Isabella of Castile by Manuel Oms Canet, Madrid
Article “Tommaso Torquemada. The man who became the symbol of the terrible era " we talked about various evaluations of his work, as well as the edicts of “intolerance” and “mercy” and the persecution of converses, tornadidos and marranes before the birth of Torquemada. Now let's talk about the life path of the humble Dominican, who for many years did not even suspect that he was destined to become the Grand Inquisitor, and tell how he influenced history Spain.
The spiritual career of Tommaso de Torquemada
The uncle of the future Grand Inquisitor, Juan de Torquemada, was a Dominican and a cardinal, he took part in the Council of Constance - the very one where Jan Hus was convicted and sentenced to be burned at the stake.
Juan de Torquemada
Tommaso, who received a good home education at the age of 12, was sent to a monastery school, and at 14 we see him in the Dominican monastery of St. Paul in the city of Valladolid, performing not too honorable duties of an assistant cook. So began his spiritual career, which opened the way for him to the royal palace and led to the heights of power.
Torquemada did not spend all his time in the monastery, until 1452 he traveled a lot around Castile, drawing general attention to asceticism (he didn’t eat meat, walked barefoot and wore a hair shirt, slept on bare boards) and high oratorical abilities. In 1451, he became a member of the Order of Brothers Preachers (this is the official name of the Dominican monastic Order). And in 1452 (some sources call it 1459, which is wrong), he agreed to take the post of prior (rector) of the Dominican monastery of the Holy Cross (Convento de Santa Cruz la Real) in Segovia.
Segovia (the administrative center of the Spanish province of Avila) is little known in our country, but at that time it was one of the most important cities of Castile, its former capital.
Segovia, modern photo
Here in 1218, Dominic Gusman founded one of the first monasteries of the new Order of Brothers Preachers. Here is a grotto in which he indulged in “mortification of the flesh” in 1218, and where Christ and Dominic appeared to Saint Theresa of Avila on September 30, 1574, who promised to help reform the Carmelite Order and create its branch of “Barefoot Carmelites”. Now the building belongs to the university.
Ecstasy of St. Theresa in the cave of St. Dominic. Painting by an unknown artist of the XNUMXth century
In addition, Segovia is very well located between Madrid and Valladolid, and the small town of Arevalo is very close by, where just at that time, along with his mother and younger brother Alfonso, was the Castilian Infanta Isabella.
Arevalo, Segovia, Valladolid, Madrid
Arevalo city, modern photo
It was in this monastery until 1474 that he held the post of Prior Tommaso Torquemada.
Monastery of Santa Cruz la Real, Segovia. The monastery building in the XVI century was rebuilt in the style of "Plateresco"
Mother and daughter (who were 3 years old when they met Torquemada) visited the monastery of the Holy Cross, meeting there with his abbot - already glorified by his asceticism and religious zeal. And then he began to visit them, and invariably refused to take the mule, walking 30 miles on foot. It is not surprising that it was Torquemada who became Isabella’s confessor and her teacher (and good one: later it turned out that Isabella was much more educated than her husband Ferdinand of Aragon). Moreover, it was communication with Torquemada for a long time that limited Isabella’s connection with the outside world, from him (and in his interpretation) she received news of all the events both in Castile and abroad. And Isabella's mother was almost always in a state of severe depression and had little influence on her daughter's upbringing. In the early 70s, she completely stopped recognizing her (we recall, incidentally, that the fourth daughter of Isabella I of the Catholic, Queen of Castile and the wife of Philip the Beautiful, went down in history under the name of Juan Mad).
Isabella of Portugal (1428-1496), mother of Queen Isabella I of Castile la Catolica
And therefore it was Torquemada that had a huge, simply defining, influence on the formation of the personality of the future Catholic Queen. Bishop Valentin Fleshier wrote in 1693:
“Torquemada was the confessor of Isabella from her very birth, and he inspired her that God would once raise her to the throne, that her main business would be the punishment and destruction of heretics, that the purity and simplicity of the Christian Doctrine were the basis of government, that the means of establishing peace in the kingdom should be religion and justice. "
The French Dominican Antoine Turon (1686-1775) in the "History of famous people of the Dominican Order" reports:
“In all the difficulties that often caused her (Isabella) pain and frustration, she needed comfort; and after God, she found him to the greatest degree in the advice of her confessor: she appreciated his knowledge, his honesty, zeal, and affection, the confirmation of which he gave constantly and in any circumstances. "
Marlon Brando as Torquemada and Rachel Ward as Isabella, the film Christopher Columbus. Conquest of America
We add that the strength of the personality of Torquemada was such that the husband of Isabella Ferdinand fell under his influence.
But back to Isabella. The girl grew short and not particularly slender, her eyes were greenish-gray, her hair was golden. As a rest, she preferred reading and embroidery. Biographers note that, in addition to fanatical religiosity, she was characterized by stubbornness and even some arrogance. Raised as a nun, becoming a queen, she rode a horse, and sometimes personally led military units.
