Talk:Spanish Inquisition/Archive 3

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3


In the 1998 film "Dangerous Beauty," Veronica Franco is tried NOT before the Spanish Inquisition, but rather the Roman Inquisition. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lavenexiana (talkcontribs) 18:36, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

References needed

Some sections are adequately referenced; others are completely unreferenced. A refimprove banner should be added. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:06, 13 March 2012 (UTC)


Was the Spanish Inquisition really ever expected? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:40, 13 April 2012 (UTC)


Edit request on 14 April 2012

Please change "Hennigsen" to "Henningsen". (talk) 16:47, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Done Thanks, Celestra (talk) 18:58, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Movies about the Spanish Inquisition

the article mentions Dangerous Beauty as involving the Spanish inquisition. I believe that is a mistake. The trial took place in Venice and involved the roman inquisition, or perhaps the Venetian. But certainly not the Spanish. This claim should be excised from the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:10, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

I don't know what to think

One sentence under the Torture section reads as follows:

"The scenes of sadism found in popular writers on the inquisition are not based in truth.[64] Modern scholars have determined that torture was used in only two percent of the cases, for no more than 15 minutes, and in only less than one percent of the cases was it used a second time, never more than that.[54][62]"

First of all, the first sentence's phrase "found in popular writers" is way too vague and sweeping for the sentence to have any clear meaning. How about listing at least some of the popular writers whose scenes are "not based on the truth" ? In addition, the phrase "not based on the truth" could also mean a vast range of different things, from vastly exaggerated the extent of the torture" to "mentioned a couple of insignificant factual errors".

But my biggest problem is that — having no expertise whatsoever in the subject — I simply don't know what to think. References are given for the very limited extent of the torture in the second sentence quoted above. But presumably someone else could have cited the works listed in the bibliography as "revisionist books", with a totally different claim.

Please note that I am not saying anything claimed in the article is inaccurate. I am simply saying that I have absolutely no way of knowing whether or not what is claimed is accurate or not.

And calling six books all published between 1982 and 2006 "revisionist" is certainly something I have no idea how to evaluate. But certainly the *claim* that they are "revisionist" -- yet another terminally vague descriptor -- needs to be supported by convincing evidence. Who said they were revisionist? What are the reputation of the individuals who said this, and what is the reputation of the authors of the books said to be revisionist? (Reputations as indicated by which universities they work at, with what titles, and/or which history awards have they received.)

It is easy for me to imagine that whoever wrote that section of the Wikipedia article, and whoever labeled those six books "revisionist", may be total experts on the subject, and that the article totally accurate historically. It's also easy for me to imagine that, at the opposite extreme, these parts of the article may have been written with a biased POV.

I just don't know how to tell.Daqu (talk) 17:10, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Previous Inquisitions

I find the first two paragraphs of this section somewhat confusing.

The first paragraph mentions that at the end of the 12th century Pope Lucius issued a bull to combat the Albigensian heresy. A few sentences later, it mentions that in 1232 Pope Gregory IX established a Papal Inquisition during the era of the Albigensian heresy. Could the Inquisitions be placed in the order they happened?

I don't understand the second paragraph that mentions there wasn't an Inquisition in Castille. Since the section is specifically about previous inquisitions I don't understand the importance or significance of mentioning that there wasn't one in Castille. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:52, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Reasons for the Inquisition

In the introductory parargraph, various reasons for the Inquisition were given, but none that I remember from my Spanish History Class. I'm not an expert, but I wish a scholar would step in and clarify. My understanding is that Ferdinand and Isabella wanted to unite their new kingdom which was filled with people speaking different languages and practicing different religions and with regions accustomed to being their own kingdom with very different cultures. They had recently united Castile and Aragon and then regained the south of Spain from Muslim hands and wished to unite all of Spain under one culture- Catholicism. They feared that leaving false converters in the ranks would only lead to dangerous outside alliances which would threaten their reign. Yes, it was also used just to punish those who might oppose them. And an "us against them" approach to governing was an obvious bid to form an "us" and to claim divine right (or at least papal approval) to their reign. What they told me in Spain was that while the Inquisiton was awful, it essentially made Spain in the sense that it unified and defined the culture of the country and created a strong enough monarchy to keep the country united for centuries. Of course there are still plenty of regions of Spain that would still like to break off and be their own country... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:22, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Question/Personal Opinion?

Question, asking the reader. Should be rephrased.

"Included in the Indexes, at one point, were many of the great works of Spanish literature. Also, a number of religious writers who are today considered saints by the Catholic Church saw their works appear in the Indexes. At first, this might seem counter-intuitive or even nonsensical—how were these Spanish authors published in the first place if their texts were then prohibited by the Inquisition and placed in the Index? The answer lies in the process of publication and censorship in Early Modern Spain. Books in Early Modern Spain faced prepublication licensing and approval (which could include modification) by both secular and religious authorities. However, once approved and published, the circulating text also faced the possibility of post-hoc censorship by being denounced to the Inquisition—sometimes decades later. Likewise, as Catholic theology evolved, once-prohibited texts might be removed from the Index." (talk) 16:38, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia contradiction: Sentencing to be an oarsman?

On this page:

In the case of men, the penalty was five years service as an oarsmen in a royal galley (tantamount to a death sentence).

On the linked-to page, galley:

Contrary to the popular image of rowers chained to the oars, conveyed by movies such as Ben Hur, there is no evidence that ancient navies ever made use of condemned criminals or slaves as oarsmen, with the possible exception of Ptolemaic Egypt.[144]

Perhaps the resolution is that the Spanish Inquisition is not ancient. But perhaps one or the other could be verified and clarified.

The article on galleys refers to ancient Greece, Rome, Cathage etc. It does not refer to late medieval/early modern galleys used by Spain, France, Turkey etc. Those galleys used prisoners or slaves, and is where the notion of rowers chained to oars comes from. The point is that the ancient world didn't practice it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:15, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Bobagem (talk) 02:20, 24 November 2012 (UTC)


The article describes the persecution of Protestants. I presume this mainly occurred in the Spanish Netherlands (1581-1714). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:01, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

No, it occurred anywhere where there were protestants...which realistically were wherever you could find catholics, Jews, and Moslems. Also, if you're the one who stated that "There weren't enough Protestants in Spain to be persecuted", you must cite where you heard this. Until then this addition to the articles should be deleted. Also, persecution can happen even where small populations are victimized. Unless you can back up that there were absolutely no protestants in Spain, then of course they could still be persecuted. (talk) 23:09, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

They certainly executed people in Spain they thought were Protestants, and this author agrees they were. See also this. There is an awful lot of academic literature on early Spanish Protestants for a group that didn't exist! Johnbod (talk) 23:46, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Inadequate summary paragraphs

I believe the summary paragraphs should reflect the scope of the Inquisition in terms of the number of cases and executions. The summary as now written doesn't give a clue as to whether the victims of the Inquisition totaled one hundred or one million. The summary should also reflect the changing views of the Inquisition. If you're as old as I am, you were taught the "black legend" -- that the Spanish were an unusually cruel and intolerant people and that the Inquisition burned a vast number of victims. To the contrary, as detailed in the main text of this article, more recent studies show that Inquisition victims -- at least in terms of numbers of executions -- were far fewer in number. In fact, it would appear that executions for "witchcraft", i.e. heresy, in the rest of Europe equaled or exceeded per capita the number of executions of the Inquisition in Spain. Smallchief (talk 11:54, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Absurd NPOV issues in favor of Torture Apology

