Cathars and Cathar Beliefs in the Languedoc

Timeline & Chronology of Events




Basic Tenets


Cathar Believers

Cathar Elect

Afterlife, Heaven & Hell

Other Beliefs

Cathar Ceremonies

Cathar Prayer

The Cathar Hierarchy



Albigensian Crusade

Who led the Crusade ?

Crusader Coats of Arms

Defender Coats of arms

Medieval Warfare






Cathars on Catholics

Catholics on Cathars

Catholic Propaganda

"Kill Them All ... "






Inquisition documents



Cathar Castles

Cathar Castle Photos



Early Gnostic Dualism





Historical Studies

Popular Culture

Catholic Inheritance

Protestant Inheritance

Cathar Vindications

Do Cathars still exist ?





The Catholic Side

The "Cathar" Side

Counts of Toulouse

The Cross of Toulouse



Detailed Chronology





A Cathar Glossary

For a Chronology of major events in a new window click here, or for a specific event click on one of the options below:


Battles and Seiges:

Initiation of the Crusade (1209), 

Béziers (1209), 

Carcassonne (1209), 

Bram (1210), 

Siege of Cabaret (Lastours) (1210), 

Minerve (1210), 

Termes (1210), 

Rendition of Cabaret (Lastours) (1210), 

Lavaur (1211), 

First seige of Toulouse (1211), 

Castelnaudary (1211), 

Moissac (1211), 

Pujol (1213), 

Muret (1213), 

Surrender of Toulouse (1215), 

Beaucaire (1216), 

Montgrenier (1217), 

Peyrepertuse (1217), 

Ramon VI re-enters Toulouse, followed by the second siege of Toulouse (1217), 

Marmande (1218-9), 

Third seige of Toulouse (1219), 

Castelnaudary (1220), 

Montréal (1221), 

The Trencavel Estates (1224), 

Start of the Second Crusade (1225), 

Carcassonne (1226), 

Avignon (1226), 

Carcassonne (1240), 

Peyrepertuse (1240),

First siege of Montsegúr (1241), 

Avignonet (1242), 

Taillebourg (1242), 

Siege and fall of Montségur ( The Name in Occitan. Click here to find out more about occitan. Montsegùr) (1243-4), 

Ramon Trencavel submits at Béziers (1247), 

Quéribus (1255), 

Annexation of the Languedoc (1271).



Cathar Councils:

Lombers/Caraman (1165), 

Saint-Félix de Lauragais (1167), 

Mirepoix (1204), 

Pieusse (1226).



Cathar - Catholic Debates:

Colloquy of Montréal (1207).



Catholic Councils:

Charroux (1028),

Reims (1049),

Toulouse (1056),

Toulouse (1119),

Pisa (1135),

Second Lateran Council (1139),

Reims (1148),

Reims (1157),

Tours (1163),

Third Lateran Council (1179),

Montpellier (1195),

Gerona (1198).)

Avignon (1209), 

Montpellier (1211), 

Orange and Lavaur (1213), 

Bourges (1213), 

Fourth Lateran Council (1215), 

Sens (1223).

Narbonne (1227), 

Toulouse (1229), 

Beziers (1243), 




"Montréal Meeting" (1210), 

Meaux-Paris (1229), 

Lorris (1243).

Corbeil (1258).



Reigns and Deaths

1198 Pontificate of Pope Innocent III starts (Ends 1216)

1209 Death of Raymond-Roger Trencavel

1218 Death of Simon de Montfort at Toulouse

1222 Death of Raymond VI Count of Toulouse

1223 Death of Raymond Roger, Count of Foix

1223 Death of Philip II (Philippe Augustus), King of France

1223 Louis VIII, appointed commander of the crusade by the pope

1225 Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse is declared an enemy of the Church.

