husband, however, could not get away and was there discovered by the
servants of the house, who very naturally took him for a burglar.
Happily he succeeded in giving satisfactory explanations to the owner
of the house. At the earliest possible opportunity he gave information
against his wife, whom he handed over to the punishment she had
deserved.[211] Here again we get the hint that the charge of witchcraft
might be a useful weapon in the armoury of a husband, should he desire
for one reason or another to separate from his wife—for good. Another
tale is of a girl who saw her mother rise out of bed, anoint herself
and fly out of the window. The girl did likewise, acquiring apparently
the power of flight on the instant, and she found herself transported
into her mother’s presence. Then, being frightened, she called upon the
names of Jesus and the Virgin, and thereupon found herself back in her

The witches, who entered into their unholy compact with Satan at the
Sabbat, were there invested with various tremendous and abominable
powers. Unlike sorcerers and magicians, who occasionally used their
black art to good purposes, witches could work nothing else but evil.
They were particularly fond of interfering with procreation, where both
men and women, because of the connection with original sin, were most
vulnerable. They produced sterility in the one sex, impotence in the
other.[213] Indeed it could be taken practically for certain that these
two evils were invariably due to witchcraft. Witches also produced
abortion and interfered with the flow of the mother’s milk.[214] They
sometimes offered up infants at their birth to demons; were vampires
and sustained themselves by sucking children’s blood.[215] They were
able to transform men and women into beasts, to create tempests and
thunder-storms.[216] Indeed they went about the world doing all
manner of noxious damage, ranging in seriousness from the breaking of
crucifixes to the destruction of human life. In their peregrinations
they were much assisted by their being able to transform themselves
into the likeness of animals, particularly of cats, so that it was
very difficult to keep them out of any dwelling-house they cared to
visit.[217] Indeed so powerful and versatile were witches supposed
to be, not only by vulgar report, but according to authoritative
statement, that it may seem difficult to understand how it could be
imagined that any human agency could ever get the better of them.

But something had to be done. The evil tended to grow so disastrously,
in this helped as a matter of fact—as in the case of sorcery—by the
Church’s decision that the magic arts were no mere delusion but
reality, and that while the practiser of them was a heretic, to believe
that he or she was no charlatan but genuinely in league with the Devil
was sound doctrine. In this way were men and women encouraged, whenever
ill-fortune befell them, to find a facile explanation for unmerited
calamity in such an intrinsically innocent incident, for example, as
that of a sinister-looking old woman with a hooked nose having peered
in at their cottage window. The simple fact of being found wandering
alone in fields or woods after nightfall constituted legitimate
evidence before the Inquisition. Or again, if an old woman said to
someone who had injured her, ‘You will repent of this,’ and some
misfortune subsequently occurred to the latter, the old woman might
easily on such trivial grounds be suspect.[218]

One of the most interesting and remarkable phenomena of the history
of witchcraft is that of the self-confessed witch, the woman who
deliberately and of her own accord gave herself out to be possessed
of supernatural powers in spite of the terrible peril incurred by
such an announcement. The explanation of this is partly economic—the
law of supply and demand operating in the case of the occult arts as
a marketable commodity, just as in any other—partly psychological.
Particularly when there was such unimpeachable authority for the
reality and potency of the black arts, there were always people quite
anxious to avail themselves of the means of fore-knowledge of, or
avenging an injury, or discomfiting a rival, and to pay handsomely
for the privilege. The demand existing, there were not wanting those
willing to satisfy it, to accept the risk in view of the generosity of
the remuneration. Sometimes the reputed witch succeeded in persuading
herself that she was one in very deed. Some curious coincidence,
the desired object actually occurring after the utterance of spells
and incantations, persuaded the superstitious mind, arguing ‘post
hoc ergo propter hoc,’ that the spells and incantations held in
them a miraculous power. The wretched woman would then with a vain
pride or a trembling apprehensive awe perceive in herself a being
supernatural.[219] But clearly the greater proportion of witchcraft
lore is founded upon confessions wrung by means of the rack from the
supposed culprit when brought before a civil or inquisitorial tribunal.

We do not know definitely when the Inquisition was first employed
against witchcraft; but certainly in 1374 it was determined by the
papacy that the Holy Office was competent to try such cases.[220] In
1437 Eugenius IV called upon inquisitors everywhere to exert themselves
against the evil.[221] And there is no question that throughout the
fifteenth century the tribunal carried on a crusade against witchcraft
with great assiduity. Although Sprenger was moved to confess that
the extirpation of the pest seemed an impossibility, being inclined
to lay the blame on the carelessness and inactivity of the secular
authority,[222] nevertheless the number of executions was terrible.
We are told that in a single year the Bishop of Bamberg destroyed six
hundred witches, the Bishop of Würzburg nine hundred.[223] A thousand
perished in the same space of time in the diocese of Como.[224] The
execution of witches, then, both in this century and the next, assumed
great proportions, largely owing to the thoroughness of inquisitorial
proceedings, though it must be added—despite Sprenger’s animadversions
upon its slackness—that actually the civil authority was responsible
for many. The Inquisition, therefore, must bear much of the blame
for the spread of witchcraft, or rather—for it amounted to the same
thing—for the witchcraft craze. Largely in its records were collected
the great stores of indisputable evidence of the reality of that heresy
which it had become one of the functions of the tribunal to eradicate.
By reason of its constitution and its methods of procedure the
Inquisition was always a very effective court; but it was especially
so in the case of witches, because in dealing with them the inquisitor
felt that he was engaged in a personal combat with Satan himself, and
that he had to exert all his powers in order to withstand, still more
to overcome, so formidable an adversary. Indeed it was very fortunate
that he was able to comfort himself with the knowledge that he was
impervious to the attacks of witchcraft. Nevertheless it was felt
necessary to take special precautions.[225]

Torture was used thoroughly where witches were concerned, and no doubt
the delirium thus occasioned, the victim being willing to put an end
to her torments by saying what she knew her judge wanted her to say
or imagined he would like to hear, was productive of many of the most
marvellous witch stories to be found in inquisitorial archives. But
the severity of the torture administered in these cases was due to the
extraordinary obduracy frequently shown by the victims. Such obstinacy
was taken as proof positive of Satanic assistance afforded to these
servants of hell, and the inquisitor was therefore goaded to greater
and greater cruelty, because he felt himself put upon his mettle. The
silence of the accused thus became positive evidence of guilt, as
damning as confession under the pains of rack or pulley—perhaps even
more so.[226] The gift of taciturnity, it was conjectured, might be
due to the wearing of a charm somewhere on the person, so that as a
preliminary to the application the alleged witch had to be divested of
all her clothing for thorough investigation to be made.[227] It was
held that a witch was unable to shed tears under torment, whereas—as
Sprenger urges sententiously—it is natural for women to weep. It was
desirable therefore to adjure the accused to shed tears.[228] If this
solemn exhortation was successful and the victim did cry and lament
under torture, she was not necessarily the better off; for this might
well be a device to deceive, a wile of the Devil’s to defeat the ends
of justice. The inquisitor, ever on the alert to discover such signs of
Satanic intervention, was apt to disbelieve in the genuineness of the
witch’s tears accordingly. Thus, whether it produced confession or only
obduracy, lamentation or silence, torture was in any event practically
certain to be successful. Indeed anyone defamed of witchcraft before
the Inquisition became so inextricably enmeshed in the toils that
escape from conviction was hardly possible save in the event of being
able to prove that the accuser was actuated by mortal enmity.[229]
And even the most persistent silence must, one imagines, practically
always in the end have been overborne. A sufficiently prolonged
continuance of torture must have produced the desired result—answers
to leading questions about the Sabbat, detailed descriptions culled
from the imagination of demon orgies, confessions as to the invocation
of evil spirits and malpractices carried on by their help, finally the
incrimination of others. So the witchcraft legend grew in substance,
in precision, in lurid picturesqueness. From the lips of the witches
themselves came the authentic particulars of the Sabbat, the flittings
through the air on broomsticks, the blasting of human lives by foul
spells, the inculpation of ever-increasing numbers in the guilt and the
heresy of witchcraft.

There is a most striking illustration of the astonishing efficacy of
inquisitorial methods in effectively defeating their purpose, and
actually producing the spread of the witchcraft craze, in the famous
case of the Vaudois or witches of Arras in the years 1459-1460,
when the arrest of a single alleged witch led to the inculpation of
one after another, each new victim in her torments naming others,
including many of the wealthiest and most important as well as the
humblest citizens, so that at length a positive panic was created.[230]
Not a single member of the community in Arras could feel himself
or herself secure. No one dared leave the city for fear that that
innocent act might be seized upon as a confession of guilt, and no one
cared to enter for fear of falling into the hands of the tribunal,
thus busily engaged in investigating an outburst of heresy of such
alarming proportions. To such a pass did things come that the material
prosperity of Arras was seriously prejudiced, as people became afraid
of having any dealings with the city. One dangerous source of economic
disturbance was that all creditors demanded instant payment of their
dues, fearing that their debtors might be among those arrested, seeing
that conviction involved the confiscation of the victim’s property, and
in such a case the creditor was held to have no claim on any part of it.

In producing such results as these the inquisitor was no doubt ever
most sincere and disinterested, genuinely aghast at the magnitude of
the evil he was charged to suppress, wholly blind to the fact that
its magnitude was mainly of his own creation. And in the feeling that
there could be no security so long as the witch remained alive, he
only shared the popular view. It was simply the universal conviction
that the appropriate punishment of witchcraft and the only sure remedy
against it was death by fire. Nor was the inquisitor alone in bringing
offenders to the stake. The civil courts and the ordinary episcopal
courts were no more lenient than the Holy Office. Even in Protestant
countries, where there was no Inquisition, the lot of the supposed
witch in the sixteenth century was no more tolerable than in those
countries where the Inquisition still continued to flourish. The
belief in the reality of witchcraft had taken firm root everywhere,
and Catholic and Protestant were alike in their literal interpretation
of the terrible words of Scripture, ‘Thou shalt not suffer a witch
to live,’ which seemed to afford all-sufficient sanction for the
inexorable judgments of all tribunals, whether clerical or lay. At the
same time the part played by the Inquisition forms one of the most
important chapters in the history of witchcraft, as it was the most
efficient and energetic tribunal engaged in the prosecution of the
heresy in its earlier days, inasmuch especially as it contributed so
much to the spread of the belief by the convinced fanaticism of its
members and those methods of obtaining evidence, which not only led
to sure conviction and constant incriminations, but actually provided
the raw material of supposed fact on which credulity was based. The
voluminous records of the holy tribunal, the learned treatises of its
members are the great repositories of the true and indisputable facts
concerning the abominable heresies of sorcery and witchcraft.





The literal and fundamental meaning of the word Heresy is _choosing_.
The heretic is the man who selects certain doctrines, discards others,
giving rein to individual preference in the realm of religious belief.
Such an attitude is essentially incompatible with the conception that
the truth has once and for all been delivered to the saints, that the
faith is indivisible and unalterable, to be accepted in its entirety.
It is easily understood that eclecticism should be regarded as a danger
in the earliest days of a new religion by its adherents. The first
proselytes are anxious to define those distinctive features which mark
it off from other religions: for all religions have certain elements in
common. It was thus in the early stages of Christianity, which shared
certain characteristics with such beliefs as Mithraism, Gnosticism,
Neoplatonism. The idea of man’s need of a mediator with heaven was
abroad in the Roman world before the Messiah was proclaimed to it.
There thus existed a danger of confusion, that alien shoots of dogma
might be grafted upon the pure and original stock of Christianity.
The influence of such extraneous sources is apparent in the fourth
gospel. Even in the very earliest days when the body of Christian
belief consisted of little more than the disciples’ recollections of
the sayings and actions of their Founder, when the simplest conception
of pure and undefiled religion was being taught,[231] even then the
faithful were warned to beware of ‘false prophets,’ ‘false teachers’
who ‘privily shall bring in damnable heresies.’[232] As the fabric of
dogma began to be woven, the note became vehement. St. Paul denounces
‘false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the
apostles of Christ.’[233] In another place he declares, ‘But though
we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than
that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.’[234] So
far, however, even the idea of what constitutes heresy is vague, and
the spirit of tolerance and of brotherliness is strong. The offender
is not to be counted as an enemy, but admonished as a brother.[235]
The fact is that the flock is so small and the pagan world outside
so powerful that internal dissensions cannot be permitted. But the
new faith surviving, doctrine becomes more stereotyped, the feeling
of later generations more confident. Polycarp finds the heretic to
be antichrist, who belongs to the Devil and is the oldest son of
Satan,[236] and Tertullian in one passage recommends the employment of
compulsion against the heretic.[237]

Such language is not common among the early Fathers. They are
themselves members of a society liable to persecution, and they do not
preach coercion. Lactantius urges that the only weapon for Christians
to use is their reason; they must defend their faith not by violence,
but persuasion.[238] The Church in those days had not the opportunity
to use force, even if it had wished to: and this fact must be borne in
mind in connection with Tertullian’s enunciation of the principle of
tolerance, when he declares that the selection of his mode of worship
is a man’s natural right, the exercise of which cannot be either
harmful or profitable to his neighbour, and that it is not the part
of a religion to compel men to embrace it.[239] In the (only apparent)
contradiction between this ruling and the counsel given regarding the
treatment of heretics, Tertullian laid down a principle of momentous
consequence for the future, namely, that while force should not be
applied to the unbeliever, its use is legitimate in the case of the man
who has once accepted the faith and erred in it.

With the accession of Constantine, there dawned a new era for the
Christian Church. Till then the Roman state had been neutral, when not
actively hostile; from this time onwards, with one brief interval,
it was an active supporter. The Church became possessed of all the
enormous power of the imperial authority. The civil order is definitely
Christian, and one of the prime duties of the Emperor, lord of the
world, is the protection of the Church. Constantine speedily showed
himself anxious to take a leading part in ecclesiastical matters. He
had recourse to torture, confiscation of property, exile and possibly
the death penalty also in harrying the Donatists.[240]

Donatism was a small thing in comparison with Arianism, which shook the
Christian Church to its foundations. When the fathers of Nicaea decided
the intricate metaphysical question of ‘consubstantial,’ the Emperor
proclaimed exile for all who did not accept the Council’s decision.
Against this determination to root out their enemies, to establish one
interpretation of truth by force, the Fathers made no protest, but
accepted the intervention of the secular authority on their behalf.
There was no thought of the possible consequence of such a pact in the
future.[241] The triumph of the orthodox was short-lived. The Arians
were victorious later on and in their turn persecuted the Trinitarians.
The Christians, said Julian the Apostate, treated each other like
wild beasts. The punishments inflicted by one party upon the other
included imprisonment, flogging, torture, death. To such a pass had
doctrinal differences already brought the adherents of a religion which
proclaimed peace and goodwill among men. The tradition of persecution
had been thoroughly established. The laws of Theodosius II and
Valentinian II enumerate as many as thirty-two different heresies, all
punishable, the penalties being such as deprivation of civil rights,
exile, corporal punishment and death. But the heresies are carefully
differentiated, the severest penalties being reserved for Manichæism,
which had been punished by the Roman state in its pagan, polytheistic
and tolerant days, because of its anti-social tendencies.[242] But
now orthodox emperors persecuted Arians, Arian emperors persecuted
followers of Athanasius, simply because they had taken sides in a
theological controversy.

What view did the Church take of the activities of the lay power?
Was it actively approving or disapproving, or passively acquiescent?
We find some of the Fathers still preaching the old doctrines of
tolerance. Athanasius, himself at the time persecuted, declared that
persecution was an invention of the Devil. To Chrysostom heretics are
as persons diseased, nearly blind, assuredly to be led, not forced. He
comments on the parable of the tares, and urges the necessity of being
very careful, lest the godly be destroyed together with heretics.[243]
Jerome remembers that the Church was founded upon persecutions and
martyrdoms and on the whole seems to inculcate lenience in treatment
of heretics, though a remark to the effect that Arius, at first only
a single spark, not being immediately extinguished, set the whole
world on fire, and that corrupted flesh must be cut off, points to a
different opinion.[244]

The most significant of the later Fathers is St. Augustine. In his
case there is a notable change of front with regard to the treatment
of heretics. By temperament he was an advocate of toleration, and at
first, like Chrysostom, he appeals to the parable of the tares in
justification of tolerance. Heretics should be allowed the opportunity
to correct themselves and to repent. They are to be regarded as lost
sheep. He is afraid that persecution might lead to those who were in
reality heretics becoming hypocritical Catholics.[245] But later on
he altered his opinions. He had found that the weapons of persuasion
and eloquence were not strong enough to break down the obduracy of his
enemies the Donatists. He had been too optimistic. The methods of force
employed by the secular power were after all salutary and necessary.
‘He therefore, who refuses to obey the imperial laws, when made against
the truth of God, acquires a great reward; he who refuses to obey, when
they are made for support of the divine truth, exposes himself to most
grievous punishment.’[246] He rejoices, therefore, in a Christianized
state. The death penalty he indeed strongly reprobates as contrary to
Christian charity, but he approves both banishment and confiscation
of property.[247] These later opinions of St. Augustine were largely
accepted after him.

An important episode in the history of the Church’s attitude to heresy
is the execution of the Spanish heretic, Priscillian, by the Emperor
Maximus. Priscillian’s teachings, akin to Manichæism, were denounced
by several bishops, and it was upon their complaint that the Spaniard
was brought before the imperial tyrant. The action of the bishops,
who had thus involved themselves in the guilt of blood, wittingly or
unwittingly, was severely condemned by St. Ambrose and still more by
Martin of Tours, who refused to have any communion with them. This
happened in 385.[248] In 447 it seemed that heresy was reviving in
Spain, and Pope Leo I expressly commended the act of Maximus. He feared
lest, if such damnable error was not crushed, there should be an end
to all human and divine law; and if he did not ask for the death
sentence, he was quite willing that the Church should acquiesce in the
state’s severity and reap the advantages resulting from it.[249] Thus
to welcome the results of the shedding of blood in cases of heresy,
while refusing to accept the responsibility for it, constituted a most
dangerous attitude.

For centuries after the days of Leo I heresy almost ceased to be a
problem for the Church at all. Western Christendom entered into the
gloom of the Dark Ages, its history the arid record of barbarian
invasions and the rivalries of Childerichs and Chilperichs. The human
intelligence was dormant: consequently heresy ceased to be a force.
When there is no mental activity, no education, no discussion, there
may be faith, there can never be heresy. When the darkness lifted a
little, heresy once more became a problem. In 1022 thirteen Cathari
were burnt by order of, and in the presence of, King Robert II of
France. The punishment of heresy by fire was an entire innovation.
There was no existing law to sanction it. The stake had been used
by Roman emperors to punish parricides, slaves who attempted their
masters’ lives, and incendiaries, and it still existed as a punishment
for sorcerers and witches. The stake may have been used on this
occasion because it was an impressive and theatrical death and, a
choice being demanded between abjuration and death, it was considered
the latter should be specially terrifying.[250] Another execution of
Cathari, this time by hanging, took place in 1051 at Goslar in Saxony
in the presence of the Emperor Henry III. As in France, so in Germany,
the law knew neither the offence nor the punishment. The Emperor was
acting simply in the public defence.[251]

It is important to note the part played in the treatment of heretics
at this period by the populace. In both the cases just cited the
secular prince had in his action the full approval of the people. It
is particularly noticed by the chronicles of the first incident that
the deed was ‘regis jussu et universae plebis consensu.’[252] And
Henry strengthened his position in the absence of any written law by
securing the agreement of his subjects.[253] Nothing could be better
attested than the crowd’s hatred of the heretic in the eleventh and
twelfth centuries, as far as northern Europe was concerned.[254] In
the south it was different. There are several instances of the feeling
in the north in the late decades of the eleventh and early decades of
the twelfth century. For example, in 1076 at Cambrai a Catharan who
had been condemned by the bishop as a heretic (no sentence pronounced)
was seized upon by the bishop’s officers and the mob, who placed him
in some sort of cabin, which they burned with the prisoner inside it.
It is said that the recantation of Roscellinus was due to the threat
of death at the hands of the populace.[255] In 1114 certain heretics
having been placed provisionally in prison by the Bishop of Strassburg
were in the bishop’s absence forcibly seized upon by the crowd, who,
the chronicler states, feared clerical lenience. They were led out
of the town and there burnt alive.[256] A similar event happened in
Cologne in 1143; whilst two years later at Liège the clergy only just
succeeded in rescuing the crowd’s victims from its clutches. Lawless
violence against heretics continued to evince itself in France into
the following century, there being instances of it in Troyes, Nevers,
Besançon, Paris, even at a time when the secular power, under Philip
Augustus, was active in bringing heretics to the stake.

What was the attitude of the clergy in this period, during which it
seems evident that in northern Europe secular princes and public
opinion were united in thinking heresy deserving of death, even by
burning? There is the evidence of the mob fearing clerical lenience in
one case cited, of the clergy actually intervening against the crowd
in another. When the heretics were burnt at Cambrai in 1076 Gregory
VII protested and ordered the excommunication of the inhabitants.[257]
And there is a very notable protest against the use of force by Wazon,
Bishop of Liège (1042-8), who in answer to a query of the Bishop of
Châlons as to whether he should yield up heretics to the secular arm or
not, referred to the parable of the tares in support of lenience.[258]
His successor, Theoduin, on the other hand, is found counselling Henry
I of France to mete out punishment to the followers of Berengar of
Tours,[259] and about the same time we find the Archbishop of Milan
giving some supposed Manichæans the choice between abjuration and the

The fact that most clearly emerges from the consideration of rather
conflicting evidence in this period is the absence of any law
regarding heretics. The mob, secular princes and clergy are all acting
irregularly, taking measures in self-defence in the absence of written
rulings. Generally speaking, it would appear that there is a prevailing
idea that heresy merits the extreme penalty. At the same time some
attempt was made at various ecclesiastical councils to standardize
procedure against heresy.

A Council at Rheims in 1049 spoke only of excommunication as a
punishment; one at Toulouse in 1119 did the same, but also called upon
the secular arm to render aid.[261] The middle of the twelfth century
saw a great revival of both Roman and Canon law and the publication of
the Decree of Gratian. The Decree did not put all uncertainty at an
end. It certainly laid down a clear ruling regarding the confiscation
of property. The heretic, being outside both human and divine law,
could not hold property. But regarding the death penalty there could
be no plain direction, because on this subject Gratian’s authorities
were contradictory and remained so despite his efforts to reconcile
them.[262] Further efforts at definition were made by ecclesiastical
councils during the century. One sitting at Rheims in 1157 demanded
banishment and branding for those who simply professed Catharism, for
proselytizers perpetual imprisonment; but it seems to hint at the death
penalty in the veiled phrase: ‘carcere perpetuo, nisi gravius aliquid
fieri debet visum, recludentur.’[263] Another Council at Tours in 1163,
presided over by Alexander III, reiterated the demand for
incarceration and also ordered the confiscation of goods.[264] The
second Council of the Lateran of 1179, lamenting the marked spread of
heresy, commended the use of force by the secular arm and proclaimed
a two years’ indulgence to all who should take up arms against

The first secular law in the Middle Ages dealing with heresy is
English. In 1166 two Cathari were brought before Henry II at Oxford,
whipped and branded with a red key and banished.[266] Shortly
afterwards in the same year appeared the clause in the Assize of
Clarendon, forbidding the sheltering of heretics on the pain of having
one’s house destroyed.[267] Other severe secular legislation soon
appeared in other countries. In 1194 the Emperor Henry VI ordered
the confiscation of the property, and the destruction of the houses,
of heretics and inforced fines on communities and individuals who
neglected to assist, when they had the opportunity, in the arrest
of heretics.[268] The same year Alfonso II of Aragon, aiming at
expelling all Manichæans and Waldenses from his dominions, issued an
edict declaring all heretics public enemies and banishing them.[269]
The ineffectiveness of this edict is demonstrated by the appearance
of a severer one three years later issued by Alfonso’s successor,
Pedro II, famous as the victor over the Moors at Las Navas de Tolosa,
equally notorious for his warlike prowess, his religious zeal, his
prodigality and licentiousness. Once again banishment is decreed, but
it is added that if any heretics remain in defiance of the edict after
a specified date they shall perish at the stake and their effects be

Whatever may have been the case earlier, there seems good evidence
of the zeal of the clergy against heretics in the latter part of the
twelfth century, which saw so much more precision in the declarations
of ecclesiastical councils and secular laws on the subject. In 1167
we find the Abbot of Vézelai, when several heretics were before
him, appealing to the people to give sentence, and accepting their
demand for a death of torture. Some years later at Rheims we find the
Archbishop and clergy in agreement with the nobles that two Catharan
women should be burnt.[271] Hugh, Bishop of Auxerre (1183-1206), is
a busy prosecutor of heretics, causing many to be burnt or exiled.
More notable than such isolated instances of clerical activity is
the co-operation between Pope and Emperor which led to the important
bull entitled _Ad abolendam_.[272] In 1184, Lucius III and Frederick
Barbarossa met at Verona, and as the result of their conference this
bull was promulgated, which (among other provisions) fixed rules for
the prosecution of suspected heretics, the visitation of infected
areas and the assistance of all civil authorities. The Emperor for his
part placed heretics under the ban of the empire.[273] The decree of
Henry VI, already referred to, was plainly based on this action of his

Towards the end of the twelfth century, then, we have clear evidence
of secular and ecclesiastical authorities working hand in hand for
the suppression of heresy. To the former, heresy seemed equivalent to
rebellion; to the latter, equivalent to murder, being the murder of
the soul. When Pedro II issued his harsh edict against the Cathari of
Aragon, he claimed that he was actuated by zeal for the public welfare
and a desire to obey the canons of the Church.[274] There was no order
in the canons that heretics should be burnt to death; but otherwise,
Pedro’s appeal to Canon law was justified: and besides the canons,
there were the various edicts of ecclesiastical councils during the
century, all of them calling upon the secular authority to use its
utmost efforts towards the eradication of heresy.

It has been urged that the attitude adopted by the Church was a
most unwilling attitude, forced upon it by influences too powerful
to resist, that the main motive power of persecution came not from
the Church, but from the lay authority and from public opinion. The
theory is advanced that during the period, roughly from 1000 to 1150,
when the position of the heretic was a matter of legal uncertainty,
the clergy opposed the violence evinced against heretics, and in
eventually yielding they submitted to the strength of a custom which
constituted a sort of _jus non scriptum_.[275] But there is not much
force in this plea. To acquiesce in a _jus non scriptum_ argues
either indifference or impotence: and the Church in the eleventh and
twelfth centuries was neither indifferent nor impotent. Nor is the
opposition of the clergy to mob violence an argument to the point.
A dislike for mob law and lynching does not necessarily betoken
disapproval of capital punishment.[276] It is true—and this is very
important—that spontaneously, without any direct incitement from the
clergy, the people regarded the heretic with intense abhorrence. We
ought probably to add that in the absence of written law on the subject
there was a rather vague idea, shared by the mob and their rulers,
that not only death, but a particularly terrible kind of death, was
an appropriate punishment for the heretic—this idea being perhaps
derived from the fact that Roman law had at different times meted out
this doom for certain kinds of heretics, particularly Manichæans,
and other offenders, such as sorcerers and witches. It is true also
that the heretics upon whom the mob turned were generally Manichæan.
Yet no one who has any knowledge of the position of the mediæval
Church can honestly maintain on these grounds that the Church had
no responsibility for the rigour displayed towards the heretic. The
heretic was regarded as an offender against society, because it was a
Christian society. Heresy, being error in the faith, was investigated
and recognized by the Church. The clergy, not the mob, discovered
the heresy and the heretic; for such discovery could not be made
without theological knowledge, of which the mob were ignorant. And
such knowledge as they possessed, were it reasoned understanding or
merely half-assimilated fragments of doctrine, was derived solely from
clerical instruction. It was difficult for any sort of knowledge to
come from any other source. Heresy was regarded as dangerous to the
community, because, to begin with, the Church had found it dangerous
to itself. The intellectual and spiritual atmosphere with which
Christendom was permeated was of the Church’s making. The attempt,
therefore, to absolve the Church from responsibility for the measures
taken against heresy in these centuries—by whomsoever they were
taken—involves a wholly erroneous, indeed an absurd, under-estimate of
the authority of the Church.

In 1198 there came to the papal throne perhaps the greatest of the
whole pontifical line, Lothario Conti, Innocent III. High in resolve
to strengthen Church and Papacy, he at once gave his attention to the
problem of heresy. But though zealous, in some respects he showed a
commendable moderation. He was anxious that the innocent should not
be confounded with the guilty in the impetuosity of the perfervid
clerk or the impatience of the mob; and for the first ten years of
his pontificate he made trial of a pacific programme.[277] But in one
part of Christendom the problem of heresy had by this time become
acute. In the lands of the Count of Toulouse, Catharism was as rampant
as were clerical abuses. The pleasure-loving, prosperous inhabitants
of Provence, of Narbonne, of Albi felt the authority of the Church
to be an obnoxious incubus upon their worldliness, their careless
independence. The clergy were hated and despised. The troubadour made
pleasant ridicule of the sacraments and every doctrine of the Church,
however sacred. The death-bed repentance scheme of the Catharan system,
its denial of a purgatory and a hell, were popular. Still more so was
the pretext afforded by its anti-sacerdotal precepts for despoiling the
Church.[278] So the nobles and the rich _bourgeoisie_ and merchants
received heretics into their houses, clothed them and fed them, while
they were exempted from taxes. So great was the hold of heresy in his
lands, that Count Raymond V of Toulouse declared himself to be wholly
unable to resist it.[279] His successor, Raymond VI, had no wish to
resist it, being of the same stuff as his people and seeing no call
to disturb them at the bidding of priests. Thus when a Council at
Montpellier in 1195 anathematized all princes failing to enforce the
Church’s decrees against heretics, he paid no heed.

A couple of months after his accession Innocent III sent two
commissioners into Languedoc, one of them being subsequently
entrusted with legatine powers, to tackle a situation so serious
that the whole of that country seemed on the point of slipping away
from its allegiance to the Catholic faith and communion. They were
instructed that obdurate heretics were to be banished, their property
confiscated; and the secular authority was to see to it that their
measures were carried out under pain of interdict. The efforts of these
two commissioners were entirely fruitless. In 1204 their successors
were entrusted with increased authority, which gave them a complete
dictatorship over the ecclesiastical dignitaries of Languedoc, who were
bitterly reviled for their incapacity. Yet neither these measures nor
lavish bribes to secular rulers proved efficacious, and even the iron
resolution of the commissioners, Pierre de Castelnau and Arnaud of
Citeaux, was breaking down beneath the weight of persistent failure,
when a certain Spaniard, Diego de Arzevedo, Bishop of Osma, suggested
to the legates the scheme of an evangelistic enterprise. This was
adopted, and bare-footed missionaries were sent forth to re-convert
the erring by simple preaching and exhortation. Among the preachers
was St. Dominic himself. This laudable scheme also failed. There is
a legend that Dominic, stung by his ill-success, predicted what the
upshot of such deplorable obduracy must eventually be. There was a
saying in Spain, he quoted, that a beating may work where a blessing
won’t. The towers of the cities of the fair land would have to be
laid low, its people reduced to servitude.[280] The actual signal for
a complete reversal of policy was the murder of Pierre de Castelnau
in circumstances which recall the murder of Becket. The legate had
exasperated the Count of Toulouse; one of the latter’s knights slew the
priest. Innocent called for vengeance upon the blood-guilty Count; and
the Albigensian Crusade, which Innocent had ere this been preaching
in vain to Philip Augustus of France, was the immediate consequence.
The first crusading army, an international force, assembled at Lyons
in June 1209.[281] The ensuing wars are memorable for the men who took
part in them—Pedro of Aragon, the zealous Catholic, now intervening
on behalf of Count Raymond and perishing on the field of Muret,
Simon de Montfort, the ‘athlete of Christ’! Never was there Christian
warrior purer in his motives than Simon, more whole-hearted in his
enthusiasm, or more utterly inhuman in his fanaticism. These wars are
also memorable for their political issues and consequences. From the
outset purely political interests were intermixed with the religious.
The great nobles who led the forces of the Cross united with their
pious zeal an at least equally genuine and powerful hatred and jealousy
of the rich and bountiful southern land which harboured a culture so
different from their own, more Saracen than European. The wars were
wars of the north against the south, of one civilization against
another. The astute and calculating Philip Augustus seized with avidity
the opportunity of bringing under his direct control a province of
France, which had been practically an independent kingdom; and the
crusade is, therefore, of first-rate importance as a big contribution
to the unification of the French kingdom.

If to many who took part in them the original purpose of these
religious wars was altogether subsidiary, that purpose was none
the less most horribly accomplished. The peculiar civilization of
Languedoc was blotted out, its beauty and fragrance being utterly
extinguished by the onslaught of the crusaders. With the civilization
went the heresy that it had harboured. Catharism indeed continued to
exist in the devastated region, but all its vital power of expansion
had been destroyed when the conditions that fostered it vanished.
The Albigensian wars were the most successful attempt to extirpate
heresy known in history. They were successful because they were
utterly ruthless and included wholesale massacres. When the town of
Béziers fell, it is said that twenty thousand of its inhabitants were
slaughtered. There were good Catholics as well as Cathari among the
populace of the place; but the story goes that when Arnaud of Citeaux
was asked whether the Catholics were to be spared, in his anxiety lest
a single heretic should escape by pretending orthodoxy, he replied,
‘Kill them all, for God knows His own.’[282]

When the crusaders appeared in Languedoc, toleration vanished out of
western Christendom. There was no asylum left where the heretic could
feel assured of safety from the persecutor. The power of the Church
against the disobedient had been mightily asserted. The ruler who had
dared to disregard her order to purify his land of its contaminators
had been brought low. From every country the papacy had been able to
bring together doughty warriors to uphold the unity of the faith by
spilling the blood of the perverse wanderers from the fold. The policy
of force had been triumphantly vindicated by the amplitude of its



Originally jurisdiction over heresy belonged to the ordinary
ecclesiastical courts, heresy being classed with such other offences
as adultery and breach of contract, which came under ecclesiastical
purview.[283] The special tribunal of the Inquisition came into being
because these courts proved defective for the trial of heresy. In the
first place, the new offence became so frequent that the ordinary
courts were unable to support the large additional burden without
impairing their efficiency in the performance of their original duties.

How, then, did it happen that whereas heresy had become a formidable
danger in the twelfth century, the institution of the special tribunal
did not take place until the thirteenth? The suggestion appears
plausible that there must have been some other cause besides the mere
spread of heresy to account for the birth of the Inquisition at that
date.[284] The answer is that it took time for heresy to be recognized
as sufficiently serious to warrant the creation of an entirely new
organization, and before the magnitude of the task of repressing
religious error was fully apprehended.[285] In the second place, the
papacy during this period was much preoccupied with more pressing
concerns, particularly the investiture question, which involved the
supreme issue as to the pre-eminence of secular or spiritual authority
in Christendom.

When once attention had been thoroughly arrested by the problem, the
deficiencies of the existing spiritual courts for the new work became
apparent. Overwork was by no means the only drawback. The character
of the judges was at fault. Even after the Hildebrandine reforms,
bishops still remained feudal barons with many inevitable secular
distractions; archdeacons and other lesser officials were often venal
and incapable.[286] In any case the very nature of diocesan authority
militated against success. It was too purely local to be effective
against offenders who could easily migrate from one part of the country
to another. Even more serious was the lack on the part of the existing
officials of special training and knowledge, especially in theology,
which were found necessary, since heretics often evinced diabolical
familiarity with the text of Scripture.[287] Lacking such special
equipment and being badly pressed for time on a diocesan visitation,
the bishop was apt to come to a hurried and arbitrary judgment,
frequently falling back upon the device of the ordeal when the
defendant pleaded ‘not guilty.’ Both the Councils of Rheims of 1157 and
of Verona of 1184 ordered that suspects of heresy should be submitted
to this test. But the method was never felt to be satisfactory, was
strongly condemned by Ivo of Chartres and Alexander III, and so
emphatically denounced by the Fourth Council of the Lateran in 1215
that it disappeared from the practice of lay as well as spiritual

Another disadvantage under which the episcopal courts laboured in
dealing with heresy was their procedure, that of Roman Law. There were
two systems—those of _denuntiatio_ and _accusatio_. In the former some
person in authority—in ecclesiastical cases the archdeacon—brought
forward a charge founded upon his own personal knowledge. In the latter
the charge was based on information tendered by a private individual
to the authorities. Owing to the fact that the archdeacon was a very
busy man, the Church was largely dependent on the second method in the
prosecution of heresy. But the average person had no inducement to
lodge a charge. He was in danger of private vengeance if he did so;
equally important, by Roman Law he was expected to prove his case,
being in the event of failure liable to the same penalty which he had
himself alleged against the accused. Seeing that, should he prove
his case, he was entitled to the property of the prisoner either in
whole or in part, this stipulation was a salutary and indeed necessary
check, not only on malice but cupidity.[288] This mode of procedure,
which though indicative of its origin in the rudimentary idea of
private justice was certainly equitable, did not commend itself to
the Church, once it had become determined upon the extirpation of
heresy. The difficulty of obtaining convictions greatly increased when,
instead of small isolated communities, the Church was faced by a great
organization like Catharism, widespread and secret in its movements.
It was clear that episcopal jurisdiction must be strengthened. The
Edict of Verona was an attempt in this direction. It was resolved to
make use for prosecution of common report, the public opinion of the
locality. Archbishops and bishops were to visit in person, or through
their archdeacons, once or even twice a year every parish in which
heresy was supposed to exist, and were to compel men whom they thought
of trustworthy character or, if they thought fit, all the inhabitants
of the neighbourhood, to denounce those whose manner of living differed
from that of good Catholics. Such bad characters were to purge
themselves by a solemn oath on the gospels before the bishop (_purgatio
canonica_); if they refused—and Cathari were likely to be unwilling
owing to their views regarding oaths—their refusal was to be construed
as tantamount to a confession of heresy.[289]

We have here a method of enforced delation, the bishop proceeding upon
the evidence so obtained (_diffamatio_) without the formalities of
the _accusatio_. In other words the bishops are to make an _inquest_,
so that from this date, 1184, we have in existence an episcopal
inquisition.[290] The decree does not appear to have been very
effective, and after the Albigensian Crusades—it being necessary to
follow that success by the institution of systematic prosecution of
heresy for fear of the recurrence of trouble[291]—similar regulations
were made by Councils, sitting at Avignon in 1209 and at Montpellier
in 1215, also in the Fourth Council of the Lateran of the latter year.
There was a new feature in the introduction of a priest in addition to
a trustworthy layman as informer against heretics.[292] The Council of
Narbonne (1227) went a step further in ordering the bishops to appoint
in each parish _testes synodales_, to make diligent enquiry concerning
heresy and other matters and give information to their bishops.[293]
The phrase ‘synodal witness’ is new, though it may easily designate the
same persons as those nominated by the previous councils. However this
may be, the ‘synodal witnesses’ are entrusted with a new duty. They
are not merely to inform, but to search out. This advance was to be
anticipated; the informer easily blossoms out into the detective. Here
we have a system of local Inquisition, which is enjoined again by a
Council sitting at Toulouse two years later, which requires the synodal
witnesses to visit all suspected houses and hiding-places.[294]

It is doubtful whether the orders of these two Councils were ever
acted upon. In any case, not even the most well-intentioned reform of
their procedure could make the episcopal courts satisfactory for the
trial of heresy. The bishops are repeatedly urged to bestir themselves
even on pain of deprivation.[295] The fact was that some special
machinery had to be devised. On the other hand, the authorization
of the system of Inquisition was of the utmost importance. It was
fully recognized by Innocent III, who in his Decretals carefully
distinguished it from the two other judicial methods of _accusatio_ and
_denuntiatio_.[296] Innocent was not thinking only, or perhaps mainly,
of heresy in introducing a new judicial method—but of clerical reform.
Even when the offence of a prelate was a matter of common notoriety
it was difficult to bring the crime home to him when the system of
_accusatio_ required the concurrence of seventy-two witnesses. That
system sheltered the high in office; and it was therefore, from the
reformer’s point of view, defective. The greatest of the popes had
given his imprimatur to a system, which beginning in the ecclesiastical
courts, was, owing to its manifest advantages, destined to make a
triumphal progress in the temporal courts also, eventually supplanting
the system of _accusatio_ altogether.

The definite starting-point of the Inquisition has been attributed to
many dates. One enthusiast went as far back as Creation, finding the
first inquisitor in the Almighty Himself, and successors to Him in
Jacob, Saul, David, Eli, Jesus Christ, John the Baptist and St. Peter
among others.[297] Less ambitious authorities, content to go no further
back than the Middle Ages, have discovered the starting-point in the
legatine commission entrusted by Innocent III to Pierre de Castelnau,
Arnaud of Citeaux and their colleagues.[298] Whether they, with their
lieutenant St. Dominic, were inquisitors or not turns on the
interpretation of the word.[299] In the loose general sense of
searchers out, certainly they were—as others had been before them.
The plain fact is, there were inquisitors before the Inquisition
existed. But in the strict technical sense of officers of a tribunal
specifically set apart for jurisdiction over heresy, they clearly were
not.[300] The tribunal of the Inquisition was not in existence in the
pontificate of Innocent III. On the other hand, we have by this time
advanced a considerable distance on the road to the formation of a new
tribunal. Heresy has been recognized as so dangerous as to justify the
organization of a crusade against it. The bishops’ courts have been
found so defective in dealing with heresy that the device has been
adopted of sending special commissioners to try to do what they have
failed to do. The method of judicial procedure by _inquisitio_ in place
of _accusatio_ has been officially approved. It wants but one other
step to bring us to the foundation of the permanent delegacy for the
prosecution of heretical pravity, which is the Inquisition.

