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Albigensian Crusade

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« on: June 25, 2012, 12:18:23 am »

Inquisition

The Languedoc now was firmly under the control of the King of France. The Inquisition was established in Toulouse in November 1229, and the surviving elements of Catharism were eliminated from the region, largely thanks to the famous inquisitor Bernard Gui. Under Pope Gregory IX the Inquisition was given great power to suppress the heresy. Contrary to popular legend, the Inquisition proceeded largely by means of legal investigation, persuasion and reconciliation. Judicial procedures were used and although the accused were not allowed to know the names of their accusers, they were permitted to mount a defence. The vast majority found guilty of heresy were given light penalties. 11 percent of offenders faced prison. Only around 1 percent, the most steadfast and relapsed Cathars were sentenced for treason, and faced burning at the stake. In those days, little distinction was made between rebellion against the spiritual order and revolt against the temporal order.[49] Some bodies were, however, exhumed for burning. Many still resisted, taking refuge in fortresses at Fenouillèdes and Montségur, or inciting small uprisings. In 1235, the Inquisition was forced out of Albi, Narbonne, and Toulouse. Raymond-Roger de Trencavel led a military campaign in 1240, but was defeated at Carcassonne in October, then besieged at Montréal. He soon surrendered and was exiled to Aragon. In 1242, Raymond of Toulouse attempted to mount a revolt in conjunction with an English invasion, but the English were quickly repulsed and his support evaporated. He was subsequently pardoned by the king.

Cathar strongholds fell one by one. Montségur withstood a nine-month siege before being taken in March 1244. The final hold-out, a small, isolated, overlooked fort at Quéribus, quickly fell in August 1255. The last known burning of a person who professed Cathar beliefs occurred in Corbières, in 1321.[50
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