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 significant area referred to now as Languedoc--in an outstanding campaign. This so much holy warfare, the 1st within which Christians have been promised salvation for killing different Christians, lasted twenty bloody years--it was once an extended savage conflict for the soul of Christendom.
In A such a lot Holy conflict, historian Mark Pegg has produced a swift-moving, gripping narrative of this bad campaign, drawing partially on millions of stories gathered through inquisitors within the years 1235 to 1245. those debts of standard women and men, remembering what it was once prefer to pass though such brutal occasions, deliver the tale vividly to existence. Pegg argues that generations of historians (and novelists) have misunderstood the campaign; they assumed it was once a conflict opposed to the Cathars, the main recognized heretics of the center a long time. The Cathars, Pegg finds, by no means existed. He extra indicates how a millennial fervor approximately "cleansing" the area of heresy, coupled with an apprehension that Christendom used to be being eaten clear of inside of via heretics who regarded no various 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 conflict, blameless III essentially replaced how Western civilization handled contributors accused of corrupting society. This basic swap, Pegg argues, led on to the construction of the inquisition, the increase of an anti-Semitism devoted to the violent removing of Jews, or even the holy violence of the Reconquista in Spain and within the New global 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 huge new standpoint on a really pivotal second in international background, a primary and far away foreshadowing of the genocide and holy violence within the sleek international.
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Extra resources for A Most Holy War: The Albigensian Crusade and the Battle for Christendom (Pivotal Moments in World History)
The Turks (Seljuqs) have conquered Christian lands (Byzantine Empire) from Romania (Anatolia) to the Arm of Saint George (Bosporus). ’’ All who went on this expedition were granted the remission of sins. ‘‘Let those who previously waged private war improperly against the faithful go against the infidels in a war that should be started now and should end in victory! Let those who were once robbers now become soldiers of Christ! Let those who formerly fought against their brothers and relatives now fight justly against barbarians!
Beneath all the layers of heretical nomenclature of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, beneath all the names used by Catholic polemicists as a way of understanding and condemning heresy between the Garonne and the Rhoˆne, lived these good men and good women. These were the heretics that Bernard of Clairvaux preached against and whose diseased head Henri de Marcy wanted lopped off. These were the men and women that the crusaders, whatever those signed with the cross may have thought before they arrived in the Biterrois or Carcasse`s, joyously burned and slaughtered as the enemies of Christ.
23 It was a world of remembered innocence, especially if one were only a child, destroyed forever by the coming of the crusaders. ’’ The old priest and the young monk, so very different in narrative style, one restrained and unadorned, the other bursting with passion and rhetoric (despite a promise ‘‘to tell the plain truth in plain fashion’’),2 nevertheless epitomized in their histories the temporal paradox of all medieval heretical historiography. As heretical events were narrated, as heterodox stories were told, time itself was flattened by the timeless audacity of heresy.
A Most Holy War: The Albigensian Crusade and the Battle for Christendom (Pivotal Moments in World History) by Mark Gregory Pegg