1226 Death of Louis VIII while returning to France from crusading in the the Languedoc

1226 Accession of Louis IX, King of France (later Saint Louis),

1227 Start of the Pontificate of Pope Gregory IX (1227-1241)

1229 Roger Bernard II Count of Foix makes peace with the Louis IX, King of France

1241 Death of Roger Bernard II (the Great) Count of Foix

1248 Death of Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse

1321 Death of Guillem Bélibaste



The Battle of Muret (1213), a turning point in the Cathar Crusade depicted in Grandes Chroniques de France, Manuscrit français 2813, fol. 252v. (created 1375-1380), in the Bibliothèque nationale de France


Château Comtal, Carcassonne


Burning Cathar "heretics" at Montsegùr in 1244


Road sign commemorating a Cathar Council at Pieusse in 1226.

road sign in Pieusse, Aude

Memorial at Minerve where 140 - 180 Cathars were burned alive for disagreeing with Catholic theology.


Tours of Cathar Castles & Cathar Country














You can join small exclusive guided tours of Cathar Castles
led by an English speaking expert on the Cathars
who lives in the Languedoc
(author of and )

Selected Cathar Castles. Accommodation provided. Transport Provided.

Cathar Origins, History, Theology.
The Crusade, The Inquisition, and Consequences

Click here to visit the Cathar Country Website for more information



BC-AD   100 BC - AD 100 sees the flourishing of Gnosticism in the Middle East, including one of the three main strands of early Christianity.
216   Birth of Manes :. Manes, a minor member of Persian royalty, was born in Mesopotamia, and was executed for his new religion (incorporating dualist beliefs) in AD 277.
early eleventh century   Theodora, Empress of Byzantium, had a multitude of Paulicians put to death.
1012   The first Cathars known in Europe were noted in the Limousin.
1022   King Robert II of France (996-1031) had thirteen distinguished citizens, ecclesiastic and lay, burnt alive at Orléans "because he feared for the safety of the kingdom and the salvation of souls". Ten were canons of the église collégiale de Sainte-Croix (Church of the Holy Cross) and another had been confessor to Queen Constance. They were described, in Medieval fashion, as Manichæans, meaning they were dualists. They died steadfast in their beliefs despite torture. This action earned the king the soubriquet Robert the Pious.
1022   Several cathars were discovered and put to death at Toulouse.
1028   Catholic Council of Charroux is convened at the suggestion of Guillaume V of Aquitaine. The Council is charged with devising a way of combating religious (Cathar) "error".
1045   Roger, Bishop of Chalons, observed that the sect was spreading in his diocese, and asked of Wazo, Bishop of Liège, advice as to the use of force.
1049   Catholic Council of Reims convened to formulate an understanding of Cathar beliefs.
1051   At Goslar, in the Christmas season of 1051, and in 1052, (Cathar) "heretics" were hanged because Holy Roman Emperor Henry III wanted to prevent the spread of "the heretical leprosy".
1056   Catholic Council of Toulouse threatened Cathar "heretics" with excommunication if they did not repent.
1077   In 1076 or 1077, a Cathar is condemned to the stake by the Bishop of Cambrai. Other Cathars are given a choice, by the magistrates of Milan, of converting to Catholicism or being burnt at the stake. Most chose to be burned at the stake.
1118   the Emperor Alexius Comnenus has a number of Bogomils executed. (possibly triggering a move of survivors into Western Europe.)
