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heretics-msg - 4/19/02

 

Various heretics and heretical sects in the Middle Ages.

 

NOTE: See also the files: religion-msg, crusades-msg, monks-msg, relics-msg,  pilgrimages-msg, Islam-msg, nuns-a-monks-lnks, indulgences-msg, p-relig-tol-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given by the individual authors.

 

Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

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Date: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 17:29:35 -0400

From: "Daniel Phelps" <phelpsd at gate.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Cathari, Vegetarian Heretics

 

>> I don't know what a heretical Cathars was, can someone clue me in?

 

Check out "Montaillou the Promised Land of Error" in the English translation

if you don't speak French.  Sorry I have misspelled Montaillou, French was

never my long suit.  I can't find the book in my library to give you the

full cite but it covers the crusade against the Cathars through the use of

transcripts of testimony.

 

Daniel Raoul

 

 

Date: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 13:25:31 -0700 (PDT)

From: H B <nn3_shay at yahoo.com>

Subject: SC - Cathari, Vegetarian Heretics (long)

 

> I don't know what a heretical Cathars was, can someone clue me in?

> Also, when was it considered dangerous to be a veggie?  I just

> remember veggie options surfacing like for lent, or because of a

> clerical vow.  someone wanna fill me in, or give me some reference

> books?  love to come up with some excuses!

 

I ran across a reference to the Cathari in a historical novel, but it

got returned to the library before I got more than a chapter in, so I

don't know how well they were portrayed; but it caught my interest

enough to look them up.  Since I know there are other vegetarians out

there, I thought this might be of wide enough interest to send it to

the list; sorry to those of you who are not interested. I'm sure there

are other sects too, but I don't know how to look them up until I know

who they were.  Anyway:

 

>From _The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church_, F.L. Cross,

ed., 2nd edition. Oxford Univ. Press, 1958, 1974.  ISBN 0 19 211545 6.

 

CATHARI (Gk. [ ], ‘pure’).  The name has been applied to several

sects, e.g. to the Novatianists by St. Epiphanius and other Greek

Fathers, and, acc. to St. Augustine, in the form ‘Catharistae’ to a

group of Manichaeans.  But it is mostly used for a medieval sect, which

first came to be so known in Germany in the second half of the 12th

cent.  It was later applied to this sect also in Italy, whereas its

adherents in S. France are commonly called ‘Albigenses’ (q.v.).

 

In France they first appeared at the beginning of the 11th cent., when

a group of heretics was condemned at a Council of Orleans in 1022.

>From this time to the 13th cent., Catharist influences spread widely,

being particularly strong in N. Italy and S. France.  The origin of the

movement is obscure.  Their doctrines were similar to those of the

Bogomiles of Bulgaria, and from c. 1160 there is clear E. influence on

the W. Catharists.  It is, however, difficult to find evidence of this

during the early history of the movement, and it remains a matter of

doubt whether W. dualism was an import from the Balkans or an

independent development.  They posed a major threat to the Catholic

Church, which reacted both by preaching and, through the Inquisition,

by persecution.  By 1300 the combined effect of force and persecution

had greatly weakened the Catharists, and thereafter they did not play a

major part in the history of the W. Church.   For an account of their

doctrine, see Albigenses.

 

(Here follows an extensive list of primary material and scholarly

treatments of it; if anyone wants the list, email me privately and I’ll

send it.)

 

ALBIGENSES.  A medieval term for the inhabitants of parts of S.

France, and hence applied to the heretics who were strong there in the

late 12th and early 13th cents.  These were a branch of the Cathari.

Their doctrine in its purest form was strongly dualist, akin to the

Manichaean beliefs, and they rejected the flesh and material creation

as evil, affirming two eternal principles of good and evil.  There are

signs in their writings of both an absolute dualism (of equal and

opposite principles) and a ‘mitigated’ dualism (envisaging the ultimate

triumph of God over the devil).  It is not clear whether one should

think of distinct schools of belief within Catharism, or whether these

were different tendencies inside one system of thought. The purpose of

redemption was the liberation of the soul from the flesh and the end of

the ‘mixed’ state which had been brought about by the devil.  Though

retaining the NT and the prophetic parts of the OT, the Albigenses

interpreted them as allegories, teaching that Christ was an angel with

a phantom body who, consequently, did not suffer or rise again, and

whose redemptive work consisted only in teaching man the true (i.e.

