The Inquisition 1184-1908
All in all, the Inquisition lasted from 1184 until
1908. The word inquisition derives from the Latin verb inquiro,
"to inquire into."
In a nutshell, the Inquisition was an institution founded to wipe out any trace of
deviation from Roman Catholic teaching.
As the root word indicates, inquisitors actively sought out
suspects. The inquisitors were accountable only to the pope and
authorized to impose penalties on suspects and to obtain
confessions, often by means of torture.
Church as well as Catholic states endorsed the Inquisition because it brought
financial gain and increased power and influence.
The Inquisition ranks as one of the greatest violations of human rights in history.
Major Inquisitions Were:
(1184 - 15th century)
(1478 - 1834)
(1542 - 1908)
The Duke of
Alba tried to get rid of all Protestants in Holland by
condemning all three million Netherlanders to death as
But easier planned than done. Alba
wasn't able to follow through with his plan.
THE DUKE OF ALBA
The Medieval Inquisition took place mainly in northern Italy and
southern France. The Spanish Inquisition and the Roman Inquisition
were for the most part set in Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland
and Italy. Then it spread to their colonies.
Figures differ widely. The average estimate is that 100,000 people
were executed by the Inquisition.
Impact on Humankind
For centuries the church made it impossible for individuals to read
the Bible. Even today, many Catholics are trying to come to terms
with the Church's role in the Inquisition.
A supporter of the system of
Copernicus, Galileo Galilei was tried by the Inquisition
He was forced to renounce the belief that the sun is the
center of the universe and the earth revolves around it.
The lesser known
Inquisition: Protestants used persecution and execution as well as the Catholics,
only on a smaller scale.
Also interesting is that none of the 87 popes that ruled from 1184 until 1908 were either
willing or able to abolish the Inquisition.
Go here for more about
Human Rights in History.