1119   Catholic Council of Toulouse: Presided over by Pope Calixtus II, this Council charged the secular powers with responsibility for dealing with "heretics" severely.
1135   Catholic Council of Pisa. A cleric, Henri du Mans, disowns his "errors" (though he later re-adopts them).
1139   Second (Catholic ) Lateran Council. Presided over by Pope Calixtus II, this council again stresses that the secular powers must take rigorous action against the heretics.
1142   Bogomils are burnt in Cologne.
1144   A Catholic mob storms a prison where the Bishop of Soissons keeps heretics imprisoned, and burns them alive. A similar incident occurs at Liège, though a few are rescued from the fire. Yet another similar incident happens at Cologne.
1148   Catholic Council of Reims. This council decrees that Lords harbouring "heretics" on their land will be treated as their accomplices.
1157   Catholic Council of Reims. This council lays out repressive procedures against the "heretics".
1163   Catholic Council of Tours. Presided over by Pope Alexander III, this Council establishes a less unjust and arbitrary procedure against the Cathars.
1165   Council at Lombez. Condemnes the boni homines.
1167   Cathar Council held in Saint-Félix de Caraman.  This council established an administrative organisation in the Languedoc and agreed matters of doctrine.  It was presided over by Nicetus, the Cathar bishop of Constantinople, who had travelled from Bulgaria.
1167   Execution of seven Burgundian Cathars at the stake in Vézelay.
1179   Third (Catholic) Lateran Council.  Presided over by Pope Alexander III, this council attempts to restore the dignity of the Catholic Clergy.  It also anathematises the Cathar "heresy".
1180-1181   Henry, cardinal-bishop of Albano, raises an armed expedition against the stronghold of "heretics" at Lavaur a fief of Raymond Roger, viscount of Béziers. He takes Lavaur and forces the submission of Raymond-Roger. .
1183-1206   Over an extended period, Bishop Hugo of Auxerre attacks a number of neo-Manichæans. Some are despoiled, some exiled, and some sent to the stake. .
1195   Catholic Council of Montpellier
1197-8   In 1197, Peter II the Catholic (1196-1213), King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona, issues an edict in obedience to which the Waldensians and all other schismatics are to be expelled from the land. Any found in the kingdom after Palm Sunday of the next year was to suffer death by fire, and confiscation of goods. In 1198 the Catholic Council of Gerona. publishes the decrees of Peter II.
1198   Pontificate of Innocent III, starts. (Ends 1216)
1200   King Philip Augustus of France has eight Cathars burned at Troyes.
1201   King Philip Augustus of France has a Cathar burned at Nevers
1202 30 March Joachim de Fiore executed for heresy.
1203 Autumn Two monks from the Abbey of Fontfroide, legates of Innocent III, Pierre de Castelnau and Raoul de Fontfroide attempt to coerce the Count of Toulouse, Raymond VI into initiating a crusade against the Cathars.
1204   King Philip Augustus of France has several Cathars burned at Braisne-sur-Vesle, and many Cathars burned at Paris, including priests, clerics, laymen, and women.
1204 February Peter II of Aragón convenes a debate in Carcassonne between Catholics and Cathars (followed by a second one between Catholics and Waldensians).
1204 12 April The armies of the Fourth Crusade capture Constantinople and establish the Latin Empire. Thomas Morosini of Venice is installed as patriarch of Constantinople.