This step was taken by Pope Gregory IX, who may therefore legitimately
be said to have founded the Inquisition. Both the episcopal courts
and the experiment of the occasional legate had been insufficient.
Gregory made use of a powerful weapon which came readily to hand
in the two great Mendicant Orders. Recognizing their potential
utility, Gregory, herein followed by Innocent IV, showered upon
them all manner of special privileges and exemptions and bound them
by this means peculiarly to the service of the papacy. They were
pre-eminently fitted, as it happened, for the special service of
prosecuting heresy. They were still young in the first white heat of
a new enthusiasm, while their zeal and their purity made them both
influential and popular. They were also often endowed—especially
the Dominicans—with high intellectual gifts and early acquired a
great reputation as subtle and learned theologians. Thus while their
poverty, their single-mindedness and their good works were an answer to
anti-sacerdotal attacks, their theological attainments enabled them to
combat the dialectical arguments of the heterodox. The uniformity and
permanence of inquisitorial practice came largely from the selection
of the two orders of the Friars to undertake the jurisdiction over
heresy. In so far, therefore, as the choice of a particular date or
incident for the commencement of an institution can be otherwise than
arbitrary, it is legitimate to fix upon the delegation by Gregory
IX of jurisdictional powers almost exclusively to the members of
the Franciscan and Dominican orders as marking the beginning of the
Inquisition as an organized tribunal.

Actually the first delegation made by Pope Gregory in regard to
heresy was made neither to a Franciscan nor a Dominican, but to a
man notorious for his extraordinary relations with Saint Elizabeth
of Hungary, namely Conrad of Marburg. Whatever his status to begin
with, he certainly became a delegate possessed of very wide powers
eventually. He was in fact an inquisitor in precisely the same sense as
Pierre de Castelnau and Arnaud of Citeaux had been inquisitors; and the
question of his precise authority has exactly the same bearing on the
question of the beginnings of the tribunal of the Inquisition as the
question of _their_ authority—no more.[301]

Eight days after the bestowal of the commission upon Conrad, namely on
June 20, 1227, Gregory entrusted another inquisitorial commission to
a Dominican. This, however, is not the significant date. The decisive
event is the addressing of two bulls to France in April 1233, the
first to the bishops, the second to the Preaching Friars. The first
explains that owing to ‘the whirlwind of cares’ and ‘the presence of
overwhelming anxieties,’ under which the bishops labour, the Pope
has thought it well to divide their burdens and has decided to send
the Preaching Friars against the heretics of France. The bishops are
earnestly exhorted to treat the Brothers kindly and lend them all
assistance in the fulfilment of their office. The second, and by far
the more important bull, addressed to the Friars, empowers them ‘to
deprive clerks of their benefices for ever, and to proceed against them
and all others without appeal, calling in the aid of the secular arm if
necessary, and coercing opposition, if needful, with the censures of
the Church, without appeal.’[302] Some have detected in these bulls an
apologetic tone indicating uncertainty on Gregory’s part as to whether
the bishops would acquiesce in this invasion of their powers, and it is
also no doubt true that ‘the character of his instructions proves that
he had no conception of what the invasion was to lead to.’[303] On the
other hand, there is here the clear evidence of a matured conception,
based upon the experience of the multiplication of special commissions
to individual legates, of a permanent delegation.[304] By 1235 this
system had penetrated not only through France, Toulouse and Burgundy,
but also Lombardy, Sicily, Aragon, Brabant, Germany.[305]

The inquisitorial commissions entrusted to the Friars, it is important
to note, did not involve the extinction of episcopal jurisdiction in
matters of heresy. In 1234 Gregory is found threatening the bishops
of the province of Narbonne, if they do not show due energy against
heretics, and making no mention of the new authority.[306] As yet the
friars-inquisitor are regarded only as a more efficient supplement to
the ordinary ecclesiastical tribunals. Gregory intended that bishops
and inquisitors should work together, and bishops had to concur in the
friars’ sentences. Plainly there was not unnatural antagonism, bishops
wishing to treat inquisitors simply as expert advisers, inquisitors
aiming at becoming the real judges. In 1247 Innocent IV treats the
bishops as the real judges: yet in the numerous sentences of the
celebrated inquisitor, Bernard de Caux, recorded between 1246 and 1248,
there is no trace of episcopal concurrence.[307] In 1248 the Council of
Valence had to bring pressure upon bishops to observe the sentences of
inquisitors.[308] Between 1250 and 1254 the director of the proceedings
of the Carcassonne Inquisition who makes the interrogations and imposes
the sentences is a bishop: but it is not certain whether he was
acting in his episcopal capacity or as a special papal commissioner.
Such commissions were rarely given to bishops, as the popes much
preferred, as a rule, to use the friars. The root fact was that to
perform his special duties efficiently an inquisitor needed to devote
his entire time and attention to them: and thus, as it became more and
more apparent that heresy was no mere ephemeral menace which could be
stamped out once for all, but a lasting trouble which had constantly
to be met, so the Inquisition, first regarded as a temporary expedient
to deal with an emergency, developed into a permanent institution. So
also the efforts of the bishops, either to retain the jurisdiction over
heresy in their own ordinary courts or to superimpose their authority
over the inquisitor in his extraordinary court, were alike doomed to
failure. As a matter of fact, probably the average bishop was too
much immersed in other cares and interests to trouble to secure his
prerogative in the matter of heresy.[309] Thus it was that before
the end of the thirteenth century the Inquisition had come to be an
intrinsic part of the judicial organization of the Church.

The pontificate of Gregory IX is in more ways than one a critical
period in the history of the repression of heresy. It saw the first
clear authorization of the death penalty for the obdurate heretic.
Capital punishment had at times been shown to be the popular remedy for
heresy; it had sometimes been adopted by the secular arm, sometimes
approved by the clergy. But it had not been legalized in the empire,
formally sanctioned by the temporal law of the world, as the general
rule of Christendom. The first public law of Europe enjoining it was
the work of the Emperor Frederick II. That the most extraordinary
member of the house of Hohenstaufen, being a man who despite a curious
strain of superstition in him was a rationalist and a sceptic, should
have been responsible for this legislation may at first sight appear
astonishing. An Italian, not a German, brought up among the half
Greek, half Saracen influences of Sicily, drawing his inspiration
rather from Averrhoës and Arab free-thought than from any Christian
source, amazingly versatile, poet, lover of learning, statesman,
diplomatist, his outlook upon the world was altogether individual, his
intellect powerful and singular, untrammelled by convention. He was a
medley of strange contradictions: he protected Jews and Mussulmans; he
persecuted heretics. The Averrhoïst heretics from Islam interested him,
the heretics from Catholicism not at all.

On November 22, 1220, Frederick produced his first constitution for
Lombardy.[310] This repealed the penalties of Frederick Barbarossa in
his edict of 1184, confiscation of property and outlawry, penalties
severe enough, because outlawry in the Middle Ages was a terrible
punishment, putting the culprit at any man’s mercy. This first
constitution appears to have been inspired by Honorius III.[311] A
second constitution of March 1224, published at Catania for the whole
of Lombardy, first introduced the death penalty—death at the stake;
but at the discretion of the judge, the loss of the tongue might be
substituted.[312] In 1231 in the Constitutions of Melfi, which applied
indeed only to Sicily, this element of choice was no longer included,
and the penalty was made absolutely death by fire. In 1238 this
regulation was extended to the empire, being afterwards introduced into
the Sachenspiegel and Schwabenspiegel of Germany.[313] Thus death by
fire became the recognized punishment for heresy in the empire. In 1226
Louis IX issued ordinances prescribing severe punishments for heretics;
but at the time the use of the stake was general in France, and it was
formally accepted as the legal punishment in the _Etablissements_ of
Louis IX in 1270.[314]

In view of what Frederick II did in his Constitutions, some historians
have placed upon his shoulders the full responsibility for the horrors
of the stake. This is both unfair and unhistorical. The blame attaches
to no single man. The fact of first giving sanction in civil law
to death by burning is certainly important, but the importance can
easily be exaggerated. Frederick was only giving legal recognition to
the actual practice of France and Germany; only introducing what was
customary elsewhere into Italy, where tolerance had on the whole been
general. Some importance should also be attached to the revival of the
study of Roman Law, which showed that Manichæans had suffered death in
days before Constantine. In the part played by Frederick II we shall be
wise to recognize not something catastrophic but rather a link among
very many in a lengthy chain of development.[315] Nor must we forget
the significance of the order that burnings are to take place ‘in
conspectu populi.’ This is surely an answer to a popular demand that
the execution of heretics should be made a public example, a salutary
spectacle? The examination of the force of public opinion is almost
always more fruitful than that of the motives of individuals, however

What was the attitude of the Church in its crusade against heresy
towards the action of Frederick? Being crucial, the question is
exceedingly controversial. There have been apologists for the Church
who have argued that the whole blame for the burning of heretics
rests with the secular power, that Gregory IX had a positive aversion
to the idea, that Frederick II’s laws against heretics are to be
regarded as an attempt to humiliate the Pope and wrest from the Church
jurisdiction which properly belonged to it. This argument makes the
establishment of the Inquisition a measure of self-defence, a strategic
blow delivered in the great war between the secular and ecclesiastical

This ingenious theory will not stand close examination. There is in the
first place the _prima facie_ probability that an unorthodox emperor,
anxious to utilize the question of heresy in a conflict with the
papacy, would rather protect than prosecute it. In the second place,
there is really no evidence for discovering in Frederick’s action an
elaborate Machiavellian device; while we have sufficient evidence
that Gregory did approve the burning of heretics.[317] There seems
clearly to have been clerical influence behind the constitutions. The
constitution of 1224 has been ascribed to the influence of a certain
German prelate, Albert, Archbishop of Magdeburg, imperial legate in
Italy, who wanted to see heretics treated in Italy as they were in
his own country, and who therefore induced the emperor to give legal
sanction to the death penalty.[318] Even more significant would appear
to have been the part played by the Spanish Dominicans, Guala and
Raymond of Peñaforte. Guala was Bishop of Brescia in 1230, and Brescia
was the first town to place among its municipal laws the Lombard
Constitution of 1224. The Bishop was in constant communication with
Gregory, and when Rome followed the example of Brescia, it is surmised,
though it cannot be proved, that Guala was responsible for this, as
also for the Constitution of 1231.[319] This is conjecture, and so is
the alternative theory which attributes the legal establishment of the
death sentence not so much to Guala as to Raymond.[320] Whatever may
be the truth concerning clerical influence prior to the promulgation
of the Constitutions, the question of the subsequent attitude of the
Church towards them is not a matter of conjecture.

In his bull, _Excommunicamus_, Gregory orders that heretics, condemned
by the Church, shall be handed over to the secular arm and punished
by the merited penalty (‘puniantur animadversione debita’). What this
punishment is, is not expressly mentioned, but inasmuch as all other
possible penalties are mentioned by name—imprisonment, excommunication,
infamy, deprivation of civil rights etc., we are left by a process
of elimination with the death penalty as the only conceivable end
for the obdurate heretic abandoned to the secular arm.[321] Only
wilful blindness can misinterpret the phrase ‘animadversione debita,’
especially as its meaning seems to be forcibly illustrated by the
practice of the Senator Annibaldi who ruled Rome in Gregory’s name. In
1231 he issued a decree, introducing the imperial constitution into the
city and establishing that each senator, on admission into office, must
pronounce the ban of the city against all heretics in it, seize upon
all who are pointed out as heretics by the inquisitors and punish them
within eight days from the passing of sentence. Here Annibaldi used the
Pope’s euphemism, ‘merited penalty.’ The same year several heretics
were seized in Rome, some imprisoned, but the obdurate burnt.[322]

If it may still be felt that there is some doubt regarding the
personal feeling of Gregory IX about Frederick II’s action, there
can be no doubt at all as to his successor, Innocent IV, who gave
complete pontifical sanction to the Constitutions by inscribing them
_in extenso_ in a bull entitled _Cum adversus haereticam pravitatem_,
issued in 1245.[323]

The Church did more than simply give its formal approval to secular
legislation against heresy: it saw to it that the lay authority put its
legislation into practice.

It was for the Church to seek out, arrest, examine and condemn the
heretic; it was the function of the State to free the Church from
the guilt of blood by arranging for the actual execution of the
impenitents, the canon thus being reconciled with harsh necessity.
Apportionment of its duties in the matter of heresy to the State by
the Church was no new thing in the days of Gregory and Innocent. The
resolutions of earlier councils had referred significantly to the
danger of popular revolutions, did not the secular authority play its
part, and had threatened that disobedient lords might find their lands
and goods given away to others more zealous or more prudent.[324] The
decree of Verona (1184) had claimed excommunication as the penalty for
failure to execute the imperial laws (at that time those of Barbarossa)
against heretics; and the Fourth Council of the Lateran, enjoining an
oath upon all secular rulers that they will banish all heretics from
their lands, declares their vassals to be absolved from fidelity in the
case of non-compliance.[325]

Already, before the days of Innocent IV, it had been made perfectly
plain that the Church not only desired and expected the execution by
the secular authority of its own laws against heretics, but that it was
prepared to use all available means to compel it to do so. Innocent IV
placed the coping-stone upon this system by his famous bull issued to
all the lay rulers of Italy in 1252, known as _Ad extirpanda_.[326]
This bull is remarkable for the thorough and systematic nature of
its provisions. To the end that the pest of heresy may be uprooted,
all lay rulers are to swear to carry out the laws against heresy on
pain of fine and of being held an infamous perjuror and fautor of
heretics.[327] Every civil magistrate within three days of his entrance
into office is to appoint twelve good Catholics, two notaries, two
senators, two friars from the Prædicants, two from the Brothers Minor,
whose duties are to search out heretics, seize their goods and hand
them on to the bishop. These officials are to enjoy a variety of
privileges and to be free from all interference in their work. The
civil magistrate is to hand over all heretics within a fortnight of
their capture either to the bishop or the inquisitors.[328] Those
condemned are within five days of sentence to be dealt with by the
secular arm in accordance with the Constitutions (of Frederick II).
The secular authority is also required to inflict torture on those
heretics who refused to confess or inculpate their confederates, to
see to the exaction of fines and destruction of heretics’ houses, to
keep lists of those defamed of heresy.[329] These statutes, and all
others which might subsequently be added against heresy, are to be
religiously preserved in the statute-books of every city, on pain of
excommunication for any non-compliant official, of interdict for any
recalcitrant city. No attempt must be made to alter these laws or to
observe any other laws which may be found to be in contradiction to

Various slight alterations and modifications were subsequently
made in the terms of this all-important fulmination. But with only
insignificant revisions it was reissued by Alexander IV in 1259, and
in 1265 by Clement V, who, however, inserted the word ‘inquisitor’ in
places where previously only bishops and friars had been designated.
In the main the bull remained unaltered, a lasting monument both to
the Church’s power in that age and of its attitude towards secular
action with regard to heresy. It was for the Church to command where
her interests were concerned; she expected to be obeyed and, in case of
defiance, had the necessary force to compel obedience. Excommunication
and interdict in those days were no empty words. To be placed outside
the communion of the Church was even more than being outlawed from
the Empire, equivalent to being placed outside civilization; it was
to be deprived of all rights, made any man’s legitimate prey. And if
excommunication was more injurious to the simple citizen than to the
prince or noble, still the latter had much to fear. The ban of the
Church relieved his vassals from their allegiance and was an invitation
to his enemies to march to his despoil. In the eyes of the believer
excommunication entailed something very much worse than even such
material trouble and loss; it meant the exclusion from the greatest of
means to salvation on earth, the imperilling of salvation in eternity.

There was, as a matter of fact, no reluctance on the part of the state
to the task of persecuting heretics, as the secular legislation of
Henry II of England, Barbarossa, Alfonso II and Pedro II of Aragon
abundantly testifies. But few secular magistrates would be willing to
incur so great a material and spiritual risk as excommunication merely
for the sake of a few fanatical schismatics.

The argued justification of the now well-established system of
persecution, of which _Ad extirpanda_ is the coping-stone, we find in
Thomas Aquinas. In the Church’s procedure in respect of heretics he
sees proof of her deep mercy and charity. Her aim is the retrievement
of the prodigal, his penitence and return to the fold. She aims not at
punishment, but forgiveness. For the penitent all is well, only for
the obdurate and those who have relapsed after reconciliation is there
punishment. It is meet that these should suffer, for in her kindness to
the individual the Church must not jeopardize the welfare of the whole
community. Heresy is the most terrible of all offences. To corrupt the
faith is a far worse crime than to corrupt the coinage.[331] The latter
is an aid to our temporal existence, the former an absolute necessity
for the eternal life of the soul. If then the coiner be deemed worthy
of death, how much more the heretic! The argument of analogy is
fortified by the text of Scripture. The methods of the Inquisition are
found to be justified by Christ’s words: ‘If a man abide not in me, he
is cast forth as a branch, and is withered, and they shall gather them
and cast them into the fire and they are burned.’ Thus the sayings of
the Founder of Christianity were made to sanction a system of cruelty
utterly abhorrent to the whole tenor of His teaching.[332]



By the willing labours of the two Mendicant orders the Inquisition was
introduced into most of the countries of Europe during the course of
the thirteenth century. Sometimes the two co-operated, as for example
in Aragon, Navarre, Burgundy and Lorraine. But there was a good deal of
jealousy between them, and sometimes friction, so that it was generally
found expedient to assign Franciscans and Dominicans to different
areas. Thus the former were given the eastern portion of France
south of the Loire; the latter the western. Italy was also divided,
each order being allotted carefully defined districts by Innocent
IV in 1254. Northern France, Germany and Austria were entrusted to
Dominicans; eastern countries, Bohemia and Dalmatia, to Franciscans.

The tribunal met with varying measures of success in the different
countries of Europe, and in early days encountered considerable
opposition and other difficulties in each.

In Languedoc the way for the Inquisition had been well prepared by
the Albigensian Crusade: yet even so it was far from smooth. The
zealous proceedings of Guillem Arnaud and his assistants provoked the
bitterest popular resistance.[333] An assistant, Ferrer, was expelled
from Narbonne; Arnaud himself from Toulouse. But his unconquerable
spirit, assisted by Gregory IX’s support, triumphed over popular
hatred. Particularly in 1241 and 1242 the inquisitors were exceedingly
active, so much so that in desperation certain Cathari set upon Arnaud
and several others and did them to death. Not by such means could
the Inquisition be worsted. The Count of Toulouse, who had been
planning to reassert his independence, was forced to become completely
reconciled to the papacy, and as an outward and visible sign of
submission to take up arms against his own subjects by besieging the
last fortress of Catharism in the land, the fortress of Montségur.
The fall of Montségur and the holocaust of heretics which followed
it, together with improved organization, enabled the Inquisition to
make better headway. A new difficulty, however, arose in 1290 in the
shape of strong protests against the alleged cruelties and injustices
of two inquisitors, Nicholas d’Abbeville and Fulk de Saint-Georges.
The complaint that Nicholas had condemned the innocent and wrung
false confessions by cruelty was laid before Philip IV. There was
particularly strong feeling aroused by the posthumous proceedings
taken against a noted citizen of Carcassonne, a great friend of the
Franciscans, named Fabri, who was accused of having been hereticated
on his death-bed. The defence of Fabri’s memory was undertaken by a
remarkable man, a Franciscan, named Bernard Délicieux. The inquisitors
represented Délicieux as a deliberate adversary of their tribunal;
but when in 1301 Philip sent two representatives into Languedoc to
inquire into the causes of trouble, they called to their assistance the
resolute Franciscan, who suggested the suspension of the inquisitors
pending investigation. The case was argued out before the King, who
came to the conclusion that the complaint had been justified, that the
inquisitors had been guilty of grave excesses, of lawless exactions
and the manipulation of evidence, and took the unprecedented step of
removing both Nicholas d’Abbeville and Fulk de Saint-Georges. At the
same time he deprived the inquisitors of the right to make arbitrary
arrests. Philip’s attitude towards the activities of the tribunal
in Languedoc was not based upon principle, but was dependent upon
the varying circumstances of his quarrel with Boniface VIII. Thus
when, as at this time, French king and pontiff were quarrelling, it
was demonstrated that the Inquisition in France existed only on
sufferance and that its peculiar privileges, derived from the papacy,
automatically ceased during such disagreement. On the other hand, in
1304, when a reconciliation between the combatants had been effected,
a compromise was arranged: whereby it was settled that royal officials
should give every assistance to the inquisitors, when called upon
to do so; but on the other hand these officials were to visit the
inquisitorial prisons, and to prevent abuses, and independent action on
the part of inquisitors without the co-operation of the bishops was to

It was not long before complaints against the Inquisition were
renewed—the most important charge being that good Catholics were
forced into pleading guilty to heresy by the use of torture and
imprisonment.[334] This time an appeal was made to the Pope, Clement V,
who sent two cardinals to investigate at Carcassonne and Bordeaux.[335]
They seem to have discovered many abuses in the management of the
prisons and to have become satisfied of the genuineness of some at
any rate of the allegations against the tribunal; and Clement made a
praiseworthy attempt at reform. In 1312 the Council of Vienne[336]
issued a number of canons to this end, known as Clementines, which
required that in the infliction of torture the inquisitors must have
the concurrence of the bishop, also in the supervision of prisons.
Excommunication was threatened against any who should abuse his power
in order to satisfy personal animus or greed. The restrictions imposed
on inquisitorial action by the Clementines were most bitterly resented
by the great inquisitor Bernard Gui.[337]

With the death of Clement such vexation disappeared. The Clementines
were indeed republished by John XXII, but it was at once clear that
he had no desire to interfere with the Inquisition. The feeling of
freedom enjoyed by the Inquisition in Languedoc is evidenced by its
triumph over its former enemy, Délicieux. During the days of Pope
Clement he had been suffered to live in peace; now he was charged
with having impeded justice and with having compassed the death of
Benedict XI by poison. Overcome by repeated tortures, he threw himself
upon the mercy of the court; found guilty on the first charge, he
was condemned to perpetual imprisonment. This event in 1319 marked
the victory of the Inquisition in Languedoc. Now without fear of
opposition it could prosecute its labours in persecution, systematized,
unremitting, relentless. Heresy was extirpated, the finishing touch
to the Albigensian Crusades supplied, and the distinctive features of
south-eastern France, as far as possible, blotted out. The irony of
the situation is that in accelerating this process the Inquisition
was unconsciously assisting the aggrandizement of the royal power of
France, with whose centralizing policy the existence of so powerful an
independent tribunal was eventually found to be incompatible.

The beginnings of the attempt to extirpate heresy north of the Loire
are associated with the hated name of Robert le Bugre who, armed with
a somewhat vague authority from Gregory IX, is found active from the
year 1233 in La Charité, Péronne, Cambrai, Douai, Lille, his aim—it has
been said—‘not to convert but to burn.’[338] He aroused the jealousy
of the bishops, who informed the Pope that heresy was non-existent in
their provinces. The results of Robert’s enthusiastic labours convinced
Gregory that the episcopal assurances had been misleading, that heresy
was in reality rampant, so that he entrusted his delegate with a
special commission and ordered the bishops to support him. Thus fully
recognized, the inquisitor traversed Flanders, Champagne, Burgundy
in a passion of religious energy, finding many victims and producing
widespread consternation. But his career was a short one: found guilty
of numerous excesses, he was deprived of his commission and relegated
to prison.

After this we do not hear of holocausts. There was, in reality, little
heresy in northern France, and the Dominicans, to whom the scouring
of heretics in the country was entrusted, had not a great deal to do.
Their labours, however, received the whole-hearted support of Louis
IX, who liberally supplied them with money; their tribunal was well
organized, the officers vigilant. The first _auto-da-fé_ recorded to
have taken place in Paris occurred in May, 1310, when a woman called
Marguerite la Porète was the principal victim. She had written a book,
the thesis of which was that the sanctified soul could without sin
satisfy all the cravings of the flesh. Her followers would appear to
have been the chief prey of French inquisitors in the latter part of
the century.

There are illustrations during this period of the efficacy of the
Inquisition even against powerful personages, most notably perhaps
Hugh Aubryot, _prévôt_ of Paris[339] and builder of the Bastille, who,
incurring the animosity of the University of Paris, found himself
brought up on a flimsy charge and condemned to perpetual imprisonment;
but in France the Inquisition did not rest on very secure foundations.
It might be useful when heresy was rife and the proceedings of
inquisitorial confiscations brought money into the royal exchequer; but
success in coping with heresy, that is to say efficiency on the part
of the tribunal, rendered it no longer an object of solicitude to the

By far the most notable fact concerning the Inquisition in France
was its dependence on the crown. An interesting illustration of its
subordination was given in 1322, when the tribunal absolved a certain
abbot from the charge of heresy. The _procureur-général_ was not
satisfied with this finding and appealed against it, not to the Pope,
but to the Parlement. The matter was one clearly coming within the
province of a spiritual, not a temporal court, yet the Parlement calmly
assumed jurisdiction at the instance of the royal officer. A yet more
outstanding case arose in 1330, when Philip sent a representative,
de Villars, to redress encroachments by ecclesiastical courts upon
royal courts in Toulouse. Being ordered to produce his registers by de
Villars, the inquisitor of Toulouse appealed not to the Pope but to the
King. In 1334 Philip, making known his royal pleasure that inquisitors
shall enjoy their ancient privileges, makes it clear that they are to
be regarded as derivative from the crown. The inquisitor is looked
upon as a royal official.[341] The two most noteworthy inquisitorial
trials in France were both of a political nature, the state making use
of inquisitorial machinery for its own ends, those of the Templars
and Jeanne d’Arc. The great Schism, and still more the Pragmatic
Sanction of Bourges, by weakening the hold of the papacy, enlarging the
independence of the Gallican Church, and aggrandizing the Parlement
still further weakened the position of the Inquisition. Not only the
Parlement but the University of Paris was a formidable antagonist and
rival. The latter arrogating to itself a supremacy in theological
matters, regarding itself as arbiter in all matters of doctrinal
speculation, acquired the authority which the Inquisition lost. The
tribunal was still active in the fifteenth century, but it was finding
the question of expenses a difficult problem, and the growth of
indifference to the penalty of excommunication made its task harder.
An effort was made by Nicholas V in 1451 to restore the former powers
of the Inquisition and a wide definition was given to its authority.
In France, however, it had lost too much in prestige to allow of its
being revivified.[342] When Protestantism entered the country in the
sixteenth century it was not the Inquisition that was employed against
it, but the University of Paris and the so-called _chambre ardente_ of
the Parlement—national institutions under royal control. The days of
the Inquisition in France were over.

The history of the Inquisition in Germany opens with the careers of
Conrad of Marburg and Conrad Tors, who carried on a fanatical crusade
against Waldenses and different pantheist sects, of which the Amaurians
and Luciferans were the chief, the methods of their persecution being
purely arbitrary and leaving the accused practically no opportunity
of defence. Conrad of Marburg’s execrated existence was terminated
by his murder in 1233.[343] That inquisitors were working in Germany
through the latter part of the thirteenth century we know; but they
do not appear to have accomplished much. After the publication of the
Clementines, however, new efforts were made to suppress the Beghards
and similar unauthorized associations, but the work seems to have been
carried out rather by episcopal courts than by friars specially deputed
by the pope. It was not until 1367 that, with the appointment by Urban
V of two Dominicans, a thorough attempt was made to organize the papal
inquisition in Germany. Pressure was brought to bear upon the Emperor
Charles IV, and in 1369 he issued edicts extending the fullest possible
authority to the papal delegates with a view to the eradication of the
Beghards. Under threat of severe punishment all prelates were enjoined
to obey the orders of the inquisitors with a good grace, while in
order that their privileges might be secured certain high nobles were
appointed to protect the inquisitors and to deal with any complaints
they might make. Later on, Charles IV entrusted the Inquisition with a
new power, that of censorship, for the Beghards derived much of their
influence from the circulation of pamphlets in the vernacular.

Fortified by the imperial favour, Kerlinger, the principal delegate,
displayed great energy at Magdeburg, Erfurt, Mühlhausen, etc.; and
notwithstanding the occasional opposition of a jealous episcopate
the Inquisition had made such good progress by 1372 that it had
apparently succeeded in driving its enemies out of northern and central
Germany. These were the days of the Flagellants and of the dancing
mania as well as of Beghards and the Brethren of the Free Spirit.
There certainly seemed to be no less need of organized repression;
nevertheless the Inquisition in Germany after the days of Kerlinger
tended to lose ground. Complaints made against its recent proceedings
were found on investigation by Gregory XI to be well founded, and the
papal disapprobation armed the episcopate against their rivals. As
in France, so in Germany, the Schism had the effect of still further
reducing the influence of the Inquisition. Persecution of Brethren
of the Free Spirit continued late into the fifteenth century: but
heresies far more formidable than the mystic antinomianism which had
been the characteristic heresy of Germany were about to dawn. The
intellectual force in men such as Johann Wessel, Reuchlin and Erasmus
had infinitely greater power than a perverted pantheism. And when
Lutheranism took hold upon Germany, there was no powerful Inquisition
to check it. Had there existed in Germany such a tribunal as had
stamped out Catharism in Languedoc, it might, so far as we can tell,
have succeeded in silencing Luther, while he was still an unknown monk
of Wittenberg, before he had come to apprehend the full significance
and the ultimate developments of his famous theses. But when the hour
came of the Church’s greatest danger from heresy in Germany, the weapon
which it had used with such tremendous effect in earlier days had been
hopelessly blunted.

The publication of Frederick II’s Constitutions and the activities
of Gregory IX introduced a new era of intolerance into Italy, where
apparently tolerance had hitherto been the rule. Inquisitorial activity
started in Florence and in Rome; it was carried further afield by
several perfervid champions, of whom the best known was Peter Martyr,
the scene of whose labours was first Milan, then Florence. In Florence
persecution had become so menacing that a formidable rising was
provoked. This was the occasion of Piero’s coming to Florence, where he
at once formed a company on the model of one he had created in Milan
for the protection of Dominicans, giving it the title of the _Compagnia
della Fede_. The Florentine inquisitor, with this protection, proceeded
with his persecutions and a bloody conflict was provoked, which was as
much one between Guelph and Ghibelline as between orthodox and heretic.
Peter Martyr led the banners of the faith with such good effect that
the forces of heresy were badly beaten and the city reclaimed for Pope
and Inquisition. He was next engaged as inquisitor in Cremona and again
in Milan. Though there is no record of his proceedings there, that he
was as ardent a persecutor as before seems proved by his assassination
at Milan in 1252.

As a practical memorial of the martyr’s enthusiasm a voluntary
association similar to those which Piero had himself founded in Milan
and Florence was formed among the upper classes of the principal
Italian cities, the name _crocesegnati_ being given to them, for the
protection and assistance of inquisitors. As devoted and determined a
champion as even Peter Martyr had been was found in Rainerio Saccone
of Vicenza, who undertook the task of combatting heresy in Lombardy,
where it was very strong owing to large migrations from Languedoc.
Reorganizing and strengthening the Lombard Inquisition, he achieved
considerable success with the assistance of Innocent IV, who at this
time issued the bull _Ad extirpanda_.[344] With the accession of
Alexander IV activity in Lombardy was still further increased. The
number of inquisitors was doubled, and Rainerio announced that hitherto
he had shown incomparable mildness, henceforth he would be rigorous.
The chief obstacle—a formidable one—to the complete success of the
tribunal in Lombardy was the power of the two great Ghibelline nobles,
Eccelin da Romano and Uberto da Pallavicino, into whose territories not
even a determined inquisitor dared enter. A crusade against the former,
organized by Alexander, after varying fortunes proved successful, and
the March of Treviso, hitherto closed to the Inquisition, was laid
completely open.

A yet greater success was achieved by the Holy See in 1266, when
Charles of Anjou triumphed over the Ghibellines at Benevento and the
kingdom of Sicily passed into full obedience to the papacy. Two years
later the last of the Hohenstaufen in a futile attempt to regain Italy
for his house perished on the field of Tagliacozzo, and with him the
last chance of the imperial faction. Uberto had espoused the cause
of Conradin and the young prince’s failure involved the downfall of
the Lombard noble. The story of the fortunes of the Inquisition in
Italy being largely that of the fortunes of Guelph in the strife
with Ghibelline, this Guelph triumph naturally gave a great impetus
to the Inquisition. It had now practically no political obstacle to
face, and it immediately extended its operations into all Ghibelline
territories, and although there were occasional outbursts against it,
as in Parma in 1279, when the populace attacked the convent of the
Dominicans and burned the registers of the Inquisition, still the
setbacks were not serious. Ghibelline districts were particularly
attacked, and it was said that in such centres it was impossible to
feel safe, as in the eyes of the Church Ghibelline was apt to mean
heretic.[345] It should, on the other hand, be noted that even during
the period of the Inquisition’s greatest ascendancy in Italy, there
are instances of papal lenity in mitigation of the full rigour of the
tribunal’s practice.[346] In certain parts of Italy the Inquisition
did not thrive as in Lombardy and the Papal States. When Charles of
Anjou established himself in the Neapolitan kingdom, one of his first
proceedings was to plant the Inquisition there, and he gave it his own
personal assistance in prosecuting its labours. On the other hand,
it remained somewhat dependent on the crown and did not enjoy the
whole-hearted support of the local magistrates. Perhaps more serious
was the natural obstacle presented by the mountainous character of the
country. In the island of Sicily the Inquisition had at no time much

In another Italian state the Inquisition never succeeded in obtaining
a thorough hold—Venice, ever zealous for its independence of outside
control. When Gregory IX started his campaign against heresy, the
republic held aloof; the Constitutions of Frederick II were not
incorporated in its laws. Persecution indeed existed and the ordinary
bishop’s court existed as elsewhere in Christendom; but the Council,
a secular body, maintained a supervision in cases of heresy. The
Inquisition was not permitted to enter, and in consequence Venice
became an asylum of refuge for heretics from other parts of Italy. But
in 1288 Nicholas V ordered the _signoria_ to respect the laws of Pope
and Emperor and facilitate the work of the Inquisitor of Treviso in
whose province Venice ought to come.[347] According to the recognized
principles of the age the attitude of the republic was indefensible.
Venice, accordingly, gave way, but was able to effect a compromise,
whereby the Inquisition was admitted, but on the other hand the edicts,
imperial and ecclesiastical, were still not placed among the statutes
of the city and the republic supervised the financial arrangements,
defraying the expenses of the inquisitors, but at the same time
receiving the profits of confiscations. Thus one of the most prolific
sources of inquisitorial abuses was cut off, and at the same time
the power of the purse retained supreme control for the state, the
imposition of such important restrictions allowed the Inquisition no
such prestige in Venice as it enjoyed in Lombardy. We find it at times
being deliberately ignored by the _signoria_, and by the middle of the
fifteenth century it had almost entirely lost such influence as it had
possessed after the compromise of 1288.

In spite of its obtaining only partial ascendancy in certain states,
the Inquisition achieved its purpose in Italy with marked success.
Catharism lasted longer there than in Languedoc, being found in
Piedmont in the late years of the fourteenth century; but it was
harried energetically, and early in the next century it was to all
intents and purposes extinct. Waldensianism lasted longer, having a
much greater hold over the country. In 1352 we find that the Waldensian
Church in Turin is flourishing and its numbers so great that no attempt
is made at concealment. Gregory XI made special efforts to suppress the
sect in Piedmont, but without complete success. The next century saw
another strenuous effort made by Yolande, the regent of Savoy, who with
the co-operation of the inquisitor of Dauphiné undertook a campaign
for the extermination of the Waldenses, all her officials being by the
Duchess’s orders placed at the disposal of the inquisitors. For a time
the persecuted in Savoy were under the aegis of Louis XI’s protection;
but on his death persecution was carried on assiduously. In 1488 an
attempt was made to put down the Waldenses by force of arms, but the
18,000 men to whom the task was entrusted met with a crushing defeat.
The respite thus secured did not, however, last long, and in 1510 we
find the Inquisition strengthened by the loan of troops by the secular
power and using every means in its power against the heretics. In the
Alpine valleys the sect was never stamped out by the Inquisition and
remained in existence there until the terrible Vaudois massacres of
1655. But as a result of the persistent persecution, emigration on a
considerable scale was continually taking place, the majority of those
who took flight finding a refuge in Calabria and Apulia, where the arm
of the tribunal scarcely ever extended.

The great Schism was disastrous in weakening the respect felt in Italy
not only for the papacy, but the Church as a whole, and the Inquisition
inevitably suffered in consequence.

The fame of the Inquisition in the Spanish peninsula has been so
great that it has almost wholly eclipsed its fame anywhere else in
Europe, and its history has been in every way peculiar. It acquired an
altogether unique position there; enjoyed an extraordinary prestige
and unexampled success. It earned an undying notoriety. It became, as
nowhere else in Europe, a national institution, closely identified with
the monarchy, but also popular, a possession of which the people were
proud. It was a terror to the foreigner; it made the name of Spaniard
feared all over the world. It had played a great part in welding the
Peninsula together, in driving out alien elements, producing national
homogeneity. It played, then, a large part in Spanish history, and
obtained a very marked influence on the national mind and character.
But the Inquisition which is so famous or infamous in Spain was
the creation of Ferdinand and Isabella. It was a quite distinctive
institution, much more monarchical than papal, and it was not directly
the offspring of the tribunals that had existed in the Peninsula in the
Middle Ages.

The most remarkable fact concerning the Spanish Inquisition is that
this country in which the Inquisition most abundantly flourished, the
country which won for itself easy pre-eminence for its close fidelity
to the Church, its zealous and implacable intolerance of any sort of
dissent, was originally equally pre-eminent for its tolerance. The
ardour of persecution in Spain was not due to something ingrained in
the national character; it was to a very large extent the offspring of
the methods pursued by the Holy Office; and the deep implanting of the
Holy Office was due to deliberate policy on the part of the Spanish
monarchy from the days of Ferdinand the Catholic and Isabella.[348] In
the Middle Ages the civilization of Spain was very largely Saracen.
From such sources south of the Pyrenees came that distinctive culture
of Languedoc, out of which heresy had so luxuriantly sprung. From a
non-Christian people came the philosophy, the mediæval, astronomical,
botanical knowledge, the art and fancy and the industrial skill and
trading enterprise of the country. Moreover Jew and Christian met and
did business together. So long as such intermingling of different
races, religions, civilizations continued the soil was not favourable
to the success of such an institution as the Holy Office. Heterogeneity
is productive of tolerance. The Inquisition’s day could only come
with the determination to drive out the other elements and to make
the Peninsula European in race, Christian in religion and ideas. The
success of that policy had to wait for the union of the two crowns of
Aragon and Castile. Prior to that, the Inquisition obtained success
in Aragon only, being unknown in Castile and Leon, while in Portugal,
though there were inquisitors in the country from 1576 onwards, they
appear to have been singularly inactive.

In Aragon[349] persecution was originally organized by the state, both
Alfonso II and Pedro II promulgating severe legislation against heresy,
though a sort of Inquisition, consisting partly of clergy, partly of
laity, was established by a statute issued at Tarragona in 1233. The
real beginnings of the Inquisition in Aragon are, however, to be traced
from the intervention of the redoubtable Raymond of Peñaforte, a year
or two after this. He was instrumental in introducing members of his
own order to deal with heresy; and in 1238 Gregory IX entrusted the
prosecution of heretics to the Mendicant orders in Aragon. In 1242 a
very important Council held at Tarragona formulated rules of procedure
for the guidance of inquisitors.[350] The Aragonese Inquisition did
not, however, show great activity until the opening of the fourteenth
century. Its activity then produced popular protest, and in 1325 the
Cortes, with the royal assent, prohibited inquisitorial methods of
torture. It is doubtful if this was intended to apply to ecclesiastical
as well as lay courts. If it was, it had no lasting results, as can be
seen from Eymeric’s ‘Directorium.’[351]

This very remarkable inquisitor assumed office in Aragon about 1360.
With the most genuine and most exalted conceptions of the dignity and
importance of his position, he put forward the utmost claims for the
Holy Office; yet from the internal evidence of his treatise itself,
it does not seem to have flourished in Aragon in his day. He makes
loud complaints of its poverty. But the fact that so little came into
its exchequer from confiscations and that so ardent and active an
inquisitor should apparently have accomplished so little seems mainly
to prove that heresy was not a serious menace in Aragon at this time.

In the next century the history of the Aragonese Inquisition is neither
interesting nor important, and the end of that period brings us to the
era of Torquemada and the organization of a great Inquisition for the
united kingdoms of Spain.

