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The Spanish Inquisition and Its Architect of Torture: Tomás de Torquemada's Biography and Influence


Tomas de Torquemada: Architect of Torture During the Spanish Inquisition (Wicked History) downloads




Introduction




If you are looking for a wicked history download that will chill your blood and make you shudder, look no further than Tomas de Torquemada: Architect of Torture During the Spanish Inquisition. This book tells the story of one of the most notorious and feared figures in history, who was responsible for thousands of deaths, torture, and persecution in the name of religion. In this article, we will give you a brief overview of who Tomas de Torquemada was, what he did, and why he did it. We will also explore his legacy and how he has influenced history and culture.




Tomas de Torquemada: Architect of Torture During the Spanish Inquisition (Wicked History) downloads


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Who was Tomas de Torquemada?




Tomas de Torquemada was born in 1420 in Valladolid, Castile, Spain. He was a Dominican friar who became the first Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition, a tribunal that was established in 1478 by King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I to uphold Catholic orthodoxy and root out heresy, apostasy, and other crimes against the faith. Torquemada was a zealous defender of church doctrine and a close confidant of the Catholic monarchs, who gave him extensive powers to reform and expand the Inquisition. He was also a fierce enemy of the Jews, Muslims, and conversos (converts from Judaism or Islam), whom he regarded as a threat to the religious and social life of Spain. He was instrumental in convincing Ferdinand and Isabella to issue the Alhambra Decree in 1492, which expelled all Jews who had not converted to Christianity from their kingdoms. He died in 1498 in Avila, Castile.


What was the Spanish Inquisition?




The Spanish Inquisition was a judicial institution that operated under the authority of the Pope and the Spanish crown. Its main purpose was to ensure that all subjects of Spain adhered to Catholic doctrine and practice, and to punish those who deviated from it. The Inquisition had jurisdiction over various offenses, such as heresy, apostasy, blasphemy, sorcery, sodomy, polygamy, usury, and more. The Inquisition had its own courts, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, prisons, torturers, executioners, and informers. The accused were often arrested without warning, interrogated under oath, tortured to extract confessions or accusations against others, tried in secret trials, sentenced to various penalties ranging from fines and penances to imprisonment and death by burning at the stake. The Inquisition also confiscated the property and assets of the condemned or their relatives.


Why did Torquemada become the Grand Inquisitor?




Torquemada became the Grand Inquisitor because he had a reputation for being a learned, pious, and austere Dominican friar, who had a strong influence on the Catholic monarchs, especially Isabella, who had been his confessor since her childhood. He was also a relative of Juan de Torquemada, a famous theologian and cardinal, who had been involved in the earlier papal inquisitions. Torquemada was appointed as the Grand Inquisitor for Castile and Leon in 1483, and his powers were extended to Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, and Majorca in 1484. He was the head of the Inquisition in Spain until his death in 1498, and he had the authority to appoint and remove inquisitors, to establish and supervise tribunals, to issue rules and regulations, to approve sentences and pardons, and to report directly to the Pope and the King.


The Reign of Terror




How did Torquemada reorganize the Spanish Inquisition?




Torquemada reorganized the Spanish Inquisition by creating a centralized and uniform system that replaced the previous local and irregular inquisitions. He established tribunals in various cities, such as Seville, Cordoba, Jaen, Ciudad Real, Zaragoza, and others. He also promulgated 28 articles for the guidance of inquisitors in 1484, which were supplemented by others until 1498. These articles defined the procedures, methods, and crimes of the Inquisition, as well as the rights and duties of the inquisitors, the accused, the witnesses, the defenders, and the officials. He also created a network of spies and informers who reported any suspicious activity or behavior to the Inquisition. He also ensured that the Inquisition had enough financial resources by confiscating the property of the condemned or their relatives.


What were the methods and crimes of the Inquisition?




The methods and crimes of the Inquisition were brutal and ruthless. The Inquisition used various techniques to identify, arrest, interrogate, torture, try, sentence, and execute its victims. Some of these techniques were:



  • Edicts of grace: These were public announcements that invited anyone who had committed or witnessed any offense against the faith to come forward and confess within a certain period of time (usually 30 days), promising them leniency or pardon. Those who did not comply were considered guilty by default and subject to harsher penalties.



  • Edicts of faith: These were lists of specific questions that required every person to declare their beliefs and practices regarding various aspects of Catholic doctrine and ritual. Anyone who failed or refused to answer satisfactorily was considered suspect and liable to be investigated by the Inquisition.



  • Auto-da-fé: This was a public ceremony that displayed the verdicts and sentences of the Inquisition. It usually took place in a plaza or a church, where a large crowd gathered to witness the spectacle. The accused were brought out in procession, wearing special garments that indicated their status (such as sanbenitos or sambenitos , which were yellow tunics with red crosses for penitents; corozas or pointed hats for relapsed heretics; or ropes around their necks for those condemned to death). They were accompanied by clergy, officials, guards, banners, crosses, candles, and other symbols. The sentences were read aloud by a notary, and then executed by secular authorities. The most severe sentence was death by burning at the stake ( quemadero ), which was reserved for impenitent or relapsed heretics.



