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Modern History Sourcebook: 
Index librorum prohibitorum, 1557-1966
[Index of Prohibited Books]

    Reproduction de la premiËre page d'une Èdition de l'Index"The first official censorship had come in 1559 with the publication of the Index auctorum et librorum prohibitorum under the direction of Pope Paul IV. The Pauline index, as it became known, was the first in a long succession of papal indexes, forty-two in all. The purpose of these indexes was to guide censors in their decisions of what publications to authorize and which to disallow, for printers were not free to publish books without official permission. In January of 1562 the Council of Trent took up the issue of the Index and was deeply divided. The  Pauline index had been seen by many as too controversial and excessively restrictive. After the opening speeches, the council appointed a commission to draft a new index. Although the council closed before the task of the commission was completed, the new Tridentine index was taken up by Pope Pius IV and published in 1564 by Paulus Manutius in Rome. This index constituted the most authoritative guide the church had yet published; its lists formed the basis of all subsequent indexes, while its rules were accepted as the guide for future censors and compilers." 
    [From http://library.lib.byu.edu/~aldine/51Index.html]

The principle of a list of forbidden books was adopted at the Fifth Lateran Council in 1515, then confirmed by the Council of Trent in 1546. The first edition of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, dated 1557 was published by Pope Paul IV. The 32nd edition, published in 1948 included 4000 titles. The Index was suppressed in  1966.
[Translated from http://www.union-fin.fr/~bcourcel/LivresInterdits.html]

It has proved to be somewhat difficult to get a complete list of books included on the Index. What follows is at least a partial list, derived from the above French website.

[See also Catholic Encyclopedia: Index of Prohibited Book]

In  chronological order of the books, here is a list of French language writers having the honor of being put on the index.
CW = complete works
1948 = was in the edition of 1948

Rabelais (CW) 
Montaigne (Essais) 
Descartes (Méditations Métaphysiques et 6 autres livres, 1948)
La Fontaine (Contes et Nouvelles)
Pascal (Pensées)
Montesquieu (Lettres Persanes, 1948)
Voltaire (Lettres philosophiques; Histoire des croisades; Cantiques des Cantiques),
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Du Contrat Social; La Nouvelle Héloïse)
Denis Diderot (CW, Encyclopédie)
Helvétius (De l'Esprit; De l'homme, de ses facultés intellectuelles et de son éducation )
Casanova (Mémoires)
Sade (Justine, Juliette)
Mme De Stael (Corinne ou l'Italie)
Stendhal (Le Rouge et le noir, 1948),
Balzac (CW)
Victor Hugo (Notre Dame de Paris; Les misérables jusqu'en 1959)
Gustave Flaubert (Mme Bovary; Salammbô)
Alexandre Dumas (divers romans)
Emile Zola (CW)
Maeterlinck (CW)
Pierre Larousse (Grand Dictionnaire Universel),
Anatole France (prix Nobel en 1921, CW à l'Index en 1922),
Andre Gide (prix Nobel, CW à l'Index en 1952)
Jean Paul Sartre (Prix Nobel (refusé), CW à l'Index en 1959).

"One could ask what did the study of literature look like in religious schools?"

Other Authors Listed

Peter Abelard,
Erasmus
Nicholas. Machiavelli
John  Calvin
John Milton
Malebranche
Baruch Spinoza
John. Locke
Bishop Berkeley
David Hume
Condillac
d'Holbach
d'Alembert
La Mettrie
Condorcet
Daniel. Defoe
Jonathan. Swift
Swedenborg
Laurence. Sterne
Emmanuek. Kant
H. Heine
J. S. Mill
G. D'Annunzio
H. Bergson.

"Without any surprise, the Index also conatined many theologians and translators of the Bible, and historians of religion. For example:
Richard Simon (17-ième siècle) whose Histoire critique du Vieux Testament inaugured the critical study of sacred texts (taken up by  E. Renan and many others) and A. Loisy, (excommunicated in 1908).

Source:  for this Information:

http://www.union-fin.fr/~bcourcel/LivresInterdits.html

Another list on the net includes the following:

"In 1966 the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ceased publication of the INDEX but claimed that it still served as a "moral guide in so far as it reminds the conscience of the faithful they must avoid writings which can be dangerous to faith & morals." Today the Church may issue an "admonitum," a warning to the faithful, that a book might be dangerous. It is only a moral guide, however, without the force of ecclesiastical law."

The following have been condemned in the INDEX for being immoral or heretical or both.

SOME NOVELISTS IN THE INDEX

AUTHOR
Samuel Richardson (ENG)
Laurence Stern (ENG)

Stendhal (FR)
Victor Hugo (FR)

George Sand (FR)
Honore de Balzac (FR)
Eugene Sue (FR)
A. Dumas pere (FR)
A. Dumas fil (FR)
Gustave Flaubert (FR)

Gabriele D'Annunzio (IT)
Alberto Morovia (IT)
YEAR
1744
1819

1828
1834-1869

1840
1841-1864
1852
1863
1963
1864

1911
1952
WORK BANNED
PAMELA
A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY
THROUGH FRANCE & ITALY
All his love stories
LES MISERABLES
NOTRE DAME DE PARIS
All her love stories
All his love stories
All his love stories
All his love stories
All his love stories
MADAME BOVARY
SALAMMBO
All his loves stories
WOMAN OF ROME

SOME NON-FICTION WRITERS IN THE INDEX

Thomas Hobbes (ENG)
Rene Descartes (FR)
Francis Bacon (ENG)

Michel de Montaigne(FR)
Benedict Spinoza(NETH)
John Milton (ENG)
Joseph Addison (ENG)
Richard Steel (ENG)

John Locke (ENG)

Emanuel Swedenborg (SW)
Daniel Defoe (ENG)
David Hume (SCOT)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (FR)
Edward Gibbon (ENG)

Blaise Pascal (FR)
Oliver Goldsmith (ENG)
Immanual Kant (GER)
Giovanni Casanova (FR)
John Stuart Mill (ENG)
Ernest Renan (FR)
Emile Zola (FR)
Andrew Lang (ENG)
Henri Bergson (FR)
Benedetto Croce (IT)
Jean-paul Sartre (FR)
1649-1703
1663
1668

1676
1690
1694
1729
unk

1734-1737

1738
1743
1761-1872
1762-1806
1783

1789
1823
1827
1834
1856
1889-1892
1894-1898
1896
1914
1934
1948
All works
All philosophical works
The ARRANGMENT & GENERAL SURVEY OF KNOWLEDGE
LES ESSAIES
All posthumous work
THE STATE PAPERS
REMARKS ON SEV. PARTS OF ITALY
ACCOUNT OF THE STATE OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC RELIGION
ESSAY CONCERNING HUMAN UNDERSTANDING
THE PRINCIPIA
HISTORY OF THE DEVIL
All the works
THE SOCIAL CONTRACT
DECLINE & FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
THE PROVINCIAL LETTERS
AN ABRIDGED HISTORY OF ENGLAND
CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON
MEMOIRS
PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL
LIFE OF JESUS, etc..
All works
MYTH, RITUAL & RELIGION
CREATIVE EVOLUTION
Philosophy/History
All works

This text is part of the Internet Modern History Sourcebook. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts for introductory level classes in modern European and World history.

Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use of the Sourcebook.

(c)Paul Halsall Mayl1998
halsall@murray.fordham.edu