Cathar Council of Mirepoix. The proceedings are largely unknown.

1204   Raymond de Pereille was asked to rebuild the Château of Montségur ( The Name in Occitan. Click here to find out more about occitan. Montsegùr) to provide a Cathar stronghold.
1205   Pope Innocent III, in the Bull Si adversus vos, forbade any legal help for heretics: "We strictly prohibit you, lawyers and notaries, from assisting in any way, by council or support, all heretics and such as believe In them, adhere to them, render them any assistance or defend them in any way. "
1205 15 July Pope Innocent III asserts that Jews are doomed to perpetual servitude and subjugation (due to their role in the crucifixion of Jesus).
1206   Preachings of Dominic Guzmán (later St Dominic) to the Cathars in the Languedoc. In spite of his reputed eloquence, Dominic Guzmán fails to convince the "heretics" to renounce their beliefs. Recognising the Roman Church's failure, Pope Innocent III declares all southern fiefs forfeit. He also called on the lords of France to take part in the crusade against the Languedoc.
1206   Esclaremonde of Foix, the Count's sister, is administered the Consolamentum, so becoming a Parfaite.
1206 22 November Foundation of Prouille, a Dominican convent set up by Dominic Guzmán to rival existing Cathar establishments.
1207   Colloquy of Montréal Final debate in Pamiers between the Catholics (Dominic Guzmán) and the Cathars (notably Benoît de Termes), then between the Catholics and the Waldensians.
1208 15 January Murder of Pierre de Castelneau as he is about to cross the River Rhone in Saint-Gilles following an unsatisfactory meeting with Raymond V. The killer is identified as an officer of Raymond VI of Toulouse.
1208 24 February Francis of Assisi (At the age of 26) receives his "calling"
1209   Council of Avignon. Although there is no evidence against him, Raymond VI of Toulouse is excommunicated.
1209 18th of January Submission of Raymond VI of Toulouse. Stripped to the waist, Raymond is flogged in public at Saint-Gilles.. He was then authorised to lead a crusade against his own subjects, required to discriminate against his Jewish subjects, and absolved from his supposed sins.
1209 June Initiation of the Crusade.   The crusade is preached throughout Europe, and an army raised mainly from the areas now comprising northern France.   The crusading army is mustered under the command of Arnaud Amaury, the Cistercian Abbot of Cîteaux. Tens of thousands of Crusaders are enlisted.  They are mainly Northern French, keen for plunder, the remission of their sins, and an assured place in Heaven.  They are crusaders in every sense, wearing the crusaders cross and enjoying all of their privileges (protection of goods, suspension of debts, and so on).
1209 22nd of July The Massacre at Béziers. The town was razed. Arnaud, the abbot-commander, wrote to his master the Pope: "Today your Holiness, twenty thousand citizens were put to the sword, regardless of rank, age, or sex". Reportedly, not a single person survived.
1209 ?? Submission of Narbonne by Aimery de Narbonne
1209 1st to the 15th of August Siege of Carcassonne. From 1st to 15th of August Carcassonneis besieged. Its Viscount, Raymond-Roger Trencavel, is seized during a truce and without their commander the inhabitants surrender. The Crusaders expel the inhabitants with a day's safe conduct, so that they can loot at leisure. It is at this stage that Simon de Montfort is appointed to hold Raymond-Roger's territories.
1209 August/September Château de Saissac abandoned by Bertrand de Saissac
1209 10th of November Death of Raymond-Roger Trencavel in mysterious circumstances, in his own prison.
1210 Siege of Bram. When the castle at Bram falls in 1210, 100 prisoners have their noses cropped, their lips cut off and their eyes gauged out. One man is left with one eye so that he can guide the others away. With a hand on the shoulder of the one in front, and the one-eyed man at their head, a file of blind prisoners winds its way to Lastours (Cabaret), a visible demonstration of the ineffable mercy of God's Army.
1210 February Simon de Montfort fails repeatedly to capture the Castles of Lastours (Cabaret)
