high lonesome heresy
November 30, 2005 7:04 PM   Subscribe

In 1244, Montsegur saw the slaughter of the Cathars and their protectors, ending the Albigensian Crusade that Pope Innocent III had declared in 1208.
posted by dilettante (22 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Mmm, religion. Humanity's finest achievement. Tasty.
posted by Decani at 7:14 PM on November 30, 2005

Awesomeness. Thanks for telling a story in picture, text, and kitsch!
posted by Mr.Lawler at 7:14 PM on November 30, 2005

Always thought it would be cool to set a movie during the Albigensian Crusade.
posted by brundlefly at 7:14 PM on November 30, 2005

There's a pulpy mystery/thriller novel that envisions just such a movie. It envisions sects of albigensians existing through to the present day and having a series of murky connections to the film industry. The book's called Flicker and apparently Darren Aronofsky is set to direct the movie of the book. Of course, Darren Aronofsky's been set to direct a bunch of movies that never got made. Maybe someday we'll be able to see a movie set during the Albigensian Crusade as a movie within a movie. Maybe someday.
posted by jrb223 at 7:26 PM on November 30, 2005

In one famous incident in 1209, most of B├ęziers was slaughtered by the Catholic forces headed by the Papal legate. Arnaud-Amaury, the Abbot of Citeaux, was asked how to distinguish between the Catholic and Cathars, and allegedly answered, "Kill them all, God will know his own".
posted by SPrintF at 7:30 PM on November 30, 2005

If you're ever in the southwest of France, drop in on Albi, which gives its name to the Albigensian crusade. After The Church "restored order" they built a massive fortress-like church there, the Basilica of Sainte Cecile. It's beautiful. The church (and the whole town) are built out of red, red bricks but in a medieval style. It's a beautiful town. More photos on flickr.
posted by Nelson at 7:36 PM on November 30, 2005

This was just on TV within the last couple days... Hmm... But now I can't remember where.
Still, good post.
posted by klangklangston at 7:54 PM on November 30, 2005

Flicker. Good book, weak ending. Mainly about movie making. It was inexplicably out of print for a long time and the crappy quality 1993 Bantam edition was going for crazy prices on ebay.

Theodore Roszak's The Cult of Information is a much stronger book, although non-fiction. Because of the time period it was written, it manages cover a lot of the 1950s and early 1960s techno fetishists. It's a tripe reading Kurzweil-style eschatology from way back when. How quickly they forget.
posted by meehawl at 8:14 PM on November 30, 2005

Indeed, I will pour some out for my lost Kathari brethren!

Purity! And a hearty hells yeah to the novel Flicker.
posted by undule at 8:15 PM on November 30, 2005

Wow, I just wrote a NaNoWriMo story set in exactly this time! And yeah, the quotation SPrintF mentions has to be the best words ever spoken in Latin, ever: Caedite eos, novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.
posted by Paragon at 8:55 PM on November 30, 2005

crazy prices on ebay.

Damn, I just gave away my Flicker. Anyway, a good read.
posted by emf at 9:48 PM on November 30, 2005

Some of the Cathar beliefs appear to be a little creepier than I'd first imagined: The extinction of bodily life on the largest scale consistent with human existence is also a perfect aim.
posted by aramaic at 10:01 PM on November 30, 2005

It's refreshing to see a 12th century heresy featured as a FPP.

The Cathars seem to attract a lot of attention (versus, say the 12th C Waldensians, who still practice in North Carolina) . It bolsters secular rightous feelings -- indeed the "Inquisition" first appeared because of the Cathars. It's almost been fetishized by modern artists (like the Inqusition). "Let's see a movie!" Mel Brooks, even better. Those wacky Catholics! The Albigenians are somewhat well known, but not yet at the level of Monty Pythons "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

BTW The Catholic Church denies that "Kill them all, God will know his own" was ever spoken.
posted by stbalbach at 10:39 PM on November 30, 2005

The Cat-lick Choich is wrong. I just said it.
posted by brundlefly at 11:35 PM on November 30, 2005

Yet another piece of history I learned about from an Iron Maiden song.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:09 AM on December 1, 2005

One reason the Cathars attract a lot of attention is because they had truly awesome castles; Queribus, Peyreperteuse, Lastours, and the walled city of Carcassonne. Rene Weis wrote The Yellow Cross, The Story of the Last Cathars which gives a good insight into the lives and diaspora of the Cathars.
posted by adamvasco at 4:17 AM on December 1, 2005

Odd, I was just reading about this yesterday, as it's noted in the Wiki for A Song of Ice and Fire (A series of books by George R R Martin) as one of his main inspirations.
posted by thanotopsis at 4:33 AM on December 1, 2005

It bolsters secular rightous feelings

Actually, the Cathars have long been part of the so-called "proto-Protestant" interpretation of history, in which various medieval heresies become signs of the true faith that re-emerges during the Reformation; they're still very popular in some fundamentalist circles. I have a couple (very approving) Victorian children's novels about them in my library.
posted by thomas j wise at 4:40 AM on December 1, 2005

when I was 19 and traveling Europe with a college class, my best friend and I re-reconquista'ed (i know, different war, but it's a fun word) Queribus with two fake plastic swords and a bottle of French merlot.

posted by trinarian at 5:01 AM on December 1, 2005

Innocent's scroll appears to read "filii Hohenstaufemin, osculamini asinum meum".

I'm guessing he never said that either.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:04 AM on December 1, 2005

the Cathars have long been part of the so-called "proto-Protestant" interpretation of history

I've always thought that one of the reasons the Roman Catholics came down so hard on the Cathars was that they were somewhat peeved to find a group of Christians who were actually *more* distrustful of embodiment and sexuality. In their distrust of sensuality, the Cathars represented an extreme culmination of the Stoic/Syriac philosophy that transformed the rather carefree Jewish Christianity into the more austere Roman Christianity. It takes a special kind of dedication to decide that everything you see around you is impure and tainted with evil by virtue of its creation by the demiurge. I am reminded of Judge Death from 2000AD. I suppose a modern day close analogue to the Cathars might be (have been?) the Shakers Of course, the Cathar's enthusiasm for flattening hierarchies also didn't go down well in medieval society.
posted by meehawl at 6:30 AM on December 1, 2005

I've always wondered how much of the info about the Cathars is accurate, and how much was rewritten by the Catholics.
posted by smackfu at 7:14 AM on December 1, 2005

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