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Albigensian Crusade

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Author Topic: Albigensian Crusade  (Read 298 times)
1090Crusader
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« on: June 25, 2012, 12:13:59 am »

In August 1209 the crusaders captured the small village of Servian and headed for Béziers, arriving on July 21. Under the command of the Papal Legate Arnaud-Amaury[10] they started to invest the city, called the Catholics within to come out, and demanded that the Cathars surrender.[11] Both groups refused. The city fell the following day when an abortive sortie was pursued back through the open gates.[12] The entire population was slaughtered and the city burned to the ground. Contemporary sources give estimates of the number of dead ranging between fifteen and twenty thousand. The latter figure appears in Arnaud-Amaury's report to the Pope.[13] The news of the disaster quickly spread and afterwards many settlements surrendered without a fight.

The next major target was Carcassonne. The city was well fortified, but vulnerable, and overflowing with refugees.[14] The crusaders arrived on August 1, 1209. The siege did not last long.[15] By August 7 they had cut the city's water supply. Raymond-Roger sought negotiations but was taken prisoner while under truce, and Carcasonne surrendered on August 15.[16] The people were not killed, but were forced to leave the town — naked according to Peter of les Vaux-de-Cernay. "In their shifts and breeches" according to another source. Simon de Montfort now was appointed leader of the Crusader army,[17] and was granted control of the area encompassing Carcassonne, Albi, and Béziers. After the fall of Carcassonne, other towns surrendered without a fight. Albi, Castelnaudary, Castres, Fanjeaux, Limoux, Lombers and Montréal all fell quickly during the autumn.[18] However, some of the towns that had surrendered later revolted.
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