1210 Early June The "Montréal Meeting" is convened between Peter II of Aragón and Languedoc lords. The lords were prepared to swear allegiance to the king in return for his support. The negotiation fell through.
1210 June-July Siege of Minerve.
1210 22 July Capture of Minerve, following a six-week siege, led by Simon de Montfort, Viscout Aimeri de Narbonne, Guy de Lucy, Jean de Monteil, & Robert de Mauvoisin. 140-180 Cathar men and women are burned alive when they refuse to abjure their faith.
1210 22 July The Seigneur de Ventajou offers his submission at Minerve.
Simon de Montfort destroys the Château de Ventajo
1210 22nd of August- November Siege of Termes, which fell after a four-month siege.
Raymond de Termes imprisoned at Carcassonne and dies a few years later.
1210 End November Guillaume de Durfort is dispossed of his feudal holdings including the château de Durfort. (In 1212, Guillaume de Durfort lost his holdings at Fanjeaux (to Robert de Mauvoisin). In 1215, a legal case confirms the Termenès and the Seigneurie de Durfort now belongs to Alain de Roucy, a crusader and one of the principal lieutenants of Simon de Montfort.)
1210 End November ? Three day siege of Puivert.
Its lord, Bernard de Congost, and his family escape.
1211   Council of Montpellier, at which Raymond VI of Toulouse is excommunicated for the third time.
1211 Early March Surrender of Cabaret, under diplomatic rather than military pressure by Pierre Roger de Cabaret.
1211 3rd of May Capture of Lavaur. Lavaur falls after a siege, after which the French crusaders excel even themselves in cruelty and disregard for the accepted rules of war. Aimeric-de-Montréal and 90 knights are hanged. The chatelaine, Geralda de Lavaur, is thrown alive into a well which is then filled with stones until her screams can no longer be heard. As in all other cases, Cathar Parfaites decline to abjure their faith. 400 cathars are burned by the crusaders, "with great joy" as de Cernay noted. (The crusaders generally burned people alive with great joy - cum ingenti gaudio). One Parfaits allegedly renounced his faith. The rest sing as they are being led to the pyres.
1211 16th to 29th of June Siege of Toulouse. Simon de Montfort besieges Toulouse, without success.
1211 September Siege of Castelnaudary. The tables turned, Simon de Montfort is besieged in Castelnaudary by the Count of Toulouse and his ally the Raymond Roger Count of Foix.
1212 The Childrens' Crusade to the Holy Land is launched.
More than 50,000 children would be sold into slavery at Marseilles.
1212 11 April Siege and capitulation of Hautpoul by Izarn d'Hautpoul.
1212 16th July The battle of Las Navas de Tolosa. Turning point of the Crusade against the Moors in Spain.
1212 8th of September Surrender of Moissac. Simon de Montfort captures cities of the Albi and the Quercy regions which had rebelled against the occupation by the crusaders.
1213   Councils of Orange and Lavaur.
1213 27th of January Raymond VI of Toulouse renders feudal homage to Peter II King of Aragón.
1213 July Raymond VI of Toulouse recapturs Pujol.
1213 September Battle of Muret. Simon de Montfort is besieged in the Castle of Muret by Raymond VI of Toulouse and Peter II of Aragón. Due to Peter's foolhardy bravado he is killed in hand-to-hand fighting, and a battle already won by the allies is converted into a route by de Montfort's forces. Raymond VI of Toulouse goes into exile, seeking refuge with his Plantagenate relative King John of England.
1215 May Surrender of Toulouse to Simon de Montfort
1215 1st of June Prince Louis and Simon de Montfort enter Toulouse
1215 In Enland, King John seals Magna Carta under duress.
1215 24 August At John's request, Pope Innocent III declares Magna Carta invalid. Innocent declared the Catholic Church to be a state and, so, heresy is a crime against the state like treason and should be punished accordingly..
1215 11-30, November Fourth Lateran Council. This Council was the main even of Innocent III's pontificate. Pope Innocent expanded Gregory VII's claims to temporal as well as spiritual matters, trying to impose a theocracy on the Christian world. A practical application of these temporal claims was the purported dispossession of Raymond VI of Toulouse whose estate was allotted to Simon de Montfort, who thus adopted the title Count of Toulouse.
1216 May-24th of August

