Wednesday, August 03, 2005

"Witches" who were about to die

The walls of a dungeon in Palermo, Sicily, have yielded grafitti left by condemned prisoners in the 17th and 18th centuries. Some of the prisoners would have been condemned for sorcery, says this account.

Anyone dragged [to that dungeon] was unlikely to emerge alive as the Inquisition was notoriously ruthless with suspected heretics, soothsayers, blasphemers and friends of the Devil. "In fact, many of the victims were simply intellectuals or artists whom the Church considered a threat to its power," explained the head of restorers, Domenico Policarpi.

Indeed, the average Sicilian back then was probably illiterate and incapable of writing anything much on prison walls.


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