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Spanish Inquisition. Islamic Invasions. 711 – Muslim (Moorish) invasion Beginning of “RECONQUEST” – liberate Spain from Muslim control Al Andalus: Moorish name for Iberia. Conversions. A Jew that converts to Christianity was known as a Converso

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Islamic invasions
Islamic Invasions

  • 711 – Muslim (Moorish) invasion

  • Beginning of “RECONQUEST” – liberate Spain from Muslim control

  • Al Andalus: Moorish name for Iberia


  • A Jew that converts to Christianity was known as a Converso

  • A Moor who converts to Christianity was known as a Morisco

Jews moors christians
Jews, Moors & Christians

  • Jews protected by king: too important to commerce

  • Moriscos (Moors) live away from Christians (mainly in the South in Grenada)

  • Christians dominate Spain

  • Convivencia: “Co-existence”

    • Helped bring classical ideas to Spain

    • Medicine, philosophy

    • Toledo

Pogroms of 1391
Pogroms of 1391

Mass Conversions to Christianity (20,000 Jews)

Jews become a race and no longer just a religion

Limpieza de sangre blood purity
Limpieza de Sangre (Blood Purity)

  • Before the Pogroms of 1391, Jew is part of a religion

  • Conversions mean they are Christians and equal…

  • Old vs. New Christians

Blood libel mid 1400s
Blood Libel -- Mid 1400s

  • Propaganda against Jews

  • Stories told of Jews stealing Christian babies and sacrificing them at night.

  • Widespread Fear

  • La Guardia Trial: “sorcery and the murder of a Christian child”. Used as a tool in order to provoke complete expulsion of Jews (and Conversos)

Unification of spain
Unification of Spain

  • Spanish Kingdoms, Civil War: 1474-79

  • Isabella (Castile) marries the Prince of Aragon, Ferdinand V (1479)

  • Castile + Aragon = United Spain (Northern – see map, following slide)

  • All that remains is to “reclaim” southern Spain

Spanish inquisition

  • Invasion of Grenada (Spain is completely unified)

  • Expulsion of the Jews


  • 1483: Grand Inquisitor of both Castile and Aragon

  • Anti-Semitic. Wants expulsion of the Jews.

  • Powerful: Confessor (primary spiritual advisor) to Isabella.

The spanish inquisition
The Spanish Inquisition

  • Pope Sixtus IV signs the Papal Bull in 1478. Spain has the right to start the Inquisition.

    • Isabella and Ferdinand will be the “most Catholic” of monarchs

    • They become active defenders of the faith

  • Holy Office - Organization of the Inquisitors.

  • Heresy = “Wrong Thinking”

  • Inactive until the La Guardia Trial in 1491.

  • 1478-1530 Most active period of the Inquisition

How to find heresy
How to Find Heresy

  • Look for people who are . .

    • Not Eating Pork

    • Using Olive Oil

    • Reading Prohibited Books

    • Secretly practicing Judaism

Why did the inquisition start
Why did the Inquisition Start?

  • Money: confiscation of resources

  • Racism – Christians were blaming Jews for killing Jesus.

  • Religion – Some believed there was only one true faith

How did the inquisition work
How did the Inquisition Work

  • Edict of Grace (7days – 30days)

  • Denunciation

  • Reconciliation

Makeup of the inquisition
Makeup of the Inquisition

  • Suprema (1488) – 6 members rule over the Inquisition

  • Tribunals –courtrooms

  • Familiars – Spies

  • Finances – confiscations, fines, penances, dispensation.

Privileges of member to the inquisition
Privileges of Member to the Inquisition

  • Inspection

  • Censor Literature – Index of Prohibited Books

  • Immunity from other Jurisdictions

  • Tax Exemption

  • No Quartering of Troops

The trial
The Trial

Witnesses – testify against you, not for you

Enemies – You could confess by naming others (revenge on enemies)


  • Toca – Water Torture

  • Potro – The Rack

  • Garrucha – Hung by ceiling

Autos de f
Autos de Fé

  • Act of Faith

  • Sanbenito

  • Burned In Effigy


  • April 4 , 1609 Expulsion of the Moriscos

    • Led to Economic Problems

    • Spain had little commercial activity

The end of the inquisition
The End of the Inquisition

  • The French Revolution of 1789 would cause the Inquisition to disband.

    • Diversion of resources

  • After the Revolution the “Cortes de Cadiz” chose not to include the Inquisition in the new constitution.

The inquisition and witchcraft
The Inquisition and Witchcraft

Over 110,000 witches were killed in Europe.

Less than 100 killed in Spain