Seriously, catholic apologists, do you not understand that when you take things as far as you have done you fool nobody? If you're that blatant in your historical revisionism everyone can see the zipper on your costume. Saying things like "oh well torture was only used to extract false confessions so it wasn't so bad" makes it clear to everyone what you're up to. I'm not going to try to convince you to change the article, this is wikipedia so whatever ideological group stakes their claim to the article can basically have their way with it, but if any of you actually want to spread your dumb propaganda you'll have to tone it down. As it stands you couldn't fool a child with your pathetic hang wringing. I just wanted you to know this; I harbor no delusions about the slightest thing being done to improve the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:51, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

While the comment above is overly strident and confrontational, its author does have a point. The entire Wikipedia article is based on the work of a small handful of people whose works often reference one another. While it's good to include new perspectives, it is fairly ridiculous that almost the whole of Wikipedia's article comes directly from the work of Lea, Motley, Prescott, and Kamen. This is, by definition, revisionist history; it should be presented as such. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:07, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Which version of history is correct: the old that painted the Spaniards as uniquely cruel, repressive, and intolerant or the new revisionist history which sees them as rather typical of the Europeans of their time? I think the new is probably correct and that the "black legend" about Spain and the Spaniards was greatly exaggerated. The old history was based on emotion; the new revisionist history seems based on long years of effort by historians who used the Spanish archives to arrive at what they believe is an objective picture of reality. We could emphasize the torture, executions, etc. of the Spanish inquisition, but would it be fair to present that as something unique and confined to Spain -- when in fact torture and executions were common throughout Europe for heresy and related crimes. Smallchief (talk)
Well said. We need to be careful of historical biases. We're talking about an era where there was a great deal of conflict, politicking and mistrust even between Catholic countries and their monarchs. We shouldn't always interpret efforts to cut through that conflict as "revisionist". That said, if there are other sources, especially contemporary reflections, we should do our level best to include them. Stlwart111 11:18, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
The two anons have claimed that the views of "Lea, Motley, Prescott, and Kamen" allegedly represent pro-Catholic bias in fringe books produced in recent years, which is wrong on all counts. Lea lived over a century ago and was anti-Catholic rather than pro-Catholic; and he was also one of the most respected historians of the 19th and 20th centuries. The other three are (if I'm not mistaken) also secular historians, and their views are backed up by the research of many other secular historians such as John Tedeschi, Gustav Henningsen, Edward Peters, Carlo Ginzburg, etc, etc. The article represents the overwhelming consensus among mainstream historians who have conducted extensive research on the subject, not a fringe view or "Catholic apologist" viewpoint. Nor is it only a "recent" idea, except to the extent that a lot more research has been done on the subject in the last few decades; but Lea's books published in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are certainly not recent. The more recent books are only "revisionist" in the sense that recent studies have led to a better understanding of the subject and a further refinement of the framework initiated by earlier researchers like Lea. But that's the proper procedure that historians are supposed to use, and entirely different from the type of reckless, ideological rewriting of history that people usually associate with the word "revisionism". In other words, there is sometimes a legitimate need to revise theories.
Torture was in fact strictly limited by inquisitorial rules (as defined in the "Instrucciones"), and modern studies have found that torture was used in only a bit more than 1% of these trials (one study found 1.2%), less than in secular courts of the time and a lot less than what the pop culture believes about inquisitorial courts. This isn't a matter of making excuses for anyone nor defending the Catholic Church, but is merely a statement of fact. As Smallchief alluded to, the other version of "the Inquisition" - usually called the "Black Legend" by modern historians - was the product of fictional literary works and propaganda, not historical fact. It became a dominant view in the pop culture only for the same reason so many other fictitious versions of history became popular : constant repetition in novels, movies, and other popular sources made it ubiquitous and thereby gave it the illusion of truth, whereas scholarly works based on the actual evidence were generally read only by other historians. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and needs to present the consensus among researchers, not what Hollywood claims about a subject. CSorBb (talk) 23:14, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Actually, that presents an interesting option - we should consider whether there is space for a "modern interpretations" section as distinct from "in popular culture" that accurately (and with reference to reliable sources) summarises the above. From memory, something similar was discussed with regard to the Crusades and some US Civil War material. I'll see if I can find the precedents I'm thinking of but CSorBb's is an excellent analysis. Stlwart111 00:34, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
That would be a good idea. There are a number of academic books which summarize the research and contrast it against the popular view. The most well known would probably be Edward Peters' book "Inquisition", which covers both inquisitorial history itself and also the history of the research and various competing views on the subject. I have a copy of the book, and can see if it has some concise statements that could be used for this. One humorous rebuttal of the "Black Legend" that I just came across while thumbing through the book is the following sarcastic comment by the 19th century professor Marcelino Menendez y Pelayo : "Why was there no industry in Spain? On account of the Inquisition... Why are Spaniards lazy? On account of the Inquisition. Why are there bull-fights in Spain? On account of the Inquisition. Why do Spaniards take a siesta? On account of the Inquisition." (from page 284). Or actually, the siesta nap is presumably the result of the famous laziness caused by the Inquisition; but that would be WP:Synthesis so we can't state that. CSorBb (talk) 01:43, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
That's excellent. Incredibly, I think I have the same book on a shelf somewhere. A proper account of the "Black Legend" and subsequent analysis is sounding more and more like a good idea. Stlwart111 02:17, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Unnecessary Reversion of Vital Sources in Main Article

Dealt with above.

It was purported, unjustly, by User:Stalwart111, that the claims made by me do not match the sources which I duly cited. The claim is untrue, as I can prove by translating fully into English the Hebrew sources cited by me. The Hebrew dates are brought down in the anno mundi system of calibrating dates. The information is vital in this article, and ought to be upheld, since it deals specifically with places in Spain and the types of persecution suffered by the people. I can also cite additional references which deal on the same topic.Davidbena (talk) 06:09, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

I don't think it was unjust - I think you've misunderstood my edit summary, explained in detail above. Cheers, Stlwart111 06:27, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I wrote this section before I had the time to read your edit summary above.Davidbena (talk) 06:36, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Absolutely, we both arrived at the same time. All good. Stlwart111 07:18, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Additions and reversion

This is primarily addressed to Davidbena though I might also ping Ryn78 who reverted the first time. Initially, the claims were unsourced which was a problem. Ryn rightly reverted to a previous version and David reinstated the edit with a new source (or series of sources). The problem is that the second edit changed the meaning of the second paragraph which had previously been sourced to a fairly factual account of the number of Jewish people killed. That source was fine for a summary of the number of Jewish people killed. But it does not correlate with (and is not an adequate source for) the claims added by Davidbena.

