1487

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Witch-hunters' Manual and the Patriot Act *

A book for witch-hunters comes out this year. "Der Hexenhammer" or "Hammer of the Witches" is published in Speyer, Germany. Heinrich Kramer has been having trouble convincing his fellows that witches and magic exist so he has written down his thoughts in a book and how best to detect witches and their evil spells. It helps that Pope Innocent the 8th has issued a papal bull giving the Inquisition wide ranging authority to seek out heretics. Although the Pope is not endorsing the book, he did call Heinrich Kramer a "dear son". With the book and the papal letter in hand, what more does your local witch-hunter need? Witch hunting in Germany will reach a peak in 1562 when a severe hailstorm will cause so much damage that several women are put on trial for sorcery. Eventually 67 women will be convicted and put to the flames. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
If you read the papal bull it becomes clear that it is a blank check almost as bad as the US Patriot Act. Agents of the Inquisition are given permission to write their own warrants. At least when a king wrote out a bill of attainder he STILL had to put a name on the document and have it approved by Parliament, but apparently the Pope's authority is more wide-ranging. [4] [5] [6]

Here is a quote from Pope Innocent's letter granting authority to the Inquisition...

Moreover, for greater surety We extend these letters deputing this authority to cover all the aforesaid provinces, townships, dioceses, districts, territories, persons, and crimes newly rehearsed, and We grant permission to the aforesaid Inquisitors, [...] to proceed, according to the regulations of the Inquisition, against any persons of whatsoever rank and high estate, correcting, mulcting [that is... fining and confiscating], imprisoning, punishing, as their crimes merit, those whom they have found guilty, the penalty being adapted to the offence.

Seizing the Silver Mines of Venice

The Archduke of Austria can always use silver. Despite that, it probably wasn't the best idea to attack the Republic of Venice in order to take their silver mines in northern Italy. Yet... the valley where the silver mines are located are close to Austria so he moves his Tyrolean forces into the area. The Duke will also waylay Venice merchants traveling through the area and take all their goods. Naturally Venice will fight back and the war will bump along until 1490 when the Duke will give up his holdings to Maximilian the 1st, the Holy Roman Emperor. It is not clear why he made the transfer but they still speak German in isolated regions of northern Italy until this day. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Duke of Austria also took out a loan for 23,000 florins (a little over 6 million dollars) backed by those silver mines he stole from the Venetians. Who put up the money? The Fuggers! If you recall, in 1396 Hans Fugger made a good living as a German weaver. His children married well and invested their money in precious metals. Now they make super loans to the aristocracy. This is their first loan to the Hapsburgs and it's just the start. They will make an even larger loan to him next year. I'm not sure why the Duke needed a loan but remember that it takes time for a silver mine to produce income as the metal is dug out and processed. Troops need to eat right now. That means cash on the barrel head. [12]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1487, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Tuchman, Barbara Wertheim. (Barbara Tuchman, bio). A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. Ballantine, 1979. p. 590. (BOOK) quote="Witch-hunting was to reach epidemic proportions in the second half of the century, marked by the famous treatise Malleus Maleficarum of 1487, an encyclopedia for the detection of demonology and its devotees."
  2. Malleus Maleficarum - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  3. The Malleus maleficarum of Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, Montague Summers (translator), The Malleus Maleficarum of Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger., Dover. ISBN 0486228029. 
  4. Bill of Attainder - HowStuffWorks. history.howstuffworks.com (2014). Retrieved on 16 December 2014. “Bill of Attainder, in English history, an act of Parliament convicting a person without trial. Attainder was first employed in the Parliament of 1459, and was not abolished until 1870.”
  5. Summis desiderantes affectibus - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 16 December 2014.
  6. Pope Innocent VIII (2014). Malleus Maleficarum - The Bull of Innocent VIII. web.archive.org. Retrieved on 16 December 2014. “We decree and enjoin that the aforesaid Inquisitors be empowered to proceed to the just correction, imprisonment, and punishment of any persons, without let or hindrance, in every way as if the provinces, townships, dioceses, districts, territories, yea, even the persons and their crimes in this kind were named and particularly designated in Our letters. Moreover, for greater surety We extend these letters deputing this authority to cover all the aforesaid provinces, townships, dioceses, districts, territories, persons, and crimes newly rehearsed, and We grant permission to the aforesaid Inquisitors, [...] to proceed, according to the regulations of the Inquisition, against any persons of whatsoever rank and high estate, correcting, mulcting, imprisoning, punishing, as their crimes merit, those whom they have found guilty, the penalty being adapted to the offence.”
  7. Sigismund, Archduke of Austria. World Heritage Encyclopedia (2014). Retrieved on 16 December 2014. “Tyrolean forces quickly seized silver mines in the Valsugana valley owned by Venice, and in April 1487 Sigismund outraged Venice further when he imprisoned 130 Venetian merchants traveling to the fair at Bozen (modern Bolzano) and confiscated their goods.”
  8. Jakob Fugger. Gale Encyclopedia of Biography (2006). Retrieved on 16 December 2014. “The mountain region was booming with the discoveries of large stores of mineral wealth. In 1487 Fugger joined with a businessman from Genoa in a loan made to the rich but profligate Archduke Sigismund of Tirol. It was Fugger's first transaction with the Hapsburg dynasty, whose talent for squandering its vast resources brought both its own demise and the rise of merchant empires like Fugger's. Fugger's firm lent the Archduke 23,000 florins. The collateral for the loan was a temporary mortgage on some profitable silver mines in the region, whose extracts were customarily turned over in their entirety to Sigismund.”
  9. Sigismund, Archduke of Austria - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 12 December 2014.
  10. Sugana Valley - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 17 December 2014.
  11. Valle dei Mòcheni - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 17 December 2014.
  12. Florin - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 17 December 2014.

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