The opening of the archive of the former Congregation of the Holy Office in Rome (the office of the 'Inquisition') yielded an extraordinary wealth of documentation, altering dramatically many long-standing views on the repressive activity of the ...
Roman Church during the counter-Reformation. Drawing extensively upon this archival source, this 2001 book highlights the wide gap between the Church's aim to exert control over all knowledge and actual implementation. The plurality of the central offices, their contradictory decisions, and the inadequacy of the peripheral offices combined to hamper truly effective censorship. But despite this failure in developing a unified expurgatory policy, such prohibition as there was had a disastrous effect upon Italian culture, and for centuries Italians - jurists, scientists, Jews and common readers, as well as scholars - were deprived of their most cherished books.