I wanted to raise this here rather than getting into anything remotely resembling an edit war. We are all experienced editors in good standing and I suspect this is probably an academic matter with an academic solution, rather than anything problematic. Quick fix - David, do you have a source for the latter claim so we can leave the old claim in and add your information? (Rather than replacing one with the other?) Is there any way you could divide the sources for the first part? That's obviously less of an issue, just a matter of formatting, but I thought I would undo the whole lot so we could address it all and then add it back in. Cheers, Stlwart111 06:02, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

The source which contained a summary of the number of Jews killed can be kept in its original place, unless someone here is willing to merge (with some innovation) the two together (my edit and the original edit) - since both refer to persecution of Jews in these places. As for my latter claim, which cites cities affected by the disturbances in Spain, I have provided a source, which happens to be the same as the previous source in "Shalshelet Ha-Kabbalah," although some of these places have been conflated with another page source taken from the same book and/or "Sefer Yuchasin."-Davidbena (talk) 06:20, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I have no quarrel with either claim, nor your second source. My concern is that the Kamen source had previously been used as a citation for the claim, " The number of people killed was also high in other cities, such as Córdoba, Valencia and Barcelona." But with your amendments, it appeared as a source for the claim, "All Jews in Spain were affected by the persecution that ravaged the country during those years, especially those communities residing in the kingdom of Aragón...". I don't think that was intentional, it's just a factor of the way the sources were then split across that section. I still believe your first section should be cited to individual sources (rather than a summary of multiple sources and a overview conclusion) but that's a matter for clarification. Did you want to propose an edit here (a marked-up version of the section you want to add)? That way it can be refined before going in and there will be no need for reversion. Stlwart111 06:25, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, with your permission, I do wish to propose on this Talk page a marked-up version of the section, and perhaps - with your advice - we can reinsert the important anecdotes. BTW: I have been up all night and will soon be retiring for bed, so maybe I can make suggestions later. Be well. Davidbena (talk) 06:41, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Well, you don't require my permission but I think we can reach a worthwhile consensus. No rush - collect your thoughts tomorrow and we can work on some new text. Rest assured, I suspect that once cleaned up, most of what you are looking to add will be added. Stlwart111 07:20, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

User:Stalwart111, Shalom! In the Hebrew source which I’ve provided, I have diligently copied down the record of events as described by the author (Gedaliah ibn Yechia) in those troubling times. I call your attention to his work, Shalshelet Ha-Kabbalah Jerusalem 1962, pp. רסז – רסט, in PDF pp. 276–278 (Hebrew). The Hebrew transcription is herein followed by an English translation:

[סוף עמ' 276] בשנת הקכ׳׳ח היו גזרות נגד היהודים בעיר בדרש ובשנ' ה' אלפים קל"ה בעיר בילקרו. בשנת ה' אלפים קכ"ט היה במלכות קסטילייא וליאון מצרפת צרות משונות על היהודים וכל הקללות נתקיימו בהם [ראש עמ' 277] ובפרט בעיר טוליטולה מתו ברעב בשני חדשים יותר מעשרת אלפים נפשות והנשים רחמניות בשלו ילדיהן ומהבהבות הצמח ואוכלים אותה והרבה קהלות נהרגו בקדוש ה'. בשנת ק"נ העלילו על קהל טורה ולגריט וקירואן ובורגש ובמלכות ארוגן ולינצה מיוריקה וברצלונה ורובם המירו וקצתם ברחו וקצתם נהרגו. ...ואומר ס' יוחסין שבשנת קנ"א היה גזירה גדולה בקטלוניאה וקסטילי' וארגן והמירו יותר ממאתים אלף נפשות ונתנו סיבה על ערוב אנשי ישראל עם נוצריות כי הבנים הרגו אבותיהם. וכבר הזכרתי זה.... וראיתי אגרת ארוכה שכ' רבינו חסדאי קרישקוש המספר באורך זעם הזמן מהרבה צרות וגזירות והריגות שהיו בגלילות ספרד בשנת קנ"ב ובפרט הריגת כל זרע הרא"ש ותלמידיהם כי בברחי כל האריכות לא העתקתיה כלו רק בקוצר. ... ר"ח תמוז שנת הקכ"ב, היא שנת אלף שכ"א לחורבן, דרך קשתות האויב על קהלות סיביליאה רבתי עם שהיו בה ו' או ז' אלפים בעלי בתים הציתו אש בשערים והרגו בה עם רב אך רובם המירו ומהם מכרו לישמעאלים מהטף ומהנשים והיו מסילות היהודים יושבים בדד ורבים מתים על קדוש השם ורבים חללו ברית קדש. ומשם יצא אש ותאכל כל ארזי הלבנון העיר הקדושה קהלת קורטובה. גם שם המירו רבים ותהי לחרבה וביום צרה ותוכחה יום שהוכפלו בו הצרות י"ז תמוז חמת ה' נתנה על עיר הקדש אשר משם תצא תורה ודבר ה' והוא טוליטולה ויהרגו במקדש ה' כהן ונביא. שמה קדשו ה' ברבים והם זרע הכשר והנבחר זרע הרא"ש [ראש עמ' 278] זצ"ל הם ובניהם ותלמידיהם גם לשם המירו רבים לא יכלו לעמוד על נפשם על שלש אלה רגזה ארץ מלבד קהילות אחרות סביבותיהם בא מספרם כמו ע׳ עיר ובכל זאת אנחנו פה על משמר והיה לנו יומם ולילה למשמר. ויהי בשביעי לחודש בלע ח׳ ולא חמל בקולות ולינצה כמו אלף בעלי בתים והיה המתים בקדוש ה׳ כמו ר"נ אנשים והנשארים הרה נסו ונמלטו מעטים ורבים המירו משם פשטה הנגע בקהלות מיוריקה העדינה לחוף ימים ישכון ביום ר״ח אלול באו פריצי׳ וחללוה בזזוה שללוה ועזבוה כמצודה שאין בה דגים ומתו בקדוש ה׳ כמו ש׳ נפשות וכמו ת״ת נמלטו במגדל חמלך והגשארים חמירו

Translation of Hebrew text:

“[End of page 276] In the year 5,128 [anno mundi] (= 1367/8 CE) there were decrees against Jews in the city of Paderas (sp.?), and in the year 5,135 [anno mundi] (= 1374/5) in the city of Villagroy (sp.?). In the year 5,129 [anno mundi] (= 1368/9 CE) there was in the kingdom of Castile and León diverse troubles from France against the Jews and all of the curses were fulfilled in them [Beginning of page 277], and, especially, in the city of Ṭulayṭulah (Toledo) more than ten-thousand souls had perished in the famine within two months, while ‘compassionate women cooked their children’ (i.e. an allusion to Lamentations 4:5), and were roasting the sprouting vegetation and eating it, while many congregations were killed in martyrdom. In the year [5],150 [anno mundi] (= 1389/90 CE) they spread a malicious report about the community of Turre and Legorreta (sp.?) and Qairouan and Burgos and in the kingdom of Aragón and Valencia, Majorca and Barcelona, and the majority of them changed their religion, while a few of them fled, and a few of them were killed… Now, the book Yuchasin says that in the year [5],151 [anno mundi] (= 1390/1 CE) there was a harsh decree in Catalonia and Castile and Aragón that caused more than two-hundred thousand [Jewish] souls to change their religion, the reason being, they said, was because of mixed marriages – the men of Israel with Christian lasses, for the sons had killed their fathers. But I have already mentioned this. …. Now I have seen a long letter that was written by our Rabbi Hasdai Crescas who speaks in length about the rage of the time, of many troubles and decrees and killings that were in the provinces of Spain in the year [5],152 [anno mundi] (= 1391/2 CE), and, in particular, the killing of the entire family of Rabbeinu Asher and his disciples, insofar that when I fled, I did not copy down its entire lengthy narrative, [but rather] only a short rendition [of the same]. ….The New Moon of the lunar month Tammuz, 5,122 (sic) (= 1361/2 CE), it being the one-thousandth and three-hundred and twenty-first year from the [Temple’s] destruction, the enemy made ready their bows against the congregations of Seville, the great city, a people who were numbered therein about six or seven thousand homeowners. They set fire to the gates and killed therein a great multitude of people, but most of them changed their religion, among whom were those who they sold to the Ishmaelites, ranging from small children unto women, whereas the thoroughfares once belonging to the Jews sat solitary (i.e. were then emptied of its quarters), and many there were who died a martyr’s death, while there were many who profaned the holy covenant (i.e. became apostates). From there, fire went forth and devoured all the ‘cedars of Lebanon’ (i.e. the fine and goodly people), even that holy city – the congregation of Córdoba! Also, it was there that many changed their religion and it (i.e. the place) became desolate, which things fell out on a day of trouble and of reproof, a day in which troubles were doubled (i.e. repeated a second time), [even on] the seventeenth day of the lunar month Tammuz, the wrath of God was laid upon the holy city, which heretofore had been a place where the Divine Law and God’s word went forth, it being Ṭulayṭulah (Toledo), and they killed in God’s sanctuary, both, priest and prophet (i.e. allusion to Lamentations 2:20). There it was that they publicly brought sanctity to God’s name (i.e by choosing death over apostasy), they being a most fitting seed and the elect, even the family of Rabbeinu Asher, [Beginning of page 278], of blessed memory, they and their sons and their disciples. At that place, also, many there were who changed their religion and who could not defend themselves. Over these three things was the land sorely distraught, aside from other communities within their radius, whose numbers came to about seventy towns; and, in spite of it all, we are still here upon our watch, ‘and we had taken up a watch, both, by day and night’ (i.e. an allusion to Nehemiah 4:3). It then came to pass on the seventh day of the [lunar] month that God made a consumption and did not take pity upon the cries of Valencia; approximately one-thousand households, whereas those who died while sanctifying God’s name were about two-hundred and fifty men, while the rest took flight in the mountains and a few escaped, but many there were who changed their religion. From there, this plague spread to the communities of Majorca which was a most delicate [city], [a city] situate on the seashore. On the New Moon of the lunar month Elul, the unruly class came and desecrated it, robbed it, plundered it, leaving it like a net depleted of its fish, and they died a martyr’s death, approximately three-hundred, while about eight-hundred managed to escape in the tower of the king, but all the rest changed their religion…” END of QUOTE

