Post-classical history


Outstanding among introductions to medieval Europe are R. H. C. Davis, Medieval Europe from Constantine to St Louis (3rd edn, London, 2006), Friedrich Heer, The Medieval World (London, 1963), Barbara Rosenwein, A Short History of the Middle Ages (3rd edn, Toronto, 2009) and William C. Jordan, Europe in the High Middle Ages (London, 2001). My own view of the transformation of Europe between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries which framed the changes discussed in this book is set out in R. I. Moore,The First European Revolution (Oxford, 2001). Part IV of Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity (London, 2010) is a riveting survey of medieval Christianity, and Colin Morris, The Papal Monarchy 1050–1250 (Oxford, 1989) a masterly account of change in the church.

The standard English-language accounts of heresy in our period are Malcolm Lambert, Medieval Heresy (Oxford 1977; 3rd edn, 2002), Heinrich Fichtenau, Heretics and Scholars in the High Middle Ages (University Park, PA, 1998; originally in German, 1992), and my own The Origins of European Dissent (London, 1977; 2nd edn, Oxford, 1985). All three, however, as explained in the Afterword, are radically flawed by their failure to take sufficient account of the order and circumstances in which the sources they used were produced. Among the scholars who have made this apparent I have particularly drawn on the work of Jean Louis-Biget and Monique Zerner on early claims of heresy in the region and the genesis and preparation of the Albigensian Crusade (in Chapters 7, 11, 13 and 15–18), Dominique Iogna Prat on Peter the Venerable’s demonisation of heresy (Chapter 9), Uwe Brunn on heresy and heresy accusations in the archdiocese of Cologne (Chapters 6, 8, 10), Alessia Trivellone on the representation of heretics in manuscripts (Chapter 17) and a number of others for more specific points.

Other aspects of the story can be explored further in the works mentioned below. The motto at the head of the Prologue is from the opening of J. M. Roberts, The Mythology of the Secret Societies (London, 1974), an exemplary study of the growth and influence of irrational belief in a widespread and sinister conspiracy. Another is Norman Cohn’s study of the origins of the European witch craze of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Europe’s Inner Demons (London, 1975), which includes an important discussion of the demonisation of heretics in the thirteenth century and shows how the traditional acceptance of continuity between heresy and witch beliefs was largely based on forged documents. My discussion of the burning at Reims follows Edward L. Peters, The Magician, the Witch and the Law (Philadelphia, PA, 1978), a pioneer of sophisticated (but very readable) source criticism. For a superb study of the European witch craze see Robin Briggs, Witches and Neighbours (London, 1996), and for the emergence of systematic persecution as a peculiarly European phenomenon R. I. Moore, The Formation of a Persecuting Society (2nd edn, Oxford, 2007).

For the politics of marriage, including the marriages of King Robert II, (Chapters 1, 2) see Georges Duby, The Knight, the Lady and the Priest (London, 1983), and for masters, teaching and learning C. Stephen Jaeger, The Envy of Angels (Philadelphia, PA, 1994). The Letters and Poems of Fulbert of Chartres are translated by Fredrick Behrends (Oxford, 1976). For the apostolic tradition and the movements inspired by it and the religious repercussions of social change (Chapters 3–8) see Herbert Grundmann’s immensely influential Religious Movements of the High Middle Ages (Notre Dame, 1995; from the 2nd German edn of 1961), Henrietta Leyser, Hermits and the New Monasticism (London, 1984), Lester K. Little, Religious Poverty and the Profit Economy in Medieval Europe (London, 1978), and M. D. Chenu, Nature, Man and Society in the Twelfth Century (Chicago, IL, 1968). On the emergence of the masters as a cultural elite (Chapter 9) see R. W. Southern, Scholastic Humanism and the Unification of Europe, vol. I,Foundations (Oxford, 1995), and of the clerks as a dominant caste, Alexander Murray, Reason and Society in Medieval Europe (Oxford, 1978), Dominique Iogna Prat, Order and Exclusion: Cluny and Christendom Face Heresy, Judaism and Islam (1000–1150)(Ithaca, NY, 1998), and Gary Macy, The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination (Oxford, 2008). For the background to the events of Chapters 11 and 13, see John Gillingham, The Angevin Empire (2nd edn, London, 2001), and Frederic L. Cheyette,Ermengard of Narbonne and the World of the Troubadours (Ithaca, NY, 2001); on the progressive isolation and demonisation of the region Jean-Louis Biget, Hérésie et inquisition dans le midi de la France (Paris, 2007) and for Cistercian invective Beverley Mayne Kienzle,Cistercians, Heresy and Crusade in Occitania, 1145–1229 (York, 2001). On changing relations between church and society in twelfth-century Italy (Chapters 12, 14) see Maureen C. Miller, The Bishop’s Palace: Architecture and Authority in Medieval Italy (Ithaca, NY, 2000), on Italian heresy Carol Lansing, Power and Purity: The Cathar Heresy in Medieval Italy (New York, 1998), and on Innocent III, John C. Moore, Innocent III: To Root up and to Plant (Notre Dame, IN, 2009).

