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CENSORSHIP OF BOOKS.
at one fell swoop, as in the case of the 6000 volumes destroyed at Salamanca in 1490 by Torquemada, on a charge of sorcery. After the invention of printing it became more difficult to carry on this warfare against literature, while the rapid diffusion of Protestant opinions through the press rendered the need for their extermination urgent. Sixtus IV. laid a basis for the Index by prohibiting the publication of any books which had not previously been licensed by ecclesiastical authority. Alexander VI. by a brief of 1501 confirmed this measure, and placed books under the censorship of the episcopacy and the Inquisition. Finally, the Lateran Council, in its tenth session, held under the auspices of Leo X., gave solemn ecumenical sanction to these regulations.
The censorship having been thus established, the next step was to form a list of books prohibited by the Inquisitors appointed for that purpose. The Sorbonne in Paris drew one up for their own use, and even presented a petition to Francis I. that publication through the press should be forbidden altogether. A royal edict to this effect was actually promulgated in 1535. Charles V. commissioned the University of Louvain in 1539 to furnish a similar catalogue, proclaiming at the same time the penalty of death for all who read or owned the works of Luther in his realms. The University printed their catalogue with Papal approval in 1549.
• Christie's Etienne Dolel, pp. 220–24.
· Llorente, vol. i. p. 281. · Llorente, voi. i. p. 463
These lists of the Sorbonne and Louvain forined the nucleus of the Apostolic Index, which, after the close of the Council of Trent, became binding upon Catholics. When the Inquisition had been established in Rome, Caraffa, who was then at its head, obtained the sanction of Paul III. for submitting all books, old or new, printed or in manuscript, to the supervision of the Holy Office. He also contrived to place booksellers, public and private libraries, colporteurs and officers of customs, under the same authority; so that from 1543 forward it was a penal offence to print, sell, own, convey or import any literature, of which the Inquisition had not first been informed, and for the diffusion or possession of which it had not given its permission. Giovanni della Casa, who was sent in 1546 to Venice with commission to prosecute P. Paolo Vergerio for heresy, drew up a list of about seventy prohibited volumes, which was printed in that city. Other lists appeared, at Florence in 1552, and at Milan in 1554. Philip II. at last, in 1558, issued a royal edict commanding the publication of one catalogue which should form the standard for such Indices throughout his States. These lists, revised, collated, and confirmed by Papal authority, were reprinted, in the form which ever afterwards obtained, at Rome, by command of Paul IV. in 1559. The Tridentine
• In the year 1548. The MS. cited above (p. 192) mentions an. other Index of the Venetian Holy Office published in 1954.
• Sarpi, Ist. del Conc. Trid. vol. ii. p. go.
CRUSADE AGAINST LITERATURE.
Council ratified the regulations of the Inquisition and the Index concerning prohibited books, and referred the execution of them in detail to the Papacy. A congregation was appointed at Rome, which, though technically independent of the Holy Office, worked in concert with it. This Congregation of the Index brought the Tridentine decrees into harmony with the practice that had been developed by Caraffa as Inquisitor and Pope. Their list was published in 1564 with the authority of Pius IV. Finally, in 1595 the decrees embodying the statutes of the Church upon this topic were issued in print, together with a largely augmented catalogue of interdicted books. This document will form the basis of what I have to say with regard to the Catholic crusade against literature.
Not without reason did Aonio Paleario call this engine of the Index 'a dagger drawn from the scabbard to assassinate letters'--sica districta in omnes scriptores. Not without reason did Sarpi describe it as the finest secret which has ever been discovered for applying religion to the purpose of making men idiotic.” Paul IV. designated in his
. In his Oratio pro se ipso ad Senenses. Printed by Gryphius at Lyons in 1552.
• Ist. del Conc. Trid. vol. ii. p. 91. The passage deserves to be transcribed. “Sotto colore di fede e religione sono vietati con la medesima severità e dannati gli autori de' libri da' quali l' autorita del principe e magistrati temporali e difesa dalle usurpazioni ecclesiastiche; dove l'autorità de' Concilj e de' Vescovi e difesa dalle usur. pazioni della Corte Romana; dove le ipocrisie o tirannidi con le quali sotto pretesto di religione il popolo e ingannato o violentato suno manifestate. In somma non fu mai trovato più bell' arcano per adoperare la religione a far gli uomini insensati.'
Index Expurgatorius sixty-one printing firms by name, all of whose publications were without ex ception prohibited, adding a similar prohibition for the books edited by any printer who had published the writings of any heretic; so that in fine, as Sarpi says, “there was not a book left to read.' Truly he might well exclaim in another passage that the Church was doing its best to extinguish sound learning altogether."
In order to gain a clear conception of the warfare carried on by Rome against free literature, it will be well to consider first the rules for the Index of Prohibited Books, sketched out by the fathers delegated by the Tridentine Council, published by Pius IV., augmented by Sixtus V., and reduced to their final form by Clement VIII. in 1595. Afterwards I shall proceed to explain the operation of the system, and to illustrate by details the injury inflicted upon learning and enlightenment.
The preambles to this document recite the circumstances under which the necessity for digesting an Index or Catalogue of Prohibited Books arose. These were the diffusion of heretical opinions at the epoch of the Lutheran schism, and their propagation through the press. The Council of Trent decreed that a list of writings heretical, or suspected of heretical pravity, or injurious to manners and piety,'
· Discorso Sopra I Ing. vol. iv. p. 54.
• These rules form the Preface to modem editions of the Index. The one I use is dated Naples, 1862. They are also printed in rol. iv. of Sarpi's works.
INDEX OF CLEMENT VIII.
should be drawn up. This charge they committed to prelates chosen from all nations, who, when the catalogue had been completed, referred it for sanction and approval to the Pope. He nominated a congregation of eminent ecclesiastics, by whose care the catalogue was perfected, and rules were framed, defining the use that should be made of it in future. It issued officially, as I have already stated, in 1564, the fifth year of the pontificate of Pius IV., with warning to all universities and civil and ecclesiastical authorities that any person of what grade or condition soever, whether clerk or layman, who should read or possess one or more of the proscribed volumes, would be accounted ipso jure excommunicate, and liable to prosecution by the Inquisition
a charge of heresy." Booksellers, printers, merchants, and custom-house officials received admonition that the threat of excommunication and prosecution concerned them specially.
The first rules deal with the acknowledged writings of Protestant heresiarchs. Those of Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin, whether in their original languages or translated, are condemned absolutely and without exception. Next follow regulations for securing the monopoly of the Vulgate, considered * as the sole authorized version of the Holy Scriptures. Translations of portions of the Bible made by learned men in Latin may be used by scholars with permission of a bishop, provided it be understood that
· Paulus Manutius Aldus printed this Index at Venice in 1564.