Albigensian) doctrine.  The Catholic Church, by taking the NT

allegories literally, had been corrupted and was doing the work of the

devil.

 

Rejecting the sacraments, the doctrine of hell, purgatory, and the

resurrection of the body, and believing that all matter was bad, their

moral doctrine was one of extreme rigorism, condemning marriage, the

use of meat, milk, eggs, and other animal produce.  As, however, these

ideals were too austere for the majority of men and women, they

distinguished two classes, the ‘perfect’, who received the

‘consolamentum’, i.e. baptism of the Holy Spirit by imposition of

hands, and kept the precepts in all their rigor, and the ordinary

‘believers’ who were allowed to live normal lives but promised to

receive the ‘consolamentum’ when in danger of death; if they

recovered, they were obliged to lead the life of the ‘perfect’ or die

by the  ‘endura’.

 

The Albigenses were condemned by successive Councils, at Lombers

in 1165 and at Verona in 1184, and at the Fourth Lateran Council of

1215 Catholic doctrine was defined with special reference to their

errors.  The heresy, however, spread rapidly, since the ‘perfect’ gained

a hold on the people by the austerity of their lives which contrasted

with the laxity of many of the Catholic clergy.  Innocent III sought to

convert them by several missions, which were all unsuccessful.  At last,

after the assassination of the Papal legate Peter of Castelnau in 1208,

the Pope decided upon a Crusade against them, the leader of which was

Simon de Montfort.  The actual Crusade, often conducted with great

cruelty, ended in 1218, the year of Montfort’s death, the outstanding

events being the massacre of Beziers in 1209, and the battle of Muret

in 1213, where Simon decisively defeated Peter of Aragon, their leader.

From 1219 to the treaty of Paris in 1229 the war was mainly a fight for

the incorporation of Languedoc into France.  In 1233 Gregory IX

charged the Dominican Inquisition with the final extirpation of the

heresy, of which no trace was left at the end of the 14th century.

 

(More references.)

 

Does anyone else know of specific sects?  This book is great on

defining things, but you have to know what to look up, and 'vegetarian'

isn't in there!  I know a lot of the church's justification for eating

meat came from the 'dominion over the Earth and all its creatures' bit

(which was still being used as justification for exploitation/

destruction of any natural resource you can think of into this

century); since the Catholic Church said meat was a good thing to eat,

and you only don't eat it on fast days when you give it up BECAUSE it's

a good thing, I imagine there might have been a bit of tension over

other vegetarians sects too -- though not necessarily as much as with

these guys, who not only didn't believe in the divinity of Christ but

even his humanity!

 

In the novel (wish I could remember the title!) a newcomer is looked at

with suspision because she is not eating meat at a meal, and the priest

especially asks her what is wrong with her dinner, and the whole tone

is such that this woman (who IS Cathari, but trying to hide it)

basically has the choice of choking down some flesh and breaking her

oath, or being branded a heretic and presumably killed for it.  Fun,

huh?  Sounds like that much might be plausible based on the above

reference to crusades and inquisitions.

 

- -- Harriet

 

 

Date: Sat, 21 Aug 1999 11:09:35 +0200

From: "ana l. valdes" <agora at algonet.se>

Subject: Re: SC - Cathari, Vegetarian Heretics (long)

 

Here comes one of my favorite topics, my friends. Take your

seats...Cathars was not only an "heresy", but a politic movement too,

one of the most powerful movements at the Middle Ages. It was the last

big confrontation with the authority of the Pope in Rome and the

beginning of France as national state. The king of France, in alliance

with the Pope, declared a holy croisade (the first one against

Europeans) and demolished the culture of Occitan, Languedoc. The most

powerful nobles of the region (duke of Tolouse, count of Avignon, count

of Alby, and all the lesser nobility in Ariege and Provence, declared

itselves catahares, not just for a religious faith, but as a political

declaration of independence.

The cathares denied marriage the cathegory of Sacrament and the Church

and the central power couldn`t allow that abolition of the institution,

the most central to heritages and power reproduction.

Simon de Montfort was the leader of the Croisade, which was one of the

most cruel and injustified repressions at modern time. Two hundred

castles and manor houses was burned down, the castle of Mont Segur was

the last bastion and in it, six hundred people were burned alive.

Until today, the south of France and the people who claim to belong to

the culture of Occitan, feel a deep resent against the northerners and

Paris.

