The Medieval Inquisition (HIH1598)
|Staff||Professor Sarah Hamilton - Convenor|
|Duration of Module||Term 2: 11 weeks;|
This module will give students an understanding of the myths which surround the medieval inquisition, of how these evolved, and of the sources used by modern historians to study the history of the inquisition itself. In 1231 Pope Gregory IX instituted the first medieval papal inquisition at Regensburg in southern Germany to deal with the problem of popular heresy. Over the course of the next three centuries ad hoc local inquisitors evolved into institutions, ones, moreover, which were to continue into early modern Europe, and the inquisition, as both a contemporary and historical institution, acquired a powerful, and malevolent, image amongst Reformist and Enlightenment writers which in turn has influenced the way modern scholars have viewed it. This module will approach the medieval inquisition from two different angles. First it examines some of the modern sources used to study the medieval inquisition. Secondly it considers how the medieval inquisition has been represented in more modern texts, and how the modern image of the inquisition was compiled by earlier historians and polemicists. Students will therefore gain an understanding of the development of the myths surrounding the inquisition, and of the sources used by modern historians anxious to deconstruct such myths.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Assess the nature of the medieval inquisition.
- 2. Work critically with a range of written and visual sources relating to the topic.
- 3. Assess the sources in relation to the historical debates, purposes for which different contemporary sources were produced, and analyse and evaluate their reliability and usefulness for the study of the medieval inquisition.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 4. Identify the problems of using historical sources, e.g. utility, limitations, etc, and compare the validity of different types of sources.
- 5. Answer a question briefly and concisely.
- 6. Present work orally, respond to questions orally, and think quickly of questions to ask other students.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 7. Conduct independent study and group work, including the presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning.
- 8. Digest, select and organize material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment.
- 9. Work with others in a team and to interact effectively with the tutor and the wider group.
- 10. Write to a very tight word-length.
1. Introduction to the medieval inquisition and the myths surrounding it.
2. Aims of its creators
3. Development of inquisitorial procedures.
4. The inquisitors’ self-image.
5. Testifying before the inquisitors I.
6. Testifying before the inquisitors II.
7. Medieval views of inquisition.
8. Images of the medieval inquisition.
9. Early modern and Enlightenment views of the inquisition.
10. Nineteenth-century views of the inquisition.
11. Modern portrayals of the inquisition.
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||2||2 hour lecture: Introduction to module.|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||20||10 x 2 hour seminars. At a meeting of the whole class generally a different group of 3-4 students will give a presentation to the whole class, followed by class discussion and working through the sources for that week carefully. Additional sources may be issued in the class and the lecturer will also use the time to set up issues for the following week.|
|Guided independent study||128||Students prepare for the session through reading and research; writing five source commentaries and an essay and preparing one group presentation in the course of the term.|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Group presentation (3-4 students)||10-15 minutes||1-4, 6-7, 9||Oral|
|Lowest mark from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||500 words||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|4 highest marks from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||60||2000 words (500 per commentary)||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments.|
|Essay on Sources||40||1500 words||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments.|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|4 highest marks from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||4 highest marks of portfolio of 5 source commentaries||1-5, 7-8, 10||Referral/deferral period.|
|1500-word essay||1500-word essay||1-5, 7-8, 10||Referral/deferral period.|
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Ames, Christine Caldwell, Religious Persecution: Inquisition, Dominicans and Christianity in the Middle Ages (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009)
Arnold, John D. and Peter Biller, eds and trans, Heresy and Inquisition in France c. 1200-c.1300 (Manchester: Manchester UP, 2015)
Bernard Hamilton, Bernard, The Medieval Inquisition (London: Edward Arnold, 1981)
Eco, Umberto, The Name of the Rose, trans. William Weaver (London, 1983)
Edward Peters, Inquisition (Berkeley, 1989)
Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Emmanuel, Montaillou. Cathars and Catholics in a French Village, 1294-1324, trans. B. Bray (Harmondworth: Penguin,1978)
James Given, James, Inquisition and Medieval Society: Power, Discipline and Resistance in Languedoc (Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1997)
Mark Pegg, The Corruption of Angels: the Great Inquisition of 1245-6 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2001)
Peters ,Edward, Inquisition (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1989)
Taylor, Craig, ed. and trans., Joan of Arc. La Pucelle (Manchester: Manchester UP, 2006)
Module has an active ELE page?
Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources
Various translations available at the Medieval Sourcebook: https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/Halsall/sbook1s.asp#Medieval%20Heresy
Translations from the inquisition records of Jacques Fournier at http://www.sjsu.edu/people/nancy.stork/jacquesfournier/ and https://sjsu.academia.edu/NancyStork
Available as distance learning?
Last revision date
Key words search
Inquisition, Heresy, Medieval Studies, Medieval History, Religion.