Crotti, Graziadio

Dizionario di eretici, dissidenti e inquisitori nel mondo mediterraneo
Edizioni CLORI | Firenze | ISBN 978-8894241600 | DOI 10.5281/zenodo.1309444

Graziadio Crotti (born in the early 1430s, died in 1517) was a dominican inquisitor.

He was born in Cremona and entered the Order of Preachers probably in his native city. He was ordained priest in 1462 at the latest, when he was a preacher assigned to the convent of S. Eustorgio in Milan. During the late 1460s and early 1470s he studied theology in Florence and Pavia. He graduated master of theology at the University of Pavia in 1476 and then returned to the convent of Cremona.

On 7 October 1481 he was appointed inquisitor of Pavia and its district, which comprised at that time also the dioceses of Piacenza and Cremona. In 1483, he served also as prior of the convent of S. Giacomo in Lodi. Apart from his service in Lodi, he generally continued to reside in Cremona.

In 1484 the convent of Cremona was annexed by the observant Congregation of Lombardy, a reformed wing of the dominicans in Italy, a move decided by the Master General Bartolomeo Commazio. Crotti remained a faithful member of the unreformed (conventual) Province of Saint Peter Martyr and refused to join the Congregation. As a result, he was expelled from the convent of Cremona and apparently lost the office of inquisitor of Pavia, Cremona and Piacenza. Unfortunately, it is not known who succeded him because his dismissal is not recorded in the registers of dominican Masters General. According to Giovanni Michele Pio certain Gabriele Vismara of Milan was named inquisitor in the province of Lombardy and March of Genoa in 1484 and chronological coincidence strongly indicates that he can be identified as Crotti's successor.

Crotti himself was assigned to the convent of S. Eustorgio in Milan (1487, officially confirmed in 1491), where he subsequently served as regent master (1487-90), principal preacher of the convent (1492) and theological lector (1493).

On 24 May 1497 Crotti was appointed inquisitor of Milan and Lodi. In the next year, he obtained a permission from the duke Ludovico Maria Sforza to travel throughout the Duchy of Milan in order to exercise his inquisitorial duties. However, no details of his activity are known due to the destruction of the archive of the inquisition of Milan in 1788.

In March 1510 the conventual friars of S. Eustorgio were forcefully expelled by the observant friars of the Congregation of Lombardy. As a result, on 5 August 1511 Master General Tommaso de Vio dismissed Crotti as inquisitor of Milan and replaced him with Silvestro Mazzolini, a friar of the Congregation. The triumph of the observants, however, was a short-lived. In summer of 1512 conventual friars, supported by the Cardinal Mattias Schinner and his Swiss mercenaries, reoccupied the convent of S. Eustorgio. Its return under the jurisdiction of the conventual Province of Saint Peter Martyr was officially recognised in September 1512. Crotti probably reclaimed the inquisitorial office for the dioceses of Milan and Lodi around that time.

In 1515 certain Giovannina was burned at the stake in the square in front of the convent S. Eustorgio, apparently as witch. She had been condemned to death probably by Graziadio Crotti or one of his vicars.

Crotti died in 1517. He was succeded as inquisitor of Milan and Lodi by Martino Giustiniani.


  • Michael Tavuzzi: Renaissance Inquisitors. Dominican Inquisitors and Inquisitorial Districts in Northern Italy, 1474–1527. Leiden – Boston: BRILL, 2007, p. 52-60. ISBN 978-90-04-16094-1.

Article written by Tomasz Karlikowski | © 2014

et tamen e summo, quasi fulmen, deicit ictos
invidia inter dum contemptim in Tartara taetra
invidia quoniam ceu fulmine summa vaporant
plerumque et quae sunt aliis magis edita cumque

[Lucretius, "De rerum natura", lib. V]

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