The Albigensian Crusade

By the middle of the 12th century, control of Jerusalem and the holy Land was no longer the just goal of the Crusades. Rather, Crusading became a special class of war called by the pope versus the adversaries of the faith, that were by no method confined come the Levant. Crusades continued in the Baltic an ar against pagans and also in Spain versus Muslims. However in the love of Europe a much more serious threat faced Christendom—heresy. In the medieval world, heresy walk not represent benign spiritual diversity however was viewed as a cancerous risk to the salvation that souls. It was hosted to it is in even much more dangerous 보다 the faraway Muslims, because it harmed the human body of Christ native within.

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Crusader, perhaps King Henry III that England, giving homage. The photo depicts the armour worn by a Crusading knight and also emphasizes the importance to medieval knights of military company to God and also the church; native the Westminster Psalter, c. 1200, illustration from c. 1250; in the brothers Library (Royal ms 2 A XXII, fol. 220).
By permission that the british Library

The most vivid heresy in Europe to be Catharism, additionally known together Albigensianism for the Albi, a city in southern France where it flourished. A dualist belief, Catharism organized that the universe was a battleground in between good, which was spirit, and evil, which was matter. People were thought to be spirits trapped in physical bodies. The leaders of the religion, the perfects, lived with an excellent austerity, remaining chaste and also avoiding all foods items that came from sex-related union.

The church had attempted because that years come root the end the heresy from southern France, whereby it remained popular, specifically among the nobility. St. Dominic, that was sent to the region to preach to the people and debate the Cathar leaders, developed his order of Preachers (Dominicans) in solution to the heresy. All initiatives at eradication failed, however, largely due to the fact that of the yongin of the Cathari preserved by Raymond through of Toulouse, the greatest baron of the area, and also by most secular lords in the region. Soon after his excommunication because that abetting the heretics, Raymond to be implicated in the killing of a papal legate sent to investigate the situation. For Pope innocent III the was the final straw. In march 1208 he called for a Crusade versus Raymond and also the heretics the Languedoc, which started the complying with year.

The Albigensian Crusade to be immensely well-known in northern France because it provided pious warriors an opportunity to success a Crusade indulgence without traveling far from residence or serving much more than 40 days. Throughout the first season the Crusaders captured Béziers in the heart of Cathar territory and—following the instructions of the papal legate that allegedly said, “Kill castle all. God will understand his own,” once asked just how the Crusaders should identify the heretics from true Christians—massacred nearly the entire population of the city. With the exemption of Carcassonne, which held out because that a couple of months, much of the region of the Albigeois surrendered to the Crusaders. Command of the Crusade was then provided to Simon, lord of Montfort and earl that Leicester, who had served throughout the fourth Crusade. Abandoning the Crusade after it struck the believer at Zadar, Simon saw fight in the divine Land.

The Albigensian Crusade dragged ~ above for number of years, with brand-new recruits arriving each spring to help Simon. By the end of the summer, however, they would all return home, leaving him v a skeleton force to protect his gains. By 1215, once the 4th Lateran council met to consider the state of the church, Simon had caught most of the region, consisting of Toulouse. The council offered the lands to Simon and also then rescinded the Crusade indulgence for the battle so the a brand-new Crusade to the East can be organized.

A few years later on a rebellion against the northerners that crystallized roughly Raymond and his son, Raymond VII, recaptured much lost territory. Simon to be killed throughout a siege of Toulouse. The Albigensian Crusade was finally brought to a nearby by the French King luigi VIII. Return he passed away soon after his win in the south, Louis revitalized northern regulate over the region in 1226 and also dashed the really hopes of Raymond’s family for an independent Toulouse. In 1229 the younger Raymond welcomed a tranquility through which every his ancestral lands would go to the royal residence of the Capetians in ~ his death. The was, therefore, the French crown, which involved the Crusade rather late, that was the ultimate victor.

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For all of its violence and destruction, the Albigensian Crusade fail to eliminate the Cathar heresy native Languedoc. The did, however, administer a solid framework of new secular lords ready to occupational with the church against the heretics. With the subsequent efforts of the Dominican inquisitors, Catharism to be virtually eliminated in Languedoc in ~ a century.