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HUM-Fagkomiteen for humaniora

Foreign prisoners in the Spanish Inquisition 1540-1700

Awarded: NOK 2.6 mill.

The 44.000 trial summaries from the Spanish Inquisition known as relaciones de causas, will be registered in a database. The wedding of modern database techniques and the Inquisition's yearly reports holds great promises, and I will use this to ascertain the number of foreigners tried by the Inquisition and their treatment in the period 1540-1700. I will study them in the contexts of who they were, what they were accused of and how they were punished. Earlier research shows that foreigners were treated h arsher by the Inquisition than Spaniards were, but also that there were a number of factors influencing whether or not they were denounced, such as if they were resident or passing through and if there was a peace or a state of war. The Inquisition was also tasked with absolving foreign heretics who wished to convert to Catholicism. These men and women were interrogated by the inquisitors about their earlier lives before being absolved. Thus, the inquisitorial records contain information pertinent not j ust to Spanish history, but also to that of the countries of origin of the foreigners who passed through the Inquisition. The database of the relaciones de causas will serve as an archival index and allow me to quickly identify the relevant cases for this study, as well as furnish the statistics to be used.

Funding scheme:

HUM-Fagkomiteen for humaniora

Thematic Areas and Topics

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