Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/488

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pie penalty of wearing the crosses, which was known as a pana confusibilis, or humiliating punishment. We have seen that already, in 1208, St. Dominic orders his converted heretic to wear two small crosses on the breast in sign of his sin and repentance. It seems a contradiction that the emblem of the Redemption, so proudly worn by the crusader and the military orders, should be to the convert an infliction almost unbearable, but when it became the sign of his sin and disgrace there were few inflictions which might not more readily be borne. The two little crosses of St. Dominic grew to conspicuous pieces of saffron-colored cloth, of which the arms were two and a half fingers in breadth, two and a half palms in height, and two palms in width, one sewed on the breast and the other on the back, though occasionally one on the breast sufficed. If the convert during his trial had committed perjury, a second transverse arm was added at the top; and if he had been a "perfected" heretic, a third cross was placed upon the cap. Another form was that of a hammer, worn by prisoners temporarily liberated on bail ; and we have seen the red tongues fastened on false-witnesses, and the symbol of a letter inflicted on a forger, while other emblematical forms were prescribed, as the fancy of the inquisitor might dictate. They were never to be laid aside, in doors or out, and when worn out the penitent was obliged to renew them. During the latter half of the thirteenth century those who went beyond seas might abandon their crosses during their crusade, but were obliged to reassume them on returning. In the earlier days of the Inquisition a term ranging from one year to seven or eight was usually prescribed, but in the later period it was always for life, unless the inquisitor saw fit, as a reward of good behavior, to remit it. Thus in the auto de fé of 1309 Bernard Gui permitted Raymonde, wife of Etienne Got, to remove the crosses which she had been condemned to wear, some forty years before, by Pons de Poyet and Étienne de Gatine.[1]

  1. C. Biterrens. ann. 1246, Append, c. 36. — Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan. pp. 8, 13, 130, 228.
    In Italy the crosses appear to be of red cloth (Archiv. di Firenze, Pro v. S. Maria Novella, 31 Ott. 1327).
    At an early period there is a single allusion to another "poena confusibilis" in the shape of a wooden collar or yoke worn by the penitent. This occurs at La Charity, in 1233, and I have not met with it elsewhere (Ripoll, I. 46).