1578 : Major Inquisitor's Manual / Demonology



Nicolas Eymerich
Directorium Inquisitorum

R.P.F nicolai eymerici ord.praed.S.Theol.Mag.Inquisitoris haereticae pravitatis in regnis regis aragonum




Second most complete edition - Of utmost rarity.


Romae, in aedibus pop rom mdlxxviii (1578) .

Large Folio. 1bl 14 ff 399pp 288pp 26ff (index) 164pp 6 ff 1bl

Contemporary vellum in good condition. Interior complete and in good condition. Restored wormhole in about 50 ff in the middle and a dozen at the beginning.

Also Contains :

Francisci pegnae - in tres partes directorii inquisitorum Nicolai eymerici scholiorum , seu adnotationum.

Literae apostolicae diversorum romanorum pontificum - pro officio sanctissimae inquisitionis ab innoc III, pont max usque as haec tempora , cum indice locupletissimo.


This major manual of the inquisition that knew only a few editions. It was at the center of the witch hunts of that time.

The Directorium Inquisitorum is Nicholas Eymerich's most prominent and enduring work, which he had composed as early as 1376. Eymerich had written an earlier treatise on sorcery, perhaps as early as 1359, which he extensively reworked into the Directorium Inqusitorum The Directorium Inquisitorum defined witchcraft, and described means for discovering witches. In compiling the book, Eymerich used many of the magic texts he had previously confiscated from accused sorcerers.

He describes various forbidden magical practices including the baptism of images, fumigating the head of a dead person, casting salt on fire, burning bodies of animals and birds, conjuring spirits, invoking unfamiliar names, mixing names of angels and demons, and chiromancy.

In the Directorium Inquisitorum, Eymerich considers sorcery to be a form of heresy, an important definition as the Inquisition's mandate was the suppression of heresy. The idea was not unique to Eymerich, however, it had been developing since the late thirteenth century, when Pope Alexander IV first gave inquisitors jurisdiction over sorcerers. This was further codified by Pope Boniface VIII and Pope John XXII. And by 1320 it was common to see discussions of sorcery in inquisitors' manuals. Writings by Bernard Gui and Ugolino Zanchini contain two such discussions. Eymerich's contribution was to divide sorcery into three categories, with considerable reference given to the Bible and the writings of notable Christian theologians such as Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas. According to Eymerich, the first, and most serious form of sorcerous heretic was the one who offered latria (the worship due to God alone) to demons. Such activities included making sacrifices, praying, and lighting candles or incense to devils. His second category was the heretic who offered dulia (the veneration given to Saints). Such activities included mentioning devils in litany (often alongside the names of Saints or angels) and asking for their intercession before God. He refers specifically to the "Saracens" (Muslims) as practicing this form of heresy in their veneration for Muhammad. The third category of sorcerous heresy was those who sought the aid of a demon, such as for divination. He quotes Pope Innocent V in saying that in order to receive aid from a demon, a person must enter into some form of pact with the demon. Eymerich then extrapolates on this postulate to demonstrate that any agreement with a demon is a heresy. Eymerich was among the first to condemn all forms of demonic conjuration as heresy. Previously, the common belief had been that even a saint might make a demonic pact as exemplified by the story of Saint Theophilus, who made a pact with the devil to gain an ecclesiastical position.

In addition to describing common magical practices, Eymerich also described means of extracting a confession which included primitive psychological manipulation as well as outright torture. Regarding torture, Eymerich said, "Quaestiones sunt fallaces et inefficaces" meaning, "Torture is deceptive and ineffectual." However, Eymerich was the first inquisitor to get around the Church's prohibition against torturing a subject twice. He interpreted the directive very liberally, permitting a separate instance of torture for a separate charge of heresy.

The Directorium Inquisitorum was to become the definitive handbook of procedure for the Spanish Inquisition until into the seventeenth century. It saw numerous printings, including a run at Barcelona in 1503 and one in Rome in 1578. These printings are now highly valuable original sources. In addition, the Directorium Inquisitorum was one of the primary forerunners of the better known Malleus Maleficarum

Source : wikipedia.

€ 5,000