Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/408

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tion of the accused, is seen when even Bernard Gui accepted commissions from three bishops — those of Cahors, St. Papoul, and Montauban — to act for them in the auto of September 30, 1319. This device became frequent, and inquisitors constantly rendered sentence on their individual responsibility under power granted them by the bishops, as in the persecutions of the Waldenses of Piedmont in 1387, and that of the witches of Canavese in 1474. Sometimes, however, the bishops were not altogether free agents, as when, in the early persecution of the Spiritual Franciscans, about 1318, those of the province of Narbonne were coerced to consent to the burning of some unfortunates by the inquisitor threatening them with the pope, who was known to have the prosecutions much at heart. [1]

This episcopal concurrence in the sentence was reached in consultation with the assembly of experts. As the inquisitors from the beginning were chosen rather with regard to zeal than learning, and as they maintained a reputation for ignorance, it was soon found requisite to associate with them in the rendering of sentences men versed in the civil and canon law, which had by this time become an intricate study requiring the devotion of a lifetime. Accordingly they were empowered to call in experts to deliberate with them over the evidence and advise with them on the sentence to be rendered, and those who were thus summoned could not refuse to serve gratuitously, though it is intimated that the inquisitor can pay them if he feels so inclined. At first it would seem as though notables were assembled at the condemnation of prominent heretics rather to give solemnity to the occasion than for actual consultation, as when, in 1237, at the sentence passed on Alaman de Roaix in Toulouse, the presence is recorded of the Bishop of Toulouse, the Abbot of Moissac, the Dominican and Franciscan provincials, and a number of other notables. The amount of work, in fact, performed by the Inquisition of Languedoc in the early years of its existence would seem to preclude the idea of any serious deliberation by counsellors thus called in, who would have to consider the interminable reports of examinations and interro-

  1. C. 1, § 1, Clement v. 3.— Eymeric. Direct. Inq. p. 580.— Coll. Doat, XXXI. 57.— Bernardi Guidon. Practica P. iv. (Doat, XXX.).— Coll. Doat, XXX. 104.— Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan. passim, especially pp. 208-10. — Ibid. p. 300. — Archivio Storico Italiano, No. 38, p. 26 sqq. — Curiosita di Storia Subalpina, 1874, p. 215.