Roman inquisition

Sep 2019
407
Slovenia
Some more important victims executed by roman inquisition:








 
Sep 2019
407
Slovenia
Roman inquisition in Malta.

In 1574, the first Inquisitor sent from Rome, settled in the port of Malta. The Order of Malta, who wanted to fight against the temptations of some Knights and several lay Maltese to convert to Protestantism, desired the establishement of inquisition. Throughout the Early Modern period, Malta was the only Spanish island of the Western Mediterranean to possess a Roman Inquisitorial court. Inquisition in Malta dealt first with heresy and arrested some people which owned prohibited books about protestantism but later mostly with apostasy - christians which became muslims. Between 1580 and 1670, trials for apostasy represented almost half of Maltese trials (44,7%), the other trials were related to heresy (24,4%), witchcraft (22,7%), and various other convictions (8,2%) such as blasphemy, bigamy, etc.

More than half of the renegades condemned in Malta came from the Eastern Mediterranean. The strong presence of Greek renegades results from the many corsair raids which were conducted by the Knights along the Greek coasts. These attacks against the Ottoman castles allowed the capture of soldiers, and also many people, including several women who were ‘given’ by their parents to Turkish soldiers, or who were held in slavery by Muslims, or had become wives of Turkish soldiers. The renegades from the Western Mediterranean and Northern Europe represented 44% of the trials. Italians were the most numerous (28%), Spanish and Portuguese represented 21% of the trials. Spanish and Italians represented 50% of the renegades. Their presence could be explained by
their location close to the Muslim world. They were more easily captured than others by corsairs from the Barbary Coast. Ninety percent of the renegades were men. Usually, when they appeared in front of the Inquisitor, they were 25 years old. They were very young because they had jobs which required a young, healthy body: sailors, soldiers, corsairs…

The aim of a trial before inquisition was to obtain the renegade’s confession and his return to the Church and Catholic society. Almost all renegades were defending themselves with things like being forced to change religion, being young and gullible etc.
In 1626 for example some Antonio said that his master constantly mistreated him, in order that he should renounce his faith as soon as possible. Several renegades justified their apostasy as the only condition to escape and rejoin Christian lands.
Another defense was the apostasy “by mouth”, keeping Catholicism at heart: in 1625, for example some Jasco said that although he had lived 10 years as a renegade, he had always retained his original faith at heart. From the 1620s, to evoke Christian parents, or the wish to die as a Christian, were strong arguments used by renegades to impress Inquisitors.

Usually, men were condemned to the galleys (3 years, 5 years, 10 years), in order to support the Maltese corsair activity. Women, more often than not, were condemned to whipping, or prison or to serving as domestic servants. All those convicted wore a yellow dress with a red cross named abitello in the Roman Inquisition and sanbenito in the Spanish Inquisition.

Source: Renegades and the roman inquisition of Malta 16th - 17th centuries, Anne Brogini.