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"Relaxed" is the euphemism deployed by the Spanish Inquisition to describe burning heretics at the stake. The heretic would be "relaxed to the secular arm," as the ecclesiastical courts had no authority to put a man to death. In some places, the local bishop was also the local secular authority, and in others the secular officials feared being accused of supporting heresy. In 1487, Torquemada disposed of some 200 heretics in that manner.


  • James Reston, Jr. 2005. Dogs of War: Columbus, the Inquisition, and the Defeat of the Moors. New York: Anchor Books. p. 293