Wherefore, on account of the above testimony, I have written: “All Jews in Spain were affected by the persecution that ravaged the country during those years, especially those communities residing in the kingdom of Aragón, and in València, the isle of Mallorca, Barcelona in the region of Catalonia, in Seville and Córdoba which are both in Andalusia, Burgos and Toledo (called then by Jews after its Arabic name ‘Ṭulayṭulah’) in the region of Castilla, as well as some other seventy towns and villages thereabouts.”

What is most striking about Rabbi Isaac bar Sheshet’s responsa concerning these “Anūsim” of his day was that even during their marriage and divorce procedures they remained with only JEWISH PARTNERS, as we find in his Questions & Responsa (responsa no. 6, 11 and 14), even though in the particular divorce case mentioned by him, the couple’s marriage was terminated by the judicial system set up by the Christians rather than by a rabbinic court.

The one stricture that Rabbi Isaac bar Sheshet deemed fit to impose upon these Jews who were compelled to hide their religion is outlined carefully in responsum # 12 of his Questions & Responsa, and repeated by Rabbi Yosef Karo in his Code of Jewish Law, the “Shūlḥan Arūkh” (Yoreh De’ah 124:9). Based on the following, I will try to suggest a better edit. Feel free to help me here. - Davidbena (talk) 22:47, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Most of the historical accounts mentioned above are repeated in Abraham Zacuto's book, Sefer Yuchasin, Cracow 1580 (q.v. Sefer Yuchasin, pp. 265-266 in PDF) and where he mentions the persecutions of the Jews in Catalonia, Castille and Aragón in the year 5151 anno mundi, corresponding to the year 1391 of our Common Era, in which 200,000 Jews changed their religion and many others who were killed. This fact is mentioned at the top of page 266 in the PDF file online. Besides this, he mentions on page 265 of same PDF file that in the year 5130 anno mundi (1369/70 CE) there was a time of great disturbance all throughout the Jewish communities of Castille and Ṭulayṭulah (Toledo) and that 38,000 Jews were killed in the ensuing wars between two brothers: Don Enrico and Don Pedro. During this period of fighting, a well-known Jewish philanthropist named Don Samuel the Levite had been killed and who had built synagogues and midrashic schools for the Jewish nation in Spain.- Davidbena (talk) 03:25, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Another important source which is little known to our English readers is a book entitled "Shevat Yehudah" (The Sceptre of Judah), in which the author mentions the persecutions of Spanish Jewry. I particularly call your attention to the historical account on page 76 in the PDF file (q.v. Shevat Yehudah, Lvov 1846, p. 76 in PDF) where the author (Solomon ibn Verga) mentions in the name of Rabbi Shem Tov, the son of Shem Tov Sukkam, that in the year 150 in the 6th millennium of anno mundi (= 1389/90 CE), during the reign of King Don Enrico, while he was still a youth, many of the local Spaniards had risen-up to force the nation of Israel in Spain to abandon their fathers' religion and to embrace Christianity, and that the people oppressed the Jews and beat them with severe beatings. Subsequently, many Jews in Spain abandoned their religion, especially (using his own words) "the great Jewish congregation at Seville, most of whom choosing to become Christians" instead of enduring their afflictions. Likewise, the Jewish communities in Córdoba and in Usún (a place in Navarra) gave-in to pressure and many converted, as did all of the region of Al-Andalus (Andalucía), besides many other great cities that he goes on to name, such as Ocaña (in Andalucía), Escalona (in Castille) and Torrijas (in Aragon), among other places expressed by name. He adds that their sufferings were so great that it is not fitting to make mention of them because of their bringing utter "terror to the hearts" of those who should hear them. Davidbena (talk) 03:58, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Shalom my friend. My broad point about the above would be that we need to be careful not to blur the lines between the Spanish Inquisition (the subject of this article) and famine, war and civil unrest. The above passages deal with each and attribute Jewish deaths to each. I think it would be a fair assessment that those incidents that coincided with the making of conversos might have some direct interrelation with the Spanish Inquisition. Famine, though, is universal. While tragic, we should not confuse deaths as a result of famine with the specific persecution (and execution) of Jewish peoples. Deaths in Toledo, for example, are attributed to famine, not to persecution. Contemporary accounts don't attribute any deaths to the "Spanish Inquisition" because it wasn't referred to in those terms, but I think we can safely work on the basis that those attributed specifically to other things shouldn't find their way into this article. In another instance, deaths are attributed to a mob. Most accounts of the Inquisition describe a cold a calculated (clinical) approach to identifying heretics and persecuting them. Such actions might have engendered mobs with the belief that they could "get away" with such attacks, but I'm not sure we should be attributing those to the Spanish Inquisition specifically. Likewise, the fact that "38,000 Jews were killed in the ensuing wars between two brothers" cannot possibly be attributed to the Spanish Inquisition. Does that makes sense? The Inquisition didn't just persecute Jews and Jews weren't only persecuted by the Inquisition. I'm not suggesting those deaths should not be recognised or recorded somewhere but I don't think they should be attributed to this subject. Stlwart111 05:20, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree, whole-heartedly, that what is not ascribed to the Spanish Inquisition should not, and will not, be mentioned in this article. What I have stated in the form of other sufferings was only a "side-note," as it were. We will stick only with the definitive events related directly to their persecution as Jews and the attempt to convert them unto Christianity. And, yes, I am aware that Muslims were also targeted in the general sweep of "religious fervor" in Christian Spain at that time.Davidbena (talk) 05:38, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
And other Christians, Christian sects, non-Christian spiritualists, other forms of Judaism and derivatives thereof. Even "non-Christians" wouldn't be accurate. The reality is that Jews (and others) were persecuted extensively, both actively and passively. It would, perhaps, be convenient if that persecution could be attributed to one group of extremists with a particular agenda (as can more accurately be done with the Holocaust). But that was, unfortunately, not the case in the era in question and the Spanish Inquisition represented only a small portion of the persecution. Stlwart111 05:52, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Suggested edit for section: Previous Inquisitions

