Informace o publikaci

Guilt by Association? : A computational analysis of the social patterns of inquisition punishments in thirteenth-century Languedoc


SHAW Robert Laurence John HAMPEJS Tomáš ZBÍRAL David

Rok publikování 2021
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis Despite significant interest in the way that medieval inquisitors approached the task of quelling religious dissidence – above all the way they detected or even “constructed” heresy among their subjects – the factors that influenced the precise weight of the punishments they meted out have thus far received little systematic attention. Computational analysis of inquisition records, however, can potentially transform our understanding of this field. It can be assumed that inquisitors aimed, at least in part, to punish in accordance with the type, duration, and repetition of heretical activity they perceived. But given that inquisitors sought to root out what they saw as a social “disease”, we must also ask to what extent medieval inquisitors were influenced by what they perceived to be the important social connections of their suspects. Were dissidents punished differently for knowing famous heretics, or committing actions in concert with others? Did recognised social ties to other sentenced or suspected individuals warrant graver sentences? Working with the sentences drawn up by the inquisitor Peter Sella in Western Languedoc in 1241-2, this paper employs a bespoke statistical approach that encodes and analyses weights of punishment, descriptions of crimes and types of recorded social connectivity: it is in part inspired by social network analysis but tailored to the limitations of the specific source. Above all, it aims to compare the interpersonal maps that inquisitors plotted as part of the trial process with whom and how they chose to punish, thus providing a new social perspective on inquisitorial strategy.
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