Albigensian Crusade

(2351 words)
  • Judith M. Davis (Goshen College )

Historical Context Essay

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’ (

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

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