Portrait of the young Isabella of Castile, Santa María la Mayor Collegial Church, Toro, Spain
Isabella of Castile, Statue at the Royal Chapel, Granada
However, the crown of Isabella was still very far away. Her father, Juan II, died in 1454, the king was his eldest son - Enrique IV, who, due to his impotence, received the contemptuous nickname "Powerless".
Enrique IV el Impotente
His second wife gave birth to a daughter from her lover - Bertrand de la Cueva (this girl is known as Juan Beltraneha), and the Castilian grandees forced the king to appoint the son of the former king - the younger brother of Isabella Alfonso, known as the "Contender".
After this, Enrico demanded that the children of his stepmother, Isabella of Portugal, be brought from Arevalo to the court. For some reason, Torquemada’s pupil was forbidden to sit at the royal dining table, in protest, her brother Alfonso and the Archbishop of Toledo began to sit next to her.
On June 5, 1465, rebellious grandees burned the scarecrow of King Enrique and proclaimed King Isabella Alfonso's brother (this incident went down in history as the “Avila booth”). A war broke out between the brothers, in which the northern provinces of the kingdom supported Enrique, and the southern provinces supported Alphonse. And only after the death of the 14-year-old applicant (who fell into a coma, eating trout cooked for him, probably poisoned by enemies), the turn came to Isabella, who was declared Princess of Asturias in 1468. According to the drawn up agreement, Enrico could not force Isabella to an unwanted marriage for her, but she could not get married without her brother’s consent. And now, the modest prior Tommaso Torquemada has entered the stage of big politics. It was he who played a huge role in the preparation and practical implementation of Isabella's secret marriage with the son of King Juan II of Aragon, Ferdinand, who was one year younger and was her second cousin.
Tommaso de torquemada
This intrigue was also supported by the Archbishop of Toledo, Don Alfonso Carrillo de Acuna, who were at enmity with King Enrique IV.
Isabella and Ferdinand
Ferdinand of Aragon, portrait of the work “Masters of the Legend of Magdalene”
Isabella and Ferdinand were members of the Trastamar dynasty, whose representatives ruled at different times in Castile, Aragon, Leon, Sicily, Naples and Navarre.
Castile, Leon, Aragon (after completion of the Reconquista)
Particularly, perhaps, it is worth mentioning Asturias, which, like the Basque Country, was never conquered by the Arabs.
Asturias in the XNUMXthth centuries
In 910 this kingdom was divided into Leon, Galicia and Asturias proper, but in 924 these lands were again united under the name of the kingdom of Leon and Asturias - it was it that became the base of the Reconquista. Asturians were very proud of the “blue blood” (the fact that blue veins were visible on the white skin of their hands) and without exception considered themselves nobles. In the novel Don Quixote, Cervantes speaks of the innkeeper’s maid - the Asturian, who promised to come to a certain driver at night:
“It was said about this glorious girl that she kept such promises even in those cases when they were given by her in a dense forest and, moreover, without witnesses, because the said girl was very proud of her noble origin.”
Now back to Isabella's fiancé - Ferdinand, who at that time was the governor of Catalonia and the king of Sicily - he was known here as Ferrante III. In Castile, he will be called Fernando V, and from January 20, 1479, after the death of his father, he will become king of Aragon Fernando II. At the time of the marriage, which was concluded either in Valladolid or in Segovia on October 19, 1469, he was 17 years old, and there were rumors that he had already had two illegitimate children by this time.
Ferdinand and his retinue arrived in Castile under the guise of merchants, the pope’s consent to a close marriage was fabricated (the present was received later - after Isabella’s birth was the first child, and a copy of him was never found in the Vatican, so some historians believe that it was also fake ) According to the drawn up agreement, Ferdinand became only a consort prince, which categorically did not suit him. Later, he managed to agree on the basis of a compromise: Ferdinand now was to become not a consort, but the co-ruler of his wife. Their names were minted on coins, acts of appointment and sentencing were also committed on behalf of both spouses - there was even a saying: “Tanto monta, montatanto, Isabel como Fernando” (All one, Isabella, like Ferdinand).
Golden doubloon with the image of Isabella and Ferdinand
But at the same time, in Castile, Ferdinand acted as the commissioner of Isabella, and the state treasury and the royal army remained in the exclusive subordination of the queen.
Wedding portrait of Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, an unknown artist
It was Isabella, as the Queen of Castile, who decided to finance the Columbus expedition, and therefore the Kingdom of Aragon was initially forbidden to maintain any, especially commercial, relations with the American continent, and the Mediterranean remained its sphere of influence.
Isabella of Castile, Ferdinand of Aragon and Christopher Columbus. Gardens of the Catholic Kings, Alcazar, Cordoba
For help in organizing the marriage of Isabella and Ferdinand Torquemade, he later was offered the position of Archbishop of Seville, which he refused.
