Prosopographie von Römischer Inquisition und Indexkongregation 1701-1813

© Ferdinand Schöningh

Burning pyres, the persecution of heretics and banning of books - that is what the Inquisition is commonly known for. But what about its historical reality? This large-scale research project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) has set itself the task of reappraising the history of book censorship in the Roman Inquisition and the Congregation of the Index (1542 to 1966). For the first time, the specific work of both Congregations has been documented in meticulous detail through rigorous archival studies. In 2005, the volumes for the period from 1814 to 1917 were presented. Six more volumes have since been published covering the period from 1701 to 1813. Information on all the books that were investigated in Rome, regardless of the field of knowledge and scholarship, information on all censors and all their judgments on book censorship are made accessible and usable across disciplines in an internationally oriented, foundational work.

The Prosopography of the Roman Inquisition and the Congregation of the Index 1701 to 1813 contains approximately 1,000 bio-bibliographical entries on the actors involved in the decision-making processes of the Congregations. It, therefore, paints a clear picture of the hitherto anonymous institutions of the Inquisition and the Congregation of the Index. It provides unique insight into the "inner life" of the Roman Inquisition and the Congregation of the Index. In the prosopography, those interested in biography will find information on the life and career of each censor that is, in many cases, completely new, as well as a targeted compilation of the most relevant literature and documentation, based on a broad source base, of the specific censorial activities within the two congregations. Those who approach the prosopography to investigate a particular censorship case can use it to identify the often previously unknown censor and specifically contextualize his vote within his overall censorship activity. Finally, in terms of the history of the Roman Congregations, the prosopography provides an overview and in-depth perspective that will constitute the basis for all future studies and research on the Roman Inquisition and the Congregation of the Index.


Published in the series "Basic Research on the Roman Inquisition and the Congregation of the Index": Hubert WOLF (ed.), Herman H. SCHWEDT with Jyri HASECKER, Dominik HÖINK and Judith SCHEPERS, Prosopographie von Römischer Inquisition und Indexkongregation 1701-1813 (Römische Inquisition und Indexkongregation. Grundlagenforschung III: 1701-1813), Paderborn et alibi 2010, ca. 1900 pages (2 volumes), hardcover, ISBN: 978-3506768353.