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Home > History home > Prospective students > Undergraduate > Heresy, Crusade and Inquisition in Southern France, c.1140-c.1300
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Heresy, Crusade and Inquisition in Southern France, c.1140-c.1300


Value: two units


Prof Peregrine Horden


Taught through weekly two-hour seminars and supervisions of dissertation through a series of 1-to-1 meetings



Taught unit: 3-hour exam (70%), best two of three coursework essays (20%), oral presentation (10%); dissertation unit: 10,000-word dissertation (100%)

NB – Not to be taken in conjunction with HS2142: The Crusades and the Eastern Mediterranean, 1095-1291 OR HS2143: Medicine and Society in Medieval Europe 

Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) was obsessed with crusading and he dedicated his pontificate to defeating the enemies of the Church. A profound challenge to his authority came from the Cathars of southern France - men and women following an austere lifestyle and holding a dualist belief in a Good God and an Evil God. When, in 1208, a churchman was murdered, Innocent unleashed the full force of holy war on the heretics. In the 1220s, the papacy unveiled a further weapon in the war against heresy: the Inquisition. Using a series of vivid contemporary narratives, in conjunction with other documents (including inquisitorial records), this course examines the beliefs and organisation of the Cathars and the progress of the Crusade and the Inquisition against them.


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