Heresy in Late Medieval Germany

February 2019
1 black and white illustrations
352 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Heresy and Inquisition in the Middle Ages
ISBN: 9781903153864
Format: Hardback
York Medieval Press
BISAC HIS037010, REL033000

Heresy in Late Medieval Germany

The Inquisitor Petrus Zwicker and the Waldensians

Reima Välimäki

First major survey of the German inquisitor Petrus Zwicker, one of the most significant figures in the repression of heresy.
In the final years of the fourteenth century, waves of persecution shattered German-speaking Waldensian communities, with the scale of inquisitions matching or even greater than the better-known trials in southern France. In the middle of the persecution was the influential and enigmatic figure of the Celestine provincial and inquisitor of heresy, Petrus Zwicker (d.after 1404).
His surviving texts and inquisition protocols offer a fresh, intriguing picture of the medieval repression of heresy. Zwicker was an accurate and intelligent interrogator with direct access to the Waldensians' sources and knowledge. But although he is one of the most effective inquisitors of the Middle Ages, he was even more important as the author of anti-heretical texts. His Cum dormirent homines became a standard work on Waldensianism in the fifteenth century (and this study attributes another anti-heretical treatise, the Refutatio errorum, to him). With his unique biblicist and pastoral style, Zwicker struck the right note at a moment when the Church was in crisis. His texts spread rapidly, they were preached to the people and translated into German, and helped to build the fear of heresy, anti-clericalism and disobedience in the years of the Great Western Schism.
This book is the first full-length study on Zwicker and his significance to the history of heresy and its repression. It offers a meticulous analysis of the sources left by him and teases out new, ground-breaking discoveries from careful examination of previously poorly known manuscripts.

Dr Reima Välimäki is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Cultural History, University of Turku

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Table of Contents

Petrus Zwicker and the career of an inquisitor at the turn of the fifteenth century
The Inquisitor Writes
The Inquisitor's Practice and his Legacy
Communicating Faith
The Dissidents, the Clergy, and the Church
Epilogue: The Consolation of Inquisition
Appendix 1: Manuscript descriptions
Appendix 2: Chapters and titles of the Cum dormirent homines according to Jacob Gretser [1613/1677]
Appendix 3: The circulation of the Processus Petri together with the Cum dormirent homines
Appendix 4: Inquisitors' manuals of St. Florian and Linz
Appendix 5: Collation of formularies in St. Florian, MS XI 234 and Würzburg UB, MS M. ch. f. 51

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