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Heresy, Crusade and Inquisition in Medieval Quercy

Heresy, Crusade and Inquisition in Medieval Quercy

Claire Taylor
Volume: 2
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 304
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  • Book Info
    Heresy, Crusade and Inquisition in Medieval Quercy
    Book Description:

    The medieval county of Quercy in Languedoc lay between the Dordogne and the Toulousain in south-west France; it played a significant role in the history of Catharism, of the Albigensian crusade launched against the heresy in 1209, and of the subsequent inquisition. Although Cathars had come to dominate religious life elsewhere in Languedoc during the course of the twelfth century, the chronology of heresy was different in Quercy. In the late twelfth century, nearby abbeys were still the main focus of devotional activity; inquisitors' discoveries in the 1240s point to the previous twenty years as the period when Catharism and also the Waldensian heresy took a firm hold, most dramatically in its far north. This study deals with the cultural and political origins of the religious change. Its careful analysis offers a significant re-evaluation of the nature and social significance of religious dissidence, and of its protection and persecution in both the history and historiography of Catharism. Dr Claire Taylor is Associate Professor, School of History, University of Nottingham.

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-011-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vi-viii)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-ix)
  5. Prefatory Note on Words
    (pp. x-x)
  6. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xiii)
  7. Illustrations
    (pp. xiv-xvi)
  8. Introduction
    (pp. 1-18)

    Around Easter time in 1242, the deponent Pierre de Penne appeared in front of the Dominican inquisitor Pierre Seilan at his court in Montcuq, in the medieval county of Quercy. What he said, we cannot know exactly. What was recorded, we likewise cannot be sure. But almost certainly his vernacular deposition was translated into Latin and distilled into what we do have, the following summary of his crimes:

    Pierre de Penne saw heretics many times in many places, and ate and drank with them often, and sent them bread, fruits, and other things. He believed them to be good people...

  9. 1 Investigating Medieval Quercy: Questions about Sources
    (pp. 19-45)

    In this chapter we address the evidence and methodologies available for studying those medieval phenomena classified, in different contexts, by historians and by medieval clergy as ‘heresy’, and also for studying the medieval county of Quercy. We also note what has been established previously about Catharism and Waldensianism in Quercy.

    Medieval Quercy corresponded closely to the modern departments of Tarnet-Garonne and Lot: that is to say, the region between the Dordogne and the Garonne-Tarn-Aveyron basin. Before the fourteenth-century creation of the diocese of Montauban, it corresponded essentially to the diocese of Cahors and to the most northerly part of the...

  10. 2 Medieval Quercy
    (pp. 46-86)

    Having noted the general truisms about Occitan society and that Quercy does not always conform to them, we should not be surprised at this. While it was increasingly orientated politically and historically towards the Toulousain, as we shall see, it was geographically peripheral to Languedoc and influenced heavily by Aquitaine to the north, even to the extent that after Quercy and the Agenais were recovered from the dukes of Aquitaine in the twelfth century the administrations they had established were simply taken over.¹ But this does not mean that support for Catharism or Waldensianism would be strongest and most enduring...

  11. 3 War and its Aftermath
    (pp. 87-121)

    Many southern-French nobles and townspeople took to what was being defined as ‘heresy’, adhering to new beliefs and devotional practices in the twelfth century, while possibly not fully understanding or minding the doctrinal distinctiveness of the different ‘christianities’. This distinction was, however, at the heart of a crisis in Rome, in abbeys such as Cîteaux and in the Paris schools as they grappled in their own way with ‘heresy’ of various types in the twelfth century.¹ So it is possible to describe two parallel processes taking place by c.1180. On the one hand there was an attraction on a large...

  12. 4 ‘Heretical’ Quercy: The Evidence Gathered by c.1245
    (pp. 122-153)

    In this chapter the depositional evidence as it relates to significant individuals and families is outlined. In reading this kind of evidence alongside evidence for monastic, town, military and other secular and regular activity such as that addressed in Chapters 2 and 3, we see certain individuals and families emerge as more significant than others in both socio-political and ‘heretical’ circles. This helps us further in reconstructing those networks of political and confessional affinity that shaped Quercy between c.1209 and the mid-1240s, an aspect of quercinois life that will analysed in Chapter 6. A wealth of more incidental data emerges...

  13. 5 Heresy: A Social and Cultural Life
    (pp. 154-182)

    Here we begin to piece together an impression of the impact of the Cathar and Waldensian heresies on everyday life in Quercy. To begin with we look into the question of the relationship between the family and heresy, examining some families in detail and drawing on the full range of evidence we have for them in order to suggest the scope and scale of heretical adherence in the sorts of families that played a part in Quercy’s political and religious development by c.1240. First we observe some further families at relatively close quarters. They are interesting in terms of the...

  14. 6 Heresy and What it Meant
    (pp. 183-208)

    It is important to think of inquisition as a diachronic process rather than an institution. Doat manuscripts 21–23 are not evidence of three inquests abstracted from space and time, in no particular order, but are part of an unfolding narrative, each influencing the next. So, when reading the depositions in Doat 21, for example, we must remember that they were made in the knowledge of what had taken place in the inquests of the 1230s. Although the 1230s seem obscurer and dimmer to us, this is only because of the nature of the record. As we have noted, only...

  15. 7 The Reshaping of Quercy
    (pp. 209-226)

    Between c.1200 and c.1250, because of what happened to it in military and political terms, Quercy ceased to be a borderland between Aquitaine and Languedoc, politically influenced by both Toulouse and the Poitevin-ruled Limousin. Instead, even its northern lords reorientated themselves towards Languedoc. They did so in confessional terms also. The latter in particular is almost incredible when we consider the devotional life of Quercy south of the Dordogne, focused on the Cistercians of the Limousin and influenced politically by its viscounts, whom the lords of Gourdon joined in the defence of orthodoxy in 1209. I have highlighted the fact...

  16. Conclusion
    (pp. 227-236)

    After Raimond VII died in 1249 Quercy went to the crown as had been agreed in 1229. Royal commissioners obtained new oaths from the consuls of Castelsarrassin, Montauban and Moissac, and from lords such as Dorde Barasc, Fortanier de Gourdon and Bertrand de Cardaillac.¹ Alphonse divided the administration of Languedoc into four regions, Quercy and the Agenais comprising one, with four new seneschals.² In 1251 Alphonse of Poitiers, the king’s brother, and Jeanne de Toulouse, the dead count’s daughter, toured Quercy, visiting Lauzerte and Montauban in particular.³ This is tantalizing, as Catharism survived at Montauban and Caussade in a small...

  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 237-254)
  18. Index
    (pp. 255-278)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 279-284)