Albigensian Crusade

A Matter of Light and Darkness:

Cathar Beliefs and Secular Interests as Justifications for the Albigensian Crusade

 

During the eleventh century, a dualist heresy arose within the Catholic Church that challenged basic tenets of the religion. The Cathars, as the group was known, developed in Northern Italy and Southern France out of earlier eastern European traditions. They called themselves Christians; their neighbors referred to them as “Good Christians.”[i] Catholics today still refer to the Cathar belief as “the Great Heresy” although the official Church position is that Catharism is not Christian at all.[ii] When the Church’s program of counter-propaganda failed to combat the heresy, Pope Innocent III announced a crusade – the Albigensian Crusade (1209 – 1229 CE) – against unbelievers in the Languedoc region of Southern France. This crusade would last for more than two generations and as a consequence, perhaps a half million people would be massacred.[iii] The Albigensian Crusade would promote the birth of the Inquisition, and it would be prosecuted with fierce brutality.

Most of our knowledge of the Cathars comes from victorious Catholics who scorned the belief, and from the records of the inquisitors who interrogated them before execution. Accordingly, this paper will summarize the origins and doctrines of Cathar belief before inquiring further into three issues: the extent to which the Albigensian Crusade was a cover for the resolution of pre-existing secular disputes over the Languedoc sovereignty, why the Languedoc was particularly susceptible to heresy, and whether the tenets of the belief itself justified the harsh reaction of the Catholic Church. Examination reveals that French nobles used the Crusade to resolve generation-old land disputes and to begin the unification of the nation. It further reveals that the Cathars developed a unique version of the dualist brand of heresy, a system of beliefs that directly threatened the doctrines and hegemony of the Church. The particular appeal of Catharism to the Languedoc is explained by the lack of strong central authority in the region, coupled with a high level of lawlessness resulting from the weakness of secular leaders. This appeal enhanced the simple answers of Cathar doctrine.

The Cathar belief system was a particularly absolutist version of dualist Christianity. Cathars believed there were two equally powerful gods, one totally Good and the other totally Evil. The evil god created and ruled the temporal world. Jesus, who was not a mortal being, was an emissary from the good god, sent to the faithful to teach them how to escape earthy existence. Starting with this premise, the Cathars derived a number of ancillary tenets that placed them in direct contradiction of orthodox Catholic theology. Among these were that personal salvation was possible without a priest; the denial of baptism, resurrection and the Nicene Trinity; and the repudiation of church hierarchy and sacraments. Cathar doctrine was clearly heretical and therefore a threat to the Catholic establishment.

Origins of Cathar Dualism

Since the inception of the great monotheistic religions, the problem of theodicy has been a challenge to Judaism, Islam, and especially Christianity. If God is omnipotent, omniscient and all-loving, how then do we explain the presence of evil in the world? Either the monotheistic God lacks one of these key attributes, or we must accept that His ways and actions are beyond our comprehension. Dualist religions solve this conundrum by positing two powerful beings, equally potent, locked in an eternal struggle for dominance. Variations on the dualist theme, some of which predate the principal monotheisms, have arisen throughout history from Zoroastrianism and Gnostic traditions to present “New Age” variations. Dualist evil, manifested in the person of Satan and his devils, fits easily into many concepts shared by Christianity, Islam and Judaism. The existence of equally potent gods neatly sidesteps the question of how a single omnipotent God can permit the existence and acts of an Evil One. Further, the idea of two gods fighting over territory modeled the everyday experience of the common man who was caught between feuding nobles. One variation of Cathar theology had the Good God sending his vassal (Satan) to check out conditions on Earth, whereupon the vassal “wished to have a part of the Lower and Upper possessions…and on this account there was war for a long time.”[iv]

Like earlier dualist religions, the Cathar belief centered upon the opposition of Light and Darkness as manifested in the eternal conflict between the spiritual and the temporal world. There were two gods: a good god who created the spirit, and a bad god who created all corporeal matter.[v] If the material world was ruled over by the Evil One, then it became logical to reject materialism and embark on an ascetic ethic in order to escape to the spiritual heaven. In some regions such as Bulgaria and northern Italy, Cathars created a “mitigated” dualism in which the bad god was created by the good god, but the version practiced by the Cathars of the Languedoc region was absolute.[vi] There had always been two eternal gods, equal in power. In this sense the belief reflects philosophical oppositions as old as those between Plato and Aristotle. “Catharism was plainly heretical…God did not create the temporal world, Christ never took on human form, nor suffered on the Cross, and baptism by water would not bring salvation.”[vii]

As taught by Peter Autier, the last significant Cathar missionary in Southern France, Satan was the evil one of the two principles of good and evil. Satan seduced certain of the angels created by the Good God, “luring them out of heaven with promises of gold, silver, and wives, until they fell to earth.”[viii] These beings had consisted of a heavenly body, a spirit and a soul. Satan imprisoned the angelic souls in earthly bodies, from which they would pass through a transmigration of as many as nine bodies until they arrived at the status of a Cathar where, if they accepted and kept the consolamentum ritual, they would be returned to heaven. It followed that the bodily resurrection taught by the Catholic Church was not valid since the corporeal bodies themselves were the work of Satan. Christ was a pure spirit sent by the Good God to teach his apostles (the Cathars) the consolamentum, the one rite that could liberate the imprisoned souls as it transformed them back into their pure state. This rite, like the broader Cathar belief, drew heavily upon the intense mysticism of the Gospel of Saint John, which provided the scriptural authority for their interpretations of the Bible.[ix] Further, we learn in one Inquisition report that “The New Testament they attributed to the benevolent God; but the Old Testament to the malevolent God, and rejected it altogether.”[x] Satan, the god of the Old Testament was a well “…a homicide, because he burned up Sodom and Gomorrah, and destroyed the world by the waters of the deluge, as because he overwhelmed Pharaoh, and the Egyptians, in the sea.”[xi]

The concept that souls are spiritual entities trapped in an evil body had several critical implications. One was that unless they achieved salvation through Cathar practice, these souls would continue to experience round after round of reincarnation. It also followed that as a being of pure spirit, Christ could not have any human attributes. Neither would he have entered a physical body which was Satan’s creation.[xii] He therefore could not have been born of a woman; could not suffer thirst or hunger or pain upon the cross. Consequently he did not die upon the cross. In this instance the Cathar doctrine meshes neatly with some early Gnostic traditions which were eliminated in the years following the conversion of Constantine. Its contradiction of orthodox Catholic belief is obvious.

Fundamental to Catharism was the distinction between the purified elite, the perfecti or parfaits, and the greater number of believers, the credentes. The perfecti alone were the church. Those who attended the perfects were in essence “perpetual postulants.”[xiii] The perfecti practiced a monthly collective confession of faults, the apparellamentum, which reinforced Cathar doctrine with a plea for God to “condemn the imperfections of the flesh…but show mercy to the spirit, which is imprisoned.”[xiv] One moved from the lower to the more exalted class of believer through the initiation ceremony known as the consolamentum, which was a sacrament of baptism by book and words rather than by water as in the orthodox Catholic Church. Once initiated into perfecti status, the “consoled” adherent had to remain pure by Cathar standards.[xv] This included abstaining from sex and from consuming anything that resulted from coition, including not only meat but also milk, cheese, and eggs. With such strict requirements, it is no surprise that most ordinary believers typically waited until just before death to take the consolamentum. Once passed through this procedure, many Cathars subsequently performed the endura, in which they essentially fasted to death.

The question of origins for Albigensian Catharism is hotly debated within historical scholarship. Some scholars trace Catharism all the way back to the Manichean belief, which was itself derived from Zoroastrianism, but most scholars agree that the roots of Catharism begin with the Bogomils of Bulgaria. This term is derived from the name of a Macedonian priest, “Theophilis”, whose name means “Beloved of God”, and translates in Bulgarian to Bogomil.[xvi] His tenth century heresy was a mixture of Paulican and Massalian beliefs, including the key belief that the physical world was the creation of the Devil and therefore intrinsically evil.[xvii] Bogomils equated the Devil with the God of the Old Testament.[xviii] One frequently-quoted authority for the Bogomils is Anna Comnena, the daughter of Byzantine Emperor Alexius I and herself a keen observer. In 1110, she reported “For two very evil and worthless doctrines which had been known in former times, now coalesced; the impiety, as it might be called, of the Manichaeans, which we also call the Paulician heresy, and the shamelessness of the Massalians. This was the doctrine of the Bogomils—compounded of the Massalians and the Manichaeans. And probably it existed even before my father’s time, but in secret; for the sect of the Bogomils is very clever in aping virtue.”[xix]

The Bogomils’ “moderate” dualist belief considered Satan to be the creation of the Good God. The heresy was a reaction against “an alien Byzantine-trained higher clergy imposed upon a recently converted people…still close to heathenism and possibly influenced by pre-existing dualist beliefs in the country.”[xx] Although Byzantine emperors attempted to destroy the Bogomils, by the end of the twelfth century the Cathars of France could identify at least five separate dualist churches in the Eastern Empire.[xxi] Eastern Cathars denied all sacraments except baptism, which was for adults only, and they believed that the souls of the dead went immediately to punishment or eternal rest, without a stop in purgatory.[xxii] The religion continued in the Balkans until it was eliminated under the rule of Islam.

