The so-called "Christian Crimeline" was once publushed by a pseudonymous Australian with no specified credentials in any scholarly field, has been kept alive by many other webites. Many of the claims are false. Many other are half-truths. Many have no discernible connection to Christianity. Almost all are given with no documentation.
A group of us, consisting of Tekton Research Assistant "Punkish" as well as James Hannam, a Ph. D. student in history, and Roger Pearse of tertullian.org, decided it was worthwhile to take some of these on. As of May 2009, I have decided that those we have not answered will remain dormant until a supporter or host of the original Crimeline list comes to the fore to refute our findings so far. NOTE 10/20: For now, broken links will not be fixed but for anything linked to Tekton change the "html" in the address to php.
0-36 Life of Christ Alleged life of Christ: despite efficiency of Roman system no records exist of his birth, trial or death, leading many to claim existence concocted. Not the whole story. However "efficient" the Roman system was, the simple fact is that we have NO records of any Roman provincial trial preserved, nor any record of the births or deaths of private persons. Rome issued millions of military pay slips, but to this day less than a dozen remain in whole or in part. As for concocting his existence, see here.
33-6 Ministry of Christ Alleged ministry of Christ: Jesus accused of "possession by evil spirits" (John 7:20; 10:20); this may explain evil nature of Christian followers over centuries. Vague generalization. Of course if the opinion of a minority proves anything, the opinion of the majority has far more power.
36 Death of Christ Alleged crucifixion of Christ: Christianity becomes first religion with lawfully-convicted felon as god; this may explain criminal behaviour of Christian followers over centuries. Misrepresentation. Of course all this does is make it harder to explain why Christianity exists at all. But for more on that (the trial was not exactly on the straight and narrow) see here.
36-65 Oral tradition Whole generation transpires before first account of Christ's life is written; this raises questions over why it took so long for anyone to write it. False statement. In the ancient world, writing was ALWAYS considered inferior to the spoken word. Plato called writing "third hand from the truth". For more on this topic, see here and here.
36-67 Peter Peter allegedly establishes first church and spreads Christian faith from Jerusalem to Rome where he is allegedly crucified in 67; no evidence proves he existed. Vague generalization. We want to know what criteria are used to determine the existence of private persons. The secular historian Michael Grant, who wrote a book on Peter, certainly does not agree with "no evidence".
36-65 Paul of Tarsus Paul (Saul) of Tarsus allegedly orders destruction of Israel Christian church before converting to Christianity; no evidence proves Paul existed. Ditto. to the above. We would like for "crimeline" to prove to us that Plutarch or Cicero existed.
48-62 Pauline books Teachings of Jesus allegedly recorded by Paul despite claims by many scholars that he could not possibly have met Christ. Missed point. The Pauline books are NOT "teachings of Jesus' but letters written to address specific problems in local churches. The Gospels record the teachings of Jesus and are not by Paul.
48-9 First council First Christian Council establishes circumcision and dietary laws borrowed from Hebrew tradition. False. This council decided that people did NOT have to be circumcised or follow the dietary laws, although Jerusalem Christians would continue to follow them as an effort to be "good neighbors" at a time of extreme Jewish nationalism.
64 Cornelius Tacitus Roman historian Tacitus (55-120) condemns Christians as religion hated for its abominable crimes. False. Tacitus says that they were "hated for their enormities," which Tacitus goes on to qualify as "hating the human race" -- which means, in context, that Christians (and Jews, and druids!) were members of a "superstition" or non-approved religion that did not toe the pagan line (i.e., it was religious intolerance). Tacitus also goes on to note that their punishment evoked sympathy: "For this cause a feeling of compassion arose towards the sufferers, though guilty and deserving of exemplary capital punishment, because they seemed not to be cut off for the public good, but were victims of the ferocity of one man."
65 Mark gospel First "eyewitness" or "Q" account of Jesus written by gospel author called Mark some 30 years after alleged death of Christ. Vague generalization and gross error. Mark is not credited with authorship of "Q" by any scholar. Q is also a modern myth; see here; it is a myth that has been debunked for some time (for example, see here). And:
65-125 Key scriptures Matthew, Luke, John, Revelations, Acts written by "eyewitnesses" of Christ although most scholars claim books written up to 6 generations after Christ's alleged death. False. For issues of date and authorship of the Gospels, see here. In fact, "most scholars" date the Gospels within only TWO generations at most of Christ, not six; almost none opt for a date that late. Revelation also does not have an S at the end.
125-350 Bible assembled Period during which most scholars agree first Bible "assembled". Vaguely correct though technically this is the New Testament, not the whole Bible. See some real details here.
166 Easter Soter I (166-175) becomes first pope to suggest Christians should celebrate Christ's feast day on Sunday (later Easter Sunday). Irrelevant. Not sure how this constitutes a "crime" or an act of terror, but it's far from the complete story. The observance of Easter derived from an observance of Passover. For details see this item which, though by an Adventist scholar we have had some disagreements with, is at least better-informed.
170 Irenaeus First great theologian and Greek writer Irenaeus (130-200), Bishop of Lyons, is accused of having adapted or forged John gospel. Gratutious insult. Accused by whom, and under what evidence? (See link above on authorship.) I can so far find no one else who makes this claim anywhere.
170 Montanists First heresy council against Montanist sect in Asia Minor. False. The article here by a reputable source (The Catholic Encyclopedia) reports that the first actions against Montanists were not the result of any council but of private individuals. There is no mention of any "council" at any time. Beyond this we wonder what the "crime" is in ascertaining truth from error and declaring error where it is found, something the Crimeline seems to have no problem with.
c180 Irenaeus List Bishop Irenaeus compiles first list of biblical writings resembling today's New Testament. Irrelevant. Presumably not a "crime" in itself. But actually (see link above) it was Origen who did anything like this first (a contemporary of Irenaeus), not Ireneaus, and it's far from the only step (before or after) in the process.
c180 Celsus Philosopher Celsus claims Christians "remodelled their gospel from its first written form and reformed it so that they may be able to refute objections". Vague charge. This proves what, exactly? In any event textual criticism shows Celsus' claim to have been groundless. Punkish adds: Putting it in inverted commas makes it sounds like a quote from Celsus. It's from R. J. Hoffmann's Celsus: On The True Doctrine, (Oxford University Press, 1987). R. Pearse writes, (about the "True Doctrine"), "In fact the work is lost, and can only be reconstructed speculatively from Origen Contra Celsum. Even so, Hoffmann's versions seem to owe more to imagination than to the text given by Origen." The real quote (from Origen's Contra Celsum) reads "The Christian believers, like persons who in a fit of drunkenness lay violent hands upon themselves, have corrupted the Gospel from its original integrity, to a threefold, and fourfold, and many-fold degree, and have remodeled it, so that they might be able to answer objections." (Bk ii, 27) So much for going to the source..not hard to see why he avoided quoting this, for it admits the original gospels had integrity.
c180 Virgin birth Celsus finds doctrine of Incarnation and Crucifixion repugnant and denounces gospel accounts of virgin birth as "fabricated". Vague charge. This was of course an expression of the normal Roman disdain for the material interacting with the divine (they also found the idea of resurrection repugnant) and has to do with social/philosophical values of the day, not "moral" issues (indeed it only again makes it harder to explain why Christianity succeeded; see here). Mere charges of fabrication prove nothing; see here.
c190 Women St Clement of Alexandria (150-215) says "every woman should be filled with shame by the thought that she is a woman". Undocumented. This is cited on several atheist/skeptical sites, but not by any site that collects the works of patristic writers (such as ccel.org or earlychristianwritings.com). The "positive atheism" site credits "from Lea, History of Sacerdotal Celibacy (page 320), quoted from Joseph Lewis, The Ten Commandments (page 422)." Page 320 of this book is about heretical views in Europe c. 1200-1400; needless to say, Clement is not mentioned, and he is not even listed in Lea's index, nor does he appear in the few pages Lea has on the patristic church. .
190 Victor I Christian council, under Victor I (189-199), makes Easter Sunday official day of celebration for Christians in Rome. See above. So what's the "crime"?
190 Excommunication Victor I excommunicates Eastern churches for not recognising or observing Roman Church's official Easter Sunday. True, but not a problem. This was a mere tap on the wrist; as recorded here, this is essentially a way of saying, "See ya!" and letting the heretical group be separate as it clearly wants to be.
c223 New Testament Christians first apply term "New Testament" to early Bible according to church father Tertullian (c160-225). Irrelevant. Presumably this is not a "crime".
c223 Mary prostitute Tertullian (c160-225) cites rumour Jesus son of prostitute. Vague charge. Why this proves anything is not explained.
c248 Birth fabricated Church historian Origen (185-254) cites account Jesus fabricated virgin birth and that Mary committed adultery with Roman soldier called Panthera. Vague charge. It is hard to see how rumors hundreds of years later prove anything. See link above on virgin birth.
c248 Jesus magician Origen (185-254) cites account Jesus worked as labourer in Egypt and learned magic before claiming God title. Ditto. Of course this is quite a problem for critics anyway, since it admits to Jesus having real miraculous power.
250-4 Persecutions Origen (185-254) claims few Christians died from Roman persecutions "and only from time to time, and at intervals". Straw man. No one thinks that persecution by death was widespread in the first place. See comments (especially by the historian Fox) here.
258 Forgeries Cyprian (d 258), Bishop of Carthage, accuses Christian leaders of "faking his letters" and other forgeries within church. Not even half the story. For a more complete look see here, part 2. Since no work of Cyprian is noted for this apparent "quote" there isn't much that can be said; it is probably a quote from some secondary sources since it is in the third person. I find nothing in any source confirming such an accusation by Cyprian.
264 Forgeries Pope Dionysius (260-268) accuses Christian leaders of "faking his own letters just as they had changed the gospels". Confused. Punkish notes: Dionysius was a bishop of Corinth, not a pope; he lived in the previous century! The quote comes from Eusebius' Eccl. Hist. IV 23 and actually says: (Eusebius' commentary) 12 The same writer also speaks as follows concerning his own epistles, alleging that they had been mutilated: "As the brethren desired me to write epistles, I wrote. And these epistles the apostles of the devil have filled with tares, cutting out some things and adding others.186 For them a woe is reserved.187 It is, therefore, not to be wondered at if some have attempted to adulterate the Lord's writings also,188 since they have formed designs even against writings which are of less accounts."189. Note 188 reads, "A probable, though not exclusive, reference to Marcion, for he was by no means the only one of that age that interpolated and mutilated the works of the apostles to fit his theories. Apostolic works true and false-circulated in great numbers, and were made the basis for the speculations and moral requirements of many of the heretical schools of the second century." So he's not accusing Church leaders of forging his own letters, or even the gospels, but rather (possibly) Marcion's editing of them.
275 Mithras Powerful Persian Mithrasian religion almost fades completely in Rome as Christian sects based on Mithraism, Manicheism and Gnosticism take root. What of this? Associations with such groups was completely voluntary; where's the crime?
312 Constantine Roman Emperor Constantine (d 337) converts to Christianity to bolster own military power and unite vast and troubled Roman Empire. Way off base. The two purposes offered for conversion make little sense. As noted here Constantine's military power needed no bolstering; he already had the "most efficient army" as a pagan (even if it was often outnumbered badly; just ask the Spartans which way is better). There is also nothing to suggest that he converted as a means of seeking unity, and it makes no sense at all, given that Christians "formed only a small portion of the population, being a fifth part in the West and the half of the population in a large section of the East." Note as well that unifying political reforms had already begun well before Constantine, and Constantine's edict giving freedom to ALL religions.
312 Vision of Christ Constantine claims Christ appeared to him in dream before battle of Milvian Bridge: becomes church's first protector. False. See the article linked above; what he claimed to have seen was "a brilliant light in which he believed he descried the cross or the monogram of Christ," not Christ actually appearing to him.
c312 Official religion Constantine makes Christianity official religion of Roman Empire: first blood shed over doctrinal differences between Athanasian and Eusebian sects. False. Pearse notes: Licinius issued a grant of toleration in 311: Constantine published the Edict of Milan which legalised Christianity (and all other religions) in 313 (Lactantius, De mortibus persecutionorum; Eusebius of Caesarea, Church History, book 10). State paganism remained the official religion until Theodosius I....There is no connection between these events and the disputes in Alexandria between the proto-Arians and Christians. Athanasius was only a deacon at Nicaea (in 325); the portrayal of the matter as 'sects' in violent dispute is anachronistic...I find no mention in the Ecclesiastical Histories of Socrates or Sozomen of bloodshed before Nicaea.
c312 Pagans condemned Christians condemn all pagan religions as demonic: Constantine authorises demolition of temples or conversion to Christian shrines. False/undocumented. The article linked above notes rather that Constantine "watched over the heathen worship and protected its rights." He did "suppress divination and magic" but in so doing only mimicked prior pagan emperors. His approach as a whole was sycretistic; the closest we get to what is described above is that he "withdrew his statue from the pagan temples, forbade the repair of temples that had fallen into decay, and suppressed offensive forms of worship."
314 Papal palace Constantine gives Pope Miltiades (311-14) Christian church's first papal palace as gift. True, but hardly a crime. Constantine did give the church "the Lateran Palace, which then became the residence of the pope, and consequently also the seat of the seat of the central administration of the Roman Church." Of course this was his own business and no one else's, because he was the owner of it in the first place (through his wife).
314 Artemis denounced Council of Ancyra denounces worship of Greek nature and moon goddess, Artemis. False. This council offered "twenty-five disciplinary canons" having to do with the Sacrament of Penance. Not a word is said about Artemis or any pagan deity.
314 Abominable butcher Constantine is described as "one of the most abominable butchers and fiends of cruelty that ever lived" after executing own son and boiling wife alive. Not the whole story. What this forgets to tell you is that his wife was executed for treason and the son was executed because the wife caused it to happen. See here: "At the same time Constantine created as Caesars CRISPUS (317-324), his son by his first wife Minervina, and CONSTANTINE II (317--337), his three year old son by his second wife Fausta. Fausta was so jealous of her step-son Crispus that she fabricated a plot in the name of the unsuspecting Caesar who was arrested and executed. When the guilt of Fausta was soon afterwards unveiled, the furious Constantine had his wife executed by being thrown into boiling water." Whoever called Constantine a "butcher" in this quote obviously ignored the whole story. No telling who made it, beause it only appears online in this list, unsourced.
314 Pagan massacres Constantine defends Christian massacre of pagans in Egypt and Palestine. Undocumented. There was a massive program of patronage in Palestine but no massacres. Pearse adds: I don't know to what this is supposed to relate. In 314 the pagan emperor Licinius was ruling the East.
319 Clergy concessions Constantine passes law excusing Christian clergy from paying taxes or serving in army: law attracts new priests for wrong reasons. True, but irrelevant. "As early as 313 the Church obtained immunity for its ecclesiastics, including freedom from taxation and compulsory service, and from obligatory state offices--such for example as the curial dignity, which was a heavy burden." No evidence is offered that this attracted priests for the wrong reasons. Hannam adds: This and many of the subsequent issues are selective misquotes from the huge compilation of fourth century Roman Law called the Codex Theodosius. Most of it is about taxes, probate and land deals but there are some significant sections on religious observance and magic. A law enacted in 329AD does recognise this might be a problem when it forbids any old person to say they are a priest and also says a new one can only be appointed once the old one dies. The problem was recognised and dealt with.
319 Arius Alexandrian priest Arius (250-336) poses serious threat to church's tax-exemption status by publicly denouncing divinity of Christ. Missed point. Constantine was sympathetic to Arianism and did not actively work against it, much less is there any evidence that it had any relevance to the tax-exemption of the "church". Also, Arius did not denounce the "divinity of Christ"; he agreed Christ was divine, but simply not eternal.
321 Sunday holiday Constantine orders Sunday to become public holiday in accordance with Old Testament teachings. Invalid. The OT teaches nothing about Sunday; it refers to the Sabbath, which was Saturday. He did however place Sunday "under the protection of the State," and in so doing was no different than past emperors who did the same for other religious days.
325 Nicean Council Constantine calls for Christendom's 250 bishops to attend First Nicean Council to settle disputes over nature of Christ and other church doctrine. Mildly inaccurate. See here: Eusebius speaks of more than 250 bishops...St. Athanasius, a member of the council speaks of 300, and in his letter "Ad Afros" he says explicitly 318. This figure is almost universally adopted, and there seems to be no good reason for rejecting it.
325 Nicean Creed Constantine institutes Nicean Creed to unify Christian Incarnation and Resurrection beliefs; Divine Trinity doctrine is approved to attract pluralistic pagans. False. Constantine did not "institute" anything here; the councils did. The Arians had no dispute with issues of incarnation or resurrection, and the idea of the Trinity is founded in Jewish ideas long before this time.
325 Jews accountable Constantine insists on making Jews accountable for Jesus' death in political move to attract more Romans into church. Undocumented. I could find no verification.
326 Aphrodite Constantine orders destruction of temples of Greek love goddess Aphrodite in Jerusalem and Phoenicia. Marginally true. It appears that his mother Helena was more of the one who made the charge. And of course, the temple in Jerusalem was put there by Hadrian after his own destruction of the Jews in the Bar Kochba rebellion, and was purposely built over a Christain holy site. Hannam adds: The temples in Phoenicia, modern day Lebanon, are the famous ones at Byblos. Their ruins remains impressive to this day so the 'destruction' was not terribly damaging. However, Constantine did close them because he found the official prostitution practiced there as part of the cult of Aphrodite to be beyond the bounds of taste. Constantine also outlawed the barbarity of gladiatorial games for similar reasons.
331 Constantinople Constantine becomes Rome's sole emperor and moves seat of Roman Empire to Constantinople (formerly Byzantium). True but hardly a crime. Since it seems this list will from here on in offer several such points as "markers" of history (as opposed, we would hope, to being actual "crimes" unless one assumes from the get-go that Christianity is bad news) we'll just mark these as "markers" and note that they are obviously not crimes.
334 Pagan treasures Constantine steals treasures and statues from Greek pagan temples to decorate Constantinople. Not the whole story. Hannam notes: This is true although we should note he took statues from where ever he could find them. This tended not to be the most sensitive areas (like Temples) but instead from civic monuments like baths and government buildings. As the state owned them he could do with them as he pleased.
335 Magicians Constantine orders death by crucifixion of magicians and soothsayers in Asia Minor and Palestine. False. Hannam writes: Constantine actually abolished crucifixion. As this was the way Jesus died, Christians could never accept that criminals could deserve to die in the same way - especially witches. Most kinds of divination had been illegal through out the pagan empire except for 'official' public soothsayers who could be relied upon to give the 'right answer'. Freelance astrologers were frowned upon and there were periodic bouts of persecution. The Christian empire behaved in almost exactly the same way as the pagan one in this respect. A further note that the relevant law dates from 319AD and bans private divination while allowing the public sort. This seems odd until we remember that private divination had serious public policy issues attached as it was often connected to plots. This is the same as the pagan view that 'official' divination was acceptable but the freelance sort was just too dangerous.
336-61 Aryan schism 10,000 Arian Christians are killed for disagreeing with Nicean decision that Jesus is divine being; Arians claim Christ is created being. Interesting. First, because note the emendation made by one host of the list:"thanks to JustSumner for the correction from 1,000,000 to 10,000". You've got to wonder where the million figure same form in the first place. Second, Arians believed that Jesus was created AND divine. Hannam adds: We don't actual have records for the execution of any Arians at all. Exile was the most extreme punishment used at this point. However, there were riots in several cities during this period between orthodox and Arian factions when it is likely many people were killed. The figure of 10,000 is just guesswork.
336 Asia minor Constantine sacks pagan temples of Asia Minor and Palestine to furnish churches of Constantinople. False. Hannam writes: Pagan idols are not used to furnish churches so this is clearly fantasy. Another reader adds: This is, I think, about Constantine (and other emperors, e.g. Justinian) furnishing a) Churches with columns etc, a standard way of reusing building material in the ancient world - nothing to do with religion, except from being due to the long decline of paganism and a lot of temples not longer in use; b) Other buildings, e.g. The Sunken Palace (aka Yerebatan Saray, Basilica Cistern, Underground Cistern).
337 Constantine dies Constantine is baptised on his deathbed. Marker. True, but hardly constitites a "crime".
340 Christmas Julius I sanctions December 25 as Christ's official birthdate thereby quashing Roman Feast of Saturnus among other pagan festivities. True that Julius was the one to sanction it, but as far as "quashing" goes I find no documentation so far.
341 Soothsayers Emperor Flavius Julius Constantius orders execution or imprisonment of soothsayers and gentiles. Undocumented. Hannam says: No 341AD law seems to exist but see 357AD below.
346 Gentiles Constantius launches persecutions against gentiles of Constantinople; famous orator Libanius is condemned as "magician". At least half false. Hannam says: Libanius was not condemned as a magician, although polemically accused of many things by his political opponents. We'll deal with the other part in a future edition.
354 Temples closed Constantius orders closure of all pagan temples in Christendom and that some are profaned by being turned into brothels. Half true. Hannam says: The brothel point is pure libel but Constantius did order the closure of temples and that they be turned over to other uses.
355 Bishops untried Bishops become exempt from being tried in secular courts resulting in rampant corruption after church becomes law unto itself. Not the whole story. Hannam writes: Large sections of the CTh deal with perceived abuses due to clerical immunity so the problem was both recognised and dealt with.
356 Death penalty Constantius orders death penalty for all forms of worship involving idolatry or sacrifices. False. Hannam writes: Actually, this only applied to sacrifices and repeat offenders. And, as mentioned above, we have no record of anyone actually being executed.
357 Divination outlawed Constantius bans all forms of divination, excluding astrology. Not the whole story. Hannam writes: This heading appears to be a reference to the outlawing of divination in 357AD (CTh 8:16) although we should note that it was allowed again in 371AD.
359 Death camps Christianity's first death camp is established at Skythopolis, Syria; 1000s of gentiles are exterminated over 30 year period. False. Pearse notes: This can only be a reference to the Arian Bishop of Scythopolis, Patrophilus, who cruelly abused Christian bishops exiled to his see under Constantius. These included Eusebius of Vercelli. It was not a death-camp, nor did it last 30 years, nor were pagans the victims. A reader also recommends a site here.
363 Laodicea Council of Laodicea names 26 New Testament books as "inspired word of God"; Book of Revelation is excluded. Partially false. The books are named of the "New Testament" and "inspired word of God" is not part of the description. Revelation is excluded from the list, but this is in the last canon and it is considered "of most questionable genuineness." See here.
364 Sabbath Council of Laodicea decrees death for Christians who keep seventh day Sabbath. False. See link above. Canon 29 comes closest and says, "CHRISTIANS must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord's Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ." That's not a death penalty. It means exclusion from the society of the faithful, which is obviously already happened to someone who Judaizes. See here.
364 Antioch library Emperor Flavius Jovianus orders burning of Library of Antioch. Questionable. This site cataloging Roman Emperors, and making use of scholarly sources, notes: "At Antioch, however, where Jovian spent the end of September, the month of October, and early November, John of Antioch (fr. 181, Müller FHG IV, 606-607 = Eunapius fr. 29.2, Blockley) charges that the emperor, urged on by his wife, burned a temple constructed by Hadrian that Julian had made into a library. Whether this possibly baseless tale was meant as a pagan insult or a Christian compliment is difficult to tell." My friend Hannam here has this report: An item written hundreds of years later by John of Antioch says, Emperor Hadrian had built a beautiful temple for the worship of his father Trajan which, on the orders of Emperor Julian, the eunuch Theophilus had made into a library. Jovian, at the urging of his wife, burned the temple with all the books in it with his concubines laughing and setting the fire. Hannam says: Scholars believe that it is John of Antioch is being quoted. The Suda itself is full of snippets of information but it is treated with justifiable caution by the scholars who have studied it. Certainly, it is very often wrong but usually not deliberately. Instead it just quotes earlier authors uncritically and repeats their mistakes. In favour of the verity of this story, John was from the city of Antioch where the alleged event happened and Jovian did visit there during the few months of his reign. On the other hand, the problems with its credibility are extremely wide ranging. 1. The pagan historian Ammianus Marcellinus was actually with Jovian in Antioch and does not breath a word about any libraries (We complains about their closure at other points in his narrative so was not uninterested in the question. We will return to other these libraries later). 2. Although Jovian was a Christian he is recorded by the rhetor Themistius to have insisted on tolerance towards pagans. 3. The great pagan orator Libanius who lived in Antioch at the time and from whom we have speeches, lectures and no less than 1,500 letters, makes no mention of the library's destruction. 4. We have no other record of there being a temple of Trajan built by Hadrian in Antioch. 5. John was writing several hundred years after the library burning is supposed to have taken place but no one else mentions it. No source for his story is given although some scholars like RC Blockley believe it may have come from Eunapius of Sardis who was a near contemporary of Jovian and whom John of Antioch used as a source. All the counter arguments depend on silence which demonstrates just how hard it is to prove a negative. On a personal note, the involvement of Jovian's wife and concubines makes me feel the story is less convincing although the women could be later accretions. If we knew that burning down libraries was the sort of thing that Jovian or other Christians actually did, we might have a case for believing it happened here but as it is a single example it cannot be allowed to simply reinforce our prejudices. Still, this remains the only possible record of a library being deliberately destroyed that I have been able to find in the sources and those who with an anti-Christian axe to grind should use this case rather than Alexandria. Furthermore, it does illustrate that Christian writers were happy to report such things and repeat them from other sources. Contrary to the allegations of many sceptics, the Christian scribes made no effort to censor this alleged misdeed of Jovian even though he was a Christian emperor.
364 Imperial edicts 3 Imperial edicts order confiscation of all pagan temple properties and punishment by death for participation in any form of pagan ritual. False, by all appearances. It is rather reported here that the emperor "established freedom for all forms of worship, even paganism, but forbade magical sacrifices," which even the pagan emperors didn't always approve of (note that Druidism was called a superstition as well). There is evidence of private acts against pagan temples. The opposing view comes from unrelaible sources; see here, and the link in the above entry, which notes that sacrifices obviously did continue.
365 Christian command. Imperial edict forbids any gentile or non-Christian officer from commanding Christian soldiers. And the problem is, what? Even if true this seems no more than a matter of not wanting a pagan in a position to order a Christian to do something they object to. But Pearse notes: In 364 Valentinian and Valens became emperors. The sources for their reigns are Ammianus Marcellinus, Zosimus, the Codex Theodosianus, the Epitome de Caesaribus, Socrates, Sozomen and Theodoret. (All of these are online in English apart from Ammianus). None contain this story, which sounds like something from the fifth century. Ammianus sums up the character of Valentinian: "In the last place his reign was distinguished for religious tolerance. He took a neutral position between opposing faiths, and never troubled anyone by ordering him to adopt this or that mode of worship. He made no attempt to fasten his own beliefs on the necks of his subjects but left the various cults undisturbed as he found them." 30.9.1, Penguin trans. p.407.
366-83 Damasus I Damasus I (366-383) hires thugs to massacre rival Ursinians (Liberians). Not the whole story. As noted here, He was elected pope in October, 366, by a large majority, but a number of over-zealous adherents of the deceased Liberius rejected him, chose the deacon Ursinus (or Ursicinus), had the latter irregularly consecrated, and resorted to much violence and bloodshed in order to seat him in the Chair of Peter. Many details of this scandalous conflict are related in the highly prejudiced "Libellus Precum" (P.L., XIII, 83-107), a petition to the civil authority on the part of Faustinus and Marcellinus, two anti-Damasan presbyters (cf. also Ammianus Marcellinus, Rer. Gest., XXVII, c. iii). Valentinian recognized Damasus and banished (367) Ursinus to Cologne, whence he was later allowed to return to Milan, but was forbidden to come to Rome or its vicinity. The party of the antipope (later at Milan an adherent of the Arians and to the end a contentious pretender) did not cease to persecute Damasus. An accusation of adultery was laid against him (378) in the imperial court, but he was exonerated by Emperor Gratian himself (Mansi, Coll. Conc., III, 628) and soon after by a Roman synod of forty-four bishops (Liber Pontificalis, ed. Duchesne, s.v.; Mansi, op. cit., III, 419) which also excommunicated his accusers. And also here from a reputable historians' work: The second occasion was the much more serious affair of Ursinus fifty years later. This dispute went back to the exile of Pope Liberius in 356 for his opposition to the Arian emperor, Constantius II. Liberius exiled, the government installed in his place Felix, his archdeacon. Three years later Liberius was allowed to return and, although the government seems to have had in mind a regime where Liberius and Felix would together rule the Roman Church, the faithful were of another mind. They rose and Felix fled. Later he returned, and made another bid for power. He was once more defeated and thenceforward lived in retirement until his death (365) when, thanks to the tact and clemency of Liberius, his followers submitted and unity was restored. Nine months later, however, before there had been time for the old bitterness to disappear, and while the expediency of Liberius’ policy was still a subject of bitter disagreement, Liberius too died. The minority of intransigeants whom the dead pope's mercy had scandalised, thereupon elected Ursinus. The majority elected Damasus -- a one-time supporter of Felix. The immediate sequel to the election was a siege of the basilica held by the Ursinians and a three days' riot in which many lives were lost. The government recognised Damasus. Ursinus and his supporters were banished. None the less, so long as Damasus reigned (366-384), they continued to be a menace to the peace of his Church. The Ursinians were the rebels and insurgents who were against the peace here.
c366-83 Heresy bull Damasus I makes it heresy to question nature of Christ and other doctrinal points as decreed at Nicea. What's the problem? ven if true, one wonders if it is a crime to delineate the truth and declare error.