Siege of Beaucaire. Raymondet, the son of Raymond VI of Toulouse, the future Raymond VII of Toulouse, lands in Marseille and besieges Beaucaire. When de Montfort leaves Toulouse to intervene, the inhabitants of Toulouse seize the opportunity to revolt (see next).

It declares that: "...Convicted heretics shall be handed over for due punishment to their secular superiors, or the latter's agents. ...If a temporal Lord neglects to fulfill the demand of the Church that he shall purge his land of the contamination of heresy, he shall be excommunicated by the metropolitan and other bishops of the province. If he fails to make amends within a year, it shall be reported to the Supreme Pontiff, who shall pronounce his vassals absolved from fealty to him and offer his land to Catholics. The latter shall exterminate the heretics, possess the land without dispute and preserve it in the true faith... "

1216 16 July Death of Pope Innocent III
1216 18 July Honorius III elected pope.
1216 Early September to October Popular Uprising in Toulouse
1216 22 December Pope Honorius III gives official approval for the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), founded by St. Dominic. The Dominicans become the main administrators of Inquisitorial trials.
1217 February-March Siege of Montgrenier.
1217 22nd of May Surrender of Peyrepertuse.
1217 12th of September Raymond VI of Toulouse re-enters Toulouse.
1217 13th September 1217 to 22 July 1218 Second Siege of Toulouse. Stung by the humiliation of losing Toulouse, Simon de Montfort besieges the city again.
1218 25th of June During the siege of Toulouse a stone hurled from a mangonel strikes Simon de Montfort on the head and kills him, an event that is still celebrated in the Languedoc. After his death his son Amaury takes over the leadership of the crusade.
1218 October 1218 to June 1219 Siege and capture of Marmande
1219 16th of June - 1st of August Third Siege of Toulouse
1220 July to March 1221 Second siege of Castelnaudary
1220 22 November Holy Roman Emperor Frederick crowned by Pope Honorius III in the expectation that Frederick would participate in the Fifth Crusade.
1221   Raymond VI of Toulouse captures Montréal.
1222   Raymond VI of Toulouse builds a fortified village for refugees at Cordes (Now called Cordes sur ciel)
1222 August Death of Raymond VI of Toulouse
1223   Council of Sens, at which attempts are made to end the crusade. Churchmen insist that it continue.
1223 March Death of Raymond Roger of Foix. He is succeeded by Roger Bernard II (the Great) Count of Foix (1223-1241)
1223 July Death of Philip II (Philip Augustus), King of France
1223   Start of the reign of Louis VIII (1223-1226). Defeated, Amaury de Montfort turns to the King of France for help and bestows his rights on the French King. Louis VIII, appointed commander of the crusade by the pope, carries out more atrocities in the Languedoc. His death reverses the Crusaders' fortunes and Raymond VII of Toulouse recovers part of his estate.
1223 29 December Pope Honorius III gives formal approval for the Franciscan Order.
1224 February Raymond Trencavel II recovers the estates of his father Raymond-Roger Trencavel who died at the hands of the Crusaders at Carcassonne in 1209. Amaury de Montfort returns to France
1225   Raymond VII of Toulouse is declared an enemy of the Church.
1225   The Council of Bourges initiates a second crusade.
1226   Cathar Council of Pieusse creates a Cathar bishopric in the Razés.
1226 30th of January Led by the King of France, Louis VIII, French crusaders arrive in the Languedoc. With the exception of Toulouse, local resistance collapses.
1226 July Carcassonne surrenders to the French Crusaders.
1226 9th of September The Crusaders take Avignon
1226 3rd of November Death of Louis VIII while returning to France.
1226   Accession of Louis IX (later Saint Louis), and since he is still a child, start of the regency of Blanche of Castile
1227 18 March Pope Honorius III dies.
1227 19 March Start of the Pontificate of Gregory IX (1227-1241)
1227   Council of Narbonne endorses the excommunication and anathema against Raymond VII of Toulouse.
1227 29 September Pope Gregory IX excommunicates German emperor Frederick II
1228   The Sixth Crusade Launched
1228   Raymond VII of Toulouse submits to Blanche of Castile Regent for Louis IX of France. Raymond Trencavel II and other seigneurs are stripped of their possessions and become faidits. Raymond Tranceval seeks refuge in Aragón.
1229 January Treaty of Meaux under which Raymond VII of Toulouse pledges to exterminate "heresy", to marry his daughter to the son of Louis VIII, Alphonse de Poitiers (brother of Louis IX). The treaty also specifies that the County of Toulouse would be consolidated within the Kingdom of France if the marriage produces no heirs. The establishment of the Inquisition is often dated from this meeting, though it had already been planned before this treaty.
1229   Council of Toulouse. Devises procedures to apply the Treaty of Meaux.
1229   The Inquisition prohibits the reading of the Bible except by churchmen
1229 Spring Roger-Bernard de Foix makes his peace with the Louis IX.
1231 Pope Gregory IX issues Excommunicamus, incorporating into canon law the 1224 constitution of Frederick II. This explicitly permits the burning of heretics at the stake.
1232   Guilhabert de Castres, the most prominent Cathar bishop administers the Consolamentum in hundreds of Languedoc townships. He then establishes himself in the Cathar stronghold at Montségur ( The Name in Occitan. Click here to find out more about occitan. Montsegùr) - where he holds a Cathar Council.
1233 13th April Gregory IX formally established the Inquistion, and appoints the Dominicans to administer it.
1233 26 May

