INQUISITION (ante). The first Christian emperors, following the example of their predecessors in regarding themselves as legal toasters of all things within the empire, assumed the control of theological opinion and the punishment of errors therein. Con stantine banished Arius, after his condemnation by the council of Niewa, and ordered his books to jtie burned. He afterwards banished Athanasins. Coustantius, 335, inflicted the same punishment on Hosius of Cordova because he refused to condemn Athanasins. Theodosius, having resolved to exterminate Arianism, compelled the arch bishop of Constantinople to resign, directed his lieutenant to expel by force of arms all the Arian clergy from the churches, issued many edicts against all heretics, and was the first of the Christian emperors to inflict the penalty of death on a Christian because of heretical opinions. In the 8th c. synodal courts increased the facilities for detecting and punishing heresy.
The inquisition in FRANCE. In the latter part of the 12th c. various sects called heretical, such as the Cathari, Albigenses, and Waldenses, had increased so much, espe cially in the s. of France, that very vigorous measures to destroy them were deemed necessary. Papal legates, accordingly, were sent to assist in the work; and from that time theinquisition became a permanent institution. The work of seeking out and punishing heresy was systematically pursued. Two or three persons in each parish, and, if neces sary, all the inhabitants, were made sworn agents in discovering those who were heret ical, who held secret meetings, or forsook, in any particular, the prescribed course. They who refused to take the oath exposed themselves to the suspicion of heresy. Bishops who were not zealous in searching out the heretical were deprived of office; and, whether zealous or not, they were under the supervision of the legates, who in fact con trolled the work. The commission, which the council of Toulouse required to be appointed in each parish, was to be employed exclusively in searching out heretics and in reporting them for trial and punishment. He who concealed the guilty forfeited his
offices and lands. The house which sheltered them was to be destroyed. If they were sick, no physician was allowed to visit them. The penitent among them, clad in a pecu liar garb, were driven from their homes, and, unless specially favored by the pope, were deprived of all office. But as, notwithstanding all these measures, heresy still prevailed, the inquisition was made a papal tribunal to which the bishops themselves were subjected and over which the monks of the Dominican order were appointed the permanent head. Their eagerness in the work soon gave popular currency to a satir ical change of their name into Domini canes (the dogs of the Lord). The civil authority was made the executioner of the judgments which they pronounced. Persons who were even suspected of heresy were liable to imprisonment, accomplices and criminals were received as witnesses, the accused never saw his accusers nor was told who they were. Torture for compelling confession was at first allowed to be used only under the authority of the civil power; but afterwards, in order to maintain secrecy, the inquisi tors themselves applied it at their pleasure. The jurisdiction and also the emoluments of the tribunal were enlarged by extending the meaning of the word heresy so as to include usury, fortune telling, insult to the cross, contempt of the clergy, and connec tion with leprous persons, Jews, and demons, demonolatry, and witchcraft.. Those who recanted were condemned to practice penance of the severest kind, and were often deprived of all their privileges, rights, and property. Those who barely escaped con viction were imprisoned for life; and the obstinate and the relapsed were put to death at the stake by the secular arm. In 1252 Innocent IV. commanded that accused per sons should be tortured not only to make them confess their own heresy, but also to reveal that of others.