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Conrad of Marburg

c.1180-1233. Inquisitor-general of Germany. Learned and ascetic, and either a Dominican or Franciscan, Conrad gained initial fame by his enthusiastic support for and preaching of the crusade of Pope Innocent III. This led to his being used as a reformer and visitor of religious houses in Germany. Subsequently Ludwig IV of Thuringia, impressed by his zeal and competence, entrusted him with great ecclesiastical powers. In 1225 he became the confessor and spiritual director of Elizabeth, daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary. Conrad is reputed to have treated her with excessive severity. After showing himself a devoted opponent of every kind of heresy, he was nominated by Pope Gregory IX as the first papal inquisitor of Germany. During 1232-33 he used his absolute authority ruthlessly, handing over people on debatable evidence to the secular power for punishment. After accusing Count Von Sayn of heresy, he was condemned by a court of bishops and princes at Mainz in 1233, and then murdered by certain Hessian knights on his way home to Marburg.