During the reign of the Roman Emporer Constantine CE 306-337 the doctrines of the xtian church were regarded as thefoundation of law.
Heretics (persons who opposed churchteachings) were sought out, tortured and eventually murdered.Heresy was an offense against the state as well as the church.For hundreds of years, civil rulers tried to stamp out all heresy.As early as CE 430, the church leaders declared heresypunishable by death. In CE 906, "The Canon Episcopi" was thefirst church body to expressly forbid the use of witchcraft.
Before the Inquisition was fully underway, the church acceptedheretics back into the fold, under terms it consideredreasonable. The following is an example:For three Sundays, the heretic was stripped to the waist andwhipped from the entrance of the town/village all the way tothe church door. He/she was to permanently deny him/herself meat, eggs and cheese except on Easter, pentecost and xmas,when he/she is to eat of them as a sign of his/her penance. Fortwenty days, twice a year he/she was to avoid fish and for 3days in each week fish, wine and oil, fasting, if his/her healthwould permit.He/she was to wear monastic vestments with a small crosssewn on each breast. He/she was to hear mass daily. Seventimes a day, he/she was to recite the canonical hours and inaddition, at Paternoster ten times each day and twenty timeseach night.He/she was to observe total abstinence from sex. Every monthhe/she was to report to a priest who was to keep the hereticunder close observation. He/she was to be segregated from therest of the community.
There is no precise date for the beginning of the Inquisition,most sources agree it manifested during the first 6 years of thereign of the catholic pope, Gregory IX, between 1227 and 1233.Pope Gregory IX who ruled from 1227-1241 is often referred toas the "Father of the Inquisition."The Inquisition was a campaign of torture, mutilation, massmurder and destruction of human life perpetrated by xtians.The church increased in power until it had total control overhuman life, both secular and religious.The Vatican wasn't satisfied with the progress made by