List of authors and works on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum

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The complete works of Gregorio Leti ("Critique historique" pictured) were listed, including his treatise on cardinal-nephews and his biographies of Olimpia Maidalchini and Pope Sixtus V.

This is a selected list of authors and works listed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. The Index was abolished on June 14, 1966 by Pope Paul VI.[1]

A complete list of the authors and writings present in the subsequent editions of the index are listed in J. Martinez de Bujanda, Index Librorum Prohibitorum, 1600–1966, Geneva, 2002.

The Index includes entries for single or multiple works by an author, all works by an author in a given genre or dealing with a given topic. The scope of the prohibition is defined by a Latin phrase in the Index:

  • Omnia opera dramatica: all plays
  • Omnes fabulae amatoriae: all novels, or romances
  • Opera omnia theologica: all theological works
  • Opera omnia: all works (see note below)

The Index includes entries banning all works of a particular writer. Most of these were inserted in the Index at a time when the Index itself stated that the prohibition of someone’s “opera omnia” (all his works) did not cover works whose contents did not concern religion and were not forbidden by the general rules of the Index, but this explanation was omitted in the 1929 edition, an omission that was officially interpreted in 1940 as meaning that thenceforth “opera omnia” covered all the author’s works without exception.[2]

List of authors and works in the final edition, with later additions

This is a selected list of the authors and works appearing in the final published edition of the Index in 1948, with later additions until the Index was discontinued in 1966.

Banned Name Works Ref.
16001600 BrunoBruno, Giordano Opera omnia Beacon
16261626, 1657, 1658,
1659, 1672
GrotiusGrotius, Hugo Opera omnia theologica;
De Imperio summarum potestatum circa sacra (pub. 1647);
Annales et historiae de rebus belgicis (pub. 1657);
+6 more
16451645 BrowneBrowne, Thomas Religio medici; the religion of a physician Beacon
16491649 HobbesHobbes, Thomas Opera omnia Beacon
16571657, 1789 PascalPascal, Blaise Lettres provinciales (1657);
Pensées (pub. 1670), with notes by Voltaire
16591659 CalvinCalvin, John Lexicon iuridicum iuris caesarei simul et canonici Beacon
16631663 DescartesDescartes, René Meditations (1641);
Les passions de l'âme (1649);
Opera philosophica. Donec corrig.;
+4 more
16671667 LetiLeti, Gregorio Opera omnia Beacon
16681668 BaconBacon, Francis De dignitate et augmentis scientiarum libri IX. Donec corrig. Beacon
16761676 MontaigneMontaigne, Michel de Essays Beacon
16791679, 1690 SpinozaSpinoza, Baruch Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1677);
Opera posthuma
16841684 EriugenaEriugena, Johannes Scotus De divisione naturae libri quinque diu desiderati Beacon
16891689, 1707, 1712 MalebrancheMalebranche, Nicolas Traité de la nature et de la grace (1680);
Traité de morale (1684);
+4 more
16941694 MiltonMilton, John Literae pseudo-senatus anglicani, Cromwellii reliquorumque perduellium nomine ac iussu conscriptae (1676) Beacon
17031703 LafontaineLa Fontaine, Jean de Contes et Nouvelles Beacon
17171717 MaimonidesMaimonides 'Tractate on Idolatry from the Mishneh Torah with notes by Dionysius Vossius' Beacon
17291729 AddisonAddison, Joseph Remarks on Several Parts of Italy (1705; revised 1718) Beacon
17341734, 1737 LockeLocke, John An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689);
The Reasonableness of Christianity, as Delivered in the Scriptures (1695)
17381738 SwedenborgSwedenborg, Emanuel Principia (1734) Beacon
17421742 BerkeleyBerkeley, George Alciphron, or The Minute Philosopher Beacon
17431743 DefoeDefoe, Daniel The Political History of the Devil (1726) Beacon
17441744 RichardsonRichardson, Samuel Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1740) Beacon
17511751, 1762 MontesquieuMontesquieu Lettres Persanes (1721);
De l'esprit des lois (1748)
17521752, 1753, 1757,
1761, 1762, 1765,
1766, 1768, 1769,
1771, 1773, 1776,
VoltaireVoltaire Candide (1759);
Traité sur la tolérance (1763);
Lettres philosophiques (1733; revised 1778);
+38 more
17581758, 1804 DiderotDiderot, Denis Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers (1751-72);
Jacques le fataliste et son maître (pub. 1796)
17581758 d'Alembertd'Alembert, Jean le Rond Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers (1751-72) Beacon
17591759, 1774 HelvetiusHelvétius, Claude Adrien De l'Esprit (1758);
De l'homme, de ses facultés intellectuelles et de son éducation
17611761 HumeHume, David Opera omnia Beacon
17621762, 1766, 1806, RousseauRousseau, Jean-Jacques Emile, ou de l'éducation (1762);
Du contrat social (1762);
Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse (1761)
17641764 KollárKollár, Adam František De originibus et usu perpetuo potestatis legislatoriae circa sacra apostolicorum regum Ungariae (1764) Beacon
17661766 BeccariaBeccaria, Cesare Dei Delitti e delle pene (1764) Beacon
17831783 GibbonGibbon, Edward Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776-1788) Beacon
18151815, 1840, 1859,
1863, 1866, 1896
MicheletMichelet, Jules 6 titles Beacon
18171817 DarwinDarwin, Erasmus Zoonomia; or The Laws of Organic Life (1794) Beacon
18191819 SterneSterne, Laurence A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy (1768) Beacon
18271827 CondorcetCondorcet, Nicholas de Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind (1794) Beacon
18271827 KantKant, Immanuel Critique of Pure Reason (1781; revised 1787) Beacon
18281828 StendhalStendhal Omnes fabulae amatoriae Beacon
18341834, 1837, 1838,
1841, 1843, 1846,
LamennaisLamennais, Hugues Felicité Robert de 7 works Beacon
18341834 CasanovaCasanova, Giacomo Mémoires Beacon
18351835 BenthamBentham, Jeremy Deontology, or The science of morality (1834);
+3 more
18361836 HeineHeine, Heinrich Reisebilder;
De l'Allemagne;
De la France
18401840 SandSand, George Omnes fabulae amatoriae Beacon
18411841 BalzacBalzac, Honoré de Omnes fabulae amatoriae Beacon
18491849 GiobertiGioberti, Vincenzo Opera omnia Beacon
18521852 ProudhonProudhon, Pierre-Joseph Opera omnia Beacon
18561856 MillMill, John Stuart Principles of Political Economy (1848) Beacon
18591859, 1860, 1863,
1866, 1869, 1877,
1881, 1882, 1884,
1891, 1892,
RenanRenan, Ernest 19 titles Beacon
18631863, 1880 Dumas2Dumas, Alexandre (fils) Omnes fabulae amatoriae;
La question du divorce
18631863 DumasDumas, Alexandre (père) Omnes fabulae amatoriae Beacon
18641864 ComteComte, Auguste Cours de philosophie positive Beacon
18641864 FlaubertFlaubert, Gustave Madame Bovary (1856);
Salammbô (1862)
18731873 LarousseLarousse, Pierre Grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle (1866-76) Beacon
18761876 DraperDraper, John William History of the Conflict between Religion and Science (1874) Beacon
18941894 ZolaZola, Émile Opera omnia Beacon
19111911, 1928, 1935,
DannunzioD'Annunzio, Gabriele Omnia opera dramatica;
Omnes fabulae amatoriae;
+3 more
19141914 BergsonBergson, Henri Essai sur les données immédiates de la conscience;
Matière et mémoire; essai sur la relation du corps à l'esprit;
L'évolution créatrice
19141914 MaeterlinckMaeterlinck, Maurice Opera omnia Beacon
19221922 FranceFrance, Anatole Opera omnia Beacon
19311931 Van de Veldevan de Velde, Theodoor Hendrik Het volkomen huwelijk (1926) Beacon
19481948 SartreSartre, Jean-Paul Opera omnia Beacon
19521952 GideGide, André Opera omnia Beacon
19521952 MoraviaMoravia, Alberto Opera omnia Beacon
19531953 KazantzakisKazantzakis, Nikos The Last Temptation of Christ (1955) Beacon
19561956 De Beauvoirde Beauvoir, Simone The Second Sex (1949);
The Mandarins (1954)

