The Italian Inquisition, or Holy Office, was established in 1542, stimulated partly by the earlier Spanish operation. Certainly Spain's black legend affected opinions of the Inquisition in Italy, but as this pioneering book shows, there were significant differences between their operations, targets, and casualties. In this pioneering history of the Italian Inquisition, Christopher F. Black charts how it developed and changed over time. He maps its cumbersome means of command, supervision, and action, as well as its role as a surprisingly approachable regulatory body working within communities. Ranging right across the Italian panorama, and rooting his enquiry in striking individual cases, Black uncovers Inquisitional procedure from denunciation to punishment. This scrupulous and richly rewarding book shows how the Inquisition shaped Italy's religious and social worlds.