By Mark Gregory Pegg

ISBN-10: 0195393104

ISBN-13: 9780195393101

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 known as upon all Christians to exterminate heresy among the Garonne and Rhone rivers--a sizeable area referred to now as Languedoc--in a very 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 an extended savage conflict for the soul of Christendom.
In A so much Holy struggle, historian Mark Pegg has produced a swift-moving, gripping narrative of this bad campaign, drawing partially on hundreds of thousands of tales gathered via inquisitors within the years 1235 to 1245. those bills of standard women and men, remembering what it used to be wish to pass though such brutal occasions, deliver the tale vividly to lifestyles. 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 extra exhibits how a millennial fervor approximately "cleansing" the realm of heresy, coupled with an apprehension that Christendom was once being eaten clear of inside of via heretics who seemed no diverse 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 battle, blameless III essentially replaced how Western civilization handled participants accused of corrupting society. This primary switch, 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 big new standpoint on a really pivotal second in global heritage, a primary and far away foreshadowing of the genocide and holy violence within the glossy global.

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6 ‘‘Forward then soldiers of Christ! Forward, brave recruits to the Christian army! Let the universal cry of grief of the Holy Church arouse you,’’ exhorted the pope. Peire de Castelnau was transformed (by torturous papal prose) into Jesus Christ; his damp death on the Rhoˆne (by a lance, not a sword) became the redemptive crucifixion on Golgotha; his sacrifice a sign to a corrupt generation. Innocent III, while acknowledging that Raimon VI’s guilt for the murder was largely circumstantial, nevertheless thought there was enough evidence—not least ‘‘other outrageous actions which have become known to us’’—to make all archbishops and bishops publicly declare the count anathematized.

This malediction—punning on Verfeil, viridefolium, ‘‘greenleaf ’’—came to pass according to Guilhem de Puylaurens. ’’ grieved Bernard of Clairvaux about the Toulousain and Lauragais in a letter he sent to Anfoz Jordas, count of Toulouse, announcing his visit in the summer of 1145. ’’ Henri had wandered through Lausanne, Le Mans, Poitiers, and Bordeaux before he reached Toulouse. 6 He argued what it meant to be a Christian with humor, scripture, and the manner of his life. Churches, sacraments, and priests were not needed to achieve holiness.

The nameless assassin, ‘‘hoping to win the approval of the count [of Toulouse],’’ escaped on his swift horse to Beaucaire. ’’ Peire de Castelnau, although aware ‘‘the Devil [had] roused his minister, the count of Toulouse,’’ against him was, despite such antipathy, visiting Raimon VI at Saint-Gilles (a town belonging to the count and from which his family had once derived their name). The legate wanted ‘‘complete satisfaction’’ on a series of accusations from the previous April when, after a long and bitter quarrel, he had excommunicated the count for failing to uproot heresy and for supporting mercenaries.

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A Most Holy War: The Albigensian Crusade and the Battle for Christendom (Pivotal Moments in World History) by Mark Gregory Pegg

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