In Eastern Europe[352] the Inquisition never succeeded in obtaining
much of a foothold. The main stronghold of Catharism was in lands east
of the Adriatic, but here the papacy possessed but scant authority.
A practically abortive attempt was made to deal with the heretics in
1202; but in the twenties the Mendicants in their untiring zeal, using
Hungary as their base and with the armed support of Calomar, Duke of
Croatia and Dalmatia, waged successful warfare against the Bosnian
Cathari until the retirement of the crusaders in 1239. Their withdrawal
meant that no effectual result was achieved, and Catharism remained
powerful not only in Bosnia, but Dalmatia, Bulgaria, and Roumania. The
bishops of Bosnia found themselves compelled to leave the country. In
1298 an attempt made by Boniface VIII, to establish an Inquisition
in the lands south of Hungary from the Danube to Macedonia, came to
nothing. But in 1320 an inquisitor named Fabiano, with the assistance
of the king of Hungary, made some progress against the heretics, and
a further effort was made in 1336 by Dominicans with the co-operation
of the Hungarian king. Though in 1378 Urban V congratulated Louis of
Hungary and the friars on having restored two thousand heretics to the
fold, four years later that monarch himself complains that practically
all his subjects are Cathari, good Catholics being very sparse in

In 1407 Sigismund made an attempt to establish himself in Bosnia,
his cause obtaining papal recognition as a crusade against Turks and
Manichæans; but his attempt ended in failure. In 1432 an Observative
Franciscan, Giacomo della Marca, already well known as a stalwart
persecutor of heretics in Italy, embarked upon a missionary enterprise
in Slavonia, and is said by his eloquence to have made numerous
converts; but his success was short-lived, as he was recalled by
Sigismund to help in the religious troubles of Bohemia. After the days
of Sigismund there was little chance of success for missionary or
inquisitor beyond the Adriatic. The flow of the Ottoman advance swept
over the Balkans, and the Cathari were converted not to Catholicism but
to the faith of Islam.

The Inquisition did not make its appearance in Bohemia until late,
the first inquisitors being appointed in 1318, when they were also
appointed for Poland, Cracow and Breslau. There is hardly any record of
what they did. In 1335 Benedict XII made fresh efforts, and between
1350 and 1380 there was considerable activity against heretics, but
it was the activity of the ordinary episcopal courts, not of a papal
inquisition. There was a large diffusion of Waldensianism in the
country; apparently early in the century there had been a certain
number of Luciferans. With the Church in Bohemia in a low state of
efficiency and the rise of the anti-sacerdotal movement which led to
Husitism, the task of repression was a difficult one, and there was
no Inquisition. One of the causes of the indignation of the Czechs at
the treatment of Hus at Constance was the fact that Bohemia had had
virtually no experience of the Inquisition and was ignorant of its
methods and procedure.

After the silencing of the two great heresiarchs, the Council
commissioned the Bishop of Litomysl with inquisitorial powers for the
extirpation of heresy in Bohemia; but as the Czechs were ravaging the
Bishop’s territories at the time he dared not show face. The next
expedient of the Council was the arrangement that Husite heretics
should appear before special inquisitors in the Roman Curia. As it was
in the highest degree unlikely that any Husites, particularly after
the fate of Hus and Jerome, would quit their own country to answer
charges of heresy, this was a futile proceeding, as was the next—a
formal citation to 450 nobles, who had signed a protest against the
burning of Hus, to appear before the Council on the charge of heresy.
It was evident that no Inquisition could exist in Bohemia as long as
the country remained rebellious, predominantly schismatic. The success
of the Inquisition invariably required the support of popular opinion,
magisterial acquiescence, or armed force. Neither of the first two
being forthcoming, the last expedient had to be tried. A crusade was
preached against the heretic people, to which only one upshot was
anticipated. But the anti-Husite crusade ignominiously failed, and the
Czech people kept the Inquisition from entering their borders.

In Scandinavian lands the Inquisition never penetrated, and it only
once, for a very brief period, made its appearance in the British
Isles. This was in connection with the suppression of the Templars.
At first when the horrible accusations which led to the undoing of
the great military order were bruited about, Edward II refused to
credit them, the record of the order in England giving no colour to
the charges. When, however, Clement V issued his bull, _Pastoralis
praeeminentiae_, in which he stated that the heads of the order had
made confession of the crimes imputed to the iniquitous knights,
and called upon the potentates of Europe to take action for their
suppression, the English king ordered the apprehension of the Templars
in England and the sequestration of their property. No further action
was taken. But in September 1309 two papal commissioners, who had
been appointed more than a year previously, made their appearance.
Instructions were issued that all Templars not yet seized should be
brought to London, York, or Lincoln, where the commissioners with
the co-operation of the bishops of the respective dioceses were to
hold inquiries. Similar orders were also dispatched to Scotland and
Ireland, where the inquisitors appointed delegates. The proceedings
in London began on October 20, 1309. The Templars, on examination,
one and all protested the innocence of the order; outside witnesses,
as a whole, gave the same testimony. The object of the inquisitors
being conviction, this was most unsatisfactory. Progress was much
better on the Continent, where torture was employed; torture they
must use also in England, therefore. They obtained from the King an
order to the custodians of the prisons to allow the inquisitors to do
with the bodies of the Templars what they pleased, in accordance with
ecclesiastical law.

Still only meagre results were obtained and Clement became indignant.
He wrote to Edward saying that he had heard that he had refused the use
of torture as being contrary to the laws of his kingdom. No law could
be permitted to over-ride the canon law, and in interfering with the
work of the Inquisition the King had been guilty of a very serious
offence. He was offered remission of sins if he would withdraw his
prohibition of torture. Thus urged, Edward again sanctioned the use
of ‘ecclesiastical law,’ but this time mentioned torture expressly,
explaining that he gave his sanction in deference to the wishes of the
Pope. Even thus the inquisitors could not make headway. They were on
alien soil in England; the country took ill to the special tribunal and
its methods. All that they achieved was that the knights eventually
confessed themselves so ‘defamed’ for heresy as to make it impossible
for them to make the ‘canonical purgation’ and therefore undertook to
perform any penances enjoined upon them. Such were the total results
attained by the Inquisition in England.

Persecution of heretics there had been before, under the Assize
of Clarendon; persecution in plenty there was after, under _De
Haeretico Comburendo_ and in the days of the Tudors; but the
persecuting authority was always the State—no such international,
papally-controlled tribunal as the Holy Office. Mary Tudor might have
achieved a large measure of success in her Romanist policy had she been
able to make more use of those international agencies, of which Jesuit
propaganda and the Holy Office were the two chief, which provided the
sinews of the Counter-Reformation movement. As it was, the British
Isles remained free from inquisitorial influence; their judicial
customs and principles of justice being uncontaminated by those
methods of procedure by _inquisitio_, by the use of torture, which the
example of the Holy Office introduced into so many civil courts on the




The popular fame that the Inquisition has gained is due to the
terror which it aroused in the days of its greatness; its terror
was the result of the thoroughness and efficiency of its methods.
It was efficient, in the first place, because it was the product of
experience. Its characteristics were those that had been _proved_
to be necessary. The ordinary ecclesiastical courts had been found
unsatisfactory for dealing with heresy because their business was too
multifarious; the Inquisition was devoted to the trial of one offence
and one only. The bishops had failed in part because they were not
specially qualified for their task; the inquisitors were trained

In the second place, the tribunal was strong in having the support of
the secular authority as well as of the papacy behind it. Thirdly,
it became widespread in western Christendom, so that flight was
a doubtful salvation. It seemed ubiquitous, because the mutual
co-operation between inquisitors of different districts, and indeed
countries, was highly organized. It seemed all-pervading because of its
apparent omniscience, due to the extensiveness of its records and the
thoroughness of its spy system. The victim, in short, was made to feel
his helplessness before a power which seemed as strong and inexorable
as fate.

The Inquisition owed much to the character of its judges. They were, at
any rate, enthusiastic and hard-working. The half-hearted inquisitor
was of rare occurrence. They were often ardent with the fiery and
formidable zeal of fanaticism, believing themselves servants of God
and surrounded by that aureole of sanctity, which gave their court
the name and reputation of the Holy Office. Often, beyond question
they were cruel; but, on the other hand, it is necessary to beware
against accepting the traditional idea of the inquisitor as typical. In
the Middle Ages, when he flourished, the inquisitor was not popularly
regarded as a man destitute of human sympathy, an ogre; he was
regarded, on the contrary, with veneration. Often he was a man of high
intellectual attainments; practically always he must have been educated
and learned much beyond the ordinary; he had studied in school and
university and was a theologian, if not also something of a philosopher
and a lawyer. Often too he was the most upright and honourable of men;
and it is plain that men like Bernard Gui and Nicholas Eymeric had
the highest sense of their responsibilities and the loftiest ideals
for their fulfilment. Bernard Gui gives us a sketch of the ideal
inquisitor. He is a man ardent in the faith; never slothful, yet not
precipitate; never timid, but always cautious; never credulous, but
ever ready to listen; resolute for truth and justice, yet merciful and
compassionate; careful in his sentences that no ground shall be given
for the charge of cruelty or rapacity.[353]

The inquisitor was a much privileged person, enjoying a plenary
indulgence during the whole period of office, and he could only be
excommunicated by the direct authority of the Pope. In every way he was
under the panoply of special papal favour and protection. He had the
right of granting indulgences—this being mainly used to encourage or
reward witnesses and informants against heretics.[354] Privilege was
also extended to all assistants of the Holy Office.

The assistants were numerous, consisting of delegates, often called
vicars, _socii_, familiars, notaries, councillors, prison officials
and simple messengers and other servants. To this list should be added
the ordinary _curés_, whose services might be utilized to publish
citations, make known the sentences of the tribunal, give testimony for
or against their own parishioners.

The delegates were assistants of the inquisitors; to them was generally
entrusted the task of asking preliminary questions and hearing
witnesses, the rôle of a _juge d’instruction_. They thus relieved
the inquisitors of most of the burden of the initial and formal
proceedings; but they were strictly subordinates, their powers being
carefully stated in their commissions, and they were, as a rule,
appointed only for a particular cause and definite period. On the other
hand, they might take the inquisitor’s place in case of his illness or
absence from any other unavoidable cause.

The _socius_ was not, as his name seems to imply, a colleague, but only
a companion, who merely accompanied the inquisitor on his journeyings
in that capacity, and discharged no official functions, save that he
might occasionally give informal advice.

The familiar, a most important and distinctive personage of the
tribunal, might come from any class of society and usually came from
men who lived in the world. A recluse was of no use for the duties the
familiar had to perform. But once having adopted the calling (valued
on account of its ecclesiastical privileges), the familiar became a
member of a quasi-religious brotherhood. His duties were various. A
personal guard for the inquisitor had to be provided. The inquisitors
had the right of arming familiars for this purpose, though the Council
of Vienne of 1311 recommended that the number of familiars should be
kept down to the minimum and that the right of arming them should not
be abused.[355] Familiars also visited prisons, and at _autos-da-fé_
had to accompany the condemned and the penitent, exhorting them to
unfeigned repentance, and encouraging them to submit to the punishments
inflicted upon them. Lastly, and most important, the familiars were
secret agents, and were as a rule remarkably efficient spies.

Another important officer was the notary. He was quite indispensable.
The number of men qualified to fill the post, in days when writing
was not a widely diffused accomplishment, was far from large; and the
position grew to be one held in high esteem and much sought after. The
notary’s main duty was to take down interrogatories and answers, and to
keep the register of them. First of all he would take down rough notes
and afterwards he would make a fair copy on a parchment for permanency.
As the questions were put in the vernacular and the register kept in
Latin, he had to be a translator as well as a clerk. His task was so
heavy that in some cases he was given the help of scriveners; but
every document had to bear his signature. It would be impossible to
exaggerate the significance of this careful recording of evidence in
the work of the Inquisition. All the papers were sedulously kept;
often they were carefully indexed and annotated. In course of time the
registers came to form a wonderful repository of information, which was
of immense assistance to the tribunal.

As an illustration of how the careful preservation of exact and minute
particulars of cases promoted the success of the Holy Office may be
taken the case of an old woman apprehended in 1316. From the records it
was ascertained that the same woman had as far back as 1268 confessed
heresy and been reconciled. This discovery showed that the prisoner was
already a relapsed heretic.[356] The meticulous transcription of some
casual and apparently irrelevant remark made by a witness in one case
might lead to the arrest of an unsuspecting citizen on the charge of
heresy in quite a different part of the world years afterwards.

The councillors or experts—_viri boni_ or _periti_—were usually chosen
from the ranks of the clergy, priests, abbés, bishops—but they might
also be laymen, and were often civil lawyers. Thus, at Pamiers in 1329
we find that out of fifty-one experts twenty are civil lawyers.[357]
The number of experts varied. Fifty is an exceptionally large number;
but twenty or twenty-five quite common.[358] To what extent the
councillors had a practical influence in the inquisitorial process
must remain doubtful. The idea was that they should act as a check on
irresponsible inquisitors, as well as give professional legal opinion
when such was needed; and from the frequent references to the system in
papal bulls it certainly seems true that the popes showed anxiety to
encourage the system of expert assistance as a restraint upon arbitrary

On the other hand, it is by no means clear that the system had much
practical effect, since inquisitors were not bound to accept the advice
tendered, and the number of the _periti_ being so large, the volume
of business transacted usually so great, it is doubtful whether any
serious deliberation with the councillors took place in the majority of
cases. Probably their presence was often purely formal, for the sake
of giving additional solemnity to the condemnation of heretics.[359]
Still, it remains true that a place was provided in the inquisitorial
organization for the experts; that the means of competent legal advice
was forthcoming; that if the inquisitor was a reasonable man he would
no doubt pay due heed to such advice on the purely legal aspect at all
events of his cases, and also that the experts, being often men of
importance, probably did have the power of making their influence tell
upon occasion. The system was at all events a potential safeguard.

Finally, there must be mentioned, among the members of the tribunal,
one of the most important—the bishop. The relations between bishops
and inquisitors, frankly antagonistic in the early days of the
Inquisition, probably always tended to be unfriendly. If the bishop,
for his part, resented the new jurisdiction, which was a rival to his
own, the inquisitor in his own court aspired to be supreme and to
arrogate to himself a superiority over the bishop, which the latter was
not likely to allow. The bishop’s position was not altogether easy.
Required to take cognizance of heresy in his own court, he yet had
also to officiate in the special court where the inquisitor, whatever
his ecclesiastical status and whatever his pretensions, was bound to
be always prime mover in the proceedings. We know that the inquisitors
often acted without the co-operation of the bishop. The relations
between them remained none too clear until they were regulated by the
Council of Vienne. They were to work together and to concur in the
sentence.[360] As a matter of fact, the concurrence of the bishop was
apt to be a mere formality and his position in practice was bound to be
subordinate, the inquisitor being a delegate expressly charged by the
Pope with the duty of trying heretics.

Such being the composition of the Inquisition, what was the extent of
its province? What, technically speaking, was a heretic? According
to Raymond of Peñaforte, he was simply one who denied the faith.
St. Thomas Aquinas maintained that no one was a heretic, unless he
obstinately maintained an error after its erroneousness had been
pointed out to him by an ecclesiastical authority. One teaching,
therefore, was that no one in ignorance could be a heretic.[361] Proof
of previous instruction in the truth had to be forthcoming to show that
a man was a heretic. But a broader interpretation tended to prevail,
and the heretic to be considered as one who, on any grounds whatever,
separated himself from the traditional faith of the Church.[362] The
mere fact of separation did not in itself constitute heresy; but every
schism must end in heresy, because separation argues an error in belief
touching the nature of the Church. Lack of respect for ecclesiastical,
and especially papal, authority suggests denial of the faith.[363] To
assert anything against the Scriptures, to add to them or subtract from
them would be heresy. Certain forms of blasphemy and profanity would
make a man at least suspect of heresy.[364]

Obviously the matter of interpretation gave abundant scope for
casuistry. Bernard Gui’s ‘Practica’ is an illustration of this. There
was an obvious temptation for the inquisitor to discover heresy in all
manner of disguises.[365] Heresy was conceived as a most insidious as
well as a most pernicious enemy, to be ferreted out in all sorts of
strange lurking-places. The indefiniteness of the term—the inquisitor’s
definition is always a catalogue—was as a matter of fact unavoidable,
seeing that the offence consisted, not in an overt act, but in an
intention. It was a crime of the intellect, a matter of the state of
a man’s mind and disposition. Sometimes the heresy might be revealed
in an act, but very often there would be no formal act at all. The
inquisitor must be a searcher of the heart and a prober into the
obscure workings of the mind.[366] It is necessary to add one simpler
but important point. No one could be a heretic unless he had been
baptized, unless he was a member of the Christian Church.[367] The
infidel, the Turk, the Jew, did not come within the Inquisition’s
purview—unless he had at one time received the Christian religion.
By birth or adoption the heretic must have been a Christian: for
the heinousness of his crime consists in its being a repudiation, a

The Inquisition formulated a number of classifications of heretics.
In the first place, they used to distinguish between _affirmative_
and _negative_ heretics. The former was one who deliberately avowed
some opinion contrary to the faith before the tribunal; the latter was
one who either denied being guilty of the incriminating word or act
or else, while acknowledging it, protested that he had no culpable
intention.[368] In the second place, a distinction was drawn between
the _perfected_ heretic and the _imperfect_. The first not only held an
error, but also practised the rites appertaining to it, modelled his
life on its dogma; the latter merely believed the error without being
guilty of the evil practices.

The inquisitors also recognized a class consisting of people who were
not really heretics at all, perfect or imperfect, but merely people who
gave evidence of heretical disposition or of tendencies which might
lead them into heresy. In the fact of its taking cognisance of such a
class lies one of the distinguishing features of the Inquisition.[369]
The tribunal deliberately dealt with, and had a specific treatment for,
those who were merely _suspected_ of crime. Suspicion was classified as
light, vehement or violent. There was no precise definition of what
was meant by each of these; it was generally left to the inquisitor to
decide in each particular case what degree of suspicion existed. It was
most essential to avoid all contact with heretics.[370] A man proved
to have saluted a heretic or listened to his preaching on a single
occasion was regarded as _lightly_ suspect; if he had done so more
than once, he was _vehemently_ suspect; if he had done so frequently,
he was _violently_ suspect.[371] But such an offence as this, even if
often repeated, was not regarded as in itself sufficient evidence of
actual heresy. It only made the offender a marked man. In such cases
the Inquisition did not dismiss the accused as not guilty; it would not
absolutely dismiss a case, unless satisfied that there was no proof
whatever. This was due to the intangible nature of an offence which
consisted in an intention.

The consequence was that the Inquisition, in order to be on the safe
side, virtually created a minor offence of allowing oneself to be
suspected of heresy. For every good Catholic must realize that any
connection with heresy, however remote, is contamination and therefore
take the most elaborate precautions to avoid all contact. To become an
object of suspicion, therefore, meant either that the suspicion was
after all well-founded (on the principle that there is no smoke without
fire), or that the conduct which led to suspicion was inadvertent. Was
it, then, unreasonable to require that the suspect should make a formal
abjuration, to prove that in fact he had no sympathy whatever with
heresy, that the suspicion was unfounded? Nor, surely, was it unjust
to record such cases of suspicion in view of the possibility that the
suspect might at some later date come up once more before the tribunal,
when naturally his former offence would be legitimate evidence against
him? Such is the line of argument in justification of the penalizing of
the suspected, as well as the convicted. The suspect is indeed guilty,
not of the major offence of actual heresy, but of a minor offence of
misdemeanour, improper or at least imprudent behaviour, unbecoming to
a good Catholic—an offence legitimately dealt with by the tribunal
concerned with heresy.

Another class of offenders were fautors or defenders of heretics.
To place any obstruction in the way of the inquisitors was an act
of fautorship. A lord who neglected to pursue heretics out of his
lands; anyone giving ecclesiastical burial to a heretic; one who
in conversation excused a heretic or conferred any sort of favour,
however slight, upon one—all these were fautors. For a doctor to attend
a heretic patient, a lawyer to plead a heretic client’s case, was
exceedingly dangerous, unless they could prove beyond all doubt that
they did so in ignorance. The simplest deed of common humanity done to
a heretic was in the view of the Church a sin.[372] Certain crimes were
triable by the Inquisition, not for themselves, but because they were
indicative of false doctrine. Thus a usurer might be tried and punished
by the Inquisition, not because he was a sinner, but because he showed
that he did not regard himself as such. Similarly, a bigamist might be
tried by the Inquisition, not because bigamy was an immoral thing—if
he could prove that he acted under the stress of simple unreflecting
passion the Inquisition would dismiss the case as not coming under its
purview—but because his act evinced erroneous belief regarding the
sacrament of marriage.[373]

It was the same with a number of other moral offences. Adultery did
not in itself come under the cognizance of the tribunal; but if the
adulterer maintained that his transgression was not a sin, it did.
There is, for instance, the case of a licentious priest living in
concubinage being punished by the Inquisition, because he asserted
that he was purified of his ill-living by the simple act of putting on
his vestments. In a word, an error in morals is triable only if it is
also an error in belief. Otherwise, it is dealt with by the ordinary
ecclesiastical courts. As it is arguable that a large number of crimes
are indicative of doctrinal error, the Holy Office could put forward a
rather sweeping claim to judicature over all manner of wrong-doing; but
in practice there was probably not much trouble as a rule, the tribunal
being kept sufficiently well occupied with offences _in intellectu_.
Only when the implication of heresy was the significant feature of a
crime was the Inquisition likely to be interested.

The list of offences coming within the sphere of inquisitorial
judicature is completed with the mention of sorcery and witchcraft,
practices essentially implying heresy.


The ingenious Ludovico à Paramo, ever anxious to discover warranty for
all that the Inquisition was and did in the Bible, and particularly
in the infancy of the human race, discovered the beginnings of the
inquisitorial process in the Book of Genesis. Thus God was the first
inquisitor; the call, ‘Adam, where art thou?’ was a citation to a
heretic; the coats of skins made for Adam and Eve were special garb
for heretics, the original of the special garb, the _sanbenitos_, with
which the Holy Office clad its culprits; and the deprivation of Adam
and Eve of paradise was equivalent to the confiscation of the heretic’s

We shall find a more practically helpful explanation of the procedure
of the Inquisition if we content ourselves by remembering the origins
of the tribunal in the Middle Ages. The fundamental fact, which
shaped the whole character of its judicature, giving it its essential
distinctiveness apart from other judicatures, was the function of the
inquisitor. Originally he had been, not a judge, but a missionary;
he never became a judge simply and solely, he never entirely ceased
to be a missionary. His primary object was not so much to pronounce a
judgment as to guard the faith; his ambition not to condemn a heretic,
but to reconcile him to the Church. Every impenitent heretic was in a
sense a witness to inquisitorial failure, every penitent was a triumph.
The inquisitor, even when sitting in his tribunal, was not solely a
judicial functionary; he was still a confessor, a spiritual guide.
This fact is the keynote to the procedure of the Inquisition, because
it meant that the procedure was not simply and wholly judicial. The
Inquisition aimed at being something more than a court. Its ultimate
object was not secured by the simple judicial process of deciding the
guilt or innocence of the accused; it sought the spiritual end of
bringing the accused to a right state of mind and soul.[375]

Consequently, the inquisitor is always actuated by the desire to secure
confession. That does not by any means necessarily involve conviction.
What is wanted is that everyone arraigned before the tribunal should
publicly in the proceedings acknowledge his acceptance of the Catholic
faith. If he is not guilty, not a heretic at all, the inquisitor has
reason for personal rejoicing—there is one scandal less to the Church
and the faith. Or if the accused is guilty, but acknowledges his guilt
and is of his own accord, without compulsion, willing to recant, again
so much the better. It was preferable that the lost sheep should
voluntarily return, or allow itself quietly to be led back, into the
fold than that it should have to be forcibly driven in. What the Church
least desired was that the sheep should be lost altogether. Only if all
means to secure reconciliation had failed, was it possible to acquiesce
in such defeat. But the Church, in giving the most earnest solicitude
to the errant individual, had to think also, and yet more earnestly, of
the whole community, and of the sanctity and majesty of the truth which
the obdurate heretic had spurned.

Consequently, a salutary example must be made, the penalty being duly
solemn and impressive. But the mild methods first.

The second distinctive feature of the Inquisition was the methods of
originating proceedings before it. Whereas, under Roman law, either
the accusation by an individual or the denunciation by an official
was necessary before proceedings could be initiated, an _inquisitio_
could be instituted as the result of a _diffamatio_, the general
report of the inhabitants of any community, a parish, a _seigneurie_,
a town. It was indeed laid down that the _diffamatio_ must be _apud
bonos et graves_, people of standing and gravity of character. This
stipulation was no doubt something of a safeguard: nevertheless it
remains true that, as no individual had to take upon himself the onus
of showing that he had good cause for preferring a charge, the simple
fact of unpopularity with his neighbours might be quite sufficient for
the institution of proceedings against a man who was for any reason,
just or unjust, taboo among them. This method of justice belonged to
Canon law; there was no trace of it in Roman law; but it has to be
remembered that it was not instituted specifically against heretics,
but rather against clerical wrong-doers in high places, who passed
unchecked because the necessary number of accusers willing to take upon
themselves the responsibility, and also possibly danger, of prosecution
could not readily be found.[376]

Simple rumour by itself was not of great practical value. It had to
be organized. Hence the ruling of Innocent Ill’s decretal, _Licet
Heli_ (1199), relating to clerical abuses, that superiors are to
keep diligent watch over their subordinates, so as to bring their
misdoings before judicial authority; hence, as regards heresy, the
system of ‘synodal witnesses,’ whose specific duty it was to vocalize
local public opinion or knowledge. The general vague _diffamatio_
of the neighbourhood is by them so crystallized as to become of
practical value in a court of law. But while this system of using
the depositions of the synodal witnesses and the village clergy,
accomplished much, further organization was needed. The additional
device necessary was provided by the institution of the special papal
delegates, who were inquisitors in two different senses—judicial
officers, examining charges brought before them as members of a
tribunal; but also procurators making the preliminary investigations
prior to trial. They had two distinct functions, two distinct
inquisitions to make. These are technically _inquisitio generalis_ and
_inquisitio specialis_.

As the system became elaborated, the inquisitors had at their command
a formidable spy system, carried on by their agents, the familiars.
At the same time much encouragement was given to wholesale delation.
The inquisitor or his vicar would make a sudden dramatic descent upon
town or village, and deliver a solemn, perhaps menacing, exhortation
to the inhabitants to proffer information against heretics. By thus
appealing to the religious zeal or the apprehensions of the populace
many accusations would be obtained, often from husbands and wives,
parents and children. But to reinforce such voluntary incriminations
it was customary to proclaim a ‘time of grace,’ which lasted from
a fortnight to a month. If within that period the heretic came
forward, acknowledged his own guilt and gave any information he
possessed against others, he would obtain either complete exemption or
considerable alleviation from the penalties merited by heresy. This
method, Bernard Gui assures us, was remarkably satisfactory.[377]

The _inquisitio generalis_ being concluded, and prisoners obtained
either by voluntary self-denunciations or on the information of others,
the judge, according to canonical usage, had a choice of expedients.
He could either proceed to an _inquisitio specialis_ or make use of
the method of _purgatio canonica_. The second method had been solemnly
adopted by the Church in 803.[378] It was an appeal to God. The
accused solemnly swore by the Gospels that he was innocent, while
those of his friends or neighbours willing to support him acted as his
_compurgatores_ and gave similar solemn testimony to his innocence,
their number, from two or three to forty, varying in accordance with
the degree of suspicion existing against him. The device was obviously
defective. Its only advantage lay in the impressiveness of its appeal
to the devout mind, persuaded of the heinousness of the sin of
perjury, while it allowed the innocent man to suffer, if he happened
to be unpopular and could not prevail upon the necessary number of
compurgators to assist him, and also allowed the guilty to go free,
so long as he was not over-scrupulous as regards perjury and had the
necessary popularity to persuade, or power to compel, others to act as
his compurgators. Thus, while the system of canonical purgation was
never abolished, it had fallen into virtual desuetude before the end of
the thirteenth century.[379] In practice the _inquisitio generalis_ was
followed automatically by the _inquisitio specialis_. The accused was
served with a citation to appear before the tribunal and kept in prison
pending his trial.[380]

In the case of those who had yielded themselves up of their own
accord, the voluntary act constituted the confession, which it was
the inquisitor’s object to obtain. For those accused who refused to
confess there followed the interrogatory. Here the inquisitor acted as
prosecutor and cross-examiner, as a sort of _juge d’instruction_.[381]
Only the inquisitor’s office, unlike that of the _juge d’instruction_,
did not end with the completion of the interrogatory; having conducted
the examination, he would also afterwards pronounce the sentence.
The interrogatory resolved itself into an unequal contest between
inquisitor and accused. It was unequal, in the first place, because
there was always a presumption against anyone charged with heresy.
As we have seen, it was an offence for anyone to be so criminally
negligent in vitally important matters as to allow his conduct to
give rise to the slightest rumour of heresy. It was an excellent
characteristic of both Roman and Canon law that the accused was held
to be innocent until actually proved to be guilty. This characteristic
was not shewn, in actual practice, in dealing with one accused of
heresy. The mere fact of defamation tainted a man. It was, therefore,
a matter of very great difficulty for the defendant to demonstrate
his innocence. He had to demonstrate it; for the mere fact of the
_diffamatio_, whether well-grounded or not, was good evidence against
him; and to free himself, he must rebut this evidence. The process was
indeed so difficult that it was much safer to confess guilt at the
outset than to labour to prove innocence.

In the second place, the duel was unequal because the inquisitor
considered it perfectly legitimate to disconcert his adversary by means
of disingenuous subtleties and subterfuges. It is only fair to add
that the inquisitor adopted such devices because he believed that the
heretic was apt to indulge in them and might save himself by clever
equivocations unless dealt with astutely; and the inquisitor had a
lively sense of the extreme undesirability of permitting a heretic
to get the better of him in a duel of wits. Such a thing would be
ignominious for the inquisitor; a blow to the Church and the truth. We
are told of some of the artifices practised by Waldenses. In answer to
the question: ‘What is Holy Church?’ they will say, ‘What you consider
to be such’ or assert that they are simple illiterate men standing in
need of instruction, and must leave it to the judge to express their
beliefs in words. That the inquisitors may have found the rejoinders
even of illiterate men at times disconcerting is likely.[382] But it
is certain that they practised their subtleties on many who had not
the wits to cope with them: and, in any case, the inquisitor, being
both examiner and judge, had an enormous initial advantage. As a rule,
the inquisitor or his vicar was extremely well equipped to conduct
the interrogatory skilfully and successfully, even against the most
redoubtable antagonists. They possessed, moreover, a rich repository
of ready-made devices in the treatises written by the great masters of
the inquisitorial art. The difficulty of escaping from the tentacles of
the inquisitorial process inspired Bernard Délicieux to say that even
the orthodoxy of St. Peter and St. Paul would not have been sufficient
to satisfy the tribunal.[383] It was held to be legitimate to surprise
and confuse the defendant by a multiplicity of questions, which would
involve him in contradictions.[384]

Altogether the dice were heavily loaded against the accused. Dismayed
to begin with very likely by the simple shock of finding himself
accused of the terrible crime of heresy,[385] confronted by a
formidable examiner, who was clearly bent upon securing a confession
if at all possible, he had also to face the great obstacle presented
by the close secrecy of all the proceedings. There was none of the
security that comes from the open trial, none of the encouragement to
make a good fight for freedom, for honour, for life that comes from
publicity. Again, the chances of acquittal were very small when the
agreement of only two of the witnesses against him was sufficient
for the condemnation of the accused, whether he confessed or not:
especially as the delicate question of what constituted sufficient
agreement was left to the discretion of the judge. It was laid down
that agreement in substance was sufficient; and even when there was
discord in the evidence of the two witnesses, this was not sufficient
to secure acquittal. Moreover, evidence, not good enough to procure
conviction, would be good enough to serve as the basis of a prolonged,
searching and perplexing examination, in which the accused was more
likely to incriminate than to clear himself.[386]

A further heavy obstacle to the making of a defence was insufficiency
of information. While the résumé or _capitula_ of the charges preferred
against him was communicated to the defendant, on the other hand,
the names of the witnesses were withheld from him, and he was not
allowed to read their evidence _in extenso_. This practice of secrecy
commenced early in the thirteenth century in Languedoc, and the rule
soon came to apply in most other countries. Occasionally the names
were given, though in an incomplete or confusing fashion[387]; but
the inquisitors themselves were in favour of not disclosing names at
all.[388] This was owing to the circumstances in which the Inquisition
had originated, amid an unfriendly populace.[389] There had been cases
of the assassination of witnesses by the friends of the accused; and
undoubtedly there was always a certain element of risk in giving
evidence against a heretic in a country where heresy flourished and was
popular. In those early days the inquisitor was very likely endangering
his life in the prosecution of his labours: in such circumstances, if
the indispensable evidence was to be collected, some sort of safeguard
for voluntary witnesses was reasonable.

But an arrangement, which was justified, and perhaps rendered
imperative, by the conditions prevailing when the Inquisition began,
was continued indefinitely, and maintained when not the witnesses but
the defendant belonged to an unpopular minority and stood in urgent
need of some protection. How could anyone put on trial make an
effective answer to the charges brought against him when he was never
allowed to confront the witnesses, did not even know their identity,
and was permitted to see only a _précis_ of their testimony? It is
obvious that the system, whatever its origin, became in course of time
a positive encouragement to delation and a temptation to perjury. But
it is only right to add that the Inquisition, both in the Middle Ages
and later on, showed itself at times extremely severe in punishing
proved cases of false witness.[390]

Nevertheless, as a rule, the Inquisition was not at all nice in its
selection of evidence, and certainly not impartial. It accepted the
evidence of persons who were debarred from bearing testimony in the
secular courts. It even accepted the evidence of one heretic against
another, though it never admitted that the evidence of one heretic
in favour of another had the slightest validity.[391] Similarly the
Inquisition permitted, indeed encouraged, husbands to testify against
their wives, children against parents, servants against masters; though
their favourable testimony was rejected.[392] The rules as regards
age seem to have varied in different countries; but certainly it is,
generally speaking, true that persons were permitted to give evidence
before the Holy Office at an age when their testimony would not have
been received in a lay court. We even hear of a case at Montségur of a
child of six incriminating members of his own family and many others.
The ordinary rules regarding the status and character of witnesses
were similarly in abeyance. Criminals and men of infamous reputation,
homicides, harlots, proved perjurers and excommunicates were none of
them debarred from giving evidence against heretics.

Information might be forthcoming from the confessional. What were the
duties of a father-confessor in such a case? There was, on the one
hand, the fact of the extraordinary heinousness of this offence which
had necessitated the creation of a special court for its suppression;
but, on the other hand, the institution of the confessional had to
be safeguarded and a feeling of security be assured to the penitent,
without which he could not be expected to make a full and free
confession of all his sins, whatever their magnitude. The solution was
that the granting of absolution, upon an avowal of heresy, lay outside
the powers of an ordinary confessor; he must refer the matter to his
superiors. The question coming up before the Council of Tarragona
in 1242, it was indeed decided that, although a confessor granting
absolution for heresy without consulting his bishop merited censure,
nevertheless his grant of absolution, if duly certified by himself,
should entitle the penitent to a limited protection, _i.e._ immunity
from temporal penalties. This, however, was an isolated ruling, and it
was generally recognized that heresy was a ‘reserved’ case.

Absolution by an ordinary confessor was invalid and could be no
safeguard from the institution of inquisitorial proceedings against
a penitent, should evidence of heresy be preferred against him.
But what if, in spite of his knowledge that he could not obtain
absolution from his confessor, a penitent incriminated himself; what
if he, inadvertently perhaps, incriminated others? Was information
derived by a confessor in such a way sacrosanct, because obtained
in the confessional? Not apparently in Toulouse and Carcassonne at
all events. There priests were positively enjoined to utilize the
hearing of confessions to make diligent enquiry concerning heretics,
their believers and fautors, and also to confide carefully to writing
anything they learnt. They were also to take the penitent before the
bishop or his vicar, so that he might there repeat his testimony.
But if the penitent was unwilling to do this, the priest was
‘notwithstanding this’ to seek advice from expert and God-fearing
persons, as to how he should proceed further. What this must involve is
not specified; but clearly the only conceivable further proceedings are
either to bring more pressure to bear upon the penitent, or else to use
his evidence without his consent. Even if the latter never happened,
the former course is not in strict accordance with the rules that
should regulate the confessional.[393]

Yet another most serious disability, under which the accused laboured,
was that he was not allowed the assistance of an advocate, he was
thrown entirely on his own resources in making his defence. Innocent
III expressly forbade advocates and notaries to lend any aid to
heretics or their abettors. The prohibition at first applied only to
the case of open and avowed heretics. Eymeric ruled that counsel were
in no wise to be denied to the accused, but he followed this up by the
qualification, that advocates espousing the cause of a heretic rendered
themselves liable to prosecution before the Inquisition, as suspect of
heresy themselves for doing so.[394] In actual practice what happened
probably was that when the evidence against the accused was clear, he
need expect no advocate; but when it was weak, then an advocate might
be forthcoming. For if the evidence in support of the charge of heresy
was strong, then assistance given to the accused was tantamount to
fautorship of heresy, which was in itself a very serious offence. In
any case the rôle of advocate was dangerous and there was no inducement
to compensate for so grave a risk.

That such assistance was seldom, if ever, actually given seems proved
by the absence of any indication of the practice even in the early
inquisitorial registers.[395] Very soon, however, it was decided
absolutely that the use of advocates was to be prohibited. Such was
the ruling of the Council of Albi in 1254; and the regulation soon
became general.[396] This was the really inevitable consequence of the
view which made the suspect a marked, a tainted man even before he had
stood his trial. But certainly one consideration which weighed heavily
against the use of advocates was the possibility of the practice
encouraging the spread of heresy, though the chances of an advocate’s
allowing himself to be infected by his client’s erroneous doctrines
were remote. In its attitude towards this question we are once more
reminded of the fundamental fact of the Inquisition’s twofold nature.
If the inquisitor be considered as a confessor, the accused as a
penitent paternally exhorted, lovingly urged to reconciliation, pardon
being assured for the truly repentant, what possible need can there be
for an advocate?[397] The tribunal gave every facility for the escape
of the prisoner from all the possible unhappy consequences of his
defamation, down _one_ avenue—confession, penance, reinstatement.

If the defendant was obstinately determined on defending himself,
instead of throwing himself upon the mercy of the inquisitor, as
representative of the infinite compassion of the Church, he was very
much limited in his choice of pleadings. Ignorance was a possible
plea—more likely to be accepted in the case of a woman than a man—but
inquisitors were on their guard against feigned ignorance. That words
complained of were only a _lapsus linguae_, or an idle jest uttered
on the spur of the moment, or in drunkenness, might be accepted as
a legitimate excuse. The plea of great perturbation of mind—mortal
terror, for instance—might also possibly be accepted; but not the
madness of love or the sudden grief of bereavement.[398] To make
out a case on these lines was in any event very difficult, and the
only device that promised any really good prospect of success was to
challenge a witness on the ground that he was actuated by personal
malice. But as the witnesses’ names were not disclosed, this was no
easy matter. All that the accused could do, was to mention the names
of any of his neighbours who might bear him a grudge, on the chance
that they might be included among the authors of his defamation.[399]
But it was not sufficient to indicate simple ill-will. The charge of
heresy was so terrible that it was assumed that little short of mortal
enmity would induce anyone to prefer it maliciously. The accused would,
therefore, be carefully examined as to the nature of any quarrel with
his neighbours that he might allege in his defence. The only purpose
for which he was allowed the use of witnesses was to prove the facts of
such a quarrel.

It must be clear that even when the presiding judge was a fair-minded,
conscientious man, not too fanatical, the chances of effective defence
were small. And the prosecution was exceedingly strong. If preliminary
inducements, the subtleties of the interrogatory, the absence of means
of defence, all proved insufficient to produce the desired confession,
it was possible severely to shake the _moral_ of the defendant by
subjecting his case to prolonged delay, which was calculated to impose
a great strain upon the nerves. Except in rare instances time was no
consideration to the Inquisition. Its invincible patience was one of
the most terrible of its weapons. It was willing relentlessly to wait,
not merely weeks and months, but years and many years. It was quite
common for an interval of anything up to ten years to elapse between
the date of the first interrogatory and that of the final condemnation.
The period might be considerably longer. We hear of a man, first
brought to trial in 1301, being sentenced to death in 1319.[400]
This slow torture of suspense was generally endured in prison, where
the recalcitrant would probably receive frequent visits from the
inquisitor or his assistants, who would instruct him and exhort him
to make confession. If simple incarceration proved insufficient to
overcome the victim’s fortitude, great additional hardships could be
introduced—insufficiency of food, comfort, rest.

Finally, the most celebrated weapon which the Inquisition possessed for
procuring confession was torture itself. Torture had been known to both
Roman and barbarian law, being used even for such minor offences as
theft.[401] On the other hand, according to all the best authorities,
it was strange to Canon law. It did indeed recognize flogging, but only
as a punishment or penance. Gratian laid it down categorically that
torture was not to be used as a means of extorting confession. It was
not until after the condemnation of the ordeal by the Lateran Council
of 1215 that the Church sanctioned its use for this purpose. In the
bull, _Ad extirpanda_, published in 1252 by Innocent IV, the employment
of torture was not merely permitted, but enjoined.[402] The rule was
thereby laid down, that any sort of torment short of mutilation was
to be utilized in order to obtain confessions and information. But the
actual infliction of the torture was to be carried out by the secular
arm. The idea of the clergy’s personally superintending the infliction
of cruelty was very properly repugnant.

