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Copper engraving entitled "Die Inquisition in Portugall", by Jean David Zunner from the work "Description de L'Univers, Contenant les Differents Systemes de Monde, Les Cartes Generales & Particulieres de la Geographie Ancienne & Moderne" by Alain Manesson Mallet, Frankfurt, 1685.
The Portuguese Inquisition was formally established in Portugalmarker in 1536 at the request of the King of Portugal, João III. Manuel I had asked for the installation of the Inquisition in 1515, but it was only after his death that the pope acquiesced. This inquisition was a Portuguese analogue of the more famous Spanish Inquisition.

History

Many place the true beginning of the Portuguese Inquisition at 1497, when many Jews were expelled from Portugal and others were forcibly converted to Catholicism. As in Spainmarker, the major target of the Portuguese Inquisition was the Sephardic Jews who had been expelled from Spain in 1492 (see the Alhambra decree); after 1492, many of these Spanish Jews left Spain for Portugal, but they were eventually targeted there as well.

As in Spain, the Inquisition was subject to the authority of the King. It was headed by a Grand Inquisitor, or General Inquisitor, named by the Pope but selected by the king, always from within the royal family. The Grand Inquisitor would later nominate other inquisitors. In Portugal, the first Grand Inquisitor was Cardinal Henry, who would later become king. There were Courts of the Inquisition in Lisbonmarker, Portomarker, Coimbra, and Évora.

It held its first auto de fé in Portugal in 1540. Like the Spanish Inquisition, it concentrated its efforts on rooting out those who had converted from other faiths (overwhelmingly Judaism) who did not adhere to the strictures of Catholic orthodoxy; as in Spain, the Portuguese inquisitors mostly targeted the Jewish "New Christians," conversos, or marranos.

The Portuguese Inquisition expanded its scope of operations from Portugal to Portugal's colonial possessions, including Brazilmarker, Cape Verdemarker, and Goamarker, where it continued investigating and trying cases based on supposed breaches of orthodox Roman Catholicism until 1821.

Under João III, the activity of the courts was extended to the censure of books, as well as undertaking cases of divination, witchcraft and bigamy. Censuring books proved to have a strong influence on Portugal's cultural evolution, keeping the population uninformed and culturally backward . Originally aimed at religious matters, the Inquisition had an influence on almost every aspect of Portuguese life, —— political, cultural, and social.

The Goa Inquisition, another campaign rife with antisemitism and anti-Hinduism predictably targeted Jews and Hindus. It was established in Goamarker in 1560 by Aleixo Dias Falcão and Francisco Marques, who occupied the palace of the Sabaio Adil Khan.

According to Henry Charles Lea, between 1540 and 1794, tribunals in Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra and Évora resulted in the burning of 1,175 persons, the burning of another 633 in effigy, and the imposition of penance on 29,590. However, documentation of fifteen out of 689 Autos-da-fé has disappeared, so these numbers may slightly understate the activity.

The Portuguese inquisition was extinguished in 1821 by the "General Extraordinary and Constituent Courts of the Portuguese Nation" .

In 2007, the Portuguese Government initiated a project to make available online by 2010 a significant part of the archives of the Portuguese Inquisition currently deposited in the Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo, the Portuguese National Archives.


In December 2008, the Jewish Historical Society of England (JHSE) published the Lists of the Portuguese Inquisition, in two volumes: Volume I Lisbon 1540-1778; Volume II Evora 1542-1763 and Goa 1650-1653. The original manuscripts, assembled in 1784 and entitled Collecção das Noticias, were once in the Library of the Dukes of Palmela and are now in the library of the Jewish Theological Seminarymarker in New York. The texts are published in the original Portuguese, transcribed and indexed by Joy L. Oakley. They represent a unique picture of the whole range of the Inquisition's activities and a primary source for Jewish, Portuguese, and Brazilian historians and genealogists.

See also



Notes

References

  • Alexandre Herculano, História da Origem e Estabelecimento da Inquisição em Portugal ( , translation of 1926).


External links




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