370 Gentiles persecuted Emperor Valens orders widespread persecution of gentiles throughout Eastern Europe. Not the whole story. Hannam writes: This and the one below refer to an episode described by the pagan historian Ammianus Marcellinus in book 29. Valens was, by all accounts, a pretty unpleasant piece of work who saw plots all about him. Ammianus specifically compares him to the pagan emperors like Caracalla. In this case, he smelt a plot and acted accordingly but Ammianus never suggests that either the plot or the retribution were motivated by religious concerns.
370 Philosophers murdered Philosopher Simonides is burned alive while philosopher Maximus is decapitated. Not the whole story Simonides: Hannam notes, Simonides was, according to Ammianus, a blameless young man who was executed with peculiar barbarity for not divulging details of the plot mentioned above. Again, there is no hint of a religious motivation. However, the plot did involve astrologers who allegedly tried to demonstrate that Theodosius was fated to become emperor. We should treat this is suspect as all the evidence came to light as a result of torture. Maximus: As noted here, this guy was the one who led Julian into paganism, was his friend and confidant, and he was executed on a charge of conspiracy.
372 Hellenes exterminated Emperor Valens orders extermination of Hellenes in Asia Minor. Not the whole story. A few issues here. Valens was an Arian heretic and was not well-loved by the populace; he "faced constant revolts". I can find no documentation of this specific claim anywhere yet except sites repeating this list. Pearse adds: Since paganism lingered much later than this, I suspect this is all nonsense.
372-444 Manichaeans Emperor Valens orders extermination of Manichaean Christian sect for preaching non-Nicean doctrines; numerous thousands persecuted over 70 year period. Out of order. Since Valens was a non-Nicean himself, it seems a little odd that he would persecute anyone for "preaching non-Nicean doctrines." It is noted here that he persecuted "Nicene Christians and pagan philosophers." Hannam adds: However, there are numerous laws specifically against Manicheans in CTh. This continued the pagan attitude that had also persecuted them.
380 Official religion Emperor Flavius Theodosius declares Christianity official religion of Roman Empire. Somewhat true. In this and what follows we have data from here. Theodosius made his "first edict about religion, issued at Thessalonica, Feb. 28, 380, and addressed to the people of Constantinople. It orders that the religion which St. Peter taught the Romans and which Damasus of Rome and Peter of Alexandria profess, should be believed by all nations; that Father, Son, and Holy Ghost should be equally adored; that the adherent of this doctrine should be called Catholic Christians, while all others were to be designated heretics, their places of assembly refused the name of churches, and their souls threatened with divine punishment."
380 Illegal to disagree Theodosius reinforces Damasus I's decree and makes it illegal for believers to question church doctrine. Not the whole story. Hannam writes: The law in the CTh that this refers to is purely a matter of public order. Inciting a religious mob was what they were trying to outlaw here.
c380 Unbelievers "insane" Theodosius condemns unbelievers as "demented and insane" and orders they "be smitten first by divine vengeance and secondly by retribution of our own initiative". Not the whole story. A common translation of this found online on popular sites is, We command that those persons who follow this rule shall embrace the name of Catholic Christians. The rest, however, whom We adjudge demented and insane, shall sustain the infamy of heretical dogmas, their meeting places shall not receive the name of churches, and they shall be smitten first by divine vengeance and secondly by the retributions of Our own initiative, which We shall assume in accordance with the divine judgment. However, a more nuanced translation at an academic site here puts it this way: It is our desire that all the various nation which are subject to our clemency and moderation, should continue to the profession of that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, as it has been preserved by faithful tradition and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness. According to the apostolic teaching and the doctrine of the Gospel, let us believe in the one diety of the father, Son and Holy Spirit, in equal majesty and in a holy Trinity. We authorize the followers of this law to assume the title Catholic Christians; but as for the others, since in out judgment they are foolish madmen, we decree that the shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics, and shall not presume to give their conventicles the name of churches. They will suffer in the first place the chastisement of divine condemnation an the second the punishment of out authority, in accordance with the will of heaven shall decide to inflict. Theodosius sounds no different here than the Old Testament, or Tacitus calling the Christians and Jews names on his own.
381 Christ's divinity Council of Theodosius at Constantinople declares Jesus had truly human soul. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
381 Temples profaned Christians turn Constantinople's Temple of Aphrodite into brothel and Temple of Artemis into stables. Unverified. Another amateur site says that the Temple of Aphrodite was turned into a chariot garage!
382 Hallelujah Hallelu-jah "glory to Yahweh" introduced to Christian mass. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitutes a "crime".
383 Latin gospels Jerome (342-420) presents Pope Damasus I with new Latin gospels, claiming "originals lost". Out of order. Actually Damasus "induced Saint Jerome to undertake his famous revision of the earlier Latin versions of the Bible". What "originals" are in view here are hard to say (Greek mss.? -- untenable if so; we still have some from prior to Jerome)
c383 Sex Jerome reinforces sexual repression by preaching that "a husband commits a sin if he enjoys sex with his wife too much". Undocumented. This reference appears online only in this list, with no documentation. Perhaps they have in mind a quote where Jerome says, "The truth is that, in view of the purity of the body of Christ, all sexual intercourse is unclean." In context Jerome refers back to the specific case of David and his men abstaining from women and being eligible to eat the shewbread. In essence Jerome is saying that a mind that is on sex is not a mind that is prepared to consider the holy; it is no different than Paul advising prayer and then coming together sexually.
383 Adultery Damasus I is convicted of adultery by 44 bishops but has case overthrown after church patron Emperor Gratian intervenes. Not the whole story. It is said here, An accusation of adultery was laid against him (378) in the imperial court, but he was exonerated by Emperor Gratian himself (Mansi, Coll. Conc., III, 628) and soon after by a Roman synod of forty-four bishops (Liber Pontificalis, ed. Duchesne, s.v.; Mansi, op. cit., III, 419) which also excommunicated his accusers." The 44 bishops were his defenders, not his convictors!
385 Priscillian Ascetic leader Priscillian and 6 followers are beheaded by bishops of Trier, Germany, for doubting Trinity and Resurrection. Not the whole story. See here. The charge was actually magic; the execution was ordered by the emperor, and both the emperor and the lead prosecutor were censured by the pope.
386 Pagan temples Christians destroy pagan temples: "If (Christians) hear of a place with something worth raping away, they immediately claim someone is making sacrifices there". Questionable. Hannam writes: The quote probably comes from the master of rhetoric in Antioch, Libanius. He was a famous pagan teacher for whom we have thousands of letters extant (so much for Christians destroying all pagan literature) and he is frequently very rude about Christianity. How much we can take his words seriously is a matter of debate but he certainly did have a bee in his bonnet that his own old religion was rapidly being superceeded. One of the reasons that Christianity succeeded is stated in an illuminating passage by the pagan Emperor and friend of Libanius, Julian the Apostate. In his own diatribe against Christians, written about 360AD, Julian complains bitterly that whereas as followers of Jesus look after the poor and ill, pagans are put to shame by their own lack of charity.
388 Public discussion Emperor Theodosius introduces law prohibiting discussion of religious doctrine outside church. Undocumented. Rather hard to evaluate without a citation.
389 Pagan calendars Theodosius outlaws all non-Christian calendars. True, but spun. See here; the Roman calendar named days after pagan gods, and this happened three years earlier.
391 Temple visits Theodosius prohibits visits to pagan temples and even merely looking at pagan statues becomes criminal offence. True. Hannam writes: This is found in the CTh where all idols are, yet again, ordered removed.
395 Paganism prohibited Theodosius introduces law making paganism criminal offence and orders banning of pagan events including Olympic Games. Not the whole story. By this time the games had become nothing but a circus rife with cheating and gambling.
396 Paganism treasonable Emperor Flavius Arcadius orders paganism to be treated as high treason; few remaining priests are imprisoned. Not the whole story. Hannam writes: According to the CTh, high treason was to make sacrifices of 'innocent victims' and read fortunes in the entrails. This may be an enactment against rumours of human sacrifice although we have no evidence pagans were doing this it may have been a libel against them at the time.
397-399 Paganism destroyed Emperor Arcadius orders destruction of almost all pagan temples. True. See here ; this year was one of "widespread destruction of pagan temples throughout the Roman world". However, Hannam adds: The laws against temples were reenacted so often that modern scholars now believe that no one was taking any notice. Without any police, it was impossible to enforce laws like this. The large number of temples still standing around the Roman Empire, to this day, testifies to the rather relaxed attitude of the population to them....The CTh is confusing on this point. In August 399 a law is enacted to destroy all temples but is immediately revoked (twice) by laws saying that temples are imperial property and must not be damaged once idols had been removed. It seems that once the building was no longer used for pagan worship, it was to be preserved for other uses. Simple vandalism was not to be tolerated.
398 Pagan books banned Fourth Council of Carthage forbids bishops from reading pagan books. False. Pearse writes: This is horribly misleading. The Council of Carthage forbade anything to be read in church as scripture other than the canonical scriptures (Canon 24). The bishops of the Christian church modelled their writings on the classics, and pagan texts remained the standard in the schools in the Eastern empire to the end in 1453.
398-403 Slavery John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople (398-403), quotes Titus 2:9-10 to support slavery: "The slave should be resigned to his lot; "in obeying his master he is obeying God". If true, irrelevant. See series here. However, Pearse notes: I can find nothing in his works in those words. His thoughts are outlined in Homily 22 on Ephesians (here) and are simply biblical.
405 Palestine Chrysostom calls on wealthy Christian women to help fund his crusades throughout Palestine. That would be a little hard since Chrysostom was in exile at the time and not going on any "crusade" anywhere.
408 St Augustine St Augustine of Hippo (354-430) orders massacre of 100s of pagans at Calama, Algeria, after his Christian conversion in 386. Not the whole story. 408 actually saw riots insitgated by the pagans of Calama, in which the bishop Possidius nearly lost his life (see here) and Augustine was but one of several bishops present. The riots were instigated by pagans wanting to reinstate pagan festivals, and the pagans also wrecked the church (see here) as a reaction . In other words, the pagans could dish it out, but they couldn't take it. As far as Augustine giving any orders, and hundreds being killed, I find as yet no documentation other than copies of this list.
413 Slavery Augustine begins writing City of God where he claims: "slavery is now penal in character and planned by that law which commands the preservation of the natural order and forbids disturbance". True. But see the series linked above. Roman slavery was indeed most often "penal" in nature.
415 Hypatia Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria (376-444), executes pagan philosopher Hypatia (375-415) for being woman going against God's will by teaching men; Christian mob parades her mutilated body through Alexandrian streets. Half-truth. See here. She was killed in a riot: In one of these riots, in 422, the prefect Callistus was killed, and in another was committed the murder of a female philosopher Hypatia, a highly-respected teacher of neo-Platoism, of advanced age and (it is said) many virtues. She was a friend of Orestes, and many believed that she prevented a reconciliation between the prefect and patriarch. A mob led by a lector, named Peter, dragged her to a church and tore her flesh with potsherds til she died. This brought great disgrace, says Socrates, on the Church of Alexandria and on its bishop; but a lector at Alexandria was not a cleric (Scr., V, xxii), and Socrates does not suggest that Cyril himself was to blame. Damascius, indeed, accuses him, but he is a late authority and a hater of Christians.
c415 Jews expelled Cyril has all Jews expelled from Alexandria; North African pagan priests are hunted down and crucified or burned alive. Half-truth. See link above: He also drove out of Alexandria the Jews, who had formed a flourishing community there since Alexander the Great. But they had caused tumults and had massacred the Christians, to defend whom Cyril himself assembled a mob. This may have been the only possible defence, since the Prefect of Egypt, Orestes, who was very angry at the expulsion of the Jews was also jealous of the power of Cyril, which certainly rivaled his own. I find nothing so far on pagan priests.
416 Bithynia Christian inquisitor Hypatius, "Sword of God", exterminates few remaining gentiles of Bithynia. Unverified. See biography here. He was unlikely to have the power to do such a thing and is called the "Sword of God" nowhere except in repeats of this list. Hannam notes the anachronism of referring to an "Inquisitor" when the Inquisition would not happen for centuries.
416 Public offices Edict introduced in Constantinople makes it illegal for non-Christians to hold positions as judges, army officers or public employees. To be expected, since being in such positions required swearing oaths of loyalty to God. This was simply typical of how religion and state were intertwined in this day, just as it was when pagans were in charge.
418 Original Sin African Bishop Alypius offers bribe of 80 Numidian stallions for church to accept Augustine's doctrine of original sin into its teachings. Not relevant to me, since I reject the Agustinian take on this (see here); however I can find no reliable source yet that verifies this. One page cites "Peter Brown in Augustine of Hippo (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press. 19703, pg. 362." Pearse writes: In Brown, which I happen to have (and the words and ref are right), the reference is given as 'Op. imp. I. 42'. I think this is probably Augustine, "opus imperfectum contra Iulianum", which is a work against Julian of Eclanum. [CPL 351 or 356] Pearse refers to a site here and says, The work contains accusations by Julian, and the responses of Augustine:
"42. IUL. Vociferans cum feminis, cunctisque canibus et tribunis, quibus octoginta aut amplius equos tota Africa saginatos collega tuus nuper adduxit Alypius.
AUG. Aut calumniaris, aut nescis quid loquaris; et ideo, aut mendax, aut temerarius, ista loqueris. Quid te autem nequius, si haec ipse finxisti? Quid stolidius, si fingentibus credidisti? Iam vero quod etiam scribere ausus es, neque veritus ne ad ea loca libri pervenirent tui, quae terra marique transeuntem seu venientem collegam meum Alypium susceperunt, ubi legi apertissime tua falsiloquia sine tua irrisione vel potius detestatione non possunt; cui, non dico impudentiae, sed dementiae comparatur?"
Julian: The women clamouring loudly and the tribunes barking like dogs, to whom recently your colleague Alypius led 80 or more horses fattened in every part of Africa.
Augustine: Either you slander, or you don't know what you're saying; and so you're either telling a lie or speaking rashly. Who is wickeder than you, if you made this up? Who is stupider, if you believe this fabrication? Now truly what you have also dared to write, neither afraid lest your books should come to those places, where they received my colleague Alypius as he visited or passed through by land or sea, where your falsehood cannot be read openly without ridicule or more likely detestation; these are, I do not say impudences, but insanities.
So it's an ancient accusation, which Augustine simply denies. Making such fraudulent allegations was a common part of imperial-religious politics of the period, rather than church history. (Rather like Athanasius being indicted for chopping off someone's hand, and being able to produce the person in question: with two hands!)
c418 Damnation Augustine's doctrine of original sin is accepted along with his teaching that anyone who does not choose to follow Christ is damned for all eternity. Partly true. Original sin as Augustine forumulated it did come up at this time (though see here for corrective); but the idea of eternal damnation was already in Judaism before Christ.
420-1100 Dark Ages Church engineers complete control over education; reading and writing are restricted only to potential priests and knowledge outside church is suppressed. False. Hannam writes: This is completely untrue. First off, we should note that modern scholars no longer talk about the Dark Ages because they were not very dark. Instead they are called the early middle ages as this is less judgemental. In fact, the reason learning collapsed outside the church is that the brutal military despotism of the Roman Empire, that could support a tiny cultured elite by exploiting the vast proportion of the population was destroyed by invasions of Germanic people like the Angles, Saxons, Franks, Vandals and Goths. It is interesting to note that the Greek word for leisure is 'studios' and the Roman word for 'school' means 'games'. For Greeks and Romans, learning was for the leisured upper classes and once they were overthrown, learning disappeared except in the church which preserved it. For this we should all be extremely grateful.
420-1100 Religion rules "There was a time when religion ruled the world; it is known as the Dark Ages" - Ruth Hurmence Green (1915-81). Unworthy authority. Ruth Green was a grandmother and not a scholar. That she made the mistake of referring to the "Dark Ages" at all (per Hannam above) speaks for itself.
420-1100 Medicine Advances in Greek and Roman medicine and hygiene are declared heretical; plague sweeps Europe resulting in huge casualties. False. Hannam writes: The plague was actually caused by a global drop in temperature which made the germ in question more virulent. Greek and Roman medical advances were not declared heretical, and the pagan Galen, who advocated bleeding, was the standard medical authority until the seventeenth century. Another reader adds: This area is an interesting example of distortion, especially when talking about the attitude to the body, and to autopsy and dissection. There is a widespread myth that The Church made dissections heresy. The truth is that dissection was strictly forbidden both in Greek, Roman (the great authority Galen had to dissect animals, hence medieval medicine books was rather imprecise), Arab and Chinese society - but NOT in Christian Europe. And the Byzantinian Empire set up the first hospitals, and undertook a lot of medical reaearch (later the Arabs did much of the same, if not more). Still, it took Europeans some time to understand how wrong Galen was. They preferred for some time to look at their own discoveries contradicting Galen as accidents and coincidence, as Galen HAD to be right.
420-1100 Technology Roads, aqueducts, heating, indoor plumbing and other technology invented by Greeks and Romans disappear as church power increases during Dark Ages. False. Hannam writes: The funny thing is that the early middle ages are now recognised as an area of massive technological change. Instead of wasting a fortune on central heating for the super rich, technology became more practical. The horse collar and heavy plough meant agriculture rapidly out stripped the feebly Roman slave planatations. Watermills and windmills, not used by the Romans, improved industry. Steel production increased and its quality was far greater than the Romans whose mighty legions were swept aside by the so-called barbarians. Finally they had the stirrup that turned the horse into a mighty war machine. There was nothing at all 'Dark' about this period in a technological sense, as historian Lynn White demonstrated half a century ago.
420-1100 History History is rewritten by church fathers claiming world is only 5000 years old. The church fathers? The Bible itself was their source.
420-1100 Science Science is pushed back 2000 years; Pythagoras' idea earth revolves around sun (600BC) is banned by church even when reintroduced by Copernicus in 1600s; Aristarchus' heliocentric theory (300BC) is banned by church until reintroduced by Galileo in 1600s. False. Hannam writes: The amount of ignorance demonstrated here defies belief. First off, the Pythagoreans did not believe in heliocentricism, they thought both the sun and earth orbited a central aether or fire. This is sometimes confused with the sun. Aristarchos did suggest a heliocentric system (and may even have believed it, although his surviving work assumes geocentrism). However, the great pagan thinkers of antiquity like Ptolemy were unanimous in rejectingthe idea that the earth moves and produced good arguments against it. Christian thinkers, far from rejecting pagan views, accepted them wholeheartedly and like pagans said the earth was the stationary centre of the universe. The church never banned anything related to this until Galileo. Another reader adds: BTW, Copernicus did not live in the "1600s" (1473-1543) - another example of the "scientific precision" of CC. The Church did not push science back 2000 years, it pushed it forward 2000 years, as modern science in significant ways first became possible because of a Biblical inspired view of the world. Without that we would have remained with the Greek and Arab views, believing too much in Aristotle and too little in Natural Law or in God using "secondary causes".
429 Parthenon Christians persecute pagans of Athens before sacking Temple of Athena (Parthenon). At least partly false. Hannam writes: The Parthenon was not sacked but converted into a Christian Church. While it still stands in part, it was unfortunately badly damaged in the 18th century after the Turks used it to store ammunition in! Pearse adds: I'm not clear why a state cult should not be closed down once the state no longer supported that religion, btw....I've [also] found a whole lot of stuff relating to the acts of Theodosius II in Bury... This includes references to the closures of the temples, but even so records 'The same monarch had enacted that no Christian shall disturb or provoke Jews or pagans "living peaceably." ( In quiete degentibus, C. Th. xvi.10.24. ) Indeed pagans could not be dispensed with in the civil service, and in the sixth century we still find them in prominent positions. Hellenism largely prevailed in the law schools, and was no bar to promotion, though it might be made a pretext for removing an official who had fallen out of favour. An able pagan, Tatian, enjoyed the confidence of the fanatical Theodosius the Great, and was appointed Praetorian Prefect of the East; and the same Emperor showed friendly regard towards spokesmen of the old religion like Libanius and Symmachus. The headquarters of unchristian doctrine, the university of Athens, was held in high esteem by Constantine and Constans, and it continued throughout the fifth century unmolested as the home of a philosophy which was the most danger rival of Christian theology. Pagans also received appointments in the university of Constantinople.' Legislation in the late empire was always couched in violent language (so A.Cameron & S.G.Hall in their annotated translation of the Vita Constantini). The incessant repetition of such edicts tells us, however, that such language was a sign of impotence by emperors, not of power.
431 Mother Mary Council of Ephesus decrees Mary may be officially worshiped as Mother of God. Not the whole story. This council concerned the Nestorian heresy; see here. There is nothing about "worship" of Mary.
431 Ireland St Patrick (390-461) begins Christian mission in Ireland. False. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime". And a reader with expertise in Irish history adds: Patrick was sent to Ireland specifically as "the Bishop to the Christians that are in Ireland", so he certainly didn't begin the Christian mission there. Also, Palladius had been sent to Ireland, possibly also as a bishop to an existing group of Christians but just possibly to begin missionary work there, about 10-15 years before Patrick. Appearances are that the Irish Christian community was not too successful under Palladius and he probably didn't stay long, hence the later trip by Patrick, but there certainly were Christians already in Ireland before Pat got there.
432-40 Sixtus III Sixtus III (432-440) is charged with seducing nun but escapes death sentence by telling biblical tale of woman caught in adultery. Unverified. So far found only in copies of this list and on an anti-Catholic site. Here and in cites that follow about popes, I will use as sources the online Catholic Encyclopedia, Cheetham's A History of the Popes, and Milman's History of Latin Christianity. Pearse adds: This looks like something from an anti-papist source, and a search on 'Sixtus III nun' online produced several bits, citing a "Peter De Rosa, Vicars of Christ" (from a chapter 12 of A Woman Rides the Beast: The Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days, copyright 1994 by Dave Hunt, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon 97402):
Hunt: 'De Rosa comments: "This theological confusion in an age of depravity led the clergy, in fifth-century Rome in particular, to become a byword for everything that was gross and perverted. ... When Pope Sixtus III (432-40) was put on trial for seducing a nun, he ably defended himself by quoting Christ's words, `Let him who is without fault among you throw the first stone.' "...roving monks were proving to be a social menace ... there ... were long periods when many monasteries were nothing but houses of ill repute. ... The second Council of Tours in the year 567 ... publicly admitted there was hardly a cleric anywhere without his wife or mistress" (De Rosa, op. cit., pp. 402-03).' On another site I find: Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy (Dublin, Ireland: Poolbeg Press, 1988, 2000) page 72. This tells about Pope Innocent III's excommunication of people who supported the Magna Carta. De Rosa is a practicing Catholic and a former priest...The Catholic Encyclopedia entry refers to some kind of slander: "The work which asserts that the consul Bassus accused him of crime is a forgery...he did not write the works "On Riches", "On False Teachers", and "On Chastity" ("De divitiis", "De malis doctoribus", "De castitate") attributed to him."...From: W.Smith & H. Wace, Dictionary of Christian Biography, 4 vols, London: John Murray (1887), vol. 4, p.707: Sixtus III (432-441AD) [...] It is stated in the Liber Pontificalis that in the second year of his episcopate, Sixtus was accused of crime by one Bassus;-- that the emperor Valentinian ordered a council to be assembled, at which the pope was declared innocent by 56 bishops, and Bassus excommunicated,-- but with the allowance to him of the viaticum at the hour of death;-- that Valentinian, with his mother Placida, thereupon proscribed Bassus, and confiscated his property;-- and that Sixtus, on the death of Bassus within three months, honourably interred him in his family burial place at St. Peter's. Acts of the council supposed to have been held at Rome on this occasion are extant, but are undoubtedly spurious. So also is a letter attributed to Sixtus (Ep. iii ap. Labbe), purporting to be addressed to the eastern bishops, giving them an account of what had taken place. According to the Acts the crime alleged against him was the violation of a consecrated virgin; and it is therein represented that the emperor before the assembled council, acknowledging the principle that the pope could be judged by no-one, called on him to pronounce judgement in his own case. [...] NB: Note that the events must be dated to 433, if they ever occurred.
435 Death threat Law is introduced threatening heretics in Roman Empire with death. Not the whole story. Hannam notes: CTh exiles heretics and threatens the recalcitrant with the sword.
435 Two religions Pagan worship becomes illegal in Rome: only Christianity and Judaism are permitted to exist; remaining pagan temples are destroyed or converted to Christian churches. Partly true. Hannam says: This is in the CTh as the last enactment against paganism.
c435 Intermarriage Intermarriage between Christian and Jew becomes illegal; women convicted of crime are charged with adultery and sentenced to death. Unverified.
440-450 Greek temples Christian mobs destroy monuments, altars and temples of Athens, Olympia and other Greek cities. Unverified.
444 Jewish persecutions Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, orders expulsion of all Jews from Egypt. See above.
447 Council of Toledo First council of Toledo ratifies Devil as "a large black monstrous apparition with horns on his head, cloven hoofs ... an immense phallus and sulphurous smell". Slight mixup. The First Council of Toledo took place in 400 and had to do with a wayward group returning to the church (see here). There appears to have been a later Council of Toledo that did occur in 447 that did what is described.
448 Book burnings Theodosius II (401-450) orders burning of all non-Christian books. False. Hannam notes: The reverse of the truth. The CTh shows Theodosius passing a law to set up a brand new school of pagan learning in Constantinople in 425AD. This is to be state financed and to have 10 literature professors in both Latin and Greek, 3 Latin rhetors, five Greek rhetors, 3 law professors and a philosopher. As all the works in these subjects were exclusively pagan we see what nonsense this allegation is. And the law mentions Christianity and theology not once.
450 Resurrection Resurrection of Christ described by author attributed to Mark is accepted into Bible almost 400 years after time allegedly written. Not the whole story. Scribes were well aware of the nature of these verses; see here.
450 200 gospels Theodore of Cyrrhus claims there are at least 200 different gospels in his own diocese; this raises questions concerning why Irenaeus chose only four. Illicit question. See here for why. As for Theodore, this is another one of those cites that is repeated all over the Net without any documentation (though one site cited the notoriously unreliable Helen Ellerbee). Punkish adds: His name was Theodoretus and the 200 documents were not different gospels but copies of the Diatessaron of Tatian see www.ccel.org/w/wace/biodict/htm/iii.xx.xvi.htm margin marker 959 (please mention NiceneMica with this entry as she helped while my Internet played me up) notice the text says he destroyed these for being "tainted with heresy" and replaced them with the four gospels. That's somewhat different from the question being raised.
451 Nature of Christ Council of Chalcedon declares Jesus has two natures: one human, one divine. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitutes a "crime".
451 Mary not mother Nestorian sect led by Nestorius of Constantinople declares Mary not mother of God. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
484-519 Acacian schism Eastern (Greek) Church breaks from Western (Roman) Church after denying divine paternity of Christ. True but hardly a "crime". For a summary see here.
486 Underground pagans Pagans driven underground by Christians in Alexandria are flushed out, tortured and executed. Unverified, but even if true, nothing less than pagans did earlier; in other words, just the praxis of the times.
491 Armenian schism Armenian Church breaks from Eastern and Western churches. True but hardly a "crime".
496 Clovis Clovis converts to Christianity and becomes first King of the Franks (West Germans). Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
c500 Franks Estimated 500 Germanic tribes convert to Christianity under Frankish King Clovis. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
c500-700 Powerful nation Christian Franks become most powerful Christian nation in Europe. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
500 Incense Pagan concept of incense burning is introduced to Christian services. Not the whole story. Incense was used by the Jews, who had an altar of incense (Ex. 30).
c500 Women Christian philosopher Anicius Boethius (480-524) writes in The Consolation of Philosophy that "woman is a temple built upon a sewer. False. No such line is found in the translation online here.
c500 Council of Macon Council of Macon votes on whether women have souls. False. This is a myth. As documented by Michael Nolan, Professor Emeritus in the Maurice Kennedy Research Center at University College, Dublin, this council -- held actually in 585 -- decided no such thing; the myth derives from a purposeful misuse of the council's comments by one Johannes Leyser, a supporter of polygamy who "misinterpret[ed] a story told in The History of the Franks by St. Gregory of Tours" which was about a council (that may or may not have been the one at Macon) that discussed the definition of a word, not whether women had souls. As Nolan goes on: Leyser was inventing stories. His untruths were taken up by Pierre Bayle, a Dutch Calvinist with a marked distaste for the Catholicism to which he had once adhered. From there the myth has been perpetuated.
515 Compulsory baptism Rite of baptism, stolen from several pagan religions, becomes mandatory in Christian religion. Not the whole story.Ceremonial baptism was a Jewish rite; there is no parallel in any pagan religion; whether it was made compulsory at this time is unverified but we'll look further.
