It has become customary to speak of the inquisitor as the representative of high culture and thus, often incapable of grasping the moral and intellectual world of socially and culturally subaltern defendants. (The possibility of a reverse situation is generally not raised.) Yet, among these officials there must have been many of modest, rural background who had been raised in a milieu of folk traditions.

Moreover, there seems to be evidence, again provided by the Instructio, that jailers, certainly not typical representatives of high culture, who had more intimate proximity to the imprisoned women than did the judges, were often guilty themselves of suggesting what they should confess at the interrogations.

John Tedeschi, The Prosecution of Heresy (1991)


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