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Identity under (threat of) fire : Cathar identity and community in the thirteenth-century Lauragais

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Item Summary

Title:Identity under (threat of) fire : Cathar identity and community in the thirteenth-century Lauragais
Authors:Hevert, Joshua Paul
Date Issued:May 2011
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2011]
Abstract:As a means for exploring these notions of Cathar identity and community, the study examines a single manuscript, Toulouse, Bibliothèque Muncipale MS 609, which contains the depositions of around 4500 people connected to Catharism at varying levels.4 These depositions were the result of interviews conducted by two inquisitors, Bernard de Caux and Jean de Saint-Pierre, during a legion-wide inquisition in the Lauragais, the immediate region south-east of Toulouse, from 1245-1246. This inquisition, the largest of its time, was performed in response to the murder of two other inquisitors at the hands of a group of Cathar sympathizers in Avignonet in 1242. Once they arrived, the inquisitors demanded that every male over fourteen and every female over twelve testify in front of them at the monastery of Saint-Sernin in the town of Toulouse.6 The inquisitors deposed the witnesses in Occitan, the language of the region, and scribes recorded the interviews in Latin in the final manuscript in ten volumes. After the inquisitors concluded their interviews, several scribes copied the ten volumes between 1250 and 1260, and the surviving volumes came to rest in Toulouse sometime in 1790. Unfortunately, only two volumes of the original ten have survived, leaving the picture of Catharism in this region tantalizingly incomplete and presenting an intensely localized picture of the religion. The two remaining volumes, however, contain engaging and rich descriptions of how the people in the region's towns and villages participated in Catharism. These descriptions provide a lens through which to gaze upon the religious identities of those called to the inquisitors' court and provide insights on the religions in the medieval Lauragais.
Description:M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: M.A. - History
M.A. - History

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