The origin of the name “Cathars” is likewise disputed. The practitioners of the heresy simply referred to themselves as Good Christians. The predominant view is that the popular name derives from a Greek term katharos, meaning pure, hence the Cathars were “puritans.”[xxiii] The first use of the name, however, occurs in the Rhineland. As Malcolm Lambert suggests, it seems improbable that this Greek term would have been first adopted by Bulgarians who despised their Byzantine overlords; then preserved by German missionaries on their way to southern France.[xxiv] For an alternate explanation, we might look to one of many instances of orthodox Catholic propaganda about the heresy. A generation after the name took hold, Alan of Lille, searching in his work De fide Catholica for derivations of the name, passed on the slander that, “Or they are said to be Cathars from the cat, because, as it is said, they kiss the posterior of the cat, in whose form, as they say, Lucifer appears to them.”[xxv] The German word for cat is katze, but it is possible that an earlier slander like this might have stuck.

Despite incidental reports of the Cathar belief (or versions thereof) appearing at various locations around Europe in the twelfth century, there is no direct evidence tracing its migration from Bulgaria to the Languedoc. One possible route is mentioned by the inquisitor Anselm of Alessandria in Lombardy, based on his “interviews” with Italian Cathar heretics around 1266-1267 CE. Malcolm Lambert argues that Anselm reacted to a personal “weakness” in order to tie his Cathars to the ancient heresy of Mani, and thereby to the Eastern dualist bishops with whom he was familiar.[xxvi] Nevertheless, Anselm’s report of Cathar testimony may describe an actual route of transmittal:

“Greeks from Constantinople…went as merchants to (Bulgaria) and on return to their homeland…set up a there a bishop of the Greeks. Then Frenchmen went to Constantinople, intending to conquer the land, and discovered this sect. Later on, the French who had gone to Constantinople returned to their homeland and preached and, as their numbers grew, set up a bishop of France…”[xxvii]

The crusade to which Anselm refers is likely the Fourth Crusade of 1204 which conquered Byzantium. Since this date is far too late to coincide with earlier reports that place Cathars in southern France by the early twelfth century, we are forced to conclude that Anselm and/or the Cathars to whom he spoke “lacked a strong sense of historical perspective.”[xxviii] That Anselm’s own time was in serious disorder may also have contributed to this uncertainty. The 1160s saw papal schism, the struggle between Frederick Barbarossa and Pope Alexander III for control of Italy, and widespread suffering. Northern Italy at this time would have been fertile ground for a heresy that condemned the Catholic Church, just as it was further west in the Languedoc. During this same period a reform movement named The Pataria rose in Milan and spread through northern Italy. The movement was opposed to “an aristocratic upper clergy given to abuses” and it had a lasting effect on public opinion.[xxix]  The Pataria thus prepared the way for later heresies that demanded a pure clergy. Regardless of the exact means, we can be comfortable that transmittal routes were available for merchants, missionaries, or pilgrims returning from earlier crusades to spread the heresy they had learned in the East.

Languedoc – A Fertile Ground for Heresy

Medieval historians are in serious disagreement as to when the first signs of Catharism appeared in the Languedoc region. Hamilton, Barber and Lambert offer dates between 1101 and 1165 CE, depending upon their interpretation of scarce sources. Claire Taylor, a specialist in the history of the Languedoc, asserts that dualism was certainly embedded before the 1160s.[xxx] But perhaps the question should not be “when?”, but rather “why?” Catharism thrived in this specific region.

The Languedoc region is bounded on the south by the Pyrenean mountain chain, by the Auvergne to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the southeast, and Toulouse to the west. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the Languedoc was a culturally distinct region with its own language (Occitan) and a separate sense of identity.[xxxi] As the Carolingian kingdom disintegrated, control in the western part of Charlemagne’s old empire devolved into a great number of relatively small family holdings. By 975 CE there were at least 150 independent noble families in the Languedoc.[xxxii] Two of the most powerful were the families of the counts of Toulouse and the counts of Barcelona.[xxxiii] Yet another noble family, the Counts of Foix, would include active Cathars.[xxxiv] Notably, the House of Toulouse supplied Raymond IV to the First Crusade, who remained in the Holy Land as the Count of Tripoli. The family he left behind was the strongest in the region and thus it was the reigning Count of Toulouse to whom the Church would logically look for help in the suppression of heresy.

Regardless of our ability to identify certain families as relatively more powerful than others, none established pervasive control. Consequently, the region suffered widespread lawlessness. The proliferation of small holdings meant that there was no truly effective overriding authority.[xxxv] The feudal system in the Languedoc was weaker than in northern France, and local lords maintained considerable independence.[xxxvi] One consequence of such fragmented secular power was that bands of mercenaries moved freely through the region, frequently employed by nobles, but on occasion by local churchmen. Such groups, called routiers, also practiced freelance brigandry upon the local citizenry. The general militarization of the region was illustrated by the numerous castles and walled cities established throughout the Languedoc.[xxxvii] During the great social upheavals of the ninth through eleventh centuries, small castellans took the place of larger, more organized authorities, thus increasing uncertainty for the population. Aubrey Burl observes that the Languedoc should have been a powerful society, but it was not. “In reality it resembled an archipelago of large and small islands cut off from each other by the fierce currents of fears, suspicions, envies and vendettas.”[xxxviii] Finally, the high level of lawlessness in the region encouraged the rise of self-government in many southern towns, particularly in Toulouse. This accordingly gave urban inhabitants more reason to protect their authority and to oppose the crusaders, whose mission was in part to re-establish traditional secular order.[xxxix]

Local lords frequently opposed religious authorities. Despite descent from a hero of the First Crusade, Raymond VI of Toulouse had a particularly strained relationship with the Catholic Church. Historians do not believe that Raymond himself was a Cathar, but many of his vassals were and consequently he never demonstrated any real interest in suppressing heresy. Meanwhile, he was constantly engaged in disputes over the ownership of church lands and legal jurisdictions. Even if Raymond had wanted to actively oppose the Cathars, it is doubtful that he had the resources to do so.[xl] Pre-existing strains between local lords and the Church were therefore increased by Cathar presence. Further, a general climate of anticlericalism pervaded the region, driven in part by the failure of the “Peace of God” to protect citizens, the opulence of church hierarchy, the careless morality of the clergy, and the glacial pace of church reform.[xli]

The Catholic Church had been in the region for centuries, but it also was fragmented. Many of the churches affiliated with the strong reformist movement coming out of Cluny.[xlii] Others aligned with individual noble families if they could find sponsors with sufficient power to offer protection from the routiers and other nobles. Churchmen in Languedoc routinely asked the Pope for help against usurping secular powers. Rants against rapacious nobles were intermixed with those of heresy.[xliii] Despite this lack of central authority, the Church exercised sufficient influence over the nobles and gentry that by the middle of the eleventh century it owned perhaps 35 per cent of the land in south France.[xliv] So as fragmented as the Church was, it nevertheless had sufficient coherence to be viewed as a single entity compared to Catharism.

Decentralized secular power permitted religious tolerance while encouraging disillusionment. During the High Middle Ages, the Languedoc region was renowned for its qualities of sophisticated culture and tolerance. Perhaps due to the persistent lawlessness in the region, Toulouse became a leading center for the “Peace of God” movement that sought to reduce the practice of constant warfare between nobles.[xlv] The Languedoc was further identified as the point of origin for the troubadour tradition. Much more than a poetic genre, this was an urbane culture which emphasized moderation and courtesy.[xlvi] “There were manuals of courtesy for table manners, conversations and personal cleanliness. Females were not excluded from that way of life.”[xlvii] Such a dichotomy may be explained by the presence of local lords who were simultaneously wealthy enough to sponsor a highly-developed court, yet too weak to enforce orthodox behaviors. It was in this context of toleration that the strongest version of the Cathar heresy took root, and some historians believe that by the early thirteenth century, it was the majority religion in the area.[xlviii] A number of additional factors made the Languedoc more susceptible to heresy than other regions. As a primary cause, Claire Taylor points to its decentralized political structure and looser forms of social cohesion, which generated “a complex and fluid network of allegiances…in place of the more clearly recognized hierarchies and obligations of the northern and royal lands.”[xlix] Insecurity was widespread. Taylor suggests that the poor in particular became disillusioned with the failures of the Peace of God movement “and to an extent with the saint’s cults” because their condition worsened in the period 990 – 1030 CE.[l]

The failure of traditional authority structures created an environment in which minor nobles within small fortified communities could become the primary protectors of heresy.[li] Thus when the Bogomil belief moved into Southern France from Bulgaria, perhaps brought by returning pilgrims to the Holy Land, Languedoc society was especially receptive to a dogma that not only explained the presence of persistent evil, but also offered an escape. Some historians wax poetic about the appeal of Catharism, seeing the belief as “a beacon of light…providing a moral and spiritual model whose idealism has rarely been matched in the history of Europe.”[lii] Given the high levels of illiteracy in the region, we can also appreciate the appeal of a straightforward theology that contrasted dramatically with the often bewildering and self-contradictory doctrines of the Catholic Church.

