Society and Government at Toulouse in the Age of the Cathars
528 p., 175 x 260 mm, 1998
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This monograph is designed to continue earlier explorations of the social, economic, political and religious history of Toulouse in the earliest period for which the archives house adequate documentary materials. A second and more interesting intention is to show that there was more to the succesful spread of heresy or divergent thought, especially Catharism, than can be attributed to the purported intellectual or moral weaknesses of the Catholic communion or to the theological or mental attractiveness of Catharism and other dissident cults or religions present in the town and its region. The present book and several previous ones (two published by the Pontifical Institute) have noted that religious divergence expanded and flourished when the town's well-to-do were building a semi-popular oligarchy at the expense of local princely power, a movement reaching its apogee shortly before the end of the Albigensian Crusade in 1229. This epoch of political and religious freedom was brief because, immediately after that date, a combination of a newly introduced or expanded ecclesiastical repression and a revival of princely power both enriched Toulouse with new educational and charitable agencies and converted it into a community wedded to political monarchism and orthodox Catholicism.