User:Stalwart111, Shalom! My suggestion is to merge the following passage with my newer and more detailed edit. Thus, this paragraph will be changed, that is, the one that begins: “Nevertheless, in some parts of Spain towards the end of the 14th century, there was a wave of violent anti-Judaism, encouraged by the preaching of Ferrand Martinez, Archdeacon of Ecija. In the pogroms of June 1391 in Seville, hundreds of Jews were killed, and the synagogue was completely destroyed. The number of people killed was also high in other cities, such as Córdoba, Valencia and Barcelona,” and will now begin in this modified way:

Several responsa bearing on the widespread persecution of Spanish Jewry between the years 1389 and 1392 of our Common Era can be found in contemporary Jewish sources, such as in the Questions & Responsa of Rabbi Isaac ben Sheshet (1326 – 1408).[1] A description of the se horrific events which plagued the Jewish communities of Spain is also written in Gedalia Ibn Yechia’s Shalshelet Ha-Kabbalah, (written ca. 1586),[2] as well as in Abraham Zacuto’s Sefer Yuchasin and in Solomon ibn Verga’s Shevat Yehudah, who relate how tens of thousands of Jews during these years were evicted from their homes, while many were killed with cruel deaths, while some managed to flee the country, and still others who chose to convert to Christianity in order to save their lives. Those who could not escape from Spain concealed their true religion, and came to be known as "Anūsim," meaning, "those who are compelled [to hide their religion]."

All Many Jews in Spain were affected by the persecution that ravaged the in that country during those years, especially those communities residing in the kingdom of Aragón, and in Barcelona in the region of Catalonia, and the town of Burgos. In 1362, the Jews of Seville and Córdoba which are both in Andalusia, as well as Toledo (called then by Jews after its Arabic name "Ṭulayṭulah") in the region of Castile,[3] were all affected by anti-Jewish fervor, as well as some seventy other towns and villages in the regions thereabout.[4] The Jewish inhabitants of València and the isle of Majorca were not spared the plight of their countrymen, neither also persecuted, as were some one-hundred and thirty Jews in Barcelona.[5] Persecutions came to a head again in 1390/1, encouraged by the preaching of Ferrand Martinez, Archdeacon of Ecija, affecting the Jews in Catalonia, Castille[6] and Aragón, in which during which time some 200,000 Jews changed their religion.[7] In the pogroms of June 1391 in Seville, hundreds of Jews were killed, and the synagogue was completely destroyed. The number of people killed was also high in other cities, such as Córdoba, Valencia and Barcelona.[8] Many Jews living in Seville, Córdoba and in Usún (a place in Navarra), Turre and Burgos, succumbed to pressure and converted, as did the whole of Al-Andalus (Andalucía), besides many other great cities.[9]


[1] Rabbi Isaac ben Sheshet Perfet, in his Responsa, treats mainly on the status of Jews (Anūsim) who were compelled to hide their religion in face of persecution in responsa no’s. 6, 11, 12 and 14 of Questions and Responsa of Ben Sheshet, Vilnius 1879, pp. 13, 15 and 16 in PDF (Hebrew); On Rabbi Isaac ben Sheshet’s own forced conversion, see: Isaac ben Sheshet Perfet, Encyclopaedia Judaica (ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik), vol. 10, 2nd ed., Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007, p. 49.

[2] Gedaliah Ibn Yechia, Shalshelet Ha-Kabbalah Jerusalem 1962, pp. רסז – רסח , in PDF pp. 276–278 (Hebrew)

[3] Gedaliah Ibn Yechia, Shalshelet Ha-Kabbalah Jerusalem 1962, p. רסח, in PDF p. 277 (end) (Hebrew)

[4] Gedaliah Ibn Yechia, Shalshelet Ha-Kabbalah, Jerusalem 1962, p. רסט, in PDF p. 278 (top) (Hebrew)

[5] Gedaliah Ibn Yechia, Shalshelet Ha-Kabbalah, Jerusalem 1962, p. רסט, in PDF p. 278 (top) (Hebrew)

[6] Solomon ibn Verga, Shevat Yehudah, Lvov 1846 (p. 76 in PDF) (Hebrew)

[7] Abraham Zacuto, Sefer Yuchasin, Cracow 1580 (p. 266 in PDF)

[8] Kamen, Spanish Inquisition, p. 17. Kamen cites approximate numbers for Valencia (250) and Barcelona (400), but no solid data about Córdoba.

[9] According to Gedaliah Ibn Yechia, these disturbances were caused by a malicious report spread about the Jews. See: Gedaliah Ibn Yechia, Shalshelet Ha-Kabbalah Jerusalem 1962, p. רסח, in PDF p. 277 (top) (Hebrew); Solomon ibn Verga, Shevat Yehudah, Lvov 1846 (p. 76 in PDF) (Hebrew).

[10] Raymond of Peñafort, Summa, lib. 1 p.33, citing D.45 c.5.

[11] Kamen, Spanish Inquisition, p. 10.

  • Hi Davidbena, it's a great start (an improvement on the original) but a few of my concerns remain - this is more a summary of how Spaniards, in general, treated Jews, in general. It talks about "anti-Jewish fervour" and some activities that might be similar to those of the later Inquisition but it serves nobody to confuse general anti-Semitism in the 150 years prior to the Spanish Inquisition with the Inquisition itself. I know that's the purpose of that section but to drag every anti-Semitic act in the prior century-and-a-half together and suggest they were all just part of the ramping-up that catalysed the start of the Inquisition seems rather clunky. But let's start with this - I've struck some words that I think should be removed (hyperbole and whatnot) and have taken out the last paragraph which wasn't yours (but was unsourced and should be fixed). Stlwart111 05:59, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
I'll take your advice. Sounds good to me. Give me a day, or so, to improve it by taking into account your proof-reading of the text. It's nice to work with a good and considerate (polite) editor. I think it's a rarity on WP.Davidbena (talk) 06:42, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
Of course, take all the time you need. Stlwart111 22:45, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
"cruel death" should go too. pov.
I get the impression that the Jews got along quite well with the Muslims. They were suspect for that reason at the high level. It was a good excuse to take their property IF they failed to convert.
At the level of the general populace, convenient scapegoat, I suppose. There were often "spikes" in anti-Semitic persecution during the Middle Ages. Movement of people, such as the Crusades and probably the expulsion of the Muslims from Spain. Exactly why those particular times, I don't know. Student7 (talk) 19:46, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
Good suggestion. You're absolutely right, of course. It's something each of the "inquisition" articles have suffered with. We need to be careful (as above) when making the distinction between the activities of the Inquisition as a program (the subject of this article) and those of the angry mob that supported them. It's true that the Inquisition burned witches and did so in a rather clinical and bureaucratic way. But it's also true that at various points, the populations of particular villages simply rounded on one of their own, dragged her into the street and burned her as a witch. Those are not the actions of the Inquisition but it could be said that those things happened with the tacit approval of those leading the Inquisition. The persecution of Jews is not dissimilar. Stlwart111 23:04, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Kamen editions?

