Albigensian Crusade (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The Albigensian crusade represents an attempt by Roman Catholic authorities to control French unification in southern Europe, which had long been the crucible of exotic influences.
Summary of Event
Adherents of Manichean or dualist ways of thinking emerged in Languedoc, or southern France, in the eleventh century. This part of Europe was outside the rigid control of the French Capetian dynasty and the Holy Roman Empire. Remnants of Jewish and Muslim cultures added to a divers population that absorbed Middle Eastern and North African heritages easily—especially during the era of the Crusades—and wedded such influences into a capricious, often secular spirit.
The Albigensians or Cathari (purists) apparently drew their numbers from disaffected migrants from Asia Minor (Paulicians) and Bulgaria (Bogomils) who had entered the Balkans and northern Italy. Because the clergy of southern France was notoriously inefficient and disorganized, the region tolerated heterogeneous thinkers whose ideas went beyond the neo-Platonist tendencies evident in other parts of Europe. Thus, the region around Toulouse became a stronghold for Cathari beliefs.
Since all Albigensian writings were destroyed, scholars have found it difficult to ascertain any clear, systematic principles associated with the Cathari. In general, adherents were divided into two groups: ascetics and believers. The priestly...
(The entire section is 1080 words.)
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