DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
An accused man before the Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, the Spanish Inquisition. The inquisitorial process consisted of a series of hearings, in which both the denouncers and the defendant gave testimony. Interrogation of the defendant was done in the presence of the Notary of the Secreto, who meticulously wrote down the words of the accused. The archives of the Inquisition, in comparison to those of other judicial systems of the era, are striking in the completeness of their documentation, containing details of denunciations, interrogations, sentencing and penances. The illustration shows various instruments of torture in the background. The Spanish Inquisition can be seen as an answer to the multi-religious nature of Spanish society following the reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula from the Muslim Moors.
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