This article heavily cites Henry Kamen's Spanish Inquisition. It also has complained about the used of ibid, op. cit,... for two years. A 4th paperback edition of Kamen has been available for almost a year. It is important that Kamen citations include the edition. Do all of the existing citations to the English version refer to the first edition? (talk) 19:26, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Answered by today's edit from Stemonitis. (talk) 19:25, 23 April 2015 (UTC)


Is the Art that illustrates the article popular culture? Does it deserve a bit of text? (talk) 23:19, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

A Better Suggestion (for New Edit)

User:Stalwart111, Shalom! As you can see, I have not rushed to submit my revised edit. The reason being is that accuracy is of utmost importance to me, besides also of giving some semblance of order to the events mentioned here, especially as they appear in the historical records of our nation. I have decided against mentioning the date 1361 since, upon further consideration of this subject, the year 1361 is a date brought down in Gedaliah ibn Yechia’s book, Shalsheleth Ha-Kabbalah (2nd edition, printed in Jerusalem in 1962), and where there is an obvious (sic) in his rendition of accounts given there when specifically referring to that one date, meaning, there was an obvious copyist’s error in its computation. This has been confirmed by referring back to the original source quoted by Gedaliah ibn Yechia, viz. Hasdai Crescas, who writes about events in Spain only with respect to 1390/1, and which date happened to fall 1,321 years after the Second Temple’s destruction (based on the Jewish tradition that the Temple was destroyed by Titus in the year 380 of the Seleucid Era, a date corresponding with 69 CE, rather than with 70 CE) as noted by Gedaliah ibn Yechia.

This, then, is the new draft:

Several responsa bearing on the widespread persecution of Spanish Jewry between the years 1390 and 1391 can be found in contemporary Jewish sources, such as in the Responsa of Rabbi Isaac ben Sheshet (1326 – 1408)[1], and in the seminal writing of Gedaliah Ibn Yechia, Shalshelet Ha-Kabbalah (written ca. 1586),[2] as also in Abraham Zacuto’s Sefer Yuchasin,[3] in Solomon ibn Verga’s Shevaṭ Yehudah,[4] as well as in a Letter written to the Jews of Avignon by Don Hasdai Crescas in the winter of 1391 concerning the events in Spain in the year 1391.[5]

According to Don Hasdai Crescas, persecution against Jews began in earnest in Seville in 1391, on the 1st day of the lunar month Tammuz (June).[6] From there the violence spread to Córdoba, and by the 17th day of the same lunar month, it had reached Toledo (called then by Jews after its Arabic name "Ṭulayṭulah") in the region of Castile.[7] From there, the violence had spread to Majorca and by the 1st day of the lunar month Elul it had also reached the Jews of Barcelona in Catalonia, where the slain were estimated at two-hundred and fifty. So, too, many Jews who resided in the neighboring provinces of Lérida and Gironda and in the kingdom of València had been affected,[8][9] as were also the Jews of Al-Andalus (Andalucía),[10] whereas many died a martyr’s death, while others converted in order to save themselves.

Encouraged by the preaching of Ferrand Martinez, Archdeacon of Ecija, the general unrest affected nearly all of the Jews in Spain, during which time an estimated 200,000 Jews changed their religion or else concealed their religion, becoming known in Hebrew as "Anūsim,"[11] meaning, "those who are compelled [to hide their religion]." Only a handful of the more principal persons of the Jewish community managed to escape, who had found refuge among the vice-roys in the outlying towns and districts.[12]


[1] Rabbi Isaac ben Sheshet Perfet, in his Responsa, treats mainly on the status of Jews (Anūsim) who were compelled to hide their religion in face of persecution in responsa no’s. 6, 11, 12 and 14 of Questions and Responsa of Ben Sheshet, Vilnius 1879, pp. 13, 15 and 16 in PDF (Hebrew); On Rabbi Isaac ben Sheshet’s own forced conversion, see: Isaac ben Sheshet Perfet, Encyclopaedia Judaica (ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik), vol. 10, 2nd ed., Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007, p. 49.

[2] Gedaliah Ibn Yechia, Shalshelet Ha-Kabbalah Jerusalem 1962, pp. רסז – רסח , in PDF pp. 276–278 (Hebrew)

[3] Abraham Zacuto, Sefer Yuchasin, Cracow 1580 (q.v. Sefer Yuchasin, pp. 265-266 in PDF)

[4] Ibn Verga, Salomón (1992). Sheveṭ Yehudah [The Sceptre of Judah] (in Hebrew). B’nei Issachar Institute: Jerusalem. ; Solomon ibn Verga, Shevaṭ Yehudah (The Sceptre of Judah), Lvov 1846, p. 76 in PDF)

[5] Printed in the book Shevaṭ Yehudah by Solomon ibn Verga (ed. Dr. M. Wiener), Hannover 1855, pp. 128 – 130, or pp. 138 - 140 in PDF, and which history concerns only the year 1391, although the Gregorian date mentioned here is represented in his account by two dates in the Anno Mundi counting, i.e. 5,152 and 5,151, owing to the change of the Hebrew year in the Fall of that same year.

[6] Letter of Hasdai Crescas, Shevaṭ Yehudah by Solomon ibn Verga (ed. Dr. M. Wiener), Hannover 1855, pp. 128 – 130, or pp. 138 - 140 in PDF; Mitre Fernández, Emilio (1994). Secretariado de Publicaciones e Intercambio Editorial, ed. Los judíos de Castilla en tiempo de Enrique III : el pogrom de 1391 [The Castilian Jews at the time of Henry III: the 1391 pogrom] (in Spanish). Valladolid University. ISBN 84-7762-449-6. ; Solomon ibn Verga, Shevaṭ Yehudah (The Sceptre of Judah), Lvov 1846, p. 76 in PDF.

[7] Letter from Hasdai Crescas to the congregations of Avignon, published as an appendix to Wiener's edition of Shevaṭ Yehudah of Solomon ibn Verga, in which he names the Jewish communities affected by the persecution of 1391. See pages 138 – 140 in PDF (Hebrew).

[8] Solomon ibn Verga, Shevaṭ Yehudah (The Sceptre of Judah), Lvov 1846, pp. 41 (end) – 42 in PDF); Kamen, Spanish Inquisition, p. 17. Kamen cites approximate numbers for Valencia (250) and Barcelona (400), but no solid data about Córdoba.

[9] Kamen, Spanish Inquisition, p. 17. Kamen cites approximate numbers for Valencia (250) and Barcelona (400), but no solid data about Córdoba.

[10] According to Gedaliah Ibn Yechia, these disturbances were caused by a malicious report spread about the Jews. See: Gedaliah Ibn Yechia, Shalshelet Ha-Kabbalah Jerusalem 1962, p. רסח, in PDF p. 277 (top) (Hebrew); Solomon ibn Verga, Shevat Yehudah, Lvov 1846 (p. 76 in PDF) (Hebrew).

[11] Abraham Zacuto, Sefer Yuchasin, Cracow 1580 (q.v. Sefer Yuchasin, p. 266 in PDF)

[12] Hasdai Crescas, ibid.