Mark Pegg’s fine A Most Holy War (New York, 2008) is now the best of many introductions to the Albigensian Crusade (Chapters 14, 15) and the only one to take full account of recent scholarship on heresy, although Jonathan Sumption, The Albigensian Crusade (London, 1978) and Walter L. Wakefield, Heresy, Crusade and Inquisition in Southern France, 1100–1250 (London, 1974) remain useful. For the background and influence of Vox in Rama (Chapter 17) see Peters, The Magician, the Witch and the Law, and Norman Cohn, Europe’s Inner Demons; on images of heretics, see Alessia Trivellone, L’hérétique imaginé (Turnholt, 2009) and Sarah Lipton, Images of Intolerance (Berkeley, CA, 1999); on Conrad of Marburg and Robert le Bougre, see Karen Sullivan, The Inner Lives of the Medieval Inquisitors (Chicago, IL, 2011); on the Great Alleluia, Augustine Thompson, Revival Preachers and Politics in Thirteenth-Century Italy (Oxford, 1992).

Edward Peters, Inquisition (New York, 1988), is the best introduction to an enormous literature, and James Given, Inquisition and Medieval Society (Ithaca, NY, 2007) to its daily working (Chapter 18); valuable recent additions that prefer new insights to routine denunciation are Christine Caldwell Ames, Righteous Persecution (Philadelphia, PA, 2009) and Karen Sullivan, Inner Lives. The literature on the findings of the inquisitors in southern France (especially) and Italy is even larger and more diverse. Malcolm Lambert,The Cathars (Oxford, 1998), and Malcolm Barber The Cathars: Dualist Heretics in Languedoc (London, 2000) are admirable statements of the traditional view, and Caterina Bruschi, The Wandering Heretics of the Languedoc (Cambridge, 2009) is rich in insight. All of them, however, are superseded in varying degrees by Mark Pegg’s brilliant The Corruption of Angels: The Great Inquisition of 1245–46 (Princeton, NJ, 2001), which offers a devastating critique of the methods of his predecessors and an entirely fresh understanding of the religion of the good men.

Montaillou (Epilogue) is the subject of two fascinating and contrasting reconstructions: Emmanuel Leroy Ladurie, Montaillou: Cathars and Catholics in a French Village (London, 1978), and René Weis, The Yellow Cross (London, 2000). Stephen O’Shea, The Friar of Carcassonne (London, 2011) is a lively and revealing account of resistance to the excesses of the inquisitors. Karen Sullivan, Truth and the Heretic (Chicago, IL, 2005), shows how the heretic became the model of the secret traitor. Malcolm Barber’s fine study of The Trial of the Templars (Cambridge, 1978) laid many myths to rest. The same cannot be said for Umberto Eco’s novel The Name of the Rose (London, 1983), based on the pursuit of the Spiritual Franciscans, but it is a uniquely compelling evocation of the world whose genesis this book has tried to explain.

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