Carcassonne

An ancient place and scene of a medieval genocide.
           

An ancient place and scene of a medieval genocide. This fortified city was established in first century BCE by Romans on the site inhabited by Celts since at least 3,500 BCE. It was settled by Visigoths in the sixth century CE, then the Emirate of Córdoba, later ruled by Charlemagne's Franks, then the Trencavel dynasty of Languedoc. Its medieval fortifications were built in the eleventh century and upgraded over the centuries. Historically, and more significantly, the city was the scene of a Vatican genocide during the Albigensian Crusade. In the thirteenth century, the entire Cathar population of Languedoc, France were exterminated on the orders of Pope Innocent III. The genocide lasted twenty years from 1209 to 1229. Estimates of butchered men, women, and children runs at approximately 1 million people - 100% of the region's population - eventually including the city of Carcassonne. All Cathar properties were confiscated and granted to the pope's Catholic crusaders, along with absolute absolution of all sins - including their willful mass murder.

Book Excerpt(s)
Historical Information and Excerpt
from
Chrysalis II: Carpathian Liberty, Chapter II - Adeptum Libertas Perditionis: Albigensian Genocide

As the Northern Crusades raged, another campaign began in 1201. "Friends" of Byzantine Prince Alexios IV Angelos "broke him out" of his dungeon hellhole in Constantinople. They "smuggled him" to Germany. Here, he was re-civilised after living in a dark, damp, cold pit like an animal for the past six years. Alexios found himself living in the splendour of German King Otto IV Welf's court as an honoured guest. By August of the following year, German military preparations for a crusader force and a Holy Roman invasion of the Byzantine Empire was ready. To the surprise of Alexios, Otto proclaimed the eternally grateful Byzantine Emperor Alexios IV Angelos on August 1, 1202, in Germany. Shortly after that Pope Innocent III unleashed the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204). It should be called the "Byzantine Crusade (1202-1204)" because this is what it was. Precisely. But that would be breaking Christian historical protocols. Byzantium represented long-standing heresy concerning the Christological Trinity Principle and Christian universality. This Third Crusade had no plans whatsoever for the Holy Land. The crusade's destination, regardless of what 99% of history books have to say, that history commissioned by the 1% of 1% of Europe's ruling classes through the centuries. The objective of this holy imperial was the Byzantine Empire. Pope Innocent III's Crusaders, unleashed Hell.

Quote from Chrysalis II: Carpathian Liberty (1)

Book: Chrysalis II: Carpathian Liberty
Book: Chrysalis II: Carpathian Liberty.
© 2019 Jozef Borovský, All rights reserved.

German King Otto IV Welf's plans to capitalise on the success of the Byzantine Crusade, that is, to have Emperor Alexios IV Angelos rule Byzantium as a German vassal fell apart. It turned out Pope Innocent III has his plans too. Emperor Isaac II Angelos was assassinated on January 25, 1204. Emperor Alexios IV Angelos was assassinated on February 5, 1204. The perpetrator of these assassinations turned out to be Emperor Alexios V Doukas who reigned from February 5 to April 12, 1204, when crusaders deposed him, and ultimately murdering him around Christmas of 1204.

Back in Imperial Ungaria, somehow, Andrew II Arpad's "friends" managed to get to his brother. In August 1204, King Emeric II Arpad was poisoned, or as history books put it, he became "deathly ill." The two brothers reconciled again, however, as insurance against any further of his brother's treason, Emeric crowned his three-year-old son as Imperial Ungarian King Ladislav III Arpad on August 26, 1204. Emeric proclaimed Andrew as the boy king's regent. Emeric died on November 30, 1204. By all accounts, Andrew II Arpad behaved as though he was king and took no interest in the boy's education which was his duty at all from the very beginning. He seized Ladislaus' financial inheritance. Fearing for her and her son's life, Emeric's widow, Dowager Queen Constance Aragon, escaped to Wien (Vienna), Austria and the safety of Duke Leopold VI Babenberg, unwittingly, like a fly, straight into the spider's web, the most dangerous place to be.

Meanwhile, back in Byzantium hostilities of the Byzantine Crusade ended by the carving up of Byzantium into Pope Innocent III's Latin domains of: the Roman Empire (sometimes referred to as the Latin Empire of Constantinople, imperium Romaniae, 1204-1261);(2) Kingdom of Thessalonica (regnum Thessalonica, 1205-1224); Principality of Achaea (principium Achaea, 1205-1432); Lordship of Argos and Nauplia (dominium Argues et Nauplia, 1212-1388); Duchy of Athens (ducatus de Atenes, 1205-1458); Margraviate of Bodonitsa (marcha Bodonitsa, 1204-1414); Duchy of Naxos (ducatus de Arcipelago, 1207-1579); and Duchy of Philippopolis (ducatus Philippopolis, 1204-1230). Deposed patriarch, John X Kamateros, managed to flee to Didymóteicho, Greece where he died two years later. Emperor Theodoros I Komnenos Laskaris salvaged what was left of Byzantium to establish its successor state - Empire of Nicaea (1204-1261). His domain lay along the eastern and northeastern coasts of Anatolia, sharing the border with the Pope Innocent III's "Latin Empire" - crusader Roman Empire (Latin Empire of Constantinople) - which controlled the Dardanelles - both east and west sides.