Conflicts Between Cathar and Catholic Belief

The Cathar religion obviously presented strong points of contention with orthodox Catholic belief. The former distained heterosexual intercourse while the latter encouraged it. The former suggested that all non-procreative sex is better than any procreative sex, while the Catholic Church approved of sex only within the bounds of matrimony.[liii] Whereas the Catholic Church supported the political orthodoxy of the feudal system and considered it to be divinely ordained, the Cathars disliked feudalism because it depended upon oath taking.[liv] Worse still, a number of Catholic priests had become Cathar adherents. “Catharism was a religion that seems to have appealed especially to the theologically literate. Whole Cathedral chapters are known to have defected, as they did for example at Orleans.”[lv]

The Cathars had no interest in ecclesiastical authority. They saw the conventional church as having been corrupted by human vice, and sought a simpler and more austere belief. Modern Catholic sources also emphasize that the potential success of the Cathar doctrine, with its avoidance of intercourse and approval of suicide through the endura, would have resulted in “the extinction of the human race.”[lvi] It is interesting to note, however, how closely Cathar practice paralleled Catholic practice: penitence (confession), confirmation (consolamentum), extreme unction (consolamentum for the dying), and priests (perfecti).[lvii]

As if disagreements over fundamental doctrine were not sufficient, both the Cathars and orthodox Catholic clergy exchanged hyperbolic insults. One contemporary Catholic source, Peter of les Vaux-de-Cernay, describes an incident in which after beating a Catholic priest, Cathars stripped him and urinated on him. Further, rather than refer to Mary Magdalene as the consort of Christ, the Cathars used the term ‘concubine’.[lviii] In the same vein, Catholic histories describe crusader leaders such as Simon de Montfort as close to saintly, using terms like “impeccable chastity” and “eloquent of speech”, and concluding that “”there was not the smallest fault that even an enemy or envious person could point to.”[lix] Cathars are described as “shameless dogs” who are “not only heretics…but robbers, lawbreakers, adulterers and thieves of the worst sort.”[lx] Rhetoric thus aggravated religious tensions.

Cathar conduct and ideas competed effectively with Languedoc Catholicism. Cathar doctrine was clear and logical, in contrast with the seeming internal inconsistencies of traditional Catholic belief. Nevertheless, as important as doctrine was, Cathar lifestyle was perhaps a more significant factor in its broad acceptance. “Although important as a rival to Catholic teaching, Cathar doctrine was less central to the success of the heresy than the behavior of its members. Indeed, the simple lifestyle and the religious devotion of the Cathar leaders often stood in staunch opposition to the worldliness and power of the Catholic hierarchy, which added to the ignorance of many among the parish clergy.”[lxi]

Catharism as a Direct Threat to Catholicism

Inquisition records provide a rich resource for the study of Cathar belief. The early 14th century cleric Bernard Gui created an “Inquisitor’s Manual” in which he presents an apparently even-handed recitation of the testimonies of Cathar heretics, whom he identifies as Manicheans. Extracts from Gui’s manual make clear the deep divide between the two faiths:

“They usually say of themselves that they are good Christians, who do not swear, or lie, or speak evil of others…and that they hold the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ and his gospel as the apostles taught. They assert that they occupy the place of the apostles, and that…they are persecuted just as Christ and his apostles were by the Pharisees.

“Moreover they talk to the laity of the evil lives of the clerks and prelates of the Roman Church, pointing out and setting forth their pride, cupidity, avarice, and uncleanness of life. They attack and vituperate, in turn, all the sacraments of the Church, especially the sacrament of the Eucharist, saying that it cannot contain the body of Christ, for had this been as great as the largest mountain Christians would have entirely consumed it before this.

“Of baptism, they assert that the water is material and corruptible and is therefore the creation of the evil power, and cannot sanctify the soul, but that the churchmen sell this water out of avarice, just as…they sell the confession of sins as made to the priests.

“Moreover they read from the Gospels and the Epistles in the vulgar tongue.”[lxii]

For another example, the Inquisition records of Jacques Fournier are the most detailed available to us. During 1318 to 1325, hundreds of citizens were deposed following denunciation by their neighbors. The largely illiterate population often spoke in a rambling and disjointed manner, all of which was recorded by Inquisition clerks. The resulting confessions include not only insights into Cathar beliefs, but also detailed accounts of daily lives, the majority of which were of commoners rather than nobles.[lxiii] In recent years these records have proven invaluable to social historians.

One Jean Maury, a late Cathar missionary arrested and interviewed by the Inquisition in 1323, provides revealing testimony in the form of a prayer he repeated for the clerks. A literal translation from the original Occitan includes several intriguing points. The position of a Cathar believer is that of one who does not “hesitate for fear of death to sojourn in the world of an alien god, because we are not of the world nor the world of us” (emphasis added).[lxiv] This would appear to describe the Cathar belief that the non-worldly angelic spirit is but briefly and weakly imprisoned in the earthly body. This same prayer contends that to induce the “good spirits” to fall from paradise, Lucifer “promised them bad and good, and undertook to give them women that they would love too much and grant them rule over one another” (emphasis added).[lxv] Thus the power of bodily lust is a temptation which the devout Cathar must strive to deny.

Although they are derived from a specific and demanding dualist interpretation of Christianity, Cathar practices often have an air of libertarian permissiveness. For example, the Inquisition testimony of Guillaume Belibaste, known primarily as the last Cathar to be burned at the stake (1321), recounts the attitude of this minor Cathar perfecti to marriage. “So you want to get married? Promise you will be faithful to one another. Embrace one another. I now declare you united in marriage. Well, there you are! No need to go to church!”[lxvi] Traditional Catholic clerics would have viewed such a permissive attitude with horror. Belibaste also espoused a version of the denial of free will when he proclaimed that “When a man steals away someone else’s possessions or commits evil, that man is none other than an evil spirit which enters into him: this spirit makes him commit sins and makes him abandon the good life for the wicked.”[lxvii] This idea that evil spirits can enter the body of an imprisoned angelic soul is not evident in other Cathar descriptions. Regardless, this judgment on the lack of individual responsibility for evil acts has a highly modern ring. Such a rationale sounds a lot like contemporary denials of responsibility attributed to bad parenting, environmental contamination, and the consumption of junk food.

Other Cathar beliefs also have a distinctively modern slant. For instance, in the Inquisitorial testimony of one Bertrand Cordier of Pamiers, we read of a conversation between two men. Cordier, a presumed Catholic, says “They say the Antichrist is born. Everyone must put his soul in order; the end of the world is near!” To this his friend Arnaul de Savignan, a presumed Cathar replies “I don’t believe it! The world has neither beginning nor end…Let’s go to bed.”[lxviii] This typical rejection of the End Times and of resurrection struck at a fundamental tenet of Catholic belief, but was consistent with Cathar skepticism. If the body was created by Satan and was therefore subject to corruption, then it logically followed that there could be no resurrection. In a similar manner, many modern Christians accept the general ethical teachings of their religion while denying key concepts like the eschatology.

Cathar disrespect for orthodox Catholic dogma was on occasion even more graphic and confrontational. Jacques Fournier’s Inquisitorial records include comments by Raymond de l’Aire of Tignac that were guaranteed to offend any inquisitor. Speaking of the Bishop of Pamiers, the fervent anti-cleric l’Aire maintained that the bishop was brought into being by fucking and shitting. For that matter, Christ was likewise created “through fucking and shitting, rocking back and forth and fucking, in other words through the coitus of a man and a woman, just like the rest of us.” While the underlying concept is undeniably correct, the choice of language is clearly confrontational.

If we accept the Inquisition’s records to be accurate, the Cathars are certainly heretical, but some of our assumptions about the sophistication of their doctrine may be false. Few Cathars had the education of their Catholic inquisitors, who may have made their beliefs sound more coherent than they actually were. We have few insights into the doctrine that are not tainted. One exception may be a case in 1247 when a Languedoc believer, Peter Garcias, was tricked into elaborating on his beliefs to his Franciscan cousin. Other friars hid on a balcony and later gave evidence during his investigation.[lxix] Peter evidenced strong hostility to orthodox Catholicism. He rejected the visible world and sexuality as evil and condemned marriage as prostitution. The God of the Old Testament was “a scoundrel.” There were in fact two gods, “one good and benign creator of invisible and incorruptible things, the other evil and malign, creator of the visible and transitory.” Malcolm Lambert asserts that the debate that comes down to us is “relatively crude, probably characteristic of the level of debate and understanding of the time.”[lxx] Given that his doctrinaire cousin was striving to talk Peter out of his heresy for the hidden friars, this literal-sounding testimony may be a more accurate depiction of Cathar belief than the later reports crafted by the official inquisitors. If so, then the belief may have been more rudimentary and less sophisticated than has been argued.

Of significant attention, Lambert identifies “the most secure guide to Cathar academic teaching at this stage” as extracts from Durand of Huesca to be used for refutation, based on an anonymous Cathar polemic of 1220.[lxxi] What is interesting about these “extracts” is that they espouse a version of the heresy not mentioned elsewhere, in which the Good God made multiple heavens in which he dwells, and another, good earth in which the Cathars who have escaped the power of Satan, will dwell.[lxxii] Other noticeable deviations from orthodox Catharism are also noted. Lambert dismisses this deviation as the mark of a doctrinal “individualist”, but one must suspect that if such variations in doctrine were tolerated, then the Cathar belief was itself highly libertarian in its permissiveness. In such a “liberal” doctrinal environment, we might then be tempted to see the Cathars not as a single heresy, but as a theological home for multiple dualist systems united by revulsion for orthodox Catholicism.

