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Policing Printed Matter

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Chapter Summary

Twenty-four years after Fernando and Isabel established the Inquisition in Spain, they set up rules to regulate the dissemination of printed matter in their realm. They began a licensing process for printed books in 1502, mandating that licenses be secured both for works printed in Castile and those imported into it. With the exception of those texts deemed "Judaizing," the initial interests of Inquisitorial investigations in Spain were not textual. In order to understand the ways in which printed matter was policed, however, it is crucial to study not only the types of works banned or expurgated in these listings, but also the manner in which the Indices were enforced. As José Simón Díaz explains in detail, the Council of Castile, the local bishop, and the religious order if the author formed part of one, all could issue official endorsements, most commonly called aprobaciones or censuras in Spain.

Keywords: aprobaciones; censuras; Inquisition in Spain; Isabel of Castile; José Simón Díaz; policing printed matter; Royal Council of Castile; Spanish indices



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