Inquisition, Repression, and Ridicule

Inquisition, Repression, and Ridicule

Hibbs, Albert R.

Engineering and Science (December 1974-January 1975)


In the spring of the year 1498,Moro, the Duke of Sforza, held a gathering of scholars in the large hall of the Sforza Palace in Milan. The affair was called “The Duel of Learning.” There were arguments among the learned men concerning the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary and then an intense medical discussion on the questions:

1. Are handsome women more prolific than homely ones?

2. Was the healing of Tobit with fish-gall natural?

3. Is a woman an imperfect creation of nature?

4. In which inner part did the water originate which flowed out of the Lord’s wound when he had been pierced by a spear?

5. Is woman more voluptuous than man?

The dispute on all the questions was heated, for these were matters which learned men of the time fou.nd of great importance both to their contemplation and to their professional advancement within the society of their peers.

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