Early Evidence of Catharism in the Languedoc

Records demonstrate that the Cathar heresy was a threat long before the date Anselm of Alessandria derived from his interviews. Some heretics condemned to be burned by King Robert the Pious in 1022 were identified as Cathars many years later.[lxxiii] An itinerant preacher named Henry the Monk had great success in the area around Le Mans in the 1130s preaching a heresy that included Cathar elements, especially condemnations directed at the orthodox clergy. Within a decade after Henry the Monk, St. Hildegard of Bingen became alarmed at the spread of Cathar beliefs. In 1145, Bernard of Clairvaux responded to a plea from Ekbert, the brother of St. Hildegard. Bernard, known as the most inspiring preacher of the age, conducted a mission in Southern France to counteract the growing influence of Catharism. Contemporary reports say Bernard “trounced” Henry the Monk in public debate in Albi. Nevertheless, resistance to orthodox Catholicism continued. When Bernard attempted a public revival at Verfeil near Toulouse, his sermon was drowned out by pro-Cathar knights who deliberately clashed their armor.[lxxiv] Ominously, Bernard cursed the village when he left the region. In 1164, St. Hildegard had an apocryphal vision in which Cathars were identified as the Devil.[lxxv] Catholic officials began to spread preposterous accusations of devil-worship, blasphemy and sexual perversion. For example, Ekbert von Schonau, preaching in Cologne charged that “the Albigensians…propagated their execrable tenets by fire and sword, rapine and plunder; they burned the crosses, destroyed the altars and the churches, and desecrated the latter by converting them into brothels.”[lxxvi]

Deviationist views grew stronger. By 1165 Cathar views were well enough established in Toulouse that a public debate was staged at Lombers. The Countess of Toulouse, who was the daughter of the King of France, supported a team of bishops from nearby Catholic centers, hoping to persuade the local nobility not to follow the heresy.[lxxvii] The heretics went on the attack, denouncing the taking of oaths and the wealth of the clergy, but otherwise did not take positions as strong as those the Cathars later espoused, so they may have been disaffected anti-clerics – still heretics, but not Cathars.[lxxviii] By the mid-12th century the Cathars developed administrative structures and began to codify their doctrine. Michael Costen reports that sometime between 1174 and 1177, a “substantial” group of French Cathars who were of the moderate Bulgarian persuasion converted to the absolute dualism that characterized the Languedoc belief.[lxxix] An illustrative account of the Cathar’s efforts to secure their doctrine comes to us from the Council of St. Felix-de-Caraman in 1174, which reports on a discussion of Cathar bishops, presided over by an eastern Cathar representative, Nicetas of Constantinople. Nicetas introduced administrative reforms specifically designed to correct “flaws” in the teaching of Bulgarian missionaries, and to re-assert absolute dualism.[lxxx]

The area of Toulouse had never fully recovered from the decision of its count, Raymond IV, to go on the First Crusade and settle in the East. This left his successors to deal with the overlapping claims to sovereignty by the Capetians (France), the Angevins (England) and the counts of Barcelona (Aragon). While these forces were too great to be directly opposed, Raymond IVs successors had a more likely target for expansion in the Trencavel dynasty, “who had a complicity with heresy.”[lxxxi] In 1177 his son, Raymond V, denounced the Cathar heresy to the Cistercian order and appealed for their help. Malcolm Lambert sees this as a purely political move to embarrass his chief rival, Roger Trencavel, viscount of Albi, as well as a tool against his own rebellious subjects.[lxxxii] Raymond Vs appeal resulted in a mission headed by the abbot of Clairvaux, who publically interrogated and threatened two Cathar hierarchs. The Cathars muddled their testimony and narrowly escaped harm when the abbot excommunicated them.[lxxxiii] Meanwhile, Raymond V had also appealed to Louis VII of France, who declined to intervene. All this would seem to be a tactical maneuver, because Raymond V was at best complacent regarding the Cathars in his own lands.

Church Concern Escalates

By early in the twelfth century, Catholic churchmen were already alarmed by the Cathar heresy and the attending lawlessness within the Languedoc. They began to complain to Rome. One such early example is a decree by Archbishop Rainald I of Rheims in 1115, easily predating the dates of origin claimed by many historians mentioned in the bibliography. By the time of the Third Lateran Council in 1170, a specific cannon referred to the heretics and their protectors in “Gascony, the Albigeois and the region of Toulouse.”[lxxxiv] It appears that at this point the two problems – heresy and routier lawlessness – were viewed with equal concern. While some historians have argued that we must blame the greater lords of the region for the lawlessness that contributed to Cathar beliefs, Claire Taylor emphasizes the relative powerlessness of these men who ruled at a distance. Real local authority lay in the hands of the local petty nobility.[lxxxv]

The term routier was used both for mercenaries and for highwaymen. As the Capetian royal forces in northern France slowly extended their control towards the south, “it was in the Languedoc and its neighboring provinces that the routiers found refuge and employment in the last decades of the twelfth century.”[lxxxvi] Small routier bands attached themselves to local nobles and fought in their employ against other families in the region. This situation probably reached an epidemic stage by around 1180 CE. It was at this point that continuing turmoil in the region made it a focal point for the attention of ecclesiastic authorities and their desire for a “Peace of God.” The comingling of threatening routiers and Cathar heresy within the same region may also have contributed to the Cathars inheriting a negative “brand” outside of the Languedoc. Norman Housley says, “In the minds of both churchmen and of the laity the uprooting of heresy and the expulsion of mercenary bands came to be linked or even fused in a single aim…the submission or expropriation of the feudal lords who hired the mercenaries and sheltered the Cathar perfecti .” Church documents from the time make the linkage explicit. For instance, the charges against Raymond VI of Toulouse frequently describe his having both attacked the Church and attacking the peace with routiers and heretics. This linkage persisted even after the heresy had been put down and political stability imposed. The opening of the Sententia de terra Albigensi at the Fourth Lateran Council reports that “the Church has labored through preachers and crusaders to wipe out heretics and routiers…Now that both have been exterminated, the land itself can be healthfully governed in the Catholic Faith and brotherly peace.”[lxxxvii]

In the larger context the secular turmoil of the eleventh and twelfth centuries coincided with a period of great internal disorder within the Catholic Church. Michael Costen proposes that groups with “divergent opinions”, by which he means organized heresies, appeared before the formal attacks on simony that began in 1046. As early as 1022, a group of teachers working at the Orleans cathedral were burned for a heresy which, although not significantly explained, significantly “rejected the Church’s teachings on the birth, death and resurrection of Christ.”[lxxxviii] Costan also points to the earlier Waldensian heresy as “accustoming people in the Languedoc to the idea of organized dissent.” This anti-clerical belief embraced extreme poverty and attempted to spread the gospel in the vernacular. Women as well as men became Waldensian preachers. This earlier heresy also held against the taking of oaths and the efficacy of prayers for the dead, ideas that would become elements of Cathar belief.[lxxxix]

Concerned elites both within and around the Languedoc shared the misgivings of the Church. A potential campaign against the Cathars therefore offered both an effort to suppress a dangerous heresy and a program to bring order to a region that was “endemically problematic and in want of governance.”[xc] Thus the crusade presented the opportunity to both exterminate a dangerous subculture – with the attendant spiritual benefits bestowed upon the crusaders – and the opportunity to create orthodox kingdoms from the unconsolidated Languedoc. The crusade in the Languedoc must also be viewed within the context of larger secular conflicts, particularly those between the Plantagenets and Capetians and their respective allies and proxies in southern France. King Henry III and King John of England attempted to extend their influence into Languedoc during this period of turmoil. Likewise, the rulers of Gascony and Aquitaine also had long-standing claims to the region.[xci]

The complaint of Count Raymond V in 1177 resulted in a legatine mission being sent to Toulouse. The mission was not well received by the residents, who denounced Church interference. Notably, Raymond V did not move against the heretics himself. In the following year the Third Lateran Council urged the use of force. Subsequently in 1181 Henry de Marcy, Abbot of Clairvaux, led a small army to besiege a city within the lands of Roger Trencavel. Neither of these actions met with any success and neither was yet a “crusade.”[xcii] Church response was still piecemeal. Coherence required an overarching framework.

A Conceptual Framework Evolves to Justify an “Internal” Crusade

Many historians have attempted to trace the origins of the concept of a formal papal crusade against Christians. Norman Housley argues persuasively that the legal and religious justification developed slowly over the course of the twelfth century, particularly with the holy wars fought by popes Leo IX and Gregory VII against the Christian invaders of papal lands. Rather than seeing the crusades to the Holy Land as potentially confusing the concept, Housley contends that these expeditions reinforced the idea of an internal crusade by equating the winning of “heavenly Jerusalem” in Europe with the “terrestrial Jerusalem” in Palestine.[xciii] He further argues that by 1198 there was a “fairly stable group of crusading institutions” that made it “comparatively easy” for Innocent III to apply the concept to the Albigensian Crusade.[xciv] Historian Jonathan Riley-Smith observes that “the category of holy war to which crusading belongs…seems to have a tendency…to turn inwards sooner or later, and to be directed against the very society which has generated it.”[xcv] Riley-Smith believes one trigger for the internal crusade was that the holy war against external enemies was going badly.

Innocent IIIs motivation is not difficult to understand. He became the Pope of a Catholic Church menaced by the Hohenstaufen dynasty in Italy, the deviationist Byzantines to the East, the Saracens in the Holy Land, and the immediate loss of Jerusalem. To many, the papacy was “in peril of being crushed between Islam on the south and a solid band of Catharism in the north.”[xcvi] In the late 12th century both Bosnia and the Languedoc seemed lost to the Church.[xcvii] Innocent III moved quickly to oppose the conquests of Markward of Anweiler, an adventurer who hoped to create a kingdom in southern Italy out of the chaos left by the death of Henry VI in 1199. For this effort Innocent promised those who opposed Markward (who had allied himself with Muslims in Sicily) “the same remission of sins…as we grant to all who arm themselves against the perfidy of the Saracens for the defense of the eastern province.”[xcviii] An activist Pope, he began to simultaneously take on the secular disorder in Europe and the growth of heresies that threatened to undermine the authority of the Church. Deciding to purge his own Italian neighborhood first, he sent his agent, Pietro Parenzo, to Orvieto with an interdict to halt the spread of Catharism. It is fortunate for Parenzo that the pope also gave him a plenary indulgence, because he was soon seized and killed by the heretics. Innocent III moved more deliberately thereafter, using interdicts, Ghibelline disputes, and inter-city rivalries to undermine his opponents in northern Italy. Yet despite his militancy, Innocent III’s actions as well as his successes were sporadic.

