Welcome to 'Lost in the Myths of History'

It often seems that many prominent people of the past are wronged by often-repeated descriptions, which in time are taken as truth. The same is also true of events, which are frequently presented in a particular way when there might be many alternative viewpoints. This blog is intended to present a different perspective on those who have often been lost in the myths of history.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition

Like many other people, I grew up with the idea that the Spanish Inquisition was one of the most violent and aggressive religious groups that ever existed. Stories of tortures and cruelty abounded and it came as a surprise to see this BBC video (from the 1990s) and discover that, compared to the majority of Kings and governments of the era, the Spanish Inquisition was relatively tame! Unlike the maniacal puritans who were obsessed with persecuting witches, the Inquisitors viewed ancient rites as superstition or misguidedness and did not persecute those who adhered to those beliefs. Nor did the Inquisitors (by the standards of the time) employ so much torture - apparently 15 minutes was the  maximum time allowed for torture and no one could be tortured more than once.

Of course, such practices are still barbaric but, as this video puts the Spanish Inquisition in context, it appears extremely mild in comparison to, for example, Henery VIII's barbarism! Yet another myth of history...


Elisa said...

Of interest to readers, Diane Moczar's "Seven Lies about Catholic History" has a chapter on the Inquisition. She mentions other books which discuss the topic.
William T. Walsh wrote a book on the Inquisition titled "Characters of the Inquisition" which is available on Amazon.
While the Monty Python skit was funny on TV, it shouldn't be taken for history.

Val said...

Thank you, Christina for posting this. It isn't a subject which I know much about, so your information helps put a different light on this. Thank you, Elisa for the book recommendations too!

Harald Sack said...

Thanks for your interesting post!
Did you know that the last victim executed by the Spanish inquisition was Cajetano Ripoli, a schoolmaster from Valencia, back in 1826? For more than 300 years the Spanish inquisition was torturing people, simple because the fight for supremacy of the Catholic church in Spain...

You can learn more about the Spanish Inquisition at http://yovisto.blogspot.de/2013/07/the-last-victim-of-spanish-inquisition.html


Christina said...

Thank you, Harald. I wasn't aware that the Inquisition was still executing people in the 19th century!
Thank you, too, for the link, which is very interesting :-)

Quyen said...