Unaccustomed to restraint, vigorous manhood asserted itself in all its greatness and all its littleness, whether in wreaking cruel vengeance upon the defenceless or in offering itself joyfully as a sacrifice to humanity. Thrills of delirious emotion spread from land to land, arousing the populations from their lethargy in blind attempts to achieve they scarcely knew what... -from "Chapter II: Heresy" Considered America's first great scholar of the Middle Ages and a trailblazing proponent of utilizing primary sources when inquiring into the past, Henry Charles Lea gave us what is still a vital history of the centuries-long reign of terror known as the Inquisition. A passionate account of mass hysteria, its spiritual and intellectual roots, and its "inevitable" evolution, this is grimly fascinating and highly readable, an excellent investigation into one of the foundations of modern civilization the repercussions of which are still being felt today. Volume 1 of this three-volume 1888 work explores the rigid asceticism of early Christian sects, the cruelty of the Albigensian crusaders and their "mad carnage and pillage," the growth of intolerance in the early Church, the Inquisitorial process, and much more. American historian and publisher HENRY CHARLES LEA (1825-1909) also wrote Superstition and Force (1866), Historical Sketch of Sacerdotal Celibacy (1867), and History of the Inquisition of Spain (1906-1908).