By the first decade of the 13th century there were probably fewer than 1,000 perfects in the Languedoc, but significantly, perhaps a third of them were in noble families.[xcix] The pope needed to move decisively if he was to curb the growth of the heresy. The Pope’s directed effort against the Languedoc Cathars began in 1198 when he charged local Cistercians to reform the region. Step one was to create peace in the Christian world – the Peace of God – so that the campaign against heresy would not be distracted. Innocent’s representatives had no success with Raymond VI, whose subjects were deeply invested in Catharism. Not only did Raymond VI not have the resources to confront the heresy, but he continued to quarrel with local churchmen over lands and other reforms.[c] The Count of Toulouse walked a fine line indeed. When the intent of the pope became clear, Raymond managed to protect himself by quickly professing repentance, giving oaths of obedience, and even appearing naked before the cathedral of Toulouse. When the Albigensian Crusade began, Raymond enlisted for the required minimum of forty days, but was probably motivated by his desire to attack the lands of his neighbor, Raymond-Roger, viscount of Beziers, who had not submitted to the Church.[ci]

An Assassination Triggers Full Crusade

King Philip II Augustus of France was the only regional secular authority with sufficient power to combat the Cathar threat. In 1204 Innocent III appealed to Philip to bring the power of his kingdom to bear on the heresy and he offered a full crusade indulgence.[cii] The King did not act. In 1205 and again in 1207 Innocent repeated his plea to Philip to eradicate the heresy, but the king was then fighting with John I of England for control of western France. England was allied with Flemish nobles and with the German Emperor, Otto IV, a most formidable coalition. Philip would eventually gain breathing room in 1214 after he defeated Otto IV at the Battle of Bouvines, but even then he would not risk his hold on power with a military operation against other Frenchmen. At about the same time as he appealed to King Philip, Innocent III wrote Raymond VI with a series of threats if he did not suppress heresy in his lands. In Registrorum sive Epistolarum he threatened “we will enjoin all the neighboring princes to rise up against you as an enemy of Christ…retaining from you whatever lands of yours they are able to occupy.”[ciii] Innocent III continued to apply threats and non-military means until a notorious murder demanded a more dramatic approach.

Peter (Pierre) of Castelnau, the papal legate charged with investigating the Cathar heresy in the Languedoc, made a formal appeal for assistance to Raymond VI of Toulouse in 1206, but was rebuffed by the Count. “Raymond clearly saw no value in such a campaign against this community that was widely spread and well ingrained in his lands.”[civ] Thereafter, de Castelnau sought to exploit the unsettled political situation in Raymond’s lands by working directly with his vassals. Although Raymond continued to promise eventual support to the Pope’s personal legate, none was forthcoming. Finally, when Peter formally invited Raymond to join a league designed to end the heresy within the count’s land, the count refused and Peter promptly excommunicated him.[cv]

Subsequently, when de Castelnau was murdered on 14 January 1208 Raymond IV was widely suspected of the crime. Innocent III heard Raymond’s denial of responsibility, consulted briefly with his advisors, and then concluded that the count was culpable.[cvi] It has been suggested that Raymond’s connection to Henry II, then under suspicion of having engineered the murder of Thomas Becket, was a contributing factor in the pope’s decision to hold him responsible.[cvii] Regardless, Innocent III invoked a crusade, either as an act of desperation, according to historian H. Roscher, or as Norman Housley has argued, as a logical action supported by two centuries of Church measures against secular violence.[cviii] Pope Innocent’s proclamation offered full indulgence to all who participated. The pope also promised the crusaders freedom to seize any and all lands belonging to Raymond IV; the ultimate right to those lands being reserved for King Philip Augustus, the French monarch claiming overlord rights.[cix] The pope charged Arnaud Amaury, the abbot of Citeaux to organize the crusade, drawing upon northern troops.[cx] His orders included a blessing to “pillage and attack any of the subject properties” of the offending Count.[cxi] The pope further urged the crusaders to attack the heretics “even more fearlessly than the Saracens” because the heretics were “more evil.”[cxii]

An army quickly assembled in July 1209, including a contingent from the Kingdom of France. Louis Augustus did not participate, but he did give permission to some of his leading vassals to take part.[cxiii] Certainly many crusaders joined the papal forces because they wanted to fight heresy and to gain absolution. But material motives were also very strong. The pope’s promise of property rights appealed to even the lower orders. For example, on the eve of the attack on the castle of Termes in 1210, William of Tudela wrote in his Song of the Cathar Wars that “Horses and palfreys will be won, and much wealth, much fine armour, by men on either side to whom it is predestined.”[cxiv] Word of the growing army rapidly reached the Languedoc. Raymond VI, seeing that his only chance to remain in control was to take charge of the crusade himself, maneuvered quickly. He was successful at getting local bishops to intercede with the pope before the crusading army reached his lands, “taking the cross” to save his lands. Consequently, the army targeted the lands of Viscount Raymond-Roger Trencavel instead. The crusaders marched on to the southern town of Beziers.

Raymond-Roger fled to Carcassonne, leaving the citizens of Beziers to face the army. In their initial move, the crusaders demanded that the citizens of Beziers turn over their Cathars. In a response that was often repeated in other southern towns, even the Catholics refused. Thus Beziers was the first to experience a massacre of Catholics and Cathars alike. The accompanying papal representative, Arnaud-Amaury is reported to have said “Kill them all! God will recognize His own”, and somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 were slaughtered, of which perhaps 200 were Cathars. The initial massacre at Beziers simplified the crusader’s task. The citizens of many other towns in the region, such as Carcassonne, either submitted or deserted as the army marched on to defeat Raymond-Roger.

Simon IV de Montfort l’Amaury, a disinherited French knight, emerged as the leader of the Catholic forces. De Montfort was a bona fide crusader who had taken part in the Fourth Crusade of 1202, but had refused to participate in the disgrace of the siege of Zara.[cxv] He later refused to join the attack on Constantinople instead of continuing on to Jerusalem. Courageous and devout, he was an excellent field commander. “He was also ambitious, obstinate and capable of horrifying acts of cruelty.”[cxvi] “The pope’s offer of confiscated lands inspired de Montfort to go south.”[cxvii] Thereafter Simon de Montfort adopted a scorched-earth approach that terrorized the region with a program of summary executions and mass burnings. He took control of the Trencavel lands and soon thereafter Raymond-Roger died a prisoner in one of his own dungeons. Through these means de Montfort forced Raymond VI into apparent submission and took over his lands. Nevertheless, he faced continued resistance by lesser nobles who defended themselves in hard terrain. Over time, however, crusader excesses stiffened local resolve against de Montfort and his forces.[cxviii]

The Conflict Metastasizes

The Albigensian Crusade can be divided into several phases to reflect the fluctuating fortunes of the opposing parties. In the first phase, from mid-1209 to mid-1211, the crusaders conquered the Trencavel lands and captured Viscount Raymond-Roger.[cxix] Soon after the fall of Carcassonne, Innocent III recognized Simon de Montfort as his direct vassal. De Montfort went from victory to victory, showing varying degrees of leniency with the Cathars he captured. Sometimes they were simply driven from their homes; at other times they were ritually mutilated. A significant change occurred with the capture of the fortress town Minerve in June 1210, where 140 Cathars who refused to abjure their faith were burned at the stake, the first such use of this technique in the Albigensian Crusade.

The second phase of the Crusade began with the failure of Raymond VIs efforts to reconcile with the pope, leading to him being excommunicated again in 1211. Towns and villages that had previously submitted to Simon de Montfort now went over to Raymond. Subsequently, between 1211 and 1213 de Montfort conquered all Toulousian lands except Toulouse itself. This resulted in a new phase that began in early 1213 when King Peter II (Pedro) of Aragon, brother-in-law of Raymond VI, entered the conflict in support of the southern side, most likely because he had suzerain rights in lands north of the Pyrenees and de Montfort’s conquests endangered his interests. It is also argued that Peter felt the Toulousians had been “unjustly demonized.”[cxx] Apparently Pope Innocent III entertained similar misgivings for a brief time. Innocent would have respected Peter’s gravitas since the King had just returned from an epic victory over the Almoravid sultan at Las Navas de Tolsa in 1212. He may also have believed that it was not practical to prosecute two crusades simultaneously.[cxxi] Whatever the rationale, Innocent re-directed crusading energies to the Holy Land, but in late 1213 changed his mind again. This set in motion the Aragonese assaults that concluded with the Battle of Muret.[cxxii] King Peter, dressed in ordinary armor and therefore not recognized, was killed and the larger southern forces were “decimated.”[cxxiii]

De Montfort Expands Control

After the victory at Muret, the focus of the conflict shifted again as Simon de Montfort took sole leadership of the crusader forces. He extended control against a largely defenseless south, assuming secular command in Languedoc under the distant authority of the French monarch.[cxxiv] With insufficient men to garrison all the towns and castles he captured, de Montfort systematically destroyed the rest while continuing to appeal to France for help. Concurrently, the pope entrusted the conquered lands to de Montfort “to preserve, guard and defend.”[cxxv] The crusader worked under a serious handicap. French and German crusaders would join him every summer for the campaigning season, then return home at inconvenient times, leaving de Montfort with a skeleton force to try to hold onto his gains until the following year. Innocent III increased the challenge by withdrawing most of the indulgences in favor of his plans for a renewed crusade in Palestine.[cxxvi]

The pope also gave signs that he might be lenient with a “repentant” Raymond VI, but under pressure from clerical forces arrayed against the Saint-Gilles family, he subsequently judged against Raymond and granted all the conquered territories to de Montfort in the Fourth Lateran Council. He even included the unconquered towns of Toulouse and Montauban.[cxxvii] Nevertheless, he never completely eliminated the claims of Raymond VI’s successor, “young Raymond” Saint-Gilles, to his inheritance. Innocent III left some ambiguity about the status of this claim. Young Raymond, who would become Raymond VII, was the nephew of King John of England. Claire Taylor argues persuasively that Innocent III was acting pragmatically. He needed France and England at peace so he could get them to jointly crusade in the Holy Land. King John, having only recently lost his lands in northern and central France, might be able to sustain a claim to the Occitan region if the Saint-Gilles connection was still viable. Thus Innocent III continued to support John even as he (apparently) pondered the disinheritance of his nephew.[cxxviii] Innocent III and King John both died in 1216, mooting the issue and opening the way for a continuation of the war.