P.S. - If anyone is interested here, I can provide a full English translation of Hasdai Crescas' letter to the Jewish community of Avignon in 1391. Better still, one can find a full translation of Hasdai Crescas' letter in Fritz Kobler, Letters of the Jews through the Ages, London 1952, pp. 272–75. Davidbena (talk) 14:55, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Hi David, sorry I wasn't able to respond before you made those changes to the article. I was busy with a few other things. Your draft, though, seemed to accurately reflect the suggest changes and the subsequent comments of other editors. A good result and proof-positive of the community's capacity to work together to make such a substantive addition. Nice work. Stlwart111 23:24, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Since much of this appears to pertain to 1391, and the following section says the Inquisition started over 85 years later, couldn't it be summarized and much of it moved to the History of the Jews in Spain article? Mannanan51 (talk) 06:47, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

Removal of claim by Doug Beaumont

I would like to remove the last sentence of paragraph 5, as well as the relevant citation [3] : "Further, the Inquisition was the first to pronounce Europe’s witch hunt a delusion and prohibited anyone from being tried or burnt for witchcraft.[3]" - Doug Beaumont:The Spanish Inquisition: Debunking the Legends. This claim is unverifiable. The citation, [3] Doug Beaumont:The Spanish Inquisition: Debunking the Legends, is from an unreliable self published article on this authors blog, and the author of this blog does not substantiate this specific claim with a specific source. He loosely cites his overall argument from the same handful of authors that this Wikipedia Article already cites, including Kamen, and Peters. I have not found any specific evidence to support this statement, and will remove it. Sbaromski (talk) 21:12, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

I won't object to the deletion -- unless somebody comes up with a much more credible source for the claims. Smallchief (talk 23:26, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

Relevance and direction of Thomas Madden quote

"Thomas Madden describes the world that formed medieval politics: 'The Inquisition was not born out of desire to crush diversity or oppress people; it was rather an attempt to stop unjust executions. Yes, you read that correctly. Heresy was a crime against the state. Roman law in the Code of Justinian made it a capital offense. Rulers, whose authority was believed to come from God, had no patience for heretics.'"

Where is the connection between this quote and the historical account that follows? What about the following text suggests an attempt to stop rather than promote executions, or either continuity or contrast with ancient practices? The quote teases a contrast it does not develop, and frankly seems here—as perhaps it does not in context—like a half-finished, ill-focused defense of what follows: "But Moderns, all the other kings killed heretics!"

I'd propose a simple cut, unless a case can be made for connecting this or a more apt quotation to the historical account. Michael (talk) 04:28, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

Does this article properly illustrate current academic consensus?

It seems at first glance that this entire article is based primarily on the work of Henry Kamen and his book "The Spanish Inquisition: a Historical Revision". Kamen is mentioned by name 18 times in the body of the article, and cited 43 times throughout. The issue I see is that Kamen is a self proclaimed revisionist, and yet his version is the primary one being presented, often without mention of the orthodoxy he is revising. Major works by scholars who are arguably more widely respected than Kamen are not mentioned nor cited anywhere (such as "The Spanish Inquisition: A History" by Joseph Pérez, to name one glaring omission). It seems odd that Wikipedia would exclusively offer the revisionist history of something, without reference to mainstream academia and the current view on the subject. I hope to change that, but I do not currently have the time for the quick completion of such a large undertaking. However, I will be doing what I can as time allows, perhaps more eyes can take a look and help bring some balance to this article?UnequivocalAmbivalence (talk) 02:47, 5 May 2016 (UTC)