515 Zoara Emperor Anastasius of Constantinople orders massacre of gentiles in Arabian city of Zoara. Unverified. So far found only on repeats of this list.
528 Divination Emperor Justinianus orders execution of diviners by fire, crucifixion or tearing to pieces by iron nails or wild beasts. Unverified and we'll keep looking.
529 Philosophy Justinian the Great closes Athens' famous 1000-year-old School of Philosophy, declaring it paganistic and threatening to Christian thought. True that it was closed. See here, but no clear proof it was because it was "threatening". Hannam adds in an article linked above: The Emperor Justinian is notorious for his closing the academy of Athens in 529AD and causing the pagan teachers to flee to Persia, although they all came back a few years later and were allowed to write and study unmolested. He adds in correspondence: In 529AD, Justinian orders the philosophy school in Athens closed because it is self supporting and the teachers are lecturing anti-Christian stuff. State funded schools in Alex and elsewhere stay open even if the teachers are pagans. Then in 531AD, seven pagan philosophers leave Athens for Persia to seek friendly climes but they don't find them and come back within a year with a safe conduct from Justinian. By 540AD, according to a pagan Alexandrian source, the Athenian school is still going even if on a diminished basis. As late as 565AD, Olympiodorus, an open pagan, still has his job, paid by the state, as a lecturer in Alexandria but the intellectual centres are moving to Constantinople to be nearer money and power. We should also note that the school of Athens was engaged in neo-Platonic mysticism and magic. There was nothing rational or scientific about tis programme. (source: "The last days of the academy of Athens" by Alan Cameron, Proceedings of the Cambridge Philoplogical Society 195 (1969).
Reader also recommends comments here.
532-577 Asia Minor Inquisitor Ioannis Asiacus leads crusade against Asia Minor gentiles; 99 churches and 12 monasteries are built on sites of demolished pagan temples. Confused. I found no listing for this person anyplace but in copies of this list; perhaps this is who is meant, per Hannam: Again, not an inquisitor although a successful missionary and scholar. The 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica says thus: "JOHN OF ASIA (or OF EPHESUS), a leader of the Monophysite Syriac-speaking Church in the 6th century, and one of the earliest and most important of Syriac historians. Born at Amid (Diarbekr) about 505, he was there ordained as a deacon in 529* but in 534 we find him in Palestine, and in 535 he passed to Constantinople. The cause of his leaving Amid was probably either the great pestilence which broke out there in 534 or the furious persecution directed against the Monophysites by Ephraim (patriarch of Antioch 529-544) and Abraham (bishop of Amid c. 520-541). In Constantinople he seems to have early won the notice of Justinian, one of the main objects of whose policy was the consolidation of Eastern Christianity as a bulwark against the heathen power of Persia. John is said by Barhebraeus (Chron. eccl. i. 195) to have succeeded Anthimus as Monophysite bishop of Constantinople, but this is probably a mistake.1 Anyhow he enjoyed the emperor's favor until the death of the latter in 565 and (as he himself tells us) was entrusted with the administration of the entire revenues of the Monophysite Church. He was also sent, with the rank of bishop, on a mission for the conversion of such heathen as remained in Asia Minor, and informs us that the number of those whom he baptized amounted to 70,000. He also built a large monastery at Tralles on the hills skirting the valley of the Meander, and more than 90 other monasteries. Of the mission to the Nubians which he promoted, though he did not himself visit their country, an interesting account is given in the 4th book of the 3rd cart of his History? In 546 the emperor entrusted him with the task of rooting out the secret practice of idolatry in Constantinople and its neighborhood. But his fortunes changed soon after the accession of Justin II. About 571 Paul of Asia, the orthodox or Chalcedonian patriarch, began (with the sanction of the emperor) a rigorous persecution of the Monophysite Church leaders, and John was among those who suffered most. He gives us a detailed account of his sufferings in prison, his loss of civil rights, &c., in the third part of his History. The latest events recorded are of the date 585, and the author cannot have lived much longer; but of the circumstances of his death nothing is known." Punkish adds something he found from a site using a reliable source (a book by Harvard Press): Much closer to the capital, John of Ephesus, Inquisitor, began a campaign of forced conversion in 542. The government appointed him charge d'affaires for pagans, specifically responsible for rooting them out in Asia Minor. He destroyed what he called a "house of idols" and built 24 churches and four monasteries in the Turkish mountains and near the city of Ephesus. The great temple of Artemis/Diana at Ephesus, considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world had already been burned down by Christians a century and a half earlier (405). In 558 John became bishop of Ephesus, and started a new round of persecutions and pogroms. Holy groves and woods were axed, altars overturned and as usual, statues broken and temples pulled down; converts who helped out were paid with a coin, the expenses divided between the government and the Church. 70,000 people were forced to convert.
533 North Africa North Africa is captured by Belisarius; becomes Roman Catholic province. Not the whole story. North Africa at this time was run by the barbarian Vandals. Let the name speak for itself.
534-870 Malta Malta becomes Roman Catholic province. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
539-62 Persia War between Roman Catholic Church and Persia. Not the whole story. It was actually a war between Persia and the Byzantine Empire, and the Persians were the primary aggressors.
540-94 Plague 100,000,000 people die during plague which sweeps northward from Egypt and Syria; European population is halved and Roman Empire never recovers. Marker. True, but hardly constitites a "crime". Hannam adds: Also, note that the figure of 100,000,000 is a hopeless exaggeration.
540-94 Plague terror Church leaders claim plague is God's punishment for not obeying church authority; thousands flock into churches in desperation to be "saved". Unverified. However, delivering such an opinion is hardly a "crime".
546 Constantinople gentiles Inquisitor Ioannis Asiacus puts 100s of gentiles to death in Constantinople. See above. There is no report of John (if that is who is in mind) killing people.
550 Eastern Bible Eastern Bible is translated into medieval Greek resulting in much "smoothing and conflation". Vague. Who says this, what is their meaning, and what are their credentials to say so? Translation and paraphrase is done in order to "smooth" a text for its readers, and conflation is hardly a crime.
550 Wales St David converts Wales to Christianity. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
550 Crucifix Ancient fertility symbol - cross/crucifix - becomes official Christian symbol. Not the whole story. The cross was used as a symbol by Christianity as early as the second century; it was not a "fertility symbol" in its simple form (if it was, did the Romans pick it as a shape to crucify people on because of this?). For a more informed view see here.
555 Papal excommunication Vigilius (537-55) becomes first pope excommunicated after conspiring with Justinian and Theodora to kill Pope Silverius (536-37). At best half true. See here. The conspiracy and death of Silverus are noted (though he died, it is said, because of harsh treatment) but the charges are considered to possibly be "exaggerated". Vigilus was according to Milman "designated" as the successor of Boniface II by Boniface himself; it was because he was rejected by the clergy and the people (while Boniface was still alive) that he signed a compact with the Empress (proposed BY HER) guaranteeing "the degradation of Silverus, and a large sum of money, no doubt to secure his election..." The conspiracy was to accuse Silverus of "treasonable correspondence with the Goths." As a result of this conspiracy he was deposed to the level of a monk (the "degradation"); Milman adds that Justianian was in "utter ignorance...of the whole intrigue." [462ff] Silverus went to Justinian for relief, and Justinian sent him back with orders for an investigation. Vigilus banished Silverus to the island of Pandataria (a harsh place where "the worst heathen emperors" had sent exiles!) and it was there he died, though Milman says "whether in the course of nature or by violent means, seems to have been known with no more certainty in his own days than in ours." Cheetham says he died of "privation" and he fixes blame for the conspiracy on Theodora, for her purpose of finding a pope who would be more amenable to her Monophysitism  and expresses uncertainty that Vigilus was part of the connivance. Vigilus was "excommunicated" in 584 by Mennas, the Patriarch of Constantinople, after he himself had anathemztized Mennas, but this had nothing to do with the Silverus incident.
556 Antioch gentiles Emperor Justinianus orders inquisitor Amantius to find, arrest, torture and exterminate remaining gentiles at Antioch. Suspicious. Repeated only in copies of this list. There was an Amantius (or Adamantius) under Justianian in 556 but the only activity he is credited with in reliable sources has to do with Jews and Samaritans who attacked Christians at a circus in Caesarea.
562-582 Greek gentiles Christian inquisitors hunt down, arrest, torture and execute Greek gentiles (Hellenes) across Europe. Unverified. Only found in copies of this list. Not enough to confirm.
580 Temple of Zeus Members of Antioch Temple of Zeus sect are thrown to lions or crucified by Christians before their bodies are dragged through Constantinople streets and thrown in city dump. Unverified. Found only in this list.
583 New persecutions Emperor Mauricius launches new persecutions against Greek gentiles. Unverified. Repeated only in copies of this list.
587 Spain Visigoths of Spain convert to Christianity. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
589 Italy Lombards of Italy convert to Christianity. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
590-604 Gregory I 100s of patrons are deceived into purchasing expensive relics Gregory I (590-604) claims belonged to saints; many scholars now claim these saints never existed. Unlikely. See here: We may note also that, while this and other passages suggest that no great repugnance was felt in the East to the division and dismemberment of the bodies of the saints, in the West, on the other hand, particularly at Rome, the greatest respect was shown to the holy dead. The mere unwrapping or touching of the body of a martyr was considered to be a terribly perilous enterprise, which could only be set about by the holiest of ecclesiastics, and that after prayer and fasting....In the Theodosian Code the translation, division, or dismemberment of the remains of martyrs was expressly forbidden ("Nemo martyrem distrahat", Cod. Theod., IX, xvii, 7); and somewhat later Gregory the Great seems in very emphatic terms to attest the continuance of the same tradition. He professed himself sceptical regarding the alleged "customs of the Greeks" of readily transferring the bodies of martyrs from place to place, declaring that throughout the West any interference with these honoured remains was looked upon as a sacrilegious act and that numerous prodigies had struck terror into the hearts of even well meaning men who had attempted anything of the sort. Hence, though it was the Empress Constantina herself who had asked him for the head or some portion of the body of St. Paul, he treated the request as an impossible one, explaining that, to obtain the supply of relics needful in the consecration of churches, it was customary to lower into the Confession of the Apostles as far as the second "cataract"—so we learn from a letter to Pope Hermisdas in 519 (Thiel, "Epist. gen.", I, 873) ] a box containing portions of silk or cloth, known as brandea, and these brandea, after lying for a time in contact with the remains of the holy Apostles, were henceforth treated as relics. Gregory further offers to send Constantina some filings from St. Peter's chains, a form of present of which we find frequent mention in his correspondence (St. Gregory, "Epist.", Mon. Germ. Hist., I, 264 -66). As for "never existed" let's have the names of these "scholars".
590 Grammar banned Gregory I, or Gregory the Great, sends out order compelling bishops to desist from "wicked labour" of teaching grammar and Latin to lay people. False. Hannam writes: It is likely that this and the next few come from a misreading of Edward Gibbon. Gibbon, of course, was the man who invented the Christians destroying the Great Library of Alexandria and a famous man of the enlightenment. However, he reports the the idea that Gregory destroyed temples, libraries or discouraged learning with disdain, saying "The pontificate of Gregory the Great, which lasted thirteen years, six months, and ten days, is one of the most edifying periods of the history of the church." His footnote is even more damning. He blames the anti-Catholic writer Pierre Bayle for using unreliable and late sources. If Gibbon, the man who practically invented anti-Christian history thinks Gregory the Great a saint, then we would be unwise to disagree.
c590 Education banned Gregory condemns education for all but clergy resulting in society remaining illiterate for almost 1000 years. False. Hannam says: See above. This is based on a misreading of Gibbon.
c590 Library burned Gregory forbids laypeople from reading Bible and orders burning of Palatine Apollo library so its secular literature would not distract religious. False. Hannam reports here, this was merely a rumor reported by the 13th century writer John of Salisbury, who admits he is reporting a rumor. Hannam says: Although there is nothing intrinsically unlikely about Pope Gregory continuing the policy of Rome's pagan rulers in destroying these apparently subversive works we have seen the job appears to have been completed already.
c590 Pagan conspiracies Christian authorities launch new wave of torture and executions in response to perceived pagan conspiracies in Eastern Europe. Too vague to investigate.
c590 Statues destroyed Many ancient Roman statues, marbles and mosaics are destroyed or turned into lime under Gregory the Great or used to adorn Christian churches and cathedrals. Not the whole story. Hannam offers this comment: This allegation is most likely to come from a letter Gregory the Great wrote to a missionary on his way to England to convert the Anglo Saxons. In the letter, preserved by the Venerable Hannam, Gregory writes: "the temples of the idols in that nation [England] ought not to be destroyed; but let the idols that are in them be destroyed; let holy water be made and sprinkled in the said temples, let altars be erected, and relics placed. For if those temples are well built, it is requisite that they be converted from the worship of devils to the service of the true God; that the nation, seeing that their temples are not destroyed, may remove error from their hearts, and knowing and adoring the true God, may the more familiarly resort to the places to which they have been accustomed." (Hannam, Church History, Bk 1, Ch 30)...Gregory is talking about pagan idols in England rather than classical marble statues. It is highly unlikely he would allow pagan idols to be used to decorate Christian churchs. The other half of the allegation is also a half truth. Before the Renaissance, people did not value classical art, especially if they were living hand to mouth. Therefore they did use some classical marble to produce lime - the practice actually continued right the way up until the nineteenth century in some poor areas of Europe. This was economic necessity rather than Christian superstition. Mosaics do not usually contain enough marble to be worth uprooting and were not destroyed deliberately. They were usually buried when the building that contained them was abandoned and collapsed. However, serious damage to still-buried mosaics is currently ongoing through heavy ploughing.
c590-604 Enforced celibacy Gregory I introduces celibacy edict to prevent property from passing from church to possible wives, families or mistresses of clergy. False. Venerable Hannam (if we need reminder, a Ph D student in history) writes: Clerical celibacy developed quite slowly. Initially, it was only monks and nuns who were celibate and this is still the case in the Eastern Churches. However, popular sentiment in the West slowly pushed the church towards all priests being celibate. First, existing priests were forbidden to marry and later, married men forbidden to become priests. However, this was not finally ratified until the 4th Lateran Council of 1215. Even today married Catholic priests do exist! Gregory was a monk and did approve of celibacy but did not bring in an edict making it compulsory. Instead he forbade the sons of clergy either to inherit their father's position or for church property to be passed on through families. Clearly, these measures were to prevent a hereditary priesthood developing and it is hard to see how anyone could object to them....I would say that Gregory did actively encourage celibacy and a letter to Sicily is extant instructing the Bishop not to make married men deacons. Punkish adds: This appears without documentation io Cawthorne's Sex lives of the Popes.
c590 Babies murdered 6000 babies are found murdered in pond outside Gregory's Lateran palace after celibacy edict is introduced by Gregory I. False. Since there was no such edict. Hannam adds, I have no idea where this bizarre claim comes from although similar things have happened. In pagan Rome the exposure on unwanted children was not just accepted but completely non-controversial. One simply took junior to a local rubbish dump and left them there. The Christian Empire successfully outlawed the practice through re-education and making child killing into murder. However, periodically, Roman tips are excavated and the bones of hundred of exposed infants discovered. In the olden days this might cause some excitement as in at least one case they thought they had discovered the bones of the Holy Innocents murdered by Herod. The case above may be similar.
594 Plague ends Plague ends and church moves to dominate field of medicine; Christian monks are taught "bleeding" techniques to prevent toxic imbalances and restore humors. False. Hannam writes: The church has never tried to dominate medicine and indeed, the 4th Lateran council forbade clergy to practice it. In the sixth century, however, and for a thousand years before and afterwards bleeding was recognised as the best available treatment for many conditions. This was not Christian teaching but from pagan Greeks such as Hippocrates and Galen. They taught that health required the correct balance between the four humours of blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. Bleeding was a method of reducing the amount of blood and hopefully helping to restore balance. Thus, far from suppressing pagan science, Christians continued to use it as the best available. The fact that bleeding is likely to do more harm than good is the fault of pagan thought and not Christianity.
594+ Bleeding Tens of thousands die each year by bleeding until practise ends in 16th century. See above. Hannam adds: These figures are likely to be fantasy. Bleeding was used by expensive professional physicians who only treated the rich to it is unlikely many people actually died of the practice. Anyway, it should really be included under Crimes of Paganism.
596 Britain St Augustine of Canterbury is sent to convert Britain to Christianity. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
600 Ethelbert Christianisation of England begins. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
622-80 Monothelitism Council of Constantinople condemns monothelitism as heretics for believing there is only one will or nature in Christ. True, but hardly a crime. See here.
625-38 Honorius I Honorius I (625-638) becomes first heretic pope after Leo X accuses him of teaching Christ as "divine only" amid church claims he was "divine and human". Badly confused. It was Leo II, not Leo X he was in Luther's time!), and Punkish reports: What about the 6th, 7th and 8th Ecumenical councils, (6th dates 680 AD)? Leo X was pope 1513-1521. Anyway the accusation is incorrect: the heresy involved was Monothelism (related to that of Monophysites) which declares there is but one will involved in the incarnate Word; that is Christ's human will was diminished. The Catholic Encyclopedia on Honorius has this information: the Catholics supposed the Monophysites to hold that the human nature in Christ was so swallowed up in the Divine that it was non-existent. It does not appear that the Monophysite leaders really went so far as this; but they did undoubtedly diminish the completeness of the human nature of Christ, by referring both will and operation to the one Person and not to the two distinct natures. It followed that a human free will and a human power of action were wanting to Christ's human nature.
626 Scotland King Edwin of Northumbria founds Edinburgh and begins Christianisation of Scotland. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
627-28 Persia Christians under Emperor Heraclius defeat Persians at Ninevah. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
628 Mecca Arab prophet Mohammed (b c570) captures Mecca and writes to world rulers explaining Islam. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
629 Jerusalem Heraclius recovers Jerusalem from Persians. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
632 East Anglia East Anglia is Christianised. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
632 Islam Mohammed establishes Islam as official Arab religion; rise of Muslims. Marker. And not even Christian, for that matter.
635-850 China Nestorian mission to China. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
635 Wessex Wessex is Christianised. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
636 Ireland Southern Irish Church submits to Roman Catholicism. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
637 Jerusalem conquered Muslims conquer Jerusalem. Irrelevant marker.
640 Library destroyed Great library of Alexandria, described as centre of Western Culture, is destroyed by Christian mobs; 700,000 ancient rolls are burned. False. See here for an extended account. Hannam adds: In fact, 640AD is the date usually given to the equally ficticious destruction of the Library by Moslem invaders. Christians were supposed to have done it in 391Ad but this is a mistake by Gibbon. See here for details of the various legends of destruction.
640 Documents burned Christians destroy Gnostic Basilades, Porphyry's 36 volumes, writings of 27 mystery schools and 270,000 documents collected by Ptolemy Philadelphus. See link above. Hannam adds: Oddly enough, several of Porphyry's works survive to this day and they formed part of the syllabus in all Christian universities. His vicious polemical attack on Christianity, however, was condemned and survives only in fragments. Also Crimeline can't spell "Basilides" right.
640-1380 English Bible Period between destruction of Library of Alexandria and first complete English translation of Bible. See above.
661 Easter Synod of Whitby sets date of Easter for Roman Catholic Church. Half true. "The real question decided at Whitby was not so much whether the church in England should use a particular paschal cycle, as "whether she should link her fortunes with those of the declining and loosely compacted Irish Church, or with the rising power and growing organization of Rome". See here -- and hardly a "crime" even if true.
690 Bible translations Earliest translation of parts of Bible into English vernacular. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
694 Jewish enslavement Fifth council of Toledo orders enslavement of Jews, their property confiscated and children forcibly baptised. False. see link above: The fifth council was held in 636 and was "political in its prescriptions, which were directed towards the defence of the king." In 694 the sixteenth and seventeenth councils were held; the first imposed penance and declared an anathema against Archbishop Sisebert (who had plotted against King Egica), and the second discussed various disciplinary measures.
700 Church splits Western or Roman Church by 700 is divided into four political realms. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
c700 Spain Spain is ruled by Christian Visigoths until their fall in 711-713 to Islamic Moors. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
c700 England England is ruled by Anglo-Saxons. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
c700 Gaul Gaul is ruled by Franks. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
c700 Italy Italy is ruled primarily by Lombards. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
716-19 Germany Mission to Germans is launched. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
752 Donation of Constantine Donation of Constantine, "religion's most spectacular forgery," is used by Stephen II (752) to "prove" territorial and jurisdictional claims to Pepin. True. See here.
782 Charlemagne Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne (c742-814) beheads 4500 Saxon rebels in one morning for refusing to convert to Christianity. Not the whole story. He did execute 4500 Saxon rebels (see here) but online academic sources attribute this act to political motives, not religious ones. ("Saxons launch suprise attacks on Charlemagne's men with considerable success. Charlemagne responds by executing 4,500 Saxon prisoners in one day.") Arguably the Saxons were offered conversion as an option, but their refusal was clearly not the motive for execution.
800 Universal Emperor Pope Leo III (795-816) declares Charlemagne Universal Emperor. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
850 Bible translations King Alfred translates several Bible books into English vernacular. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
904-11 Sergius III Sergius III (904-911) murders predecessor Leo V (903) and establishes infamous "papal pornocracy"; he is described as "the most wicked of men". Difference of opinion. Of Leo V we find here that he reigned for but a month and that virtually nothing is known about him. Furthermore: The circumstances of his death are as obscure as those of his life. After a pontificate of somewhat over a month he was seized by Christopher, Cardinal-Priest of St. Damasus, and cast into prison. The intruder promptly seated himself in the chair of Peter, but was soon after displaced by Sergius III. Cheetman on the other hand claims Sergius murdered both Leo AND Christopher . As for a "pornocracy" Cheetham knows of this, and it's a little off base: Cheetham calls Sergius ruthless and power-loving, but the "pornocracy" came about via "the most powerful clan" in Rome, headed by one Theophylactus, whose own set of ladies was the "so-called pornocracy". Milman [157/3] notes that he has been "loaded with every vice and every enormity which can blacken the character of man" but finds his reign shrouded in "almost total obscurity" and otherwise only mentions the same family connection Cheetham does, and attributes the worst tales about him to "the malignant license of satire."  Punkish adds: This appears in Cawthorne's Sex Lives of the Popes, the 'most wicked of men' quote comes from Baronius' Ecclesiastical Annals (written in the 16th century!)
906 Flying witches Church officially denies witches can fly although thousands later will be consigned to flames based on charges they can. Confused. Punkish notes: In Canon Episcopi. The "denial" is in the statement that it is illusory - "It is also not to be omitted that some unconstrained women, perverted by Satan, seduced by illusions and phantasms of demons, believe and openly profess that, in the dead of night, they ride upon certain beasts with the pagan goddess Diana" - but the document states that *belief* in these things is condemned, one wonders how much of a denial that is.
931-35 John XI John XI (931-935) develops reputation as "debauchee" who courted "beastly women" and "sat in the Chair of Peter during its deepest humiliation". Not likely. He was far too busy with political issues (see here); no documentation is offered for this claim. Cheetham calls him "colourless" but someone who could "be relied on to do as he was told." Milman notes only rumors of him being a bastard (which are not supported by "more trustworthy authorities" . Punkish says: This is a poor use of sources, the actual sentence says "He was supposed to have taken up most of his papacy with 'beastly lewd women'" - Cawthorne p67 without saying where the quote comes from. Cawthorne also cites the rumour of him being a bastard.
942 Hungary Hungary is Christianised. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
955-66 John XII John XII (955-966) develops reputation as murderer and adulterer; reign becomes so dissolute that Lateran spoken of as brothel. Actually true this time. See here.
964 Benedict V Benedict V (964) develops reputation as thief and adulterer; later described as "the most iniquitous of all the monsters of ungodliness". Unlikely. He reigned only a month before being removed by force; see here. He'd have had to have worked pretty darn hard in one month. Cheetham and Milman know nothing of this claim, but Punkish says, the quote comes from Gerbert, church historian (who became Pope Sylvster II 999-1003).
965-72 John XIII John XIII (965-972) becomes adulterer hated by laypeople; turns Lateran into stews before being murdered by husband who catches him in bed with wife. False. Cheetham says "no fault could be cound with him as a churchman"  though he was indeed hated, because he was nominated by the Saxon Emperor. Milman  says he was disliked becase of his "haughtiness"  and was exiled because of it. Neither mentions adultery or unusual culinary habits.
966 Poland Poland is Christianised. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
973-4 Benedict VI Benedict VI (973-974), born illegitimate son of monk, is strangled for his wickedness after permitting women to be raped under his pontificate. Partially false. He was strangled, but the reason for it is not verified; see here. Cheetham mentions nothing of this and only notes that he was deposed; Milman says the same .
984-5 Boniface VII Boniface VII (984-985) allegedly murders predecessor to ascend throne; is later described as "horrid monster" who "in criminality, surpassed all the rest of mankind". True/Differing view. One source shows no sign of murder, but says he was an embezzler. See here. Cheetham says the quote came from a "future pontiff" and does say that he strangled his predecessor. Milman agrees with Cheetham  about the deposition but says that he killed his rival with either starvation of poison.
988 Russia Russia is Christianised. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
999 Millennium Millennium terror results in people donating money, houses and land to church in what became "history's most spectacular giveaway". Likely true. But not much relevant to our position.
1010 French Jews Bishop of Limoges orders expulsion or execution of Jews from France refusing to convert to Christianity. Overstated According to a Jewish site here: Although the Capetian dynasty had been in power in France for twenty-three years, they provided no security for Jews. In Limoges, Bishop Alduin gave them the option of baptism or exile. The Jews sent Jacob bar Yukutiel to petition the Pope. One of his sons was forced to remain behind as a hostage to the bishop, while the rest went with him to Rome. He persuaded the Pope to send an envoy to the area with a papal order "not to kill, injure or rob Jews, nor to deprive them of their religion." This information like came from a source named Karlheinz Deschner, who will be used further on in the list. Hannam has this to say of that author: did a search for this Karlheinz Deschner on the main academic databases and here are my results: International Medieval Bibliography full text search: zilch...JSTOR full text search of history journals: nada...Arts and Humanites Citations Index: one review of a book of his in a popular German magazine. I also found his books at the Cambridge University Library (they have everything) filed under 'Christianity - Controversial Works' wherein we also find Joseph McCabe, Freke and Gandy, the Holy Blood crew etc. We don't need to take him seriously, and the sole reason for using a German citation in an English webpage is to avoid scrutiny of sources.
1012-24 Benedict VIII Benedict VIII (1012-24) assassinates predecessor to ascend throne; Victor III (1086-87) claims he committed "rapes, murders and other unspeakable acts". False. See here: The first of the Tusculan popes, being the son of Gregory, Count of Tusculum, and Maria, and brother of John XIX, he was, though a layman, imposed on the chair of Peter by force (18 May, 1012). Nevertheless, dislodging a rival, he became a good and strong ruler. The only "down" report is that he is accused of avarice -- on "seemingly insufficient grounds". Neither Cheetham nor Milman agree with the assessment.
1022 Orleans 13 heretics are burned at Orleans by King Robert the Pius. Partly unverified. Punkish: Found in JB Russell's Witchcraft in the Middle Ages, 88, that these heretics were burned. Still unknown how many of them were.
1032-48 Benedict IX Benedict IX (1032-48) is described as "a demon from Hell disguised as a priest"; allegedly hosts homosexual orgies, sodomises animals and "order murders". Exaggerated. See here. He is called a "disgrace" for leading a dissolute life, but no specifics are given. Cheetham says he participated in "carousing and whoring" all around Rome but that scandals elsewise were "heightened in the telling."  It should be noted as well that several popes in this time came from the same corrupt family. Milman  does speak generally of adulteries and homicides "by his own hand" and of "abominations" but is otherwise not specific.
1045-6 Gregory VI Gregory VI (1045-6) allegedly practises same occult magic which later sends thousands to stake for similar activities. Unverified. Cheetham and Milman say nothing of this.