Torture: This was a method used by the Inquisition to extract confessions or accusations from the accused or witnesses. It was authorized by Pope Innocent IV in 1252 and regulated by Torquemada's articles. It was applied only after other means of interrogation had failed, and only with the consent of a doctor who certified that the person could endure it without risking death or permanent injury. It was supposed to last no more than 15 minutes per session, and no more than three sessions per person. However, these rules were often ignored or violated by some inquisitors. The most common forms of torture were:


  • The rack ( potro ): This was a wooden frame with ropes attached to it. The person was tied to it by their wrists and ankles, and then stretched by turning a wheel or lever that pulled the ropes.



  • The strappado ( garrucha ): This was a pulley system that lifted the person by their wrists tied behind their back. The person was then dropped suddenly from a height, causing dislocation of their shoulders.



  • The water torture ( toca ): This involved forcing water into the person's mouth or nose through a cloth or funnel. The person felt as if they were drowning.



This involved exposing the person's feet or other body parts to a fire or hot coals, causing severe burns and blisters.



The crimes of the Inquisition were mainly related to religious dissent or deviation from Catholic doctrine and practice. The most common crimes were:



  • Heresy: This was the rejection or denial of any core belief or dogma of the Catholic faith, such as the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Eucharist, etc. Heresy could be committed by words, deeds, or omissions. The Inquisition targeted various groups of heretics, such as Albigensians, Waldensians, Cathars, Lutherans, Calvinists, etc.



  • Apostasy: This was the abandonment or renunciation of the Catholic faith, either by converting to another religion or by becoming an atheist or agnostic. Apostasy was considered a grave offense and a betrayal of God and the Church. The Inquisition persecuted many apostates, especially Jews and Muslims who had converted to Christianity but continued to practice their former faiths in secret (conversos and moriscos).



  • Judaizing: This was the practice of Jewish customs or rituals by conversos (Jewish converts to Christianity) or their descendants. Judaizing was seen as a sign of insincerity and disloyalty to the Church and the crown. The Inquisition accused many conversos of judaizing based on circumstantial evidence, such as observing the Sabbath, abstaining from pork, lighting candles on Friday nights, etc.



  • Islamizing: This was the practice of Islamic customs or rituals by moriscos (Muslim converts to Christianity) or their descendants. Islamizing was seen as a sign of insincerity and disloyalty to the Church and the crown. The Inquisition accused many moriscos of islamizing based on circumstantial evidence, such as praying five times a day, fasting during Ramadan, wearing Arabic clothing, etc.



  • Blasphemy: This was the insult or contempt of God, the saints, the Church, or anything sacred. Blasphemy could be committed by words, gestures, writings, drawings, etc. Blasphemy was considered a serious offense that offended God and provoked his wrath. The Inquisition punished many blasphemers with fines, whippings, imprisonment, exile, or death.



How many people were tortured and killed by Torquemada?




The exact number of people who were tortured and killed by Torquemada and his inquisitors is unknown and disputed by historians. However, some estimates have been made based on available records and sources. According to historian Henry Kamen , between 1480 and 1530 (the peak period of Torquemada's activity), about 2% of those tried by the Inquisition were executed (about 2,000 out of 100,000), while about 15% were tortured (about 15,000 out of 100,000). According to historian Joseph Pérez , between 1480 and 1498 (the years of Torquemada's tenure), about 8% of those tried by the Inquisition were executed (about 2,000 out of 25,000), while about 10% were tortured (about 2,500 out of 25,000). According to historian Bartolomé Bennassar , between 1480 and 1498 (the years of Torquemada's tenure), about 10% of those tried by the Inquisition were executed (about 3,000 out of 30,000), while about 20% were tortured (about 6,000 out of 30,000).


The Expulsion of the Jews




How did Torquemada influence the decision to expel the Jews from Spain?




Torquemada was one of the main instigators and supporters of the decision to expel the Jews from Spain in 1492. He believed that the presence of Jews in Spain was a danger to the Catholic faith and a source of corruption and sedition. He argued that many conversos were secretly practicing Judaism and that they were influencing other Christians to apostatize or heresy. He also accused the Jews of being allies of the Muslims and enemies of the crown. He pressured Ferdinand and Isabella to issue the Alhambra Decree on March 31, 1492, which ordered all Jews who had not converted to Christianity to leave their kingdoms by July 31, 1492, or face death. He also supervised the implementation of the decree and the confiscation of the Jewish property and assets.


What were the consequences of the expulsion for the Jews and Spain?




The consequences of the expulsion for the Jews and Spain were devastating and far-reaching. For the Jews, it meant the loss of their homes, lands, businesses, communities, culture, and identity. It also meant the risk of death, violence, persecution, and discrimination in their new destinations. Many Jews died on their way to exile or were killed by pirates, bandits, or hostile authorities. Many Jews were forced to convert to Christianity or Islam to survive or to enter certain countries. Many Jews faced new inquisitions, pogroms, ghettos, and expulsions in their new lands. Some Jews managed to preserve their faith and traditions in secret or in isolated places. Some Jews contributed to the development of science, arts, commerce, and culture in their new societies. The expulsion of the Jews from Spain is considered one of the most tragic events in Jewish history and a precursor of the Holocaust . For Spain, it meant the loss of a valuable human and economic resource that had contributed to its prosperity and diversity for centuries. It also meant the loss of a potential ally against the Muslim threat and a source of cultural and intellectual enrichment. It also meant the increase of intolerance, fanaticism, and isolationism in Spanish society. The expulsion of the Jews from Spain is considered one of the most regrettable decisions in Spanish history and a factor in its decline as a world power.


