The number of people who died in the various inquisitions across Europe is difficult to determine, but the number of victims can be numbered in the thousands, not the millions as a previous respondent stated. The entire populations of Europe would have been wiped out if inquisitors had killed in those numbers! Even though the Spanish Inquisition lasted for hundreds of years the Inquisition was held primarily in small areas in France, Spain and Italy.
For example, the Spanish Inquisition, assuredly the most vigorous and corrupt of the various inquisitorial bodies that existed in Europe, held 49,000 trials between 1560-1700 and executed between 3 and 5,000 people.
I suggest to read Edward Peter's Inquisition for the most up to date analysis of the topic, including the myths that have arisen surrounding the inquisitions.
Correction The Spanish Inquisition was state ministry, not papal organization. Blaming Popes for deeds of Spanish Inquisition is incorrect. However kings of Spain used Dominicans (Catholic religious order priests) as judges etc. because clergy (especially mentioned monks) were generally far more educated than ordinary people.
Brief Answer: Talking of 'the inquisition' probably refers to the whole thing i.e. 'retake' of land for Christians and murderous rampage against heretics. It was started by Pope Lucius III when he issued a bull against heretics- and the violent measures against them. It is strongly thought by those who thoroughly study the inquisition that the death toll is indeed in the millions. Which is of course denied by Christian leaders and followers.
After some thought, I'm leaving the last two contributors' responses here to give those interested some idea of the flavor of the controversy. Firstly, it is correct to state that the Spanish Inquisition was a state ministry, but that doesn't remove it from the category of "inquisition." It was authorized by the papacy and thereafter used by monarchs on the Iberian peninsula beginning with Ferdinand and Isabella as the only institution at their disposal that operated across the boundaries of the twin crowns of Aragon and Castille. Many inquisitions functioned in conjunction with secular authorities, such as in 15th century Florence. And needless to say the Roman inquisition functioned under the direct management and control of the Pope, who WAS the secular (as well as spiritual) authority in the city of Rome and the Papal States. All of this simply goes toward explaining why it makes no sense to think of a single inquisition, rather than multiple inquisitions. Again, if you are truly interested in the subject, read Edward Peters or Richard Kieckhefer.
As for how many deaths may be attributed to the various inquisitorial bodies, I'm not certain who the previous contributor refers to when he states that "those who thoroughly study the inquisition" agree that the death toll was in the millions, but he or she is quite wrong on multiple levels. I am unaware of any modern historian who would accept such ridiculous numbers and it has nothing to do with whether or not they are Christian. Again, for a general treatment of the various inquisitions, read Edward Peters' Inquisitions, and for a more specialized treatment turn to Richard Kieckhefer's Repression of Heresy in Medieval Germany.
Finally, the previous contributor was correct in pointing to the papal bull of 1184, ab abolendam, which Pope Lucius III did indeed issue the year before his death, as the beginning of the papal inquisition, but episcopal inquisitions had existed prior to this, and indeed the first time heretics were burned was at Orleans in 1022. And again, even with the establishment of the papal inquisition, various judge legates, which is what individual inquisitors were, pursued their duties in differing ways and with differing agendas. In sum, there never was anything one code referred to as THE inquisition, simply various individual inquisitions.
MORE: According to Henry Kamen's "The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision" it is very difficult to determine, because if people fled - which they usually did - the Inquisition would burn them in effigy, and make no distinction in their records between whether someone was burned in effigy or in reality. According to Kamen, at the height of the Inquistiion, they executed a handful of people per year, and the State of Texas executes more people in a year than the Inquisition did in ten.
about 2000 people where killed
In comparison to the fear it caused, the Inquisition did not murder that many people. It is estimated that several thousand people were actually executed. Many were tortured and released and many more were imprisoned.
The New Inquisition has 240 pages.
The Inquisition was controlled by the Roman Catholic Church- there was both a Roman Inquisition, and a Spanish Variant.
I don't think there are any specific "lessons" to be learnt from the Inquisition.
the inquisition killed up 5000 persons from 1478 - 1834
A:The 'Inquisition' was actually a series of tribunals set up, originally to combat what the Catholic Church considered heresy. The most famous of these was the Spanish Inquisition, and the limited evidence that survives suggests that around 5000 executions took place on the orders of the Spanish Inquisition. The Inquisition set up in the Netherlands was responsible for a further 2000 executions. Most other Inquisition tribunals resulted in far fewer executions, since most of their victims were sensible enough to recant their heresies and seek 'forgiveness'.
The Inquisition was a Catholic judicial group that worked to keep people from committing heresy. They were cruel, and inflicted torture on huge numbers of innocent people. The Inquisition was started under Pope Gregory XI in 1232.
The Spanish Inquisition was primarily an action of the Crown in Spain. It did, however, employ clerical judges, mostly religious from the Dominican Order, I believe, who judged cases according to the law of the Church. Since the religious judges were much more lenient than the civil judges, many people attempted to get their cases tried by the Inquisition instead of the civil authority.
Christians during the inquisition
To get them to confess to heresy
Historians distinguish four different manifestations of the Inquisition:the Medieval Inquisition (1184-1230s)the Spanish Inquisition (1478-1834)the Portuguese Inquisition (1536-1821)the Roman Inquisition (1542 - c. 1860 )
There were many Inquisitions, but regardless to which one you are referring, any Inquisition is an attempt to "legally prosecute" heretics under God.
Inquisition is a noun.
The Spanish Inquisition mainly persecuted anyone or group they considered as being a heretic, or not a strict follower of the Catholic religion. Many innocent people also suffered torture and death, simply on a vague rumour or direct accusation by another person. Some people used the Inquisition to take revenge on a neighbour, when a dispute or slight arose.
the Inquisition was about getting the people of Europe (mostly in Spain and Portugal) to be Catholic again and stop the spread of Judaism and Islam.
Roman Catholic AnswerThere is no simple answer to this question, as you are dealing with a period of nearly seven centuries, and many different inquisitions. The Medieval Inquisition ran from 1184-1230. The Spanish Inquisition from 1478 through 1834, the Portuguese Inquisition from 1536 through 1821, and the roman Inquisition from 1542 through 1860. When people in the the modern, western world refer to "The Inquisition", most of the time they are referring to the Spanish Inquisition which was the only one which was NOT under the Church's control. The Spanish Inquisition was operated completely under the control of the Spanish crown and independent of the Holy See.Below are two links on the Inquisitions. Basically, Inquisitions under control of the Holy See were to seek out heresy and stop its effects on the population of the faithful, this was obviously not the case with the Spanish Inquisition - which was the only one operative in the Americas.
the inquisition ended in the year of 1834
During the inquisition, most notably the Spanish Inquisition, people who were not Christians (Jews and Muslims) had to convert under the penalty of death. Many were also expelled from Spain and other countries. There was no tolerance in that regard.
Many people died during this war. Not so sure of who died but many many people died.
People Died Man, People Died
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! See http://www.answers.com/topic/the-spanish-inquisition
many people died