From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tomás de Torquemada, 15th-century Spanish Dominican friar and Grand Inquisitor

An inquisitor was an official (usually with judicial or investigative functions) in an inquisition – an organization or program intended to eliminate heresy and other things contrary to the doctrine or teachings of the Catholic faith. Literally, an inquisitor is one who "searches out" or "inquires" (Latin inquirere < quaerere, 'to seek').

In some cases, inquisitors sought out the social networks that people used to spread heresy.

There were multiple national inquisitions with different approaches and targets.


In the Albigensian Crusade a second-hand story arose that inquisitor and general Arnaud Amalric at the storming of Béziers advocated general slaughter, saying “Kill them. For God knows who are his.”[1] Amalric's own report to the Pope was that his troops jumped the gun and took over the town violently before he was aware.

Prominent inquisitors[edit]

Some of the better-known and notable inquisitors throughout history include:

From fiction[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ormerod, Paul; Roach, Andrew P (2004-08-15). "The Medieval inquisition: scale-free networks and the suppression of heresy". Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications. 339 (3): 648. arXiv:cond-mat/0306031. Bibcode:2004PhyA..339..645O. doi:10.1016/j.physa.2004.03.020. ISSN 0378-4371. S2CID 10947858.