An inquisitor was an official in an Inquisition
The Inquisition, Inquisitio Haereticae Pravitatis , was the "fight against heretics" by several institutions within the justice-system of the Roman Catholic Church. It started in the 12th century, with the introduction of torture in the persecution of heresy...

, an organisation or program intended to eliminate heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

 and other things frowned on by the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

. Literally, an inquisitor is one who "searches out" or "inquires" (Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 inquirere < quaerere, "to seek").

The chief inquisitor of an Inquisition was often called the Grand Inquisitor
Grand Inquisitor
Grand Inquisitor is the lead official of an Inquisition. The most famous Inquisitor General is the Spanish Dominican Tomás de Torquemada, who spearheaded the Spanish Inquisition.-List of Spanish Grand Inquisitors:-Castile:-Aragon:...


Prominent inquisitors

Some of the more well-known inquisitors throughout history include:
  • Arnaut Catalan
    Arnaut Catalan
    Arnaut Catalan was a troubadour active in the Languedoc, Catalonia, and Castile. He left behind five cansos, three tensos, and one religious song....

  • Bernard Gui
    Bernard Gui
    Bernard Gui , also known as Bernardo Gui or Bernardus Guidonis, was an inquisitor of the Dominican Order in the Late Middle Ages during the Medieval Inquisition, Bishop of Lodève, and one of the most prolific writers of the Middle Ages...

  • Diego Deza
    Diego Deza
    Diego Deza was a theologian and inquisitor of Spain. He was one of the more notable figures in the Spanish Inquisition, and succeeded the notorious Tomás de Torquemada to the post of Grand Inquisitor.-Early life:...

  • Fabio Chigi (later Pope Alexander VII
    Pope Alexander VII
    Pope Alexander VII , born Fabio Chigi, was Pope from 7 April 1655, until his death.- Early life :Born in Siena, a member of the illustrious banking family of Chigi and a great-nephew of Pope Paul V , he was privately tutored and eventually received doctorates of philosophy, law, and theology from...

  • Hentenius
    Hentenius was a Flemish Dominican Biblical exegete.-Life:When quite young he took the vows of religion in the Hieronymite Order in Spain, but left it about 1548 to enter the Dominican Order at Leuven , where he had gained a name at the university for scholarship...

  • Heinrich Institoris, author of Malleus Maleficarum
    Malleus Maleficarum
    The Malleus Maleficarum is an infamous treatise on witches, written in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer, an Inquisitor of the Catholic Church, and was first published in Germany in 1487...

  • Francisco Jimenez de Cisneros
  • Francisco Peña
    Francisco Peña
    Francisco Peña was a Spanish canon lawyer.- Life :He devoted himself to the study of law at Valencia...

  • Giovanni Pietro Carafa
  • James Sprenger
    James Sprenger
    James Sprenger was a German priest. He was born in Rheinfelden, Further Austria.-With the Dominicans:...

    , possible co-author of Malleus Maleficarum
    Malleus Maleficarum
    The Malleus Maleficarum is an infamous treatise on witches, written in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer, an Inquisitor of the Catholic Church, and was first published in Germany in 1487...

  • Konrad von Marburg
    Konrad von Marburg
    Konrad von Marburg was a medieval German inquisitor. He was commissioned by the Pope to combat the Albigensians, whom the Roman Catholic Church considered heretics...

  • Pedro de Arbués
    Pedro de Arbués
    Pedro de Arbués was an official of the Spanish Inquisition who was assassinated in the Zaragoza Cathedral in 1485 in an alleged plot by conversos and Jews...

  • Stephen of Bourbon
    Stephen of Bourbon
    Stephen of Bourbon was a writer and preacher, especially noted as a historian of medieval heresies, b. in Belleville towards the end of the twelfth century; d. around 1261....

  • Tomás de Torquemada
    Tomás de Torquemada
    Tomás de Torquemada, O.P. was a fifteenth century Spanish Dominican friar, first Inquisitor General of Spain, and confessor to Isabella I of Castile. He was described by the Spanish chronicler Sebastián de Olmedo as "The hammer of heretics, the light of Spain, the saviour of his country, the...

  • Nicolau Aymerich author of Directorium Inquisitorum
    Directorium Inquisitorum
    The Directorium Inquisitorum is Nicholas Eymerich's most prominent and enduring work, which he had composed as early as 1376. Eymerich had written an earlier treatise on sorcery, perhaps as early as 1359, which he extensively reworked into the Directorium Inqusitorum The Directorium Inquisitorum...

  • Sebastien Michaelis
    Sebastien Michaelis
    Sebastien Michaelis was a French inquisitor and prior of the Dominican order who lived during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. His Histoire admirable de la possession d'une penitente , includes a classification of demons which has passed into general use in esoteric literature.-Early...

See Also

  • Medieval Inquisition
    Medieval Inquisition
    The Medieval Inquisition is a series of Inquisitions from around 1184, including the Episcopal Inquisition and later the Papal Inquisition...

  • Portuguese Inquisition
    Portuguese Inquisition
    The Portuguese Inquisition was formally established in Portugal in 1536 at the request of the King of Portugal, João III. Manuel I had asked for the installation of the Inquisition in 1515 to fulfill the commitment of marriage with Maria of Aragon, but it was only after his death that the Pope...

  • Roman Inquisition
    Roman Inquisition
    The Roman Inquisition was a system of tribunals developed by the Holy See during the second half of the 16th century, responsible for prosecuting individuals accused of a wide array of crimes related to heresy, including Protestantism, sorcery, immorality, blasphemy, Judaizing and witchcraft, as...

  • Spanish Inquisition
    Spanish Inquisition
    The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition , commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition , was a tribunal established in 1480 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms, and to replace the Medieval...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.