In the twelfth century, Languedoc in southern France was a hotbed of heresy.  The Cathar faith (a version of Christianity based around the gospel of St John) had not only taken root in the region, but was flourishing.  In 1208, Pope Innocent III launched a crusade against the heretics, starting a series of wars which would continue for the next two decades.  The Catholic Church would ultimately fail to wipe out the heresy by its crusade (which is also known as the Albigensian Crusade).  Following the crusade, the Church came up with a new approach - to eliminate the Cathars by means of inquisition.  

Episodes 109-167 are a chronological examination of the crusade against the Cathars, while episodes 168-188 follow the inquisition against the Cathars.

So, join me for a romp through medieval France, with the occasional excursion over the Pyrenees into the Kingdom of Aragon for the battles, sieges and personality clashes which define this fascinating era.

Here is a map of southern France at the time of the crusades against the Cathars together with the main Roman roads in the region. This map was created for the podcast by The Map Guy.

Albigensian Crusade Final

  1. Episode 108 Special Announcement!

    Read transcript

    Episode on King Peter of Cyprus & the Last Crusade available to purchase

  2. Episode 129 The Crusade against the Cathars

    Read transcript

    The surrender of Cabaret and the siege of Lavaur

  3. Episode 136 The Crusade against the Cathars

    Read transcript

    The siege of Hautpol and the siege of St-Antonin

  4. Episode 139 The Crusade against the Cathars

    King Peter II of Aragon Part 1
  5. Episode 140 The Crusade against the Cathars

    King Peter II of Aragon Part 2
  6. Episode 142 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The decision of Pope Innocent III
  7. Episode 143 The Crusade against the Cathars

    We need to talk about King John
  8. Episode 145 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The Battle of Muret - Part I
  9. Episode 146 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The Battle of Muret - Part II
  10. Episode 154 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The Council of Montpellier 1215
  11. Episode 161 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The siege of Toulouse 1217
  12. Episode 162 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The siege of Toulouse 1218
  13. Episode 166 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The crusade of King Louis VIII
  14. Episode 168 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The beginning of the Inquisition
  15. Episode 169 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The Inquisition : the early years
  16. Episode 170 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The Inquisition : resistance rises
  17. Episode 173 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The end of the 13th century
  18. Episode 184 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The dark years : 1309 & 1310

  19. Episode 185 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The trial of Bernard Delicieux