1143-4 Celestine II Celestine II (1143-4) is described as "brutal sadist" after having one Count Jordan strapped naked to scalding iron chair and ordering red-hot crown to be nailed to his head. Unlikely. He reigned only six months and (see here) "added to great learning the reputation of a grave and upright priest." Milman [242/4] says his only act was "one of gentleness and peace" when he gave a benediction to France. This claim is repeated only in this list. (Yes, it is also out of chronological order in the list.)
c1049 Odo of Cluny Odo (1030-97), Bishop of Bayeux, claims that "to embrace a woman is to embrace a sack of manure". Pope Leo again? This quote appears in several places without attribution to an original work of Odo. One site credits Joan Smith, Misogynies (New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1989) 61; this happened to be in a library a few blocks from me so I checked it. Smith references not an original source, but Karen Armstrong's Gospel According to Woman, p. 23. I checked that too; a later edition has it on page 26, but with no citation at all. Punkish has some more info for us; he found this quote on one site: "Since the tenth century, monks aspiring to unsullied communion with God, grew increasingly alarmed at the danger posed by women. The Cluniac reform, beginning in the tenth century, was momentous for several reasons. “The Cluny reformers resolved to free the clergy from both kings and 'wives,' to create an independent and chaste clergy. Thus, the distinctive western separation of Church and state and the celibacy of the Catholic clergy . . . had their distinctive origins in the Cluny reform movement.” [S. Ozment] Cluny did not entail a similar spiritual renewal for women — quite the contrary. Odo (d. 942), an abbot of Cluny, upbraided his fellow monks to flee the snares of the flesh (read women): “Since we are loath to touch spittle or dung even with our fingertips, how can we desire to embrace such a sack of dung?” " Ozment, S (1980) The Age of Reform 1250-1550, New Haven: Yale University Press is the likely source. It appears (though no reference yet) that it is not speaking of women themselves, but of celibate monks being told to flee intimacy with unregenerate women. We'll keep looking. Meanwhile Punkish adds as well: 1) Odo of Cluny lived in the 10th century, 2) Odo, Bishop of Bayeux was somebody else (a "bloody and unscrupulous fighter", History of Medieval Christianity, 86) 3) Odilo, 5th abbot of Cluny is the best fit for the date given, (d. Dec 31 1048 Cath. Enc) but again is someone else. (canonized a saint by the Roman church) All three appear in Russell's index as different entries. Makes it kinda hard to track the source of the quote!
1054 Church split Split between Eastern and Western churches formalise; Western Church becomes Catholic Church; Eastern Church becomes Orthodox Church. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
c1054 Orthodox condemned Catholics consider Orthodox Christians affront to papal authority and condemn them as "Satan's henchmen". Undocumented.
1073-85 Gregory VII Gregory VII (1073-85) establishes reputation as "a brand of Hell" and "filthy fornicator"; allegedly poisons predecessor Alexander II and 6 bishops. Unlikely. See here where he is rather described as, "One of the greatest of the Roman pontiffs and one of the most remarkable men of all times..." Cheetham knows nothing of this; the closest we get is someone who called him a "holy Satan" -- because of his forceful personality which was "equally capable of attracting or repelling." Naturally there is no verification of poisoning or fornication; Cheetham also says his enemies faulted him for pride and ruthlessness, but "were unable to find fault in his piety and the monastic simplicity of his personal life."  Milman reads no differently. Punklish adds: This comes mostly from Nigel Cawthorne's Sex Lives of the Popes. re: fornicator, we find this in Joseph McCabe: "Gregory 'deposed' Henry IV — a new power of the Papacy, which Gregory partly uses forgeries to establish (Epp. viii, 21) — and Henry retorted by charging the Pope with various misdeeds, including suspicious intercourse with the Countess Mathilda! The Catholic writer tells that Gregory won; that the spiritual had a great triumph over the material; that the proud monarch knelt as a penitent in the snow outside the gates of the Castle of Cannossa and begged absolution. This picture is taken from the monkish chronicle of Lambert of Hersfeld, which has been heavily discredited." from:The Popes and their Church, chapter 4 (online) This is confirmed here (article on Lambert of Hersfeld) where it agrees that several academics have acknowledged Lambert's "very subjective coloring [of] historical facts" and even charging him with wilful falsification! Take that, Crimeline! Plus, CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Pope Alexander II says nothing of how Alexander died. (See here.=) Cawthorne, of course, does not give any sources. Cath Enc also says the "brand of Hell" charge comes from those who hated Gregory. (article on Gregory VII)
1085 Toledo King Alfonso VI of Castile takes Muslim city of Toledo, plundering its vast treasures; tales of further Muslim riches create desires among Christian leaders to ransack their lands. Pointless even if true. This is the first of many entries following that illicitly mix political and religious sentiments. These will be marked with the title "Political" and ignored otherwise.
1095-9 First Crusade Urban II (1088-99) calls for European knights to march on Jerusalem under Christian umbrella to wrest Holy Land from Turkish Muslims. Jews and dark-skinned Christians also targets. Political. On the Crusades as well see here.
1096 People's Crusade Catholic preacher Peter the Hermit (c1050-1115) leads 1000s of peasants in holy war on Belgrade, chief city of Orthodox Church after Constantinople. Political.
1096 Yugoslavia Amid confused fighting, Peter the Hermit's peasant army accidentally slaughters 4,000 Christian residents of Zemun, Yugoslavia. Political.
1096 Goose Crusade Scores of German Jews are hacked or burned to death by Christian fanatics who follow goose "blessed by God". Questionable. Seems to have been derived from Gibbon's work, but otherwise not described anywhere I have yet found.
1096 Muslim slaughter 4,000,000 to 7,000,000 Muslims die as Peter the Hermit's peasants follow Christian knights into Jerusalem; crusaders believe killing Muslims "good for soul". Political. However note contradiction to entry for 1099 below.
1096 Jewish slaughter Estimated 12,000 Jews are slaughtered during first crusade; Historian Dagobert Runes estimates 3,500,000 Jews are killed during seven Holy Wars. Political.
1098 Antioch Historian H Wollschläger estimates 100,000 Muslims, including women and children, were slaughtered by Christian crusaders at Turkish Antioch. Political.
1098 Marra Historian H Wollschläger estimates 1000s were slaughtered by Christian crusaders at Maraat an-numan. Political. So how many Christians were killed by Muslims, may we ask? Or Christians killed by atheists? Or -- well, you get the idea.
1099 Battle of Askalon Historian H Wollschläger estimates more than 200,000 were slaughtered "in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ". Political.
1099 Jerusalem Jerusalem taken by crusaders. Historian H Wollschläger estimates more than 60,000 Jewish and Muslim men, women and children were slaughtered by Christians in Jerusalem. Political.
1099 Jerusalem Raymond of Aguilers describes Christian capture of Jerusalem: "One rode about everywhere amid the corpses of men and horses". Nicetas Choniates says: "Even the Saracens are merciful and kind compared to these men who bear the cross of Christ on their shoulders". Political.
1141 Censorship Catholic priest Peter Abelard is sentenced to life imprisonment for listing church contradictions in book entitled Yes and No. Confused. Abelard was tried for heresy (and was probably guilty -- see here -- and died in either 1142 or 1144 (a three year "life" sentence!) "under the protection of Peter the Venable," not in a prison. Hannam adds: He was absolved by the Pope on appeal before he died.
1146-8 Second Crusade Pope Eugenius III (1145-53) calls for holy war on Muslims at Edessa; St Bernard of Clairvaux declares: "The Christian glories in the death of the pagan because thereby Christ himself is glorified". Political.
1147 French Jews Historian K Deschner estimates several hundred Jews were slain at Ham, Sully, Carentan and Rameru in France. Unverified/Overdone. The only verification of any sort comes from here which says of Rameru only: Encouraged by Peter the Hermit, a mob attacked the Jews on the second day of Shavuot (Pentecost). Rabbenu Tam was one of the mob's victims. After being stabbed five times (to match the five wounds of Jesus) he was saved by a passing knight. His house was ransacked, however, and a Torah scroll destroyed. Bear in mind what Hannam notes of Deschner above.
1171 Blois, France 38 Jewish leaders in Blois, France, are burned to death in locked wooden shed for refusing to convert to Christianity. Confused. For the first time so far, it is actually worse, as the site above notes: First ritual murder accusation in Continental Europe. Fifty-one Jews were burned, 17 of them women. As they were burning, they chanted the hymn Alenu (composed in Talmudic times). Rabbenu Tam declared a day of fasting and prayer in England, France and the Rhineland. One of those killed was Pulcinella (Puncelina), a favorite of Count Theobald, who tried to use her position to convince the Count to release the Jews. The Count decided to expel all the Jews left in his county but "allowed" himself to be persuaded to change his mind by a payment of 2000 pounds.
1180 Reginald de Chatillon Christian Karakian ruler breaks 2-year peace treaty with King Saladin of Egypt and Assyria (c1137-93) sparking outbreak of war against Franks. Political.
1181 Inquisition procedures Lucius III (1181-85) establishes procedures for Inquisition. Needs more information. See here.
1187 Jerusalem recaptured Saladin recaptures Jerusalem but unlike Christian crusaders of 1099, not one Christian is harmed. Not the whole story. Aside from ignoring military losses by Christians, this ignores the fact that Saladin didn't harm some people because he wanted to collect ransoms instead. It also ignores the fact that Saladin treated the city with kindness specifically for the purpose of humilation of the Crusaders -- not because he had any respect for Christian life.
1187-92 Third Crusade Pope Gregory VIII (1187) declares holy war on Muslims in Jerusalem as well as on pagans, Cathars and Jews in Europe and England; many communities sacked and destroyed. Political.
1187-92 Stupid loss of life Estimated 1,000,000 lives are lost during 5 year crusade at hands of people historian E Gibbon describes as "the most stupid and savage refuse of people". Political.
1191 Richard Lion Heart 3000 men, women and children are slaughtered outside Acre during third crusade; stomachs are cut open in search for swallowed gems. Political.
1191-8 Celestine III Heresy crimewave is triggered after Celestine III permits marriage annulment if either partner is proved heretic. Unverified. Appears only in copies of this list online.
1198-1216 Innocent III Innocent III declares "anyone who attempts to construe a personal view of God which conflicts with church dogma must be burned without pity". Misused. Repeated widely on the Net, the only sources given for this is a) Peter Tompkins, Symbols of Heresy in THE MAGIC OF OBELISKS (New York: Harper, 1981) 57 and the notoriously unreliable Helen Ellerbee. Update 2020: A reader got hold of Tompkins' book. The quote is of Tompkins describing Innocent's actions. Tompkins not so ioncidentally holds to silly ideas like reincarnation being an original Christian belief.
c1200 Property seizure Innocent III sanctions bull granting church ownership of all wealth and property belonging to individuals convicted of heresy. Vague. However note here: Innocent was also a zealous protector of the true Faith and a strenuous opponent of heresy. His chief activity was turned against the Albigenses who had become so numerous and aggressive that they were no longer satisfied with being adherents of heretical doctrines but even endeavoured to spread their heresy by force. They were especially numerous in a few cities of Northern an in Southern France. During the first year of his pontificate Innocent sent the two Cistercian monks Rainer and Guido to the Albigenses in France to preach to them the true Faith and dispute with them on controverted topics of religion. The two Cistercian missionaries were soon followed by Diego, Bishop of Osma, then by St. Dominic and the two papal legates. Peter of Castelnau and Raoul. When, however, these peaceful missionaries were ridiculed and despised by the Albigenses, and the papal legate Castelnau was assassinated in 1208, Innocent resorted to force. He ordered the bishops of Southern France to put under interdict the participants in the murder and all the towns that gave shelter to them. He was especially incensed against Count Raymond of Toulouse who had previously been excommunicated by the murdered legate and whom, for good reasons, the pope suspected as the instigator of the murder. The count protested his innocence and submitted to the pope, probably out of cowardice, but the pope placed no further trust in him. He called upon France to raise an army for the suppression of the Albigenses. Under the leadership of Simon of Montfort a cruel campaign ensued against the Albigenses which, despite the protest of Innocent, soon turned into a war of conquest... Property seizure does seems to have been a normal punishment though we can find no specific backup for this claim.
1200-4 Fourth Crusade Catholic armies are sent to fight Muslims in Jerusalem but end up fighting themselves; 1000s die as Catholics sack Orthodox Church cities of Constantinople and Zara during crusade described as "total failure". Not the whole story/False. Cheetham [127ff] reports differently. The 4th Crusade was organized by influential lords in France, Flanders, Germany, and Italy; no one "sent" anyone and Innocent was not personally involved in the preparations (though he gave his approval). Because the Venetians were the only ones who could provide the needed ships, and at exorbiant prices, the lords started nosing into the affairs of Byzantium, "against the Pope's wishes and even without his knowledge." The lords claimed to want to help stabilize the unstable affairs of the government there; Innocent was suspicious and refused permission, knowing of several personal grudges by the lords against Eastern peoples. Zara was sacked when a Venetian doge offered to let off half the deficit if the lords helped him recapture the city which had fallen into the hands of the king of Hungary. Innocent was "indignant" and excommunicated the Venetians, but he was ignored. Meanwhile Alexius, who had previously usurped the Byzantine throne and then lost it, came and offered the Crusaders military and financial support if they helped him re-win the throne. He also offered to help with the Eastern church, and Innocent refused this offer and redirected the Crusaders to Jerusalem. This was also ignored. Thereafter Alexius and his family engaged in political machinations that tried the Crusaders' patience, and they went on the sack the city. While Innocent took the conquest as good news at first, when news eached him of the excesses his reaction was "utter revulsion" and he condemned the sack as "an example of perdition and the works of darkness."
1204 Constantinople Innocent III orders sack of Constantinople of which commentators said: "never since the creation of the world had so much booty been taken from a city". False. see above about Innocent. Cheetham calls it an "impressive inheritance" but hardly the largest ever taken.
c1204 Just punishment Innocent III sees rape of Constantinople as just punishment for Orthodox Church's refusal to submit to Roman Catholic Church. False. See above.
c1204 Jews Innocent III orders Jews to wear distinctive clothing for easy identification; during Passion Week Jews are refused sale of food in hope of starving them. Unlikely. Cheetham calls Innocent one who "intellectually and morally...towered over his contemporaries"  and this is not mentioned in the Jewish history site linked above.
1206 Rosaries Rosary is reportedly given to St Dominic by apparition of Mary. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1208-38 Albigenses 1,000,000 Albigensians (Cathars) perish in south of France after Innocent III launches holy war described as one of history's most terrible campaigns. Exaggerated. It is doubtful that there were even 1 million people, let alone Cathars, in the south of France at this time. Cheetham  mentions the activity but does not note any exorbiant level of casualties.
c1208 St Nazair 12,000 are slaughtered at Cathedral of St Nazair. Unverified. Appears to have come from Helen Ellerbee, an unreliable source. Not mentioned by Cheetham, and the name also needs an E at the end.
c1208 Toulouse 10,000 are executed by Bishop Folque of Toulouse. Same as above.
c1208-9 Beziers (France) 20,000 Cathari are slaughtered by Catholic Church commanding legate Arnaud; other chroniclers estimate between 60,000 and 100,000 deaths. Same as above.
1209 Carcassonne Historian H Wollschläger estimates 1000s were slain by Christian crusaders at Carcassonne. Political.
1209 First English witch tortured Agnes, wife of Odo, becomes first English witch charged with sorcery after undergoing ordeal of grasping red-hot poker. Unverified. Appears online without documentation. Punkish adds: David Pickering's Dictionary of Witchcraft p166 has Agnes acquitted after going through the ordeal of the poker, (plus Crimeline has used Pickering elsewhere) but there seems to be contrary documentation which I'll chase up which says she was the accuser, not the accused.
1210 Book banning Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) issues bull banning reading of Aristotle in Paris; another bull is issued in 1215. False, given Cheetham's description above. What seems to be more the case is reported here: David of Dinant was a Disciple of Almeric and probably died before 1209. Almeric of Bene was one of the most renowned teachers at Paris at the beginning of the 13th century. He adopted the ideas of Aristotle's metaphysics and attempted to reconcile them with the teachings of the Bible. His book, Physion, was condemned in 1204, and he died between 1204 and 1209. His disciples expanded his ideas and called the pope Antichrist.. Both were condemned at the Council of Paris in 1210. Hannam adds: False. The natural books of Aristotle were banned at Paris by a local synod in 1210 and the Arts Faculty accepted this in its 1215 syllabus. However, Pope Gregory IX eventually overthrew the ban on appeal in 1231.
1212 Children's Crusade 1000s of children die after they are sent to fight Muslims in belief they would be empowered by God: most die or are sold into slavery during crusade described as "great embarrassment" to church. Probably false. There's good reason to think this never actually happened. See here for an irreverent look. if it did, no one "sent" them; they went themselves. See here.
1213 England/Ireland England and Ireland become papal fiefs. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1213 Peter the Wise English hermit Peter the Wise is accused of treason and sentenced to death after predicting death of King John. True, but more to it. Punkish says: The documentation for Peter the Wise is "The alleged deposition of King John" by C.R. Cheney in Studies in Medieval History ed R.W.Hunt (Oxford, 1948) cited in Yorkshire's Spiritual Athletes: Hermits & other solitaries p132 by Frank Bottomley (online here http://dryfish.org.uk/~medieval/) in which Peter makes the prediction about John's rule being 14 years in 1199 and is imprisoned. When John remains in power after the failure of this prophecy he calls for Peter who accuses him of being a poor ruler & a persecutor of the church. As a result the false prophet is executed.
1215 Heresy Lateran Council decides on death penalty becoming Canon Law for all cases of heresy. False. See here. There is confiscation (just for persons who threaten the survival of the society they live in) but no "death" unless you take "extermination" too literally.
1215 Magna Carta King John grants charter at Runnymede recognising rights of church, barons and freemen. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1215 Spanish Muslims Catholic Castilian and Aragonese armies unite to battle Turkish Muslims at Las Navas de Tolosa, Spain. Political.
1215 Dominicans Dominican order established. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1216-27 Honorius III Honorius III (1216-1227) allegedly writes one of history's most notorious black magic books, Grimoire of Honorius the Great. "Allegedly" is right. No one takes this work seriously except occult websites, and even some of those say it is a 17th century forgery. Needless to say, no reliable source attributes it to Honorius.
1217-22 Fifth Crusade Pope Honorius III (1216-27) launches holy war on Egyptian Muslims which ends in disaster for Christians; numerous lives are lost. Political. Again, see link on the Crusades above.
1227-41 Gregory IX 100,000 to 2,000,000 die over 500 years after Gregory establishes first of three Holy Inquisitions in 1232. Exaggerated. See link above; if the the Spanish version only executed 2000, and it lasted the longest, what about this claim of even 100,000 in 500 years?
1228-29 Sixth Crusade Gregory IX (1227-41) declares holy war on Muslims and succeeds in reoccupying Jerusalem as part of temporary peace treaty. Political.
1231 Holy Office Gregory IX (1227-1241) establishes Holy Office as separate tribunal independent of bishops and prelates. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1231 Heretic burning Gregory IX issues papal bull decreeing burning of heretics and other church enemies as standard penalty. Not the whole story. Hannam notes: Gregory IX issued the two important bulls in 1231 that explicitly authorised the use of force rather than simply handing the prisoner to the secular arm. In Excommunicamus he specified, or rather admitted, that heretics were to be punished according to the animadversio debita or “debt of hatred” towards heretics that meant that they were deserving of execution. Then in the same year he issued Ille humani generis, a letter to two Dominicans in Regensburg, Bavaria, which for the first time authorised papal sponsored inquisitors, who acted independently of the local diocese, and so deserves the title of the start of the Inquisition proper. In the letter, Gregory provided for the use of torture by granting the “free facility of using the sword against enemies of the faith” as well as granting absolution to those who did so. Now the Church had explicitly signed up to both capital punishment and torture in a way that it had avoided in the past de iure if not de more. However, inquisitors were sparing in their use of torture, especially by the standards of contemporary secular regimes, and were more interested in reconciliation than revenge. Capital punishment was only used after a second offence, where the heretic had previously confessed and done penance, or in the case of stubborn and impenitent heretics.
1231 Rights denied Holy Inquisition denies right of counsel and replaces common law tradition of "innocent until proven guilty" with "guilty until proven innocent". False. Hannam writes: In Carcasonne in 1248, Processus inquisitoris was produced by an experienced Dominican inquisitor for his underlings and sets out exactly how to go about the business of hunting heretics. While not a tolerant document, it declares that “to no one do we deny a legitimate defence, nor do we deviate from the established legal procedure except that we do not make public the names of witnesses because of the decree of the Apostle’s see.”
1232 First Inquisition Gregory appoints members of Dominican order to run Holy Inquisition. See link above. True, but see more details in prior entry.
1232+ Thousands die 35,534 individuals are burned during Inquisition; 18,637 more are burned in effigy while 293,533 receive other Inquisitional punishments. See link above. This number may in fact be accurate, but also contradicts the entry above. Punkish adds, these figures come from the 18th century writer Llorente.
c1232 Robert le Bourge 183 victims are sent to stake in single week by Robert le Bourge. Not the whole story. The "victims," Punkish notes, were Cathars -- the Gnostics of the day. For more on the why of this sort of thing, see here -- these "victims" threatened the survival of that society.
c1232 Bernard Gui 930 victims have property confiscated, 307 are imprisoned and 42 are burned under Bernard Gui. True. Hannam notes that this comes from Gui's own book of sentences. However, Punkish adds that it should be a century later; Gui was born in 1261.
1233 Toulouse Inquisition is established in Toulouse. See entry just above.
1234 Altenesch, Germany Church orders massacre of between 5,000 and 11,000 men, women and children at Altenesch, Germany, for refusing to pay suffocating church taxes. Unverified. A political battle is reported at Altenesch in 1234 (see here) but so far nothing else.
1235 Fulda, Germany Historian K Deschner claims 34 Jewish men and women were slain by Christians at Fulda, Germany. Not the whole story. The Jewish history site above links this to a popular accusation of ritual murder, and says: Resulted in a massacre at Fulda that caused the death of 32 Jews. The Emperor established an investigation at Hagenau to confirm or disprove the charges. After hearing various experts, he declared that since Jews are prohibited from eating animal blood, they would surely be banned from using human blood. He forbade anyone to accuse Jews of ritual murder.
1238 Aragon Inquisition is established in Aragon. See link above.
1244 Council of Narbonne Council of Norbonne decrees that all heresy sentences must include mandatory flagellation. Unverified. So far all we find is that the Council of this date delineated what heresy was.
1248-50 Seventh Crusade Pope Innocent IV (1243-54) declares disastrous holy war on Egyptian Muslims resulting in capture and imprisonment of St Louis IX of France (1214-70). Political.
1252 Torture sanctioned Innocent IV (1243-54) sanctions torture for extraction of confessions from heretics. Confused. Hannam notes that Gregory IX had already done this earlier.
1257-1267 English Jews Historian K Deschner reports extermination of Jewish communities in London, Canterbury, Northampton, Lincoln and Cambridge. Unverified. The Jewish history site reports pillaging during a civil war of 1263 (opportunistic, not specifically anti-Semitic) and damage to a synagogue that year, but no "extermination".
1260 Shroud of Turin Date Shroud of Turin is forged according to 1988 study. Beyond our scope, though we see that not all experts have concluded that the Shroud was forged.
1262 Bloodshed absolved Inquisitional torturers are granted authority to absolve each other from bloodshed by blaming Devil for claiming victims' souls. False. Hannam writes: Inquisitors had absolution from the Pope and the stuff about the devil stated here is rubbish.
1271-95 Marco Polo Famous Venetian merchant (1254-1324) travels overland to China. Marker. Hardly constitites a "crime".
1272 Thinking Gregory X (1271-76) issues bull banning discussion of any theological matter outside church. False. Hannam writes: No. But he did ban non-theologians from doing theology. Hardly a crime as theology required years of training and was a highly specialised discipline. It was just the same as our society banning non experts posing as lawyers, doctors or accountants.
1272 Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) publishes Summa Theologica which lays foundations for witchcraft trials by claiming men and women can have sexual intercourse with demons. Not the whole story. The claim of this can be already found in Jewish works about Genesis 6 before Christianity. I have not bothered to search Aquinas for a quote because of this.
c1272 Women persecuted Aquinas promotes gender persecution by describing women as "God's mistake": "Nothing defective should have been produced in the first establishment of things; so women ought not to have been produced then". False. Thomas says, Since it is part of human nature that it be bisexual, woman is necessary for the common good, and intended as an essential part of human nature. Aquinas is actually REFUTING the position described.
1275 First witchburning Angele, Lady of Labarthe, France, becomes first woman burned for witchcraft after Toulouse Inquisition convicts her of eating babies and having intercourse with Devil. Perhaps true that she was executed. See here for a personal cite citing a reliable academic source' note though that the original French source is regarded as "highly dubious".
1275-1894 Witchburnings Estimated 9,000,000 witches, mostly women, are burned by Catholics and Protestants until 1894 when last European witch is executed. Overblown. The actual number executed in the “witch crazes” of Europe was somewhere between between 30,000 and 60,000; not all were women (some 20-25% were men), not all were burned, and not all were executed by the Church. [See Bob and Gretchen Passantino, Satanism [Zondervan, 1995), 33-34; Carl Olson and Sandra Miesel, The Da Vinci Hoax, 284-5). In addition, 3/4 of Europe never saw a witch trial, and the depth varied; Wurzburg, Germany burned 600 witches from 1628-1631, which exceeded the total number executed in all of Scandanavia and Iceland combined for ALL of history.
1276 First Dominican pope Innocent V becomes first Dominican pope. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1278 Bishop of Bayeux Peter, Bishop of Bayeux, France, and his nephew are tried for using sorcery against Philip III. Partly true. Punkish: Political (Robbins, 208) but what Crimeline omits to tell you is that the bishop was acquitted! (his nephew however was executed)
1279 Kublai Khan Kublai Khan. Marker. Hardly of relevance.
1285 Munich 180 Jews are burned in Munich after rumour spreads that Christian child was bled to death in synagogue. True. Verified by the Jewish history site linked above.
1290 Polish Jews Historian K Deschner estimates 10,000 Jews were slaughtered my marauding Christians in Bohemia. Unverified. Not found on that site.
1291 Crusades end Muslims recapture last Christian stronghold, Acre, in retaliation for Richard's massacre century earlier. Irrelevant. Not even a Christian act.
1294-1303 Boniface VIII Boniface VIII (1294-1303) is accused of murder, rape, simony, heresy, atheism and homosexuality; pontificate is described as "one record of evil". Unverified. Cheetham  says Boniface was a political extremist, arrogant, and uncompromising, but says nothing about moral issues. Milman agrees, finding him guilty of avarice, but also notes that his enemies spread so many rumors about him that "even now we cannot discriminate darkened truth from baseless calumny." 
1294 Bern All Jews in Bern, Switzerland are killed or expelled amid claims they had ritually sacrificed Christian children. Unverified. Not mentioned on the Jewish history site.
1294-1368 China Catholicism is established in China. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1295-1303 Boniface VIII Boniface VIII (1295-1303) declares every creature is subject to authority of pope. Unverified.
1297 Palestrina 6,000 citizens of Palestrina are slaughtered after Boniface VIII orders papal troops to kill all inhabitants of town belonging to rival family. Unverified. Cheetham  writes of the city being razed and the inhabitants either surrendering or fleeing, but says nothing of a massacre.
1298 Nuremburg 628 Jews are killed after Nuremburg priest spreads story that Jews drove nails through communion hosts, "thereby crucifying Christ again". Unverified. The history site reports 21 Jews murdered in Rottingen for a similar act that year, but not this one.
1298 Nuremburg Christian Bavarian knight Rindfleisch destroys 146 Jewish communities in 6 months after hearing rumours communion hosts "had been tortured". True.
1300 Apostolicals Gerhard Sagarellus of Parma is burned at stake for founding heretical Apostolical sect. Irrelevant. Punkish notes: See here - Segarelli was executed by secular authorities. JB Russell (Witchcraft in the Middle Ages, 141) says that this sect was antinomian and didn't believe in following laws; hence this would have been a disruptive sect in society, especially since Cath Enc acknowledges he had quite a following. (They were also accused of fornication.)
1305-78 Avignon papacy Popes move from Rome to Avignon, France, causing Great Schism from 1378 to 1415, in which first two then three popes claimed Throne of Peter. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1305-14 Clement V Clement V (1305-14) earns reputation as nepotist and pope who helped French King Philip the Fair to seize wealth of Knights Templars on trumped-up charges. False. As Olson and Miesel note in The Da Vinci Hoax, Clement was only informed of Philip's actions after the fact and was "shocked by the affair." 
1307 Apostolicals Bishop of Milan orders Dolcino, successor to Gerhard Sagarellas, to be burned along with remaining members of Apostolical sect. See above.
1308 Bishop of Troyes Guichard, Bishop of Troyes, France, is charged with using magic against Philip le Bel and other aristocrats. True. See again here. But Punkish adds, Political (Robbins, 208)
1309 Avignon Papacy is exiled to Avignon, France. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1310 Knights Templar 54 knights are burned by Clement V (1305-14) who later declares he had "no sufficient reason to condemn them". Not the whole story. Olson and Miesel note that these men were burned by Philip in Paris ; Clement may have said such a thing, but not as the one who executed the sentence.
1314 Jacques de Molay Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of Knights Templar, is burned alive in Paris. True. See here.
1314 Alips de Mons Alips de Mons and various associates are accused in France of using image magic against Louis X. True. See here though the date given is 1315. PunkishL This is a political trial (Robbins, 208) [Robbins gives 1314 as the date]
1316-34 John XXII John XXII (1316-1334) ascends papal throne to become world's richest man and first pontiff to promote theory of witchcraft. Unverified. Neither point is mentioned by Cheetham.
1318 Dead heretics John XXII sanctions bull allowing heresy charges to be brought against dead people. Unverified. No reliable source we checked mentions this. Perhaps someone is confused by what did happen, as described here: Before his elevation to the Holy See, he had written a work on this question, in which he stated that the souls of the blessed departed do not see God until after the Last Judgment. After becoming pope, he advanced the same teaching in his sermons. In this he met with strong opposition, many theologians, who adhered to the usual opinion that the blessed departed did see God before the Resurrection of the Body and the Last Judgment, even calling his view heretical.