Its a lot of interesting historical novels treating the subject.

The cathars had not any priests (one more circunstance the Church hated

them) and they gave all the people wno lived as "perfect", the capacity

of applying the sacraments. They didęnt condemn the homosexuality and

they avoided to eat meat, since they tried to live in harmony with the

nature.

They were an antecedent of the protestantism and Luther had read a lot

of catharic litterature.

I wonder if I am not going to take a cathar persona. A combination: a

muslim poet, converted to the cathar faith and working in Stockholm to

try to recruit new members to the new faith.

 

Ana

 

 

Date: Sun, 31 Oct 1999 14:45:27 MST

From: njones at ix.netcom.com

Subject: ANST - Book Review:  _The_Cathars_

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG

 

I was sent an interesting book review from a friend that I thought

I would pass on.  ISBN information is included at the end of the

review.

 

Gio

Northkeep

Ansteorra

 

********

http://www.anatomy.usyd.edu.au/danny/book-reviews/h/Cathars.html

 

title: The Cathars

by: Malcolm Lambert

publisher: Blackwell 1998

subjects: medieval history, religion

 

A rather dense academic survey, Lambert's _The Cathars_ is really

for the specialist rather than the general reader. (I don't know,

however, that there is a popular general introduction to Catharism:

most of the more accessible books focus on Languedoc and the

Albigensian crusade.)  Lambert takes a chronological and regional

approach, addressing issues of doctrine and institutional structure as

they arise. He begins with chapters on heresy in Western Europe

before the eleventh century and on the Bogomils and early Catharism

in the Rhineland; he finishes with chapters on Pierre Autier and the

brief revival of Catharism around the beginning of the fourteenth

century, on the decline of Italian Catharism, and on the Bosnian

Church. In between he covers the rise of Catharism in the

Languedoc and the Catholic response, from Innocent III and the

launching of the crusade to the gradual formalisation of the

Inquisition.

 

It was the material on the Italian and Bosnian Cathars that I found

most interesting. In Languedoc doctrinal differences were not critical

and a broadly unified church structure persisted. In Italy, in contrast,

allegiances to competing Eastern _ordo_ and conflicts over doctrine

rifted Cathars into separate communities: Lambert sorts through the evidence to reveal their differences in theology and organisation.

The complex political balance in Italy between cities, Guelf and

Ghibelline factions, papacy, and empire resulted in idiosyncratic variations in the treatment of Cathars, but their survival was generally

assisted by the unwillingness of independent cities to grant church authorities the powers needed for forcible suppression. The Inquisition and lay Catholic confraternities certainly helped it along, but Catharism's gradual decline in Italy was largely due to changes in the

Catholic Church which reduced its appeal.  (Cathar remnants in the Alps, syncretising with Waldensianism, survived until the early fifteenth century.) The history of the Bosnian Church took a very different course. "[W]hen heretics had authority, freedom and

a landed endowment ... [t]heir leaders became virtually indistinguishable from the wealthy and powerful hierarchies of either

the Catholic or Orthodox Churches of the time."

--

%T The Cathars

%A Malcolm Lambert

%I Blackwell

%C Oxford

%D 1998

%O paperback, references, index

%G ISBN 0-631-20959-X

%P 344pp

%K medieval history, religion

 

31 October 1999

---------------------------------------------------

Copyright (c) 1999 Danny Yee (danny at cs.usyd.edu.au)

http://www.anatomy.usyd.edu.au/danny/book-reviews/

---------------------------------------------------

 

 

Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 15:11:09 -0500

From: "Bethany Public Library" <betpulib at ptdprolog.net>

Subject: SC - Languedoc/Cathar

 

I've recently become fascinated with the Cathar story, and am wondering if

anyone has any clue where to look for a resource on their food. It must have

been a fascinating food culture since the Cathars came from Asia Minor to

France by way of Germany and Italy, and then were tossed out in the early

13th century to settle near present day Bosnia. They were purportedly

vegetarian, with heavy ties to the Mohammedans and other faiths, leading me

to believe their food culture must have been a terrific culling of all the

many cultures they had contact with--Languedoc was a trouble spot since the

area stoutly refused to fall in with the feudal hierarchy of France. Thus

the Cathars and their local friends were targeted for the fate of heretics

begining around 1209. And yet as late as 1204 they were instrumental in the

crusades (4th? 5th?) and the assault of Constantinople, indicating that they

were mainstream and accepted up to and during those battles.

