The Cathars and the Albigensian Crusade brings together a rich and diverse range of medieval sources to examine key aspects of the growth of heresy and dissent in southern France in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and the Church’s response to that threat through the subsequent authorisation of the Albigensian crusade.
Aimed at students and scholars alike, the documents it discusses – papal letters, troubadour songs, contemporary chronicles in Latin and the vernacular, and inquisitorial documents – reflect a deeper perception of medieval heresy and the social, political and religious implications of crusading than has hitherto been possible. The reader is introduced to themes which are crucial to our understanding of the medieval world: ideologies of crusading and holy war, the complex nature of Catharism, the Church’s implementation of diverse strategies to counter heresy, the growth of papal inquisition, southern French counter-strategies of resistance and rebellion, and the uses of Latin and the vernacular to express regional and cultural identity.
This timely and highly original collection not only brings together previously unexplored and in some cases unedited material, but provides a nuanced and multi-layered view of the religious, social and political dimensions of one of the most infamous conflicts of the High Middle Ages. This book is a valuable resource for all students, teachers and researchers of medieval history and the crusades.
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Catherine Léglu is Professor of French and Occitan Literature at the University of Reading. She has published extensively on troubadour poetry and related literary works of the High and Late Middle Ages. She has published two monographs, respectively on satirical poetry (2000) and the theme of multilingualism in Occitan, French and Catalan literature (2010).
Rebecca Rist is an Associate Professor in History at the University of Reading. Her research interests include the history of crusading, the papacy, medieval heresy, and Jewish–Christian relations. She has published a monograph on the papacy’s authorisation of crusades in Europe during the first half of the thirteenth century (2009).
Claire Taylor is an Associate Professor in History at the University of Nottingham. Her work is on the south-west of France in the high-medieval period, with an emphasis on its religious, political and social life. She has published two monographs on heresy in the region (2005 and 2011).Review:
"The authors and editors of this...volume have made a remarkable effort to produce not only a sourcebook with translations of the central texts – both well-known and hitherto unpublished; they have also accompanied it with a state-of-the-art introduction, a guide to further reading and the necessary indexes of both persons and places... the book should not only be reserved for or recommended to...specialists. Easy to read, it ought to be a widespread travel-companion to the hordes of tourists, who more or less clueless travel from castle to abbey to village in the Pays Cathare every summer!" - Karen Schousboe, Medieval Histories
“This is a well-compiled anthology of texts that offer multiple and contrasting perspectives on one of the most infamous events of the High Middle Ages. If it is an exciting time to be studying medieval heresy, this sourcebook makes a welcome contribution to spreading the excitement.” –Huw Grange, University of Cambridge, UK
Overall, the benefits of the source tape for academic teaching is undeniable. The breadth of genres and meaning of selected texts allow for an in-depth scientific study of key aspects of the Albigensian Crusade as part of courses. - Jörg Supreme
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