The history of myth is a valid part of history,"" writes Peters (Medieval History/Univ. of Penn.) in his introduction to this erudite study of the historical Inquisition and its transformation via literature and art into a mythic emblem of inhumane suppression of dissent. Tracing the inquisition's history flora its roots in Roman legal procedure through its growth under the Roman Church as an instrument to enforce religious orthodoxy and up to its depiction as a symbol of intellectual dissent (no longer simply the Inquisition, but now The Inquisition) by such artists as Schiller, Verdi, and Dostoevski, Peters makes a forceful and cogent case that history and myth inform one another--thus making historical objectivity but another myth. Not only an excellent study of the Inquisition, then, but a piquant look at the methodology of historians.