To my knowledge Kamen has not been refuted persuasively with hard data, but I don't claim to be an expert on the subject. To me, the revelation that persuaded me that the Inquisition had been exaggerated was learning that far more people were executed for witchcraft and heresy in Europe outside Spain than were executed by the Inquisition in Spain. In other words, trials and executions of heretics were common throughout Europe and Spain was not uniquely evil -- contrary to its portrayal in centuries of anti-Catholic and Jewish literature.Smallchief (talk 11:32, 5 May 2016 (UTC)
I must agree with UnequivocalAmbivalence and further press for refinement of this article. Not only does it read as a Henry Kamen advertisement, but even given Smallchief's primary argument that Kamen's history teaches us, "more people were executed for witchcraft and heresy" elsewhere, the percentages of individuals murdered are conservative, the suffering of those not murdered but only tortured is downplayed, and the overall tone of this article is oddly immature and grossly apologetic.
First the article states, "According to García Cárcel, the court of Valencia employed the death penalty in 40% of the processings before 1530, but later that percentage dropped to 3%". Then the author dares to end with statistics of deaths for the period of 1540–1700...the very article itself tells us this is not the period that should concern us most when it comes to the numbers burned alive!
As an example of how this article minimizes the impact of torture on the accused I present this obviously biased statement: "Kamen argues that torture was only ever used to elicit information or a confession, not for punitive reasons.[86] The torture lasted up to 15 minutes.[83]" This is a detestable two sentences. The tone of this entire paragraph is mindbogglingly apologetic. "Well, as long as the torture was only used to pry false confessions out of the poor wretches..." Madness. And if I need to point this out I will: no modern historian knows how long each and every torture session lasted last week, let alone 500 years ago. Even if 15 minutes has some special significance to the Spanish Inquisition (which wasn't explained at any rate) it is lunacy to decide outright that never once did torture exceed that time limit. And even if this is the known situation, why does it matter? It is torture! How can someone so flippantly wave away the devastation left in the wake of torture even if it should last only 15 seconds?
Finally, the author of this article refers to subjects of the time in language appropriate to the time and place...not language that is understandable to a modern, international audience. "The first sodomite was burned by the Inquisition in Valencia in 1572," is a great example. I believe we refer to "sodomites" today as "homosexuals" or, dare I say it, "people". How about, "the tribunal of Cuenca is entirely omitted, because no relaciones de causas from this tribunal have been found". What does "relaciones de causas" mean? Perhaps to the individuals of the time and place of the Spanish Inquisition this phrase is meaningful, but to people of 2016 in the US these words are at least deserving of a link to a definition.
I must insist that this article receives further attention from someone who does "claim to be an expert on the subject." Infected caregiver (talk) 23:53, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
Frankly, Infected caregiver the figures given are those available and, as you can see, various estimates are provided for death tolls prior to 1540. Estimates of those executed range from 3000 to 5000 for the entire period. Henry Kamen is considered one of the most, if not the most eminent experts on this period of Spanish history. Pointing out that torture was generalized in European judicial system at the time and that the Inquistion was in no way worse than secular courts is not being apologetic, it is a statement of fact which helps put this period of history in the context of its time. The fact that throughout history the Spanish Inquisition has been presented by Protestant and Anglo-Saxon countries as "torture-crazy" and depraved well in excess of any other similar institution in Europe is perhaps the reason for which Kamen may seem to you as apologetic. He is not apologetic, simply a modern historian who is objectively studying the Spanish Inquisition and its internal workings. Such objective studies may clash with out received understanding of the topic. It happened to me before I started reading about it.Asilah1981 (talk) 14:01, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
Asilah1981, 1) thank you for pointing out the estimate given under the Outcomes section of this article which states that 5000 is the upward estimate of total deaths within the ~300 year Spanish Inquisition. The single Citation Note given, number 108, helps me. It begins: "this is roughly comparable with the number of people executed for witchcraft in Europe during about the same time span as the Inquisition (estimated at c. 40,000–60,000, i.e. roughly ten times higher in a territory with a population roughly ten times higher)", and then proceeds to list it's single source. This helped me immensely as it was difficult for me to continue to take this article seriously after seeing the need of the author to inject his feelings on the subject into the very Citation Note itself. I also laughed at the authors crack math skills here, "Population 10 times smaller, death toll 10 times smaller." We all know the Universal Law of Murder dictates a constant of x which applies to the percentage of victims of any given population. Thank you for letting me relax about the seriousness of this article and enjoy a great laugh.
2) I welcome all voices in learning about a subject, especially revisionist voices. But, where are the canon voices? Where are the other 300 years of interpretation? What about Joseph Pérez, Cecil Roth, Juan Antonio Llorente, Charles Oman, Reinhart Dozy or Charles Bémont? I think the purpose of Wikipedia is the truth, and that requires more than one person's, or one school's, point of view, however fashionable.
3) Although I felt I Illustrated why I believe this article is apologetic quite clearly above, I will quote the evidence in it's entirety if necessary: "As with all European tribunals of the time, torture was employed.[83][84]" - I do not believe all tribunals in all of Europe at this time employed torture. This is akin to saying, "There was slavery everywhere else" in the same breath that you recount slavery in the United States. Do you see how that is apologetic? And also, I don't care if there was torture everywhere else. The fact that torture existed contemporaneously in many other places and perhaps in worse conditions than in the scope of the Spanish Inquisition does not forgive the trespass or in any way reduce it's inherent repugnance. - "The Spanish inquisition, however, engaged in it far less often and with greater care than other courts.[83][85]" - Wow. Progressives in the torture department. Noted. - "Historian Henry Kamen contends that some "popular" accounts of the inquisition (those that describe scenes of uncontrolled sadistic torture) are not based in truth. Kamen argues that torture was only ever used to elicit information or a confession, not for punitive reasons.[86]" - Only. Only. Torture was only used to get a false confession. And then, Kamen says, the tribunal never used torture for punitive reasons...they only burned them alive. I mean, this is so blatantly apologetic that the author is probably sick. That or this article is so poorly constructed than even the author cannot conclude that this statement is outright false. How could any sane person look at the facts, even the incredibly biased attempt at them in this article, and determine that those acting with the authority of the catholic church did not torture victims for punitive reasons? The very fact that this point needs explaining is upsetting. Asilah1981, if you do not see the obvious political slant in the tone of this paragraph, I am not sure you can. Infected caregiver (talk) 00:58, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Infected caregiver As for your last point, the term "sodomites" and "sodomy" refers to the crime as it was perceived at the time: The practice of anal sex, normally (but not only) with male minors. Sodomy refers to Sodom and Gomorrah - a biblical story - and we are dealing with religious tribunals. I think keeping the terminology of the time rather than terms such as "anal sex" and "gay" or "homosexuals" is more appropriate for a historical article.Asilah1981 (talk) 14:12, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
Ah yes. How silly of me. Here, let me quote an equally appropriate usage of terminology contemporary with the time of when I am speaking: "When the United States Constitution was ratified (1789), a relatively small number of free niggers were among the voting citizens." To quote you, Asilah1981, "I think keeping the terminology of the time rather than terms such as "black" and "people of color" or "african american" is more appropriate for a historical article." Infected caregiver (talk) 00:47, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
But to people of 2016 in the US. Lol, will no one think of the muricans?' Relaciones de causas (sg. "relación de causa") were lists of people sentenced by the different district tribunals and sent to the Inquisitor General and the Council of the Supreme Inquisition. BTW: Sodomite is fine and I think even (most of) americans know what it means. Cheers.--Asqueladd (talk) 20:29, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
And you Asqueladd, you didn't even bother trying to rebut my assertion that terms expressed in articles by means incomprehensible to the audience should be defined. At least Asilah tried to put up a defense. But thank you for defining "relación de causa" for me, it's more than the author gave me. BTW: I'm not surprised "Sodomite" sits well with someone comfortable dismissing an entire nation of people. Cheers. Infected caregiver (talk) 00:47, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Infected caregiver a couple of your points are valid and perhaps some changes should be made in editing style. However, you are mistaken in assuming that Henry Kamen is somehow contradicted by other modern historians on this matter. Joseph Perez, for example, (who I believe is also quoted in this article and is the other eminence in this field) has a similar line and does not rebut any of Kamen's findings, figures or arguments. The emphasis which you see as "apology" is that death sentences were no more common by the inquisition than by secular courts in Spain or Europe. How many people were processed by the inquisition and how many of them were put to death? Don't you think that if "false confessions" were generalized (that is your own assumption) the execution rate would be much higher than 2 or 3%? You may find this point as "apologetic", but other readers may require this context. They may also be interested to know that the Spanish Inquisition was the primary reason witch hunts did not occur in Spain whereas they did in the rest of Europe. It was a religious tribunal which supressed heresy. It was a complex institution which has to be presented neutrally. And no, "sodomy" is not a term of abuse and it is ridiculous to liken it to "niggers". It even has its own wikipedia article, for gods sake. Lets avoid a millennial mentality in our editing style.Asilah1981 (talk) 13:29, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Infected caregiver Something you have to understand: Spain, in the 16th century had a quarter of a million Converts from Judaism and probably three times that number of converts from Islam. The Spanish Inquisition executed between 3000 to 4000 people in the entire 3 centuries of its (active) existence, for heresy, sodomy, crypto-judaism, crypto-islam, lutheranism and other offenses to the Church. That averages out to maybe 10 to 15 people a year - a number similar to annual executions in Texas alone nowadays. We must be careful how we present this institution. It was not genocide, it was not wanton killing and torture, it was not even a "reign of terror" as we have witnessed in other darker episodes of history. It was terrible by our 21st century standards but it is not what it has been depicted in the collective western imagery. Fallacious depictions of the inquisition are a key element of the Black Legend and centuries of anti-catholic propaganda in protestant and Anglo-Saxon countries. You are right in pointing out inadequate language here, but the primary risk to neutrality in this article goes in the opposite direction. Asilah1981 (talk) 15:17, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
I have nothing to rebutt. Sodomite terminology is clear for anyone save for the ones SJWarring scholar usage in a early modern topic. Sorry if you feel butthurt for your "nation", I was only amused by you (apparently I even think higher of the americans from 2016 than you).--Asqueladd (talk) 23:30, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Asqueladd I don't think you should be so aggressive with other editors, even if you disagree with their point of view. Asilah1981 (talk) 10:04, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Duly noted. By the way, I think alumbrados trials (and context) may deserve further expansion in this entry.--Asqueladd (talk) 21:57, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Agreed. It is an interesting and rather obscure aspect of the inquisition.Asilah1981 (talk) 02:54, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Kamen quote in the lead

Having only the Kamen quote in the lead, when there are death toll numbers from several scholars and when they do not all agree on the death toll numbers, is not scholarly and possibly undue. I changed the lead to reflect the general scholarly consensus which is 3,000 - 5,000 executed and took out the reference for Kamen, which is still found below in the body. The alternative, which would be to list each scholar, Levack, Kamen, Henningsen, Garcia and Dedieu with their toll would be unwieldy in the lead and not very encyclopedic for the article synopsis. I feel it is much preferable to give the consensus number and leave the arguments regarding the number of executions in the body. 2602:304:788B:DF50:8CDD:5461:389A:631B (talk) 18:48, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

I made a compromise edit, that excluded the use of the words myth, invention or propaganda, but relayed the scholarly consensus of questionable reliability due to historical anti-Catholic movements noted by Kamen and others. 2602:304:788B:DF50:8CDD:5461:389A:631B (talk) 20:55, 17 April 2017 (UTC)


Mel Brooks - History of the World Part (talk) 16:32, 16 August 2017 (UTC)chefantwon

"Women's role" section

I have removed this section [1] (well, reverted the re-addition after it was removed initially) because the section doesn't actually talk about women's role within/related to the Inquisition. It looks completely irrelevant to me, because this article is about the Spanish Inquisition, not Spanish or medieval history in general; it doesn't add anything relevant to the Inquisition specifically. There is scope for a section on the way women, specifically, were treated by/involved with the Inquisition, but this isn't it. Marianna251TALK 15:19, 18 February 2018 (UTC)