 

I've ordered some tertiary sources from Amazon, of course, but they aren't

here yet and  I was hoping someone else had done some research in this area.

Anyone?

 

Aoife

 

 

Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2001 09:36:20 +1300

From: Robert Garnett <carnelian at inet.net.nz>

Subject: Re: SC - Languedoc/Cathar

 

>I've ordered some tertiary sources from Amazon, of course, but they aren't

>here yet and  I was hoping someone else had done some research in this area.

>Anyone?

 

You could try Montaillou : Cathars and Catholics in a French village,

1294-1324, which if nothing else is a very interesting read.

 

Duncan.

 

 

Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 15:16:58 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Languedoc/Cathar

 

>I've recently become fascinated with the Cathar story, and am wondering if

>anyone has any clue where to look for a resource on their food. It must have

>been a fascinating food culture since the Cathars came from Asia Minor to

>France by way of Germany and Italy, and then were tossed out in the early

>13th century to settle near present day Bosnia.

 

I believe you are confusing the path followed by the doctrine with an

actual mass migration of people. As far as I know, almost all of the

Cathar's were simply French or Italian, converted to that particular

heresy.

 

What source suggests that they were actually people who had migrated

from Asia Minor?

 

>  They were purportedly vegetarian,

 

The perfecti or the rest of the believers?

 

>with heavy ties to the Mohammedans and other faiths,

 

What is the source for that?

- --

David/Cariadoc

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/

 

 

Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2001 17:29:56 -0800

From: "Laura C. Minnick" <lcm at efn.org>

Subject: Re: SC - Languedoc/Cathar

 

david friedman wrote:

> >I've recently become fascinated with the Cathar story, and am wondering if

> >anyone has any clue where to look for a resource on their food. It must have

> >been a fascinating food culture since the Cathars came from Asia Minor to

> >France by way of Germany and Italy, and then were tossed out in the early

> >13th century to settle near present day Bosnia.

>

> I believe you are confusing the path followed by the doctrine with an

> actual mass migration of people. As far as I know, almost all of the

> Cathar's were simply French or Italian, converted to that particular

> heresy.

>

> What source suggests that they were actually people who had migrated

> from Asia Minor?

 

I think that this may arise from confusion among sects.

 

I've done work on medieval heresies, and taught a University of Ithra

session on them. Unfortunately my materials are 120 miles away, so I

can't give full doc on them, but I can give the gist of what I know...

 

The Manicheans (2nd-3rd c) were in Asia Minor, and were thought to be

the wellspring of the Cathar movement, when in fact they weren't. There

was a significant gap timewise, and while there were doctrinal lines in

common, there were also divergences. Next in the line were the Bogomils,

IIRC, roughly 8th-11 c, in the Balkans. Supposedly one of their

missionaries went to Italy. We don't really know. We do know that a

movement sprung up in the Italian Alps in a region called Albi (hence

the name Albigensians), led by a Peter Something-or-other (I can't

remember the rest of his name). They spread from there to Southern

France, which is not that far away. They called themselves Cathari,

which comes from the Greek _katharios_, meaning pure. This has nothing

to do with being in or from Greece, but everything to do with adhereing

to a New Testament model.

> >  They were purportedly vegetarian,

>

> The perfecti or the rest of the believers?

 

The level of adherence to deitary restrictions really depended on who

and where you were, and your level of individual commitment. Your Jay

Random Cathar peasant and his wife eat like normal peasants. If they

aspire to someday be perfecti, they may go with a vegetarian diet. The

perfecti are those who have attained a higher plane of sorts- and they

have nothing to do with and in fact an abhorrence of anything related to

sexual reproduction. (There is a reason why they were the 'elect' and a

minority in the sect- the Cathars would have died out early if everyone

had followed their lifestyle). They do not have sexual relations with

their spouse, if they are married, and live as brothers and sisters.

They are not just vegetarian, but vegan- they eat nothing related to the

carnal nature. No meat. No eggs. No milk. Nothing but vegetables and

grains.

 

There are not Cathar recipes that I know of, and only a few writings. We

have some secondary work- things written down by Inquisitors. But my

best guess it they ate what the other people of Toulouse ate.

 

> >with heavy ties to the Mohammedans and other faiths,

>

> What is the source for that?

