The Albigensian Crusade

By Professor Helen Nicholson, published 19th March 2024

Religious and political heresy

The Albigensian Crusade or Cathar Crusade (1209–1229) was a military and ideological campaign initiated by Pope Innocent III to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc, what is now southern France. The Crusade was prosecuted primarily by the French crown and promptly took on a political aspect. It resulted in the significant reduction of practicing Cathars and a realignment of the County of Toulouse with the French crown. The distinct regional culture of Languedoc was also diminished.

In this podcast, Emeritus Professor Helen J. Nicholson (Cardiff University), provides a short introduction to the Albigensian Crusade and discusses the role of women in this crusade.

1. What did the Cathars believe? What are the origins of anti-Cathar feeling?
2. What were the political and cultural origins of the Albigensian Crusade?
3. How did the Albigensian Crusade develop?
4. How does the crusade conclude? What were the consequences of the Albigensian Crusade?

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