Albigensian Crusade (2351 words)

Historical Context Essay

  • Judith M. Davis (Goshen College )


The Albigensian Crusade was actually a series of crusades called by the Church in Rome to combat a troublesome ecclesiastical rival in the south of France. Undertaken as a religious enterprise, the crusades became a tangle of secular and clerical alliances that shifted over time and territory until the French king and his allies finally prevailed over the barons of the Midi.

At the beginning of the twelfth century the king of France controlled only a small territory: Paris, the Île-de-France, part of Burgundy, and fragmented areas of northern and central France. The rest of the country was an assemblage of large counties, each with its own ruling noble. Known as Languedoc from the pronunciation of the word for ‘yes’ (

M. Davis, Judith. "Albigensian Crusade". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 August 2008
[, accessed 26 October 2016.]