The relevance of book expurgation in the procedures of the Portuguese Inquisition (1536-1821): a systematic and individualized approach


In 2013, analysts of Weibo, a Chinese microblog platform, described procedures, timings and efficiency of expurgation through word deletion within the messages (Tao Zhu 2013). They were concerned by the issue of the control of texts and forms of expression, viz one of the three main fields of research on censorship - the particular restrictions on specified media or content pushed by an organisation or group (Winfield 2017). My project deals with analogous, massive phenomena in the early-modern western world, in particular in Portugal, Spain and their Empire, organised by States, Churches and inquisitorial bureaucracies.

Early modern censorship studies make a small place to expurgatio in comparison with prohibitio. These two modalities were systematically distinguished by institutional tools, the Indexes of forbidden and/or expurgated books. In these catalogues, updated editions along the centuries, are listed the condemned authors and titles: whereas prohibition leaves few traces, expurgated books are “talkative”, hence the attention we should pay to them.


Start: 2018
Main Researcher: Hervé Baudry (CHAM)




- Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

Main Research Unit

- CHAM — Centro de Humanidades / Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas/Universidade Nova de Lisboa | Universidade dos Açores

- Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas / Universidade Nova de Lisboa