The Trencavel Viscounts of Carcassonne, Beziers, AN and Razes and the Albigensian Crusade
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This thesis examines the dispossession of the Trencavel Viscounts of Carcassonne, Beziers, Albi and Razes by the Albigensian crusaders in 1209. It considers the factors influencing the crusaders' decision to attack Beziers and Carcassonne and the response from the Trencavel lands, setting the end of Trencavel power in the context of their eleventh- and twelfth-century history. The introduction considers the use of the name 'Trencavel' and construction of the family identity. It then sets out the major political developments of twelfth -century Languedoc, and surveys the main events of the Albigensian crusade from the 1209 campaign against Beziers and Carcassonne to Raymond Trencavel II's surrender to Louis IX in 1247. The first chapter considers the primary and secondary sources for the study of the Trencavel and the apparent division in previous historiography between studies of the Albigensian crusade and of the twelfth-century nobility of Languedoc. The next four chapters then examine the development of Trencavel power during the twelfth century and their position on the eve of the crusade. They compare their nominal with their actual authority, arguing that they were ill-placed to command for themselves sigmficant local support against the crusade, and consider the lack of response to Trencavel dispossession in this light. The following two chapters then consider the factors influencing the choice of the Trencavel lands as the first target of the crusade. They argue that the Trencavel were neither heretical themselves nor especially tolerant of heresy, and that it was the family's poor relations with the Cistercian Order which set them apart from their neighbours for the crusaders. They conclude with a consideration of Pope Innocent III's woMes about the effect of the crusade on the reputation of the church, and exarmine the ameliorating effect of the case of Trencavel dispossession on papal concerns for the crusade.
AuthorsGraham-Leigh, Elaine Amanda
- Theses