Pope Gregory IX dispatches Inquisitors to Aragon, having assigned the Inquisitorial process to theDominican Order the previous year. In the Bull Declinante jam mundi, Archbishop Esparrago and his suffragans are instructed to search for and punish heretics in their dioceses.

The first permanent tribunal to deal with heresy is set up in Toulouse.

1234 210 people are condemned to the stake by Inquisotors at Moissac.
1237-1241   Following a request from Raymond VII of Toulouse, the widely despised Inquisition agrees to suspend its activities in the county of Toulouse for a four-year period.
1237   At the Council of Lerida the Inquisition is formally placed under the authority of the Dominicans and the Franciscans.
1239 29 May ??? 183 Cathars are burned at Montwimer (Marne) by Robert le Bougre in the presence of the Count of Champaigne.
1240 7th of September - 11th of October Raymond Trencavel II returns from exile in Aragón with an army and besieges Carcassonne
1240 16th of November Surrender of Peyrepertuse to the French.
1241   First Siege of Montségur. To appease Louis IX, Raymond VII of Toulouse, besieges Montségur ( The Name in Occitan. Click here to find out more about occitan. Montsegùr) but without success.
1241 May Death of Roger Bernard II (the Great) Count of Foix 1223-1241
1241 22 August Pope Gregory IX dies
1242 28 May Massacre of lnquisitors at Avignonet. As part of an abortive uprising, two widely hated Inquisitors were killed, along with their retinue, by soldiers from Montségur ( The Name in Occitan. Click here to find out more about occitan. Montsegùr) (led by Pierre-Roger de Mirepoix).
1242 20 May Royan. Henry III, King of England lands on the Atlantic coast of the Aquitaine.
1242 July Taillebourg. Victory of Louis IX King of France over Henry III, King of England at Taillebourg.
1243 January The Peace of Lorris by which Raymond VII of Toulouse definitively surrendered to Louis IX.
1243 Spring Council of Béziers: Raymond VII of Toulouse appeals for his excommunication to be lifted. The Council decides to "cut off the head of the dragon" referring to Montségur ( The Name in Occitan. Click here to find out more about occitan. Montsegùr) .
1243 May Siege of the Château of Montségur. Montségur ( The Name in Occitan. Click here to find out more about occitan. Montsegùr) is besieged by the French Crusaders begins. Inside, a military garrison of around 200 knights and soldiers protected a further 200 Parfaits and their families.
1243 25 June Innocent IV is elected pope.
1244 March Fall of the Château of Montségur after a siege lasting 10 months. Between the start of negotiations of the surrender and the final rendition, some 25 ordinary believers opt to receive the Consolamentum, knowing the implications.
1244 16th of March Around 225 Parfaits, including the 25 recent additions, were burnt alive on a huge pyre at the foot of the pog of Montségur ( The Name in Occitan. Click here to find out more about occitan. Montsegùr) (in a field now called the 'Prat dels Cremats (field of the burnt).
1247 7th of April Raymond Trencavel II submits in Béziers
1248   Crusade to the Holy Land. Louis IX (later Saint Louis) goes off on crusade , and is later captured in Egypt.
1248 ??? Raymond VII of Toulouse has eighty confessed heretics burned in his presence without giving them a chance to recant.
1248   Death of Raymond VII of Toulouse, without a male heir. His estates pass to his daughter, Jeanne, married to Alphonse de Poitiers, brother of Louis IX.
