From the 12th century onwards both civil and canon law became gradually more severe in dealing with heresy. The authorities tightened their control over the courts, aided by the revival of Roman law with its centralized and systematic approach. Under Roman law, men and women were part of the corporation of the state and bound to conform to its principles. In the late Roman Empire, the codes of Theodosius and of Justinian had declared heresy lese majeste against God and hence at least as worthy of death as lese majeste against the emperor. The revival of such Roman concepts encouraged the imposition of much harsher penalties. Under the influence, German law codes of the 13th and 14th centuries commonly decreed death both for sorcerers and for relapsed heretics. As the laws tightened, they encouraged active searches for witches. Before the 13th century, individual personal accusation had been the only way of bringing a sorcerer to trial. But the bishops had initiated inquisitions formal investigations of their dioceses for heresy by the late 12th century, and under the influence of Roman law the secular courts began to search out malefactors actively. When the authorities began actively seeking for culprits rather than passively waiting for accusations, the witch craze had started.
To a very big extent the Christian Church adopted the Roman law of torture in regard to treason, applying it to heresy, which they construed to be “treason against God.” It also adopted the principle of confiscation of all property owned by those guilty of heresy; a policy peculiarly dangerous to society as a whole in view of the Church’s perpetual need of funds and the opportunities afforded by such a measure for securing such funds.
The ecclesiastical authorities condemned every faith outside Christianity as demonology: they averred, in a crescendo of denunciation, that the worship of pagan and heathen deities angered the true Christian Trinitarian Godhead; that whereever a heretic reared up his ugly head there was danger to the whole neighbourhood through God’s anger being directed towards the inhabitants of this particular spot. Lecky says: “It is not surprising that the populace should have been firmly convinced that every great catastrophe that occurred was due to the presence of enemies of the gods.” Nor is it to be wondered at, that when once the public discovered a heretic in their midst they looked upon him as we today should look upon a leper; that in their mortal terror they clamoured for his immediate extermination.
Kicked Out of Heaven Vol. III
Coupon Code for 33% Off: CHRISTMAS
The Untold History of The White Races Cir. 700 – 1700 a.d.
585 pages 720 pictures
Kicked Out of Heaven Vol. III is divided into 2 parts. The First part of this volume goes over The Catholic Church’s history during the Dark Ages & Medieval Times. These are a some of the things that are discussed: The Castrati (Castrated Boy Choir), Holy Blood & Organs, Jesus’s Holy Prepuce (Foreskin), The Penance & Anathema, The Fish Bishop, Saints that Levitate, The Incorruptible Saints, The Nun Manias, All Religious Holidays explained, The Heretics: The Luciferians, The Spanish Inquisition. The Second half of this book is a focus on the art of the times. These are the subjects reviewed: Monsters & Gargoyles, Castles & Knight Armory, More on Medicine & Magic, More on Werewolves, Demons & Hell, Over 100 Different Black Madonnas & Moorish Saints, The Catacomb Bone Churches, The Bejewelled Saints, Aliens, Astrology & Alchemy………………….
Boing Boing: Listen to Vincent Price’s delightful 1969 lecture on witchcraft, magick, and demonology.