 

I'm curious about that too, because I know of no source that truly

proprts that, except for some of the Inquisitional records which lump

Cathars in with any evil they can think of at the moment. They were

probably accused of stealing candy from babies and teasing small dogs.

 

A couple of sources I can think of off the top of my head:

 

_Montaillou_ bu LaDurie. Very interesting account. A couple of caveats

though- 1) this book was written based on Inquisitorial accounts. I look

at it with a bit of a jaundiced eye because of that- how many of us

would lielielielielie to a Dominican who holds our fate in his hands?

I'd tell him what ever he wants to hear, if it got my family off. 2) it

covers people and events from the early 14th century- not the 12th and

13th, which was the heyday of the Cathars. Most of them were stamped out

(particularly around Toulouse) in the mid 13th c. 50-75 years goes by-

and given the levels of persectution and being cut off from the main

sources of doctrine, there may be significant changes in beliefs and

lifestyle. So think of this as the little town in the boondocks where

things may have dissipated a bit...

 

John Hine Mundy wrote several books on the Cathars and the County of

Toulouse, one, IIRC, is titled _The Repression of the Cathars at

Toulouse_. All of his stuff is very good, if a bit dense.

 

I'm trying to remember the titles of the big fat

everybody-and-the-kitchen-sink texts we used in class. I think Malcolm

Barber wrote one of them. I would suggest doing a search for 'Medieval

Heresy' and see what comes up...

 

'Lainie

 

 

Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 13:05:25 -0500

From: "Bethany Public Library" <betpulib at ptdprolog.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Languedoc/Cathar

 

I wrote:

>I've recently become fascinated with the Cathar story, and am wondering if

>anyone has any clue where to look for a resource on their food. It must have

>been a fascinating food culture since the Cathars came from Asia Minor to

>France by way of Germany and Italy, and then were tossed out in the early

>13th century to settle near present day Bosnia.

 

And his grace replied:

I believe you are confusing the path followed by the doctrine with an

actual mass migration of people. As far as I know, almost all of the

Cathar's were simply French or Italian, converted to that particular

heresy.

 

*What source suggests that they were actually people who had *migrated

*from Asia Minor?

 

I'll be happy to let you know as soon as I can read the books in their

entirety. But you have a point, since from what I've read so far, the

Cathars purportedly preferred conversion to copulation as a method for

gaining adherants ;)

 

>  They were purportedly vegetarian,

 

*The perfecti or the rest of the believers?

 

Again, a good point. Having read a small amount, I'll have to get back about

that as well. It's entirely possible, given the nature of the faith, that

there was no cohesive cuisine. I think I'd like to know one way or another,

though, given the limits of what it's possible to find via literature and

archaeology.

However, the following quote might help:

"Originating in Asia Minor and brought to Europe by way of Bulgaria, the

rise of Catharism prompted the first recorded burnings at the stake in

France, led to the establishment of the papal Inquisition and the Dominican

order of monks who conducted it, and caused the deaths of untold thousands

of men, women, and children over a three-century period from about 1200 to

1459, when the official Cathar church was outlawed in its final stronghold,

Bosnia. Lambert writes with dry authority on the curious history of this

doctrine and official response to it." --Gregory McNamee, refering to the

book The Cathars (The Peoples of Europe) by Malcolm Lambert

Paperback - 368 pages (June 1998)

Blackwell Pub; ISBN:  063120959X

 

>with heavy ties to the Mohammedans and other faiths,

 

*What is the source for that?

 

I should have also mentioned Zaroastrianism and Judaism. However, the

following quote, which appears in a review for the book The Albigensian

Crusade by Joseph R Strayer (Paperback - 283 pages (July 1992) Univ of

Michigan Pr; ISBN: 0472064762 ), and the knowledge that Cathars in Languedoc

acted as a shelter for other religions in the area. Religious tolerance

seemed to be unusually high for them, compared to Catholicism, according to

what I've read so far.

 

"Languedoc, lay at the end of a main trade route that ran through Italy and

into the East, and by 1200, the area was more like Italy with it's

independent cities based on commercial wealth, than the feudal north with

it's huge rural estates owned by landed nobility. New ideas and new people

settled in Occitania, bringing diverse religious practices. In addition to

the Cathars, the area was home to Jews, Mohammadens, and Waldensians. Roman

Catholic clergy soon found their limited authority challenged, and one thing

led to another until the Pope launched two crusades to eliminate "heretical

faiths" that infested Occitania. Most of Strayers's account is about the

subsequent Albigensian crusades (Albi was one of the "heretical" cities)."

