Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/241

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221
BURNING ALIVE

of 1210, simply places heretics under the imperial ban, orders their property confiscated and their houses torn down. Frederic II., in his famous statue of November 22, 1220, which made the persecution of heresy a part of the public law of Europe, only threatened confiscation and outlawry, although this, it must be added, placed their lives at the mercy of the first comer. In his constitution of March, 1224, he went further and decreed death by fire or loss of the tongue, at the discretion of the judge; and the contemporary practice in Germany left the penatly to be similarly decided. It was not until 1231, in the Sicilian Constitutions, that Frederic rendered the punishment by cremation absolute. This was in force merely in his Neapolitan dominions, and the edict of Ravenna, in March, 1232, while inflicting the death penalty does not prescribe the method; but that of Cremona, in May, 1238, embodied the Sicilian law and thus rendered the fagot and stake the recognized punishment for heresy throughout the empire, as we find it subsequently embodied in both the Sachsenspiegel and the Schwabenspiegel, or municipal laws of northern and southern Germany. In Venice, after 1249, the ducal oath of office contained a pledge to burn all heretics. In 1255 Alonso the Wise of Castile decreed the stake for all Christians who apostatized to Islam or Judaism. In France the legislation adopted by both Louis IX. and Raymond of Toulouse, for carrying out the provisions of the settlement of 1229, is discreetly silent with regard to the penalty of heresy, though under it the use of the stake was universal, and it is not until Louis issued his Établissments, in 1270, that we find the heretic formally condemned to be burned alive, thus rendering it part of the recognized law of the land, although the terms in which Beaumanoir alludes to it show that it had long been a stettled custom. England, which was free from heresy, was even later in adopting it, and it was not until the rise of the Lollards caused fear in both Church and State that the writ "de hœretico comburendo" was created by statute in 1401.[1]

  1. Conci. Turonens. ann. 1163 c. 4-Trithem. Chron. IIirsaug, ann. 1163.- Concil Remens. ann. 1157 c. 1.-Guillel. de Newburg Elist. Angl. ii. 15.-Innoc. III. Rcgest. I. 04, 165.-Contre le Frane-Allcu sans Tiltre, Paris, 1639, pp, 215 sqq.-II. Mutii Chron. Lib. xx. ann. 1312.—Böhmer, Regesta Imperii V. 110.- Muratori Antiq. Ital. Diss, Lx. (T. XIE. p. 447)—Hist. Diplom. Frid. II. T. II pp. 6-8, 422 8; IV. 301; V. 201.-Constitt. Sicular. Lib, I. Tit. 1-Treuga Hen-