The sense of repugnance did not last long, however.[403] The
inquisitors of the thirteenth century found Innocent IV’s proviso
irksome. The employment of a secular official to assist them in
carrying through the inquisitorial process was no doubt inconvenient,
and in 1256 Alexander IV overcame the difficulty by granting
inquisitors and their assistants the privilege of absolving one
another, or giving one another dispensations, for any canonical
irregularities they might commit in the pursuance of their duties.[404]
This was an oblique reference to torture. This rule was reinforced by
Urban IV in 1262.[405] The subterfuge satisfied the scruples of the

The extent to which torture was used no doubt varied in accordance with
the character of the inquisitor. In the sentences of Bernard de Caux
there is only one passing mention of the practice; there is only one
mention of it also in Bernard Gui. Though it is frequently referred
to by Geoffrey d’Ablis, this is in a negative way only.[406] It is
stated that so and so confessed freely, no torture having to be used.
But that torture was being used and with great severity is proved by
the intervention of Philip the Fair in 1291 and 1301, and of Clement V
in 1306; while in 1311 the Pope endeavoured to moderate the practice
by the requirement that torture should not be inflicted save with the
concurrence of the bishop of the diocese.[407] Bernard Gui very much
resented the restriction, and though in his sentences there is only
the one mention of torture, it is clear from his treatise that he
thoroughly approved of it, on account of its great utility.[408]

Certainly torture was regarded by inquisitors of the best type, not
as a habitual practice, but only as a final measure, to be used
solely when other means had failed. Eymeric lays it down that the
circumstances justifying its application are that the case against
the accused has been half-proved already or that the accused has
contradicted himself.[409]

It was a very salutary rule that no prisoner might be tortured
more than once; but this humane regulation became a dead-letter.
The inquisitors found it galling and surmounted the obstacle with
an utterly disgraceful quibble. Torture, they agreed, could not be
_repeated_; but it might be _continued_.[410] They used this patent
sophistry to justify the application of torture an indefinite number
of times at indefinite intervals. Thus some of the witches of Arras
were tortured forty times, twice in a day.[411] In such cavalier
fashion could rules and regulations be treated. The requirement that
confessions must be freely made without restraint was satisfied by
another similar subterfuge. A confession, which had actually been wrung
from the defendant or witness in the physical anguish of torture, was
confirmed some two or three days later in some other place than the
torture chamber; and this confirmation of the actual confession was
officially regarded as the true confession.[412]

There were no exemptions from the administration of torture on the
ground of youth, old age or infirmity, except for pregnant women. Old
men and women, young children might all be subjected to the process,
only in their case the infliction must be light.[413]

Eymeric laid it down that at all times the application must be moderate
and that there must never be any effusion of blood. The term ‘moderate’
is vague; and it is clear that there was no strict general rule, the
determining factor here, as so often with the Inquisition, being the
discretion of the judge.[414] The unhappy victim, on being brought
into the chamber, was first of all shown the instruments of torment
and urged to confess without recourse being had to them. In some cases
this alone was sufficient. But if a confession was not immediately
forthcoming, the prisoner—male or female, it made no difference—was
stripped naked and bound by the executioners. A second exhortation to
confess followed. If still there was no confession, the victim was then
actually subjected to the pain of the rack, the pulleys, the strappado
and the other devices of calculated cruelty, which were regarded as
appropriate for the coercion of recalcitrant suspect or unwilling
witness. Continued refusal to speak led to increase in the severity of
the application; further obduracy with increase in the severity of the
type of torture. The refinements of cruelty in the machines and devices
at the inquisitor’s disposal were so exquisite that it is marvellous
with what constancy they were often endured. There were many, no
doubt, who submitted at the simple threat of torture or at the first
turn of the screw; others who with almost superhuman endurance bore
frightful extremities of pain.

    _Note._—The important subject of the influence exerted by the
    procedure of the Inquisition upon the civil courts of Europe has
    never been thoroughly worked out. There is partial treatment of
    it in Esmein’s _Histoire de la Procédure Criminelle en France_;
    English version, _A History of Continental Criminal Procedure_;
    H. Brunner, _Die Entstehung der Schwurgerichte_ (1872); C. V.
    Langlois, _L’Inquisition après des travaux récents_; P. Fournier,
    _Les Officialités au Moyen Age_; H. C. Lea, _Superstition and
    Force_, esp. pp. 428-590. Vol. v of the Continental Legal History
    Series, published by the Association of American Law Schools,
    while mainly based on Esmein’s study of Criminal Procedure in
    France, is of wider scope and traces the inquisitorial system in
    Europe generally. While the system of _inquisitio_, derived from
    the later Roman Empire, was not passed on to the civil courts of
    Europe solely through the _inquisitio haereticae pravitatis_, it is
    the case that ‘The Church was able to furnish the secular courts
    with a lesson and a model.... By its example it paved the way for
    the substitution, consummated in the 1500’s, of the inquisitorial
    procedure for the accusatory procedure in every country of Europe.’
    Again: ‘This system, originally employed for prosecutions for
    heresy, afterwards for all crimes, became, under the name of
    “procédure à l’extraordinaire,” the system of common law in force
    in the royal jurisdictions for the prosecution of serious crimes
    until 1789.’—_A History of Continental Criminal Procedure_, p. 10
    and pp. 10-11, _note_.



Acquittals being virtually unknown,[415] nearly every case brought
before the Holy Office involved the sentence of one penalty or another.
The word ‘penalty’ is not technically exact. Strictly speaking, the
Inquisition was concerned not with crimes and punishments, but with
spiritual errors and penances.[416] Thus, when the tribunal consigned
some one to prison, its formula ran that the man in question shall
betake himself to prison and there penance himself on a diet of bread
and water. No confessor will regard the mere expression of contrition
as sufficient in itself; nor will the genuine penitent be satisfied.
Penance is the outward and visible sign of sincere repentance, and
an earnest of future amendment of life. All the penalties inflicted
by the Inquisition had this expiatory character.[417] Some of them
were of quite a trivial description. The penitent ‘suspect’ might
simply be enjoined to hear Mass on so many Sundays and festivals,
or—if his commercial practice suggested unsoundness of doctrine on
the subject of interest—to undertake not to exact usury in the future
or to promise to restore ill-gotten gains.[418] But, as a rule, the
penance was a much more serious matter. One of the most frequent was
that of pilgrimages.[419] These were of various kinds. In the earlier
days of the Inquisition the penitent[420] was often sent to Palestine
on crusade against the infidel. But after the failure of St. Louis’
expedition and the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the crusade ceased
to find a place among inquisitorial penances. Ordinary pilgrimages
were classified as _greater_ or _less_. The former took the penitent
out of his own country and involved long travelling; the latter were
to shrines in his own country. Thus for a Frenchman Rome, the shrine
of St. Thomas at Canterbury, Cologne, St. James of Compostella,
Constantinople would come under the first category; Paris, Boulogne,
Bordeaux, Vienne under the latter. The undertaking of the longer
journeys might be a most severe imposition. The penitent had to abandon
his work and set out upon travels which might well occupy many months
and even years. He probably had to endure much real suffering, fatigue,
and privation. In the case of the crusade, and probably in other
pilgrimages as well, there was an element of personal danger. In the
pilgrim’s absence what happened to his family and dependents? In many
instances one supposes that on his return after a long absence he must
have found his occupation gone. Those condemned to make pilgrimages
received from the inquisitor letters which explained their itinerary
and might give instructions as to certain additional penances they
had to undergo, while they at the same time served as safe-conducts,
of which there might be much need in localities where popular feeling
was strong against heretics. Pilgrims were required to bring back with
them written attestations, signed by the chaplains at shrines they
were ordered to visit, in proof that they had actually carried out the
prescribed programme.[421]

The penance of pilgrimage was often united with two others—scourging
and the wearing of crosses, or other marks on the clothing, indicative
of the penitent heretic. Flagellation by itself was regarded as one
of the lightest of penances. The Councils of Tarragona (1242) and of
Narbonne (1243) fixed it as the penance to be undergone by those who
voluntarily made confession during the term of grace—that is, by the
least culpable of all possible kinds of heretic. The custom was for
the flogging to be inflicted in public and in ceremonious fashion. The
penitent was obliged to present himself on the appointed days stripped
to the waist, and to bring the rod with him. As a general rule the
day appointed was Sunday, and the priest performed the operation of
scourging upon the penitent between the reading of the Epistle and of
the Gospel during Mass. Whether the operation was painful or not is
disputed. One commentator supposes that it was no light matter and that
the penitent was soundly whipped; another argues that, as the whipping
was done at the altar by inexperienced hands and the sufferer was in a
position to cry out and resist during divine service, the humiliation
was the most severe part of the penance.[422] One may perhaps conclude
that the severity of the flagellation depended very much upon the
intention of the inquisitors and the strength of arm of the ministering
priest. Sometimes the sufferer might have to submit to the scourging in
processions through the streets or in every house in which he had been
seen in company with heretics; or, in the case of the pilgrim, at the
various shrines visited. Such repeated floggings may or may not have
been very painful, but even in days when they would not produce such a
sense of shame as now, they must have been very humiliating.

In this respect the wearing of crosses was even worse. The origin of
this penance was that during his missionary labours St. Dominic had
ordered penitents to wear two small crosses, sewn on the breast of
their clothing in token of contrition. The Inquisition adopted the
practice and it was very frequently inflicted, being prescribed, like
flagellation, for those who voluntarily made confession of heresy.
Next to imprisonment this penance figures most often in the sentences
of Bernard Gui; it was rather less extensively used latterly. The small
marks which St. Dominic had required became under the Inquisition very
large ones—as a rule two-and-a-half palms in height, two in breadth.
They were saffron in colour and had to be worn one on the breast, the
other on the back. Other symbols besides crosses were sometimes used.
Thus false witnesses had to wear the symbol of red tongues, prisoners
liberated on bail hammers, sorcerers the representation of demons.
The wearing of distinguishing marks was designed to be, and was felt
to be, a less tolerable penalty than flogging. The shameful garb had
to be worn continuously indoors and out, exposing the wearer at all
times to the jeers, if not the fanatical hostility, of the crowd. The
penance was enjoined sometimes for an indefinite period, and so long
as he had to wear it, it would be difficult for the penitent to obtain
employment. It is plain that evasion was frequently attempted. The
Council of Béziers (1233) prescribed confiscation of goods for those
who either refused to wear the crosses or tried to conceal them.[423]
The Council of Valence (1248) went further and decreed that evasion
should be regarded as a sign of impenitent heresy. But evidently the
hardships attendant upon this penance were so great that the Church
felt it must do something to mitigate their severity, and the Council
of Béziers (1246) commanded that penitents wearing crosses should
not be subjected to ridicule or excluded from the transaction of

There were penalties of a pecuniary nature—the exaction of fines, the
confiscation of property. In earlier days, when it was yet thought
of as contrary to the principles of their origin that the Friars
should receive money on any pretext, it was felt to be repugnant
that inquisitors, being friars, should exact fines. On the other
hand, from of old it had been regarded as a normal and praiseworthy
form of showing genuine contrition to give alms; and it would have
been surprising had this sort of penance been found absent from
Inquisitorial practice. From the time of the Council of Béziers (1246)
onwards, it seems to have been recognized that the exaction of a fine
was a perfectly legitimate form of penance, the proceeds to be used
for the maintenance of inquisitorial prisons and similar necessary
expenses. Eymeric laid it down that this penance should be used
‘decently and in such a way as not to give offence to the laity.’[425]
A broader interpretation came to be made of the ‘pious’ purposes for
which the proceeds of fines might properly be utilized; they might
even include public work of general utility, such as the building
of bridges.[426] In moderation, the payment of a fine was a form of
penance much more easily borne than those already mentioned; and if the
money was used for such objects as the erection of a church or chapel
or hospital, the maintenance of the poor or other such philanthropic
work, it seems an eminently justifiable sort of penalty.

It had, however, one serious drawback—namely, that the profits might
be used for ends much less worthy, for the personal enrichment of
the judges, and might be a temptation to extortion. Innocent IV,
who in 1245 had directed that fines must be utilized solely for the
building and upkeep of prisons, is found in 1249 strongly inveighing
against inquisitors for the enormity of their exactions, and in 1251
prohibiting the imposition of fines where any other form of penance
would serve. Despite this injunction, the penance was still employed;
but the papal pronouncement is evidence, not only of the obvious
temptation to extortion, but also of the fact of inquisitors’ yielding
to it.

A fine was the customary penalty for such a minor offence as the
thoughtless utterance of blasphemous words; it was also frequently
exacted in commutation of other forms of penance, as for example that
of pilgrimage, when the penitent was too old or infirm to perform it,
or again in the case of a young girl not fit to undergo the ardours
of a journey across Europe.[427] So also when the death of a heretic
left his prescribed penance uncompleted, the rule was that his heirs
had to make compensation in the form of money, which might be heavy in
amount.[428] The provocation to extortion in both these instances is
obvious. The accounts of the Inquisition were unchecked, except by the
papal camera, and there was no public opinion able, or as a rule any
authority desirous, to prevent abuse.[429]

A more serious matter than the exaction of fines was the confiscation
of property. This, strictly speaking, was not a penalty, and
technically also the Inquisition was not responsible. The goods of
the heretic were simply sequestrated by the State automatically. So
it had been in the case of the Manichæans under the Roman empire. It
should, however, be noted that if the children of a heretic were not
themselves heretics, they were able to succeed to his estate. It was
otherwise in the case of crimes, and in particular of treason, which
involved the complete, unconditional confiscation of the delinquent’s
estate. As the mediæval Church very plausibly reasoned that heresy was
a crime analogous to _majestas_, only more heinous as being treason
against the King of Kings, the inference was obvious that heresy
involved confiscation. In his Decree of 1184, following the example of
Alexander III in 1163, who had enjoined on secular princes the duty of
imprisoning heretics and taking their property, Lucius III again
declared confiscation of property to be appropriate to heresy, but
sought to obtain the benefit for the Church. The practice as to the
sharing of the spoils of confiscation varied in different countries.
Invariably, as soon as anyone had been declared a heretic by the
Inquisition, the State at once sequestrated his property.[430] In the
south of France indeed the confiscation took place even before—as
soon as the suspect had been arrested or cited. If the prisoner
recanted or, in the latter case, if the suspect were found guiltless,
the property was then restored. Innocent III’s fulmination regarding
confiscation had been vague in its terminology. What constituted
the degree of criminality punishable by confiscation? Did the term
‘heretics’ mean only the obdurate, those who had to be handed over
to the State, or did it include ‘fautors’? The interpretation seems
to have varied. But the most common interpretation was that all
those whose offence was sufficiently heinous as to be ‘penanced’ by
imprisonment, the contumacious who failed to answer to citation and
all those in whose houses heretics were found, were liable to the
confiscation of their property. This seizing of estate before the
termination of judicial proceedings was obviously a heavy hardship, not
only upon the accused, but more especially upon his family. In France
the rules regarding confiscation were carried out most remorselessly.
Even before the accused had been found guilty his wife and children
might find themselves turned adrift, dependent upon a charity which
it was dangerous to extend to those even indirectly connected with
heresy.[431] In France, also, the whole of the confiscated property,
once the royal power was strong enough to insist upon this, went to
the State. Confiscation meant the entire loss of property, movable
and immovable, but there were certain exceptions. A wife could claim
to retain her dowry, but only on condition that she had not been
cognizant of her husband’s heresy when she married him.

Elsewhere it was otherwise. In _Ad extirpanda_, Innocent IV laid
down the rule that the proceeds were to be divided into three equal
portions, a third to go to the local authorities, a third to the
officials of the Inquisition, a third to bishop and inquisitor.[432]
Latterly, in Italy, a different tripartite division was made, the
third which had originally gone to bishop and inquisitor having to
be paid to the pope. The question of distribution was complicated by
feudal considerations, the feudal lord being able to put forward a
claim to any forfeited possessions of his vassal. But, however much the
allocation of these revenues might vary, it was always understood that
they were to be utilized for the prosecution of the war against heresy,
and in particular the defraying of the expenses of the Inquisition.

The secular princes no doubt played their part. They had every
inducement to do so. It is always good policy, if not to stimulate,
at all events to preserve, the goose that lays the golden eggs.[433]
But, neither with regard to the action of the secular princes nor of
the Inquisition, is it desirable to over-estimate the significance of
the pecuniary penances and penalties suffered by the heretic. It is
no doubt true that their importance used to be under-estimated, when
the tendency was to rivet attention on the stake and torture-chamber
in dealing with the Inquisition. It is also true that the opportunity
of reaping mercenary profit from the prosecution of heresy was an
encouragement to cupidity. It is only in human nature that it should be
so. It may be true to say that ‘persecution, as a steady and continuous
policy, rested, after all, upon confiscation.’[434] But that is not
necessarily to say more than that the Inquisition had to meet its
expenses in some way or other; and it was not unnatural to put to those
expenses the proceeds of pecuniary penalties imposed directly by, or
indirectly resulting from, the sentences of the tribunal. Confiscation
was a very customary expedient in the Middle Ages, and once granted
the Church’s reasonable analogy, on its own premises, between heresy
and treason, it was an inevitable accompaniment of inquisitorial
practice. That extortion and avarice were likely to be excited by
the scheme is true; but to suggest avarice as a prime motive in the
prosecution of heresy is quite to overshoot the mark.[435] The Church
did not embark upon the destruction of Catharism because it coveted
the wealth of Cathari, but because it felt it must preserve itself
against a movement, which it regarded as anti-religious, anti-social
and immoral.[436] In the second place, it must be remembered that the
majority of mediæval heretical sects consisted of poor men. Only rarely
was a rich man a heretic, and Fraticelli, Beguines, Dolcinists and most
of the later sects, ardently persecuted by the Inquisition as they
were, were certainly not worth pursuing from the point of view of the
material profit to be derived thereby. Eymeric, lamenting the dearth
of heretics of substance in Spain in his day to help the tribunal to
pay its way, deals cursorily with the subject of confiscation as one
scarcely affecting the inquisitor at all.[437]

The most severe of the inquisitorial penances was that of imprisonment:
but it is a _penance_. The idea is that, left in solitude, where he
is out of reach of heretical contamination and has time to reflect on
his offence, where in the simple life sustained on bread and water
there are no worldly distractions, the penitent may be enabled by the
aid of ghostly counsel to make a sincere return to the bosom of the
Church. Bernard de Caux used this penance frequently; it would appear
that he enjoined it upon all who did not voluntarily surrender within
the time of grace.[438] This was the ruling laid down by the Council of
Narbonne (1244), which ruthlessly declared that no arguments of mercy
against the infliction were to be considered, such as the dependence of
his family upon the heretic, nor illness, nor old age. The Council of
Béziers, two years later, reiterated this principle, but recommended
lenience where the penance might involve death to dependents.
Imprisonment was also frequently the penalty for failure to carry out
penances previously imposed. In the sentences of Bernard de Caux a
large percentage are for perpetual imprisonment. In Languedoc, to meet
the necessities of the battle with Catharism, the Council of Narbonne
ruled that imprisonment should always be for life. The tribunal did not
at the time possess the resources to render the execution of this order
practicable. At a later period it appears to have been carried out.

There were different degrees in the severity of the imprisonment. The
most lenient form, known as _murus largus_, allowed of the prisoner’s
leaving his cell, taking exercise in the corridors and holding
conversation with other prisoners, similarly privileged, possibly also
with friends from outside the prison. Much less desirable was the lot
of the penitent consigned to _murus strictus_. Placed in a cell of the
smallest size and worst description, dark and unsavoury, in some cases
chained by both hands and feet, he was not permitted ever to leave his
cell. This severer form of imprisonment was reserved for those whose
offence had been especially conspicuous and therefore especially
scandalous and dangerous to the faith and for those whose confessions
had not been wholly satisfactory, complete and open.[439]

Mediæval prisons were all of them apt to be horrible places, and it
does not appear that those used by the Inquisition were more noisome
than others. That they were terrible enough we know: as for example
from the report, as to the conditions in the _Cour de l’Inquisition_
in Carcassonne, made by the papal commissioners in 1305.[440] From
other evidence it appears that harsh severity was laid down as a rule
for the treatment by gaolers of their charges.[441] And, as a general
rule, there was little supervision of the prisons, and their inmates
had small chance of redress against ill-treatment. Only the strong
ventilation of an alert public opinion can find its way into the dark
recesses of prison life: there was no public opinion in the Middle Ages
interested in the wrongs of the heretic. It does not appear that there
was separate accommodation provided for those awaiting trial apart from
the condemned. It is only right to add, however, that the Inquisition
sanctioned the giving of presents of food and drink, clothing and cash
from outside friends to the prisoners, so that they were not wholly
dependent upon the diet of bread and water, which was all that the
prisons provided.

The Inquisition was apt to find itself in difficulties with regard to
the funds necessary for the maintenance of its prisoners. The prisons
the tribunal itself built were of the cheapest, and consequently of the
most insanitary, description. In France there were few specifically
inquisitorial prisons, those belonging to the secular and episcopal
authorities being utilized. Prior to the absorption of Languedoc
into the French monarchy at the Peace of Paris, the cost of building
and maintaining prisons in that country had been borne partly by the
bishops, partly by the holders of confiscated property.[442] Probably
after 1230 the lot of heretic prisoners in Languedoc sensibly improved.
In Italy the Inquisition seems to have been able to meet such expenses
out of the proceeds of confiscation.

A penalty frequently met with in the early days of the Inquisition is
that of banishment. Originally used in the Roman empire by the civil
authority against Arians, Nestorians, Manichæans, it was ordered by the
Council of Rheims in 1157 against heretics, incorporated in the Assize
of Clarendon, in the edict of Verona, and in those of Alfonso II and
Pedro II of Aragon. On the surface it appeared an excellent method of
ridding a country of the contamination of heresy. But to banish from
one country was merely to introduce the virus of the scourge into
another. The effect was simply to spread the epidemic. In the second
place, banishment was a confession of failure, as it gave no promise
of amendment upon the part of the individual: which was ever the
inquisitor’s object. Hence he preferred imprisonment of the heretic to
his banishment, holding him fast to getting rid of him.

Heresy, being regarded as essentially anti-social, involved exclusion
from civil rights. The heretic could hold no office in Church and
State, could hold no title or honour of any kind. If a father, his
natural authority over his children was rendered invalid; if a husband,
he no longer had legal authority over his wife; if a king, he forfeited
the obedience of his subjects; if a baron, the vassalage of his
tenants. He could not succeed to property or, having it, leave it by
will. His debtors need pay him nothing. The incapacity to hold office
in the State affected not only the offender himself, but descendants
of the second generation in the paternal, the first generation in the
maternal, line.[443]

The idea of the taint of heresy is apparent in another penalty which
the inquisitor was competent to inflict—the destruction of houses
which had harboured heretical inmates or been the scene of heretical
meetings.[444] This penalty is less a punishment than a symbolical act,
expressive of the Church’s horror of heresy; an attempt to blot out the
very memory of the offence. This practice, sanctioned in Roman law, was
enjoined by the Assize of Clarendon, by the Emperor Henry VI in the
edict of Prato of 1195, by Frederick II in 1232. It was consecrated by
the Church in the days of Innocent III. Innocent IV actually demanded
the demolition, not only of the house in which the heretic had been
found, but also of neighbouring houses, if they belonged to the same
property; a stringent rule modified by Alexander IV. The houses must
never be rebuilt, and more, the places where they had stood must remain
unused for other building. There was just one saving clause: the stones
of the demolished houses might be used for pious purposes.[445] Had
these regulations been literally carried out, it is obvious that whole
towns might have been devastated and remained waste. But it is evident
that the rules were not fulfilled to the letter. They were made to
apply in Languedoc to houses in which definite heretical acts had taken
place, such as the Catharan heretication. Even so, the secular arm
was not disposed to approve of a penalty which not only did material
damage, but diminished the yield of confiscations. Both France and
Germany protested; and eventually the inquisitors agreed to issue
licences to build on the sites of the demolished houses.[446]

So far we have dealt, on the whole, with penalties incurred by those
who, in the end, became reconciled to the Church—those who confessed,
performed their penance in token of contrition and promised amendment.
But there were also those who did not become reconciled. They fall
under three headings—the contumacious, the impenitent, the relapsed.

As regards the first, the Inquisition adopted the rule of Roman law. If
the accused, being cited three times or given one peremptory summons to
appear, failed to do so, he was reckoned as contumacious. The penalty
was excommunication and forfeiture of goods. This sentence would be
annulled in the event of the accused’s surrendering himself to the
tribunal within the space of a year from the date of the citation.[447]
Otherwise, he was liable, on falling into the hands of the Inquisition,
as an excommunicate, to be handed over to the secular arm.

With the stubborn impenitent, resisting up to the last all efforts of
the Church to bring him back to her bosom, there was obviously nothing
to be done. But the inquisitor, to whom relaxation to the secular arm
was an admission of defeat, left no means untried, of persuasion,
admonition, force, to avoid such failure. His reluctance to hand over
the heretic as a hopeless recalcitrant, was in most cases perfectly
genuine. Even after the sentence of relaxation had been pronounced,
indeed after the culprit had actually been handed over, the slightest
sign of willingness to repent might suffice to save the victim.[448]
Eymeric mentions one case in which a heretic, consigned to the flames
at Barcelona, being scorched on one side, cried out in his agony that
he would recant, and was at once removed from the fire.[449]

The relapsed were those who, having once erred and been received back
into communion, sinned in the same way again. These were incorrigible.
Their former repentance had manifestly been a mere sham, and the
outrage cried to heaven. Repetition of the sin of heresy could not
be suffered.[450] Accordingly the relapsed were the only class of
offenders coming before the Holy Office who could not save themselves
by penitence. Relapse came to involve relaxation automatically. But
it had not been so at first, perpetual imprisonment being the penalty
originally enjoined, for example by the Councils of Tarragona and
Béziers. By 1258, however, relaxation had come to be recognized as the
sole possible reward for relapse.[451]

Relaxation to the secular arm meant death, and death by burning.
The inquisitor himself, who did not and could not pronounce a death
sentence, knew, on the other hand, that a sentence of relaxation was
tantamount to one of death.

It is true that he made use of a formula,[452] expressing a desire
that lenience might be shown to the victim; and that some apologists
have based upon this the contention that the ecclesiastical tribunal
was in no way responsible for the death penalty; urging, on the one
hand, that the desire that the relaxed heretic might not suffer either
death or mutilation was perfectly genuine, on the other that the lay
authority was entirely independent in the matter, pronouncing and
executing its own sentence, based on a decision of its own, not the
Inquisition’s relaxation; and that, should it decide to spare the life
of the heretic, the Church would make no complaint, but quite the

The theory cannot be accepted. The attitude of Gregory IX and
Innocent IV towards Frederick II’s Constitutions, and the bulls, _Cum
adversus haereticam_ and _Ad extirpanda_, are really decisive in the
matter.[454] But there is additional clear proof that the formula of
leniency was an empty formula, intended merely to preserve technical
conformity with the Canon.[455] In the first place, what appropriate
punishment for the contumacious, the impenitent, the relapsed could
there be short of death? Even the contrite heretic, received back
into the fold, may have to undergo so severe a penance as perpetual
imprisonment. If the Church metes out to the contrite punishment as
severe as the impenitent has to face, she is putting a premium upon
impenitence. The simple fact that perpetual imprisonment is numbered
among the penances inflicted by the Inquisition is proof positive that
the Inquisition desired and anticipated from the secular arm the death
penalty for those relaxed to it. For careless as to the ultimate fate
of the impenitent the Church cannot possibly be. She cannot be willing
that he should go free to rejoice in the triumph of his obduracy among
confederates and to spread contagion among the faithful. Shall he be
banished by the secular authority? To what end? Banishment only means
the spread of infection. Shall he, then, be imprisoned by the secular
authority? Again, to what end? The Inquisition can imprison as well as
the State. It is a strange obtuseness that does not see that the whole
attitude of the Inquisition to the heretic points logically, and indeed
inevitably, to death as the fate of the obdurate. The tribunal had been
created, and it existed, to the end that heresy might be exterminated.
To have failed to secure that those who to the last resisted all
its most strenuous efforts to obtain confession and reconciliation
must expect a worse fate than those who proved compliant would have
stultified its very existence.

As a matter of fact, the Church saw to it, that the penalty meted
out by the secular arm to the relaxed was death. Hardly ever did the
secular ruler show any reluctance to inflict it. But if he forbore, he
would probably be excommunicated.[456] Ever after the Fourth Council of
the Lateran the Church made it incumbent upon the lay power to carry
out the imperial edicts against heresy. The formula of mercy, then,
may be called either a ‘legal fiction’ or bluntly, a ‘hypocrisy’: it
was never intended to be taken literally.[457] The scrupulous regard
of the Church for regularity in accordance with the Canon showed
susceptibility to decorum; as a repudiation of moral responsibility it
would have been contemptible.

But the mediæval Church did not repudiate such responsibility, as some
of its modern apologists have sought to do. Had it disapproved of the
penalty of death for the obdurate heretic, it both could and would have
said so. Nay, more. It possessed the authority and practical power
to have prevented it. To doubt that is to attribute to the mediæval
Church infinitely less influence than it actually possessed. A papacy,
claiming and at times exercising authority in matters temporal as well
as spiritual, could have brought pressure to bear upon the secular
power in a matter peculiarly the Church’s concern. The fact that it
never made any attempt to do so is proof that it never desired to.

As a matter of fact, the Church in the Middle Ages felt no such
squeamishness, as is natural in these modern days of religious
toleration, regarding the drastic punishment of errors _in intellectu_.
Once granted the point of view that heresy is a more heinous offence
than coining—to use St. Thomas’ analogy—or than treason, to use a
commoner and more forcible comparison, and the penalty of death for
heresy appears not shocking and horrible, but something eminently
just and proper. We may take St. Thomas as representative of the
best thought of the Church on the subject in the Middle Ages. Later
inquisitors were quite unequivocal in their language. ‘Pertinax
non tantum est relaxandus, sed etiam vivus a saeculari potestate
conburendus.’[458] Simancas, likewise, has no qualms. The best human
law demands the burning of the heretic; in this according with the
divine law. Christ is quoted in proof. ‘Igne igitur extirpanda est
haeretica pubis: ne nobis Deus irascitur, si haereticos dimittimus
impunitos.’[459] A favourite line of argument was that adopted by
Ludovico à Paramo, in comparing the Church to the ark of Noah. As God
utterly destroyed the unbelievers outside the Ark by a deluge, so now
does he destroy the heretic.[460] It is modern humanitarianism, not
Inquisitorial authorities, that seeks to disclaim moral responsibility
for the stake.

The outward and visible sign of the Church’s approval was its
participation in the ceremony of execution. This took place
frequently as part of a great and elaborate function known as the
_sermo generalis_ or ‘act of faith’—the _auto-da-fé_ of the Spanish
Inquisition. There could be a _sermo generalis_ without an execution. A
burning was not the essential feature of the ceremony. The _auto_ had
humble beginnings. In the early days of the Inquisition in Toulouse
there might be one every week or so. In rapid, business-like fashion
the sentences against heretics were pronounced in the presence of
the civil and ecclesiastical officers. But in course of time the
proceedings came to be much more elaborate, the object being to impress
the popular mind. The _sermo generalis_ usually took place on a Sunday
and inside a church, a platform being erected upon which the culprits
were placed. The ceremony, which started in the early morning, began
with a sermon appropriate to the occasion, preached by an inquisitor.
After this an indulgence was announced for all who had come to take
part in the solemnity; the civil magistrates took an oath of fidelity,
and excommunication was fulminated against all who had in any way
thwarted the Inquisition in the pursuance of its labours. Next the
confessions of the penitents were read, followed by the recital of
the form of abjuration, which they repeated word by word. It does not
appear that they wore any such distinctive garb as was customary in the
Spanish Inquisition of later days. The inquisitor then absolved the
penitents from the excommunication which their heresy had incurred,
the formal sentences were read out, first in Latin, then in the
vulgar tongue; after which the culprits were brought forward in order
corresponding with the degree of their guilt, beginning with the least
guilty and ending with the impenitent and relapsed. For the disposal
of the latter adjournment was made to another place, where they were
handed over to the lay authorities. The victims destined to pay the
last penalty were not at once executed. It was not seemly that the
execution should take place on a Sunday, and they were given another
night to make their peace with God. The following day they were brought
to the stake, accompanied by ghostly comforters, who would earnestly
exhort them to penitence, seeing that, except in the case of the
relapsed, reconciliation was possible up to the last moment. They were
forbidden to exhort the victims to quiet submission for fear that this
might suggest that they were doing something to expedite the punishment
in store for the heretics.[461]

This would have been an irregularity. Yet so implicitly did the Church
believe in death for the obstinate heretic, that she pursued his body
even after death.

For death did not terminate heresy; and it was evidently felt to be
obnoxious that anyone who had been a heretic, even though his heresy
had never been detected during life, should pass beyond the reach of
ecclesiastical justice. Notwithstanding the pronouncement of Ivo of
Chartres that the powers of the Church extended only to the present
world, by the middle of the thirteenth century it seems to have been
generally recognized that the corpses of all persons, whose heresy was
discovered only after their demise, were to be dug up and disposed of
in accordance with the degree of their guilt.[462] In 1209 a synod at
Paris caused the body of Amaury de Bène to be flung to the dogs, and
in 1237 the bodies of certain heretic nobles were carried through the
streets of Toulouse and solemnly burnt.[463] The practice seems to
have been partly due to a popular feeling that it was a dreadful and
scandalous thing that a heretic should be buried in consecrated ground,
partly to a desire on the part of the inquisitors to demonstrate their
implacable zeal and unlimited power.[464]

All inquisitorial sentences, with the single exception of death—which,
strictly speaking, was not an inquisitorial sentence at all—could be,
and frequently were, commuted. Thus for imprisonment is substituted the
wearing of crosses in view of the penitent’s having given information
about a plot against the inquisitor’s life. The procuring of the
capture of other heretics is similarly rewarded.[465] Commutation to
a lighter penance is allowed to a woman, because she has a number of
small children; to a man, because he has a wife and family dependent
upon him.[466] Such unconditional remitments were rare; temporary
alleviations were more frequent.[467] Penitents might be allowed to
leave prison, for periods varying from a few weeks to two years, on
account of child-birth or illness.[468] A husband and wife, both in
prison for heresy, might be allowed access to one another.[469]

A right of appeal existed, from the bishop to the metropolitan,
from the inquisitor to the Pope. The papacy was at first averse to
receiving appeals in cases of heresy, Lucius III in 1185 declaring
that he would have none of them.[470] When, however, the Inquisition
was established, the right was acknowledged. But it was at best of
doubtful and partial utility. It was a condition that the appeal must
be lodged before the sentence was pronounced. In other words there
could be no appeal against a decision of the tribunal. It was valid
only as against an alleged injustice in procedure.[471] A complaint
on the latter ground could easily be rectified by the inquisitors
themselves by the simple device of starting the process anew and
carefully avoiding the irregularity of which complaint was made. If the
inquisitors regarded the appeal as frivolous, they could dismiss it. It
is clear that they regarded all appeals as a nuisance, an unwarrantable
embarrassment.[472] The most successful appeals lodged against the
tribunal were those brought by powerful nobles and influential
towns.[473] For the ordinary person, devoid of influence, the right of
appeal offered small hope of deliverance.

We have valuable evidence as to the comparative frequency of the
various penances prescribed by the Inquisition. The practice of
different inquisitors varied, as was inevitable, when so much was
left to the arbitrary decision of the individual judge. But a general
computation is possible. Imprisonment, confiscation of property, the
wearing of crosses are the sentences that occur most frequently. No
inquisitor in the Middle Ages was more vigorous and efficient than
Bernard Gui. In a collection of sentences extending over a period
of seventeen years, 1308-23, there are 307 of imprisonment, 143 of
wearing crosses, 69 of exhumation, 9 of pilgrimages without the wearing
of crosses, 40 of condemnation of fugitives as contumacious, 45 of
relaxation to the secular arm; _i.e._ only 45 sentences of relaxation
out of 613.[474] Another veritable ‘hammer of heretics,’ Bernard de
Caux, has left voluminous records of his cases between the years 1246
and 1248. There are a large number of sentences of life imprisonment;
not a single mention of relaxation.[475] This is very remarkable,
as it seems highly unlikely that Bernard de Caux never came across
an impenitent in the course of his duties, and the suggestion is at
least plausible that the records are incomplete, being only entries
of sentences of imprisonment.[476] But the clear indication of the
evidence is that the number of cases of relaxation must have been
comparatively small in the aggregate and very small in comparison with
other sentences.

This may appear strange to those whose sole idea of the Inquisition is
that of a court mainly concerned with the burning of heretics. Such a
conception rests upon a misunderstanding of the object and function of
the tribunal. It did not aim at making great holocausts of victims;
it desired only to make a few examples. Except in Languedoc, where
the heretics were in a majority and powerful, a few examples always
sufficed. It sought not vengeance, which was a synonym for failure,
but reconciliation, which meant success. More characteristic of the
Inquisition than its sentences of relaxation, with their attendant
horrible consequence, in reality more effective and perhaps more
terrible, was its whole method of procedure, its use of torture, moral
as well as physical, the agony of the rack and the nervous strain of
prolonged and tortuous examination, its utilization of the humiliation
of the cross-wearing, of the dull and hopeless misery of harsh and
lengthy imprisonment, by which the spirit of the victim was broken and
the purity of the faith preserved.



The story of mediæval heresy is but a chapter in a much larger subject,
that of the slow and painful development of religious tolerance and
freedom of thought. Heresy—essentially free choice in the sphere
of religious belief in contradistinction to implicit obedience to
doctrinal authority—was a serious problem to the Church in the early
centuries of the Christian era. During the long, distracted and
desolate epoch of the barbarian invasions it ceased to be a potent
factor in history. But when Europe recovered from the malady, the
lethargy of the Dark Ages, and the human mind was again awake, it
became once more a problem. The rationalistic speculations of Eriugena,
Roscellinus and Berengar; the disordered ravings of Tanchelm; the
aggressive anti-sacerdotalism of the Cathari or Paulicians, and of
the vagrant Waldenses, present us with the three outstanding types of
mediæval heresy. By far the most influential, those which the Church
recognized as the most hurtful and dangerous, were the last. In the
case of the Cathari there was a clear and a very remarkable revival of
a heresy that had much afflicted the early Church, Manichæism. Their
dualist theology was hopelessly pessimistic; their practical teachings
a mere gospel of despair. The crude dualism and perverted antinomianism
of the sect contained little indeed that either merited respect or
promised lasting influence. Only in the hint of a genuine hatred of the
gross and the cruel was there aught to respect; only in its Donatist
doctrine and its denunciation of the Catholic clergy was there the
likelihood of lasting influence. In their hostility to the claims, and
their diatribes against the abuses, of the clergy, Paulicianism and
Waldensianism stood united. These two heresies gave a popular currency
in the lands where they secured a foothold to anti-sacerdotalism,
which involved not only the condemnation of all backsliding on the
part of the clergy from the strictest and most rigid interpretation of
the Christ-like life, but also—as the result of this—the rejection of
the doctrinal basis of the peculiar privileges of the clergy, namely
the conception of the mediatorial character of the priesthood. The
Arnoldist ‘Poor Men’; the Petrobrusians, insisting on the sole efficacy
of the individual’s own faith, unaided by churches and sacraments; the
Henricians in their ascetic denunciation of clerical worldliness and
rejection of the sacraments; the Poor Men of Lyons, adopting the rule
of absolute poverty, preaching in streets and countryside because,
although illiterate, they were conscious of an inward vocation, and so
being led on to undertake other priestly functions though unordained;
the Cathari asserting that the Catholic Church was lost in materialism
and worldliness and that _they_ were the true church of Christ—all
these were inherently the aggressive enemies of the priesthood. There
was a similar note in much of the popular poetry in those southern
lands in which these heresies took firmest root. It is a note scornful,
defiant, often ribald and profane, that comes into the songs of the
goliards and troubadours. With a robust and crude Rabelaisianism they
burlesque, not only clerical manners, but the holiest ceremonies and
the most sacred doctrines. Even in miracles and mystery plays the note
is sometimes heard; in the poems of Rutebeuf, the ‘Roman de la Rose’
and ‘Reynard the Fox,’ it is most resonant. In the popular poetry there
is undoubtedly something of the unconsecrated paganism of the average
man—his innate secularism rebelling against clerical privilege, when
it is not fortified by personal worthiness. Yet between the Provençal
troubadour and the Paulician heretic there was something akin; and
with the nobleman of Languedoc, only too willing to take the excuse
for despoiling the clergy, they were alike popular. We may regret
the total extinction of the exotic, semi-Moorish culture of southern
France, which the Albigensian crusades involved; we need not regret
the virtual extinction, with it, of the heresies.[477] If there was
something worthy of esteem in their demand for spiritual reality and
personal holiness, this was confused with other elements, which were
perverted and absurd, sometimes even repulsive and abominable. On their
constructive side the heresies of Waldenses and Albigenses had nothing
of genuine value to offer. In so far as they have significance, it is
because of their anti-clerical elements, which are in part a cause, but
more a symptom, of a trend of popular sentiment.

