The Inquisitors (directores causarum) in the Judicial Practice of Cluj at the End of the 16th Century Cover Image

A városi közügyigazgatók (direktorok) Kolozsvár 16. század végi bírósági gyakorlatában
The Inquisitors (directores causarum) in the Judicial Practice of Cluj at the End of the 16th Century

Author(s): László Pakó
Subject(s): History
Published by: Erdélyi Múzeum-Egyesület
Keywords: early-modern judicial practice of Cluj; inquisitional process; town inquisitor; town advocates

Summary/Abstract: The two inquisitors of the town (inquisitores malefactorum) are mentioned for the fi rst time in the judicial protocols of the town in 1584, but the fi rst regulation of their activities dates from March 1587. The establishment of the institution was marked by a series of circumstances: the growing efforts of the town offi cials to tighten the control over the community of the town, the introduction of the inquisitorial procedure, and the judicial activity of a townadvocate called György Igyártó. After their competences and duties being delineated in 1587, they were charged to take action against criminals in cases that didn’t involve private accusation, and gained an important role in the management of the town’s revenues as well. The two inquisitors were annually elected among the centumviri. There activity focused on the crimes that endangered the security and the public order of the town’s society – mainly the security of the human life, of the family and the public morality – and to a lesser extent on trials concerning the material belongings of the citizens. The data presented shows that the apparition of the institution stimulated greatly the development of the judicial practice of the town. They were charged to take up the efforts of the town’s magistrate to provide an institutional frame for the persecution and the punishment of the criminals. The growth in number of both the type of the crimes prosecuted and the number of criminal trials started through private or public initiation at the court of the town proves a more effective impeachment of the criminals; furthermore, it clearly indicates the growing role of the justice in the disciplining process of the society. These changes can be listed among other political, social and religious changes of the second half of the 16th century, that are closely linked to the town’s endeavor to gain its independence in every aspect of the town-life.

  • Issue Year: LXXIV/2012
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 88-102
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Hungarian