Abstract

Church historians have thought that the ancient and medieval Church disallowed torture in court proceedings. This view draws on Gratian’s Decretum (c. 1140), but Gratian cites canons that permit judicial torture. Deutero-Gratian (c. 1150) added canons from Roman civil law; Huguccio (c. 1190) and the Ordinary Gloss to the Decretum (1215 and later) also adopted Roman criteria but stipulated that the clergy could not apply coercion involving serious injury or bloodshed. Heresy inquisitors added a twist to this practice well before Galileo’s trial in 1633: a defendant admitting a heterodox deed but denying evil intent must be examined under torture.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 754-793
Launched on MUSE
2015-12-18
Open Access
No
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