1320 Black arts John XXII instructs French Inquisition to confiscate all property belonging to blasphemers or dabblers in black arts. Not specifically verified. But these were normal punishments in that time, even by secular authorities.
1321 Dante Dante's Divine Comedy is published which places two popes in Hell - Boniface VIII and Nicholas III - along with numerous cardinals. True, but Cheetman says Boniface was put there for his obstinance.
1324 Kilkenny, Ireland Irish maid Petronilla de Midia (or Meath), of Kilkenny, becomes first witch burned at stake in Ireland after Bishop of Ossory accuses her of heresies and occult practices. True. But Punkish adds: Petronilla de Meath was an accomplice, it was Dame Alice Kyteler who was accused of the occult. Brian Levack (professor of history), in "The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe" calls this a politically motivated case (43-44).
1326 Property heresy John XXII sanctions Cum inter nonnullos bull declaring it heresy to suggest Jesus and his apostles owned no property. True. See here.
1326 Witchcraft reality John XXII issues bull emphasising reality of witchcraft and denouncing witches as enemies of Christianity. True. Robbins reports that this pope was superstitious to the extent that he imagined his life was in danger from sorcerers. (Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology, 287)
1327 Meister Eckhart German mystic Meister Eckhart (1260-1327) dies heretic after claiming "when the soul recognises the Kingdom, there is no further need for preaching or instruction". True, see here but note he was apparently not executed. Punkish adds: The source of this quote is "The Birth Within, Meister Eckhart and the knowing of God", in GNOSIS (a news-stand magazine) #18, winter 1991, p21 by Theodore J. Nottingham who is a writer of spiritual novels for children! This site, http://www.authorsden.com/visit/author.asp?AuthorID=821 says he has a Masters from Phillips Theological Seminary, which had a name change in 1995 - and Nottingham doesnt say when he got it. Also note the Gnosis article isn't mentioned. (via Helen Ellerbe's Dark Side of Christian History chp 5, note 18, she gets the page number wrong) Eckhart died a heretic did he? Pope John XXII's bull, In agro dominico, condemns certain of these writings - but not the man himself - as heretical (after Eckhart's death), and Richard Kieckhefer (Repression of Heresy in Medieval Germany, pp38-40, an assistant professor of history & lit of religions at Northwestern University) reports that a previous investigation into Eckhart's Dominican order showed him to be orthodox, a contextual reading of Eckhart's works among other spiritual writings of the day reveal (on the whole) the same thing; and today's scholarship has exhonorated him. Plus Eckhart wrote to the pope retracting any statement deemed heretical (Nottingham glosses over this, calling his retraction "misleading" - hardly, unless Eckhart wanted to misrepresent himself!
1334-42 Benedict XII Former inquisitor Benedict XII (1334-1342) is described as "a Nero" who turned papal palace into "a sewer where is gathered all the filth of the world". Unlikely. Cheetham  describes Benedict as a big man with a plebian aspect and a loud voice" who lived modestly and preferred not to wear his formal clothes; he was "calm, honest and conscientious" and "his only and perhaps venial weakness sprang from his huge appetite for food and drink." He also showed little aptitude for politics.
1335 Toulouse Anne-Marie de Georgel and Catherine Delort are convicted by Toulouse Inquisition of being seduced by Devil, travelling by magic, eating babies and working evil. True that they were executed at least. See here again. But Punkish reports that this based on forged documentation (thanks to Matthew Schweitzer for this information).
1337 Deggendorf, Germany Entire Jewish population of Deggendorf, Germany, is burned after stories spread they had defiled communion hosts. Partially unverified. The Jewish site reports violence but not burning of the whole population of this town.
1337 Bavarian Jews Jewish persecution spreads to Bavaria, Austria and Poland where 51 Jewish towns are attacked. True. The Jewish history site does verify this.
1342-52 Clement VI Clement VI (1342-52) is described as "an ecclesiastical Dionysus" who cavorted with mistresses on ermine bedspreads as Black Death swept Europe. False. Cheetham  does note his tendency to be ostentatious but says his "better qualities came to the fore" at the time of the Black Death, when he was "praised for his calm courage, his efforts to provide relief and the openhandedness with which, as usual, he spent his funds." He also quelled excesses of persecution of Jews and suppressed the Flagellants.
1347-50 Bubonic Plague 27,000,000 die during Bubonic Plague also called "The Death" which many Christians claim Jews started. Vague. There were charges of wells being poisoned, according to the Jewish history site.
1347-50 Jews killed 18,600 Jews are killed in 350 separate massacres by Christians believing Jews had started Bubonic Plague. Unverified. The Jewish site says over 60 large and 150 small Jewish communities were destroyed as a direct result of these accusations but gives no other number.
c1347 Bavaria 10,000 Jews are slaughtered after Christian mobs wielding pitchforks and sickles slash through 80 Jewish communities in Bavaria. Unverified.
c1347-8 Basel, Switzerland 600 Jews are burned as well-poisoners and 140 children are baptised into Christian families at Basel, Switzerland. True. Verified by the Jewish history site.
c1347 Brussels 600 Jews are massacred after Catholic flagellants march through Brussels. Unverified. Not found in that site.
1348 Strasbourg, France 2000 Jews are herded into large wooden barn and burned after Christians accuse them of starting Bubonic Plague. Unverified. Not found on that site.
1349 German Jews More Jews are murdered, mostly burned alive, in single year than Christians persecuted by Romans over 200 years. Historian K Deschner reports 350 German Jewish communities attacked. Unverified. The site says atrocities Spread from city to city up the Rhine; cities included Strasbourg, Worms and Cologne but is no more specific.
1349 Mainz 6000 Jews are massacred in single day by Christians claiming Jews started Bubonic Plague. Unverified.
1349 Frankfurt Scores of Jews are slaughtered after Catholic flagellants march through Frankfurt. Unverified.
1367 Mortuary tax Church introduces mortuary tax or "succession duty" entitling it to one-third of deceased's estate. Unverified. Found only in copies of this list and in a work by the unreliable "Avro Manhattan" writing for Chick Publications. A more responsible site (now defunct) by an author/hobbyist using credible sources says: the Church exacted massive taxes from ordinary people. There was the tithe that all had to pay each year (between 10 and 20% of annual income); a mortuary tax (when the head of a household died then the local priest took the second best beast he had owned ... the lord took the first) but I'd like more than this directly from a scholarly source.
1378-1417 Great Schism Two popes reign during Great Schism period: one in Rome, one in Avignon; they fight over ideology, practices, politics and leadership. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1370 Brussels 100 Jews are burned and 500 "mutilated until dead" after claims unnamed Jew broke communion wafer. True. Verified by the Jewish history site.
1375 Cessna 2500-5000 inhabitants of Cessna are massacred under future Clement VII for revolting against papal authority; women are raped and children ransomed. Unlikely, because Clement VII was born in 1478, 103 years later. It's not Clement VI because he died in 1352. So we're left with nothing at all here but the Cessna reference, and that appears only in copies of this list online. Punkish is checking and reports: The numbers given are about right but the place is Cesena; Clement VII is half right, this was one of the schismatic 'anti-popes' that reigned in Avignon from 1378 & he was a papal legate when he put down the rebellion (not the 15th century Clement, but rather Robert of Geneva)
1380 John Wycliffe John Wycliffe (1330-1384) supervises English translation of Bible but is condemned after he claims papal authority is ill-founded in Scripture. Vague. Wycliffe was part of the whole religio-political process in which England broke away from Catholicism and he did write books rejecting papal authority (see here). Hannam adds: Wycliffe was an early nationalist who wanted the church to be subservient to the nation state. As such he got quite a lot of support for his efforts to set up an English church and eventually died in an unmolested retirement.
1384 Lollards John Wycliffe's followers, called Lollards, are captured and either locked in stocks or burned at stake. Overblown. See here: Great pains were taken to sift the evidence when a man denied his heresy; the relapsed were nearly always allowed the benefit of a fresh abjuration, and as a matter of fact the burnings were few and the recantations many. Eleven heretics were recorded to have been burnt from 1401 to the accession of Henry VII in 1485. Another handful of such executions are reported in later years. Hannam adds: However, the Lollards were soon seen as a threat by the establishment and caused the first burnings for heresy in English history. The number of victims was very small, of which Sir John Oldcastle was the most famous, but sufficient to drive the sect underground.
1389-1404 Boniface IX Boniface IX (1389-1404) builds reputation as nepotist and murderer who sold papal offices, indulgences and canonisations to highest bidders. Half truth. Cheetham reports [1660 an unusual amount of indulgence sales but nothing of nepotism or murder or selling offices or canonizations.
1389 Prague Jews Historian K Deschner estimates 3000 Jews were slaughtered by Christians in Prague. True. Verified by the Jewish history site.
1391 Seville Jews Archbishop Martinez of Seville launches Holy War on Jews resulting in 4000 lives lost; 25,000 surviving Jews sold into slavery where archbishop forces those aged over 10 to wear identification badges. Seems confused. The Jewish site reports rather: Ferrand Martinez, Archdeacon of Ecija, began to incite mobs into attacking the Jewish quarter. The campaign soon spread throughout Spain, except for Granada. The Jewish quarter in Barcelona, located for over 400 years near the castle, was totally destroyed. Over 10,000 Jews were killed, and many others chose conversion and became New Christians or Conversoes. Of these, many continued to practice Judaism in secret while paying lip service to the Church. They became known by the Christians as Marranos. The Jews never used the term Marrano themselves although some knew of it. Many scholars have speculated that the origins of the word stemmed from Latin, Arabic and even Hebrew, but in fact it was the Spanish term for pig or pork an expression of extreme disgust on the part of the Christians. The Jews refered to them as anusim "those who were forced to convert". Eventually, these mass forced conversions led to the establishment of the Inquisition. Bad enough, but not the same thing.
1391 Jehenne de Brigue Jehenne de Brigue is burned alive in Paris pig market after using charms for healing and neglecting to say Paternoster on Sundays. Irrelevant. See next entry.
1391 Paris witchtrial Macette Ruilly is burned alive in Paris pig market after allegedly bewitching her husband so she could conduct affair with local curate. Irrelevant. This is a secular trial therefore irrelevant (ref: Robbins 379-391)
1400 Death duty Church decrees mortal sin not to leave at least 10 per cent of one's estate to church in will. Unverified. Found only in this list.
1408 Bible translations Council of Oxford forbids translations of Scriptures into vernacular unless approved by Church. Apparently true, but proves what? This looks to be nothing more than a medieval attempt at peer review. Hannam adds: This was also part of the aftermath of Lollardy. John Wycliffe was an Oxford don which his colleagues were rather embarrassed about.
1414 Council of Constance John XXIII (1410-15) is accused of 70 crimes at Council of Constance and is deposed for adultery, incest, atheism and murdering predecessor Alexander V. Half-truth. Cheetham notes he was deposed and convicted of " 'obdurate schism', 'notorious simony', and 'detestable and dishonourable morals'"  with no mention of specifics.
1415 John Huss Dr John Huss and disciple Jerome are burned alive for denouncing church immorality, corruption and sale of indulgences. True. See here. Hannam adds: This does rank as a true crime. Not only was Huss burnt, but he had travelled to Constance under a safe conduct that was then torn up by the council. The resulting furore led to Huss's native Bohemia seceding from the Catholic Church.
1418 Papal Schism ends Papacy continues in Rome. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1428-50 Dauphine Trials 110 women and 57 men are burned alive during witchcraft trials spanning 20 years in Dauphine, France. True. See here; several sources are cited. Punkish: Robbins says that the "Witchcraft Delusion Not Generally Accepted" as a heading covering the period 1275-1500 where trials such as this are listed.
1431 Joan of Arc Joan of Arc (1412-31) is burned alive for heresy at Rouen after claiming God told her to save France from English invaders. True. Hannam adds: Joan's death was politically motivated by the Hundred Years War and her conviction was overturned on appeal. By then, of course, it was too late.
1431-67 Vlad Dracula Vlad "The Impaler", described as Eastern Europe's greatest Christian defender, slaughters 200,000 people, many by impalement, during 3 reigns. Confused/overstated. Vlad is not recognizewd as a "Christian defender" by anyone. See here. The number he killed is esimated between 40,000 and 100,000; it is added, Of course, the stories about Dracula's cruelty might have been exaggerated by his enemies....Dracula's subjects respected him for fighting the Turks and being a strong ruler. He's remembered today as a patriotic hero who stood up to Turkey and Hungary. He was the last Walachian prince to remain independent from the Ottoman Empire. He was so scornful of other nations that when two foreign ambassadors refused to doff their hats to him, he had the hats nailed to their heads. He was opposed to the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches because he thought foreigners, operating through the churches, had too much power in Walachia. A historical site here says that he was "a knight in the Order of the Dragon, a secret fraternity created in 1387 by the Emperor, sworn to uphold Christianity and defend the empire against the Islamic Turks," but this is an entirely political orientation.
1440 Gilles de Rais French aristocrat Gilles de Rais (1904-40) is executed after confessing to charges concocted by church leaders bent on seizing his vast wealth. True that he was executed, but false otherwise. See here. But Punkish adds: True the crimes were concocted, but false that the church was "bent on seizing his vast wealth". Margaret Murray (witchcraft scholar) gives the facts: Five years after Gilles' death the king issued a royal ordinance annulling Gilles' debts. In this document no word is breathed of any crimes or offences, mention is made only of the splendid military services which the marshal had rendered at Orleans and Lagny. Ten years after the execution Gilles' estates were restored to his daughter. No slur appears to have rested on the family of Gilles, his daughter was twice married, both times to men of high rank. As she died without children the estates reverted to Gilles' younger brother.And de Rais' execution was carried out by the secular court (source: Murray, God of the Witches, 74) ... Gilles de Rais dates are wrong - birth date is 1409... currently looking to into Bishop Malestroit, chancellor to Duke John V which according to Robbins tried to obtain properties which led to de Rais' financial drain (Robbins 403-4) & whether the bishop acted alone or for the church. Margaret Murray's scholarship has since been called into question, and today scholars agree that de Rais was indeed guilty of the charges (despite confessing under torture) [source: Jeffrey B Russell, History of Witchcraft: Sorcerers, Heretics and Pagans, 78] Further, Robbins says this is political 
1441 Duchess of Gloucester English aristocrat Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester, is sentenced to life imprisonment after being accused of using witchcraft to destroy King. Half true. See here: The Duchess of Gloucester was sentenced to do penance on three several days, walking through the streets of London, with a lighted taper in her hand, attended by the lord mayor, the sheriffs, and a select body of the livery, and then to be banished for life to the Isle of Man.
1441 Roger Bolingbroke Oxford scholar Roger Bolingbroke is hanged, drawn and quartered after being accused of using sorcery to destroy King. True. See link above. Hannam adds: Note that the punishment was for treason not heresy so it is hard to see why this is considered a crime of the church.
1447-55 Nicholas V First Renaissance pope. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
c1450s Firearms Use of artillery and other firearms begins in Europe and Middle East. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1450-1600 Witchburnings 30,000 people are burned as witches by Inquisition between 1450 and 1600. False.. See above.
1450-1750 Witchburnings 200,000 or more individuals are burned as witches in Europe and America between 1450 and 1750. False.. See above.
1450+ Germany 100,000 individuals are burned by Protestants and Catholics in Germany where more trials occur than in any other European country. False.. See above.
1450+ Catholic burnings 30,000 individuals are burned during Catholic Inquisition. False.. See above.
1450+ Scotland 4400 are burned in Protestant Scotland. False, if rooted in numbers from the same source. Hannam affirms also: It is estimated by scholars that around 1,500 witches were hung (not burnt) in Scotland between 1500 and 1700.
1450+ England 1000 are burned in Protestant England. Ditto. Though a low number like this may be realistic. Hannam confirms: The figure for England is indeed about 1,000 which is a much smaller proportion of the population that in Scotland. The reasons for this discrepancy are unclear. Note witches were hanged here too, not burnt.
1452 Nicholas Jacquier Dominican inquisitor Nicholas Jacquier (b 1402) confirms witchcraft as heresy in Flail Against the Heresy of Witchcraft thereby justifying European witchhunts. True.
1453 Gutenberg Bible First Bible printed using moveable type; new technology permits church and inquisitors to spread their poison more easily. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime". A reader adds: The area of the printing press is a significant sign of differences between cultures and politics. It may in many ways be considered he final proof of the positive difference the church made, as it really supported culture, common people and the search for truth. Because of fear for what would happen if the common man gained access to printed materials, the Muslims (the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II) banned the printing press within three decades of the first printed book in Europe, in 1485. This was repeated and enforced by Selim I in 1515. Printing was not allowed again in the Muslim world until the nineteenth century, after Christian missionaries had set up the a press to print books in Arabs. Neither did the Chinese allow free use of the printing press, and the appearance of the movable types in China did not lead to any cultural renaissance or burst of innovations. In the 19th century the printing press even had to be reintroduced in China from European models.
1453 Constantinople After years of fighting between Catholic and Orthodox Christians, Constantinople finally falls to Turkish Muslims who rename it Istanbul; Byzantine Empire ends. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1453 Breslau 41 Jews are burned to death by Catholics claiming unnamed Jewish woman had stabbed communion wafer. True. Verified by the Jewish history site.
1455-62 Dracula 100,000 Muslims are slaughtered by Christian crusader Vlad Dracula (1431-1467) in his attempt to defend Christian Europe from Ottoman Turkish Muslims. Overstated/false. The closest number reported by the site noted above is 20,000, and it was not to "defend Christian Europe" but his own kingdom.
1456 Battle of Belgrade Christians slaughter 80,000 Turkish Muslims during Battle of Belgrade. Political.
1458-64 Pius II Pius II (1458-64) builds reputation as former pornographic writer who indulged in total sexual freedom and "gloried in own disorders". Overblown. Cheetham [181f] describes Pius as a "literary stylist" who wrote some frivolous and erotic poetry, a habit which he gave up when he became pope. Not a word about sexual freedom.
1459-60 First witchhunt 5 individuals are tortured, publicly paraded then burned alive at stake in Arras, France, during Catholic Church's first organised witchhunt. Not the whole story. See here: So flagrant were the Inquisition's actions that the Parlement (sic) of Paris and three bishops intervened and ultimately forced the release of the remaining prisoners, and in 1491 the parlement (sic) "rehabilitated" those who had been executed. It is hard to see how this is the "Catholic Church's first organized witchhunt".
1460 Dracula 40,000 men and women are killed, many by impalement, after Christian crusader Vlad Dracula (1431-1467) destroys town of Buda, Romania. Unverified. Closest event mention by the historical site above is his impalement of 30,000 merhcants for disobeying trade laws.
1464-71 Paul II Paul II (1464-71) earns reputation as worst Renaissance pope who allegedly dies of heart attack while being sodomised by boy lover. Gossip. Cheetham  notes Paul was a hedonist who liked horse races, art, and food, and "died of a stroke brought on by a surfeit of melons."
1471-84 Sixtus IV Sixtus IV earns reputation as incestuous, gay pope who "embodied the utmost possible concentration of human wickedness". False. Cheetham  pegs him for nepotism, excessive gradeur, and unscrupulous politics; one of his nephews, Pietro, did lead a life of "extravagance and debauchery"; but as for Sixtus himself, these sorts of charges were invented by comtemporary writers, of whom Cheetham says there is "no reason to believe or disbelieve such calumnies."
1472 Spanish Inquisition 1000s of Jews, Muslims and Protestants are cruelly murdered after Sixtus IV establishes Spanish Inquisition in 1472. False. The "death toll" of the Spanish Inquisition over hundreds of years did not even reach 2000. See here.
1492 Granada Catholic Castilian and Aragonese armies unite to battle Turkish Muslims at Granada, Spain. Political.
1472-84 Portugal 184 are burned alive during Inquisition in Portugal; up to 1500 penitents per time are punished during public auto da fe "act of faith" festivals. See links above.
1475 Trent, Italy Nearly all Jews in Trent, Italy, are tortured, tried and burned amid unproved claims they had ritually sacrificed Christian child named Simon. True. Verified by the Jewish history site.
1478 Secret Jews Sixtus IV authorises King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to revive Inquisition to flush out Jews and Muslims. See link above.
1481-1517 Spanish Inquisition 13,000 are burned in 36 years during Spanish Inquisition; 17,000 are burned in effigy and 290,000 tortured, imprisoned or bankrupted. See link above.
1481-1517 Mass burnings 2,000 are burned alive and 1000s brutally tortured at auto da fe "act of faith" festivals in Spain. See link above. And it is spelled "auto de fe".
1482 African slaves White traders begin transporting black slaves from Africa to Christian world. Misplaced. See series here.
1483-96 Tomas Torquemada 1000s suffered excruciating agonies at hands of Tomas Torquemada, Spain's most notorious inquisitor, who was allegedly responsible for 10,220 burnings. False. See link above on the SI.
1484 Witchcraft bull Innocent VIII (1484-1492) issues Summis desiderantes affectibus bull triggering witchhunting mania lasting 300 years. True.
1484 Witchcraft mania Summis desiderantes affectibus bull establishes reality of witchcraft by claiming witches can fly, change shape and have intercourse with Devil. Confused. Punkish found the document online from Fordham; Medieval Sourcebook: Witchcraft Documents [15th Century] and it says nothing about flying witches or shapechangers! It's condemning those who destroy crops, or prevent conception.
1484-92 Age of Bastards Innocent VIII earns reputation as ruling during "Golden Age of Bastards" after siring some 100 illegitimate children, all supported by church funds. Overblown. Cheetham  says the best that could be said of his reign is that it was "uneventful". He did father children by a Neapolitan mistress and did use his influence to advance their fortures, but nothing is said of there being over 100.
1484+ Alsace 5000 are burned as witches in province of Alsace after Innocent VIII issues Summis desiderantes affectibus bull. Unverified. I can verify neither this nor any specific claim related to this bull below. However, note what is said here: It will be readily understood from the foregoing that the importance attached by many older writers to the Bull, "Summis desiderantes affectibus", of Pope Innocent VIII (1484), as though this papal document were responsible for the witch mania of the two succeeding centuries, is altogether illusory. Not only had an active campaign against mostforms of sorcery already been going on for a long period, but in the matter of procedure, of punishments, of judges, etc., Innocent's Bull enacted nothing new. Its direct purport was simply to ratify the powers already conferred upon Henry Institoris and James Sprenger,inquisitors, to deal with persons of every class and with every form of crime (for example, with witchcraft as well as heresy), and it called upon the Bishop of Strasburg to lend the inquisitors all possible support.
Indirectly, however, by specifying the evil practices charged against the witches — for example their intercourse with incubi and succubi, their interference with the parturition of women and animals, the damage they did to cattle and the fruits of the earth, their power and malice in the infliction of pain and disease, the hindrance caused to men in their conjugal relations, and the witches' repudiation of the faith of their baptism — the pope must no doubt be considered to affirm the reality of these alleged phenomena. But, as even Hansen points out (Zauberwahn, 468, n. 3) "it is perfectly obvious that the Bull pronounces no dogmatic decision"; neither does the form suggest that the pope wishes to bind anyone to believe more about the reality of witchcraft than is involved in the utterances of Holy Scripture.
1484+ Bavaria 2000 are burned as witches in Bavaria after Innocent VIII issues Summis desiderantes affectibus bull. See above.
1484+ Bamberg 900 are burned as witches in Bamberg after Innocent VIII issues Summis desiderantes affectibus bull. See above.
1484+ Vaud 311 are burned as witches in Vaud after Innocent VIII issues Summis desiderantes affectibus bull. See above.
1484+ Grenoble 167 are burned as witches in Grenoble after Innocent VIII issues Summis desiderantes affectibus bull. See above.
1484+ Wurzburg 157 are burned as witches in Wurzburg after Innocent VIII issues Summis desiderantes affectibus bull. See above.
1484+ Saxony 133 are burned as witches in single day in Saxony after Innocent VIII issues Summis desiderantes affectibus bull. See above.
1484 Italy 41 are put to death at Como, Italy, within months of Summis desiderantes affectibus being issued. See above. .
1485 Cumanus 41 women are burned as witches under inquisitor Cumanus in 1485. True. Recorded by Scott in source noted far above.
1485 Piedmont, Italy 100 are executed as witches in Piedmont valley, Italy. True. Ditto.
1486 Heinrich Kramer Dominican inquisitor Heinrich Kramer (1430-1505) co-authors Malleus Maleficarium (Witches' Hammer) with Jakob Sprenger after being expelled for persecuting witches at Tyrol. True. It's even still on Amazon.com.
1486 Malleus Maleficarum 1000s are tried as witches after Malleus Maleficarum becomes official handbook of Inquisition. False. Hannam notes: Although written by two inquisitors, the Malleus was never an official handbook. The Inquisition treated witchcraft very sceptically.
1486 Women Malleus Maleficarum claims unbelief in witchcraft as heresy and women are more likely to become witches than men "because the female sex is more concerned with things of the flesh than men". Somewhat true. Punkish notes: The original might be, "But the natural reason is that she is more carnal than a man, as is clear from her many carnal abominations. And it should be noted that there was a defect in the formation of the first woman, since she was formed from a bent rib, that is, a rib of the breast, which is bent as it were in a contrary direction to a man." re: the heresy issue, "Whether the Belief that there are such Beings as Witches is so Essential a Part of the Catholic Faith that Obstinacy to maintain the Opposite Opinion manifestly savours of Heresy."
1487 Waldensians Pope Innocent VIII declares armed crusade against Waldensians in Savoy region of France. True. See here.
1487+ 150 male and female members of Waldensian sect are cruelly butchered in one of many French Savoy towns obliterated by papal soldiers. Unverified. May be true in light of the above, but it would help to have the name of the town.
1490s Church spies Juan de Mariana reports people "were deprived of the liberty to hear and talk freely, since in all cities, towns and villages there were persons placed to give information of what went on. This was considered by some the most wretched slavery and equal to death". Unlikely, because Juan de Mariana was born in 1536, some 40 years after this. Perhaps it is meant that he wrote ABOUT events in the 1490s, which is plausible; he wrote a book on the history of Spain, and on the killing of despots. Punkish says: Ellerbe has a footnote here which points to Henry Kamen's Inquisition and Society in Spain in which it is said "The fear engendered by the Inquisition is indubitable. We have ample evidence of it in the mass flight of conversos from Andalucia and Catalonia during the 1490s." Then Kamen gives the quote used by Ellerbe, and adds "The passage refers to professional informers, and to community set against community on the accidental basis of race." [162-63] (see also comments made in entries 1530 de Vargas and 1635 Ginesta for full context; Kamen does not say that Ginesta was burned at the stake.) I also find in Kamen's The Spanish Inquisition  that the report wasn't de Mariana's viewpoint and he himself complained of the inaccuracy of the report! So what's the relevance of noting this?
1492 Spanish Moors Moors are defeated by Christian
armies in Spain; last Spanish Muslims are driven out. Political.
1492 Spanish Jews 150,000 Spanish Jews receive orders to either convert to Christianity or face expulsion from fear of "contaminating society". Historian HC Lea reports many Jews died during exodus. Partially verified. The Jewish site confirms the expulsion but not the reason.
1492 Mecklenburg 27 Jews are burned at Mecklenburg after being tortured into confessing they had defiled communion hosts. True. Verified by the Jewish history site.
1492-1503 Alexander VI Alexander VI (1492-1503) earns reputation as world's most notorious pope and wealthiest man after obtaining power through graft, embezzlement and murder. Exaggerated. Cheetham  notes that he amassed wealth but says nothing of it being gained dishonestly; he also had a mistress before he was pope, but no mention is made of murder. Cheetham notes that a Florentine historian named Guicciardini reported all manner of immoral acts, but takes these with a grain of salt as the sort of vices attributed to "most Renaissance sovereigns".
1492 America discovered Christopher Columbus discovers San Salvador and begins colonisation of New World; Alexander VI divides Americas between Spain and Portugal. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1492+ Christianisation Within hours of landing Columbus procures 6 natives as "servants" before avowing to "convert the heathen Indians to our Holy Faith". Unverified. The quote appears to have come from Ellerbe, The quote appears to have come from Ellerbe, who Punkish now tells us used a journalist as her source! (Hugh A Mulligan, "Columbus Saga Sinking Fast", Associated Press, March 8, 1992)
1492+ Columbus 150,000,000 North American Indians are enslaved, exported or killed in name of Christ over centuries at hands of Spanish and English explorers and pilgrims. Probably not. This is a matter of heavy discussion, but I have found no number by a reputable source that is more than 15 million killed, with some disputing that on the basis of the Native American population never being more than 80 million, with 20-30 million being the most credible figure.
1493 South America Papal bull declares church under king Ferdinand is entitled to all land in South America: "If the Indians refuse, he may quite legally fight them, kill them and enslave them, just as Joshua enslaved the inhabitants of Canaan. Unverified. Appears only in copies of this list online.
1493+ Cortes 30,000,000 Aztecs and Mayans die over years as Spanish conquistadors proselytise Christian faith. Unlikely. See above.
