By Mark Gregory Pegg
In January of 1208, a papal legate used to be murdered at the banks of the Rhone in southern France. A livid Pope blameless III accused heretics of the crime and referred to as upon all Christians to exterminate heresy among the Garonne and Rhone rivers--a large quarter referred to now as Languedoc--in an exceptional campaign. This such a lot holy struggle, 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 battle, historian Mark Pegg has produced a swift-moving, gripping narrative of this awful campaign, drawing partly on hundreds of thousands of tales amassed through inquisitors within the years 1235 to 1245. those debts of normal women and men, remembering what it used to be wish to pass though such brutal instances, convey the tale vividly to lifestyles. Pegg argues that generations of historians (and novelists) have misunderstood the campaign; they assumed it was once a struggle opposed to the Cathars, the main recognized heretics of the center a long time. The Cathars, Pegg unearths, by no means existed. He extra exhibits how a millennial fervor approximately "cleansing" the area of heresy, coupled with an apprehension that Christendom was once being eaten clear of inside of by means of heretics who appeared no varied than different Christians, made the battles, sieges, and massacres of the campaign nearly apocalyptic of their merciless depth. In responding to this worry with a holy genocidal battle, blameless III essentially replaced how Western civilization handled contributors accused of corrupting society. This primary swap, Pegg argues, led on to the construction 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 viewpoint on a really pivotal second in global historical past, a primary and far-off foreshadowing of the genocide and holy violence within the glossy global.
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Extra resources for A Most Holy War: The Albigensian Crusade and the Battle for Christendom (Pivotal Moments in World History)
18 Yves de Chartres seized on these half-forgotten schismatics as examples of the eternal nature of dissent and reconciliation within the Church. ’’21 ‘‘Cathar’’ was an obscure term that mostly meant (despite the odd Manichaean mannerism) a schismatic of indeterminate heterodoxy who eventually returned to the Church. It was (and is) no more precise or worthy a designation for a heretic than any other—less so, in fact. Regrettably, the name is used with such an appalling lack of discrimination by modern scholars—it gets thrown about like so much Cathar-confetti, lazily adorning almost all heretics before the fourteenth century—that it is an epithet of confusion rather than clarity.
A single tree, ‘‘with many branches and leaves, and miraculously large,’’ was suffocating the whole earth in 1145. ’’ This tree, ‘‘grown tall and spreading in all directions,’’ south over the Pyre´ne´es, north through the lands of the count of Toulouse into Aquitaine, then along the western edge of the Massif Central into France, was so deep-rooted that no one could fell it—the root, unfortunately, was wickedness itself. The origin of the tree lay in ‘‘protected territory’’ and, though Marcabru never specified this region, the branches and leaves implicitly followed (and flourished alongside) the Garonne until, reaching Catalonia and France, they spread throughout the world.
1203 Raimon Roger Viscount of Carcassonne, Bexiers, Albi and Razès d. 1209 Alazaïs This page intentionally left blank A Most Holy War This page intentionally left blank I C o u s i n, d o n o t be afraid,’’ a dead boy told an eleven-year-old girl when he appeared in her house at Beaucaire one night in July 1211. ’’ Three to five days earlier the lad, very much alive, was on his way to visit the little girl when he was attacked and mortally wounded. ‘‘In the face of death,’’ he forgave his murderer and repented through confession.