 

Of course, if you have some good sources on the subject, I'm sure several of

us would appreciate the information. And if you'd care to share your

insights, if any, on that culture's dining habits, again, the educational

nature of this list would be served.

 

As for me, I think my next purchase is going to be:

The History of the Albigensian Crusade : Peter of Les-Vaux-De-Cernay's

Historia Albigensis by W. A. Sibly (Translator), M. D. Sibly (Translator)

Boydell & Brewer; ISBN: 0851158072 ,

which is actually a monk's account of the crusade written while it was going

on, translated into English.

 

I'm having trouble locating information about the cathars NOT related to the

crusade, essentially pre-crusade. Any thoughts?

 

Aoife

 

 

Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2001 11:29:19 -0700

From: Prydwen <gryphon at carlsbadnm.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Languedoc/Cathar

 

I don't know about food sources, but there's a new book out about the

Cathars, called "The Perfect Heresy" by O'Shea, and it was a fascinating read.

 

Prydwen

 

 

Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 12:14:30 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Languedoc/Cathar

 

>It's entirely possible, given the nature of the faith, that

>there was no cohesive cuisine.

 

My guess sould be that Cathars in Languedoc ate the same cuisine as

other people in Languedoc, save that the Perfecti would have followed

a highly ascetic diet.

 

>However, the following quote might help:

>"Originating in Asia Minor and brought to Europe by way of Bulgaria, the

>rise of Catharism

 

There is no suggestion there of any migration of peoples--"catharism"

is a doctrine, not a nation.

 

>  >with heavy ties to the Mohammedans and other faiths,

>

>*What is the source for that?

>

>I should have also mentioned Zaroastrianism and Judaism. However, the

>following quote, which appears in a review for the book The Albigensian

>Crusade by Joseph R Strayer (Paperback - 283 pages (July 1992) Univ of

>Michigan Pr; ISBN: 0472064762 ), and the knowledge that Cathars in Languedoc

>acted as a shelter for other religions in the area. Religious tolerance

>seemed to be unusually high for them, compared to Catholicism, according to

>what I've read so far.

>

>"Languedoc, lay at the end of a main trade route that ran through Italy and

>into the East, and by 1200, the area was more like Italy with it's

>independent cities based on commercial wealth, than the feudal north with

>it's huge rural estates owned by landed nobility. New ideas and new people

>settled in Occitania, bringing diverse religious practices. In addition to

>the Cathars, the area was home to Jews, Mohammadens, and Waldensians. Roman

>Catholic clergy soon found their limited authority challenged, and one thing

>led to another until the Pope launched two crusades to eliminate "heretical

>faiths" that infested Occitania. Most of Strayers's account is about the

>subsequent Albigensian crusades (Albi was one of the "heretical" cities)."

 

The presence of Jews and Mohammedans doesn't imply anything one way

or the other about doctrinal ties. There were Muslims in southern

Italy, Spain, and southern France, although the last got driven out

earlier than the other two. There were Jews more or less all over the

place, certainly including Italy.

 

>Aoife

- --

David/Cariadoc

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/

 

 

Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 20:19:03 -0800 (PST)

From: Terri Spencer <taracook at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Languedoc/Cathar (Long)

 

In response to the recent question on Cathar food habits, I just read

Montaillou, and kept some notes.  I saved them more as food info for a

14th century mountain village than for Cathar food culture, but they

might be of some interest.  

 

Modern Source:

Ladurie, Emmanuel Le Roy,  Montaillou, Cathars and Catholics in a

French Village 1294-1324, Translated by Barbara Bray, Penguin Books,

NY, NY, 1980.  ISBN 0 14 00.5471 5

 

Original Source:

The Inquisition Register of Jacques Fournier, Bishop of Pamiers in

AriŤge in the Comtť de Foix 1318-1325.  Latin MS. 4030, Vatican

Library.  

 

Jacques Fournier was a Cistercian monk, a doctor at the University of

Paris, Abbot of Fontfroide 1311, Bishop of Pamiers 1318. There, in

addition to the Inquisition, he imposed tithes on cheese, beets and

turnips, and enforced those on livestock.  Became Bishop of Mirepoix

1326, Cardinal 1327, and Pope Benedict XII 1334 (Avignon).