And Enrique IV accused Isabella of violating the contract and declared the heir to the illegitimate daughter of his wife - Juan. Fearing for their lives, Isabella and Ferdinand settled in Medina del Rio Seco, which was ruled by the grandfather of the prince - Castilian grand, High Admiral Fadrik de Henriques.
Later, King Enrique reconciled with his sister, and returned her inheritance rights.
On December 11, 1474, King Enrique IV died, Isabella became Queen of Castile and Leon, and her husband Ferdinad received the crown of Castile.
Coronation of Isabella I of Castile. Segovia, Alcazar
But in 1475, the king of Portugal, Alfonso V, who married Juan Beltraneja, tried to challenge Isabella's rights. The war with Portugal lasted until 1479, in which Pope Sixtus IV annulled the marriage of Alfonso and Juan, as closely related. The unfortunate niece of Isabella went to the monastery, where she spent the rest of her life.
Isabella I, painting by an unknown artist, circa 1490, Prado Museum
Alexander VI, the second pope of the Borgia family, granted the new monarchs the title of Catholic kings - and everyone in Spain immediately understands who they are talking about when they see the word la Catolica next to Isabella or Ferdinand.
Fernando Gallega, Madonna of the Catholic Kings
In 1479, after the death of Father Ferdinand, Isabella of Castile also received the title of Queen of Aragon and Valencia, and also became the Countess of Barcelona.
But we must remember that Spain was not yet on the map of Europe: Castile and Aragon retained their crowns, institutions of power, their money and their languages. Only in the XNUMXth century will a complete unification of these lands take place.
Some researchers believe that it was Isabella I of Castile la Catolica that influenced the functions of the chess queen: back in the XNUMXth century, he was a male figure and, like the king, could go only one square. But, after Isabella became one of the most powerful monarchs in Europe, the queen became associated with the queen and was able to move around the chessboard, and chess began to symbolize the struggle of Christian states against the Saracens.
On the advice of Torquemada, Ferdinand was appointed master of all military religious orders. And the grandees in the new state were supplanted by letrados (scientists, literate) - people with university degrees, who came, as a rule, from the midst of the small nobility (hidalgo) and the townspeople.
In 1476, "Saint Hermandade" (from hermandades - "fraternity") - the traditional city police militia of some Castilian cities, became mandatory in all areas of Castile, Leon and Aragon and subsequently subordinated to the royal government. This organization became the pillar of the central government and played a large role in restricting the rights of local feudal lords (50 castles were demolished in a short time, which made the grandees much more manageable and obedient). Another result was a significant reduction in crime. You can learn about Ermandade, the authority of this organization, and the fear that it inspired in Cervantes’s novel Don Quixote. Sancha Panza says to his master:
“This is what I will tell you, señor: it would not hurt us to take refuge in a church. After all, we left the man with whom you fought in the most distressing situation, so that, look and see, the Holy Brotherhood will come and you and I will be seized ... those who are up on the big roads of a fight, the Holy Brotherhood does not pat on the head. "
All these innovations, of course, were progressive in nature, and benefited the state. But in 1477, an event occurred that painted Spanish history in dark, blood-black tones. Then Philip de Barberis arrived to the Catholic kings - the inquisitor from Sicily, which was dependent on Aragon (the inquisitors appeared in this kingdom already in the first half of the XNUMXth century, but were practically inactive by the time described). The purpose of his visit was to confirm the privilege to appropriate a third of the property of convicted heretics. It was Barberis who advised the royal couple to resume the Inquisition in Aragon and extend them to Castile and Leon. This proposal, supported by the papal nuncio Nicolo Franco, found a warm response among the local clergy, who demanded to investigate the degree of sincerity of the conversion of Jews and Morisks. Decisive was the opinion of Torquemada, who told Isabella that most conversos only portray "good Christians." After that, the queen decided to ask Pope Sixtus IV for permission to establish her own inquisition in Castile, aimed mainly against the “Converse” - both secret Judaists and hidden Muslims.
Pope Sixtus IV, he went down in history as a customer of the painting of the Vatican Chapel (now known to everyone as the Sistine)
Founding of the Inquisition in Castile and Leon
On November 1, 1478, Sixtus IV issued the bull “Sincerae devotionis”, in which the Catholic kings were allowed to establish a special body with the right to arrest heretics and trial them. The right to appoint and remove the inquisitors was granted to Isabella and Ferdinand. The inquisitors were to be "archbishops and bishops or other church dignitaries, known for their wisdom and virtue ... at the age of at least forty years of age and impeccable behavior, masters or bachelors of theology, doctors or licensees of canon law."
The property of the convicts was divided into three parts, extending to the royal treasury, the pope and the investigators (who, thus, turned out to be materially interested in convicting the largest possible number of suspects).
This was the beginning of the infamous Spanish Inquisition.
F. Goya. Inquisition Tribunal
F. Goya. Man condemned by the Inquisition. Drawing from album C, sheet No. 85. Madrid. Prado
In the next article we will talk about the activities of the Inquisitors in Castile and Leon and the Grand Inquisitor Tommaso Torquemada.