Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Corruption of Angels: The Great Inquisition of 1245-1246

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Corruption of Angels: The Great Inquisition of 1245-1246

Article excerpt

Mark Gregory Pegg, The Corruption of Angels: The Great Inquisition of 1245-1246 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001). X + 258 pp. ISBN 0-691-00656-3. L22.95. Over 201 days between 1 May 1245 and 1 August 1246, 5,471 men and women from the area of the Lauragais in south-west France were questioned in Toulouse by two Dominican inquisitors, Bernart de Caux and Jean de Saint-Pierre, in a search for Cathars. Their testimony (or rather, one fifth of it) is preserved in a single paper manuscript (a thirteenth-century copy of the original) now in Toulouse. By an accident of survival, it is the most substantial record of the early years of the thirteenth-century inquisition. Mark Gregory Pegg's treatment of these records is determinedly non-theological. His point - well taken - is that most discussions of Catharism display an 'intellectualist bias' which focuses on the thought behind Catharism at the expense of its social and practical context and roots. …

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