 

Montaillou is a little village in the Pyrenees close to the frontier

between France and Spain. In the diocese of Pamiers, the old medieval

Comtť de Foix, once an independent principality, annexed by France in

the 13th-14th centuries.

 

Montaillou was the last holdout of the Cathar heresy known as

Albigensianism, which appeared in the 12-13th centuries in Languedoc,

in northern Italy, and, in slightly different forms in the Balkans.

Catharism saw God and Satan as opposing deities.  They believed in

metempsychosis, circulation of souls between birds, mammals and men.  

The ťlite (perfecti, parfaits, bonshommes or hťrťtiques), initiated by

the Albigensian sacrament (consolamentum, consolation or heretication)

of baptism by book and words (not water), remained pure, abstaining

from meat and women.  Ordinary believers (credents) could lead a normal

life until they received the consolamentum near death. After this they

must (in the late Catharism of the 1300s) fast totally of meat and

women (endura) until they died, of the original cause or the endura.  

 

The village of Montaillou was built in tiers overlooking a plateau of

meadow and forest, ch‚teau at the top of the hill and a Romanesque

parish church below the village.  In 1320 there were 200-250

inhabitants.  The surroundings were a checkerboard of small, roughly

rectangular terraced plots of land, 20-30 acres, arable or pasture.  It

was too high and cold for vines,  so they produced oats and wheat (not

barley or rye), turnips, hemp, flax, and perhaps forage for fodder,

harvested green.  Oxen, cows, mules or donkeys pulled the

swing-ploughs, other livestock included pigs, chicken and geese, and

many sheep, including large flocks led by migrant shepherds to and from

winter pastures of Lauragais and Catalonia.  

 

Men ploughed, harvested cereals and turnips, hunted the forests for

pheasant and squirrels, and fished the rivers for trout. Children

looked after the local flocks.  Women were in charge of water, fire,

gardening, cooking, and gathering kindling.  They cut the cabbages,

weeded the wheat, tied the sheaves, mended the winnowing fan, washed

the pots at the well and harvested with the migrant workers.  The

forests hid parfaits and provided kindling, shingles and forage.  The

mountains to the south were the high pastures, a world of money, men

and traveling parfaits.  The village economy had little money, it lived

on barter and borrowing.  Crafts were underdeveloped, there was a

shoemaker and only one weaver, plus home spinning for local use.

Tailoring was done by  Cathar parfaits passing through. There was one

(female) wine-seller, wine and salt came by mule from the lowlands of

Tarascon and Pamiers, olive oil from Roussillon, tools from the

Vicdessos valley. The nearest fairs, markets (and prostitutes) were at

Ax-les-Thermes, Tarascon-sur-AriŤge, Pamiers and Laroque d'Olmes.

There was no village blacksmith or mill. Wheat was taken to

Ax-les-Therms to be made into flour at the Comtť de Foix's mill.  Also

eggs and poultry to sell, and yarn to be woven. In bad years grain was

imported from Pamiers, traded for firewood.  But food shortages were

rare until the 14th century, when droughts, plague and English wars cut

the population by more than half. Montaillou had about 100 souls in 23

hearths at the end of the 14th century.

 

Bread was the staple vegetable food, wheat or sometimes millet.  Flour

was made in Ax-les-Thermes but sifted at home and baked in home

hearths, not communal or manorial ovens.  Only wealthy homes had ovens,

poorer women took their kneaded dough to a more fortunate friend and

neighbor.  When the fire was not alight, the oven was used to store

fish and snails.  Fish was mountain trout or salt sea fish, brought up

by mule.  Meat was mutton, or more often salt and especially smoked

pork.  Pigs were killed in the winter, neighbors helped smoke the

bacon, ample hearths taking in salted pork quarters for poorer

families.  Records don't say how often meat was eaten. Artisans of

southern Occitania living in exile in small towns in Catalonia bought

meat twice a week, in Montaillou it seems to have been eaten more

frequently.  Other proteins came from milk, and mostly from cheese made

by shepherds in the mountain pastures.  Soup included bacon and bread,

the potherbs were cabbage and leeks.  The altitude and isolation of

Montaillou kept them from the artichokes, melons and peaches grown in

lower climes by the 14th century.  Broad beans and field turnips were

grown for the pot; nuts, mushrooms and snails were gathered.  Wine was

imported and scarce, drunk on great occasions, around the fire at

night.  Sugar was extremely rare,    Pierre Clergue gave his long-time

mistress a last present of an engraved glass and some sugar (zacara)

from the land of the Saracens.

