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Bible Encyclopedias

The Nuttall Encyclopedia


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An ecclesiastical tribunal established in 1248 under Pope Innocent IV., and set up successively in Italy, Spain, Germany, and the S. of France, for the trial and punishment of heretics, of which that established in Spain achieved the greatest notoriety from the number of victims it sacrificed, and the remorseless tortures to which they were subjected, both when under examination to extort confession and after conviction. The rigour of its action began to abate in the 17th century, but it was not till 1835, after frequent attempts to limit its power and suppress it, that it was abolished in Spain. Napoleon suppressed it in France in 1808, and after an attempted revival from 1814 to 1820, its operations there came to an end. St. Dominic (q. v .) has the credit of having invented the institution by the zeal which animated him for the orthodoxy of the Church.

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Bibliography Information
Wood, James, ed. Entry for 'Inquisition'. The Nuttall Encyclopedia. Frederick Warne & Co Ltd. London. 1900.

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