The second type of mediæval heresy is that represented by Tanchelm,
Eon de l’Etoile, Segarelli, Dolcino, the Flagellants. It belongs
to the province, not of the theologian but of the psychologist,
specially interested in the study of depraved emotion and diseased
imagination. Its foundation is that perverted sexuality which is so
strangely connected, as a matter of psychological fact, with intensity
of religious enthusiasm. The cases of Tanchelm and Eon are no doubt
cases of simple religious mania. None of the heresies of this type
had, or from their character was at all likely to have, any but the
most fleeting results. They have, nevertheless, their interest, as
symptoms of the powerful emotionalism which seemed equally liable to
produce a fierce animalism or an intense religious asceticism. The
same raw material of unregenerate sense and passion gave to the Church
saints and heresiarchs. Ever in the Middle Ages there was a tendency
to excess, excess of self-abnegation, excess of self-indulgence, a
tendency to push ideas both of doctrine and conduct to extremes. Thus
did the Spiritual Franciscans tend to see in their founder a superman,
to make the cult of poverty an obsession, to believe themselves a new
order destined to inaugurate the era of the Holy Ghost.

The third type of mediæval heresy is of an altogether different nature.
It is intellectual, philosophic. In all the other heresies there is a
taint of rottenness, disease. Here, on the other hand, there is the
health and sanity of honest thinking—and though the thought be crude,
obscure or exaggerated, there is at least the possibility of lasting
results. In the re-discovery and re-absorption of the intellectual
heritage of classical and patristic times there was always the danger
of heresy. The process of adapting knowledge, pagan in source, coming
sometimes through infidel channels, was certainly perilous. It has
to be remembered that it was the Church that initiated and carried
through this process; that to the Church the world is indebted for the
Renaissance of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. But the process
inevitably presented serious problems. In the first place, it yielded
a copious mass of new comment and interpretation upon the original
body of Christian dogma, viewed from a philosophic standpoint. Apply
the logical methods of scholasticism and envisage dogma in the light
of the metaphysical problem of the relations between the universal
and the particular, and you have to decide whether the realist, the
nominalist or the conceptualist is the true interpreter of the creeds.
The difficulty was increased with the advent of Aristotelianism in the
thirteenth century. One exposition of Aristotle was definitely declared
to be heresy—that of the Averrhoïsts. But the Augustinian opponents
of St. Thomas Aquinas endeavoured to confound him in the charge of
heresy: and it was for a time doubtful whether Aristotelianism in any
shape or form could be accepted as orthodox. Not only Alberto-Thomists
in their attack upon the Averrhoïsts, but secular clergy warring with
regulars, Franciscans inveighing against Dominicans, all glibly brought
the convenient accusation of heresy against their opponents. It was for
lawful authority to determine categorically what was orthodox, what
heretical. But no authority was, as a matter of fact, impartial or
certain to be final. Authority, whether papal, conciliar or academic,
was itself wedded to one school of thought or another, swayed by the
predominant philosophy of its own passing day.

It was not only a question of new ways of regarding, new
interpretations of, existing dogma. There was also the problem
presented by new dogmas, such as those of the Beatific Vision and
the Immaculate Conception. Such tenets were not in themselves either
inherently orthodox or heretical. When a creed is stabilized,
completely rigid, it is easy to be exactly faithful to it; but when
it is fluid, even for the most orthodox of intent, safety can only be
found in caution.

But the chief potential source of trouble in the intellectual ferment
of scholasticism lay in the fact that it inevitably placed side
by side two different authorities, the objective authority of the
Church as enshrined in Scripture, tradition, papal and other lawful
ecclesiastical _dicta_, and, on the other hand, the subjective
authority of the human reason. All discussion, all argument is
necessarily an appeal largely to this second authority. While the
great majority of the scholastics only used reason in order to justify
revealed truth and never questioned the superiority of the infallible,
the divine authority of the Church over the fallible authority of
man’s intellect, there were others, such as Eriugena and Abelard, who
placed reason first. Finally, there came a scholastic in Wycliffe,
whose realism led him into dangerous errors, not only subversive of the
cardinal doctrine of transubstantiation, but also threatening the whole
status and mediatorial character of the priesthood.

It is most important to remember that the scholastic philosophers were
in all cases clerics, representative of, and not antagonistic to,
Catholic theology; that even the Averrhoïsts were also clerics, having
no desire to break with the Church. On the other hand, the freedom of
thought which the universities stood for and dialectic fostered, and
which the Church not only did not repress, but even encouraged, had
a tendency to produce heresy. Realism evolved pantheism; nominalism
unitarianism. The intellectual influences of university life brought
forth Gerson, D’Ailly and the other whole-hearted reformers who made
the great effort at revival of the Church from within which failed
at Constance and Basel; but it also brought forth Wycliffe and Hus,
whom those Councils condemned. It was never absolutely clear where
the dividing line between orthodoxy and heresy would rest. However
much they might be reconciled or confused, the ideals and methods of
theology and philosophy cannot be the same. The postulates of the one
are not those of the other; and the more the scientific spirit is
developed, the fewer the postulates of any sort that it is ready to
accept. The Averrhoïsts at least saw this, only saving their position
by the equivocation of the double truth.

Which was really the more dangerous to Catholic doctrine—the organized
heresies, as a rule ignorant, perverted, having the seeds of their
own destruction in their very rottenness, which the Church did
systematically persecute; or the philosophical speculations of the
universities, with their temptations to rationalism which the Church in
the main tolerated?[478] Each produced a force not wholly transient—a
force operative in the breaking up of the mediæval system. The first
was anti-sacerdotalism; the second a habit of independent thought and
criticism. It is true that the anti-sacerdotalism of Luther and the
secular spirit of Renaissance humanism, with its entire indifference
to religion, were the decisive factors in breaking up the fabric of
mediævalism, and the movements of Lutheranism and humanism were largely
new creations. Yet Luther owed much to Hus, and Hus everything to
Wycliffe, the scholastic, and the detached attitude of the Italian
humanist was only one step in advance of that of the Latin Averrhoïst.
Neither the wandering sectaries, in part suggesting, in part merely
articulating, an antisacerdotal sentiment, nor the philosophers with
their speculations concerning universals and the ultimate cause of
being, were without influence in bringing about the collapse of the
mediæval structure.

It is of no use studying the question of the attitude of the mediæval
Church towards heresy unless one is prepared to use imagination enough
to envisage heresy from the mediæval point of view. Men’s mental
outlook is governed by the intellectual conditions of their own day.
A few individuals may be, as the phrase goes, ‘in advance of their
time’; but at the best they form only a small minority. To consider
abstractly the rights and wrongs, the advantages and disadvantages of
institutions and systems is the function of the philosopher. But the
historian, while not ignoring the abstract question, has specifically
the function of ascertaining what, in point of fact, people’s opinions
have been and why they formed them. Much that has been written on the
subject of religious toleration is of only limited validity because it
simply denounces, and does not attempt to explain or to appreciate, the
psychology of intolerance.[479] Thus, for example, Locke’s ‘Letters
on Toleration’ have little _argumentative_ value, because they are
based on a complete _ignoratio elenchi_. Religious toleration is a
great principle, but many modern dithyrambs on the inalienable right
of liberty of thought and conscience fall rather wide of the mark,
can convince only the already converted. It is not very profitable to
bring forward the theory of the indefeasible right of free thought
in condemnation of mediæval society—to the whole of which, and by no
means to its clerical elements only, the conception of such a right
was entirely foreign. After all, even to-day the belief in an absolute
toleration is held by only a very few, and even these anarchists will
usually be found to hold it with certain reservations.[480] Organized
society cannot tolerate the forces which are subversive of it. It does
not tolerate the criminal. ‘A universal and absolute toleration of
everything and everybody would lead to a general chaos as certainly
as a universal and absolute intolerance.’[481] It is undoubtedly true
that a certain measure of ‘intolerance is essential to all that is,
or moves, or lives, for tolerance of destructive elements within the
organism amounts to suicide.’[482] The individual possesses rights
in so far as they are not prejudicial to the welfare of his fellows
and the interests of the entire community. And the recognition that
the maintenance of social order was perfectly compatible with the
acknowledgment of the right of individual opinion and the permission
of diversity of views, this in the Middle Ages ‘was a discovery to be
made, not a truth to be proved.’[483]

For the Middle Ages religion was not divorced from the secular life.
The _Respublica Christiana_ was an unity and a potent reality. The
common faith was the panoply of the State. Devotion to it was an
integral part of patriotism, and the counterpart of loyalty to the
secular prince and of obedience to his laws. The man, therefore, who
assailed the faith assailed society; in cutting himself off from the
Church he outlawed himself from the State. Acknowledgment of the sacred
truths of Christianity was the foundation of all morality. The mediæval
mind could not conceive of morality apart from religion. Hence respect
for the divine law, as revealed in the Scripture and the Church, was
regarded as the sole guarantee for the security of ordered society.
Heresy was considered as essentially anti-social, anarchic; was
conceived of as analogous to false coining or treason. Only to falsify
truth was more heinous than to falsify the coin and treason against
God than treason against man. The exposition of the nature of heresy in
Ludovico à Paramo is most logical. The character of a state depends on
its religion; the faith is the foundation of the state.[484] Heretics
cannot dwell in harmony with Catholics: for if difference of language
severs, how much more difference of belief?[485] Heresy is productive
of all manner of vice and immorality, which are antagonistic to order
and government.[486]

To the Church all this was self-evident. How could she stand neutral
as between truth and falsehood, and treat them as if on an equality?
She found all the strong walls and bastions, defences of the theocratic
city, of which she was the appointed warden, being attacked by an
insidious enemy within the gates. She had the power to defend; how
could she be justified if she held her hand? The heretic questioned
her credentials, turned her claims to ridicule, threatened to bring
down the whole structure of the Christian polity to the ground.
Both in self-defence and in common loyalty to her mission she must
strike. All the intensity of religious conviction inspired to
persecution. Tolerance, argues de Maistre, only indicates religious
indifference.[487] Moreover, the mediæval churchman was inevitably
much influenced by the injunctions of the Old Testament. The Church
succeeded to the heritage of the synagogue.[488]

But it was not the Church only that was persuaded of the essentially
dangerous and anti-social character of heresy. Partly, no doubt, as
the result of the Church’s teaching through many generations, but
certainly of their own accord and not as the result of any direct
instruction, both secular rulers and the ordinary laity were equally
convinced.[489] They all lived in a thoroughly theocratic atmosphere.
The prince sincerely saw in the heretic an enemy of all authority, and
therefore of his own.[490] Secular legislation was just as unequivocal
in its treatment of heresy as was Canon law. To the ordinary layman the
heretic appeared as a thoroughly cross-grained, cantankerous, dangerous
person, certainly of some immoral propensities and perhaps sexually

Such was the mediæval point of view; and, once granted the necessary
premises, it is extremely logical and exceedingly hard to combat.
Now-a-days we do not accept those premises; but in the Middle Ages
we should probably not have dreamed of questioning them. On the
extraordinarily interesting and important question of the causes of
this change of attitude authorities do, and are likely to, differ,
though many students will agree in combining their conclusions. To
those who, like John Stuart Mill and Lecky for instance, attribute
religious persecution almost entirely to the doctrine of exclusive
salvation, the causes of the growth of tolerance will appear to
be the extension of the sceptical spirit and the process of the
secularization of politics.[492] Others, such as Bishop Creighton (who
will not agree that persecution is to be explained by the doctrine
of exclusive salvation at all),[493] or as Sir F. Pollock (who
classifies different types of intolerance—tribal, political, social),
insist strongly upon the simple factor of experience. ‘It is not the
demonstration of abstract rights, but the experience of inutility,
that has made governments leave off persecuting.’[494] After all, the
great justification of liberty of thought lies not in the attempted
demonstration of a natural right, but in the records of the painful
process whereby toleration has been achieved.[495] It would have saved
an infinity of bloodshed and misery, would have freed the palimpsest
of history of some of its most terrible blots, could the principle
of toleration have been established without that awful struggle. But
none of the great triumphs of mankind have been achieved save after
centuries of effort, loss and failure.

To the moral judgment of our own day no instrument of persecution
seems more odious than the Inquisition. Protestants have persecuted
just as whole-heartedly as Catholics, and with far less excuse; but
the Inquisition stands by itself, as a regular specialized tribunal
for persecution, immensely efficient, with an existence of centuries
to its record.[496] We have seen the way in which the Inquisition came
into being. Both the circumstances of its origin and the intentions of
its various founders gave the tribunal a character only semi-judicial.
Indeed, if we object that the Inquisition was a bad court of justice,
its originators could retort with truth that it was not intended to be
a simple court of justice. The Inquisition was created to deal with
erring children, not criminals; not merely to pronounce a verdict, but
to produce reconciliation and amendment; not to punish, but to penance.
The Church, through the Inquisition, was dealing in the spirit of a
parent with her own children, over whom she had all a parent’s rights
of discipline and chastisement, but also evincing a parent’s deep
desire for something more than justice and punishment, for the ending
of estrangement and the restoration of loving union in the family.
Such was the pure theory of the Inquisition, a much more benignant
conception than that of the ordinary law-court. In the latter, the
mere fact of repentance would not avail; in the former, if it were
sincere, it availed everything. So de Maistre, defending the Spanish
Inquisition, declared it to be the most lenient, the most merciful
tribunal in the world.

But we have to consider the point of view, not only of the judge, but
of the defendant. Whatever the real nature of the tribunal, the man
brought before it was on his trial. The tribunal _did_ pronounce a
verdict, and upon that verdict his reputation, perhaps his freedom or
his life, depended. He wanted justice, not mercy: and the Inquisition
might be lenient, but it was not fair. It was radically unfair. It gave
no facilities whatever for the plea of Not Guilty. It cared nought for
the reputation of the accused. He had already lost his reputation by
being before the court at all. The very fact of defamation, of being
‘suspect’ inferred guilt. To leave the court of the Inquisition without
a stain upon one’s character was virtually impossible. In all manner of
ways the accused was at a disadvantage—in the suppression of the names
of witnesses and of evidence, in the refusal of legal assistance, in
the use of torture, and above all in the fact that the judge was also
the prosecutor, who regarded it as perfectly legitimate to browbeat
and confuse the defendant, if he was so misguided and unfilial as to
endeavour to defend himself. Inquisitorial procedure was a miserable
travesty of justice; and its mercifulness was forthcoming only on its
own terms. To all save the meekly submissive the Inquisition typified
not mercy and love, but remorselessness and cruelty.

While in studying the origins of the Inquisition we are bound to
examine, and to seek to understand, the point of view of those who were
responsible for its inception, in estimating its character and results
we need not, nay we _ought_ not, to judge by any other criterion than
that dictated by the highest conceptions of right and justice. The
common, the accepted, standard of to-day both as regards justice and
humanity is, happily, greatly higher than that of the Middle Ages.
Much that has been written of the Inquisition has been vitiated by an
attempt to read into the mind and conduct of men of mediæval times a
humanitarianism which is the peculiar product of the modern world, and
which they could not even have understood. Even more vitiated would
be any thesis which, not satisfied with justifying the originators of
the Inquisition, sought to justify the institution itself. Certainly
the motive for such an attempt could not be impartiality. Only moral
obliquity can be blind to the transparent abominations of inquisitorial

If its character as a tribunal was essentially evil, evil also were
some of the Inquisition’s results. Secular princes discerned its
remarkable potential utility to themselves and regarded it with envy
and admiration. Its methods had a satisfactory efficiency found in no
other court. By such methods conviction could be practically assured.
The charge of heresy could therefore be preferred against political
enemies with the happiest prospects of advantage. The destruction for
purely political ends was achieved by the use of inquisitorial methods
of the Templars, Jeanne d’Arc, Savonarola.[497]

Those are the most notorious, but there are other instances of this
abuse of the sacred tribunal for purely secular, and sometimes base and
immoral, purposes.

Worse still—and possibly this is the worst aspect of the whole story
of the Inquisition—its pernicious methods of procedure were borrowed
by the admiring secular princes for their courts, which did not
pretend to have the double nature which was the explanation, if not
the excuse, for the Inquisition’s adoption of its system. Thus civil
courts in Europe came to be tarnished by the system of _inquisitio_,
the secret enquiry, the heaping up of disabilities for the defence,
the application of torture—all these abuses having the august sanction
of ecclesiastical use. The lay authority could triumphantly vindicate
such innovations, whereby justice became an unequal contest between
authority, combining the two characters of prosecutor and judge, and
the unhappy prisoner, by pointing to the example of the Church, the
repository of the sublime truths of divine justice and Christian
charity. To the fortunate fact that the Inquisition never secured a
footing in the British Islands is largely due their maintenance, in
contradistinction to Continental states, of the open trial and of the
great maxim that no one is presumed to be guilty, that the onus of
proof lies with the prosecution. It was not the fault of the Church
that the secular power admired and imitated the methods of the Holy
Office; but it is surely a calamity that it should have been able to
find in an ecclesiastical tribunal a system which must seem to every
fair-minded man to-day so abhorrent to the whole spirit and tenor of
the Christian gospel.

No attempt has been made in these pages to present the heresies of
the Middle Ages in any heroic light, to slur over the pernicious
crudities of many of them. As between the spiritual and intellectual
ideals represented by the mediæval Church and those represented by
the majority of the sectaries the choice is self-evident. Wycliffites
and Husites stand obviously on a far higher plane, but Petrobrusians,
Cathari, Dolcinists, Flagellants and many others had no fertile ideas
to bequeath to a later day and were, at best perhaps, a nuisance in
their own. Yet it has to be remembered that not only noble-minded men
like Hus and Jerome of Prague, whose creed, whether true or not, was in
any case sane and pure and exalted, but also innumerable others, whom
we know only as names in inquisitorial records, who whatever the faith
they professed stood constant through physical and mental anguish,
to perish perhaps at the last at the stake in a world barren of pity
with no friendly faces to encourage them—these suffered for a great
ideal, that of fidelity to the spirit of truthfulness, of intellectual
integrity. All who have died rather than be false to themselves and
their vision of truth, thus demonstrating to the world their conviction
that belief is worth dying for—whether Catholics or Protestants or
the most erring of mediæval heretics—have done service to the cause
of human progress. For, if it be true that only through the tragic
experience of centuries of religious persecution could mankind attain
to the establishment of the principle of liberty of thought and
conscience, then every one of us to-day who enjoys the benefits of
such liberty owes a debt of gratitude to the men and women who for
conscience’ sake braved obloquy, torture-chamber and fire.


A full bibliography of the subject of Heresy and its Repression in the
Middle Ages would be exceedingly lengthy. All that is attempted here is
to give a select list of a few of the most useful, important and most
easily accessible works. The most thorough bibliography for the subject
available is that in T. de Cauzons, _Histoire de l’Inquisition en
France_ (_q.v._), the list of books covering forty pages and including
850 works. This is for the history of the tribunal in France alone.

It has to be borne in mind that by far the greater part of our
contemporary evidence for the history of mediæval heresies is hostile
evidence, consisting of denunciations of them by orthodox theologians,
the treatises of inquisitors who condemned their adherents, notes
made of evidence given by defendants. Only those heretics who were
themselves philosophers or theologians—and these, such as Siger of
Brabant, Wycliffe and Hus, are relatively very few—have left their own
records behind them. Due allowance, therefore, has to be made in using
most contemporary authorities for considerable bias.



These are, on the whole, the most generally valuable of contemporary
sources. The two most important for the period dealt with in this book

    Nicholas Eymeric, _Directorium Inquisitorum cum commentariis F.
    Pegnae_ (Rome, 1585; also Venice, 1607).

    Bernard Gui, _Practica Inquisitionis haereticae pravitatis_ (ed. C.
    Douais, Paris, 1886).

Eymeric was inquisitor in Aragon in the latter half of the fourteenth
century. His compendious work is probably the most authoritative of all
inquisitorial treatises, being a complete exposition of the principles
of the tribunal and the doctrines of the different sects with which it
had to deal, and giving the minutest details of its procedure. Bernard
Gui, appointed inquisitor at Toulouse in 1306, was the most vigorous
and remarkable of those who helped to stamp out Catharism in Languedoc
after the Albigensian crusades.

The following treatises are not contemporary, but they are valuable as
expositions of the permanent principles and methods of the tribunal.
They are also useful for the occasional comments made by these later
experts on the work of their predecessors:

    J. Simancas, _De Catholicis Institutionibus_.

    A. Bzovius, _Historiae Ecclesiasticae_.

    J. à Royas, _De Haereticis_.

    Bernard of Como, _Lucerna Inquisitorum haereticae pravitatis_.

    Arnaldo Albertini, _Tractatus de agnoscendis assertionibus
      Catholicis et haereticis_.

    Zanchino Ugolini, _De Haereticis_.

All these, among other similar tracts, are included in Zilettus,
_Tractatus Universi Juris_ (Venice, 1633), vol. xi, pt. ii.

    See also Ludovico à Paramo, _De origine et progressu officii
      Sanctae Inquisitionis_ (Madrid, 1598).

    Umberto Locati, _Opus judiciale inquisitorum_ (Rome, 1572).

    F. Peña, _Inquirendorum haereticorum lucerna_ (Madrid, 1598).

    Carena, _Tractatus de officio Sanctae Inquisitionis_ (Lyons, 1669).



There are records of the proceedings and sentences pronounced in
the Inquisitions in the South of France in _Liber sententiarum
Inquisitionis Tholosanae_, 1307-13, printed as an appendix to Philippe
à Limborch, _Historia Inquisitionis_ (Amsterdam, 1692). Note that this
_Liber sententiarum_ is not included in Chandler’s English translation
of Limborch. These are the sentences pronounced by Bernard Gui. The
proceedings of the Inquisition of Carcassonne, notably the sentences of
Bernard de Caux, are contained in _Documents pour servir à l’histoire
de l’Inquisition dans le Languedoc_ (ed. C. Douais, Paris, 1900).

There are exceedingly useful extracts from original documents of
various sorts relating to mediæval heresies in the following:

    J. J. Döllinger, _Beiträge zur Sektensgeschichte_ (Munich, 1890),
      vol. ii.

    P. Frédéricq, _Corpus documentorum Inquisitionis haereticae
      pravitatis Nederlandicae_ (Ghent, 1889-1906), vols., i-iii.

For the edicts of ecclesiastical Councils the best collection is:

    P. Labbe, G. D. Mansi, etc., _Sacrorum conciliorum nova et
      amplissima collectio_ (Paris, 1901-13), esp. vol. xxii, 1166-1225;
      vol. xxiii, 1225-1268; vol. xxiv, 1269-1299; vol. xxv, 1300-1344;
      vol. xxvi, 1344-1409._

For papal bulls between 1198 and 1304 see A. Potthast, _Regesta
Pontificum Romanorum_ (Berlin, 1874 _et seq._).

Important documents relating to the Dominican order are in Ripoll et
Brémond, _Bullarium ordinis S. Dominici_ (8 vols., Rome, 1737 _et

The Constitutions of the Emperor Frederick II are in J. L. A.
Huillard-Bréholles, _Historia diplomatica Friderici Secundi_ (Paris,



There are two useful histories of comparatively early date:

    J. Marsollier, _Histoire de l’Inquisition_ (Cologne, 1693).

    P. à Limborch, _Historia Inquisitionis_ (Amsterdam, 1692). The
      English version is _History of the Inquisition_ (tr. S. Chandler,
      London, 1731). The latter is used in this book except when the
      _Liber sententiarum_, only printed in the original, is referred
      to. Limborch’s, although avowedly a propaganda work, is still of
      value, because it was based on the treatises of inquisitors, making
      particularly full use of Eymeric, and it is easy to make proper
      allowance for the avowed bias.

In 1817 appeared the first version (a French translation) of the great
work on the Spanish Inquisition by J. A. Llorente under the title,
_Histoire critique de l’Inquisition d’Espagne_. The original Spanish
text was not published till 1822. Only the introduction and first four
chapters are relevant to the mediæval Inquisition.

English writers have been mainly interested in the Spanish Inquisition,
as founded by Ferdinand and Isabella, and in the Inquisition in
Portugal. English seamen and traders suffered at their hands, either
in the Peninsula or its dependencies, in the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries. See, for example, _English Merchants and the Spanish
Inquisition in the Canaries_ (Royal Historical Society, ed. L. de
Alberti, A. B. Wallis Chapman, 1912); R. Dugdale’s _A Narrative of
popish cruelties; or a new account of the Spanish Inquisition_ (1680)
in _Harleian Miscellany_, vol. vii, p. 105; J. Stevens, _The Ancient
and Present State of Portugal ... containing ... A curious Account of
the Inquisition_ (London, 1705). Later English writers show a similar
strongly Protestant bias, _e.g._ F. B. Wright, _A History of Religious
Persecution from the Apostolic to the Present Time; and of the
Inquisitions of Spain, Portugal and Goa_ (1816); W. H. Rule, _History
of the Inquisition_ (London, 1868). Only the first nine chapters of the
last-named book are concerned with the Middle Ages.

All previous works were superseded by the monumental labours of the
American historian, H. C. Lea, in his

    _Superstition and Force_ (Philadelphia, 1866; 4th ed., 1892).

    _A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages_ (New York, 1887).

    _A History of the Inquisition of Spain_ (New York, 1906-7).

    _The Inquisition in the Spanish Dependencies_ (New York, 1908).

    _Chapters in the Religious History of Spain connected with the
      Inquisition_ (Philadelphia, 1893).

Together, these volumes represent an immense fund of learning and the
most painstaking research. For this reason it will be long indeed
before they are superseded. They have been adversely criticized, as
being marred by strong anti-Catholic prejudice. Colour is undoubtedly
lent to the charge by the rather unfortunate fact that the _History
of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages_ opens with an account of the
abuses of the mediæval Church and that the whole argument of the book
appears as though largely based upon these initial contentions. Lea
is also inclined to be biased in favour of all heretics as against
their persecutors. But while in detail he may be open to criticism
and his attitude is quite clearly Protestant, the great bulk of his
work remains unshaken. The Romanist point of view with regard to it
should, however, be studied. It is summarized, for example, in P. M.
Baumgarten, _H. C. Lea’s Historical Writings: a critical inquiry_ (New
York, 1909), and will be found incidentally in the works of recent
Catholic historians of the Inquisition (_q.v. infra_). There are
admirable _critiques_ of Lea’s work in:

    Lord Acton’s _The History of Freedom of Thought and other Essays_
      (London, 1909);

    P. Frédéricq’s Introduction to the French translation of Lea’s
      _History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages_ (tr. S. Reinach,
      Paris, 1900, pp. i-xxviii);

and in articles by S. Reinach on his _Spanish Inquisition_ in _Revue
Critique_, No. 18, May 1906, p. 300; No. 42, Oct. 1907, p. 301; No. 5,
Feb. 1908, p. 86.

Recent works from the Romanist standpoint have been:

    C. Douais, _L’Inquisition; ses Origines, sa Procédure_ (Paris,

    H. Maillet, _L’Église et la répression sanglante de l’hérésie_
      (Liège, 1909).

    E. Vacandard, _The Inquisition, a Critical and Historical Study of
      the Coercive Powers of the Church_ (tr. B. L. Conway, 1908).

    C. Moeller, _Les Bûchers et les Autos-da-fé de l’Inquisition depuis
      le Moyen Age in Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique_ (Louvain, 1913,
      vol. xiv, pp. 720-51).

Mgr. Douais has done much able and learned work on the history of the
mediæval Inquisition, and the Abbé Vacandard’s book is most moderate
and fair-minded. The most considerable work of scholarship written on
the subject of recent years has, however, been T. de Cauzons, _Histoire
de l’Inquisition en France_ (2 vols., Paris, 1909, 1913, unfinished).

There is a critical survey of some of the most recent work done on
the Inquisition by P. Frédéricq, _Les récents historiens Catholiques
de l’Inquisition en France in Revue historique_, vol. cix, 1912, pp.
307-34. Mainly critical is C. V. Langlois, _L’Inquisition après des
travaux récents_ (Paris, 1902).



On this important subject there is not a great deal, but the following
are excellent and most valuable:

    L. Tanon, _Histoire des Tribunaux de l’Inquisition en France_
    (Paris, 1893).

    P. Fournier, _Les Officialités au Moyen Age_ (Paris, 1889).

    A. Esmein, _Histoire de la Procédure Criminelle en France, et
      spécialement de la procédure inquisitoire_ (Paris, 1882).

Esmein’s book forms the substantial foundation of a more comprehensive
work in the American _Continental Legal History_ series, viz. _A
History of Continental Criminal Procedure_ (Boston, 1913).

See on this subject note on p. 205 _supra_.



    J. J. Vaissete and C. Devic, _Histoire Générale de Languedoc_
      (Toulouse, 1872-1904).

    Moneta, _Adversus Catharos et Waldenses_ (Rome, 1743).

    P. Melia, _The Origin, Persecutions and Doctrines of the Waldenses,
      from Documents_ (London, 1870).

    C. Schmidt, _Histoire et Doctrine de la Secte des Cathares ou
      Albigeois_ (Paris, 1848).

    A. Monastier, _Histoire de l’Église Vaudoise depuis son origine_
      (Paris, 1847).

    B. Hauréau, _Bernard Délicieux et l’Inquisition Albigeoise_ (Paris,

    C. Douais, _Les Hérétiques du midi au XIIIe siècle_ (Paris, 1891);
      _L’Albigéisme et les Frères prêcheurs à Narbonne au XIIIe siècle_
      (Paris, 1894); _Les Albigeois, leur origine_ (Paris, 1879).

    J. Ficker, _Die Gesetzliche Einführung der Todesstrafe für
      Ketzerei_ in _Mittheilungen des Instituts für oesterreichische
      Geschichtsforschung_ (1880), pp. 177-226.

    J. Havet, _L’Hérésie et le Bras séculier au Moyen Age jusqu’au
      treizième siècle_ in _Œuvres_ (Paris, 1896), vol. ii, pp. 117-81.

    C. Henner, _Beiträge zur Organisation und Competenz der päpstlichen
      Ketzesgerichte_ (Leipzig, 1890).

    A. Luchaire, _Innocent III_, vol. ii, _La Croisade des Albigeois_
      (Paris, 1905).



    Joachim of Flora, _Concordia novi et veteris Testamenti_ (Venice,
      1579); _Expositio in Apocalypsin_ (Venice, 1527); _Psalterium
      decent Cordarum_ (Venice, 1527).

    _Chronica Fr. Salimbene Parmensis_ (Parma, 1857); also in
      _Monumenta Germ. Hist._, vol. xxxii (1905-13), ed. O. Holder-Egger.

    E. Renan, _Joachim de Flore et l’Evangile éternel_ in _Nouvelles
      Études d’Histoire Religieuse_ (Paris, 1884).

    E. Gebhart, _L’Italie Mystique; la Renaissance religieuse au Moyen
      Age_ (6th ed., 1908); _Recherches nouvelles sur l’histoire du
      Joachitism_ in _Revue historique_, vol. xxxi (1886).

    S. Reinach, _Cultes, Mythes et Religions_ (Paris, 1905), vol. i,
      pp. 173-83.

    J. J. Döllinger, _Prophecies and the Prophetic Spirit in the
      Christian Era_ (ed. A. Plummer, 1873).

    E. G. Gardner, _Joachim of Flora and the Everlasting Gospel in
      Franciscan Essays_ (1912).



The principal authorities are:

    Sprenger’s _Malleus Maleficarum_ and F. Bartholomew de Spina’s _De

Both are included in _Malleorum quorundam Maleficarum tam veterum quam
recentiorum authorum tomi duo_ (Frankfort, 1582). In Zilettus (_q.v.
supra_) there is Bernard of Como’s _De Strigibus_.

See also W. E. H. Lecky’s _History of Rationalism in Europe_ and
authorities there cited.



The principal works of Wycliffe are published by the Wyclif Society.
See especially _De Dominio Divino_ (ed. R. L. Poole, 1890); _Tract. de
Civili dominio liber primus_ (ed. R. L. Poole, 1885); _De Eucharistia_
(1892); _De Potestate Pape_ (ed. J. Loserth, 1907). See also _Fasciculi
Zizaniorum Magistri Johannis Wyclif_ (Rolls series, ed. W. W. Shirley,
1858). See also the _Chronicon Angliae_ (ed. Maunde Thompson, 1874);
_Chronicon_ of Henry Knighton (ed. Lumby, 1895), vol. ii; D. Wilkins,
_Concilia M. Britanniae et Hiberniae_ (1737), vol. iii.

The _Letters of Hus_ are edited by H. B. Workman and R. M. Pope (1904).
Invaluable is F. Palacky’s _Documenta Mag. Joannis Hus_ (Prague, 1869).

For the works of Gerson and D’Ailly see J. Gerson, _Opera_ (Antwerp,
1706). Works of D’Ailly are included in this volume.

See also Theodoric de Niem, _De Schismate_ (Leipzig, 1890).

The works of Marsiglio of Padua and of William of Ockham are in
Melchior Goldast, _Monarchia S. Romani Imperii_ (Hanover, Frankfort,
1611-14), vol. ii. They are summarized in S. Riezler, _Die
literarischen Widersacher der Päpste zur Zeit Ludwig des Baiers_ (1874).

See also the following relating to Bohemia or the Council of Constance:

    Aeneas Sylvius, _Historia Bohemica_ (1453).

    Etienne Baluze, _Vitae Paparum Avenionensium_ (Paris, 1693).

    H. v. der Hardt, _Magnum oecumenicum Constantiense Concilium_
      (Frankfort, 1697-1742).

    E. Martène and V. Durand, _Veterum Scriptorum et monumentorum
      amplissima collectio_ (Paris, 1724-33), vol. vii, pp. 425-1078.

The following also are useful:

    N. Valois, _La France et le Grand Schisme d’occident_ (Paris,

    J. B. Schwab, _J. Gerson_ (Würzburg, 1858).

    B. Labanca, _Marsiglio da Padova_ (Padua, 1882).

    H. B. Workman, _The Dawn of the Reformation: the Age of Wyclif_
      (1901); _The Dawn of the Reformation: the Age of Hus_ (1902).

    J. Lewis, _History of the Life and Sufferings of John Wicliffe_

    J. Loserth, _Wyclif and Hus_ (tr. W. J. Evans, 1884).

    G. M. Trevelyan, _England in the Age of Wycliffe_ (1904).

    G. V. Lechler, _Wyclif and his English Precursors_ (tr. P. Lorimer,

    R. L. Poole, _Wyclif and Movements for Reform_ (1889);
      _Illustrations of the History of Mediæval Thought_ (1884).

    H. Rashdall, Article on Wycliffe in _Dictionary of National
      Biography_ (1900), vol. lxiii.

    A. H. Wratislaw, _Native Literature of Bohemia in the Fourteenth
      Century_ (1878).

    Count Lützow, _The Life and Times of Master John Hus_ (1909).

    H. Rashdall, _Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages_ (1895),
      vol. ii.

    Also of course M. Creighton, _History of the Papacy_ (1903-9),
      Introd. and Books I and II.



    C. H. Hahn, _Geschichte der Ketzer_ (Stuttgart, 1845-50).

    J. J. v. Mosheim, _Institutes of Ecclesiastical History_ (Eng. tr.,
      2nd ed., 1850).

    J. C. L. Gieseler, _Ecclesiastical History_ (Eng. tr. 1853), esp.
      vol. iii, which contains extracts from documents.

    F. Milman, _History of Latin Christianity_ (4th ed. 1883), esp.
      vols. v and vi.

    J. J. Döllinger, _Beiträge zur Sektensgeschichte_ (Munich, 1890).

    A. Harnack, _History of Dogma_ (tr. W. Gilchrist, 1894-9).

See also on special subjects the following:

    F. Gregorovius, _History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages_
      (tr. A. Hamilton, 1894-1902), vols. v and vi.

    J. H. Reusch, _Der Index der verbotenen Bücher_ (Bonn, 1883).

    J. Guiraud, _Saint Dominic_ (Eng. tr., 1901).

    P. Sabatier, _Life of Saint Francis of Assisi_ (tr. L. S. Houghton,

    H. O. Taylor, _The Mediæval Mind_ (1911).

    E. Renan, _Averroës et l’Averroïsme_ (Paris, 1861).

    P. F. Mandonnet, _Siger de Brabant et l’Averroïsme latin au XIIIe
      siècle_ (Fribourg, 1899), with invaluable appendix containing
      Siger’s _Works_.

    M. de Wulf, _History of Mediæval Philosophy_ (Eng. tr., 1909).

    B. Hauréau, _Histoire de la Philosophie Scolastique_ (Paris, 1880).

    C. Douais, _Essai sur l’organisation des études dans l’ordre des
      Frères-Prêcheurs_ (Paris, 1884).

    _Registrum epistolarum fratris Joannis Peckham_ (Rolls Series, ed.
      C. T. Martin, 1884).

    Rutebeuf, _Œuvres Complètes_ (1874-5), vol. i, _passim_.

    _De Tribus Impostoribus_ (ed. Philomneste Junior, _i.e._ P. Gustave
      Brunet, Paris, 1861).

    J. Owen, _Skeptics of the Italian Renaissance_ (1893).



Representative works, among many:

    J. Locke, _Letters concerning Toleration_.

    J. S. Mill, _On Liberty_.

    W. E. H. Lecky, _History of Rationalism in Europe_, ch. iv.

    Sir F. Pollock, _The Theory of Persecution_ in _Essays in
      Jurisprudence and Ethics_ (1882).

    M. Creighton, _Persecution and Tolerance_ (1895).

    D. G. Ritchie, _Natural Rights_ (1903); _The Principles of State
      Interference_ (1902).

    E. S. P. Haines, _Religious Persecution_ (1904).

    Joseph de Maistre, _Lettres à un gentilhomme russe sur
      l’Inquisition espagnole_ (Brussels, 1844).

    Lessing’s _Nathan der Weise_.

    Sir J. Stephen, _Liberty, Equality, Fraternity_ (2nd ed., 1874).

    J. M. Robertson, _A Short History of Free Thought, Ancient and
      Modern_ (1906).

    _The Catholic Encyclopædia_ (1907-14), articles on Heresy and

    J. B. Bury, _A History of Freedom of Thought_ (Home University


[1] See O. Gierke, _Political Theories of the Middle Ages_ (trans.,
with introd. by. F. W. Maitland, 1900), p. 10.

[2] F. W. Bourdillon’s translation.

[3] See _Compendium of Ecclesiastical History_, by G. C. E. Gieseler
(English ed., Edinburgh, 1853), vol. iii, p. 388.

[4] See H. C. Lea, _History of Auricular Confession_ (1896), vol. i,
pp. 380 _et seq._; _History of Sacerdotal Celibacy_ (3rd ed., 1907),
vol. ii, chapter on ‘Solicitation,’ pp. 251-96.

[5] On the subject-matter of this chapter see H. O. Taylor, _The
Mediæval Mind_ (2 vols., 1911), especially on the influence of the
Latin Fathers and the transmission into the Middle Ages of patristic
thought, vol. i, pp. 61-109; on the effects of Christianity on the
character of mediæval emotion, pp. 330-52; and on the scholastic
philosophy, vol. ii, pp. 283 _et seq._

[6] For Tanchelm see the following: P Frédéricq, _Corpus documentorum
Inquisitionis haereticae pravitatis Neerlandicae_ (Ghent, 1889-96),
vol. i, pp. 22-9, nos. 14-29; J. J. Döllinger, _Beiträge zur
Sektensgeschichte_ (Munich, 1890), vol. i, pp. 105-9; H. C. Lea, _A
History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages_ (New York, 1887), vol.
i, pp. 64-5.

[7] For Eon de l’Etoile see Döllinger, _op. cit._, vol. i, pp.
98-103; C. Schmidt, _Histoire et Doctrine de la secte des Cathares ou
Albigeois_ (Paris, 1848), vol. i, pp. 48-9.

[8] See T. de Cauzons, _Histoire de l’Inquisition en France_ (Paris,
1909, 1913), vol. i, p. 259. ‘On voit donc la lutte fortement engagée
entre l’Église et l’esprit révolutionnaire.’

[9] See Gieseler, vol. iii, pp. 390-1, n.; Döllinger, vol. ii, p.
29. ‘Quod Deus passus est ibi mortem et nunquam dedecus, et ponebant
exemplum, si aliquis homo suspendebatur in aliquo arbore, semper illa
arbor amicis suspensi et parentibus esset odiosa et eam vituperarent,
et nunquam illam arborem videre vellent, a simili locum in quo Deus,
quem diligere debemus, suspensus fuit, odio habere debeamus et nunquam
deberemus ejus presenciam affectare.’

[10] See Lea, vol. i, p. 72.

[11] Pius Melia, _The Origin, Persecutions and Doctrines of the
Waldenses, from Documents_ (London, 1870), p. 1. Other origins of the
term Waldenses have been suggested: (1) Vaux or valleys of Piedmont,
where the sect came to flourish most, (2) Peter of Vaux, a predecessor
of Waldo.

[12] Melia, quoting _Venerabilis Patris Monetae Cremonensis Ordinis
Praedicatorum adversus Catharos et Waldenses, Libri quinque_ (1244), p.

