The Grand Inquisitor

 Castilian Pedro Arbues de Epila did not sleep at night , Tomas de Torquemada since I appointed him Grand Inquisitor Zaragoza. Mighty Kingdom of Aragon and men of converted Jews had for him straight morbid hatred. September 25, 1485 roku friar , as usual, prayed at night in the cathedral. Up to eight men burst into the temple . One of them stabbed his dagger into the throat did not help the chain mail and plate , hidden under the skullcap Dominican . Father Pedro died the next day .

Aragon was a medieval Cathar center of the Iberian Peninsula , penetrating there from the south of France. In the thirteenth century, the area was established the papal Inquisition , which in 1481 tried to subdue Ferdinand of Aragon . This aroused anxiety great lords of Aragon , as well as a powerful lobby conversos ( Jewish converts to Christianity ) . The real panic began when the king appointed inquisitors Castilians , directly subordinate to Torquemada . One of them , Pedrowi Arbues de Epili , treated with death at the instigation of conversos Zaragoza. Murder in the Cathedral being an expression of rebellion against the cruel Spanish Inquisition . The instigators of the crime immediately detected , and Pedro Arbues became a martyr of the new Inquisition . Torquemada and quickly deprived of all hope of converts in Spain .

Thirteenth -century Castile was considered a place of religious tolerance . Her then- monarch . Alfonso X El Sabio ( Wise ) , proudly called himself “the ruler of the three religions .” Christianity , Judaism and Islam, there had to exist in an atmosphere free from any persecution. However, the basis for this tolerance were quite brittle. Indeed, there rabbinical courts and the Koran , and the Jews and Muslims do not formally subject to the papal legislation , but really extensive set of legislative acts Alfonso X cleverly limited their freedom of religion .

Massacres of Jews were not a novelty in Western Europe. In the Middle Ages, almost cyclically repeated , were already in the eleventh and twelfth centuries . In 1290 years the Jews were driven from England, in 1309 Philip IV expelled them from France , shortly before she destroyed the Templars . Campaign against Jews reached its peak in the mid- fourteenth century , at a time of raging on the European continent ” black death.” It is not difficult to guess that the mass expulsion was accompanied and substantial seizures of Jewish property . Relatively quiet life they raced in the Arab possessions Iberian the caliphate , and later in the increasingly truncated the Emirate of Granada.

On the other hand , Christian ruler of the Iberian Peninsula ruthlessly exploited them for their political games , ambitious Count Henry de Trastamara decided to pick up the throne of Castile and his half-brother , Peter the Cruel . Announced so that the king based its rule on non-Christian religious minorities and conspicuously invaded 1,355 years Alcan , the Jewish quarter of Toledo. In March of 1369 years had bewitched the king ‘s proposal to conclude a peace treaty , lured to Montiel and cold-blooded murder . Toledo wronged long resisted the armies of Henry Trastamary . Ironically, after the war ended , even as King Henry II , he cast the Jews high state positions . However, the anti-Jewish slogans of his campaign Toledan deeply lodged in the memory of the Castilians , waking the demons that have good in a united Spain.


In the monastery of St . Pavia in Valladolid there was a huge revival . One of the cardinals , the powerful converso , was to arrive in the company of his nephew , Tomas de Torquemada , who wanted to wear the Dominican habit . Superior General , Father Alfonso , fervently praying in his cell . Honey ascetic , vegetarian, extremely intelligent and also an ardent follower of the Christian faith , raises his anxiety . Old Dominican knew the boy and wondered what hides his mysterious and inscrutable face . Soon he had to find out.

For 1,420 years , the birth place of Tomas de Torquemada , tens of thousands of Jews from the Iberian Peninsula were baptized , assimilated with the local population . An end to this situation put an uprising in 1449 years , when the favorite of King John II , Alvaro de Luna, imposed high taxes on Toledo . In response, the crowd attacked and house tax collector , convert Alonso de Costa, starting a pogrom in the Jewish quarter . The leader of the revolt , Petro Sarmiento issued a law prohibiting hold public office . This particular act was based on the idea of ​​” purity of blood ” ( limpieza de sangre ) . According to this mix ” solid Christians ” and the Germanic Visigoths took advantage of race over the ” immigrant ” Jews and Arabs . Was the first racist idea in the modern sense, which did not know the Middle Ages .

The king quickly suppressed the revolt , and Pope Nicholas V condemned the bill Sarmienta about the ” purity of blood “, but they were no longer able to prevent the further course of events. Vast majority of the Castilian nobility began to insist on the establishment of the Inquisition , which would Settle , or converts should continue to be treated as Jews or as Christians. suspected them of that, despite the change of religion still secretly practicing Judaism . started pogroms , and in other cities of Castile, which was additionally accompanied by a political crisis triggered rivalry aristocratic families . this confusion could not handle the successor of John II – Henry IV .

Meanwhile, in 1469 his half-sister , Isabella , secretly marries Ferdinand , heir to the crown of Aragon . At the same time preparing to take over the throne of Castile, which she did in 1474 .


Preacher Alonso de Hojeda was known in Seville with bitter anti-Semitic . Thundered from the pulpit against both the Jews and. To his satisfaction in 1477 discovered a bunch of conversos , secretly practicing Judaism . In July of this year, stopped in Seville Castilian court . Sermon Hojery and his promptings in the confessional convinced Queen Isabella , that there is an agreement between the party and the enemies of the Crown converts from the circle Sevillan Jews.

Soon, the city pulled her royal husband , Ferdinand . Both accordance decided to appoint tribunals of the inquisition in Castile . Their marriage is true connected Castile with Aragon , but the newly formed Kingdom of Spain was still a political mess . Monarch , complying with one principle that the end justifies the means , intrigued as I could. Winning some political factions against each other to keep the unity of the state . The crown needed Catholic clergy committed to the cause of unification. They need while victims.

Julia Thompson