February 23, 2017

A Most Holy War: The Albigensian Crusade and the Battle for by Mark Gregory Pegg

By Mark Gregory Pegg

In January of 1208, a papal legate was once murdered at the banks of the Rhone in southern France. A livid Pope blameless III accused heretics of the crime and known as upon all Christians to exterminate heresy among the Garonne and Rhone rivers--a large zone referred to now as Languedoc--in a good campaign. This so much holy warfare, the 1st during which Christians have been promised salvation for killing different Christians, lasted twenty bloody years--it used to be a protracted savage conflict for the soul of Christendom.
In A such a lot Holy struggle, historian Mark Pegg has produced a swift-moving, gripping narrative of this awful campaign, drawing partly on hundreds of thousands of stories amassed through inquisitors within the years 1235 to 1245. those money owed of normal women and men, remembering what it was once prefer to pass though such brutal occasions, carry the tale vividly to existence. Pegg argues that generations of historians (and novelists) have misunderstood the campaign; they assumed it used to be a conflict opposed to the Cathars, the main well-known heretics of the center a long time. The Cathars, Pegg finds, by no means existed. He additional indicates how a millennial fervor approximately "cleansing" the realm of heresy, coupled with a terror that Christendom was once being eaten clear of inside of through heretics who appeared no assorted than different Christians, made the battles, sieges, and massacres of the campaign virtually apocalyptic of their merciless depth. In responding to this worry with a holy genocidal warfare, blameless III essentially replaced how Western civilization handled participants accused of corrupting society. This basic switch, Pegg argues, led on to the production of the inquisition, the increase of an anti-Semitism devoted to the violent removal of Jews, or even the holy violence of the Reconquista in Spain and within the New international within the 15th century. All derive their divinely sanctioned slaughter from the Albigensian Crusade.
Haunting and immersive, A such a lot Holy War opens a massive new point of view on a very pivotal second in international historical past, a primary and far away foreshadowing of the genocide and holy violence within the glossy international.

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1183 des Montpellier d. 1202 Alazaïs de Cognac m. (1) Eudoxia of Constantinople Sibilla m. Raimon Gaucelin Bernart Adalacia Guilhema m. Raimon de Roquefeuil Ermessen m. Esteve de Servian Adalacia Maria Esteve Servian m. (2) 1187 Agnes de Castille Maria m. (1) Bernart III Count of Comminges (2) 1204 Pere II of Aragon Guilhem IX de Montpellier Clementia m. Rostang de Sabran Esteve de Servian m. daughter of Aynart de Murviel Raimon de Roquefeuil Tomas Tortosa Agnes m. 1203 Raimon Roger Viscount of Carcassonne, Bexiers, Albi and Razès d.

A man, noble or not, rarely possessed two or more contiguous shards of this fragmented terrain, and what properties he did claim were mostly scattered around his village or castle (usually no further than seven hundred meters). These pieces of earth were small, A Most Holy War 29 often so small as to be visibly worthless, and yet the rights to these minutiae were shared among all brothers, occasionally sisters, frequently other men (not always of the same status), and sometimes an institution or two (churches, monasteries, leprosaria, or the military orders).

The sword of the Spirit, ‘‘which is the Word of God,’’ was now useless against the heretics—it skipped on their throats of brass. ’’ cried the abbot, ‘‘it must be a sword of gold, the kind Maccabeus accepted from God,’’ and used immediately by the bride to protect her little ones. ’’24 Ironically, the medieval method for understanding heresy is almost exactly the same as that adopted (with little or no reflection) by many modern scholars in their studies of heterodoxy in the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries.

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