[13] See Döllinger, vol. ii, pp. 306-11, for list of eighty-nine errors
alleged against the Waldenses.

[14] Bernard Gui, _Practica Inquisitionis haereticae pravitatis_
(ed. C. Douais, Paris, 1886), p. 134. ‘Item, circa sacramentum vere
penitentie et clavis ecclesie perniciosius aberrantes, tenent et docent
se habere potestatem a Deo, sicut sancti apostoli habuerunt, audiendi
confessiones peccatorum sibi volentium confiteri, et absolvendi, et
penitentias injungendi; confessiones talium audiant et injungant sibi
confitentibus penitentias pro peccatis, quamvis non sunt clerici,
nec sacerdotales per aliquem episcopum Romane ecclesie ordinati, nec
sunt layci simpliciter; talemque potestatem nec confitentur se habere
a Romana ecclesia, sed pocius diffitentur, et revera nec a Deo nec
ab ejus ecclesia ipsam habent, cum sint extra ecclesiam et ab ipsa
ecclesia jam precisi, extra quam non est vera penitentia neque salus.’
Cf. _ibid._, pp. 244 _et seq._

[15] Quoted in Lea, vol. i, p. 85.

[16] Peter de Pilichdorff, quoted in Melia, p. 25.

[17] Quoted in Lea, vol. i, p. 85.

[18] See Schmidt, vol. i, pp. 7-24.

[19] The Paulicians had originally, in the seventh century, in Armenia,
been anti-Manichæan. They became definitely Manichæan in the ninth.
The French _bougre_-heretic means Bulgar. For Catharan doctrines and
manners of life generally, see Bernard Gui, _Practica_, pp. 235 _et
seq._; for its theology see Döllinger, vol. i, pp. 34-50; vol. ii
(_Documents_), pp. 282-96. The errors of the Cathari are summarised
in Nicolas Eymeric, _Directorium Inquisitorum_ (Rome, 1585), part ii,
question xiii, pp. 290-2.

[20] See Schmidt, vol. ii, pp. 9, 11, 16.

[21] _Ibid._, pp. 21-2; also C. Douais, _Documents pour servir à
l’histoire de l’Inquisition dans le Languedoc_ (Paris, 1900), vol. ii,
pp. 95-6. Examination of a Catharan, Pierre Garcia. Garcia said, ‘quod
erat unus Deus benignus qui creavit incorruptibilia et permansura, et
alius Deus erat malignus qui creavit corruptibilia et transitoria.’

[22] _Ibid._, p. 91. ‘Lex Moysi non erat nisi umbra et vanitas.’ _Cf._
Döllinger, vol. i, p. 40.

[23] Schmidt, vol. ii, pp. 37-68.

[24] _Ibid._, p. 73.

[25] _Ibid._, p. 36.

[26] Schmidt, vol. ii, pp. 38-9.

[27] _Ibid._, p. 40, and Douais, _Documents_, vol. ii, p. 40;
Döllinger, vol. ii, p. 155.

[28] Schmidt, vol. ii, pp. 39-40; Döllinger, vol. ii, p. 34.

[29] Schmidt, _ibid._, pp. 44-8.

[30] S. Matt., x. 37.

[31] See Schmidt, vol. ii, p. 82.

[32] Döllinger, vol. ii, pp. 3, 83-4.

[33] _Ibid._, p. 4; Schmidt, vol. ii, p. 84.

[34] Schmidt, _ibid._

[35] Döllinger, vol. ii, pp. 30-4, 56. This was a survival of the
Marcionite heresy. The continuity of the same fundamental types of
heresy which had vexed the early Church into the Middle Ages is

[36] Döllinger, vol. ii, pp. 30 _et seq._, 56; mainly from _Acta
inquisitionis Carcassonensis contra Albigenses_, 1308-9.

[37] _Ibid._, vol. ii, p. 33. See also E. Vacandard, _The Inquisition,
a Critical and Historical Study of the Coercive Powers of the Church_
(trans. by B. L. Conway, 1908), pp. 90-4.

[38] Döllinger, vol. ii, pp. 25, 44. Catholic churches were the
dwellings of evil spirits. Satan’s first home on earth had been the
temple of Jerusalem, _ibid._, p. 45. Whenever one of their children
by some chance was baptized in a Catholic church, they washed off the
taint with dirty water.

[39] See Vacandard, pp. 73-6. Also Douais, _Documents_, vol. ii, p. 94.
‘Audivit dictum Petrum Garcia(m) dicentem quod non erat missa celebrata
in ecclesia usque ad tempus beati Sylvestri; nec ecclesia habuerat
possessiones usque ad illud tempus; et quod ecclesia deficiet citra xx
annos; et quod missa nostra nihil valet; et quod omnes praedicatores
crucis sunt homicide; et quod crux quam illi praedicatores dant nihil
aliud est nisi parum de pella super humerum; idem cordula cum qua
ligantur capilli.’

[40] Douais, _Documents_, vol. ii, pp. 250-1, 263, 291, where the
ceremony is described in confessions before inquisitors.

[41] Douais, _Documents_, vol. ii, p. 100. ‘Dixit etiam idem Petrus
quod si teneret illum Deum qui de mille hominibus ab eo factis unum
salvaret et omnes alios damnaret, ipsum dirumperet et dilaceraret
unguibus et dentibus tanquam perfidum et reputaret ipsum esse falsum
et perfidum, et spueret in faciem ejus, addens “de gutta cadet ipse.”’
Such language, which is typical of many Catharan utterances, is simply
that of a _saeva indignatio_, aroused by the ascription to the Deity of
the cruelty and injustice which conscience reprobates in human beings.

[42] Eymeric, _Directorium_, part ii, question xiv, p. 196. ‘Quod
melius est satisfieri libidini, quocunque actu turpi, quam carnis
stimulis fatigari: sed est (ut dicunt, & ipsi faciunt) in tenebris
licitum, quemlibet cum qualibet indistincte carnaliter commisceri,
quandocunque & quotiescunque carnalibus desideriis stimulentur.’ _Cf._
Schmidt, p. 151 n., on the Cathari of Orleans in 1012.

[43] Vacandard, p. 80.

[44] Lea, vol. iii, p. 10.

[45] _Paradiso_, xii, 139-41.

[46] On Joachim’s writings, the problem of _The Everlasting Gospel_ and
Joachitism generally, see J. J. Döllinger, _Prophecy and the Prophetic
Spirit in the Christian Era_ (tr. A. Plummer, 1873), ch. vii; E. Renan,
_Nouvelles Études d’histoire religieuse_ (Paris, 1884; English ed.,
1886); the Essay on Joachim in _Franciscan Essays_ (1912), by E. G.
Gardner, pp. 50-70; also E. Gebhart, _L’Italie mystique; la renaissance
religieuse au moyen âge_ (1908), esp. pp. 49-84, 183-253. The whole
story of the Spiritual Franciscans, so far as it affected Italy, is
told in this admirable work.

[47] J. à Royas, _De Haereticis, eorum que impia intentione et
credulitate, cum quinquaginta analyticis assertionibus, quibus
universae fidei causae facile definiri valeant_, in F. Zilettus,
_Tractatus Universi Juris_ (Venice, 1633), vol. xi, pt. ii, p. 211. The
fact of the submission of his works in 1200 is disputed, _Franciscan
Essays_, p. 56.

[48] See Renan, _op. cit._, p. 248; Lea, vol. iii, pp. 22-3 and
notes; F. H. Reusch, _Index der verbotenen Bücher_ (Bonn, 1883).
_Bücherverbote im Mittelalter_, pp. 18-21; Chronicle of Salimbene in
_Monumenta Historica ad provincias Parmensem et Placentiam pertinentia_
(Parma, 1857), pp. 235-6. See _Directorium_, part ii, question ix, pp.
269-72, on the heresies of John of Parma. ‘It is ... the substitution
of the idea of the Everlasting Gospel as a written book to supersede
the Gospel of Christ, for the original one of the Everlasting Gospel
as an unwritten spiritual interpretation based upon that Gospel—that
separates Gherardo of Borgo San Donnino and the Joachists from the
authentic creed of Joachim himself.’—_Franciscan Essays_, p. 63. The
prophecies of Joachim himself were esteemed by the Church; it was the
subsequent gloss upon them that was suspect. See Döllinger, _Prophecy
and the Prophetic Spirit_ (London, 1873), pp. 121 _et seq._

[49] Rev. xiv, 6.

[50] See Lea, vol. iii, pp. 18-19. ‘Unless the universe were a
failure, and the promises of God were lies, there must be a term to
human wickedness; and as the Gospel of Christ and the Rule of Francis
had not accomplished the salvation of mankind, a new gospel was
indispensable. Besides, Joachim had predicted that there would arise a
new religious Order which would rule the world and the Church in the
halcyon age of the Holy Ghost. They could not doubt that this referred
to the Franciscans as represented by the Spiritual group, which was
striving to uphold in all its strictness the Rule of the venerated
founder.’ Salimbene was not a very spiritually-minded Franciscan.
That most entertaining chronicler took a not entirely holy delight
in the bright and frivolous things of life, and even the gross. But
he was very much impressed by the prophecies of the Abbot Joachim.
All prophecies appealed to his curious and inquisitive mind, those of
Merlin as well as Joachim; but he was genuinely interested in their
spiritual significance also, and for a time a professed Joachite. See
his Chronicle, especially relating to the testimony of one, Brother
Hugo of Montpellier, concerning Joachim, _op. cit._, pp. 97 _et seq._
There is a summary in Taylor, _op. cit._, vol. i, pp. 494-517. The
place of poverty in the Franciscan Rule is discussed in _St. Francis
and Poverty_—_Franciscan Essays_, pp. 18-30.

[51] For the persecution of the Spirituals generally see Lea, vol. iii,
pp. 23-89, 129-80; also Döllinger, _Beiträge_, vol. ii, pp. 417-526, a
_Chronicle of the Persecution of the Brothers Minor_, also p. 606. See
also _Directorium_, on Arnaldo da Villanova, p. 282, Fraticelli, pp.

[52] The formula of abjuration from the heresy defined by John XXII’s
bulls was: ‘I swear that I believe in my heart and profess that our
Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles while in the mortal life held in
common the things which Scripture declares them to have had, and that
they had the right of giving, selling and alienating them,’—Eymeric,
_Directorium_, p. 486.

[53] For Guglielma see Lea, vol. iii, pp. 90-100.

[54] See Bernard Gui, _Practica_, pp. 340 _et seq._; also Salimbene,
_op. cit._, pp. 112 _et seq._; _Directorium_, pp. 286-8.

[55] For Dolcino see _ibid._ and _Practica_, pp. 340-55.

[56] _Inferno_, Canto xxviii.

[57] _Practica_, p. 340.

[58] Inquisitors found difficulty in proceeding against Dolcinists,
_ibid._, p. 343. ‘Est autem valde difficile ipsos examinare et
veritatem contra eos invenire pro eo maxime quod, quantuscumque
juraverint in juditio se veritatem dicturos, nolunt tamen manifeste
suam detegere falsitatem, nec suos errores publice confiteri, nec
directe respondere ad interrogata, set palliate et per astucias et
tergiversationes multas deviant et mendaciis se juvant, et se ipsos
contegunt, et ideo multum est ars necessaria contra ipsos et industria

[59] See Lea, vol. ii, pp. 351-2, 355.

[60] Lea, vol. ii, p. 320. E. Renan, _Averroës et l’Averroïsme_ (Paris,
1861, 2nd ed.), p. 222.

[61] See Lea, vol. i, p. 360; vol. ii, p. 359. For views ascribed to
Beghards see Döllinger, _Beiträge_, vol. ii, pp. 378-401 (_passim_).
‘... se esse vel aliquos ex istis perfectos et sic unitos Deo, quod sint
realiter et veraciter ipse Deus, quia dicunt se esse illud idem et unum
esse quod est ipse Deus absque distinctione.’ See also _Directorium_,
pt. ii, question xv, pp. 299-308.

[62] For proceedings against Beguines, modes of interrogation and
sentences, etc., see Bernard Gui, _Practica_, pp. 141-4, 277 _et seq._

[63] Frédéricq, _op. cit._, vol. ii, p. 93. ‘Verum quia in multis mundi
partibus sunt plurime mulieres similiter Beghine vulge vocate, quarum
alique in propriis, alique in conductis, alique in communibus sibi
domibus habitantes vitam ducunt honestam’ ... proceeds to rule that
these must on no account be molested.

[64] Lea, vol. ii, pp. 413-14.

[65] For example,

    [Sidenote: ? cessiez.]

            ‘En commencant no pénitence
             Soit la Vierge et la Trinité,
             Et, tout en parfaicte puissance,
             Des cieulx, le hault divin secret,
  ? cessiez. Sire Dieu, croissiez vo venjeance,
             Les fruits des ventres respitez,
             Car esté a en grant balance,
             Longtemps toute crestienté.

             ‘Or, avant, entre nous tait frère,
             Batons nos charoinges bien fort,
             En remembrant la grant misère
             Du Dieu et sa piteuse mort,
             Qui fut prins de la gent amère
             Et vendus et trahis à tort,
             Et battu sa char vierge et clère;
             En nom de ce, batons plus fort.’

See Frédéricq, _Corpus_, vol. iii, No. 25, pp. 23-4.

[66] _Ibid._, vol. ii, p. 101. See also No. 61.

[67] _Ibid._, vol. ii, pp. 100-1.

[68] _Ibid._, vol. iii, p. 35. See also p. 31: ‘ ... yperbolice
loquendo, qua locutione solet frequenter uti scriptura ad exprimendum
eius magnam quantitatem seu multitudinem, congrue dici possit per omnes
christianitatis provincias jam esse diffusa.’ From a sermon preached
before Clement VI, descanting upon the seriousness and extent of the
attraction of the Flagellant mania for the ignorant crowd.

[69] These acrobatic performances were of course of a convulsive nature
and were by contemporaries ascribed to demoniac possession. But the
idea of dancing and leaping as a form of religious devotion suggests
the very charming story, _Our Lady’s Tumbler_, which has been rewritten
by Anatole France and is included in _Aucassin et Nicolette and other
Mediæval Romances_ in _Everyman’s Library_.

[70] On the Scholastic Philosophy generally, see Taylor, _The Mediæval
Mind_, vol. ii, book vii, _passim_; M. de Wulf, _History of Mediæval
Philosophy_ (tr. P. Coffey, London, 1909), pp. 240-410 (_passim_); B.
Hauréau, _Histoire de la Philosophie Scolastique_ (Paris, 1880).

[71] Taylor, _op. cit._, vol. ii, pp. 358-64.

[72] P. Mandonnet, _Siger de Brabant et l’Averroïsme latin au XIIIe
Siècle_ (Fribourg, 1899), pp. xxiii-xxvi; C. Douais, _Essai sur
l’organisation des études dans l’ordre des Frères-Prêcheurs_ (Paris,
1884), pp. 62 _et seq._

[73] For Arabian Philosophy see the following: T. J. De Boer, _History
of Philosophy in Islam_ (tr. E. R. Jones, 1903); De Wulf, _op. cit._,
pp. 225-39; Hauréau, _Histoire de la Philosophie Scolastique_, vol. ii,
pp. 15-53; Carra de Vaux, _Avicenne_ (Paris, 1900), _Gazali_ (Paris,
1902); S. Munk, _Mélanges de la philosophie juive et arabe_ (Paris,
1859), pt. iii, especially pp. 352-83, 418-58.

[74] Alfarabi’s work belonged to the first half of the tenth century.

[75] Avicenna, 980-1036.

[76] Ghazali, 1059-1111.

[77] Ibn Roschd, or Averrhoës, was born in 1126 at Cordova; was
entrusted by the Caliph, Abu Jacub Jusuf, with the task of making an
analysis of Aristotle; in 1182 became physician at the court; but
in 1195 was deprived of his office by the succeeding Caliph, Jacub
Almansur, presumably owing to a fit of orthodoxy on the Caliph’s part,
and banished from Cordova. He died in Morocco in 1198.

[78] See Renan, _Averroës et l’Averroïsme_, pp. 107 _et seq._

[79] See Renan, _op. cit._, pp. 133-53 (_passim_); J. Owen, _Skeptics
of the Italian Renaissance_ (1893), pp. 67-72.

[80] Renan, _op. cit._, pp. 209 _et seq._, p. 291; De Wulf, _op. cit._,
p. 248.

[81] By the middle of the thirteenth century the University of Paris
was in possession of practically all the Commentaries of Averrhoës,
_ibid._ See also Renan, pp. 201-2, ‘Un des phénomènes les plus
singuliers de l’histoire littéraire du moyen âge, c’est l’activité
du commerce intellectuel et la rapidité avec laquelle les livres se
repandaient d’un bout à l’autre de l’Europe.’

[82] Mandonnet, pp. lxix _et seq._

[83] ‘Nec libri Aristotelis de naturali philosophia nec commenta
legantur Parisiis publice et secreto, et hoc sub pena excommunicationis
inhibemus.’ This, and the subsequent prohibition of 1215 referred of
course only to Paris. See _Directorium_ on the errors of Aristotle and
his Arabian commentators, pt. ii, question iv, pp. 253-5. See Hauréau,
_op. cit._, vol. ii, pp. 83-107. On action of Gregory IX, _ibid._, pp.

[84] The tract was written against Averrhoës, not the Averrhoïsts.
When, however, it was incorporated in his _Summa Theologica_, Albertus
Magnus made mention of the fact that Averrhoïsm had made considerable
progress and boasted a number of advocates. Mandonnet, p. lxxiii.

[85] _Ibid._, pp. xcvii-ix.

[86] See _Fr. Rogeri Bacon Opera quaedam hactenus inedita_ (ed. J. S.
Brewer, 1859), p. 429. There are several contemporary poems on the
troubles in the University of Paris, especially on the part played by
William de Saint-Amour, in Rutebeuf, _Œuvres Complètes_ (Paris,
1874), vol. i, pp. 178-213.

[87] See Mandonnet, p. cx.

[88] Salimbene, _op. cit._, p. 108. ‘Isti boni homines semper de
scientia gloriantur, et dicunt quod in ordine eorum fons sapientiae

[89] _Registrum epistolarum fratris Johannis Peckham_ (Rolls series,
ed. C. T. Martin, London, 1882-5), vol. iii, p. 842. See also A.
Little, _The Grey Friars in Oxford_ (1892), pp. 72-5.

[90] See _Alberti Magni De Quindecim Problematicis_ in appendix to
Mandonnet, pp. 13-36.

[91] See Mandonnet, p. cxxvi.

[92] In appendix to Mandonnet, pp. 69-83, 83-115 respectively.

[93] In his tract _Contra praecipuos viros in philosophia Albertum et
Thomam_. On Siger and St. Thomas, see Hauréau, vol. iii, pp. 131-7.

[94] See, _passim_, De Wulf, _op. cit._, pp. 379-85; Mandonnet, pp.

[95] De Wulf, p. 384; Mandonnet, p. ccxxi.

[96] The tractate, _De Erroribus Philosophorum_, is attributed to him.
It is printed in appendix to Mandonnet, pp. 2-11.

[97] _Ibid._, p. clxxvii.

[98] Mandonnet, p. ccvi.

[99] _Ibid._, p. ccxxvi.

[100] _Ibid._, pp. ccxxviii _et seq._

[101] _Ibid._, pp. cclxiv _et seq._

[102] Mandonnet, pp. cclxx _et seq._ Mandonnet sees a reference to
Siger and Boëthius in the words of Peckham: ‘Nam eam (opinionem)
credimus non a religiosis personis, sed saecularibus quibusdam duxisse
originem, cuius duo praecipui defensores vel forsitan inventores
miserabiliter dicuntur conclusisse dies suos in partibus transalpinis,
cum tamen non essent de illis partibus oriundi.’—_Registrum_, vol. iii,
p. 842.

[103] For the former view, see Baeumker, _Die Impossibilia d. Siger von
Brabant_ (Münster, 1898), pp. 97 _et seq._; for latter, see Mandonnet,
pp. ccxciii-cccxx.

[104] De Wulf, pp. 441-4.

[105] Lea, vol. iii, pp. 440-1.

[106] See De Wulf, pp. 470-3; Owen, _op. cit._, pp. 57-151, esp. 132-51.

[107] Renan, _op. cit._, pp. 255-9; Lea, vol. iii, pp. 578-89.

[108] De Wulf, pp. 403-6.

[109] Lea, vol. iii, pp. 585-6; _Directorium_, pp. 272-8, 331-2. The
text of the bull is given in the latter pages.

[110] Renan, pp. 328 _et seq._; Owen, pp. 115-21; Petrarch, _Liber sine
Titulo_, Epist. xviii.

[111] Renan, pp. 301-5.

[112] Lea, vol. iii, p. 565.

[113] _De Tribus Impostoribus_ (ed. Philomneste Junior, _i.e._ G.
Brunet, Paris, 1861).

[114] Renan, pp. 295 _et seq._

[115] _Decameron_, Day I, Novel 3.

[116] Renan traced Averrhoïst influence in the Pantheism of the
Spiritual Franciscans and the Illuminism of such German mystics as
Ortlieb and Eckhart, _op. cit._, pp. 259 _et seq._; whereas the truth
is that there was never the slightest sympathy between the Franciscans
and Averrhoïsm, and German Illuminism had quite other origins.

[117] J. Bryce, _The Holy Roman Empire_ (1903), p. 109.

[118] See H. B. Workman, _The Dawn of the Reformation_ (1901, 1902),
vol. i; _The Age of Wyclif_, p. 71: ‘Some seventy thousand documents
in the papal archives bear witness to his world-wide labours. Few
subjects escaped his notice—from the habit of the French King of
talking in church, the misrule of Edward II of England, or the devices
of sorcerers, to the weightier matters of theology and law.’

[119] R. L. Poole, _Illustrations of the History of Mediæval Thought_
(1884), p. 247.

[120] _Ibid._, pp. 256 _et seq._

[121] M. Creighton, _History of the Papacy_ (1903), vol. i, p. 32.

[122] For Avignon, see E. Baluze, _Vitae Paparum Avenionensium_ (1693).
See works cited in Workman, _The Dawn of the Reformation_, vol. i,
Append. A., p. 291; also Pierre D’Ailly, _De Necessitate Reformationis
Ecclesiae_, in _Joannis Gersonii Opera Omnia_ (Antwerp. 1706), vol. ii,
pp. 885-902, esp. p. 889. Poole, _op. cit._, p. 248, ‘The universal
authority of Rome became confined within the narrow territory of
Avignon: the means by which it was exerted became more and more
secular, diplomatic, mercantile....’

[123] The extent of the feeling aroused by the schism in Christendom
can be illustrated by the fact that contemporary miracle-plays
represented Pope and anti-Pope burning in hell (see Workman, _The Dawn
of the Reformation_, vol. ii, _The Age of Hus_, p. 41), and by the
life-work of a simple uneducated girl, St. Catherine of Siena.

[124] Melchior Goldast, _Monarchia S. Romani Imp._ (Hanover and
Frankfort, 1611-14), vol. iii, p. 1360.

[125] Goldast, _op. cit._, vol. ii, _Opera Omnia de Potestate
Ecclesiastica & Politica, G. Ockham_, esp. _Dialogus_, pp. 822-30. The
chief conclusions of Ockham are summarized on pp. 396-7; also in S.
Riezler, _Die literarischen Widersacher der Päpste zur Zeit Ludwig des
Baiers_ (1874), pp. 258-71. But see generally pp. 241-77.

[126] See Poole, _op. cit._, p. 277, note.

[127] _Defensor Pacis_, Lib. I, cap. xviii; in Goldast, _op. cit._,
vol. ii, pp. 86-9.

[128] _Ibid._, Lib. II, cap. viii, p. 212.

[129] _Defensor Pacis_, Lib. II, cap. ix, p. 213.

[130] _Ibid._, cap. x, pp. 216-19, esp. p. 217. ‘Nemo quantumcunque
peccans contra disciplinas speculativas aut operativas quascunque
punitur vel arcetur in hoc seculo praecise inquantum-hujusmodi, sed
inquantum peccat contra praeceptum humanae legis.’

[131] _Ibid._, Lib. I, cap. xii, pp. 169-71.

[132] Workman, _op. cit._, vol. i. ‘Wyclif has been called the Morning
Star of the Reformation, but the author of the _Defensor Pacis_ might
more justly claim the title.’ _Cf._, on modernity of Marsiglio’s
thought, B. Labanca, _Marsilio da Padova_ (Padua, 1882), pp. 219 _et

[133] Fitzralph’s treatise, _De Pauperie Salvatoris_, is printed as an
appendix to Wycliffe’s _De Dominio Divino_ (Wyclif Society, 1890), pp.

[134] For this whole subject, see Lea, vol. iii, pp. 590-4.

[135] _Ibid._, pp. 596-9.

[136] See _supra_, pp. 68, 75.

[137] _De Dominio Divino_ (Wyclif Society, 1890), p. 33. ‘Ideo Deus
non mediate per regimen vasallorum subserviencium, ut reges ceteri,
dominatur, cum immediate et per se facit, sustentat, et gubernat omne
quod possidet, juvatque ad perficiendum opera secundum usus alios quos

[138] See Poole, _op. cit._, p. 293.

[139] See Workman, _op. cit._, vol. i, pp. 173-8.

[140] See _Fasciculi Zizaniorum Magistri Johannis Wyclif_ (Rolls
series, ed. W. W. Shirley, 1858), pp. 280-1.

[141] Wycliffe’s _De Potestate Pape_ (Wyclif Society, ed. J. Loserth,
1907), p. 84.

[142] _De Civili Dominio_ (Wyclif Society, ed. R. L. Poole, 1885), vol.
i, pp. 335-42; also pp. 265-74, ch. xxxvii. See also _Select English
Works_ (ed. T. Arnold, 1869-71), vol. iii, pp. 216-17.

[143] See _De Potestate Pape_, pp. 84, 238 _et seq._, 378-9.

[144] _Ibid._, pp. 145-6, 154-5. This idea is either explicitly or
implicitly in all Wycliffe’s later teachings.

[145] _Ibid._, pp. 120 _et seq._, 148, 212, 266 _et seq._ The whole
book is indeed on this theme. Wycliffe does not scruple to call a bad
pope ‘_horribilius monstrum_.’ Cf. _Fasciculi Zizaniorum_, p. 278.

[146] _De Potestate Pape_, p. 272.

[147] _Fasciculi Zizaniorum_, p. 278.

[148] _Ibid._, p. 279; D. Wilkins, _Concilia M. Britanniae et
Hiberniae_ (1737). vol. iii, p. 157.

[149] _Works of Thomas Cranmer_ (ed. J. E. Cox, Parker Society), vol.
ii, _Misc. Writings_, p. 119.

[150] See Wilkins, vol. iii, p. 350; _Chronicon H. Knighton_ (Rolls
series, ed. J. R. Lumby, 1889-95), vol. ii, p. 152.

[151] _Ibid._

[152] See _Fasciculi Zizaniorum_, p. 278, from _Epistola Willelmi
Cantuariensis super condemnatione haeresum Wycclyff in synodo_. See
also extract from a sermon by Wycliffe on this subject, _ibid._,
introd., pp. lxiv-lxv.

[153] There was a tendency to Pantheism in Wycliffe. See Workman, _op.
cit._, vol. i, p. 137 n.

[154] _De Eucharistia_ (Wyclif Society, 1892), p. 109, cap. iv.

[155] _Ibid._, pp. 189-232, cap. viii.

[156] _Ibid._, cap. i, pp. 15-16. ‘Nichil enim horribilius quam quod
quilibet sacerdos celebrans facit vel consecrat cotidie corpus Christi.’

[157] _Ibid._, cap. iv, p. 109.

[158] _Ibid._, Introd., p. liii; cap. iv, pp. 110-11.

[159] _Fasciculi Zizaniorum_, p. 278.

[160] See Foxe’s _Acts and Monuments_, iv and v.

[161] Workman, _op. cit._, vol. i, p. 229. ‘Of the scholastic Lollards
it may be written that logic makes no martyrs.’ _Cf._ pp. 213-90.

[162] See popular ballads in J. S. Brewer, _Monumenta Franciscana_
(1858), pp. 591-608.

[163] Knighton, _op. cit._, vol. ii, pp. 184-7.

[164] _De Haeretico Comburendo_ being frequently enforced from 1401.

[165] See Count Lützow, _The Life and Times of Master John Hus_ (1909),
pp. 17-62; J. Loserth, _Wyclif and Hus_ (trans. M. J. Evans, 1884); A.
H. Wratislaw, _Native Literature of Bohemia in the Fourteenth Century_
(1878), esp. book ii, pp. 181-291.

[166] See Lützow, _op. cit._, pp. 47-62.

[167] _Documenta Mag. Joannis Hus_ (ed. F. Palacky, Prague, 1869), pp.
347-9, 355-63. See Lützow, _op. cit._, pp. 106-9. Wenzel’s reasoned
answer to the objections made by the Germans may have been Hus’s work.
For the contest at the University, see also H. Rashdall, _Universities
of Europe in the Middle Ages_, vol. ii, pp. 212-32.

[168] Lützow, _op. cit._, pp. 130-3, 159-60; Palacky, _Documenta_, pp.
464-6; _The Letters of John Hus_ (ed. Workman and Pope, 1904), pp.

[169] Due to the marriage of Wenzel’s sister, Anne, to Richard II.

[170] Palacky, _Documenta_, pp. 289, 292.

[171] _Ibid._, p. 293.

[172] _Ibid._, p. 287; _Letters of Hus_, p. 217. Hus does not seem
to have regarded the Utraquist question as of great consequence. See
Creighton, _Papacy_, vol. ii, p. 86.

[173] See J. B. Schwab, _J. Gerson_ (Würzburg, 1858), pp. 482-9; also
Creighton, vol. i, appendix 2, pp. 365-8.

[174] D’Ailly in Gerson’s _Works_, vol. ii, pp. 949 _et seq._

[175] Gerson, _ibid._, p. 72.

[176] _Ibid._, p. 178. See also, generally, Gerson’s ‘De Unitate
Ecclesiastica,’ _Works_, vol. ii, pp. 113-14; Niem, Theodoricus de,
_De Schismate_ (1890). For full list of tracts, see _Cambridge Modern
History_, vol. iii, pp. 867-8.

[177] See Creighton’s _Papacy_, vol. i, p. 143.

[178] F. Gregorovius, _Hist. of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages_
(trans. A. Hamilton, 1894-1902), vol. vi, p. 606; J. N. Figgis, _From
Gerson to Grotius_ (1907), p. 35.

[179] See Gerson’s exhortation to the Archbishop of Prague to extirpate
the heresy in Bohemia, Palacky, _Documenta_, pp. 523-6.

[180] _Letters of Hus_, pp. 146-9, 149-51. These are letters written
by Hus at the time of his setting out for Constance. One of them, he
instructs, is only to be opened in the event of his death.

[181] See Gerson, _Works_, vol. ii, p. 572; H. v. der Hardt, _Magnum
oecumenicum Constantiense concilium_ (Frankfort, 1697-1742), vol. iv,
p. 521; Palacky, _Documenta_, p. 284; Lea, vol. ii, pp. 467-8. ‘The
explanation of the controversy over the violation of the safe-conduct
is perfectly simple. Germany, and especially Bohemia, knew so little
about the Inquisition and the systematic persecution of heresy that
surprise and indignation were excited by the application to the case
of Hus of the recognized principles of the canon law. The Council
could not have done otherwise than it did without surrendering those

[182] _Letters of Hus_, p. 216.

[183] Lützow, p. 249.

[184] Palacky, _Documenta_, pp. 308, 310. Like Wycliffe before and
Luther after him, Hus would acknowledge no other authority than
Scripture. The Council wanted him to acknowledge the authority of the
Church and of itself as the Church’s representative.

[185] _Letters of Hus_, p. 226.

[186] _Ibid._, p. 217.

[187] _Ibid._, p. 224.

[188] _Letters of Hus_, p. 239. See also his letter addressed to
all the people of Bohemia, pp. 230-3; also pp. 275-6, and Palacky,
_Documenta_, p. 323. See Creighton, _Papacy_, vol. ii, p. 51: ‘ ... It
is the glory of Hus that he first deliberately asserted the right of
the individual conscience against ecclesiastical authority, and sealed
his assertion by his own life-blood.’

[189] See, however, J. Mackinnon, _A History of Modern Liberty_ (1906),
vol. i, p. 162: ‘The defiance of the Council was the prelude of the
modern Reformation. It was a distinct intimation not merely of a
solitary reformer like Wiclif or Hus, but of a body of men who claimed
to speak in the name of a whole people, that they would not submit
to traditional authority _per se_. It was a plea for fair discussion
of matters of controversy, and a protest against the principle of
stifling inquiry and dissent by such authority. Otherwise the reason
and intelligence of the inquirer will revolt in the name of conscience,
justice and religion.’

[190] J. Glanvill, _A Blow at Sadducism_ (1688), p. 5. _Cf._ pp. 32-3:
‘But to reserve all the clear circumstances of Fact, which we find in
well attested and confirmed Relations of this kind into the power of
deceivable imagination, is to make fancy the greater Prodigy; and to
suppose, that it can do stranger feats than are believed of any other
kind of function. And to think that Pins and Nails, for instance,
can by the power of imagination be conveyed within the skin; or that
imagination should deceive so many as have been witnesses in objects
of sense, in all the circumstances of discovery; this, I say, is to be
infinitely more credulous than the assertors of sorcery and Demoniack
Contracts. And by the same reason it may be believed that all the
Battels and strange events of the world, which our selves have not
seen, are but dreams and fond imaginations.’

[191] W. E. H. Lecky, _Rationalism in Europe_ (1904), vol. i, p. 18.

[192] See W. E. H. Lecky, _Rationalism in Europe_ (1904), vol. i, pp.

[193] See Lea, vol. iii, pp. 422-9.

[194] See _ibid._, p. 434.

[195] Sprenger, _Malleus Maleficarum_ (Frankfort ed., 1582), vol. i,
pp. 488-9: ‘Et eodem modo de adorantibus Daemonē & sacrificantibus
ei quia si hoc faciunt, credentes Divinitatem esse in Daemonibus,
vel credentes quod cultus latriae sit ei exhibendus, vel quod omnino
ex exhibitione talis cultus, assequantur quod requirunt a Diabolo,
non obstāte Dei prohibitione, seu etiam permissione, tales essent
haeretici. Sed si ista faciunt non ita sentientes de Daemone; sed ut
aliquo pacto cum Daemone facilius per ista exequantur ab ipso quod
intendunt, tales non sunt haeretici natura rei, licet gravissime

[196] A. Albertini, _De Agnoscendis assertionibus Catholicis_ in
Zilettus, _Tractatus Universi Juris_, vol. xi, pt. ii, pp. 65-6. _Cf._
J. Simancas, _De Catholicis Institutionibus_ in Zilettus, _ibid._, p.
144 (Tit. xxi).

[197] Lea, vol. iii, p. 454: ‘Inquisitors ... began to insert a clause
renouncing sorcery in all abjurations administered to repentant
heretics, so that in case they should become addicted to it they could
be promptly burned for relapse.’

[198] For Peter of Abano, see _supra_, pp. 69, 70, and Lea, vol. iii,
p. 440; for Gilles de Rais, _ibid._, pp. 468-89.

[199] Ordinarily inquisitorial trials were secret. Another abnormal
feature in this case was the presence of a prosecutor; the third was
that the court was really a joint one, being in part the bishop and
inquisitors sitting together as a tribunal of the Holy Office to hear
the charge of heresy, in part the bishop sitting as president of the
ordinary episcopal court, the inquisitors not included, to hear the
charge of unnatural lust with which the Inquisition was not competent
to deal.

[200] _Cf._ Lea, vol. iii, p. 486: ‘The morning saw the extraordinary
spectacle of the clergy, followed by the whole population of Nantes,
who had been clamouring for his death, marching through the streets and
singing and praying for his salvation.’

[201] Lecky, _Rationalism in Europe_, vol. i, pp. 47-53.

[202] See _Bart. Spin. in Ponzinibium de lamiis Apologia prima_ in
_Malleorum quorundam Maleficarum tam veterum quam recentiorum authorum
tomi duo_ (Frankfort, 1582), vol. ii, pp. 623 _et seq._

[203] _Ibid._, vol. i, pp. 1-8 in Sprenger’s _Malleus Maleficarum_.

[204] For a critique of Sprenger’s work, see J. Michelet, _La Sorcière_
in _Œuvres Complètes_ (Paris, 1893-9), pp. 481-96.

[205] Sprenger, vol. i, p. 94; also Michelet, _op. cit._, p. 321.

[206] Albertini, _op. cit._, in Zilettus, vol. xi, pt. ii, p. 85; also
Sprenger, etc., vol. ii, pp. 262-4, and, generally, pp. 250 _et seq._,
_De modo quo localiter transferuntur de loco ad locum_.

[207] Frédéricq, _Documents_, vol. i, p. 371. ‘Et illecq leur remontra
comment ils avoient esté en ladite vaulderie, et fait tout ce que
dessus ai dit, et mesme que aulcunes d’icelles, qui estoient la
presentes, avoient esté cognues carnellement du diable d’enfer, l’une
en forme de lièvre, l’autre en forme de renard, l’autre en forme
de thor, l’aultre en forme d’homme et autant en forme de quelques
bestes’—from _Mémoires de Jacques du Clercq_.

[208] Sprenger, pp. 40 _et seq._, p. 773. See also in vol. ii. of
_Malleorum ... tomi duo, Tractatus utilis et necessarius per viam
Dialogi, de Pythonicis mulieribus_, pp. 56-7.

[209] Sprenger, etc., pp. 458-9 in Bartholomew de Spina’s _De

[210] _Ibid._, pp. 459-60.

[211] Sprenger, p. 546.

[212] de Spina, pp. 544-5.

[213] Sprenger, pp. 103-25, 267 _et seq._; also in vol. ii of
_Malleorum ... tomi duo, De Pythonicis mulieribus_, pp. 42-3.

[214] Sprenger, pp. 152 _et seq._ and 354.

[215] _Ibid._, pp. 152 _et seq._, 341 _et seq._; de Spina, in vol. ii,
p. 502.

[216] Sprenger, pp. 141 _et seq._, 296-301, 360 _et seq._; _De
Pythonicis mulieribus_, in vol. ii, pp. 65 _et seq._

[217] Sprenger, p. 310; _De Pythonicis mulieribus_, in vol. ii, p. 75.

[218] See Sprenger, p. 581. _Cf._ Lea, vol. iii, p. 508.

[219] A very effective play based upon this idea is that of H.
Wiers-Jenssen, of which the English version is _The Witch_, by John

[220] It was so decided by Gregory XI, when the right of the French
inquisition in the matter was challenged. Papal commissions issued
to inquisitors early in the fifteenth century specifically enumerate
sorcery and witchcraft among offences with which they are to deal.

[221] See Sprenger, pp. 492-3. Innocent VIII gave a great impetus to
persecution of witches in 1485 by his bull, _Summis desiderantes_, in
which all the malignant powers of the witch were enumerated. It was
this bull that gave authority to Jacob Sprenger, the author of _Malleus
Maleficarum_. It was supplemented by others of a similar character
issued by Julius II and Alexander VI.

[222] Sprenger, pp. 172-82.

[223] See Lecky, _op. cit._, vol. i, p. 3; Michelet, _op. cit._, p. 10.

[224] _Malleorum—tomi duo_, vol. ii, p. 520.

[225] Sprenger, p. 214. _Inquisitoribus Maleficae non possunt nocere._
‘In oppido nempe Ravenspurg, cum a consulibus Maleficae incinerandae
interrogarentur, cur nobis inquisitoribus aliqua maleficia, sicut
aliis hominibus, non intulissent, Responderunt: Licet pluries hoc
facere attentassent, non tamen potuerunt. Et de causa inquirentibus,
respondebant se nescire, nisi quod a Daemonibus informatae fuissent.’
Nevertheless, _ibid._, p. 559, inquisitors should be careful not to
allow themselves to be touched by wizards and witches.

[226] Sprenger, p. 549.

[227] _Ibid._, pp. 552-3.

[228] _Ibid._, p. 557. The adjuration was by the bitter tears of Christ
shed on the Cross for the sins of the world, by the tears shed by the
glorious Virgin Mary, by those shed by all the saints and elect of God
on earth.

[229] Such enmity had to be really mortal and well authenticated; for
the inquisitorial point of view was that of necessity a witch always
would excite a great deal of enmity. Allegations of enmity must,
therefore, always be carefully sifted. See Sprenger, pp. 542 _et seq._

[230] For the whole remarkable story, see Lea, vol. iii, pp. 519-34.

[231] James, i, 3.

[232] 2 Peter, ii, 1.

[233] 2 Corinth., xi, 13.

[234] Galat., i, 8. See also _ibid._, iii, 1, 3.

[235] 2 Thessal., iii, 15. _Cf._ Galat., iii, 1, 3.

[236] Polycarp, _Epist._ § 7, in _The Apostolic Fathers_ (ed. J. B.
Lightfoot, 1891), pp. 171, 179.

[237] ‘Ad officium haereticos compelli, non illici dignum est. Duritia
vincenda, non suadenda.’ Tertullian, _Opera omnia_ (ed. Migne,
_Patrologia latina_), vol. ii, col. 125.