1497 Florence Priceless Renaissance art is destroyed after church decides to burn books, ornaments and musical instruments inconsistent with Christian ideals. Mixed up. See here. It was actually the heretic Savanorola who led this, and he was mainly concerned with vanities such as gambling tables, pornography, dresses, mirrors, and cosmetics. He did manage to burn some books (like Ovid's) and some original art by Botticelli. These works were burned by their own owners; the "church" did not do this.
1503-13 Julius II Julius II (1503-13) earns reputation as drunkard and sodomite who allegedly abused young men including Michelangelo. False. Cheetham calls him a man of conviction whose "public and private life was dignified and free of scandal." 
1506 St Peter's Work begins on St Peters in Rome. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1508 Michelangelo Michelangelo begins painting Sistene Chapel ceiling. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1508 Bearn Countless lives are lost during mass witchcraft trials at Bearn, France. Partly unverified. Robbins p209 reports there were mass witch trials here, but gives no details. Also, this is noted in a period prior to the peak of the hysteria.
1508 Toulouse 40 lives are lost during mass witchcraft trials at Toulouse, France. Misplaced. Punkish says, Robbins, 209 gives this date as 1557.
1509 Henry VIII Henry VIII becomes King of England. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1509 Luxeuil, France Countless lives are lost during mass witchcraft trials at Luxeuil, France. Confused. The proper date is 1529, not 1509. "Countless lives" part is unverified.
1510 Brescia, Italy 140 people are burned as witches at Brescia, Italy. Number off. A Brescia local history site (now defunct) says "sixty or so" with another 70, 7 years later.
1510 Berlin 38 Jews are burned in Berlin after Jew confesses under torture that he had made communion wafer bleed. Slight mistake. The Jewish history site reports that this happened in Brandenburg, but this is otherwise true.
1512 Capernicus Church condemns Capernicus theory that Earth revolves around sun. See above. And someone can't spell "Copernicus" which makes you wonder how much research they did.
1513-21 Leo X Leo X (1513-21) earns reputation for atheism, homosexuality and excesses; allegedly sparked Reformation with indulgence selling and claims such as "How much we have profited by the legend of Christ". "Allegedly" is right. We've looked at that bogus "fable" quote before. Atheism and homosexuality, no; excesses and influence on the Reformation (he was after all Luther's contemporary), yes, though to call him the only inspiration would be overstated.
1514 Valcanonica, Italy 70 die as witches following mass witchtrials involving some 5000 suspects at Valcanonica, Italy. Unverified. Repeated only in this list.
1514 Como, Italy 300 people are executed as witches at Como, Italy. Unverified. Ditto.
1517 Reformation German reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546) leaps upon Leo's sale of indulgences by nailing his 95 Theses on door of Wittenberg Church. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1517+ Protestant support Luther's action receives widespread support among exploited poor who claim church more concerned with collecting money than teaching scripture. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1517+ War on Catholics Protestant preachers reject saint worship, Mary idolatry and sacraments claiming God should be experienced through scripture. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1517+ Religious wars Reformation unleashes torrent of hate claiming lives of millions in numerous religious wars. Vague and worthless.
1517+ Martin Luther Martin Luther is accused of bigotry after claiming women are inferior: "Girls begin to talk and to stand on their feet sooner than boys because weeds always grow up more quickly than good crops". Unverified. This is repeated without a specific cite, but see here for some thoughts.
1517+ Jew hater Luther's hatred of Jews is outlined in Jews And Their Lies; pamphlet allegedly inspires Hitler to exterminate 6,000,000 Jews 420 years later. Not the whole story. A Fordham University page now defuct said: ...although Luther's comments seem to be proto-Nazi, they are better seen as part of tradition of Medieval Christian anti-semitism. While there is little doubt that Christian anti-Semitism laid the social and cultural basis for modern anti-Semitism, modern anti-Semitism does differ in being based on pseud-scientific notions of race. The Nazis imprisoned and killed Jews who had converted to Christianity: Luther would have welcomed them.
1517+ Banishment Luther believes Jews should be enslaved or thrown out of Christian lands and their ghettos and synagogues be burned. Unverified except for the part about synagogues being burned, which can indeed be found in The Jews and Their Lies.
1517+ Anabaptists Luther sanctions execution of Anabaptists for heresy of "double baptism" - baptism first as infant then as adult. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1517 Mexican conquests Spanish conquistadors land in Mexico and begin conquests of Aztecs and central America. Political.
1520 Montezuma Aztec emperor Montezuma is murdered. Not the whole story. True, but he was murdered by his own people.
1520 Luther excommunicated Martin Luther is excommunicated by Pope Leo X (1513-1521). Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1521 Diet of Worms Martin Luther's doctrines are presented before Charles V and formally condemned. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1522 German NT Martin Luther completes translation of New Testament into German. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1523-34 Clement VII Clement VII (1523-34) earns reputation as bastard, poisoner, sodomite, geomancer, church robber, atheist and "most disastrous of all pontiffs". Not the whole story. This last comment came from the German historian Ranke, who said it in reference to political disasters such as Rome being sacked by the troops that were supposed to protect it; Cheetham however thinks it better to blame circumstances as much as Clement . There is nothing of him being a poisoner, etc. though he was born illegitimate, which was no fault of his own. Punkish adds: this comes from Cawthorne, 232 who fails to give the source of the quote.
1523 Como, Italy 1000 people are burned as witches at Como, Italy. Probably true. Punkish: Robbins, 180 reports that "Bartolommeo Spina, a Vatican official, quoted at first hand an inquisitor who said in one year at Como he and his ten assistants had burned 1,000 witches (the actual year is not specified, but it is probably 1523)."
c1523-34 Cesena massacre 8000 people, including children, are slaughtered at Cesena under Clement VII's instruction according to chronicler Paulus Jovius. Oops. What about the entry for this same event back in the 1370s???
1525 Peasants' Revolt 8000 German civilians are slaughtered by papal army during Peasants' Revolt led by Protestant preacher Thomas Munzer (1490-1525). Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1525 Tyndale Bible William Tyndale is executed by Catholic Church after printing English New Testament "so every plowboy might read it". True.
1525 Ulrich Zwingli Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) orders slaughter of 1000s of Anabaptists for crime of "double baptism". Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1529 Diet of Speyer Catholic and Lutheran leaders mount individual campaigns to eradicate Anabaptists. Unverified. The purpose of this meeting was to consider action against the Turks and attempt again to come to terms with the Reformation movement. The Diet forbade any extension of the Reformation until a German council could meet the following year. Charles V declared he would wipe out the Lutheran "heresy." Five reforming princes and fourteen cities drafted a protest, a formal legal appeal, for themselves, their subjects and all who then or in the future should believe in the Word of God. There is no indication outside this list that it has anything to do with the Anabaptists.
1529 Luxeuil Witch Madame Desle la Mansenee is tortured then hanged as witch at Luxeuil, France, based on gossip gathered secretly by Inquisitor-General of Besancon. True that she was executed, but otherwise misplaced. See here. Punkish adds: Robbins, 324 says she was hanged for "homicide, renouncing the Catholic faith and committing the crime of heresy." Robbins goes on to comment that "Witchcraft was not even mentioned in the sentence".
1530 Lutheran Church Martin Luther founds Lutheran Church. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1530 Alonca de Vargas Alonca de Vargas is burned at stake for smiling inappropriately at mention of Blessed Virgin. True. Punkish reports: Herny Kamen's book Inquisition and Society in Spain 163 adds "the atmosphere of denunciation and recrimination would have been 'equal to death'" for those caught up in it, and calls de Vargas case "petty" (but these cases were the rule rather than the exception). His proper name is Aldonca, BTW.
1530 Alonso De Jaen Alonso De Jaen is burned at stake for urinating against church wall. Unverified. Found only in this list online. Lea mentions this man but not in connection with an execution. Punkish adds: Kamen, 163 simply says that this person was prosecuted.
1531 Mary vision Catholic Church considers apparition of Mary at Guadalupe, Mexico, "worthy of belief". Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1531 Anabaptists Wittenberg theologians sanction genocide of Anabaptists; sect members are hunted like rabbits before being mutilated or murdered. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
c1531 Condemnation Luther and Zwingli publicly affirm Wittenberg edict sanctioning execution of Anabaptists. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1531 John Calvin 1000s of religious nonconformists are killed and witches burned after John Calvin (1509-1564) turns Geneva into religious police state. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
c1531 Church "magic" Calvin rebels against church's belief in magic, claiming "papists pretend there is a magical force in the sacraments, independent of efficacious faith". Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
c1531 Michael Servetus Calvin orders execution of popular physician Michael Servetus for doubting Trinity. Confused. Punkish notes: The publication is "Errors of the Trinity" and although Zwingli condemned it as did Luther, I find no reference to Calvin at this point (Schaff HoC vol 8:16) - it is 20 years later after several letters by Servetus and his going to Geneva that Calvin orders his execution. As for Servetus "doubting" the Trinity, one only has to point to his blasphemies that Trinitarians are atheists, or tritheists, (Rest 30. comp. 34 cited in Schaff) or that God is likened to Cerberus (! - final letter to Calvin) to dismiss such outrageously simplified claims, and Servetus' own attitude which he himself admitted were worthy of death at his trial. (that incorrigible obstinacy and malice deserved death before God and men, Schaff 8:16 note 992) The order for execution does not appear until the trial at Geneva, as far as I can tell (1553) Popular physician? Depends. Does he mean his book on syrup and medicine, which went through several editions? His work on blood circulation was destroyed, and his arrogant attitude towards his fellow physicians - calling them ignoramuses - caused them to call him an imposter and a windbag in reply! Popular to whom...?
c1531 Jacques Gruet Calvin orders beheading of Jacques Gruet for blasphemy. True. You once could can even buy the original justification by Calvin from Sotheby's.
c1531 Witches Calvin urges burning of witches. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1531 Henry VIII Henry VIII breaks from Catholic Church after being refused divorce from Catherine of Aragon; becomes Supreme Head of Church of England. Irrelevant.
1532 Carolina Code 1000s suffer after Holy Roman Empire issues Carolina Code directing all witchcraft defendants undergo torture before death. True. See here for brief mention.
1534 English Reformation Henry VIII burns Sir Thomas More and other Catholics before commencing Reformation under Church of England. Half true. He was actually beheaded; see here.
c1534 Ireland Henry VIII crowns himself King of Ireland, thereby starting centuries of civil unrest after imposing Church of England on Irish Catholics. Political.
1534 Elizabeth Barton Domestic servant Elizabeth Barton, of Kent, England, is hanged for witchcraft and treason at Tarbon after predicting death of Anne Boleyn. Not the whole story. Barton's activities had an (unwitting?) political cast. She issued such predictions for four years without being interfered with; then, Perhaps most damagingly for her case, she gathered around her a circle of friends and supporters, which, in the highly charged political atmosphere of the early 1530s, began to make her utterances seem more like conspiracy than excess of piety. And: She confessed almost straight away to counterfeiting her visions and revelations and was condemned, after the case against her had been elaborately prepared and publicised, to be hanged, along with a number of her supporters.
1534-49 Paul III Paul III (1534-49) is accused of killing his mother and niece for inheritance and of poisoning two priests and bishop for disagreeing with him. Unverified. Cheetham notes his nepotism but otherwise describes Paul in positive terms and says nothing of this.
1536 Anne Boleyn Anne Boleyn (1507-36), Henry VIII's second wife, is executed at Tower of London amid rumours she practiced witchcraft. Not the whole story. Blame the church, though? Not hardly. Punkish notes that Henry himself started the rumors because she wasn't producing the male heir he wanted.
1536 Calvin published Calvin publishes Institutes of Christian Religion which in 1541 becomes handbook of Scottish Reformation. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1538 Hubmaier University professor B Hubmaier is burned at the stake in Vienna. True. See here.
1538 English crusade Paul III declares crusade against England in unsuccessful attempt to make them slaves of Catholic Church. Unverified. Not mentioned by Cheetham or the Catholic Encyclopedia.
1538 Rich people Spanish author writes: "Bit by bit many rich people leave the country for foreign realms, in order not to live all their lives in fear and trembling every time an officer of the Inquisition enters their house; for continual fear is a worse death than a sudden demise". Pass. No source is cited. Helen Ellerbe is the source given and she gives Kamen, Inquisition and Society in Spain, 164 (chapter 6, note 45).
1539-69 Great Bible First English Bible is authorised for public use in English churches; based on Tyndale version but "defective in many places". Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1540 Jesuits Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) founds Society of Jesus to reconvert Poland, Hungary, Germany; Jesuit missionaries sent to New World, India and China. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1541 John Knox John Knox (1505-72) leads Calvinist Reformation in Scotland. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1542 Roman Inquisition Paul III establishes Roman Inquisition to eradicate Protestants: new levels of cruelty are introduced that "repelled even the Turks and the Saracens". Unverified. Not mentioned by Cheetham or the Catholic Encyclopedia.
1542 Witchcraft Act Henry VIII passes England's first Witchcraft Act dictating harsh penalties against alchemists and witches who perform malefica through black magic. Not the whole story. Should be spelt "maleficia" and this is defined as "Misfortunes, injuries and calamities suffered by persons, animals, or property, for which no immediate explanation could be found" and were attributed to the vindictive malice of witches. (Robbins, 330) It is always wrong to harm others, So what's the crime? Also, was revoked in 1547.
1542-49 India 3800 die miserable deaths after Jesuit missionaries bring Inquisition to India. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1542+ India Several wars are waged between rival Catholic groups Jesuits and Capuchins in India. Unverfied. Appears to have come from Helen Ellerbe. A history of the Archdiocese of Bombay )no longer online) made no mention of any such wars.
1543 Bible denounced Parliament condemns Tyndale's Bible translation as "crafty, false and untrue" although 80 per cent of words also appear in Catholic Bible. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1542 Japan Jesuit missionaries and Portuguese traders arrive in Japan. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1545-63 Council of Trent Council of Trent establishes canons in war against Protestants (also called Counter Reformation). Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1546 Bible banned King Henry VIII forbids anyone to possess copy of Tyndale's Bible. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1549 Masters Japanese Shoguns accuse Jesuits of "wanting to change the government of the country and make themselves masters of the soil". Unverified. Comes from Ellerbe, who gives no source, though she dates the remark to 1614 and attributes it to Iyeyazu.
c1549 Infighting Jesuits and Dominicans fight bitterly with each other over territorial and doctrinal claims in Japan. May be true. See here.
1549 Prayer book Book of Common Prayer first appears in Episcopal (Anglican) Church. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1550-5 Julius III Julius III (1550-5) earns reputation as gay pope who makes teenage boyfriends cardinals and facilitates orgies where they sodomise each other. False. Cheetham charges him with "frivolity and ineffectiveness" and as one who liked banquets, spectacles, and hunting, and kept a "troup of buffoons," but no more is said than that.
1553-8 "Bloody Mary" Mary I becomes ruler of England and attempts to restore Catholicism through terror: 300 Protestants are burned in 3 years. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
c1555 Censorship Mary I bans publishing of English Scriptures outside church. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1555-9 Paul IV Master torturer Paul IV (1555-9) establishes Christianity's first Jewish ghetto (in Rome) and extends Inquisition into Netherlands and Orient. Partly unverified. Cheetham reports that he did greatly extend the Inquisition but reports nothing worse than book burnings and a "numbing and frightening influence." When Paul died mobs burned down Inquisition HQ and threw part of hi statue in the river. The Jewish history site confirms the ghetto account.
1557 Toulouse 40 people are executed as witches at Toulouse, France. True. Reported by Robbins, p. 209.
1557 Censorship Paul IV writes church's first Index of Forbidden Books. True.
1558-1603 Elizabeth I Elizabeth I becomes Protestant ruler of England and makes it illegal to celebrate Catholic mass or conduct Puritan worship. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
c1560 Executions Elizabeth I executes Mary Queen of Scots and 200 other Catholics for conspiring to remove her from throne. Political.
1560 Presbyterian Church John Knox (1505-1572) founds Scotch Presbyterian Church after disagreeing with Lutherans over sacraments and church government. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1560+ Kingdom divided Protestant church fragments into numerous sects each claiming sole access to divine truth. Vague.
1560-1628 Huguenots French Protestants (Huguenots) hunt down and kill 1000s of Catholic priests; one captain allegedly wears priests' ears as necklace. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1560-1628 Counter attack Pius orders papal commanders to slaughter Huguenots and kill every prisoner taken. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1562 Channel Islands 66 trials occur on Channel Islands between 1562 and 1736; almost 50 per cent of accused are sentenced to death. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1562+ Jersey Unnamed pregnant woman is burned alive at stake in Jersey's Royal Square; she gives birth during ordeal and baby is thrown back into flames. Questionable. Punkish writes: This comes from occultist Rollo Ahmed's Black Art, written in 1936! I also find this in Pickering's Dictionary of Witchcraft - without documentation. Pickering is not a historian.
1563 Black Plague Black Plague breaks out in Europe. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1563 Witchcraft Act Elizabeth I introduces new Witchcraft Act in England making folk magic and spirit invocation punishable by death, imprisonment or pillory. False. The Act actually prescribed punishment for use of magic, etc. "whereby any person shall happen to be killed or destroyed." It was however expanded by later monarchs to include any such act at all. Punkish adds: This ordered the "death penalty for witches, enchanters and sorcerers. These individuals were to be prosecuted under civil, not ecclesiastical law, and for this reason witches in England were always hanged rather than burnt as on the continent." (Jeffrey B Russell, History of Witchcraft, 92), hence is irrelevant. This affects some entries on Chelmsford and Essex, below.
1563+ England Vigilantes and lynch mobs are responsible for deaths of at least 2,000 "witches" in 200 years following Witchcraft Act introduction in England. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1563+ Indictments 535 indictments on charges of witchcraft are issued during Elizabeth I's reign. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1563+ Executions 82 accused are put to death on charges of witchcraft during Elizabeth I's reign. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1566 Chelmsford Agnes Waterhouse, 63, of Chelmsford, Essex, is hanged for bewitching neighbour to death and dispatching a familiar to kill cow and poultry. True. See here. But prosecuted under civil law per 1563 Witchcraft Act so it's irrelevant as a Church crime
1567 King James I James I (1566-1625) becomes King of Scotland (as James VI) and fuels witchunting hysteria by introducing Witchcraft Act. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1567+ Scotland 4400 individuals are executed as witches in Scotland until repeal of Witchcraft Act in 1736; most suffered brutal tortures before death. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1568 Poitiers 4 lives are lost during witchcraft trials at Poitiers, France. True. Except the date is 1564. Robbins, 209.
1568 Netherlands Inquisition is established in Spanish Netherlands where 1000s were slain. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1570 James Calfhill James Calfhill (1530-70), Bishop of Worcester, claims "the vilest witches and sorcerers of the earth are the priests that consecrate crosses and ashes, water and salt, oil and cream, boughs and bones ...". Unverified. Quote appears only in this list online.
1570 Peru Theft and violence are virtually unknown in Peru before arrival of Spanish Christians and Inquisition; church supports native enslavement and theft of native land. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1570+ Strife One Mayan scribe writes: "The Spanish invasion was the beginning of tribute, the beginning of church dues, the beginning of strife". Unverified. Attributed to Plaidy, Jean. The Spanish Inquisition. New York: Citadel Press, 1967. Pg. 165, which we will look for.
1570 Mexico Inquisition is established in Mexico for "freeing the land which has become contaminated by Jews and heretics"; countless natives are burned. Unlikely. See above links on Spanish Inquisiton; Kamen the historian certainly was able to count them and it was 2000 or less.
1570+ Exploitation Dominicans, Augustinians and Jesuits exploit Mexicans by "owning the largest flocks of sheep, the finest sugar ingenios and the best kept estates". Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1570 Elizabeth I Elizabeth I is excommunicated. True.
1571 Trois-Echelles French magician Trois-Echelles is convicted of sorcery and executed in Paris. True. Robbins, 210.
1571 Turkish conquest Naval armada commanded by Don Juan of Austria destroys Turkish Muslim fleet in Gulf of Lepanto after reportedly calling upon "Our Lady of the Rosary". Political and irrelevant.
1572 St Bartholomew's Day Catholic troops sweep through Paris slaughtering between 10,000 and 20,000 Huguenots (Protestants); an estimated 700,000 flee during campaign. True. See here; some historians think as many as 70,000 were killed.
1572 Gaspard de Coligny Catholic troops murder Huguenot leader Admiral Gaspard de Coligny; his head, hands and genitals are cut off, then his body is dumped in a river, before being dragged out and left to rot on a gallows. Overblown. See here: He was shot by a paid assassin of the queen mother; then: On the 24th of August, the night of the massacre, he was attacked in his house, and a servant of the duke of Guise, generally known as Besme, slew him and cast him from a window into the courtyard at his master's feet. The reasons were politcal, not religious; see here, where a similar story is told of the fate of his corpse.
c1572 Heretics Pope Gregory XIII writes to France's Charles IX of Huguenot massacre: "We rejoice with you that with the help of God you have relieved the world of these wretched heretics". Unverified. Appears only on atheist sites with no attribution.
1572-1606 Bishop's Bible First Bible published by Episcopal (Anglican) Church is said to be "an inadequate and unsatisfactory revision of the Great Bible". Unverified. Punkish says: this is possible because it lacked most of the footnotes and cross references the common people liked in the Geneva bible. (Wikipedia..sorry! If I can find a better source I will) (And the date should be 1568.)
1573 Spanish Fury 1000s of Protestants are killed by Duke of Alma in Antwerp and Haarlem during onslaught called "the Spanish Fury". Not the whole story. The date is more often given as 1575 or 1576, but there were 6000 to 7000 killed and they were killed by mutinying Spanish troops.
1578 Kilkenny, Ireland Three unnamed women are executed as witches at Kilkenny, Ireland. Unverifiable. How is it possible to check claims about anonymous persons? Punkish adds: Found this, which says that there is no surviving documentation from the event; so how does he know there were three women executed? p59 (half way down) "The next notice of witchcraft in Ireland occurs in the year 1578, when a witch-trial took place at Kilkenny, though here again, unfortunately, no details have been preserved." See here. (Irish Witchcraft and demonology by St John Seymour)
1578 Francisco Pena Inquisitor Francisco Pena claims purpose of Inquisition "is not to save the soul of the accused but to achieve the public good and put fear into others". Confused. Punkish notes: His name should be written "Francisco Pegna" in English - Canonist and Lawyer.- wrote two books on the Inquisition. How does that make him an inquisitor? See here. Adds also: Kamen (Inq.Soc.Spain) writes, after giving Pegna's comment: The public activity of the Holy Office was thus based on the premise, common to all disciplinary and police systems, that fear was the most useful deterrant. (p161)
1579 Elizabeth Francis Elizabeth Francis, of Chelmsford, Essex, is hanged after being accused of using witchcraft to murder woman, Alice Poole. True. See here. But prosecuted under civil law per 1563 Witchcraft Act so it's irrelevant as a Church crime.
1579 Ellen Smith Ellen Smith, of Chelmsford, Essex, is hanged after being accused of using witchcraft to murder 4-year-old girl. True. See here but likewise, a civil case.
1579 Alice Noakes Englishwoman Alice Noakes, of Chelmsford, Essex, is hanged after being accused of using witchcraft. True. See link above, though her name is spelled "Nokes" and likewise this was a civil prosecution.
1579 France France extends death penalty to include "every charlatan and diviner, and others who practise necromancy, pyromancy, chiromancy and hydromancy". True. Robbins, 210.
c1580 Jean Bodin Jean Bodin (1529-96) revives witchhunt mania after claiming Devil wages war on Christians through witches in De la Demonomanie des Sorciers. True he wrote such a work. See here. But irrelevant about witchhunt mania as a church issue, as Robbins reports that "the central period of witch trials, between 1580 and 1620 lies in the mass persecutions by civil judges" and cites in resulting works the one by Bodin.
c1580 Slow burning Bodin condemns slow burning of witches as inadequate as they die after "only" half hour, "thereby escaping further punishment". Irrelevant. See above.
c1580 Mexico 879 heresy trials are recorded in late 1500s after Spanish Christians bring Inquisition to Mexico. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1580 Fortune tellers Elizabeth I adds fortune-tellers to 1563 Witchcraft Act. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1581 France Catholic Church prohibits possession of grimoires or spell books in France. True. Council at Rouen - those convicted would be excommunicated (Robbins, 210)
1582 Gregorian calendar Gregory XIII sanctions Gregorian calendar. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1582 St Osyth Witches 10 women are sentenced to death in England after they are accused of bewitching inhabitants of St Osyth during witchcraft hysteria in Essex. True.
1582 Avignon 18 individuals are burned as witches under Grand Inquisitor Sebastian Michaelis at Avignon, France. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1582 China Pagodas are destroyed, manuscripts burned and ancient customs eradicated after Jesuit missionaries bring Christianity to China. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1583 Vienna Viennese grandmother is tortured then burned alive after Jesuits claim she cursed her 16-year-old granddaughter with 12,652 demons "kept as flies". Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1588 Spanish Armada English fleet defeat forces sent by Spain. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1589 Chelmsford Joan Prentice, Joan Cony and Joan Upney, are hanged as witches at Chelmsford, England, based on testimonies of children. True. See link in other Chelmsford entries above.
1589 Tours, France 14 individuals are condemned as witches at Tours, France but are spared after King Henry III (1551-89) intervenes; Inquisition condemns Henry as "witch protector". True. (Robbins, 210).
1589 Dietrich Flade German judge Dietrich Flade is brutally tortured then burned after Peter Binsfield (1540-1603), Bishop of Treves, accuses him of witchcraft and conspiracy. True. See here.
1589 Saxony 133 women are publicly burned as witches in one day at Quedlinburg, Saxony, Germany. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1590 Rebecca Lemp Accountant's wife Rebecca Lemp, of Nordlingen, Germany, is burned after undergoing severe torture to extract witchcraft confession. Not the whole story. The persecutions at Nordlingen were promoted by local lawyers, not by pastors or priests - so where's the church crime? (Robbins, 303)
1590 Nordlingen, Germany 32 people, most respectable citizens, are burned as witches at Nordlingen as mass hysteria sweeps Germany in early 1590s. See above.
1590-1 Bavaria 49 out of population of 4700 are burned as witches during witchhunts at Werdenfels in Bavarian Alps. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1591 John Fian Scottish schoolteacher John Fian, of Saltpans, has legs smashed and fingernails torn out before being burned on witchcraft charges later described as "laughable". Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1591 North Berwick Scotland's "North Berwick Witches" Agnes Sampson and Effie Maclean are burned at stake after being accused of crimes including attempted murder of James VI. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1591 Margaret Thomson Margaret Thomson dies under torture during notorious "North Berwick Witches" trials at Edinburgh; another woman, Gilly Duncan, also is brutally tortured. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1592 Norway Oluf Gurdal, of Bergen, becomes first person executed for witchcraft in Norway. Mostly true. Robbins (361) says this is the "earliest recorded" witch trial in Norway, otherwise correct. (It should be noted that Robbins says Norwegian witchcraft was a matter of myth and legend, rather than religious heresy i.e. not a Church problem).
1593 Warboys Witches Warboys, Huntington. Huh? That's all this entry said.
1594 Norway Two unnamed persons are burned as witches in Bergen, Norway, while another victim is exiled. Mixed up. Robbins (361) gives the names as Ditis Roncke - outlawed, and Johanne Jensdatter Flamske and Anne Knutsdatter - both burned.
1594 Nordlingen, Germany German woman Maria Hollin sparks public outrage after surviving 56 horrific torture sessions without confessing to accusations of witchcraft at Nordlingen. Unverified. We cannot find this except on Crimeline lists. There's an unnamed woman in Robbins (p215) who suffers 56 different tortures in the section on Witchcraft in Germany, reported by one George L Burr (in 1891).
1595 Nicolas Remy French judge Nicholas Remy (1530-1612) publishes Demonolatreiae arguing that "whatever is not normal is due to the Devil". More to it. Robbins says "the Demonolatreiae remained a hodgepodge of impressions, lecture notes, anecdotes, court records, and quotations, although Remy tried to categorize his material in three sections" - this is because he was so concerned in publishing the work to warn against the evils of witchcraft (Robbins 408) He wrote, "Everything which is unknown lies, as far as I am concerned, in the cursed domain of demonology; for there are no unexplained facts" (he then gives the Crimeline soundbite) - Robbins criticizes this as his "attempted use of rationality to prove and justify obscurantism".
c1595 Serious crime Nicolas Remy denounces witchcraft as most serious of all crimes and personally sends some 900 witches to their deaths. Not complete. The claim of sending 900 witches to their death, this is likely to have been over a 10 year period (1581 - 91, since this is the period he gives details over) but the documentation is lost. (Robbins 407-8)
1595 Finland Finland's first witchcraft execution occurs at Pernaja after unnamed woman is accused of using magic to induce illness. Unverifiable. How is it possible to check claims about anonymous persons? A reader in Finland directed us here to this reference: there was a woman named Valpuri, who was executed for witchcraft in 1595 in Pernaja. She wasn't the first, though. So even if right, it is wrong.
