Renaissance Inquisitors: Dominican Inquisitors and Inquisitorial Districts in Northern Italy, 1474-1527


During the Renaissance there was no centralized Inquisition in northern Italy until Pope Paul III founded the Roman Inquisition in 1542, but there was a dense network of autonomous papal inquisitors. Based on extensive archival research, this study investigates the life of the Dominican friars from whom these inquisitors were mostly drawn. It focuses on a selection of hitherto almost unknown but representative inquisitors to cast new light on their formation, appointment and careers, as well as their principal pursuits - the prosecution of heretics, especially Waldensians and Judaizers, and, most of all, the hunting of witches, for it was at its most intense in northern Italy during the Renaissance, over a century before reaching its peak in Northern Europe.
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Biographical Note

Michael Tavuzzi, Ph.D. (1981), University of Fribourg, is Professor of Philosophy at the University of St. Thomas, Rome, and a member of the Dominican Historical Institute. He has published widely on Renaissance religious and intellectual history including Prierias (Duke U.P., 1997).

Table of contents


1. Inquisitors and Inquisitorial Districts
2. Conventuals and Observants
3. Administrators, Courtiers and Academics
4. Surveillants of Minorities
5. Witch-Hunters


1. Biographical register of Dominican inquisitors in northern Italy, 1474-1527
2. Calendar of witch-trials conducted by Dominican inquisitors, 1450-1527

Index of Names


University teachers and advanced students of early modern European history, as well as a wider readership interested in the religious and social history of the Renaissance and in the history of the Inquisition and the great witch-hunts.


Collection Information