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Posts Tagged ‘Spanish Inquisition

“Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition”*…

On the long-term effects of suppression and persecution…

From Imperial Rome to the Crusades, to modern North Korea or the treatment of Rohingya in Myanmar, religious persecution has been a tool of state control for millennia.

While its immediate violence and human consequences are obvious, less obvious is whether it leaves scars centuries after it ends.

In a new study we have attempted to examine the present day consequences of one of the longest-running and most meticulously documented persecutions of them all – the trials of the Spanish Inquisition between 1478 to 1834…

Details at “Extraordinarily, the effects of the Spanish Inquisition linger to this day.”

Monty Python


As we tolerate, we might recall that it was on this date in 1492 that Catholic monarchs, King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile took control of the Emirate of Grenada (1238-1492), the last Moorish stronghold in Spain. King Boabdil surrendered to Spanish forces in the Alhambra palace, surrendering the key to the city– an event Christopher Columbus witnessed as he received the support of the monarchy to sail to the Indies.

Pursuant to the Inquisition, Ferdinand and Isabella had targeted Muslims and Sephardic Jews (also called the Megorashim), forcing them either to convert to Christianity or to leave Spain within four months without any possessions. Failure to leave resulted in torture and/or death.

Francisco Pradilla Ortiz, Boabdil confronted by Ferdinand and Isabella after the Fall of Granada 1492 (Detail) [source]

Boo! (It’s that time again…)

…from the always-amusing xkcd.  (The last panel? The Banach-Tarski Paradox:  explained here; illustrated here.  The “Axiom of Choice”– of which the the B-T Paradox is a case– is explained here.)

As we gird ourselves for the season of horrors, we might recall that it was on this date in 1483 that Tomás de Torquemada was appointed Inquisitor General of Spain (at the behest of Queen Isabella, whose confessor he had been).  Called “the hammer of heretics, the light of Spain, the saviour of his country, the honor of his order” by Spanish chronicler Sebastián de Olmedo, Torquemada was a key advocate for the Alhambra Decree (Ferdinand’s and Isabella’s expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492) and a zealous prosecutor of “crypto-Jews” and “crypto-Muslims.”  While the precise number of deaths on his watch is a matter of debate, there is a general agreement that, between 1480 and 1530, about 2000 people burned in the autos-de-fé of the Spanish Inquisition.



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