How did Torquemada justify his actions against the Jews?




Torquemada justified his actions against the Jews by appealing to religious and political arguments. He claimed that he was acting in accordance with God's will and the Church's doctrine, which demanded the eradication of heresy and the defense of orthodoxy. He cited biblical passages that condemned the Jews as deicides (killers of Christ) and cursed them to wander the earth until they accepted Christ as their savior. He also cited papal bulls and decrees that authorized or encouraged the persecution or expulsion of the Jews from various countries. He argued that he was acting in accordance with the king's authority and the nation's interest, which demanded the unity and security of Spain under one faith and one law. He cited historical examples that showed how the Jews had betrayed or harmed Spain in times of war or crisis. He also cited legal precedents and agreements that gave the king the right to expel or confiscate the property of any subject who disobeyed or endangered his rule.


The Legacy of Torquemada




How did Torquemada die and where was he buried?




the Jews and Muslims from Spain in 1492. He was a devout and austere Catholic who believed he was doing God's will and the nation's interest by defending and enforcing the faith. He was also a ruthless and fanatical persecutor who showed no mercy or compassion to those he considered heretics or enemies. He died in 1498 in Avila, but his legacy lived on in history and culture. He became a symbol of religious intolerance and fanaticism, as well as a source of inspiration and resistance for various movements and causes. He influenced the history and culture of Spain and beyond, for better or for worse.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about Tomas de Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition:



  • What was Torquemada's motivation for persecuting the Jews and Muslims?



Torquemada's motivation for persecuting the Jews and Muslims was a combination of religious zeal, political ambition, and personal prejudice. He believed that the Jews and Muslims were enemies of God and Spain, who corrupted the faith and threatened the security of the nation. He also wanted to increase his power and influence with the Catholic monarchs, who supported his policies. He also had a personal animosity towards the Jews and Muslims, who he regarded as inferior and unworthy. He may have also had a complex about his own converso ancestry, which he tried to hide or compensate by being more Catholic than anyone else.


  • How did Torquemada justify the use of torture by the Inquisition?



Torquemada justified the use of torture by the Inquisition by appealing to legal and theological arguments. He claimed that torture was a legitimate and necessary means of obtaining evidence and confessions from the accused, who were otherwise reluctant or obstinate to tell the truth. He cited various laws and precedents that authorized or regulated the use of torture by civil or ecclesiastical courts. He also cited various scriptures and authorities that supported or condoned the use of torture for the sake of saving souls or punishing sinners.


  • How did Torquemada die?



Torquemada died of natural causes on September 16, 1498, at the age of 78, in Avila, Castile. He died in his cell at the Dominican monastery of St. Thomas, where he had spent his last years. He was buried in a simple tomb in the chapel of the monastery.


  • How many people were killed by Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition?



The exact number of people who were killed by Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition is unknown and disputed by historians. However, some estimates have been made based on available records and sources. According to historian Henry Kamen , between 1480 and 1530 (the peak period of Torquemada's activity), about 2% of those tried by the Inquisition were executed (about 2,000 out of 100,000), while about 15% were tortured (about 15,000 out of 100,000). According to historian Joseph Pérez , between 1480 and 1498 (the years of Torquemada's tenure), about 8% of those tried by the Inquisition were executed (about 2,000 out of 25,000), while about 10% were tortured (about 2,500 out of 25,000). According to historian Bartolomé Bennassar , between 1480 and 1498 (the years of Torquemada's tenure), about 10% of those tried by the Inquisition were executed (about 3,000 out of 30,000), while about 20% were tortured (about 6,000 out of 30,000).


  • What was Torquemada's legacy?



the voyages of Christopher Columbus to the New World. He also contributed to the development of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Spain and Europe, which fueled centuries of discrimination, violence, and genocide against Jews and Muslims. He also contributed to the development of a sense of Spanish identity and nationalism that was based on Catholicism and opposed to other religions. On the other hand, he contributed to the expulsion of Jews and Muslims from Spain, which resulted in a loss of cultural diversity, economic prosperity, scientific knowledge, and artistic creativity. He also contributed to the dispersion of Jews and Muslims throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, and America, where they established new communities and influenced other cultures. He also contributed to the spread of the Inquisition to other countries, where it persecuted thousands of people for various reasons. He also contributed to the resistance and opposition to the Inquisition by various groups, such as Protestants, Enlightenment thinkers, liberals, etc., who challenged its authority and legitimacy. He became a symbol of religious intolerance and fanaticism, as well as a source of inspiration and resistance for various movements and causes. He influenced the history and culture of Spain and beyond, for better or for worse. 71b2f0854b


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