1252 15 May Torture to elicit confessions is authorized by Pope Innocent IV in his Bull Ad exstirpanda. It would be confirmed by Pope Alexander IV in 1259 and by Pope Clement IV in 1265. In Ad exstirpanda Innocent IV wrote: "When those adjudged guilty of heresy have been given up to the civil power by the bishop or his representative, or the Inquisition, the podestˆ or chief magistrate of the city shall take them at once, and shall, within five days at the most, execute the laws made against them. " He also ordered that this Bull and corresponding regulations of Frederick II be entered in every city among the municipal statutes under pain of excommunication, a punishment also visited on those who failed to follow the papal and imperial decrees.
1254 7 December Death of Pope Innocent IV.
1254 12 December Alexander IV elected pope.
1255   Return of Louis IX, Saint Louis
1255 Spring Surrender of Quéribus After the fall of the Château of Montségur ( The Name in Occitan. Click here to find out more about occitan. Montsegùr), Cathar resistance had centred on another remote mountain stronghold, this time in the Fenouillèdes, in the Roussillon, legally belonging to the King of Aragón and so outside the jurisdiction of the French crown. Another siege was planned. This time the Cathars leave before the arrival of the French troops, fleeing presumably to seek sanctuary elsewhere in Catalonia, Aragón or Piedemont.
1256 ??? In Ut negotium, Pope Alexander IV allows Inquisitors to absolve one another of any "irregularities" they commit while engaged in their work, ensuring that there is no effective oversight of their activities.
1258 11th of May Treaty of Corbeil. This treaty, concluded between Louis IX, Saint Louis and Jaume I of Aragón, ratified the French seizure of Queribus and the surrounding area in the Fenouillèdes. Aragón ceded all lands north of the River Agly. Subsequently Louis IX and Philip the Bold re-inforced or rebuilt Puilaurens, Aguila, Queribus, Peyrepertuse and Termes to form a line of defence for the new border. These five castles are together known as the five sons of Carcassonne. Many Cathars withdraw to even more remote places of safety such as caves or forests. Others are sheltered by friends or flee to Piedmont. Some die of exposure or starvation, or fall into the hands of the Inquisitors.
1259 30 November Pope Alexander IV confirms the policy of using torture to elicit confessions, first authorized by Pope Innocent IV in Ad exstirpanda.
1261 25 May Pope Alexander IV dies
1261 29 August Urban IV elected pope
1264 2 October Pope Urban IV dies
1265 5 February Clement IV elected pope.
1267 Pope Clement IV creates a new Inquisition in Rome.
1268 "28 cart loads" of Cathars are burned alive at Plaisance in Lombardy.
1271 1 September Gregory X elected pope.
1271 October Annexation of the county of Toulouse. Following the death of Alphonse de Poitiers and Jeanne de Toulouse the county of Toulouse is incorporated into the French Royal Demesne.
1278   Cathar persecutions continue elsewhere. 200 Patarins are burnt at the stake in Sermione. 200 Cathars are burnt in Verona.
1286   The consuls of Carcassonne complain to the pope, the King of France, and the local bishop about the Inquisitor Jean Garland, whom they alleged had been inflicting torture in an utterly inhuman manner
1321   Death of Guillem Bélibaste, Guilhem Belibaste was the last known Parfait in the Languedoc, burned alive at the château at Villerouge Termenès.
1328   510 Cathars are allegedly walled up alive in the Lombrives cave, on orders from the Inquisitor Jacques Fournier, who is later elected pope. This incident seems at best no more than folklore.





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Author: James McDonald MA, MSc.
Title: Cathars and Cathar Beliefs in the Languedoc
Date last modified: 8 February 2017


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