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!

    Episode on King Peter of Cyprus & the Last Crusade available to purchase
  2. Episode 111 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The origins of the Cathars
  3. Episode 113 The Crusade against the Cathars

    Count Raymond VI of Toulouse
  4. Episode 116 The Crusade against the Cathars

    "Forward then soldiers of Christ!"
  5. Episode 122 The Crusade against the Cathars

    Viscount Simon de Montfort
  6. Episode 128 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The flight of St Martin's bird
  7. Episode 129 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The surrender of Cabaret and the siege of Lavaur
  8. Episode 133 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The battle of Saint-Martin-la-Lande
  9. Episode 134 The Crusade against the Cathars

    To the end of the year 1211
  10. Episode 135 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The winter campaign of 1212
  11. Episode 136 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The siege of Hautpol and the siege of St-Antonin
  12. Episode 137 The Crusade against the Cathars

    The invasion of the Agenais
  13. Episode 139 The Crusade against the Cathars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The end of the 13th century