Read A Most Holy War: The Albigensian Crusade and the Battle for Christendom (Pivotal Moments in World History) by Mark Gregory Pegg Online


In January of 1208, a papal legate was murdered on the banks of the Rhone in southern France A furious Pope Innocent III accused heretics of the crime and called upon all Christians to exterminate heresy between the Garonne and Rhone rivers a vast region now known as Languedoc in a great crusade This most holy war, the first in which Christians were promised salvation for killing other Christians, lasted twenty bloody years it was a long savage battle for the soul of Christendom In A Most Holy War, historian Mark Pegg has produced a swift moving, gripping narrative of this horrific crusade, drawing in part on thousands of testimonies collected by inquisitors in the years 1235 to 1245 These accounts of ordinary men and women, remembering what it was like to live through such brutal times, bring the story vividly to life Pegg argues that generations of historians and novelists have misunderstood the crusade they assumed it was a war against the Cathars, the most famous heretics of the Middle Ages The Cathars, Pegg reveals, never existed He further shows how a millennial fervor about cleansing the world of heresy, coupled with a fear that Christendom was being eaten away from within by heretics who looked no different than other Christians, made the battles, sieges, and massacres of the crusade almost apocalyptic in their cruel intensity In responding to this fear with a holy genocidal war, Innocent III fundamentally changed how Western civilization dealt with individuals accused of corrupting society This fundamental change, Pegg argues, led directly to the creation of the inquisition, the rise of an anti Semitism dedicated to the violent elimination of Jews, and even the holy violence of the Reconquista in Spain and in the New World in the fifteenth century All derive their divinely sanctioned slaughter from the Albigensian Crusade Haunting and immersive, A Most Holy War opens an important new perspective on a truly pivotal moment in world history, a first and distant foreshadowing of the genocide and holy violence in the modern world....

Title : A Most Holy War: The Albigensian Crusade and the Battle for Christendom (Pivotal Moments in World History)
Author :
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ISBN : 0195171314
Format Type : Hardcover
Language : English
Publisher : Oxford University Press 1st edition January 28, 2008
Number of Pages : 288 pages
File Size : 972 KB
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Most Holy War: The Albigensian Crusade and the Battle for Christendom (Pivotal Moments in World History) Reviews

  • Dennis J. Hosier
    2019-04-20 12:31

    Cumbersome but interesting if you are into history. This is where Christianity was in the 13th century and where much of Islam is today. I certainly hope that it doesn't take another 800 years for things to change.

  • Kimberly Kunker
    2019-03-28 14:42

    "A Most Holy War: The Albigensian Crusade and the Battle for Christendom" by Mark Gregory Pegg is an attempt to address misconceptions regarding the Cathar heretics and modern portrayals of them. Pegg makes a strong case that the Cathars never existed, and that the twenty year long crusade in Southern France was a crusade against Albigensian heretics in a very specific geographic area. He has a very negative view towards past histories of these events, and he criticized the sources used in previous scholarship.

  • Rugby3
    2019-04-08 15:50

    More anecdotal than I'd expected but an insightful work.

  • John B. Hoehn
    2019-04-19 07:32

    This informative and painfully insightful history of the persecution of one brand of Christianity by another brand of Christianity is certainly interesting, in the same way that any crime story is interesting.

  • P. A. Calta
    2019-04-01 15:52

    A good story of an era about which little has been written but that has implications for today. This is not a quick read, but does tell of an interesting historical time period. Author debunks the Cathar influence in the heresies of the time.