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The Cathars and the Albigensian Crusade brings together a rich and diverse range of medieval sources to examine key aspects of the growth of heresy and dissent in southern France in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and the Church's response to that threat through the subsequent authorisation of the Albigensian crusade. Aimed at students and scholars alike, the documents it discusses - papal letters, troubadour songs, contemporary chronicles in Latin and the vernacular, and inquisitorial documents - reflect a deeper perception of medieval heresy and the social, political and religious implications of crusading than has hitherto been possible. The reader is introduced to themes which are crucial to our understanding of the medieval world: ideologies of crusading and holy war, the complex nature of Catharism, the Church's implementation of diverse strategies to counter heresy, the growth of papal inquisition, southern French counter-strategies of resistance and rebellion, and the uses of Latin and the vernacular to express regional and cultural identity. This timely and highly original collection not only brings together previously unexplored and in some cases unedited material, but provides a nuanced and multi-layered view of the religious, social and political dimensions of one of the most infamous conflicts of the High Middle Ages. This book is a valuable resource for all students, teachers and researchers of medieval history and the crusades.