1596 Alice Gooderidge Alice Gooderidge, 60, dies in Derby prison after being brutally tortured following claims she had bewitched boy, Thomas Darling. Basically true.
c1596 Ulster, Ireland 1000s of Catholics starve in exile after James I seizes Ulster from Roman Church and gives it to Scottish and English Protestants. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1597 Demonologie James I publishes Daemonologie which becomes official handbook of Scottish witchfinders; it endorses swimming and pricking to find Devil's mark. True. Except as Punkish notes: he was James VI at this point..king of Scotland. James I refers to his ascending the English throne in 1603.
1597 Aberdeen 23 women and one man are burned at Aberdeen in one of Scotland's most notorious witchcraft trials; accused are mainly elderly women. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1597 Edmund Hartley English conjurer and herbalist Edmund Hartley is hanged after court convicts him of causing two children of Leigh, Lancashire, to become "possessed". Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1600 Giordano Bruno Scientist-philosopher Giordano Bruno is burned at stake in Rome for espousing Copernicus' theory that planets orbit sun. Not the whole story. A reader has noted: This is another of innumerable examples of anti-Christian myth making. It is incredible how many stories were invented in the 1800's, from the embarrassing statement that the church believed in a flat earth, to the equally embarassing one that Bruno was convicted for believing the earth circled the sun. All these stories only verifies the thesis that one should never listen to those that "think for themselves" without very carefully checking other sources, which for some peculiar reason those "thinkers" seldom do as they instead rely on their inherited dogmas....The fact is that, Bruno was not an astronomer. He was an occultist, and dabbled also in politics, being suspected for anti-Italian conspiracizing. He demonstrated a very poor grasp of astronomy and neither liked the "mathematicians" nor understand their mathematics. The theme of his On the Infinite Universe and Worlds is not Copernicanism but Hermetic Occultism, also developed in his On Shadows of Ideas. The plain error of the Bruno-story is also seen in the fact that the Church did not formally condemn Copernicanism (and that was mainly about not insisting Coperniucus was right, without proof, which noone had at the time, not even Gallilei) until 1616, well after Bruno's death.
1601 Peking Matteo Ricci enters Peking. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1601 Else Gwinner Baker's wife Else Gwinner, of Baden, Germany, is tortured by strappado, flogging and thumbscrews before being burned as witch. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1602 Discours des Sorciers 600 people, including young children, are sent to stake by Burgundy's most notorious witch judge, Henri Boguet (1550-1619); many are brutally tortured. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1602 Fear & persecution Henri Boguet writes infamous Discours des Sorciers which intensifies fear and persecution of witches in following decades. True. Punkish: In Discours des Sorciers he gives details of forty witches he examined (Robbins, 56)
c1602 Claude Janguillaume Claude Janguillaume breaks from ropes binding him to stake and is thrown back into fire three times before dying; one of many examples of horrors of German witchburnings. True, except that as Punkish reports, this person is reported in Robbins, 56 to be female.
1603 King James I James I (1566-1625) becomes King of England and introduces new Witchcraft Act intensifying Elizabeth I's Witchcraft Act of 1563. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1603+ Mostly women James 1 estimates ratio of women to men who "succumb" to witchcraft is 20 to 1; of those convicted, between 80 to 90 per cent are women. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1603+ Convictions Reports reveal 1 in 5 witches sent for trial in England under James I is convicted of witchcraft. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1604 Witchcraft Act James I introduces new Witchcraft Act making death (usually by hanging) mandatory for anyone convicted of witchcraft or signing pacts with Devil. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1604+ Salem inspiration James I Witchcraft Act is later cited by New England Puritans as basis for prosecution of 150 people at Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1604 Demonologie James I publishes Daemonologie in England where it finds ready audience among bigoted Protestant witchhunters. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1604-1736 England At least 1000 individuals are executed as witches in England until Witchcraft Act is repealed in 1736. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1606 Basilica Carlo Maderno redesigns St Peter's Basilica into Latin cross. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1607 Isobel Grierson Scottish woman Isobel Grierson is strangled then burned in Edinburgh after being accused of turning into cat and recruiting Devil to cause sickness and death. True. See here by a descendant.
1607 First US town First permanent English settlement in America at Jamestown. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1608 Earl of Mar Earl of Mar complains to Privy Council of appalling witch executions: "half burned (they) broke out of the fire and were cast alive in it again until they were burned to the death". Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1608 William Perkins English demonologist William Perkins (1555-1602), author of Discourse of the Damned Art of Witchcraft, emphasises death penalty for witches and dismisses miracles claimed by Catholic Church as hoaxes. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1608+ White witches William Perkins claims white witches should be treated more severely than black witches because "they attempt to conceal diabolical origins of magic". Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1608+ Inspiration Perkins' writings later inspires notorious US Congregationalist witchhunter Cotton Mather - prime mover behind Salem witchtrials. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1608 Basque witches 600 Basque men, women and children are executed as witches in 4 months by French lawyer Pierre de Lancre (1553-1631) who sweeps through Bearn in Pyrenees. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1609 Pierre Bocal Basque priest Pierre Bocal is burned alive after it is rumoured he presided over both Christian and pagan rites and wore goat mask. Unverified. Name of Bocal is found online only on sites repeating this claim, with no documentation.
1609 Baptist Church Baptist Church is founded by John Smyth due to objections to infant baptism in other Protestant churches. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1609-22 Witch Bishop 300 individuals are tortured and burned as witches in Bamberg, Germany, under "Witch Bishop" Johann Gottfried von Aschhausen. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1610 Navarre, Spain 6 witches are burned as witches in Navarre, Spain. Unverifiable. How is it possible to check claims about anonymous persons?
1610 Chelmsford Katherine Lawrett, of Colne Wake, Essex, is hanged at Chelmsford after being charged with using witchcraft to destroy horse belonging to one Francis Plaite. Unverified. Name of Lawrett is found online only on sites repeating this claim, with no documentation.
1611-1800 King James Bible King James Bible is published based on Bishop's Bible; revisers over years have been called "damnable corrupters of God's word". True that it is a revision of the Bishop's Bible, says Punkish.
1611 Aix-en-Provence French priest Louis Gaufridi, of Marseilles, is slowly burned to death after being brutally tortured for allegedly sparking "possession" outbreak in convent. May be true. I found a popular account that is no longer online.
1612 Pendle witches Anne Redfearne, Elizabeth Device, Anne Whittle, James Device, Alison Device, Alice Nutter, John Bulcock, Jane Bulcock , Katherine Hewitt and Isabel Robey are hanged in Lancashire as result of witch hysteria. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1612 Jennet Preston Jennet Preston, of York, is hanged after being "proved" of murder during "bier right" (belief corpse bleeds after being touched by murderer). Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1616 Leicester 9 people are hanged after Leicester court finds them guilty of causing boy, 13, to suffer fits; Archbishop of Canterbury later declares their innocence. Not the whole story. Punkish notes: The boy is known as the Leicester boy, named John Smith. The King (James I) apparently intervened in the case of six more and blocked their execution (because cross examination proved inconsistencies in the story), but one died in prison. What's this got to do with the church?
1618 Margaret Barclay Scottish gentlewoman, Margaret Barclay, is strangled and burned at stake in Ayrshire after being tortured into confessing she used witchcraft to sink ship. True. See here, letter from Sir Walter Scott.
1618 Isobel Crawford Isobel Crawford, of Scotland, is tortured then burned after being named as accomplice by Margaret Barclay who confesses to witchcraft under torture. True. See above.
1618-48 30-year war War lasting 30 years erupts between Catholics and Protestants in Germany, France, England, Sweden and Denmark. Political.
1618-48 Catastrophe 14,000,000 people die in Germany alone from 30-year war between Catholics and Protestants described by one commentator as "human catastrophe". Political.
1619 Lincoln Witches Anne Baker, Eileen Greene, Joan Willimot and Margaret and Philippa Flower are hanged as witches at Lincoln, England, after being accused of using magic against Earl of Rutland to make wife infertile. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1619-1860 African slaves 4,000,000 African slaves are shipped by Christians to North America aboard "the good ship Jesus Christ" between 1619 and 1860. Reasonable number, but "Christians" begs the question. See here for a Biblical view and remember that abolitionists like Wilberforce were Christians.
1620 Pilgrim Pilgrims sail from Holland to New England and establish Plymouth. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1623 Isobel Haldine Scottish woman Isobel Haldine, of Perth, is strangled and burned after she is accused of using magic to aid and cure sick people. Not quite. See here for material from that day: She was not trying to aid and cure sick people.
1623-33 Bamberg At least 600 people are burned as witches in Germany under Gottfried Johann Georg II Fuchs von Dornheim, Bishop of Bamberg; most endured brutal tortures before death. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1625-6 Catherine Henot Catherine Henot is burned under Archbishop Ferdinand of Cologne after being found guilty of bewitching nuns in St Claire. True but irrelevant. Punkish: this is a secular trial (Robbins 100).
1626 Manhattan Peter Minuit buys Manhattan Island from Indians for equivalent of $24. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1628 Johannes Junius Johannes Junius, mayor of Bamberg, Germany, is burned for witchcraft after being brutally tortured by thumbscrews, boots and strappado. True. See here.
1630-40 Franz Buirmann 100s of Germans are burned as witches by church lawyer Franz Buirmann described as one of Europe's most ruthless witch judges. Not the whole story. Punkish says: Robbins reports that this man was appointed by the Prince-Archbishop of Cologne and was active in several archdiocese as a judge. There is no mention here of his involvement with the church, or that the church receives any property via his actions (Robbins calls him a mass murderer as well).
1630-40 Wealthy Many of Buirmann's suspects are wealthy individuals who are brutally tortured into confessing charges so church may confiscate their property. See above.
1630 Milan Numerous suspects are tortured then executed in Milan after being accused of causing plague outbreak by smearing magical ointment on city walls. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1631 Christine Boffgen Respected German matriarch Christine Boffgen, of Rheinbach, dies after having legs smashed by officials bent on extracting wealth for church. Not quite true. Reported by Robbins. Robbins says that Buirmann confiscated her property. (p60)
1631 Dominic Gordel French priest Dominic Gordel, of Vomecourt, France, dies during thumbscrew, vice and ladder torture at Toul after being accused of witchcraft by children. Unverified. Gordel's name appears only in this list online.
1630 Massachusetts Puritans flee to New England and establish colony at Massachusetts Bay. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1631 Friedrich von Spee Inquisitor Friedrich von Spee claims witchcraft confessions "inevitable": "If she confesses, her guilt is clear: she is executed; if she does not confess, the torture is repeated - twice, thrice, four times. She can never clear herself; the investigating body would feel disgraced if it acquitted a woman; once arrested and in chains, she has to be guilty, by fair means or foul". Not the whole story. Punkish notes: The Catholic Encyclopedia entry for von Spee says this, His principal work, through which he obtained a well-deserved and world-wide reputation, is the "Cautio Criminalis", written in admirable Latin. It is an arraignment of trial for witchcraft, based upon his own awful experiences probably principally in Westphalia, for the traditional assumption that he acted for a long time as "witch confessor" in Würzburg has no documentary authority. This work was printed in 1631 at Rinteln without Spee's name or permission, although he was doubtlessly widely known as its author. He does not advocate the immediate abolition of trials for witchcraft, but describes in thrilling language and with cutting sarcasm the horrible abuses in the prevailing legal proceedings, particularly the inhuman use of the rack. He demands measures of reform, such as a new German imperial law on the subject, liability to damages on the part of the judges, etc., which, if they had been conscientiously carried out, would have quickly put an end to the persecution of witches. Many a generation passed before witch burning ceased in Germany, the classic land of these outrages; but at all events the "Cautio Criminals" brought about its abolition in a number of places, especially at Mainz, and led the way to its gradual suppression. Thus he was an OPPONENT of witch trials..not an Inquisitor!!
1634 John Canne Writer John Canne says "the sacraments were not ordained by God to be used ... as charms and sorceries". Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1634 Urbain Grandier French priest Urbain Grandier, has legs brutally smashed then is slowly burned at stake after being accused of bewitching Ursuline nuns at Loudun. Not the whole story. See here. Grandier was acquitted of these charges but they were revived for political reasons by Cardinal Richilieu.
c1635 Benedict Carpzov Lutheran judge Benedict Carpzov (1595-1666) publishes Practica Rerum Criminalum to support systemise legal persecution of witches Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
c1635 Benedict Carpzov Benedict Carpzov, "lawgiver of Saxony", issues 20,000 death warrants for arrest, torture and execution of German witches throughout career. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1635 Pedro Ginesta Pedro Ginesta, 80, of Barcelona, is burned at stake after forgetting which day of week it was and accidentally eating bacon on Friday. True. Apart from his being over 80, Punkish reports, but Kamen (Inq.Soc.Spain, 163) goes on to comment: "Denunciations based on suspicion, therefore, led to accusations based on conjecture" (because it was presumed he had broken this fasting day often).
1636 Buirmann Official executioner of one of Europe's most ruthless witch judges, Franz Buirmann, himself is burned for witchcraft at Siegberg, Germany. Confused. He finds that "his own executioner was a witch. Buirmann promptly had him burned, too" - Robbins 61. So it isnt Buirmann who is burned, but his executioner. Buirmann's end is not recorded in this book.
1637 Rheinbach Estimated 1 person in every 2 families in Rheinbach, Germany, is believed to have been executed by ruthless witch judge Franz Buirmann. Huh? How can this have happened in 1637 if he was burned himself in 1636?
1637 Eichstatt Unnamed woman is burned for witchcraft after being tortured by flogging, ladder, boots and strappado at Eichstatt near Ingolstadt, Bavaria. Partly false. The woman's name was removed from the published text, but it did occur in the original manuscript, now lost. Plus, the court records do not give her manner of death, the entry for December 17, 1637 simply says "She dies penitent" (Robbins 156)
c1637 Eichstatt Estimated 2000 accused witches are burned after prolonged torture at Eichstatt during Bavarian witch hysteria. Unverified. The 2000 estimate comes from a 19th century historian, Riezler, who gives the number as between 1 and 2 thousand.
1643 Newbury Witch Unnamed Englishwoman is executed for witchcraft at Newbury, Berkshire, after soldiers claimed she walked on water; woman claimed she was on raft. Unverifiable. How is it possible to check claims about anonymous persons? Punkish finds a reference here which verifies it, but how does on pin this on the church?
1645-6 Matthew Hopkins 220 lives are lost over 14 months during witchtrials conducted by fanatical Puritan and self-described witchfinder general, Matthew Hopkins (1621-47). Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1645-6 Torture Hopkins extracts witchcraft confessions by pricking, ducking, swimming, sleep deprivation or enforced walking for excessive periods. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1645 Chelmsford 5 women are hanged as witches at Chelmsford after Hopkins tortures "confessions" from elderly one-legged woman, Elizabeth Clarke. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1645 Chelmsford 26 women are hanged as witches at Chelmsford after Hopkins tortures confessions from 5 women before hanging them as witches. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1645 John Lowes English clergyman John Lowes, 80, of Brandeston, Suffolk, is hanged for witchcraft after being walked and swum in moat of Framlingham Castle. True.
1645 Bury St Edmunds 17 women are hanged at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, after being found guilty of witchcraft by self-styled witchfinder general, Matthew Hopkins (1621-47).Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1645 Faversham Witches Joan Williford, Jane Holt, Joan Argoll and Elisabeth Harris are executed as witches at Faversham, Kent, after confessions are extracted under torture. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1645 Mother Lakeland Englishwoman Mother Lakeland is burned at stake in Ipswich after being accused of using witchcraft to murder husband and others. True. See here.
1646 Castelnuovo, Italy 8 people are beheaded then burned after confessions are extracted under torture from elderly woman La Mercuria in Castelnuovo, Italy. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1647 Thomas Boulle French priest Thomas Boulle is tortured, dragged on hurdle then burned alive in Rouen after being accused of bewitching nuns at Louviers. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1647-62 Connecticut 11 people are convicted of witchcraft and executed in northeastern American trials conducted mainly by Puritans over 15 years. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1647 Alice Young Alice Young becomes first woman to be hanged for witchcraft in Connecticut after witchcraft legislation is passed by Puritans in 1642. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1647 Matthew Hopkins Matthew Hopkins is allegedly hanged after failing swimming ordeal conducted by mob testing his main method of "proving" witches. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1648 Polish Jews 200,000 Jews are slain during Christian massacres at Chmielnitzki, Poland. Not the whole story. These were not "Christian" massacres but Cossack ones, as the Jewish history site reports: Bitterness over forced Catholicism by the Jesuits and the unscrupulous taxes collected (some by Jews) for the nobles set the stage for the Cossack uprising. During the reign of Vladislav IV, the Zaporozhin Cossacks lived in a semi-autonomous kingdom called Sitch. Led by their leader - or Hetman - Chmielniki, they decided to fight to establish an autonomous Ukraine with the Cossack leaders as the new aristocracy. Their victories over the Polish army encouraged the serfs to join them. The Jews were even more hated than the Poles and were massacred in almost every town. In the ten tumultuous years that followed, over seven hundred Jewish communities were destroyed and between 100,000-500,000 Jews lost their lives.
1650 Norway Karen Thorsdatter and Bodil Kvams are burned at Kristiansand, Norway, after confessing to flying to sabbats on animals and plotting to kill local magistrate. Slightly off. Robbins recounts this but says the plot was against two magistrates. Reader adds: One Norwegian author writes that Thorsdatter at first was sentenced to death for stealing, but by naming herself and 11 other people witches, she delayed the time of the hanging while also making life hard for a few women that were better off than her. Bodils surname is wrong, it is Krombs. They were both burned.
1650 Short sleeves New England Puritans issue law prohibiting wearing of short-sleeves "whereby the nakedness of the arm may be discovered". Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1651 Mary Parsons Mary Parsons is sentenced to death by Boston court after being found guilty of using witchcraft to murder her child; she is later reprieved. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1651 Goodwife Bassett Goodwife Bassett is found guilty of witchcraft at Stratford, Connecticut. True. See here.
1651 Neisse, Germany 42 women are roasted in ovens as witches in Niesse, Germany; more than 1000 "witches", as young as 2, are executed in similar manner in Niesse in 9 years. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1653 Sunday walks banned New England Puritans issue law prohibiting Sunday walks and visits to beach as "dishonouring God"; children playing on Sundays becomes "religious reproach". Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1653 Anne Bodenham Doctor's assistant Anne Bodenham, of Wiltshire, is hanged after being accused of witchcraft and finding of "Devil marks" on her body. True. Verified by Robbins, 139-40.
1653-8 Oliver Cromwell Puritan leader Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) becomes Lord Protector of England. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1653-8 Ironsides 1000s of Anglicans are slaughtered during bloody battles led by hymn-singing, Bible-wielding "Ironsides" under Puritan leader Oliver Cromwell. Political.
c1655 Irish Catholics Cromwell seizes three-quarters of Ireland's land from Catholics in 3 years and orders slaughter of one-third of local population. Political.
1655 Cologne Last recorded witch execution in Cologne. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1656 Quakers 100s are arrested, whipped, branded, mutilated and sold as slaves during Quaker persecutions conducted by rival Christian groups in US. Unverified.
1656-7 Blaise Pascall Philosopher Blaise Pascall (1623-1662) writes: "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction". Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime". A reader adds that no one can source this quote.
1658 Restoration 1800 Puritan rectors are ousted from church posts after Anglican Restoration backlash commences following Cromwell's death in 1658. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
c1658 Non-attendance Law is introduced during Restoration decreeing death penalty for anyone attending non-Anglican church service. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1659 Thomas Looten Frenchman Thomas Looten dies during torture after being accused of witchcraft at Lille; corpse is burned and remains hung on gibbet "for all to see". Off. Punkish: This was a civil trial (Robbins 310-12)but given there exists documentation of the trial it is odd that the claim is made that he died under torture, he did not; he was found dead the day after his torture. Robbins oddly states that Looten died under torture on p210 contradicting what is said elsewhere.
1659 Norwich Englishwoman May Oliver is burned at stake after being convicted of witchcraft at Norwich, England. Confused. Punkish notes: Her name was Mary Oliver and she was burned for murdering her husband. Source: Robbins, Russell Hope. The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology. New York: Bonanza Books, 1959.
1661 Dalkeith Witch Christine Wilson, of Scotland, is executed after being "proved" of murder during "bier right" (belief corpses bleed after being touched by murderer). Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1661 Florence Newton Irish peasant Florence Newton, is executed at Cork after being accused of using witchcraft to kill man, David Jones, and bewitching servant girl, Mary Longdon. True. See here.
1662 Hartford, Connecticut Rebecca Greensmith of Hartford, Connecticut, is executed after confessing to having intercourse with Devil in form of deer. True. See here.
1662 Hartford, Connecticut Rebecca Greensmith's husband, Nathaniel, is executed despite denying all knowledge of wife's activities. Unverified. The link above says that he made no confession but says nothing about denials.
1662 Bury St Edmunds Englishwomen Rose Cullender and Amy Duny, of Lowestoft, are hanged at Bury St Edmunds after Puritan judge Matthew Hale (1609-76) convicts them of witchcraft based on testimonies of children. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1662 Isobel Gowdie Scottish farmer's wife Isobel Gowdie is hanged then burned for witchcraft after confessing to having intercourse with Devil and flying to sabbats on beanstalk. May not be true. see popular account here, but we want to check the source (Wedeck). Punkish says: It is conjecture that she was executed because the court records do not indicate her fate but witch prosecutions had increased in Charles II's reign.(Robbins, 233)
1662 Auldearn Witches 12 members of suspected coven at Auldearn, Scotland, are sent to gallows after Isobel Gowdie confesses to their activities in Scottish court. See above.
1662 Scottish witches Accused witches Katherine Sowter - "the Witch of Bandon" - and Janet Breadheid are hanged by Scottish court at Auldearn. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1663 Julian Cox English beggar Julian Cox (1593-1663) is executed for witchcraft after Somerset court hears she kept toad as familiar and could transform herself into hare. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1667-89 Austria 100 people are tortured into confessing to witchcraft practices in Salzburg, Germany, before being beheaded, strangled or burned. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1669 Katherine Harrison Katherine Harrison, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, is sentenced to death for witchcraft; sentence is later commuted to banishment from town. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1669 Mora witchhunt 70 women and 15 children are burned at stake at Mora, Sweden after children tell local pastor they were initiated into service of Satan. True. Punkish confirms this, but:
1669 Witchcraft pamphlets Scholars claim Mora witchhunt commenced through children being influenced by printed pamphlets describing witchcraft sensations elsewhere. Unverified. Punkish: I can't find this in either Robbins or in Russell. In Robbins it is said that the cause of the problem began with accusations, prayers to redeem the witches, and a commission to hear the children's stories. No mention of pamphlets. Documentation for the case was published later. [Robbins 348]
1670 Rouen, France 525 people are indicted on charges of witchcraft at Rouen, France; death penalties are commuted to banishment under orders of Louis XIV. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1670 Norway Karen Snedkers and 6 others are burned as witches in Copenhagen after being accused of using magic against local councillor and city clerk. True. Robbins, 362.
1670 Scandinavia Ole and Lisbet Nypen are burned as witches at Trondheim after being accused of causing man to develop rheumatism and young girl to become cripple. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1675 St Paul's, London Christopher wren begins reconstruction of St Paul's Cathedral, London. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1675 Yorkshire Susan and Joseph Hinchcliffe, of Yorkshire, England, are murdered after children accuse them of using witchcraft to kill neighbour, Martha Haigh. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1676 Marquise de Brinvilliers French aristocrat Marquise de Brinvilliers (1639-76) is tortured, beheaded then burned after being accused of using witchcraft to kill relatives. Not exactly. See here; she used poison, not witchcraft, and did it to get an inheritance. "She even went so far as to poison her own daughter, merely because she thought her stupid!"
1677-81 Salzberg, Austria Estimated 100 people are tortured then beheaded, strangled or burned during witchcraft scare that sweeps Salzberg, Austria, in 4 years. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1677-80 Chambre Ardente 36 people are executed and 38 banished or sentenced to galleys over "Chambre Ardente" witchcraft scandal centring on court of Louis XIV. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1678 Pilgrim's Progress John Bunyan publishes Pilgrim's Progress. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1680 La Voisin French fortune teller La Voisin has legs smashed before being burned at stake during Chambre Ardente witchcraft scandal. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1680 Norway Man named Ingebrigt becomes last person executed for witchcraft in Norway after he is accused of attending sabbats and poisoning cattle. Not quite. Reader says: Ingebrigt was not the last one executed for witchcraft in Norway 1680. From what I can find Johanne Nilsdatter was the last, executed in 1695 after several prominent local people died on the sea during a storm. She was one of some 300 people in Norway executed (not all burnt) during Norwegian witch processes.
c1680 "The Killing Time" 1000s of hardline Protestants called Cameronians are hunted down by royal troops during reign of King James II. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
c1680 Puritan police state Puritans create New England religious police state imposing harsh penalties on doctrinal deviates. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
c1680 Persecutions 1000s are hanged, flogged, pilloried, banished or have ears cut off or tongues bored with hot irons by Puritans during Massachusetts heresy persecutions. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
c1680 Cursing Puritans decree death penalty for children who "curse" or "smite" parents. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1682 Madrid 21 heretics are burned, 50 Jews paraded in humiliating costumes and 10 witches flogged at auto da fe "act of faith" festival in Madrid city square. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1682 Exeter Witches Temperance Lloyd, Susanna Edwards and Mary Trembles, of Devon, are hanged for witchcraft during England's notorious Exeter trials. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1683 Finland Laws are passed in Finland directing death by hanging for male witches guilty of murder and burning for female counterparts. False. A reader in Finland reports: I emailed the Webmaster here), an expert in Finnish withcraft trials, about [this and a claim below for 1687]...He said that "both claims are all wrong"...He also said, once I asked for any further information, that it is difficult to give any if one has never heard about such laws. He added that the one who makes such claims should have the responsibility to reveal his sources.
1684 Last witch Alice Molland becomes last person executed for witchcraft in England after being hanged at Exeter. True. Verified by Hannam here.
1687 Finland Law is passed in Finland directing death penalty for individuals convicted of making pact with Devil. See 1683 entry above.
1688 Goodwin Trial Boston laundress Goody Glover is convicted of witchcraft after allegedly causing 4 children to have fits while working in their home. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1689 Cotton Mather Congregational minister Cotton Mather (1662-1728) becomes US' most dedicated witchhunter after publishing Memorable Providences Relating to Witchcrafts and uttering "better whipped than damned". True that he wrote the book; the quote is more questionable, given no source, though it is taken usually to apply to discipline of children, not witches.
1689 Blanckenstein German woman called Blanckenstein is burned alive at Naumburg, Saxony, after confessing under threat of torture to using witchcraft to kill livestock. Confused. Punkish reports: Other than in this list, I did find a witchcraft site with alternate details. (URL http://groups.msn.com/SilverRavensWitchCommunity/inmemory.msnw ) in which it is stated - without documentation sadly - that Chatrina Blanckenstein was set free when the charges were dropped, and that it was her daughter who was executed for attempted suicide. Now find this in Robbins, 53. L. Blanckenstein, charged with the bewitching to death of a baby, various animals she owned and an alleged injury to a tax collector. Several hearings were carried out without permission, and after later legal hearings she is shown the torture instruments upon which the witchcraft confession is given (as well as admitting to killing the baby). No actual torture appears to have been used. She attempts suicide but is revived, and the university review orders her to be burned alive. (Chatrina's trial was 1676, I didnt have the full info for that earlier).
1690s Quaker persecutions Puritans hang 4 Quakers after law against preaching Quaker beliefs is introduced in Massachusetts. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1691 Balthasar Bekkar Dutch clergyman Balthasar Bekkar writes The World Bewitched claiming Catholic priests use witchcraft delusion to generate income. At least partly true. Punkish notes that He published his attack on witchcraft (which also criticised the bodily appearance of spirits which previously I had confused as his denying the existance of the devil) in 1691 and as a result he was removed from his post as cleric. The view Bekkar held is considered to be the "old liberal view" and is one of four major schools of interpreting European Witchcraft history. (Russell, History of Witchcraft, 40) Robbins reports that Bekkar followed Descartes and another Dutch rationalist Simon Stevin, who rejected belief in miracles. He was the last of the Dutch thinkers...who had kept Holland free from the abuses of the witch hunters - Robbins, 45. What's this doing in a list of church crimes, then? "Generate income" bit found - Robbins (ibid) has a further quote from Bekkar: "the theory of witchcraft was invented by the papacy 'to warm the fires of purgatory and to fill the pockets of the clergy,' who burned witches to confiscate their property and to pay the salaries of the inquisitors."