 

The Cathar ethic allowed fish, but forbade bacon and butcher's meat

because of metempsychosis.  Christian fasting was widely observed, Lent

was generally followed, enabling the parfaits to move about more freely

and openly consume their favorite food, which was mostly fish.  One

account mentions bread and cabbage flavored with oil for the parfait

because there was no fish.  The ordinary believers ate flesh of 2 or

4-legged beasts, sheep or grouse.  

 

The kitchen (foganha) was the center of the home (domus), its rafters

covered with hams hung out of reach of the cat.  There meals were

eaten, neighbors visited, and discussed their world.  They gathered

around the central fire, covered at night for safety, watched over by

the housewife (focaria) or 'woman at the hearth'.  It was the man's job

to break kindling (frangere teza).  The hearth was surrounded by

cooking utensils - earthenware pots, pans, caudrons, jugs and basins,

the latter sometimes decorated.  There were never enough utensils,

particularly of metal, so neighbors shared.  Near the hearth were a

table and benches, men and guests ate at table, women and children

sitting around the fire.  

 

Sometimes people slept in the kitchen, but more often in several

bedrooms surrounding the kitchen, with beds and benches.   Or they

slept on the first floor (solier), above the kitchen, reached by a

ladder.   There were also cellars (sotulum) beside the kitchen.  Large

houses might have an antechamber on the first floor as well.  A solier

was a sign of wealth - there were only 3 in Montaillou. The foganha

was built of stone, the solier or ground floor of wood and daub. In

smaller homes, people, pigs and sheep lived in the same building.

There would also be a yard, typically with chickens and a dung-heap.

Beyond the yard was the threshing-floor.  Large farms had a garden,

stable for oxen (boal), dovecote, pigsty, and barns (bordes) for straw,

possibly a sheep-pen (cortal).  Roofs / balconies were nearly flat, and

could be used for keeping sheaves of wheat - the Catalan Pyrenees did

not use sloping roofs until the 16th century.  

 

The ruling ostal of Montaillou was the Clergue family. They were the

largest, with 32 members, the wealthiest, and the most influential.

Their house had a cellar, anteroom, first floor, portico, and

individual bedrooms.  They had plenty of land, and herds of pigs and

sheep. Bernard Clergue was bayle, and had connections in the court of

the Comte de Foix.  His brother Pierre Clergue was the priest and

Cathar leader who first protected his flock, then turned them in to the

inquisition.  Together they were the political and spiritual power in

the village.  

 

Pierre Clergue told his mistress he had a special herbal contraceptive.

Beatrice asked "What sort of herb?  Is it the one the cowherds hand

over a cauldron of milk in which they have put some rennet, to stop the

milk from curdling so long as the herb is over the cauldron?"  The

reference to rennet is relevant - since the days of Dioscorides and

Magnino of Milan, his 13th-century successor, the rennet of a hare was

thought to be a contraceptive.  Beatrice did not see it as a

contraceptive, but as something which made cow's milk or a man's semen

curdle, thus producing either cheese or a foetus.  Pierre Clergue's

magic herb prevented this solidification, and thus acted as a

contraceptive.  

 

 

There was no mention of what the herb was (guess the inquisitors didn't

ask Pierre) - any ideas?  One last non-food bit just for fun:

 

"There was one mythical creature who was popular in upper AriŤge and in

the Pyrenees in general.  Its story was told by a man from the diocese

of Palhars to a man from SabarthŤs, who passed it on in his turn:

 

'There is a bird called the pelican: its feathers shine like the sun.

And its vocation is to follow the sun.  The pelican had some young.  If

left them in the nest, so as to be able to follow the sun more freely.

During its absence, a wild beast got into the nest and tore off the

nestlings' claws, wings and beaks.  After this had happened several

times, the pelican decided to hide its radiance and to hide among its

young so as to surprise and kill the beast when next it came into its

nest.  And this the pelican did.  And the little pelican were

delivered.  In the same way Christ hid his radiance when he was

incarnated with the Virgin Mary.'"

 

Better than the piercing the heart to feed the young story...

 

Tara

 

<the end>



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