Strayer's The Albigensian Crusades
is a political history of Occitania
— now southern France — during the first half of the thirteenth century.
It describes the Cathar heresy and its spread; the response of the Church
and the instigation of the crusade; the massacre of Béziers and the
fall of Carcassonne in 1209; the brutal decade-long attempt of Simon
de Montfort to make Occitania into a personal fiefdom; the recovery
by the Counts of Toulouse; the final success of the French crown;
and the creation of the Inquisition and the elimination of Catharism.
Strayer brings out the broader institutional and political themes, such
as the creation of Languedoc and its integration into France and the role
the Albigensian crusades played in the development of the papacy. There
are no notes or references, but there is a short bibliographic note.
This 1992 edition includes an "epilogue", a sixty page essay by Lansing
which looks at Catharism (and heresy more generally) in greater depth.
She also points out where newer ideas have replaced some of Strayer's,
and updates the bibliographic information.
- External links:
- buy from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
- Related reviews:
- Malcolm Lambert - The Cathars
- Zoe Oldenbourg - Massacre at Montségur
- books about France + French history
- more medieval history
- books published by The University of Michigan Press