The Albigensian Crusades

Joseph R. Strayer + Carol Lansing

The University of Michigan Press 1992 [1971]
A book review by Danny Yee © 1997
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 B├ęziers 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.

June 1997

External links:
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Related reviews:
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- books published by The University of Michigan Press
%T The Albigensian Crusades
%A Strayer, Joseph R.
%A Lansing, Carol
%I The University of Michigan Press
%D 1992 [1971]
%O hardcover, index
%G ISBN 0472064762
%P 283pp