The Southern Counter-Offensive

Following the death of Innocent III, yet another phase of the conflict saw southern forces on the counter-attack. Count Raymond VI and his son raised a new army against de Montfort and successfully re-occupied Toulouse in 1217. Those who had previously collaborated with de Montfort quickly abjured. William of Puylaurens, a contemporary in the employ of the Bishop of Toulouse, reports that “As a consequence many who had concealed their opposition to him lifted up their horns, and numerous strongholds and towns at once joined his enemies;…the citizens of Toulouse….refused to submit to masters whose rule was overweening and took refuge in a form of disobedience.  They bore with difficulty the yoke which undermined the liberty to which they were accustomed.”[cxxix] We must note that the emphasis here appears to be on political liberty rather than on the doctrinal/heretical nature of the “disobedience.”

Simon de Montfort died in June 1218. “So, the man who inspired terror from the Mediterranean to the British sea fell by a blow from a single stone; at his fall those who had previously stood firm fell down.  In him who was a good man, the insolence of his subordinates was thrown down.”[cxxx]As William of Puylaurens observes, Simon’s death robbed the crusade of its most feared and effective leader. Subsequently, the leadership of the crusader army went to de Montfort’s son, Amaury (Almaric), who had little of his father’s skill or success.[cxxxi] Although the new pope, Honorius III restored the war to full crusade status, the crusaders suffered several key defeats and important towns re-declared for Raymond VI and his son. This prompted King Philip II Augustus to permit his son Louis to take an expeditionary force southward. It arrived in time for the siege of Marmande with “cartloads of weapons” and presided over yet another massacre.[cxxxii]  The French sortie was perhaps in the nature of a public relations performance, because Louis promptly returned to northern France at the end of this forty-day commitment.

Raymond VI died in 1222 and was succeeded by his son, now Raymond VII. In contrast to de Montfort’s son, Raymond VII had been the driving force behind southern resistance for some time.[cxxxiii] His successes gave Amaury little choice but to offer his remaining holdings to Philip Augustus and the French crown. The new Pope, Honorius III, upped the ante by offering the French King financial inducements to take up the fight, but Philip continued to demur.[cxxxiv] His truce with Henry III of England was due to expire, so Philip had to hold his army in reserve for the possibility of another attempt on his kingdom. With an effective stalemate in place, when Raymond-Roger IV returned from exile in 1224 and recovered the de Trencavel titles, the situation was essentially status quo ante. As the year ended, the Albigensian Crusade appeared fruitless.

This impasse changed decisively in 1225 when Louis Augustus died and the conflict entered its sixth and final phase. Louis VIII became the King of France and accepted Amaury’s claims in Languedoc. Henry III threatened to interfere, but withdrew when he incorrectly assessed that the Capetians could not prevail, thus freeing Louis’ army to finish off southern military opposition. When Louis “took up the cross” and joined the crusaders, he brought significant men and resources.[cxxxv] Avignon and Provence fell to siege in late 1226 and soon after eastern Languedoc declared for the King. In the opinion of Riley-Smith, it was only the intervention of Louis VIII that the crusade was saved from failure.[cxxxvi] Nevertheless, a complete resolution would require four more years of bloodshed. The military campaign ground on through the interference of pro-English barons, the death of Louis VIII in November 1226, and innumerable sieges and depredations. Louis IX was still a minor, so leadership of the crusade passed to his seneschal, Humbert de Beaujeu.  Raymond VII finally submitted on 12 April 1229. In exchange for a ritual flagellation, the loss of his castles, and a heavy fine, his excommunication was lifted. On this same day, the Peace of Paris stripped the house of Saint-Gilles of most of its lands and powers, and exacted a promise to aid the Church in rooting out heresy.[cxxxvii] During the same year, Languedoc was annexed de facto into the Kingdom of France by the Treaty of Meaux.[cxxxviii] The official crusade thus ended with a large part of southern France under the control of the Capetian monarchs. Key fortresses were still in the hands of the Cathars, but their fate was certain.

New Strategies in Post-Crusade Languedoc

In 1233 Pope Gregory IX inaugurated the Inquisition in Languedoc and placed it under the control of the Dominican order. He expanded Inquisitorial powers of seizure and interrogation by torture, and approved the burning of heretics at the stake. Remaining Cathars fled to those few fortified sanctuaries that still remained.

Raymond VII managed to rebuild relationships with Pope Gregory IX, who needed his support against the new incursions of Frederick II. This rapprochement was flexible enough that when a new Cathar rebellion began in 1240, Raymond tried to stay above it and for a while he did not repudiate the heretics within his lands. Some historians speculate that at this time Raymond hoped to have his marriage annulled and to seek a new wife who could provide a male heir.[cxxxix] With the hope of papal support for the annulment, Raymond VII agreed to an alliance with Louis IX which included an agreement to take Montsegur, one of the remaining Cathar strongholds. Events thereafter became more complicated when Gregory IX died and Raymond again switched allegiance, joining a conspiracy to overthrow Louis IX. The conspiracy included not only Henry III of England, but Raymond Trencavel and many of the surviving pro-Cathar lords.[cxl] Strangely, during this same period Raymond VII continued to support the inquisition, perhaps to cover himself in case his other intrigues failed.

Whatever Raymond VIIs motivation, his rebellion collapsed in 1242 after a group of pro-Cathar knights massacred the prior of Avignonet and his inquisitors and then burned their inquisitorial records. At almost the same time, Louis IX defeated Henry III at the Battles of Saints and Taillebourg. As his allies melted away, Raymond VII submitted to Louis IX in 1243 and thereafter stood firmly with the orthodox forces against the Cathars.  Montsegur, the last major Cathar fortress, would fall to siege in 1244 after a heroic stand. The remaining perfecti, about 210, were burned. The fall of the mountain fortress, once thought to be impregnable, marked the effective end of the Languedoc Cathars as a meaningful military force. The legacy of unrestricted warfare and the long trail of massacres at Beziers (1209), Minerve (1210), Lavaur (1211), Montsegur (1244), and finally at Queribus (1255) severely dampened any open practice of the religion. Thereafter the heresy in France would have to operate underground.[cxli] No noble family would protect the Cathars. In fact, Raymond VII was now so firmly in the orthodox camp that he would hold his own mass burning of heretics in 1249. It was this collapse of nobility’s support, in combination with the forceful prosecution of the Inquisition, which led to the full collapse of Catharism in the Languedoc.[cxlii]

It is worthwhile to note that, although the fall of Montsegur marked the official end of the Albigensian Crusade, the Cathars still remained a potent heresy outside Languedoc. Indeed, many of the Languedoc survivors fled to northern Italy and joined their co-religionists there. Once again the heresy was comingled with secular rivalries and dynastic claims.  This time the popes eschewed the military option. Instead, the practices of the Inquisition, begun in connection with the Albigensian Crusade, were further expanded and codified. For instance, the successor to Innocent III, Alexander IV, allowed individual inquisitors to absolve each other of “irregularities”, and any remaining restrictions on the use of torture were removed.[cxliii] This brief paper cannot adequately deal with the complexities of Northern Italy and will continue to focus on the French regional consequences.

In Languedoc, Raymond VIIs move to active support of orthodox Catholicism permitted the Inquisition full access to the region.[cxliv] What followed was “the most comprehensive enquiry into a region ever undertaken” by the inquisitorial forces; “an interrogation on an unprecedented scale.”[cxlv] This effort was highly effective. While some Cathars were exposed and others recanted, many simply fled the region or lived as refugees, constantly on the run from papal authorities.[cxlvi] The support of tolerant non-Cathars dried up. Nevertheless, sporadic instances of resistance occurred, such as several attempts to seize and burn inquisitorial records.[cxlvii] Such actions may have been taken on the part of Cathar sympathizers, or they may have been simply the desperate response of a citizenry under great pressure from the Catholic “thought police.” The Inquisition was still making mass arrests in the region as late as 1299.

