MONTAILLOU VILLAGE OCCITAN PDF

Into the Pyrenees, almost every wooded slope is topped with a picturesque ruined chateau. Which in itself is a bit weird. But Catharism has become a tourist attraction. The Cathars are hailed as an inspiration by various neo-Gnostic groups, praised for their pioneering vegetarianism, their feminism, their antiestablishment free-thinking, their nature-loving eco-friendliness, take your pick. The Catholic Church had identified it as a clear heresy back in the s, and a twenty-year Crusade was duly waged against the Cathars of Languedoc from — — after which it lingered in scattered remote parts of the Pyrenees until the Inquisition burned the last few believers in the early s. By the mid-fourteenth century it was all over.

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Into the Pyrenees, almost every wooded slope is topped with a picturesque ruined chateau. Which in itself is a bit weird. But Catharism has become a tourist attraction. The Cathars are hailed as an inspiration by various neo-Gnostic groups, praised for their pioneering vegetarianism, their feminism, their antiestablishment free-thinking, their nature-loving eco-friendliness, take your pick.

The Catholic Church had identified it as a clear heresy back in the s, and a twenty-year Crusade was duly waged against the Cathars of Languedoc from — — after which it lingered in scattered remote parts of the Pyrenees until the Inquisition burned the last few believers in the early s.

By the mid-fourteenth century it was all over. Why was it such a problem? The key to understanding this is to wander round Languedoc and appreciate that the whole area, in the thirteenth century, was not France but rather a massive patchwork of little semi-independent feudal territories of which Andorra has somehow survived to the present day; to imagine early-medieval Languedoc, start by picturing a network of Andorras.

The sieges and battles of the Albigensian Crusade were never about Christian armies fighting Cathar armies: they were about French armies fighting Occitanian armies. This political dimension was clear from what happened after the battles. Statutes introduced by Simon de Montford the legendarily ruthless early leader of the Crusade , for instance, banned Occitanian noblewomen from marrying local men; instead, they had to give their hands, and their tempting dowries, to Frenchmen.

Which is not to say that religion was not a factor; in fact, it may be that the cruelty of the Crusade can only be explained with some reference to religious fanaticism. Twenty thousand people were massacred. It was just the first of many disproportionate and unpleasant acts that would characterise the whole conflict. Montaillou is a tiny village in the mountains, where it seems that Catharism lingered on into the s; we know this because the entire village was eventually rounded up and questioned by the Bishop of Pamiers, working in conjunction with the Inquisition in Carcassonne.

Though his painstaking detail can occasionally feel punishing, he comes across as definitive. Eventually Fournier had the last few Cathar intransigents burned at the stake, before he left the mountains and went on to bigger and better things ultimately becoming Pope Benedict XII, promotion working rather more dramatically in those days.

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