[238] Lactantius, _Divin. Instit._, lib. v, cap. 20 (ed. Migne), vol.
i, p. 615.

[239] Tertullian, _Opera omnia_, vol. i, col. 699. _Liber ad Scapulam_,
cap. 2.

[240] See De Cauzons, _op. cit._, vol. i, p. 150.

[241] _Ibid._, p. 154.

[242] See Philippe à Limborch, _History of the Inquisition_ (trans.
S. Chandler, London, 1731), vol. i, p. 8; L. Tanon, _Histoire des
Tribunaux de l’Inquisition en France_ (Paris, 1893), pp. 127-33; De
Cauzons, vol. i, pp. 163-8; _Cod. Theod._, i, xvi, leges 3, 8, 12, 30,
33, 34, 35; C. Moeller in _Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique_ (Louvain,
1913), vol. xiv, pp. 728-9, _Les bûchers et les autos-da-fé depuis le
moyen âge_.

[243] _The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom_ (Oxford ed., Pusey), Homily
xlvi, on Matt. xiii, pp. 630 _et seq._

[244] Letter 82 to Theophilus, Bishop of Alexandria, in _Nicene and
Post-Nicene Fathers_ (ed. P. Schaff), 2nd series, vol. vi, pp. 170 _et
seq._ See Limborch (Chandler’s ed.), pp. 29-30. It has been averred
that St. Jerome was in favour of the death penalty, on the score of
_Epist. 109 ad Ripar_. See Lea, vol. i, pp. 214-15, and rejoinder of H.
Maillet, _L’Église et la répression sanglante de l’hérésie_ (1909), p.

[245] 48th Epistle to Vincentius.

[246] 50th Epistle to Boniface.

[247] Epistle 185, n. 26. Also Epistle 93, n. 10.

[248] See Lea, vol. i, p. 213; Maillet, p. 17, and De Cauzons, vol. i,
pp. 186-8.

[249] See Lea, vol. i, p. 215; Maillet, pp. 17 _et seq._; Vacandard,
pp. 27-30. ‘Nor were they [the bishops] content with merely accepting
it [the aid of the secular arm]. They declared that the State had not
only the right to help the Church in suppressing heresy, but that she
was in duty bound to do so.’ See also De Cauzons, vol. i, p. 189 n.,
and P. Frédéricq, _Les récents historiens catholiques de l’inquisition
en France_, in _Revue historique_ (vol. cix, Jan.-April, 1912), p. 314.

[250] This suggestion is made by J. Havet in his _L’Hérésie et le Bras
séculier au Moyen Age_ in _Œuvres_ (Paris, 1896), vol. ii, p. 131.

[251] See _ibid._, p. 138.

[252] Vacandard, _op. cit._, p. 33.

[253] Havet, pp. 129-34.

[254] _I.e._ in the _langue d’oïl_ of France, in Flanders, Germany,

[255] De Cauzons, vol. i, p. 235.

[256] See Havet, p. 135.

[257] See De Cauzons, vol. i, pp. 233-4.

[258] Frédéricq, _Corpus_, vol. i, pp. 6-7, No. 3, gives Wazon’s
letter. See also Frédéricq in _Revue historique_, already cited, p.
320; also Maillet, _op. cit._, p. 34. On the strength of this instance
he declares: ‘Nous voyons assez souvent les évêques s’opposer aux
exécutions’; whereas this episcopal protest is unique.

[259] Havet, _op. cit._, p. 133. See Maillet on the whole subject in
_op. cit._, chapter ii. He argues that Theoduin had no particular
punishment in view and that, therefore, one cannot say he approved the
execution of heretics. But as the Bishop must have known very well the
sort of punishment customarily inflicted by the State at this time, the
argument is not very sound.

[260] See De Cauzons, vol. i, p. 260.

[261] J. D. Mansi, _Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima Collectio_
(Paris, 1901-13), vol. xxi, p. 718, and Frédéricq, _Corpus_, vol. i,
No. 31.

[262] See De Cauzons, vol. ii, pp. 271-2; Tanon, p. 454.

[263] Frédéricq, _Corpus_, vol. i, No. 34; Maillet, p. 55; Frédéricq,
in criticism of Maillet in _Revue historique_, p. 321.

[264] Frédéricq, _Corpus_, vol. i, No. 39; Mansi, vol. xxi, p. 1177;
Havet, pp. 151-2.

[265] Mansi, vol. xxii, p. 231; Frédéricq, _Corpus_, vol. i, No. 47.

[266] See De Cauzons, vol. i, p. 269.

[267] Stubbs, _Select Charters of English Constitutional History_
(Oxford, 1890), pp. 145-6, § 21 of the Assize.

[268] See De Cauzons, vol. 1, p. 277.

[269] J. A. Llorente, _Histoire critique de l’Inquisition d’Espagne_
(Fr. trans. from the Spanish, Paris, 1818), vol. i, p. 30; Eymeric,
_Directorium_, p. 298.

[270] Ludovico à Paramo, _De Origine et Progressu Officii Sanctae
Inquisitionis eiusque dignitate et utilitate_ (Madrid, 1598), p. 90;
Havet, p. 167; De Cauzons, vol. i, p. 283. This is the first secular
law of the Middle Ages prescribing the penalty of the stake. But it
only refers to Waldenses in a particular country, and the stake is only
to be had recourse to in the event of banishment (the penalty primarily
enjoined) being incomplete. The legislation of general significance is
that of the Emperor Frederick II, between 1220 and 1239.

[271] For particulars of a rather interesting case see Lea, vol. i,
pp. 111-12. The charge of heresy was mainly based on the obduracy of
a young girl in repelling the licentious advances of a young canon of

[272] Mansi, vol. xx, p. 476; Frédéricq, _Corpus_, vol. i, No. 56.

[273] See Havet, p. 154.

[274] Vacandard, p. 56.

[275] This is the argument of Maillet, _op. cit._, p. 49.

[276] See Frédéricq, _Revue historique_, p. 320.

[277] A. Luchaire, _Innocent III; la croisade des Albigeois_ (Paris,
1905), pp. 58-9.

[278] _Ibid._, pp. 17, 27.

[279] _Ibid._, pp. 7-8; Tanon, p. 21.

[280] Luchaire, _op. cit._, p. 103.

[281] J. C. L. Sismondi, _History of the Crusades against the
Albigenses_ (Eng. trans.), p. 53.

[282] Lea, vol. i, p. 154. See, however, Lord Acton in his review of
Lea’s work in _The History of Freedom of Thought and other Essays_
(1909), p. 567. The chronicler, Caesarius Heisterbach, does not relate
a fact, but tells a story, which may or may not be fact.

[283] The _potestas inquirendi_ handed down from Christ to St. Peter
has been annexed to the episcopal dignity. See Ludovico à Paramo, _op.
cit._, book ii, p. 89.

[284] C. Douais, _L’Inquisition; ses origines, sa procédure_ (Paris,
1906), pp. 45-6.

[285] Sometimes a new heresy was not at once recognized as one at
all. Gregory VII was indulgent to Berengar of Tours and Alexander III
congratulated Peter Waldo. See Luchaire, _op. cit._, p. 38.

[286] See De Cauzons, _op. cit._, vol. i, p. 333.

[287] Simancas, _op. cit._, Tit. xxv, p. 150, ‘De Episcopis.’

[288] See Lea, vol. i, p. 310; De Cauzons, vol. i, pp. 378-80. See
also A. Esmein, _Histoire de la Procédure Criminelle en France, et
spécialement de la Procédure inquisitoire_ (Paris, 1882), pp. 66-78;
in English version, _A History of Continental Criminal Procedure_,
Continental Legal History Series, vol. v (Boston, 1913), pp. 3-11,

[289] Mansi, _op. cit._, vol. xxii, pp. 476-8.

[290] See De Cauzons, vol. i, p. 393.

[291] At first sight it may appear as though the completeness of the
success of the Albigensian Crusade rendered further action unnecessary.
This would appear to be the implication in Douais’ _L’Inquisition_,
pp. 45-6. As a matter of fact it was rather a case of following up an
initial advantage.

[292] Mansi, vol. xxii, p. 785.

[293] _Ibid._, vol. xxiii, p. 24, § xiv. ‘_Ut sint in omnibus
parochiis, qui de haeresi & manifestis criminibus inquirant._’

[294] _Ibid._ p. 194, § i.

[295] Mansi, vol. xxii, pp. 989-90.

[296] See De Cauzons, vol. i, p. 395; P. Fournier, _Les Officialités au
Moyen Age_ (Paris, 1880), pp. 266-9.

[297] Ludovico à Paramo, pp. 27, 31, 49.

[298] Luchaire, _op. cit._, p. 71. ‘En 1204, il enleva aux évêques,
pour la donner aux légats, la juridiction ordinaire en matière
d’hérésie, première esquisse du procédé d’où sortira l’Inquisition.’
To which M. Douais rightly retorts: ‘Il n’est pas exact de dire que le
Pape enleva aux évêques la juridiction ordinaire en matière d’hérésie.
Il ne leur enleva rien.’ _L’Inquisition_, p. 67. See, however, De
Cauzons, vol. i, p. 414. ‘Sans enlever donc aux évêques le droit de
juger les hérétiques, les rescrits romains constituaient, à côté de
leur tribunal, un pouvoir, pouvant juger lui aussi, avec des juges
d’une juridiction plus étendue que le leur, ayant le droit d’exiger des
chefs des diocèses l’obéissance à leur autorité. Il suffisait d’assurer
à ce tribunal nouveau les moyens d’exécuter ses sentences et de le
rendre permanent, pour avoir l’Inquisition.’

[299] For claim that Dominic was the first inquisitor, see Ludovico à
Paramo, pp. 95-6; Douais, _L’Inquisition_, pp. 25-6; De Cauzons, vol.
i, p. 421 n. Dominic was certainly more than a missionary preacher; he
examined and condemned heretics. See Acton, _op. cit._, p. 554.

[300] It has been said, truly, that it is neither the crime, nor the
procedure, nor the penalty that makes the inquisitor in the strict
sense; but his character as a permanent _judge-delegate_ for the cause
of heresy. Douais, _L’Inquisition_, pp. 37-8.

[301] For text of commission to Conrad, see Frédéricq, _Corpus_, vol.
i, p. 71, No. 72. ‘ ... diligenter et vigilanter inquiras heretica
pravitate infectos in partibus memoratis, ut per illos, ad quos
pertinet, zizania valeat de agro Domini extirpari.’ Douais on this
comments (_op. cit._, p. 53 n.), ‘Si Conrad eut été inquisiteur, c’est
à lui que ce soin eût d’abord incombé comme juge.’ The argument is
invalid. The appeal to the assistance of the secular arm is normal and
certainly does not prove Conrad not to have been an inquisitor. See
Lea, vol. ii, p. 319, ‘This was in effect an informal commission as
inquisitor-general for Germany’; and De Cauzons, vol. i, p. 449.

[302] For text of the bull, _Ille humani generis_, see Mansi, vol.
xxiii, pp. 74-5; Frédéricq, _Corpus_, vol. i, No. 83, pp. 82-3. The
Friars are urged to demolish the heretics who ‘sicut cancer serperent
in occulto, & velut vulpes latentes niterentur vineam Domini Sabaoth

[303] Lea, vol. i, p. 328. _Cf._ Tanon, _op. cit._, p. 175, who
considers that Lea does not attach sufficient importance to these bulls.

[304] The first bull delegating inquisitorial powers to the Brothers
Minor in collective fashion is apparently one issued by Innocent IV,
Jan. 13, 1246. See Frédéricq, _Corpus_, vol. i, No. 122.

[305] See De Cauzons, _op. cit._, vol. i, p. 446 n. ‘La transformation
des Inquisitions épiscopaux en juges pontificaux, a été la vraie
fondation de l’Inquisition; telle qu’elle est connue et louée par
certains, abhorrée par d’autres. Or, cette transformation s’est faite
progressivement, par tâtonnements autour des années 1230-1233, non par
édit général, plutôt par rescrits spéciaux. Les dominicains ont été
l’occasion d’un bon nombre de ces rescrits, mais non de tous.’

[306] See Lea, vol. i, p. 330.

[307] _Ibid._, p. 339.

[308] _Ibid._

[309] Tanon, _op. cit._, pp. 177-80.

[310] _Historia Diplomatica Friderici Secundi_, Huillard-Bréholles
(Paris, 1852-61), vol. ii, pt. i, pp. 4-6; _Monumenta Germaniae
historica_, G. A. Pertz (Hanover and Berlin), vol. iv, pp. 242-5;
Frédéricq, _Corpus_, vol. i, pp. 70-1, No. 71.

[311] See Maillet, _op. cit._, ch. ii; Frédéricq in _Revue historique_,
p. 310. This edict was drawn up five days before the coronation
ceremony by the Curia and sent to receive the imperial signature, so
that it might be published in the Emperor’s name in St. Peter’s. For
Frederick’s promise to assist the Pope against heresy, see Frédéricq,
_Corpus_, vol. i, p. 70, No. 70.

[312] Huillard-Bréholles, vol. ii, pp. 421-3; G. A. Pertz, vol. iv,
p. 252. ‘Presenti edictuli constitutione nostra in tota Lombardia
inviolabiliter de cetero valitura duximus sanciendum ut quicumque
per civitatis antistitem vel diocesanum in qua degit post condignam
examinationem fuerit de haeresi manifeste convictus et hereticus
judicatus, per potestatem, consilium et catholicos viros civitatis
et diocesis earumdem ad requisitionem antistitis illico capiatur,
auctoritate nostra ignis judicio concremandus, ut vel ultricibus
flammis pereat, aut si miserabili vite ad coercitionem aliorum degerint
reservandum, eum lingue plectro deprivent, quo non est veritas contra
ecclesiasticam fidem invehi et nomen Domini blasphemari.’

[313] Huillard-Bréholles, vol. i, pp. 5-8; Pertz, vol. ii, p. 242;
Mansi, vol. xxiv. pp. 586-8.

[314] Havet, _op. cit._, pp. 169-70.

[315] For arguments ascribing the responsibility to Frederick,
see Havet (_passim_) and J. Ficker, _Die Gesetzliche Einführung
der Todesstrafe für Ketzerei_ in _Mittheilungen des Instituts für
oesterreichische Geschichtsforschung_ (1880), pp. 177-226, 430-1. See
also C. Moeller in _Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique_ (Louvain, vol.
xiv, 1913); _Les Bûchers et les Autos-da-fé de l’Inquisition depuis
le Moyen Age_ (pp. 720-51), esp. pp. 725-6; Maillet, _op. cit._, p.
87, and De Cauzons, _op. cit._, vol. i, pp. 293-7: ‘La théorie qui met
sur le dos de Frédéric II la responsabilité des mesures de répression
sanglante, du bûcher en particulier, est née de tendances apologétiques
mal comprises, car vouloir concilier l’Inquisition avec nos idées
modernes est une chimère.’ Also Tanon, _op. cit._, p. 462. These laws
‘n’en sont pas moins eu une grande importance pour le temps où elles
ont été rendues, en présence des difficultés que l’Église rencontrait,
en Italie aussi bien qu’en France, de la part des autorités laïques,
pour assurer la répression de l’hérésie, en donnant à cette répression
la sanction nouvelle de l’autorité impériale elles devaient aider
puissamment l’Église à vaincre ces résistances.’

[316] See Maillet, _op. cit._, in ch. ii; Douais, _L’Inquisition_, ch.
5, esp. pp. 141-2; also De Cauzons, vol. i, pp. 296-7 n., and Moeller,
_op. cit._, pp. 727-8.

[317] Lea, vol. i, pp. 227-8. ‘We can imagine the smile of amused
surprise with which Gregory IX or Gregory XI would have listened to
the dialectics with which the Comte Joseph de Maistre proves that it
is an error to suppose, and much more to assert, that Catholic priests
can in any manner be instrumental in compassing the death of a fellow

[318] Havet, p. 174; Douais, _L’Inquisition_, p. 122.

[319] Havet, p. 176; Acton, _op. cit._, p. 555.

[320] Acton, _op. cit._, p. 557. ‘The five years of his abode in Rome
changed the face of the Church.... Very soon after Saint Raymond
appeared at the Papal court, the use of the stake became law, and the
inquisitorial machinery had been devised and the management given
to the priors of the order. When he departed he left behind him
instructions for the treatment of heresy, which the Pope adopted and
sent out whenever they were wanted.... Until he came, in spite of much
violence and many laws, the popes had imagined no permanent security
against religious error, and were not formally committed to death by
burning. Gregory himself, excelling all the priesthood in vigour and
experience, had for four years laboured, vaguely and in vain, with the
transmitted implements. Of a sudden, in these successive measures,
he finds his way, and builds up the institution which is to last for
centuries. That this mighty change in the conditions of religious
thought and life, and in the functions of the order was supported by
Dominicans, is probable. And it is reasonable to suppose that it was
the work of the foremost Dominican then living, who at that very moment
had risen to power and predominance at Rome.’

[321] See De Cauzons, vol. i, pp. 301-3.

[322] Frédéricq, _Corpus_, vol. i, pp. 78-80, No. 80, _Capitula
Senatoris Annibaldi et populi Romani edicta contra Patarenos_. See
Gregorovius, _City of Rome_, vol. vi, pt. 1, pp. 156-61. Heretics were
at this time numerous in the States of the Church, Viterbo, Perugia and
Orvieto; also in Lombardy. Some of these, the Arnoldists at any rate,
were also Ghibellines. ‘The Inquisition now became another instrument
in the hands of the Pope for the subjection of the people.’

[323] Mansi, vol. xxiii, pp. 586 _et seq._

[324] Council of Rheims, 1148, Frédéricq, _Corpus_, vol. i, No. 31;
Montpellier, 1162, _ibid._, No. 35; Lateran, 1179, _ibid._, No. 47.

[325] Verona, 1184, Frédéricq, _Corpus_, No. 56; Montpellier, 1195,
_ibid._, No. 58; Fourth Lateran, 1215, _ibid._, No. 68. See also Mansi,
vol. xxii, pp. 987-8; Eymeric, _Directorium_, pt. ii, question 46, p.

[326] In Mansi, vol. xxiii, pp. 569 _et seq._

[327] § 1.

[328] §§ 3, 5, 12-15.

[329] §§ 24, 25, 31.

[330] § 37.

[331] _Summa_, 2, 2, qu. 11, arts. 3 and 4. ‘Multo enim gravius
corrumpere fidem, per quam est animae vita, quam falsare pecuniam, per
quam temporali vitae subvenitur. Unde si falsarii pecuniae vel alii
malefactores statim per saeculares principes juste morti traduntur,
multo magis haeretici statim ex quo de haeresi convincuntur, possunt
non solum excommunicari, sed et juste occidi.’ Vacandard (p. 176)
answers: ‘Such reasoning is not very convincing. Why should not the
life-imprisonment of the heretic safeguard the faithful as well as his
death? Will you answer that this penalty is too trivial to prevent
the faithful from falling into heresy? If that be so, why not at
once condemn all heretics to death, even when repentant? That would
terrorize the wavering ones all the more. But St. Thomas evidently was
not thinking of the logical consequences of his reasoning. His one aim
was to defend the criminal code in vogue at the time. That is his only
excuse. For we must admit that rarely has his reasoning been so faulty
and so weak as in his thesis upon the coercive power of the Church
and the punishment of heresy.’ St. Thomas’s logic is sounder than his
apologist’s, if his humanity is less! It is not St. Thomas’s logic that
is at fault, but the standpoint of mediæval Christianity, which it is
vain to seek to harmonize with modern humanitarianism.

[332] St. John, xv, 6. Vacandard, p. 177. ‘To regard our Saviour as the
precursor or rather the author of the criminal code of the Inquisition
evidences, one must admit, a very peculiar temper of mind.’ So judged,
again by modern humanitarianism.

[333] Tanon, pp. 52-3. To be carefully distinguished from Arnaud of
Citeaux, Archbishop of Narbonne, the former papal legate in Languedoc.

[334] Vaissete & Devic, _op. cit._, vol. iv, p. 118. ‘Clamor validus et
insinuatio luctuosa fidelium subditorum, processus suos inquisitionis
negotio a captionibus, quaestionibus, et excogitatis tormentis
incipiens personas quas pro libito asserit haeretica labe notatas,
abnegare Christum ... vi vel motu tormentorum fateri compellit.’

[335] See Douais, _Documents_, vol. ii, pp. 303-27, for particulars of
this commission.

[336] The bull, _Multorum querela_, incorporated in the decrees of this
Council. See Frédéricq, _Corpus_, vol. i, No. 170.

[337] _Practica_, p. 188.

[338] Tanon, p. 116.

[339] See Tanon, p. 119. Also the case of the Sieur de Partenay, the
most powerful noble of Poitou. Lea, vol. ii, p. 124.

[340] Lea, vol. ii, p. 130.

[341] Lea, vol. ii, pp. 130-2.

[342] _Ibid._, p. 140.

[343] Lea, vol. ii. p. 341.

[344] Lea, vol. ii, p. 221. For Peter Martyr, see Ludovico à Paramo,
pp. 108-9.

[345] Lea, vol. ii, p. 236.

[346] Lea, vol. ii. p. 236. Notably Honorius III in 1286, who, in
consideration of the fidelity of the people of Tuscany, relieved them
of the penalties of heresy, save in the case of the relapsed, so that
the children of heretics could enjoy the property confiscated from
their parents.

[347] _Ibid._, p. 251.

[348] Ludovico à Paramo attributes the tranquillity of Spain to the
beneficent influence of the Inquisition, _op. cit._, p. 290.

[349] Llorente, vol. i, pp. 66-97.

[350] Mansi, vol. xxiii, pp. 553-8.

[351] See eulogy of Eymeric in Ludovico à Paramo, p. 110.

[352] See Lea, vol. ii, pp. 290-315. For Bohemia, see pp. 427-505.

[353] _Practica_, pp. 232-3, ‘Diligens ac fervens zelo veritatis
fidei et salubris animarum ad detestationem et extirpationem heretice
pravitatis.... Inquisitor sit constans: persistat inter pericula et
adversa usque ad mortem, pro justitia fidei agonizans, ut non temerarie
praesumat per audaciam que periculose precipiat.’ _Cf._ Eymeric,
_Directorium_, p. 575, ‘Inquisitor debet esse conversatione honestus,
prudentia circumspectus, constantia firmus, sacra doctrina fidei
eminenter eruditus et virtutibus circumfultus.’ See also Frédéricq,
_Corpus_, vol. i, Nos. 215, 243.

[354] _Ibid._, pp. 594, 602; Ludovico à Paramo, p. 106.

[355] Limborch, _Historia Inquisitionis_, p. 124, cap. ix;
_Directorium_, pp. 631-2.

[356] See Lea, vol. i, p. 379.

[357] See Vacandard, _op. cit._, p. 139.

[358] Douais, _L’Inquisition_, p. 246; De Cauzons, vol. ii, p. 134.

[359] Vacandard, p. 142; Lea, vol. i, pp. 388-9.

[360] In sentences the name of the bishop preceded that of the
inquisitor. Bernard Gui, _Practica_, p. 93.

[361] Arnaldo Albertini, _Tractatus de Agnoscendis Assertionibus
Catholicis et haereticis_, in F. Zilettus, _op. cit._, vol. xi, pt. ii,
pp. 52 _et seq._

[362] See Tanon, p. 218.

[363] Vacandard, p. 162.

[364] Simancas in Zilettus, vol. xi, pt. ii, pp. 96-7, 104, 122.

[365] Moeller, _op. cit._, p. 740. ‘The spirit of the inquisitors is
another matter. There is room for distrust of their propensity to
discover heresies everywhere. Their _amour propre_ was engaged to
discover it under the most puzzling appearances.’

[366] See J. à Royas, _De Haereticis_, in Zilettus, vol. xi, pt. ii,
pp. 212-24 (_passim_); Albertini, _op. cit._, p. 53; Ludovico à Paramo,
p. 544. See both Royas and Albertini _passim_ on the general question
of how to recognize a heretic, also Simancas in tit. xxxi.

[367] Simancas, p. 155.

[368] Eymeric, _Directorium_, p. 343. ‘Haeretici affirmativi dicti
sunt, qui habent eorum quae sunt fidei, errorem in mente, et verbo
vel facto ostendunt, se modis praedictis habere pertinaciam in
voluntate.’—‘Negativi vero haeretici dicti sunt, qui coram judice fidei
per testes legitimos de aliqua haeresi, vel errore, quos nolunt vel non
possunt repellere, rite sive juste convicti sunt, sed non confessi,
immo in negativa constanter perseverant; verbo fidem catholicam
profitentur et detestantur etiam verbo haereticam pravitatem.’ _Cf._ p.

[369] Lea, vol. i, pp. 433-4. ‘That a man against whom nothing
substantial was proved should be punished merely because he was
suspected of guilt may seem to modern eyes a scant measure of justice;
but to the inquisitor it appeared a wrong to God and man that any one
should escape against whose orthodoxy there rested a shadow of doubt.
Like much else taught by the Inquisition, this found its way into
general criminal laws, which it perverted for centuries.’

[370] Simancas in Zilettus, vol. xi, pt. ii, pp. 133-5. See Tanon, p.

[371] See Douais, _L’Inquisition_, Appendix, p. 276, Raymond of
Peñaforte’s ruling.

[372] See Mansi, vol. xxiii, p. 360. Council of Narbonne, 1235. ‘Quinam
existimandi fautores haereticorum.’ A sin in the eyes of the Church;
and, it should be added, highly improper and dangerous conduct probably
in the eyes of the average man in those days.

[373] Albertini in Zilettus, vol. xi, pt. ii, p. 82.

[374] Ludovico à Paramo, _op. cit._, pp. 37, 45.

[375] _Cf._ De Cauzons, _op. cit._, vol. ii, p. 203.

[376] See Fournier, _op. cit._, pp. 235-7, 262-73. See also Esmein,
_op. cit._, pp. 66-134 (_passim_), English version, pp. 8-16, 78-94.

[377] _Practica_, p. 182.

[378] Fournier, _op. cit._, p. 265; Tanon, pp. 272-6.

[379] Fournier, pp. 266-7.

[380] For forms of citation, see Bernard Gui, _Practica_, pp. 3 _et
seq._; Tanon, pp. 339 _et seq._

[381] Fournier, p. 273. The inquisitor, or his delegate. _Supra_, p.

[382] Bernard Gui, _Practica_, pp. 235 _et seq._; Eymeric, pp. 465
_et seq._ _Cautelae inquisitorum contra haereticorum cavillationes et

[383] B. Hauréau, _Bernard Délicieux et l’inquisition albigeoise_
(Paris, 1877), p. 89.

[384] _Cf._ Tanon, p. 357.

[385] On the ‘shock’ of accusation, see Langlois, _op. cit._, p. 56. On
methods of interrogatories generally, see Molinier, _op. cit._, pp. 328
_et seq._

[386] See Tanon, pp. 388-9.

[387] _Ibid._, pp. 390 _et seq._; Limborch (Eng. tr.), vol. i, p. 179.

[388] Bernard Gui’s _Practica_, pp. 189-90, 243. ‘Non ... expedit quod
omnes interrogationes scribantur, sed tantum ille que magis tangunt
substantiam vel naturam facti.’ _Cf._ Ludovico à Paramo, p. 523.

[389] See Molinier, pp. 155, 327.

[390] See Simancas in Zilettus, vol. xi, pt. ii, pp. 103-8, 121-2, 202;
Lea, vol. i, pp. 441-2.

[391] Eymeric, _Directorium_, p. 662.

[392] _Ibid._, p. 663, Peña’s comment, No. 119. ‘Familiares &
domesticos non admitti in hoc crimine ad defendendum reum, & ratio
non inepta haec potest, nam quemadmodum nemo unquam carnem suam odio
habuit, eodem modo nemo putandus est consanguineos suos odio habere,
tum etiam quia cum ex hoc crimine infamia in filios descendat, si
filii ad testimonium dicendum pro parentibus admitterentur, facile ut
infamiam vitarent, mentirentur.’

[393] On the question of the confessional, see De Cauzons, vol. ii, pp.
214-7; Douais, _L’Inquisition_, p. 279, in treatise ascribed to Raymond
of Peñaforte; Lea, vol. i, p. 437 and note. For decree of Council of
Tarragona, see Mansi, vol. xxiii, pp. 555-6. See also E. Martène and U.
Durand, _Thesaurus novus Anecdotorum_ (Paris, 1717), vol. v, p. 1802.
_Doctrina de Modo Procedendi contra Haereticos_, the section _Qualiter
sacerdos debet inquirere in confessione de facto haeresis._ ‘Item,
injungitur sacerdotibus quod in poenitentiis diligenter inquirant de
haereticis & Insabbatis, credentibus, & fautoribus eorumdem, & si quid
invenerint, fideliter conscribant, & mox cum illo vel cum illis qui hoc
confessi fuerint, episcopo, vel ejus vicario, quid super hoc invenerint
manifestent. Si vero confessus noluerit consentire, ut quod dictum est
reveletur episcopo vel ejus vicario, Ipse nihilominus sacerdos requirat
consilium non specificando personam a peritis & Deum timentibus,
qualiter sit ulterius procedendum.’

[394] _Directorium_, p. 480.

[395] See Tanon, p. 401.

[396] Mansi, vol. xxiii, p. 838.

[397] De Cauzons, vol. ii, p. 188.

[398] See Ludovico à Paramo, p. 550; Simancas in Zilettus, vol. xi, pt.
ii, pp. 138-40.

[399] See Douais, _Documents_, vol. ii, p. 136. ‘Arnaldus Pagesii, de
Mossoleux, comparuit apud Carcassonam coram domino episcopo Carcassone;
et requisitus si vult se deffendere de hiis qui in inquisitione inventa
sunt contra eum, respondit quod nullus pro vero potest aliquid dicere
de ipso. Requisitus si velit ea de scriptis recipere, dixit quod
non; et aliter non vult se deffendere. _Item_, requisitus si habet
inimicos, dixit quod sic, Ber. Gausbert et Martinum Montanerii, sed
nullam legitimam causam inimicitiarum assignavit; et alios inimicos
noluit nominare.’ Cf. _ibid._, p. 178. See also Lea, vol. i, pp. 578-9,

[400] Tanon, p. 402.

[401] _Ibid._, p. 362.

[402] Mansi, vol. xxiii, p. 573, § 23. ‘Teneatur praeterea Potestas,
seu rector, omnes haereticos quos captos habuerit, cogere, citra membri
diminutionem & mortis periculum, tanquam vere latrones & homicidas
animarum, & fures sacramentorum Dei & fidei Christianae, errores suos
expresse fateri, & accusare alios haereticos quos sciunt, & bona
eorum, & credentes & receptatores, & defensores eorum, sicut coguntur
fures & latrones bonorum temporalium accusare suos complices, & fateri
maleficia quae fecerunt.’ _Cf._ David of Augsburg, quoted by Douais,
_L’Inquisition_, pp. 171-2 note.

[403] By the time of the Spanish Inquisition of Ferdinand and Isabella
torture had come to be accepted as a most praiseworthy and Christian
institution. _Cf._ Simancas in Zilettus, vol. xi, pt. ii, p. 204.

[404] Potthast, _Regesta Pontificum Romanorum_ (Berlin, 1874 _et
seq._), No. 18057.

[405] _Ibid._, No. 18390.

[406] Tanon, p. 379.

[407] See _supra_, p. 161.

[408] Lea, vol. i, pp. 423-4, with reference to the infrequent mention
of torture in inquisitorial registers. ‘Apparently it was felt that
to record its use would in some way invalidate the force of the
testimony.’ _Cf._ Tanon, p. 377. ‘Cette particularité (silence) n’est
pas spéciale aux registres de l’Inquisition. La plupart des registres
criminels des juridictions laïques, pour les époques auxquelles
la “question” était d’une application constante, la présentent
pareillement. La question était un incident de procédure qui donnait
lieu d’abord à un interlocutoire, puis à un procès-verbal spécial, dont
la transcription dans les registres n’était nullement nécessaire. Le
greffier qui rédigeait la sentence, lorsqu’il relatait les aveux de
l’accusé, était beaucoup moins préoccupé de constater les moyens de
contrainte à l’aide desquels ils avaient été obtenus que la réitération
de ces mêmes aveux, réputés alors volontiers, hors de la chambre de

[409] Eymeric, _Directorium_, p. 640; Peña’s comment, 110, p. 643.

[410] _Ibid._, comment 39, p. 520. ‘Cum reus fuit leviter et molliter
tortus, repeti potest in tormentis, ita ut sufficienter torqueatur, ...
et haec non tam dicitur repetitio torturae quam continuatio.’

[411] Frédéricq, _Corpus_, vol. i, No. 318.

[412] Eymeric, Peña’s comment, p. 521.

[413] _Ibid._, p. 519.

[414] _Ibid._, pp. 480, 592, 614.

[415] See Tanon, p. 433. Out of 200 cases before the Carcassonne
tribunal there was only one acquittal.

[416] Ludovico à Paramo, p. 269.

[417] They were also, of course, a warning. ‘The punishment of one
is the fear of many,’ remarks Simancas sententiously, Zilettus, vol.
xi, pt. ii, p. 179. But the main object is repentance and conversion.
_Ibid._, p. 181.

[418] Bernard Gui, _Practica_, p. 38.

[419] _Ibid._, pp. 94-8.

[420] See Douais, _Documents_, vol. ii, p. 181.

[421] Bernard Gui, _Practica_, p. 95; _Liber Sententiarum_ in Limborch,
_Historia Inquisitionis_, pp. 218, 347. For an instance of this sort of
sentence, see Douais, _Documents_, vol. ii, pp. 116-17. ‘Injunctum fuit
Ullixi in penitentia per inquisitores pro perjurio, quia non resumpsit
cruces sicut juraverat, quod dominica post instantem dominicam in lxxͣ
veniat Carcassonam visitaturus omnes ecclesias Burgi Carcassonensis
nudis pedibus in camesis et braceis, cum virgis in manu, eundo de una
ecclesia ad aliam; et idem faciet in prima dominica mensium singulorum
quousque transeat ultra mare. Et hoc fuit ei injunctum in virtute
praestiti juramenti.’

[422] Lea, vol. i, p. 464; De Cauzons, vol. ii, p. 303.

[423] Mansi, vol. xxiii, p. 271, § iv. Bernard Gui’s sentences are full
of the infliction of this penance. Cf. _Liber Sententiarum_, pp. 40-5,
100-17, 185-91, 218-28.

[424] Mansi, vol. xxiii, p. 693. ‘Cum peccatores sint ad poenitentiam
invitandi juxta Dominicam vocem, gaudere oportet si poenitentiam
impositam libenter suscipiunt et supportant. Quocirca statuimus,
& in virtute sancti Spiritus inhibemus, ne poenitentibus, quibus
cruces pro crimine haeresis imponuntur, irrisio ulla fiat, nec a
locis propriis seu communibus commerciis excludantur, ne retardetur
conversio peccatorum, & ne conversi propter scandalum abjecta
poenitentia relabantur. Et si moniti desistere noluerint, per censuram
ecclesiasticam compellantur.’ _Cf._ Bernard Gui, _Practica_, pp. 101-2.

[425] Eymeric, _Directorium_, pp. 702-4; Molinier, _op. cit._, pp. 23,

[426] _Practica_, pp. 165, 169.

[427] Douais, _Documents_, vol. ii, pp. 213, 237.

[428] ‘Filios haereticorum, etiam natos ante crimen commissum, sub
poenis, & prohibitionibus canonicis comprehendi.’ J. à Royas in
Zilettus, vol. xi, pt. ii, p. 231.

[429] See Lea, vol. i, pp. 471-81.

[430] While in France the Inquisition took no official record of
confiscation—it was automatically carried out by the State—in Italy the
tribunal gave a formal declaratory sentence of confiscation. Zanchino,
_Tractatus de Haereticis_, chs. xxiii, xxv, xxvi.

[431] See Lea, vol. i, pp. 520-1.

[432] Mansi, vol. xxiii, pp. 574-5.

[433] See Lea, vol. iii, p. 525. On whole question of confiscation, see
also Tanon, _op. cit._, pp. 523-38.

[434] Lea, vol. i, p. 529. Lea was the first historian to go into the
financial aspect of the Inquisition at all thoroughly. He devotes a
whole chapter, book i, ch. xiii, to the subject of confiscation. ‘It
was this,’ in his view, ‘which supplied the fuel which kept up the
fires of zeal, and when it was lacking, the business of defending the
faith languished lamentably.’

[435] _Cf._ Langlois, _op. cit._, p. 74.

[436] See De Cauzons, _op. cit._, vol. i, pp. 48-53. P. 53. ‘Ce n’est
pas ambition ni cupidité: c’est instinct de préservation.’ But see
Vacandard, _op. cit._, pp. 202-3. ‘But would the ecclesiastical and lay
princes, who, in varying proportion, shared with the Holy Office in
these confiscations, and who in some countries appropriated them all,
have accorded to the Inquisition that continual good-will and help,
which was the condition of its prosperity without what Lea calls “the
stimulant of pillage”? We may well doubt it.’

[437] _Directorium_, pp. 709-22.

[438] See Douais, _Documents_, vol. ii, pp. 6, 7, 15, 18, 20, 23, 26,
29, 30, 34; Tanon, _op. cit._, p. 482; Vacandard, _op. cit._, p. 193.
Eymeric imposed this penance on the _violently_ suspect, _Directorium_,
pp. 530-1.

[439] See Lea, vol. i, p. 487.

[440] See _supra_, p. 161; Molinier, _op. cit._, p. 449.

[441] See Lea, vol. i, p. 492.

[442] See provisions of the decrees of the Council of Toulouse (1229),
in Mansi, vol. xxiii, p. 196; and of the Council of Albi (1244),
_ibid._, p. 840.

[443] See Tanon, _op. cit._, p. 544.

[444] Tanon, p. 519; Simancas, _op. cit._, p. 133. For form of
sentence, _Practica_, p. 59. ‘.... Dirui ac moliri funditus ita quod de
cetero in loco seu solo ejus nulla humana habitatio seu reedificatio
aut clausio ibi fiat, seu locus inhabitabilis et incultus et inclausus
semper existat, et sicut fuit receptaculum perfidorum, sic deinceps ex
nunc perpetuo sordium locus fiat.’

[445] _Ibid._

[446] Lea, vol. i, p. 483.

[447] Tanon, _op. cit._, pp. 404-7.

[448] Bernard Gui, _Practica_, pp. 129, 144; _Liber Sententiarum_, pp.
93, 208; Douais, _L’Inquisition_, pp. 297, 298, 324.

[449] _Directorium_, pp. 514-16.

[450] _Practica_, pp. 124, 127. ‘Cum ecclesia ultra non habet quod
faciat pro suis demeritis contra ipsum, idcirco eundem relinquimus
brachio et judicio curie secularis.’

[451] Lea, vol. i, pp. 544-6.

[452] The formula ran, ‘Eundem N. tanquam haereticum relinquimus
brachio et judicio curie saecularis, eandem affectuose rogantes
prout canonice sanctiones, quatenus citra mortem et membrorum ejus
mutilationem circa judicium et suam sententiam moderetur.’ _Practica_,
p. 127. Cf. _Directorium_, pp. 554, 559.

[453] Douais, _L’Inquisition_, pp. 264-8; Maillet, _op. cit._, ch. iv.

[454] _Supra_, pp. 152-6.

[455] Admitted candidly by Peña. See _Directorium_, p. 131, comm. 20.

[456] See Simancas, p. 147. See Vacandard, _op. cit._, on the Church’s
use of secular aid, pp. 27-8. ‘Nor were they content with merely
accepting it. They declared that the State had not only the right to
help the Church in suppressing heresy, but that she was in duty bound
to do so.’

[457] ‘A legal fiction,’ is Vacandard’s way of putting it; a
‘hypocrisy,’ Lea’s. Langlois calls it ‘a miserable equivocation.’ See
Vacandard, _op. cit._, pp. 178-9. ‘We regret to state, however, that
the civil judges were not supposed to take these words literally. If
they were at all inclined to do so, they would have been quickly called
to a sense of their duty by being excommunicated. The clause inserted
by the canonists was a mere legal fiction, which did not change matters
a particle.’

[458] J. à Royas in Zilettus, vol. xi, pt. ii, p. 231.

[459] Simancas, _ibid._, p. 181.

[460] Ludovico à Paramo, bk. i, p. 47.

[461] For description of _Sermo generalis_, see _Directorium_, pp.
437-42, 548-59; _Practica_, pp. 83-6.

[462] In 897 Pope Stephen VII had dug up the body of his predecessor,
Formosus, solemnly tried and condemned it, had it mutilated and thrown
into the Tiber. There is a case in 1022 of the body of a Manichæan of
Orleans, who had died three years before, being exhumed.

[463] See Lea, vol. i, pp. 231-2, 553; De Cauzons, vol. ii, pp. 354-61.

[464] For sentences against the dead, see _Practica_, pp. 58, 122-6;
_Liber Sententiarum_, pp. 32-4, 162-7, 333.

[465] _Ibid._, pp. 43, 48.

[466] _Ibid._, p. 54.

[467] _Liber Sententiarum_, pp. 50, 53.

[468] Douais, _Documents_, vol. ii, pp. 128-36 (_passim_), 151-2.