Once the supervision of the French court took secular control in Languedoc, any remaining Cathars were marginalized.  Malcolm Barber summarizes this final period as “in fifty years the environment had been transformed, changing the Cathars first from reformers to maquisards, and then from maquisards to fugitives.”[cxlviii] The Cathar religion briefly reappeared in isolated Pyrenean villages around Languedoc in the early fourteenth century, only to be destroyed under the leadership of Bishop Jacques Fournier in a new phase of the inquisition which John Arnold calls “a clear example of sledgehammer and nut.”[cxlix]

A Brief, Anemic Revival

Mark Gregory Pegg concluded his history of the Great Inquisition of 1245-1246 with the observation that “without the constant entrenchment of adoption (of heresy), understanding will eventually fade and disappear…Societies really do forget as easily as they remember.”[cl] Despite this evaluation, the heresy took some time to completely die out. Ministries had been driven underground and were conducted by itinerant preachers in the security of safe houses. Cathar beliefs enjoyed an anemic, short-lived revival between 1299 and 1310, when Peter (Pierre) Autier preached dualism again in Foix County in the Languedoc region. Autier, his brothers and other Cathar faithful thrived briefly in the village of Montaillou in the Pyrenees where “Catharism came nearer than anywhere else, omitting the special case of Montsegur before the siege, to taking over an entire settlement.”[cli] Autier seems to have used a mix of infiltration and intimidation to exert control over the village. Some historians even give credence to claims that he employed murder and battery against his opponents.[clii]

This early fourteenth century revival is especially useful to Cathar historians because the records left by chief inquisitor Jacques Fournier (later Pope Benedict XII at Avignon) and by inquisitor Bernard Gui are highly detailed. It is largely by chance that these records survived when so many others were lost. In the estimation of Malcolm Lambert, “together they exceed in value all other sources of Cathar life.”[cliii] Autier preached at a time when the Cathar belief had been pushed underground. No direct testimony from Autier survives, only reports from those whom he converted who were later interrogated by the Inquisition. Despite this, the record of his teaching is accepted by scholars as accurately portraying much of Cathar doctrine. Autier also added some individualistic twists, such as his insistence that the Holy Virgin did not exist at all, but was simply the embodiment of “the will to do good.”[cliv] This does not appear in other Cathar texts and therefore it may indicate drift in the theology.

In 1307 a particularly vigorous inquisitor named Bernard Gui arrived in Toulouse and instituted a program which included mass arrests of all inhabitants over fourteen, followed by interrogations and imprisonments.[clv] These methods proved effective. Principal Cathar ministers were captured and burned at various times throughout 1309. Peter Autier was held for interrogation for a year before being burnt in 1310. The last significant center of the heresy was the village of Montaillou, but Jacques Fournier finally cleansed the area by 1320 with burnings, imprisonment and the penalty of the yellow cross for condemned heretics.[clvi] Thereafter the Cathars lost whatever critical mass they might have had outside Italy and doctrine grew more complex and inconsistent with the previous Cathar mainstream. Malcolm Lambert characterizes this brief revival as “a heroic but doomed guerilla action” and calculates that no more than sixteen perfecti were active during the Autier period.[clvii]

But was the popularity of dualist heresy ever fully eradicated in the region? Claire Taylor argues that following the Peace of Paris there was “not only political rebellion…but ideological rebellion in the form of tolerance of heresy.”[clviii] Catharism was not a political movement, but the struggle for secular supremacy would continue and local lords might therefore hope that any remaining Cathars (or Cathar sympathizers) would join them in the defense of southern-French political autonomy. Quoting R.I. Moore, Taylor concludes that for these lords, the repression of Catharism was much more threatening to their secular authority than was the heresy itself.[clix]

The Inquisition Becomes Institutionalized

Almost everything we know about the Cathar religion comes from hostile Inquisition sources.[clx] Historian Malcolm Lambert characterizes the inquisitors as “conscientious administrators…managing a system which rewarded and praised the sneak and the spy and only too readily corroded society with suspicion.”[clxi] The techniques developed by the Inquisition would be adopted by the more recent police states of the 20th and 21st centuries. “The first step was to drive a wedge into the façade of community solidarity so that the loyalties and fears which held it together could be undermined.”[clxii] The Inquisition, which began as a physical search for heretics, “mutated into…a system for interrogating individual lay people about their innermost thoughts and beliefs.”[clxiii]

When Gregory IX became pope he elaborated on the heresy statutes of Innocent III and increased the associated penalties. The Church applied Roman laws for treason to the discovery and prosecution of heretics.[clxiv] In 1231 Gregory issued a mandate (Ille humani generis) to Conrad of Marburg to “inquire”, charging the Dominican order with a “diligent search” for heretics.[clxv] Conrad subsequently launched a “reign of terror” in which the flimsiest of evidence was sufficient to make a conviction.[clxvi] Those convicted were burnt. Conrad was probably the source for a number of gross exaggerations of Cathar practices which served to further inflame the orthodox clergy.[clxvii] Before he was assassinated in 1233, Conrad was largely responsible for eliminating the weak Cathar movement in Germany.

Over time, the Church’s acts against heresy became harsher and broader. What had been a process of inquisition became the institutionalized Inquisition, with full-time, trained Dominican practitioners. Significant acts during the period of the Cathar heresy demonstrate increasing severity and desperation. These include the Third Lateran Council, where heretics were declared anathema (1179); the Ab Abolendum of Pope Lucius III, which created Episcopal inquisitions (1184); Cum ex officii mostri of Pope Innocent III, which instructed secular courts to punish heretics (1207); the Fourth Lateran Council, which excommunicated heretics (1215); the Council of Toulouse, which granted power to seek out heretics even in their homes (1229); and Pope Gregory IX’s appointment of judges against heretics (1231).[clxviii]

Conclusion: Long-Term Consequences of the Albigensian Crusade

Cathar theology presented a clear and serious threat to the hegemony of the orthodox Catholic Church. Catharism provided a simpler worldview than Catholicism, with fewer internal contradictions. It could be easily transmitted to a population which, although illiterate, still sought after logical explanations. The heretical system explained the persistent presence of daily evil where Catholicism did not. Furthermore, the apparent piety and humility of Cathar prefects contrasted dramatically with the often worldly and extravagant lifestyles of Catholic hierarchy. For the Church to continue as an enterprise, the Cathar heresy had to be eliminated.

It is difficult to identify exactly when Catharism was eradicated in the Languedoc region. The Albigensian Crusade officially ended with the Peace of Paris in 1229, but the belief persisted. Certainly the last organized military resistance ended with the fall of Queribus in 1255. Subsequent Cathar “revivals” such as that of Peter Autier (1299-1310) were mere whimpers of the earlier vitality. The orthodox Catholic Church and an orthodox feudal system were firmly in place, not to be shaken again until the Protestant Reformation. Hundreds of thousands of people from the region – both Cathars and Catholics – had met gruesome death. The fundamental machinery of the Inquisition had been tested and institutionalized, thereby creating a significant barrier against subsequent heretical revival.

By the end of the fourteenth century the fundamental tenets of Catharism, which were based upon a clear abhorrence for the Evil One, were turned inside out by the propaganda of the orthodox Catholic Church. By the time of its demise, the Cathar religion had been twisted into one of Satan worship, a libel that continues in some sources even today. The variation of dualism known as Waldensianism survived longer, perhaps because it lay closer to orthodox Christian theology and practiced its beliefs in greater secrecy. Although the philosophical problem of theodicy still survives, so far as we know, no variation of Christianity exists today in which dualism plays a significant role.

The Albigensian Crusade did not resolve all authority issues in the south of France, but it did simplify them. The plans of the English kings for the Languedoc were thwarted. Instead, the Capetian regime gained control of the region, a move along the route toward the eventual consolidation of the nation of France. This consolidation reduced the pervasive lawlessness in southern France, thereby contributing to the well-being of the citizenry. Uniqueness vanished with the elimination of disorder. Religious orthodoxy was established at the expense of the distinctive troubadour culture of the Languedoc.

The Albigensian Crusade was successfully prosecuted in the period that included the first crusades into the Holy Land and the early phases of the Reconquista against Iberian Muslims, and it concluded shortly before the European discovery of the Americas. The crusade demonstrated that the combination of armed force and Inquisition could be effective in spreading the faith and cleansing the faithful. Further, the crusade process had proven profitable for the victorious participants. This benefit would provide added encouragement for similar endeavors in the future.

The Inquisition was refined into a strong weapon against dissent. It developed methods of torture and intimidation which could be employed by secular as well as ecclesiastical elites. One need only look to contemporary practice within the East German stazi or China’s Second Cultural Revolution to see the parallels in operating procedure inherited from this experience. Over time, the process of inquisition steadily removed any rights of the accused and incorporated a rationale designed to turn nearly anyone who came under its sway into a heretic. This persistent aspect of contemporary culture may be the final legacy of the Albigensian Crusade.

Finally, the thoroughness of the Inquisition assured that few trustworthy sources remain from the Cathars themselves. Inquisitorial records often intentionally misrepresent what we do know about the belief, either out of fervent piety, or in an effort to erase the theological foundations of the heresy. The development of the Cathar deviation encouraged the Catholic Church to suppress lay-learning and to make the reading of the bible by non-clerics a capital crime.[clxix] In the same way, destroying or distorting actual Cathar doctrine made it easier to erase this deviationist heresy. To borrow Mark Gregory Pegg’s phrase, the absence of “constant entrenchment” not only assured the elimination of Catharism in the 13th century, it also impedes our ability to recreate this vanished culture today.

[i] Midi-France. Cathars and Cathar Beliefs in the Languedoc. www.cathar.info

[ii] Midi-France

[iii] Midi-France

[iv] Barber, Malcolm. The Cathars: Dualist Heretics in Languedoc in the High Middle Ages. (London: Longman, 2000), 97.

[v] Arnold, John. Review of The Cathars, by Malcolm Barber, in Institute of Historical Research. (London: Longman/University of East Anglia, 2000), 282.

[vi] Arnold, 282.

[vii] McCaffrey, Emily. Memory and Collective Identity in Occitanie: The Cathars in History and Popular Culture. In History and Memory, Volume 13, Number 1, Spring/Summer 2001. Indiana University Press. 114-138

[viii] Lambert, Malcolm. The Cathars. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 1998), 250.

[ix] Weis, Rene. The Yellow Cross: The Story of the Last Cathars, 1290-1329. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001), xxiv

[x] Raynauldus. Annales. S. R. Maitland, trans. In History of the Albigenses and Waldenses. (London: C. J. G. and F. Rivington, 1832), 392-394.

