Among all possible topics about Rome and its history, Inquisition and Illuminati are still the most confused, although many things have been said and written about them and in people’s mind they are always connected to the Eternal City. Are people right or wrong?
To answer this question and many others, we decided to clarify these topics, telling you at least 3 truths you surely don’t know.
- Illuminati really existed, but not in Rome, as the Inquisition
Illuminati was a secret society, founded in 1776 in Ingolstadt (Germany) by Johann Adam Weishaupt, a law professor. Its aim was to set a new world order and take power. Although many theories want Illuminati to be still alive and present in banks and governments, there has never been an Illuminati location in Rome (but maybe one in Milan!), despite the thrilling vision of Dan Brown’s books.
On the other hand, the Roman Catholic Church Inquisition was founded by Pope Paul III in 1542 in order to defend the faith and the Church from false doctrines through trials and sentences.
- Galileo Galilei was not an Illuminato, but a victim of the Roman Catholic Church Inquisition
In Dan Brown’s books, Galileo Galilei is mentioned as one of the Illuminati, a precursor, the perfect symbol of the supremacy of scientific ideals over religious obscurantism. Galileo Galilei lived before the birth of the Illuminati and never wrote “Diagramma Veritatis”. Galileo Galilei was a scientist who, among other things, discovered and proudly asserted that the Earth was revolving around the Sun. At that time, this was an unacceptable theory for everyone, especially for the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore, the Inquisition, through a long trial, sentenced Galilei to imprisonment for life and abjuration, i.e. the act of giving up and rejecting the theory or doctrine followed until that moment.
According to legend, after the abjuration, Galilei said “And yet it moves”.
- Roman places of Illuminati are not the same of Inquisition
People may be confused about the difference. Therefore, we designed two specific tours. Dan Brown in his book “Angels and Demons” imagines the Path of Illumination made of Illumination altars (in the Basilica of Saint Mary of the People, Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Church of Our Lady of Victory and the Castle of the Holy Angel) and reveals the famous Passetto di Borgo, the pope’s secret passageway from the Vatican Palace to the Castle of the Holy Angel. If you didn’t know about this secret path, you can learn more about it and its history in our specific Angels and Demons Tour!
Inquisition’s historical places in Rome are: Castle of the Holy Angel, both prison for heretics and tribunal of the Holy Inquisition; Church of Saint Mary above Minerva, where public sentences were pronounced and abjuration public ceremony took place; Campo de’ Fiori, the square where public executions took place: usually convicts were strung up or burned alive, as it happened for philosopher Giordano Bruno. Some of the torture devices are still preserved in the Criminology Museum. If you want to know more about the history of the Inquisition, we invite you to take part in our On the Footsteps of the Holy Inquisition Tour!
Did you think that Illuminati or Inquisition were legends? Why?