1692 Salem witchtrials Church followers led by Cotton Mather hang 19 people for witchcraft and accuse 150 others during Massachusetts witchcraft craze of 1692. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1692 Giles Cory Giles Cory, 80, becomes only American citizen pressed to death for witchcraft. True. See here. Punkish adds Addendum: Note that he refused to plead to the indictments to his case (possibly because he did not accept the legality of the court he was in) and thereby brought about his own torture. (Sources: Boyer and Nissenbaum. The Salem Witchcraft papers. 1977)
1694 Elsche Nebelings German widow Elsche Nebelings, 63, is tried as witch in Saxony after showing girl how to make mouse "magically appear" in empty handkerchief. Confused. Actually, according to Robbins it is the girl who is tried as a witch, but released by recommendation by the law faculty of an impartial university (likely because it was a sleight of hand trick). No execution here, and our Crimeline author hasn't the nerve to say so. (Robbins, 351)
1697 Paisley Witches 7 women are hanged then burned at Renfrewshire, Scotland, after girl, 14, concocts story they used witchcraft against her. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
c1699 Irish persecution Sustained battles between Catholics, Anglicans and Puritans in Ireland result in establishment of Penal Laws in 1700s outlawing Catholicism. Political.
c1699 Persecutions Protestants hunt Catholics with bloodhounds in Ireland; many are killed or banish. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1699 Ireland Unnamed Irish woman is burned for witchcraft after court convicts her of causing girl, 19, to have fits. Worthless. How is it possible to check claims about anonymous persons?
1699 Coggeshall witch Elderly Englishwoman, Widow Coman, dies after being swum as witch under orders from Reverend J Boys, vicar of Coggeshall. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1700 Shetland Unnamed witch is burned for witchcraft at Gallows Hill outside Scalloway, Shetland. Worthless. How is it possible to check claims about anonymous persons?
c1700 Marquis de Sade Catholic writer, Marquis de Sade, on whose name word "sadism" is based, claims receiving inspiration for perversions from church leaders. Pass. We'll deal with this one in a future edition, but the etymology issue is correct.
1702-10 Camisards Efforts to stamp out Protestantism by Louis XIV causes fanatical Camisards to revolt and kill Catholic priests and burn churches in southern France. Not the whole story. See here. The Camisards were a sect of French fanatics who terrorized Dauphiné, Vivarais, and chiefly the Cévennes in the beginning of the eighteenth century. Their origin was due to various causes; the Albigensian spirit which had not completely died out in that region, and which caused Pope Clement XI to style the Camisards "that execrable race of ancient Albigenses"; the apocalyptic preaching and literature of the French Calvinists, such as Jurieu's "Accomplissement des propheties", on which they were nourished; and the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685), along with the singular methods of conversion employed by the agents of Louis XIV. The article goes on to describe the Camisards as engaging in guerilla warfare.
1702-10 Camisards 1000s perish after Catholic troops slaughter entire villages occupied by Camisard leaders. Not the whole story. See above.
1703 New England Indians New England religious leader Reverend Solomon Stoddard proposes packs of dogs be trained to hunt down heathen Indians "as they do bears". Half-true. See here. However it had nothing to do with the Indians being "heathen" but being considered like wolves who preyed on the colonies: As this site reports: If Indians, argued Stoddard fought "fairly after the manner of other nations, it might be looked upon as inhumane to pursue them in such a manner. But they are to be looked upon as thieves and murderers...."
1704 Pittenweem witch Scottish woman Beatrix Laing, of Fife, dies of ill-treatment after being pricked and imprisoned in darkness for 5 months then undergoing sleep deprivation for 5 days after being accused of witchcraft. True. See link two entries below.
1704 Thomas Brown Scottish man Thomas Brown, of Fife, dies of starvation while in prison after being accused of witchcraft and plotting to strangle one Alexander Macgregor. True. See link in next entry.
1705 Joan Cornfoot Scottish woman Joan Cornfoot is beaten then pressed to death by angry mob after being accused of witchcraft at Pittenweem, Fife. True. See here, though her name is Janet.
1705 Mary Philips English peasants Mary Philips and Elinor Shaw are hanged at Northampton after being tried for witchcraft based on village rumours. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1715 Huguenot Exodus 100,000s of French Huguenots (Protestants) flee France after Catholic King Louis XIV bans Protestant faith in France. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1715 Rhineland 1000s of Protestants are violently persecuted by Catholic Christians in Rhineland Palatinate. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1717 Jane Clark Jane Clark of Great Wigston, Leicester, undergoes swimming and scoring above breath after 25 neighbours accuse her of witchcraft. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1718 Bordeaux Unnamed Frenchman becomes last witch executed in Bordeaux, France, after he is accused of creating ligature to make person impotent. Worthless. How is it possible to check claims about anonymous persons?
c1720 Censorship English writer, Thomas Woolston, is imprisoned for life after voicing doubts over Resurrection and Bible miracles. Unauthorized interpretation. Punkish reports from the UK: Imprisoned for life sounds terrible, but he died while incarcerated after 16 months. The imprisonment was meant to be until he paid the judge fines over his published works, and security for good behaviour. His doubts over the resurrection amounted to interpreting the miraculous allegorically and so the resurrection would be seen as a type of spiritual things.
1722 Georg Prols Bavarian Georg Prols, is savagely tortured then beheaded and burned at Moosburg, near Freising, after schoolchildren accuse him of witchcraft. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1722 Scotland Old unnamed Scottish woman is burned to death after being convicted of turning daughter into pony and riding her to witches' Sabbat. Unverifiable. How is it possible to check claims about anonymous persons?
1723 Polish Jews 100s of Jews are beaten to death in Poland after Bishop of Gdansk rouses mob to invade country's Jewish ghettoes and provinces. Unverified. Not reported by the Jewish history site.
c1720 Polish Jews 100,000 Polish Jews are slaughtered in 300 communities before Ukraine is wrested from Catholics by Orthodox Russians. Unverified. Not reported by the Jewish history site.
1728-34 Bavaria 20 suspects are brought before courts on witchcraft charges at Augsburg, Bavaria; several are executed. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1730 Methodist Church John Wesley founds Methodist Church. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1732 Salzburg 20,000 Protestants are forcibly expelled from Salzburg under orders from Archbishop Firmian. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1735-36 Witchcraft Act Witchcraft Act of James I is repealed much to anger of church leaders still believing witches should be burned. Not the whole story. It was actually replaced with another Witchcraft Act that reduced the punishment to fines and imprisonment. An academic source here (now offline) verifies that "Methodists and Scottish Presbyterians continued to fear the threat of Satan and his earthly vassals, and condemned the Act of 1736" but notes that secular barristers dodged the issue of their own belief in witchcraft in prior years.
1742 Dijon, France Father Bertrand Guillaudot and 5 others are burned alive at Dijon, France, for using magic to divine location of treasure. Unverified. Found only in this list online.
1745 Lyons, France Father Louis Debaraz is burned alive at Lyons after being convicted of performing sacrilegious masses in attempt to find treasure. Unverified. Found only in copies of this list online. Source given is Roger Hart's Witchcraft, which we will check at a later date.
1749 Marienburg German nun Maria Renata is beheaded then burned at Marienburg after nuns claim she climbed over convent walls as pig while possessed. Mixed bag. Claim found only on a couple of websites with no clear documentation; name is also given as Maria Renata Sanger. Punkish reports: Full name: Maria Renata Sanger von Mossau - she was a sub-prioress not just a nun, there is documentation for this trial but no mention of a pig. (Robbins, 408-13) - the execution was by secular court.
1751 Osborne Witches Elderly couple Ruth and John Osborne suffer fatal injuries after being swum as witches by mob of 30 Christians at Hertfordshire, England. Not the whole story. See here. Only Ruth is verified as having been killed; and a man named Thomas Colley was hanged for murder for instigating the "swimming".
1761 Nancy, France Unnamed Jew is executed for allegedly defiling communion host at Nancy, France. Unverified. Not reported by the Jewish history site.
1766 Abbeville, France Teenager Chevalier de La Barre, of Abbeville, is sentenced to have tongue cut out and right hand amputated before burning for singing during procession. Not exactly. An academic source now offline says La Barre had been arrested on a charge of mutilating crucifixes, insulting a religious procession, and "uttering blasphemies" in Abbeville.
c1770 Voltaire Voltaire (1694-1778) becomes crusader against church cruelty and injustice; his Philosophical Dictionary is banned by Holy Office. Andd this proves what? Voltaire was far from an apt critic of the Bible.
c1770 Jean Calas Protestant cotton trader Jean Calas is broken by wheel after allegedly killing his son for turning Catholic; Voltaire later prove man's innocence. False. Punkish notes: Partly false; the son killed himself to prevent conversion to Catholicism.
c1770 Jean Pierre Espinas Jean Pierre Espinas spends 23 years as convict oarsman in galley for giving lodgings to Protestant minister; Voltaire obtains man's release. May be true. Found only in this list and on an infidels.org article, undocumented.
c1770 Nicolas Freret Historian Nicolas Freret writes: "The Christians have been more abominable monsters than all the sectaries of the other religions put together". Not the whole story. Punkish reports: Freret died in 1749. Not a historian, but a lawyer. An online encyclopedia has this to say about his posthumous works: "Long after his death several works of an atheistic character were falsely attributed to him, and were long believed to be his. The most famous of these spurious works are the Exameen critique des apologistes de la religion chritienne (1766), and theLettre de Thrasybule Leucippe, printed in London about 1768." (1911 encyc.) The quote probably appears in Examen critique des apologistes de la religion chretienne. (publ. 1768) an attack on Christianity, sometimes attributed to Lévesque de Burigny, Holbach, or Naigeon. Fréret was "a Parisian lawyer and distinguished scholar who was the first Frenchman to describe himself as an atheist in his Lettre de Thrasybule à Leucippe, 1758" [McCabe's Rationalist Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., 1950]. So there is some controversy over whethere Frere wrote these works, and our authors' date of c1770 suggests the quote appears in one of them.
1775 Anna Maria Schwagel Bavarian Anna Maria Schwagel becomes last woman executed for witchcraft in Germany after being put to death in Kempten, Bavaria. True. Robbins 452. A really confused confession, made without charges of maleficia or extraction by torture.
1776 American Independence British colonies in America declare independence from England. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1782 Switzerland Last legal execution of witch in Switzerland. True. Verified by Hannam here.
1788+ Tasmanian aborigines 4500 Tasmanian aborigines are exterminated after Anglican evangelist Governor Arthur Phillip mounts campaign against them for not embracing Christianity. False. Punkish notes: Arthur Philip was governor of New South Wales, not Tasmania. He wasn't an evangelist but a naval captain. I can't find anything about his religious convictions but he was a disciplinarian in office and hangings were commonplace as punishment. The only place I can find so far where mass deaths occurred was because of the accidental introduction of Western diseases e.g. smallpox which the aborigines had no protection against. The first settlements in Tasmania were not until 1803.
1789 French Revolution French Revolution begins with storming of Bastille. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime" and is hardly relevant.
c1789 Thomas Paine French Revolutionary Thomas Paine denounces Christianity as superstitious system for fanatics; his writings are banned in England. And this proves...? However, he was not French, and he was also a poor critic of the Bible; see here.
1789 Cagliostro Italian nobleman Cagliostro (1743-1795) is sentenced to life imprisonment after offering guests magical services at Piazza Farnese, Rome. Seems true. See here. However, he was not a nobleman; he only assumed the title of "count" and "posed as a physician, alchemist, mesmerist, necromancer." He was always in trouble with the law (see here and here: With the help of his wife, he cheated many people, and made great money, especially selling an elixir which would make people live forever and keep their beauty. He himself claimed to be very old, sometimes putting his age at two-hundred. He also pretended to make gold out of other metals, and many noble and rich people believed that he could...His claim to the title of count was fabricated. See also book by professional historian here: He was born poor, in 1743, in Sicily, where he began his career as a petty street thug. Setting the pattern for the rest of his life, Cagliostro was forced to flee Sicily after defrauding a local merchant. He traveled all over Europe, usually one step ahead of the authorities, spreading his brand of Freemasonry and billing himself as an alchemist and healer....Cagliostro's journeys finally brought him to Italy, where he was hounded as a fake by the newspapers. The amorous adventurer Casanova described Cagliostro as a fraud who fleeced the gullible.
c1800 Tithe War 1000s die and scores are wounded during religious riots in Ireland after Anglican Church imposes tithing on Catholic Church. Overstated. This neutral site reports only 48 deaths, and that only after 1831.
1801 Bucharest, Romania 128 Jews have throats cut after Orthodox priests spread rumours Christian children were used in blood-drinking rituals. Partly false. The Jewish history site reports the "death and wounding" of 128 Jews and does not mention throats being cut.
1803 Holy Empire ends Napoleon abolishes Holy Roman Empire. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1808-29 Spanish America Spanish-American wars of independence. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1814 Spanish Inquisition Spanish Inquisition suppressed by Napoleon is restored by Ferdinand VII in 1814. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1815-1900 Africa & Middle East Christians begin colonisation of North Africa and Middle East. Political.
1821 Ireland Witchcraft Act is repealed in Ireland. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1823 Inquisition ends Spanish Inquisition is suppressed again in 1820, restored in 1823 and finally eradicated in 1834. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1827 Mormons Mormon Church is founded after Joseph Smith claims receiving visions of angel called Moroni. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
c1840 Australian aborigines Explorer Paul Strzlecki claims 1000s of Australian aborigines are slaughtered for refusing to embrace Christianity. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1844 Stolen generation Australia introduces Protection of Children Act permitting church missionaries to "steal" aboriginal children for placement in white Christian homes. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1855 Lydia Maria Child US abolitionist and author Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) claims "it is impossible to exaggerate the evil work theology has done in the world". And this proves what? Punkish says: The quote comes from The Progress of Religious Ideas through Successive Ages. Thomas Wentworth Higginson commented that it was "too learned for a popular book and too popular for a learned one."
1858 Lourdes Catholic Church considers reported apparition of Mary in Lourdes, France, "worthy of belief". Marker.
1859 Darwin Charles Darwin publishes Origin of Species. Marker.
1862 US slavery ends Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation. Marker.
1863 Dummy English mute called Dummy, 80, dies after being swum as witch by Christian mob at Sible Hedington, Essex. Mixed up. Punkish notes: Sible Hedingham (not Hedington). His age as 80 is because of a media report (March 15 1864) several months later, the police report gives "about 76" -his nationality is unknown, both reports regard him as French. A bizarre character, and one involved in fortune telling and manipulating the gullible. Christian? They were locals drinking at the public house! No mention of Christianity in either report. Mob? Not quite, when it became obvious Dummy's life was in danger one of the accused in the murder case pulled the man out of the water.
1864 Colorado Indians 700 heavily armed Christian troops exterminate all native American men, women and children of Sand Creek, Colorado; between 400 and 500 are killed. Political.
1869 First Vatican Council Vatican confirms doctrine of papal infallibility meaning no Catholic may question papal authority. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
c1870 Jehovah's Witnesses Charles Russell (1852-1922) founds Jehovah's Witnesses. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime". And he died in 1916, Punkish notes.
1882 Russia 35,000 Jews are expelled from Moscow after discovery one of Czar Alexander II's assassins is Jewish. Political.
1887 Lucy Coleman Activist and author Lucy Coleman (1818-1906) condemns Bible as "an argument for the degradation of woman and the abuse by whipping of little children". And this proves...?The name is spelled Colman and the quote is actually: If your Bible is an argument for the degradation of woman, and the abuse by whipping of little children, I advise you to put it away, and use your common sense instead. --Lucy N. Colman (The Truth Seeker, March 5, 1887) -- Punkish credit
1888 Brazil Brazil abolishes slavery. Marker.
1885 Robert Ingersoll US philosopher Robert Ingersoll argues in Myth & Miracle that "theology has always sent the worst to heaven, the best to hell". And this proves...? Ingersoll was no expert; see here.
1885 Helen Gardner Helen Gardner argues in Men, Women and Gods Christianity and Bible "require of woman everything, and give her nothing". And this proves...? See a more nuanced view here. Punkish adds: Her name is "Gardener" - her birth name was Alice Chenoweth. Men, Women and Gods is a series of lectures on Freethought topics under the influence of Robert Ingersoll (he wrote the preface to the book) - in her criticisms of the Old Testament she makes no attempt to understand Jewish culture and argues by outrage.
c1890 Armenia 200,000 people die after Protestant forces move into Armenia causing civil unrest between Catholic and Orthodox Christians. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1891 Wounded Knee Heavily armed Christian troops exterminate all native American men, women and children of Wounded Knee in South Dakota. Political. Note that our writer assumes American = Christian from here on.
1894 Clonmel burning Bridget Cleary (1868-94), of Tipperary, becomes last woman executed as witch in Ireland after she is roasted on kitchen fire at Clonmel. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1895 Friedrich Nietzsche Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) in The Antichrist condemns Christianity as "the one immortal blemish of mankind". And this proves...? He was no expert in Christianity. See here.
1896 Elizabeth Stanton US author Elizabeth Stanton (1815-1902) denounces Christianity as "the fountain of all tyranny". And this proves...?
1899 Mark Twain US novelist Mark Twain (1835-1910) denounces Christianity as having "mouth full of hypocrisies": "give her soap ... but hide the looking-glass". And this proves...? His expertise in such matters was negligible.
c1900 Ireland Scores die during religious fighting following liberation of southern Ireland (Catholic) from northern Ireland (Protestant). Political.
c1900 Sigmund Freud Psychiatrist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) denounces Christianity as world's most egotistical religion as Christians claim "Jesus saves me". And this proves...? His expertise in such matters would get you a comedy routine, a noogie, and a kick in the pants.
1901 Pentecostal Church Pentecostal Church is formed in Topeka, Kansas as result of loss of evangelical fervour among Methodists and other churches; new fanaticism is introduced. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1903 Russian unrest 300 Jews die at Odessa and 120 at Yekaterinoslav after Orthodox Christians blame civil unrests on "Jewish machinations". Unverified. Not reported by the Jewish history site.
1909 Armenia 20,000 people die and scores are wounded during religious clashes between Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox Christians in Armenia. Political.
1910 Albert Schweitzer German theologian Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) denies historical Christ claiming "there is nothing more negative than the result of the critical study of the life of Jesus". False. While critical Schweizter did not deny the historicity of Jesus.
1914-18 First World War Bertrand Russell denounces WWI as wholly Christian in origin as "the three Emperors were devout, and so were the more warlike of the British Cabinet". DIncorrect. Russell defined "Christian" politically.
1917 Torture banned Codex Juris Canonici bull is introduced finally banning church-sanctioned torture. Pass. Until someone refutes some of this, we'll leave this one unanswered.
1917-8 Russian revolution Orthodox Church is overthrown by Russian peasants perceiving church had become too greedy and powerful. Pass. We'll deal with this one in a future edition.
1917-8 Jews eradicated 60,000 Jews are killed in 530 Russian communities after political-religious uprising erupts aiming to "strike at the bourgeoisie and the Jews". Religious? This was the Communist revolution!
1922 Hitler Hitler reveals true religious beliefs in 1922 speech when he says: "My feelings as a Christian point me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter". Not the whole story. See entries under Hitler here; he revealed himself as one willing to say anything to get votes.
1924 Robert Hughes Historian Robert Hughes says in Why I Quit Going To Church "of all the religions ... the Christian religion ha(s) the most horrible record". And this proves...?, but it is actually RUPERT Hughes, and he was not a historian but an "author, playwright, historian, screen writer and movie director." see here. In other words, a non-expert.
1939-45 Second World War Pius XII (1939-58), "Hitler's Pope", turns blind eye to religious atrocities committed by Nazis against Jews during WWII. Blatant revisionis,. See here for replies. "Pius (Eugenio Pacelli) was praised by all the leading Jews of his day for his role in saving more Jews than Schindler. Pius's admirers included Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog of Israel, Israeli Prime Ministers Golda Meir and Moshe Sharett, Israel's first president Chaim Weizmann, and Israel Zolli, Chief Rabbi of Rome who converted to Catholicism and took the baptismal name Eugenio in the pope's honor; while he was hated by the Nazis."
1939-45 Holocaust 6,000,000 Jews die under Hitler's orders in human catastrophe allegedly inspired by Martin Luther's pamphlet, Jews and Their Lies. See above.
1941-5 Ustashi 60,000 Orthodox Christians, Jews and Muslims are massacred by fanatical Catholic "Ustashi" soldiers under Croatian leader Ante Pavelic (1889-1959). Political.
1949 Dead Sea Scrolls Dead Sea Scrolls are discovered at Qumran raising questions about real truths behind Christianity. False. Serious scholarship on the matter does not see the Scrolls as raising any "questions" but as providing positive illumination. See here.
c1950 Ireland Scores die during Catholic IRA terrorists attacks in attempts to unify Northern Ireland (Protestants) and southern Ireland (Catholics). Political.
1951 Witchcraft Witchcraft as crime is finally removed from English statute books by British Parliament. Not the whole story. It was actually replaced by the Fraudulent Mediums Act. Based on the reason for the replacement it was more because witchcraft was regarded as false than anything else.
1955 Margaret Knight Author Margaret Knight (1903-83) claims in Morals Without Religion that "ethical teaching is weakened if it is tied up with dogmas that will not bear examination". And this proves...? That comment and 15 cents is worth 15 cents.
1957 Bertrand Russell English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) claims Christian Church "has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world". Vague generalization. I.e., worthless.
1958 Rudolph Bultmann German theologian Rudolph Bultmann (1884-1976) discounts historical Christ claiming biblical sources are "fragmentary and often legendary". Outdated. Bultmann is now widely recognized as outdated in his thinking and methods.
1962-5 Second Vatican Council John XXIII (1958-63) introduces 16 edicts aimed at renewing "ourselves and the flocks committed to us". Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".
1968 Ulster Scores are killed during riots after Catholics protest exclusion from Northern Ireland economy; Protestant terroraists respond with bombs, guns and burning. Political.
1970-90 Lives lost 3000 lives are lost in Northern Ireland between 1970 and 1990 as result of hostilities between Protestants and Catholics. Political.
1970-80 Catholic wealth Vatican becomes third wealthiest nation behind America and Japan. Gossip repeated. See here. Most of what the Vatican owns is in "immovable" items like buildings and art. Many authors have received fat book contracts to expose Vatican wealth and produced books which admitted there was little if anything to expose.
1978 John Paul II John Paul II (1978+) reaffirms support of conservative moral traditions and banning women priests. True. Though of course more complexity lies behind this, as reported by Matt. D., one of our research associates. A site here notes: “In 1976, the international biblical experts of the Pontifical Biblical Commission concluded, with a majority of 12 to 5, that there were no scriptural objections to the priestly ordination of women.” To this, however, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith voiced some objections. However, “Rome has refused to listen to protests and challenges offered by bishops, theologians, scripture scholars and women’s organizations from all over the world.” This site presents some popular arguments from Scripture supporting the thesis that only men should be priests. One is the fact that Jesus only selected male apostles. But, “an analysis of Scripture shows that in choosing only men Jesus followed the prevailing custom of the time, without thereby, as in so many other matters, closing the door to future developments.” Here is a summary of the arguments pro (Catholic tradition) and con (those against the tradition) with regard to Tradition. Here also is a summary of the arguments pro and con with regard to Scripture.
1978 People's Temple 913 die after former Methodist minister and Bible cult leader Rev Jim Jones tells followers he is Messiah and they should commit "revolutionary suicide". Irrelevant. Defines "Christian" apparently very broadly.
1981 Sherry Matulis Activist Sherry Matulis (1931+) says "if every criminal and inhumane act ever committed were traced to its root cause, that root would be buried deep in religion". Vague generalization from another non-expert.
1983 Branch Davidians 80 die in fireball after former 7th Day Adventist and Bible cult leader David Koresh tells followers he is Messiah and apocalypse has begun. Irrelevant. And it happened it 1993, not 1983.
1983 Darkley, Ireland 3 worshipers are killed and 7 wounded after Catholic terrorists with automatic weapons burst into Protestant church in Ireland. Political.
1985 Ulster 54 are killed, 916 wounded, 516 arrested and 31 kneecapped during Catholic and Protestant terrorist attacks in Northern Ireland. Political.
1988 Armenia 100 people are killed during religious riots between Christian Armenians and Shiite Muslims. Political.
1989 Jimmy Bakker US televangelist and former Assemblies of God minister Jimmy Bakker is convicted of bilking 114,000 Christian followers out of $250 million. True.
1991 Gulf War US and allies invade Iraq. Political.
1994 Gerald Ridsdale Victorian Catholic priest Father Gerald Ridsdale (1929-) becomes Australia's most notorious pedophile after receiving 18-year sentence for child sex abuse. Mostly true. Actually 15 years.
1997 Rudolph Kos Texas Catholic priest Father Rudolph Kos (1945-) receives 3 life sentences and his church is ordered to pay record $190 million damage bill for child sex abuse. Mostly true. The actual amount was $119 million; see also here.
1997 Heaven's Gate 87 die after Bible cult leader Marshall Applewhite tells followers they should "graduate" to meet Jesus behind Hale-Bopp comet. Irrelevant. Applewhite used the Bible like Hillbilly Jim uses soap.
1998 Brazil 6 people, including 3 children, are beaten to death by United Pentecostal Church of Brazil members who believe they are possessed by Devil. Irrelevant. This was a tiny cult with 30 or maybe 60 members, depending on what source you consult.
1998 Alabama bomber Christian fundamentalist Eric Rudolph becomes FBI's most wanted fugitive after Alabama abortion clinic bombing leaves 1 policeman dead and 1 nurse critically wounded. Irrelevant. Defining Rudolph as "Christian" is outrageous. Punkish adds: In June 3, 1999 issue of The Age, (Australian paper) it reports that the Ku Klux Klan had 'established church affiliations in four Australian states under the name of "Christian Identity"'. One of CI's members is: Eric Roberts Rudolph. Crimeline published this statement originally on his own website before incorporating it into this list.
1999 Nora Wall Former Sisters of Mercy nun Nora Wall (1948-), nicknamed "Sister Antichrist", becomes first woman in Ireland to receive maximum life sentence for rape. Not the whole story. See here and here. The conviction was quashed and the sentence was lifted three days later. Odd that this is not mentioned.
1999 Catholic wealth Finance author Avro Manhattan claims Catholic Church in 1999 "will have indirect or direct control over one third of all sources of wealth in Western society". Unverified. However he was not a "finance author" but a poet and writer who has no business making such statement.
1999 Pat Robertson Newspapers estimate US evangelist Pat Robertson's Christian empire, including TV station, diamond mine and university, is worth $312 million. And this proves...? What's the crime? In contrast the top Fortune 500 company one year made $210 billion. See here.
1999 Billy Graham Newspapers estimate US evangelist Billy Graham's Christian empire, which has over 10 million followers, grosses $100 million annually. And this proves...? Again, what's the crime?
1999 Dr George Carey Archbishop of Canterbury causes shockwaves after announcing in millennium speech: "we cannot know Jesus was raised from the dead". Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime". However, Punkish reports: This is what Dr Carey wrote in the pamphlet "Jesus 2000" (his millenium message): After mentioning that we can be sure Jesus lived and died, he goes on to say "we cannot with the same certainty say that we know he was raised by God from the dead". So Crimeline doesn't even give the quote properly but wait - there's more: Carey goes on to chide journalists who might consider writing the headline "ARCHBISHOP DOUBTS THE RESURRECTION!" because he says "put down your pens" to them and specifically says "I firmly believe that God raised Jesus from the dead". (he goes on to discuss the usually-given reasons why he believes this - especially the empty tomb and the existance of the Church) This has arisen because Reuters reported the 'doubt' sentence out of context (July 31 1999 link http://www.concordtx.org/wrldnews/carey.htm) - the former archbishop half-expected some journalists to do this and warns them...Crimeline simply copied the news report without checking the source.
2000 Anglican wealth Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey criticises Western society for worshiping wealth just weeks before media reveals UK Anglican Church earned £4.4 billion in 1999. Confused. The Anglican church had 4.4 billion in capital assets which includes things like the value of buildings and land. According to the Church's website it made £825 million in a recent year, which an organization that size actually needs for all it does. Compare that to Wal-Mart and see if you're still upset.
2000 Anglican arms investment Media reports UK Anglican Church owned shares totalling over £20 million in military tank and helicopter manufacturer, GKN. Vague generalization. By 2000 calls to disinvest had come as a result of GKN wanting to sell to repressive regimes: When the church began investing in the arms industry, a spokesperson said they only were involved with companies selling equipment that helped nations defend themselves, or for use on peacekeeping missions....Now, however, the ethical advisory committee concluded that equipment was being sold on such a wide scale it was impossible to monitor where it was going.
2000 Indonesia 512 Muslims are slaughtered or reported missing during religious battles in which Christians, with 28 lives lost, are described in Australian media as being "more ruthless" than Muslims. Political.
2000 Uganda Over 1000 lives are lost in suicide-murder involving members of Ugandan Christian cult Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God. Irrelevant.
2001 Bush bombs Iraq Christian US president George Bush orders bombing of Iraq, killing 8 people including 3 children. Media describes airstrike as powerful announcement of newly elected president's presence on world stage. Political.
2001 World Trade Centre attack Christian US president George Bush gets dose of own medicine after terrorists destroy one of his country's most sacred symbols next to the Christian cross. Political.
2001 Do unto others After pushing the world around for 2000 years, the Christian world - led by the new Rome that is the US - appears to have forgotten its own teaching in that one reaps what one sows ... Political.
2001 Christian world declares war As any good Christian knows, the best way to deal with an enemy is not to love them but simply to blow them away ... Political. "Christan world"? It's as secular as an atheist convention these days.