Reversals and non-inclusions

There have been cases of reversal with respect to works that were on the Index, such as those of Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei: "The Inquisition's ban on reprinting Galileo's works was lifted in 1718 when permission was granted to publish an edition of his works (excluding the condemned Dialogue) in Florence. In 1741 Pope Benedict XIV authorized the publication of an edition of Galileo's complete scientific works which included a mildly censored version of the Dialogue. In 1758 the general prohibition against works advocating heliocentrism was removed from the Index of prohibited books, although the specific ban on uncensored versions of the Dialogue and Copernicus's De Revolutionibus remained. All traces of official opposition to heliocentrism by the church disappeared in 1835 when these works were finally dropped from the Index."[citation needed]

Not on the Index were Aristophanes, Juvenal, John Cleland, James Joyce and D. H. Lawrence. According to Wallace et al., this was because the primary criterion for banning the work was anticlericalism, blasphemy and heresy.

Some authors whose views are generally unacceptable to the Church (e.g. Karl Marx or Adolf Hitler) were never put on the Index; nor was Charles Darwin (see Evolution and the Roman Catholic Church).[3][4]

Works that were included in the Index, and later removed, include:

Banned Name Works Ref.
1585 Dante Alighieri De Monarchia (1312-13)?
1616 to 1835 Nicolaus Copernicus De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (1543)
to 1835 Johannes Kepler Astronomia nova (1609);
Harmonices Mundi (1619);
Epitome Astronomiae Copernicanae (1617-21)
Sade Justine (1791);
Juliette (1797-1801)
Madame de Staël Corinne, ou l'Italie (1807)
until 1959 Victor Hugo Notre Dame de Paris (1831);
Les Misérables (1862)


  1. "Galileo and Books", Department of History and Philosophy of Science of the University of Cambridge
  2. Jesús Martínez de Bujanda, Index librorum prohibitorum: 1600-1966 (Droz 2002 ISBN 2-600-00818-7), p. 36
  3. Vatican opens up secrets of Index of Forbidden Books.
  4. Heneghan, Tom, "Secrets Behind The Forbidden Books", America, The National Catholic Weekly, February 7, 2005
  5. Halsall, Paul (May 1, 1998). "Modern History Sourcebook: Index librorum prohibitorum, 1557–1966 (Index of Prohibited Books)". Internet History Sourcebooks Project (Fordham University).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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