Call for help: Networks of the Inquisition?

Dear all,

below I am forwarding a request from Alex Freemon (afreemon ät, please get in touch in you can help:


Hello Marten,

I have watched your 2013 presentation at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
which is on YouTube with great interest.

I am an amateur historian who is studying the Portuguese Inquisition and am
working on a project to collaborate with other Portuguese researchers and
specialists in that area. I think that the network study techniques that you
propose would be an excellent way to research the data we have and track the
communities of “crypto-jews” and “new Christians” in the early years of the

However before I embark on designing this study, I would like to know if you
are aware of other academics who have looked at Inquisition records in a
social network study format?

I am forming questions and designing a database to manage the very uniform
information that I am find in the Inquisition records (ca.1550-1750). But I am
astonished that I can find no other examples of studies that have used
Inquisition records as a source, even though it seems like a perfect base of
information to apply to a network study. I have spoken to Prof. Laurie Pearce
at UC Berkeley (near where I live) who explained that prosopography and
network research is well evolved for ancient  communities (Byzantium), but
that she is not aware of any work on the Inquisition.

I am very concerned that I design the database correctly and anticipate the
ways that it can be used, and so I pose the question to you whether you can
point me to other researchers who have already wrestled with these questions
and could share resources with me.

Many thanks for your attention.

All best regards,
Alex Freemon

Published by Marten Düring
February 10, 2020

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