Heresy and Inquisition

Source: Taken verbatim on 6 April 2016 from, an archived version of a website by David Burr ( that is no longer available:

Translated by David Burr, History Department, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA.

The following sources do not pretend to cover all of medieval heresy, a rich and varied affair. They concentrate instead on a single variety, that of the Spiritual Franciscans and Beguins. In effect, there are several sorts of beast here: brief introductions by me designed to give some orientation; a passage from the inquisitor Bernard Gui offering his own general perspective on the heresy; verbal processes, the actual interrogation records of inquisitorial processes; selections from the Franciscan Peter Olivi, whose writings and person were revered by the Spiritual Franciscans and Beguins; and passages from Angelo Clareno, a Spiritual Franciscan leader whose chronicle gives us a remarkable overview of the movement and its fate.

In the verbal processes I have given all names in what I at least imagine to be their French form. Thus Petrus Iohannis Olivi turns into Pierre Déjean Olieu. I urge you to remember that we’re dealing with the same person here, the man whose works I’ve translated in other selections.

Other translation ground rules can be found here.

The Documents:

Spiritual Franciscans and Beguins: A Brief Introduction
Bernard Gui on the Beguins
Confessions from the Sentence of November 11, 1328 at Carcassonne

Na Prous Boneta, Heresiarch
Alisseta Boneta, Prous’ Sister
Alisseta or Alarassis, Prous’ Friend
Ermessende, Prous’ Would-be Instructor
Raymundus Johannis, Apostate Franciscan
Mathieu, a Priest
Manenta Rosa, a Defunct Relapsed Beguin

Confessions from the Sentence of March 1, 1327 at Carcassonne

Alarassis Biasse, Olivi’s Niece
Guillaume Verrier, Candlemaker
Confessions from the Sentence of July 3, 1323 at Lodève
The Confession of Bernard Maury, Priest
The Confession of Pierre Tort
Peter Olivi’s Apocalypse Commentary
Peter Olivi on Franciscan Poverty
Angelo Clareno on an Inquisitorial Torture Session