[xi] Raynauldus, 392-394.

[xii] Vaux-de-Cernay, Peter. Historia Albigensis. W.A. Sibly and M.D. Sibly, trans. (Woodbridge, UK: The Boydell Press, 1998), xxxiii.

[xiii] Lambert, 141.

[xiv] Lambert, 142-3.

[xv] Laudrie, Emmanuel Le Roy. Montaillou: The Promised Land of Error. (New York: George Braziller, Inc, 1978), viii-ix.

[xvi] Burl, Aubrey. God’s Heretics: The Albigensian Crusade. (Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing, 2002), 9.

[xvii] Costen, Michael. Cathars and the Albigensian Crusade. (Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1997), 57-59.

[xviii] Lambert, 24.

[xix] Comnena, Anna. The Alexiad of the Princess Anna Comnena. Elizabeth A. S. Dawes, trans. (London: Kegan, Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co., Ltd., 1918), 412-5.

[xx] Lambert, 24.

[xxi] Costen, 59.

[xxii] Costen, 59.

[xxiii] Cathari, in The Catholic Encyclopedia. www.newadvent.org/cathen

[xxiv] Lambert, 43.

[xxv] Lambert, 43.

[xxvi] Lambert, 35-6.

[xxvii] Vauchez. Settimane XXXVI. W.L. Wakefield and A.P. Evans, trans. Heresies of the High Middle Ages. (New York, 1969), 574-7.

[xxviii] Lambert, 36-7.

[xxix] Lambert, 38.

[xxx] Taylor, Claire. “Authority and the Cathar Heresy in the Northern Languedoc”, in Heresy and the persecuting society in the Middle Ages: Essays on the Work of R.I. Moore, by Michael Frassetto. (London: Leiden, 2006), 147-9.

[xxxi] Costen, 1.

[xxxii] Costen, 5.

[xxxiii] Costen, 9.

[xxxiv] Vaux-de-Cernay, xxxv.

[xxxv] Lambert, 40.

[xxxvi] The Albigensian Crusade, www.xenophongroup.com/montjoie/albigens

[xxxvii] Costen, 11.

[xxxviii] Burl, 12.

[xxxix] Vaux-de-Cernay, xxxix.

[xl] Vaux-de-Cernay, xxxvi-xxxvii.

[xli] Sharpes, Donald. Outcasts and Heretics: Profiles in Independent Thought and Courage. (New York: Lexington Books, 2007), 185-6.

[xlii] Costen, Michael, 21.

[xliii] Lambert, 41.

[xliv] Costen, 19.

[xlv] Costen, Michael, 22-4.

[xlvi] Costen, 147-9.

[xlvii] Burl,1.

[xlviii] Cathars and Cathar Beliefs in the Languedoc. www.cathar.info

[xlix] Taylor, Claire. Heresy in Medieval France: Dualism in Aquitaine and the Agenais, 1000-1249. (Trowbridge, England: Cromwell Press and The Royal Historical Society, 2005), 150.

[l] Taylor, Heresy in Medieval France, 261.

[li] Taylor, Heresy in Medieval France,150.

[lii] Weis, Rene. The Yellow Cross: The Story of the Last Cathars, 1290-1329. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001), xxiii.

[liii] Midi-France

[liv] Midi-France

[lv] Midi-France

[lvi] Cathari, in The Catholic Encyclopedia. www.newadvent.org/cathen

[lvii] Barber, 104

[lviii] Vaux-de-Cernay, 49-51.

[lix] Vaux-de-Cernay, 56.

[lx] Vaux-de-Cernay, 48-9.

[lxi] Frassetto, Michael. Heretic Lives. (London: Clays, Bungay, Suffock, 1996), 79.

[lxii] Gui, Bernard. Inquisitor’s Manual. Translated by J.H. Robinson. Readings in European History. (Boston: Ginn, 1905), 381-3.

[lxiii] Laudrie, vii – xv.

[lxiv] Weis, 362.

[lxv] Weis, 362.

[lxvi] Laudrie, 179.

[lxvii] Laudrie, 288.

[lxviii] Laudrie, 319-320.

[lxix] Lambert, 159-65.

[lxx] Lambert, 161.

[lxxi] Lambert, 162.

[lxxii] Lambert, 162-3.

[lxxiii] Cathari

[lxxiv] Lambert, 40.

[lxxv] Lambert, 19.

[lxxvi] Burl, Aubrey, 9.

[lxxvii] Costen, 59.

[lxxviii] Costen, 60.

[lxxix] Costen, 60.

[lxxx] Frassetto, 78.

[lxxxi] Lambert, 62.

[lxxxii] Lambert, 60.

[lxxxiii] Lambert, 61.

[lxxxiv] Housley, Norman. “Crusades Against Christians: Their Origins and Early Development, c.1000-1216” in The Crusades, edited by Thomas F. Madden. (Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing, 2002), 71-97.

[lxxxv] Taylor, 152-4.

[lxxxvi] Housley, 71-97.

[lxxxvii] Housley, 71-97.

[lxxxviii] Costen, 52.

[lxxxix] Costen, 56-57.

[xc] Arnold, John. Review of The Cathars, by Malcolm Barber, in Institute of Historical Research. (London: Longman/University of East Anglia, 2000), 286.

[xci] Taylor, Heresy in Medieval France, 263.

[xcii] Vaux-de-Cernay, xxxiv-xxxv.

[xciii] Madden, Thomas F. The Crusades. (Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing, 2002), 69.

[xciv] Housley, 71-97.

[xcv] Riley-Smith, Jonathan. The Crusades: A History. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), 166.

[xcvi] White, Lynn. “A Review of The Medieval Manichee: A Study of the Christian Dualist Heresy”, by Stephen Runciman. The Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 1948, Vol. XVI. 118-9.

[xcvii] White, 119.

[xcviii] Housley, 71-97.

[xcix] Riley-Smith, 165.

[c] Lambert, 100.

[ci] Lambert, 102.

[cii] Riley-Smith, 165.

[ciii] Barber, 117.

[civ] The Albigensian Crusades (1209-1255), www.xenophongroup.com/montjoie/albigens

[cv] Frassetto, 83.

[cvi] Luchaire, Achille. Innocent III: Rome et L’Italie. (Paris: Libraire Hachette et Cie, 1905), 121.

[cvii] Luchaire, 122.

[cviii] Housley, 71-97.

[cix] Frassetto, 85-6.

[cx] Taylor, Heresy in Medieval France, 187.

[cxi] Luchaire, 187.

[cxii] Pegg, Mark Gregory. The Corruption of Angels: The Great Inquisition of 1245-1246. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), 4.

[cxiii] Vaux-de-Cernay, xli.

[cxiv] William of Tudela. The Song of the Cathar Wars. Janet Shirley, trans. (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 1996).

[cxv] Burl, 22.

[cxvi] Riley-Smith, 167.

[cxvii] Xenophon Group, The Albigensian Crusades (1209-1255), www.xenophongroup.com/montjoie/albigens

[cxviii] Lambert, 104-5.

[cxix] Vaux-de-Cernay, xlii.

[cxx] Taylor, Heresy in Medieval France, 189.

[cxxi] Housley, 71-97.

[cxxii] Vaux-de-Cernay, 185-202.

[cxxiii] Taylor, Heresy in Medieval France, 189.

[cxxiv] Taylor, Heresy in Medieval France, 189.

[cxxv] Vaux-de-Cernay, 249.

[cxxvi] Riley-Smith, 167.

[cxxvii] Taylor, Heresy in Medieval France, 213.

[cxxviii] Taylor, Heresy in Medieval France, 212-214.

[cxxix] William of Puylaurens. The Chronicle of William of Puylaurens. W.A. Sibly and M.D. Sibly, trans. (Suffolk, UK: The Boydell Press, 2006), Chap. 23.

[cxxx] William of Puylaurens, Chap. 28

[cxxxi] Taylor, Heresy in Medieval France, 215-217.

[cxxxii] Pegg, 14.

[cxxxiii] Xenophon Group.

[cxxxiv] Taylor, Heresy in Medieval France, 217-219.

[cxxxv] Vaux-de-Cernay, 191-4.

[cxxxvi] Riley-Smith, 168.

[cxxxvii] Taylor, Heresy in Medieval France, 222-223.

[cxxxviii] Laudrie, ix.

[cxxxix] Lambert, 165.

[cxl] Lambert, 166.

[cxli] Lambert, 169.

[cxlii] Frassetto, 104.

[cxliii] Lambert, 214.

[cxliv] Lambert, 215.

[cxlv] Lambert, 215.

[cxlvi] Lambert, 215-223.

[cxlvii] Lambert, 226-7.

[cxlviii] Barber, 175.

[cxlix] Arnold, 282.

[cl] Pegg, 130.

[cli] Lambert,262.

[clii] Lambert,263.

[cliii] Lambert,230.

[cliv] Lambert,251.

[clv] Lambert,257.

[clvi]Laudrie, ix.

[clvii] Lambert, 268.

[clviii] Taylor, Authority and the Cathar Heresy, 194.

[clix] Taylor, Authority and the Cathar Heresy, 194.

[clx] Arnold, 287.

[clxi] Lambert, 315.

[clxii] Taylor, Authority and the Cathar Heresy, 143-4.

[clxiii] Arnold, 286.

[clxiv] Sharpes, 181.

[clxv] Lambert, 117.

[clxvi] Lambert, 119.

[clxvii] Lambert, 121.

[clxviii] Sharpes, 181.

[clxix] Midi-France.