[469] There is the case also of a man, condemned to life imprisonment,
being permitted to stay with his invalid father as long as the latter
survived. The father may have been seriously ill and his remaining
days likely to be few. The case is, however, interesting. Douais,
_L’Inquisition_, p. 232.

[470] In the bull, _Fraternitatem tuam_. See Frédéricq, _Corpus_, vol.
i, No. 57.

[471] _Directorium_, p. 491. See De Cauzons, _op. cit._, vol. ii, p.

[472] Ludovico à Paramo, _op. cit._, p. 124. See Tanon, _op. cit._, p.

[473] As for example the Sire de Parthenay, see Lea, vol. i, p. 451;
and the towns of Albi and Carcassonne, see Tanon, pp. 439-40. It is
worth noticing that the notary, who drew up the appeal of the latter
city against Nicholas d’Abbeville, was prosecuted for heresy and

[474] See Douais, _Documents_, vol. i, p. ccv., where the sentences are

[475] _Ibid._, vol. ii, pp. 1-87.

[476] Tanon, p. 479.

[477] Taylor, _op. cit._, pp. 283-4 n. ‘The philosophic ideas of such
seem gathered from the flotsam and jetsam of the later antique world;
their stock was not of the best, and bore little interesting fruit for
later times.’

[478] Mandell Creighton, _Persecution and Tolerance_ (1895), p. 55.
‘Leo X was tolerant of the philosophic doubts of Pomponazzo concerning
the immortality of the soul, because such speculations were not likely
to affect the position of the Papacy; but could not allow Luther to
discuss the dubious and complicated question of indulgences because it
might have disastrous effects upon the system of papal finance.’

[479] See Acton, _History of Freedom of Thought_, pp. 569-71.

[480] E. S. P. Haynes, _Religious Persecution_ (1904), p. 40. ‘A
Liberal has recently been defined as one who would never have taken the
chance of imposing silence on the deceivers of mankind. If we hold by
this definition, very few Liberals have ever existed, or do exist now.’

[481] D. G. Ritchie, _Natural Rights_ (1903), p. 160.

[482] _The Catholic Encyclopædia_ (1907-14), on Heresy, vol. vii, p.

[483] Creighton, _Persecution and Tolerance_, pp. 9-10.

[484] Ludovico à Paramo, _op. cit._, pp. 281-2.

[485] _Ibid._, pp. 288-9.

[486] _Ibid._, pp. 333-4.

[487] Joseph de Maistre, _Considérations sur la France suivies ... des
lettres à un gentilhomme russe sur l’inquisition espagnole_ (Brussels,
1844), pp. 281 _et seq._ Cf. _Catholic Encyclopædia_, vol. vii, p. 261.
‘Toleration came in when faith went out.’

[488] De Cauzons, _op. cit._, vol. i, p. 9.

[489] Pollock, _Essays in Jurisprudence and Ethics_ (1882), on _The
Theory of Persecution_, pp. 144-5. ‘However eager the clergy might be
to stimulate and direct the anger of the faithful against heretics,
their efforts would have been in vain if the bulk of the laity had not
been predisposed to persecute heretics when duly pointed out. So far
from persecution being merely the creature of priestcraft, it would
be as near the truth to say that priestcraft was invented in order to
organize persecution.’

[490] Haynes, _op. cit._, pp. 52-9.

[491] _Ibid._, p. 3. ‘And the heretic—often lacking in tact and a sense
of proportion—is as offensive to the believer as one who should rudely
tell him that his doctor was a quack and his solicitor a swindler.’
_Cf._ p. 55.

[492] Mill, _On Liberty_; Lecky’s _Rationalism_, esp., chs. iv and v.

[493] _Op. cit._, pp. 5, 113-15.

[494] Pollock, _op. cit._, p. 175.

[495] J. B. Bury, _A History of Freedom of Thought_ (Home Univ.
Lib.), p. 14. ‘A long time was needed to arrive at the conclusion
that coercion of opinion is a mistake, and only a part of the world
is yet convinced. That conclusion, so far as I can judge, is the
most important ever reached by man. It was the issue of a continuous
struggle between reason and authority....’

[496] _Cf._ Langlois, _op. cit._, pp. 21-47.

[497] For the trial of the Templars, see H. Finke, _Papstum und
Untergang des Templerordens_ (Münster, 1907); M. Lavocat, _Procès des
Frères et de l’ordre du Temple_ (Paris, 1888); _Collection de Documents
inédits sur l’histoire de France—Procès des Templiers_, J. Michelet
(Paris, 1841); Lea, vol. iii, pp. 238-334. Lea’s treatment of this
complicated subject is masterly, and is conclusive against Philip IV
and Clement V. For the trial of Jeanne d’Arc, see J. Quicherat, _Procès
de Condamnation et de Réhabilitation de Jeanne d’Arc_ (Paris, 1841-9);
H. S. Denifle and E. Chatelain, _Le procès de J. d’Arc et l’Université
de Paris_ (Paris, 1897); A. France, _Vie de Jeanne d’Arc_ (Paris,
1908); A. Lang, _The Maid of France_ (1908); Lea, vol. iii, pp. 338-78,
etc. For trial of Savonarola, see P. Villart, _Life and Times of
Savonarola_ (Eng. trans.), 1899; Lea, vol. iii, pp. 209-37. For papal
use of the Inquisition for political purposes, see Lea, vol. iii, ch.
iv, generally.


  Abano, Peter of, as Averrhoïst, 69
    as sorcerer, 109

  Abelard, Peter, as rationalist, 7-8, 15, 57-8, 91, 233

  Abubacer, Arabian philosopher, 60

  _Accusatio_, system of, 141, 143-4

  Achellini, Paduan Averrhoïst, 70

  Advocates, use of, in Inquisition, 198-9, 240

  Aegidius Romanus, vindicates Aristotle against Averrhoïsts, 67

  _Affirmative_ heretics, 185

  Albertus Magnus of Cologne, 39, 64-7, 75

  Albi, Catharan stronghold, 136

  Albigensian Crusade, 5, 77, 137-8, 159, 162, 231

  Alexander III, Pope, 18, 132, 141, 211

  Alexander IV, Pope, 41, 42, 64, 107, 109, 156, 167, 202, 218

  Alexander VI, Pope, and witchcraft, 118 _n._

  Alexander of Hales, 39, 56

  Alfarabi, Arabian philosopher, 59

  Alfonso II, King of Aragon, his edict against heretics, 132, 157, 172,

  Amaury de Bène, his heresies condemned, 49, 53, 63, 165, 225

  Amaury of Rheims, Rector of University of Paris, 67

  Ambrose, Saint, on Priscillianism, 128

  Anjou, Charles of, 168-9

  Annibaldi, Senator in Rome, 154

  Anselm of Bec, 7-8, 57

  Antinomianism, Catharan, 31
    of Amaury de Bène, 49

  Antisacerdotalism in mediæval heresy, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 32-3, 53,
      77, 80, 90, 136, 229-30, 234-5

  Aphrodistias, Alexander of, 70

  Apostolic Brethren, in Brittany, 15, 17
    The followers of Segarelli, 47

  Appeals from Inquisition, 226

  Aquinas, St. Thomas, and Aristotelianism, 64
    and Averrhoïsm, 64-5
    and Realism, 91
    on nature of heresy, 157-8, 183
    otherwise mentioned, 39, 85, 223, 232

  Aquitaine, Catharism in, 22
    Spiritual Franciscans in, 43

  Aragon, Inquisition in, 159, 172-3

  Arc, Joan of, 109, 164, 241

  Arianism, 125-6, 217

  Aristotle and Arabian philosophy, 58-62, 232
    and Scholasticism, 63, 66-7, 74

  Arnaldo da Villanova, 41

  Arnaud of Citeaux, Archbishop of Narbonne and papal legate, 137-8, 144,

  Arnaud, Guillem, inquisitor, 159

  Arnold of Brescia, 15, 18

  Arnoldists, followers of Arnold of Brescia, 16, 230

  Arras, witches of, 121, 203

  Arzevedo, Diego de, Bishop of Osma, his work among Cathari, 137

  Asceticism and profligacy, 3-5

  Astrology, 108

  Athanasius, Saint, on persecution, 126

  Aubryot, _prévôt_ of Paris, 163

  _Aucassin et Nicolette_, 5-7

  Augustine, Saint, on persecution, 55, 96, 127

  Augustinianism, in scholastic philosophy, 56, 66-7, 75, 232

  _Auto-da-fé_, 163, 180, 223

  Auxerre, Hugh, Bishop of, 133

  Avempace, Arabian philosopher, 60

  Averrhoës, or Ibn-Roschd, his career, 60 _n._
    his philosophy, 58, 60-2
    attitude to religion, 61-2
    and _The Three Impostors_, 72
    views of Gerson concerning, 72
    views of Petrarch concerning, 71-2

  Avicenna, Arabian philosopher, 59-60

  Avignon, ‘Babylonish captivity’ of, 11, 71, 80, 86, 103

  Bacon, Roger, 39, 53, 74, 107

  Baghdad, Aristotelian philosophers in caliphate of, 59-60

  Banishment, penalty for heresy, 217, 221

  Basel, Council of, 12, 234

  Beatific Vision, dogma of, 84-5, 233

  Beghards or Beguines, 48, 50-1, 75, 165-6, 214

  _Believers_, Catharan adherents, 29-31

  Benedict XI, Pope, 162

  Benedict XII, Pope, 175

  Benedict XIV, Pope, 50-1

  Berengar of Tours, 7, 57, 130, 140 _n._, 229

  Bergamo, Dolcino’s crusade in, 47

  Bernard de Caux, inquisitor in Languedoc, 148, 202, 215, 227

  Bernard, Saint, and Abelard, 8, 57
    and Henry of Lausanne, 17
    otherwise mentioned, 3, 38, 85

  Béziers, Spiritual Franciscans in, 43
    fall of, in Albigensian Crusade, 138

  Bishops, failure of their courts to deal with heresy, 141-5
    their part in Inquisition, 182-3

  Black Death, its influence on Flagellant mania, 51

  Boccaccio, his tale of _The Three Rings_, 72-3

  Boëthius of Dacia, Parisian Averrhoïst, 58, 66-9

  Bogomiles, Manichæan sect, 22, 24, 26

  Bohemia, Catharism in, 22
    Flagellants in, 51
    Husitism in, 94-8 (_passim_), 175
    Inquisition in, 159, 174-5

  Bois, Peter du, 78

  Bologna, University of, 6, 70, 95

  Bonaventura, Saint, 39, 41, 53, 56

  Boniface VIII, Pope, 42, 77-80, 107, 160, 174

  Boniface IX, 50

  Bosnia, Catharism in, 174

  Bourges, Pragmatic Sanction of, 103, 164

  Brescia, Dolcino in, 47

  ‘Brethren of the Free Spirit,’ 49, 51, 165-6, 175

  British Isles, their immunity from Inquisition, 176-7

  Brittany, _see_ Apostolic Brethren

  Bruno of Cologne, founder of Carthusian order, 38

  Bruys, Pierre de, 17

  Bulgaria, Catharism in, 23 _n._, 174

  Bulls, papal:
    _Ad abolendam_ (Lucius III), 133
    _Ad extirpanda_ (Innocent IV), 155-7, 167, 201, 213, 221
    _Clericis laïcos_ (Boniface VIII), 77, 79
    _Cum adversus haereticam pravitatem_ (Innocent IV), 154, 220
    _Cum inter nonnullos_ (John XXII), 45
    _Etsi de statu_ (Boniface VIII), 79
    _Excommunicamus_ (Gregory IX), 153-4
    _Exiit qui seminat_ (Nicholas III), 42, 44
    _Licet Heli_ (Innocent III), 190
    _Pastoralis Praeeminentiae_ (Clement V), 176
    _Quod super nonnullis_ (Alexander IV), 107
    _Quorundam_ (John XXII), 43-4
    _Unam sanctam_ (Boniface VIII), 77

  Burgundy, Inquisition in, 159
    Robert le Bugre in, 163

  Calabria, Joachim of Flora in, 34

  Calomar, Duke of Croatia and Dalmatia, 174

  Cambrai, burning of heretics at, _anno_ 1076, 129-30
    Robert le Bugre in, 162

  Canon law, and clerical abuses, 12
    and witchcraft, 112-13
    and torture, 177, 201
    and death-penalty, 131, 134, 143, 193, 222, 238

  Carcassonne, Catharism in, 148
    Spiritual Franciscans in, 43

  Castelnau, Pierre de, papal legate in Languedoc, 137, 144-6

  Cathari, 12, 22-34, 38, 46, 77, 84, 95, 128-38, 151, 159, 160, 170,
    211, 214-18, 229, 236, 242

  Celestine III, Pope, 34

  Cesena, Michael de, 79, 81, 85

  Châlons, Apostolic Brethren in diocese of, 15

  _Chambre ardente_ in _Parlement de Paris_, 165

  Champagne, Catharism in, 22
    Robert le Bugre in, 162

  Charles IV, Emperor, 165

  Chrysostom, Saint, on treatment of heretics, 113, 126-7

  Citations, inquisitorial, 188, 192

  Civil courts, influence of Inquisition on, 177, 205 _n._, 242

  _Civitas Dei_, conception of, 1, 12, 32, 77

  _Clarendon, Assize of_, 132, 177, 217-18

  Clement V, Pope, 42, 44, 48, 156, 161-2, 176-7, 202

  Clement VI, Pope, 52

  Clement VII, Pope, 85

  ‘Clementines,’ the, decrees of Clement V, 161-2, 165

  Cologne, mob and heretics in, _anno_ 1143, 180

  Commutation of penalties in Inquisition, 225-6

  _Compagnia della Fede_, in Milan, 167

  Conciliar movement, 12-13, 96, 103

  Confiscation of property, inquisitorial penalty, 211-14, 216-17, 227

  Conrad of Marburg, 146, 147 _n._, 165

  _Consolamentum_, Catharan rite, 28-31

  Constance, Council of, 51, 98-102, 234

  Constantine, Emperor, 125, 151

  Contumacious heretics, treatment of, 219, 221, 227

  Conventuals, _see_ Franciscans

  Cordova, Aristotelian philosophers in caliphate of, 59

  Council, General, principle of, 11-12, 81-3
    views of Michael of Cesena concerning, 81
    views of Ockham, 81
    views of Marsiglio, 82
    views of Gerson, D’Ailly, Niem, etc., 11, 96-7

  Councils, decrees of ecclesiastical:
    Albi (1254), 199
    Avignon (1209), 143
    Béziers (1233), 209
    Béziers (1246), 209-10, 215, 220
    Lateran (1179), second, 132
    Lateran (1215), fourth, 141-3, 155, 201, 222
    Montpellier (1119), 136, 143
    Narbonne (1227), 143, 208, 215
    Rheims (1049), 131
    Rheims (1157), 131, 141, 217
    Tarragona (1242), 173, 197, 205, 220
    Toulouse (1119), 131
    Tours (1163), 131
    Valence (1248), 148, 209
    Verona (1184), 19, 133, 141-2, 155, 217
    Vienne (1311-12), 43-4, 70, 161, 180, 183

  Counsellors, inquisitorial, or _periti_, 182

  Creighton, Bishop, on religious tolerance, 238

  Cremona, Peter Martyr in, 167

  _Crocesegnati_, the, 167

  Crosses, wearing of, as inquisitorial penance, 208-9, 225, 227-8

  Crusade, _see_ Albigensian

  Crusades and Islamism, 62, 70-3

  Czech nationalism and Husite movement, 95, 103

  D’Ailly, Cardinal Peter, a moderate reformer, 11, 234
    his defence of Conciliar movement, 86, 97
    at Council of Constance, 98, 100, 102
    and astrology, 108

  Dalmatia, Inquisition in, 174

  Damiani, Peter, 38

  Dancing mania, the, 5, 53, 105, 166

  Dante, and Joachim of Flora, 34
    and Dolcino, 47
    and Siger of Brabant, 69
    his _De Monarchia_, 80-1

  Defence, difficulties of, in Inquisition, 192-205 (_passim_), 240-2

  _Defensor Pacis_, Marsiglio’s, 45, 82-3

  Delation, inquisitorial encouragement of, 141-4, 180-1

  Delays, inquisitorial, 200-1, 228

  Delegates, inquisitors as papal, 144-9 (_passim_), 179
    assistants to inquisitors, 180

  Délicieux, Bernard, 160, 162, 194

  _De aeternitate mundi_, work by Siger, 66

  _De anima intellectiva_, work by Siger, 66

  _De haeretico comburendo_, statute of, 94, 177

  _De modis uniendi et reformandi ecclesiam_, tract attributed to Niem, 97

  _De unitate intellectus contra Averroëm_, of Albertus Magnus, 64

  _De unitate intellectus contra Averroïstas_, of Aquinas, 66

  _Denuntiatio_, judicial system of, 141, 144

  _Diffamatio_, judicial system of, 143, 190-3

  Disabilities, civil, of heretics, 217

  Dolcino, Fra, 12, 47-8, 214, 231

  Dominic, Saint, 38-9, 137, 145, 208-9

  Dominicans, in University of Paris, 56, 64
    rivalry with Franciscans, 65, 232
    use by Gregory IX against heretics, 140
    areas allotted to, for prosecution of heresy, 159

  Donatists, 14, 125, 127, 229

  Duns Scotus, 91

  Eccelin da Romano, 168

  Eckhart, Master, 49, 53

  Edward I and Boniface VIII, 79

  Edward II and Templars, 176-7

  Elias of Cortona, 39

  Empire and Papacy, their relations, 1-3, 13, 42, 45, 72, 79, 84, 152

  Endura, Catharan suicide, 27, 29

  England and Inquisition, _see_ British Isles

  Eon de l’Etoile, 12, 15, 17, 231

  Episcopal Courts, _see_ Bishops

  Erasmus, 72, 166

  Eriugena, John Scotus, 57, 229, 233

  Eugenius IV, Pope, 51, 103, 118

  Evidence, rules of, in Inquisition, 195-8

  Excommunication, of heretics, 217, 224
    for secular rulers neglecting their duties against heretics, 156-7

  Extortion, inquisitorial, 210-14

  Eymeric, Nicholas, inquisitor of Aragon, on authorship of
      _The Everlasting Gospel_, 36
    relations with Raymond Lully, 71
    complaints of poverty of Aragonese Inquisition, 173
    his ideals as inquisitor, 179
    on use of advocates, 198-9
    on use of torture, 203-4
    on fines in Inquisition, 210, 214
    on eleventh hour repentances, 219
    his _Directorium Inquisitorum_, 244-5

  Fabiano, inquisitor, 174

  Fabri, citizen of Carcassonne, prosecuted posthumously, 160

  Familiars, inquisitorial officials, 180-1

  Fautors of heretics, treatment of, 187

  Ferdinand the Catholic, of Aragon, 172

  Ferrer, inquisitor in Languedoc, 159

  Fines, exaction of, by Inquisition, 210-11

  Fiore, _see_ Joachim of Flora

  Fitzralph, Archbishop of Armagh, on doctrine of poverty, 84

  Flagellants, why considered heretics, 5, 231
    spread of the mania, 51-3, 105, 166, 242

  Flagellation, inquisitorial penance, 208-9

  Flanders, Tanchelm in, 14
    Catharism in, 22
    Flagellants in, 51, 53
    Robert le Bugre in, 162-3

  Florence, Peter Martyr in, 167

  France, northern, Inquisition in, 151, 159, 162-5

  Francis of Assisi, Saint, 8, 38-48 (_passim_), 53

  Franciscans, influence of their founder, 38
    of Elias of Cortona, 39
    the Conventuals, 39, 41, 43, 79
    the Spirituals, 41-4, 48-53 (_passim_), 77-84 (_passim_), 231
    rivalry with Dominicans, 56, 65, 146-8, 159, 232
    used by Gregory IX against heretics, 146-8
    areas allotted to them for prosecution of heresy, 159

  Fraticelli, in Languedoc, 45, 214
    in Germany, 48-9

  Frederick I, Barbarossa, Emperor, relations of Church and State
      under, 2
    his treatment of heretics, 133, 150, 157

  Frederick II, Emperor, and Averrhoïsts, 62
    and _The Three Impostors,_ 72
    his _Constitutions_ against heresy, 149-56, 166, 169, 220
    question of his responsibility for the stake, 151-2
    orders destruction of heretics’ houses, 218

  Gaunt, John of, 93

  Geoffrey d’Ablis, inquisitor in Languedoc, 202

  Gerard of Abbeville, opponent of Mendicants in University of Paris, 65

  Germany, Catharism in, 22
    Flagellants in, 51-3
    Illuminism in, 47
    Inquisition in, 50, 151, 157, 165-166, 218

  Gerson, Jean, moderate reformer, 11, 234
    on Averrhoës, 72
    on General Councils, 96-8, 102

  Ghazali, or Algazel, opponent of Arabian Aristotelianism, 60

  Gherardo da Borgo San Donnino, reputed author of
    _The Everlasting Gospel_, 36

  Ghibellines and heresy, 168

  Goslar, execution of heretics at, 129

  Grace, time of, in inquisitorial practice, 191

  Gratian, on witchcraft, 112
    on death penalty for heretics, 131
    on torture, 201

  Greece, infected by Catharism, 22

  Gregory VII, Pope, and heretics of Cambrai, 130

  Gregory IX, Pope, on teachings of Aristotle, 63
    and Frederick II, 72
    and the Mendicant orders, 39, 145-9
    and Conrad of Marburg, 146
    attitude of, to episcopal jurisdiction over heresy, 130, 148-9
    question of his responsibility for the stake, 152-5, 220
    otherwise mentioned, 162, 166, 169, 173

  Gregory XI, Pope, 50, 109, 118 _n._, 166, 170

  Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, 8, 9, 35, 63

  Guala, Bishop of Brescia, 153

  Guglielma, 46, 105

  Gui, Bernard, inquisitor in Languedoc, 184, 202
    his resentment against the _Clementines_, 161
    on the ideal inquisitor, 179
    classification of his sentences, 227
    his _Practica_, 245
    his _Sententiæ_, 245

  Harding, Stephen, 38

  Henry II of England, and Cathari, 132
    and Assize of Clarendon, 132, 157

  Henry III, Emperor, and Cathari, 129

  Henry VI, Emperor, 132-3, 218

  Henry of Lausanne, 17

  Heretic, definition of, 123, 183-5
    compared to coiner, 157-8
    compared to traitor, 211, 214, 223

  Hohenstaufen, fall of the house of, 77, 79, 168

  Holland, Flagellants in, 51

  Holy Ghost, predicted advent of, 37, 40
    supposed incarnations of, 66, 232

  Holy Roman Empire, conceptions of, 1-3, 78

  Honorius III, Pope, 8, 35, 150, 169 _n._

  Houses, destruction of heretics’, 218

  Hugo of Saint Victor, 57

  Hungary, Catharism in, 22
    Flagellants in, 51
    Inquisition in, 174

  Hus, John, expounds doctrines of Wycliffe, 94-6
    summoned to Bologna, 95
    his doctrine of Predestination, 96
    at Constance, 98-103
    otherwise mentioned, 11, 12, 175, 234, 243, 244

  Illuminism, 49, 51

  Immaculate Conception, dogma of the, 86, 233

  _Impenitent_ heretic, treatment of the, 219-21, 224

  _Imperfect_ heretic, treatment of the, 185

  _Impostors, The Three_, 72

  Imprisonment, inquisitorial penance, 212, 214, 225, 227-8
    perpetual, 131, 215-16, 220-1, 227

  Innocent III, Pope, and Albigensian Crusade, 135-7
    and system of _inquisitio_, 144-5
    and demolition of heretics’ houses, 218

  Innocent IV, Pope, his bull _Cum adversus haereticam pravitatem_, 154-5
    his bull _Ad extirpanda_, 155, 167, 201, 213
    his regulations regarding torture, 156, 201-2
    on exaction of fines, 210
    on demolition of heretics’ houses, 218
    his attitude towards persecution, 220
    otherwise mentioned, 9, 42, 146, 148

  Innocent VIII and witchcraft, 118

  _Inquisitio generalis_, 191-2

  _Inquisitio specialis_, 191-2

  _Inquisitio_, judicial system of, 177, 190, 242

  Intellect, the active and passive, Averrhoïst doctrine of, 60-1, 66-7

  Interrogatory, inquisitorial, 192-205 (_passim_)

  Intolerance, religious, its causes, 235-6, 238

  Italy, Manichæism in, 22
    Arnaldo da Villanova in, 41
    Spiritual Franciscans in, 43-5,47, 60
    Flagellants in, 51
    Siger of Brabant in, 69
    Averrhoïsm in, 70
    Inquisition in, 44, 151, 153, 157, 166-71, 213, 217

  Isabella, Queen of Castile, 172

  Islam, philosophy of, 59-61
    Lully’s crusade against, 70-1

  Ivo of Chartres, 112, 141, 225

  Janow, Matthias of, 94

  Jehovah, Catharan views concerning, 23

  Jerome of Prague, at Council of Constance, 98, 102
    Poggio and his death, 102
    otherwise mentioned, 95, 126, 175, 243

  Joachim of Flora, 34-8, 40-7

  John the Baptist, Catharan views on, 25

  John of Parma, _see_ Parma

  John XXI, Pope, 68

  John XXII, Pope, his attitude towards doctrine of poverty, 43-5, 77
    relations with Lewis of Bavaria, 45, 79, 84
    attacked by Michael of Cesena, Ockham, etc., 79, 81
    attitude towards doctrine of Beatific Vision, 85
    attitude towards sorcery, 109
    otherwise mentioned, 162

  Julian, Emperor, on persecution among Christians, 106, 125

  Kerlinger, German inquisitor, 166

  Koran, orthodox faith of, 59, 70

  Kremsier, John Militz, 94

  Lactantius, on persecution, 124

  Landun, John of, Averrhoïst, 69, 70

  Languedoc, Saracen influence in, 16, 62, 231
    Henricians in, 17
    Catharism in, 41, 138
    Joachitism in, 41, 43
    Averrhoïsm in, 62
    Inquisition in, 159-62, 215-17, 218
    otherwise mentioned, 136, 137, 139, 230

  Lawyers in Inquisition, 182

  Lecky, W. E. H., on religious persecution, 238

  Leo I, Pope, 128

  Leo X, Pope, as patron of Aristotelianism, 70

  Leo the Isaurian, 22

  Lessines, Gilles de, in correspondence with Albertus Magnus, 65-6

  Lessing, his _Nathan der Weise_, 73

  Lewis the Bavarian, his conflict with John XXII, 45, 79

  Liège, mob and heretics in, _anno_ 1145, 130

  Locke, on religious toleration, 235

  Lollards, extent of their influence, 93-4, 103

  Lombard, Peter, 57, 85

  Lombardy, Dolcino in, 48
    Inquisition in, 150, 153, 167-8

  Lorraine, Inquisition in, 159

  Louis the Great of Hungary, 174

  Louis IX, King of France, 151, 163

  Luciferans, _see_ Brethren of the Free Spirit

  Lucius III, Pope, 133, 211-12, 226

  Lully, Raymond, his crusade against Islam, 70
    in conflict with Eymeric, 71

  Luther, his indebtedness to Hus, 103, 234
    otherwise mentioned, 89, 92, 106, 166

  Lutheranism, soil prepared for, in Germany, 49, 51

  Magdeburg, Albert, Archbishop of, 153

  Maifreda, devotee of Guglielma, 46

  Mainz, Pragmatic Sanction of, 103

  Maistre, Joseph de, on tolerance, 237
     defends Spanish Inquisition, 240

  _Malleus Maleficarum_, by Sprenger, 113

  Manichæism, revival of ancient, 22, 32
    its different forms, 24, 27
    in Roman empire, 126-7
    otherwise, _see_ Catharism

  Marca, Giacomo della, his crusade in Slavonia, 174

  Marguerite la Porète, her execution, 163

  Marriage, Catharan views concerning, 27
    views of Conrad Schmidt concerning, 52-3

  Marsh, Adam, 35

  Marsiglio of Padua, arguments of his _Defensor Pacis_, 45, 53, 73,
    82-4, 86-7, 97

  Martin V, Pope, 103

  Martin of Tours and Priscillian, 128

  Martyr, Peter, as inquisitor in Italy, 167

  Mary, the Virgin, Catharan views concerning, 14, 25
    _See_ also Immaculate Conception

  Maximus, Emperor, and Priscillian, 127-8

  Melfi, Constitutions of, 150-1

  Mendicant orders, _see_ under Dominicans, Franciscans

  Metempsychosis, Catharan belief in, 26

  Milan, Guglielmites in, 46
    Dolcino in, 47
    Peter Martyr in, 167

  Mill, John Stuart, his views on religious toleration, 238

  Minorites, _see_ Franciscans

  Missionary character of inquisitors, 188-90, 219, 239-40

  Mithraism, 123

  Moneta, on Waldensianism, 19

  Montfort, Simon de, in Albigensian Crusade, 138

  Montségur, fall of, 160

  Moors, _see_ Saracens

  Moral offences, when triable by Inquisition, 187-8

  Naples, Inquisition in, 168

  Narbonne, Spiritual Franciscans in, 43
    Arabian philosophy in, 62

  Nationality, force of, in religious matters, 2-3, 78-80, 94-5, 103, 177

  Navarre, Inquisition in, 159

  _Negative_ heretic, treatment of, 185

  Neoplatonism, 55-6, 59, 123

  Nicaea, Council of, 125

  Nicholas d’Abbeville, inquisitor in Languedoc, 160, 226 _n._

  Nicholas III, Pope, 42, 44

  Nicholas V, Pope, 164, 169

  Niem, Dietrich, and Conciliar movement, 11, 97-8

  Nifo, Augustino, Paduan Averrhoïst, 70

  Nominalism, its tendencies towards Tritheism or Unitarianism, 7, 234
    and doctrine of Transubstantiation, 91, 92, 95

  Norbert, Saint, Archbishop of Magdeburg, 14, 38

  Ockham, William of, in controversy against John XXII, 45, 53, 79
    his arguments in favour of General Councils, 81-2, 97
    otherwise mentioned, 91

  Olivi, Pierre Jean, 41

  Orcagna, his delineation of Averrhoës, 72

  Ordeal, used for trial of heresy, 141

  Ortlieb of Strassburg, 49

  Orvieto, death of Siger of Brabant at, 69

  Oxford, University of, 6

  Padua, centre of Italian Averrhoïsm, 69-70

  Pallavicino, Uberto da, 168

  Pantheism, and Realism, 7, 91, 234
    in Germany, 49

  Paramo, Ludovico à, on origin of Inquisition, 188
    on death penalty for heresy, 223
    on nature of heresy, 237

  Paris, University of, Averrhoïsm in, 56, 63
    controversies in, 64, 69
    its part in Conciliar movement, 96-7
    otherwise mentioned, 6, 35, 50, 85, 164-5

  Parlement de Paris, its jurisdiction over heresy, 164-5

  Parma, Segarelli in, 47
    Inquisition in, 168

  Parma, John of, and Spiritual Franciscans, 36, 40-1, 53

  Partenay, Sire de, 163 _n._

  Paul, Saint, on ‘false prophets,’ 124
    otherwise mentioned, 194

  Paulicians, _see_ Cathari

  Peckham, John, Archbishop, his controversy with the Dominicans, 56, 65

  Pedro II, King of Aragon, his edict against heretics, 132, 134, 137,
    157, 172, 217

  Peñaforte, Raymond of, his influence on Gregory IX regarding heresy,
    his activity in Aragon, 172-3
    his definition of a heretic, 183

  Penances, inquisitorial penalties regarded as, 188-90
    their nature, 206-15, 219, 221, 227, 239

  _Perfected_ heretic, treatment of, 185

  _Perfected_, the, among Cathari, 28-31

  Peter Lombard, _see_ Lombard

  Peter Martyr, _see_ Martyr

  Peter the Venerable, 17

  Petrarch, his opinion of Averrhoïsts, 71-2

  Petrobrusians, 17, 230

  Philip Augustus, King of France, his treatment of heretics, 130
    and Albigensian Crusade, 137-8

  Philip IV, the fair, his quarrel with Boniface VIII, 78, 80, 160
    and inquisitorial abuses in Languedoc, 160-1, 202
    maintains supremacy of crown over Inquisition in France, 161-4
    his attack on Templars, 164

  Philosophy, _see_ Scholastic, _also_ Aristotle, Averrhoës, Siger, etc.

  Picardy, Catharism in, 22

  Piedmont, Waldensianism in, 170

  Pilgrimages, inquisitorial penance of, 205-8, 211, 227

  Pisa, Council of, 97

  Pius II, Pope, 103

  Pleadings, possible, for defence before Inquisition, 197-200

  Poggio and Jerome of Prague, 102

  Poland, Inquisition in, 174-5

  Pollock, Sir F., on religious intolerance, 238-9

  Polycarp, on heretics, 124

  Pomponazzi, as Aristotelian, 70

  Ponzinibio and witchcraft, 113

  Poor Men of Lyons, _see_ Waldo

  Portugal, Inquisition in, 172

  Poverty, Franciscan doctrine of, 40-6, 79, 81, 230-1

  _Praemunire_, statute of, 79

  Prague, University of, 94, 105

  Prato, Edict of, 218

  Priscillian, Spanish heretic, 127

  Prisons, inquisitorial, 215-16

  Privileges of inquisitors, 179

  Protestants and persecution, 239

  Provence, _see_ Languedoc

  _Provisors_, Statute of, 79

  Pulci, his _Morgante Maggiore_, 73

  _Purgatio Canonica_, system of, 142, 191-2

  Rainerio Saccone, _see_ Saccone

  Rais, Maréchal Gilles de, 109-11

  Raymond V, Count of Toulouse, 136

  Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse, 136-7

  Realism, philosophy of, its tendency to Pantheism, 7, 234
    of Aquinas, 91
    of Wycliffe, 91, 95, 233

  Reformation, the Protestant, 1, 12, 94, 98, 103-4

  Registers, inquisitorial, 181

  _Relapsed_ heretic, treatment of, 181, 219-21, 224

  Relaxation to secular arm, formula of, 220, 227-8
    responsibility of Church for, 220
    responsibility of State regarding, 149-50 (_passim_), 221-2, 237-8

  Religion, Averrhoïst views regarding, 61, 67-9, 72-6

  Renaissance, of twelfth century, 112, 232, 234
    Italian, 1, 76, 103, 234

  Reuchlin, 104, 166

  Richard of Cluny, 19

  Robert II, King of France, and Cathari, 128

  Robert le Bugre, 162-3

  Rome, Annibaldi in, 154

  Roscellinus, his heresy, 7, 12, 57, 129, 229

  Sabbat, the witches’, 110-16, 121

  Saccone, Rainerio, of Vicenza, 167-8

  Sachsenhausen, Protest of, 45

  Sacraments, Donatist views concerning, 17
    Petrobrusian views concerning, 17
    Henrician rejection of, 17
    Catharan attitude to, 28
    Sacraments, Conrad Schmidt’s views concerning, 53
    Flagellants’ views concerning, 5, 52

  Saint-George, Fulk de, inquisitor in Languedoc, 160

  Salimbene, and his Chronicle, 36

  Salvation, Exclusive, influence of doctrine on religious intolerance,

  Saracens, their influence in Languedoc, 16, 62
    influence in Spain, 59, 73
    on Frederick II, 62
    otherwise mentioned, 132, 138

  Satan, Catharan views regarding, 24
    witches, supposed compact with, 105, 124 (_passim_)

  Savonarola, 241

  Savoy, Waldenses in, 170

  Scandinavia, Inquisition in, 176

  Scepticism and religious toleration, 238

  Schism, the papal, 11, 12, 71, 80, 86, 96-8, 103, 164, 166, 171

  Schmidt, Conrad, 52

  Scholastic philosophy, 6-8, 54, 56, 62-76 (_passim_), 81-104,
    (_passim_), 232-5

  Scot, Michael, 62

  Secular arm, _see_ Relaxation

  Segarelli, Gherardo, 46-7, 105, 231

  Sens, Council of ecclesiastical province of, 63

  _Sermo generalis_, see _auto-da-fé_.

  Sicily, Inquisition in, 150, 167

  Siger of Brabant, leader of Paris Averrhoïsts, 12, 66-9, 244

  Sigismund, King of the Romans, at Council of Constance, 99, 101
    otherwise mentioned, 174

  _Socii_, their functions in Inquisition, 180

  Sorcery, 105-11

  Spain, Inquisition in, 44, 171-3
    Arabian philosophy in, 59-62, 73

  Spina, Bartholomew de, on witchcraft, 113, 115

  Spiritual Franciscans, _see_ Franciscans

  Sprenger, on witchcraft, 113-20 (_passim_)

  Stake, the, death of Hus at, 102
    of Jerome of Prague at, 102
    of de Rais at, 111
    of witches at, 118-19
    of Cathari at, _anno_ 1022, 128
    of heretics of Cambrai at, _anno_ 1076, 129
    edict of Pedro II enjoining, 132-3
    attitude of mob to, 129-35 (_passim_)
    attitude of Church to, 130, 149-58, 219-24
    Constitutions of Frederick II relating to, 149-56
    responsibility of Gregory IX for, 149-54, 220
    justification of, by Aquinas, 157-8
    penalty for impenitent and relapsed, 219-20
    prescribed by _De Haeretico Comburendo_, 94, 177
    ceremony of, at _autos_, 223
    frequency of the penalty of, 227-8

  Strassburg, mob and heretics at, _anno_ 1114, 130

  _Suspects_ of heresy, treatment of, 185-7

  Synodal witnesses, _see Testes Synodales_

  Tanchelm, 14, 15, 229, 231

  Tempier, Etienne, Bishop of Paris, 66-8

  Templars, suppression of the, 164, 176-7, 241

  Tertullian, on heretics, 124-5

  _Testes synodales_, 143, 190-1

  Theocracy, mediæval, 1-3, 238, 239-40

  Theodosius II, his laws against heretics, 126

  Theoduin, Bishop of Liège, his advice regarding treatment of heretics,

  Toleration, principle of religious, 73, 83, 124-5, 222, 235-9

  Tors, Conrad, 165

  Torture, of reputed witches, 119-22
    used by Constantine against Donatists, 125
    in days of Julian, 125-6
    used against Templars, 176-7
    Edward II prevailed upon to sanction use of, in England, 176-7
    of delay, 200-1, 228
    as used in Inquisition, 201-5, 240, 242
    rules of _Ad extirpanda_ concerning, 201
    frequency of, 201-3
    repetition or continuation of, 203-4
    otherwise mentioned, 227

  Transubstantiation, views of Berengar concerning, 7
    views of Wycliffe concerning, 90-2, 233

  Treason, analogy of heresy to, 211, 214, 223

  Treviso, Inquisition in, 169

  Trinity, tendencies of Realism and Nominalism regarding doctrine of, 7,
    85, 100

  Tritheism, of Roscellinus, 7

  _Trivium_, the, 56

  Troubadours, their antisacerdotalism, 136, 230

  Tuscany, Honorius III and heretics in, 169 _n._

  Uberto da Pallavicino, _see_ Pallavicino

  Urban IV, Pope, 63, 202

  Urban V, Pope, 165, 174

  Valentinian II, his laws against heretics, 126

  Val, Simon du, French inquisitor, 68

  Vaudois, _see_ (i) Waldensianism, (ii) Witchcraft in Arras

  Vegetarianism, Catharan, 26

  Venice, legislation against sorcery in, 107
    Inquisition in, 169-70

  Vercelli, Dolcino in, 47

  Vincent of Beauvais, 57

  Waldensianism, 10, 12, 16, 19-22, 32, 75, 77, 95, 132, 165, 170-1, 175,
    193, 229, 231

  Waldhäuser, Conrad, 94

  Waldo, Peter, 18-20, 140 _n._, 230

  Wazon, Bishop of Liège, on toleration, 130

  Wenzel, King of Bohemia, and University of Prague, 95

  Wessel, Johann, 166

  William of Auxerre, 63

  William of Moerbeke, 64

  William of Saint-Amour, 41, 65

  Witchcraft, causes of the craze, 111
    Canonist ruling regarding, 107, 112-13
    circumstantial stories of, 114-16
    psychology of, 117-18
    trials before Inquisition, 118-22
    in Arras, 121, 203

  Witnesses, treatment of false, by Inquisition, 196, 209
    withholding of names of, in Inquisition, 195-6, 200, 240

  Wycliffe, John, on clerical abuses, 11, 86
    his doctrine of Lordship, 86-90
    his denial of Transubstantiation, 90-2
    his translation of the Bible, 89, 92-3
    otherwise mentioned, 12, 94, 95, 96, 98-100, 103, 233, 234, 244

  Yolande, of Savoy, 170

  Zabarella, Cardinal, 96

  Zimara, Italian Averrhoïst, 70

  Zimiskes, John, tolerates Manichæans in the Balkans, 22

       *       *       *       *       *



(_Oxford Historical and Literary Studies Volume III_)

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    Demy 8vo      Cloth      300 Pages
    With Genealogical Tables and a Map illustrating
    the Period      7s. 6d. net

THE WARS OF THE ROSES 1377-1471. By R. B. MOWAT, M.A., Fellow and
Assistant Tutor of Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

    ‘Mr. Mowat has provided a book which should appeal to the
    cultivated reader, and prove a mine of information to the


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