Albigensian Crusade

“(1209-1229) A crusade launched by Pope Innocent III against Waldensian and Cathar heresies in southern France and carried out primarily by northern French forces, Primary targets of the crusading army were the counts to Toulouse, Raymond VI (d 1222) and Raymond VII (d 1249). In 1229 Raymond VII submitted to the crown of France. When Alphonse of Poitiers, Raymond VII’s son-in-law and brother to the King of France, died in 1271, the possessions of the counts of Toulouse devolved upon the crown of France and southern independence was irrevocably lost.

The crusade revitalized Occitan literature and gave it a new impetus towards the exploration of the narrative, resulting in a flowering of the sirventes, verse and prose narrative works, and vidas and razos (short prose biographies and commentaries on troubadours and their poetry). The crusade is most vividly narrated in the 13th-century Occitan epic Canso del la crozada.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

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