Back in Imperial Ungaria, Andrew had his late brother's five-year-old son, King Ladislav III Arpad assassinated on May 7, 1205, in Wien (Vienna). Dowager Queen Constance fled into exile in Spain to be with her mother, Dowager Queen Sancha Castille of Aragon, in the Abbey of Nuestra Senora, at Villanueva de Sigena (Villanova Sigenensis) which Sancha had founded after her husband's death, and lived there in retirement. The boy King Ladislav III Arpad was technically king for six months and five days. King Andrew II Arpad, as first in the line of succession again, was crowned on May 29, 1205. In the Holy Land, Queen Isabella I Anjou died on April 5, 1205, and was succeeded by her daughter Queen Maria Aleramici of Jerusalem.

Pope Innocent III was now the One ruler of a universal Christian Church as the pontiff of the Holy See and its vast Holy Roman Empire - 839 years after the first Pope Damasus I came to the office! Pope Innocent III ended the Byzantine Empire and defeated the Eastern Orthodox Church! Who said papal suzerainty under a Holy Roman Emperor had no merit? This spiritual defeat came with the instalment of a new Latin Patriarch Thomas Morosini of Constantinople. And "no." He was not an "ecumenical" or "universal" patriarch of Christianity, just the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church which came under the suzerainty of the pope in Rome. Rome's eastern Nemesis which used to be the Eastern Roman Empire, the Ostrogoth-Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, and now - nothing, just subservient Crusader states. Pope Innocent III had achieved what no pope had ever achieved before -rule over all of Europe. He realised it with efficient brutality and without mercy. Conquered territories of Livonia became an ecclesiastical state called Terra Mariana on February 2, 1207.

Albigensian Genocide

The nature of the Roman Catholic Church changed drastically. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and it showed. Inspired by meteoric victory Pope Innocent III took his divine infallibility to the next level. He resolved to rid itself of all European heretics starting in the French Languedoc province in the southeast of the kingdom which became the new objective of several genocidal crusades on European soil. Cathars in Languedoc were Christian Gnostics practising in Lombardy, Italy and Languedoc in southern France. Cathars were also known as Albigensians after their capital city of Albi. Cathars threatened the spiritual supremacy of Roman Catholic dogma, not to mention the feudal social system of the divine imperium and pontificum in general. The Roman Catholic Church condemned Cathars as heretics in 1184. Despite this, they flourished. Thus, the land required the cleansing of this scourge. Satan was obviously at work here. It was more than enough reason to exterminate men, women, and children.

Cathars were Christian dualists or Gnostics practising in Lombardy, Italy and Languedoc, Southern France also known as Albigensians after their capital city of Albi which was the epicentre from where the church spread. Central to Cathar belief were two natures of the Almighty: The Old Testament Almighty being the one who created the physical world was bad and synonymous with Satan; the Almighty of the New Testament being the creator of the spiritual world was the good Almighty. All physical matter was a creation of Satan. All human beings, therefore, came into this world with original sin. The human soul had no gender. The soul, created by the good Almighty was an angel trapped within the mortal body created by the evil Almighty, relegated to reincarnation until consolamentum, that is, baptism in the Holy Spirit, at which time the baptised would receive all spiritual gifts, including spiritual regeneration, absolution from sin, among other gifts. Reincarnation would continue until one genuinely denied materialism. Baptism occurred twice in a lifetime - at birth and death. Baptised Cathars became good persons (perfecti, bonhommes [fr.]) which also granted priesthood if one so chose. Cathar priests were both men and women.

Furthermore, Cathars did not recognise the trinitarian nature of the Almighty. Cathars also had a minimalist ecclesiastic hierarchy. A bishop with two assistants, assisted by deacons supervised a regional bishopric. There were several bishoprics. Gender had no basis for status in Cathar society, Cathars contradicted Catholic belief of a trinitarian Almighty who created all things seen and unseen. Cathars also undermined gender rules and the ecclesiastic hierarchy of the Catholic Church. In short, Cathars threatened spiritual supremacy of Roman Catholic dogma, not to mention the feudal social system in general.

Quote from Chrysalis II: Carpathian Liberty (3)

Since 1199, another of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux's minions, the French Cistercian Archdeacon of Maguelone Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Maguelone [fr.]), Blessed Pierre de Castelnau in Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone (Magalona) in Languedoc (today Provence) province had been Pope Innocent III's Apostolic legate and Episcopal Inquisitor to suppress Cathar heresy in France. Hundreds of Cathars were tortured and burnt alive by his Inquisition, which had failed to yield desired baptismal results in nine years. The ruler of this region, Count-Marquis Raymond VI Rouergue of Toulouse (Tolosa) and Provence was powerless to stop the psychopathic carnage. His wife, Beatrice of Béziers was the aunt of her husband's vassal, Raymond-Roger Trencavel, viscount of Béziers, Albi, Carcassonne and the Razès. His mother was Azalais of Toulouse, sister of Raymond VI. All were Catholics. Their subjects were predominantly Cathar communities living in this family's domains - in harmony and prosperity - along with several other Christian and non-Christian communities. By 1208 Raymond VI felt he could no longer stand aside while the Vatican's persecution terrorised his domains. He countermanded the inquisitor and put an end to the butchery. De Castelnau excommunicated him for aiding and abetting Satan's Cathars. The Episcopal inquisitor was assassinated on January 14, 1208, and canonised a saint the same year by Pope Innocent III. It became apparent to the Holy See that cleansing Satan from Albigensian Languedoc required the support of the full might of the Holy Roman Empire. German Otto IV Welf could see an excellent opportunity when it presented itself. Eager to please and to become emperor, Otto IV Welf won the imperial election in Frankfurt on November 11, 1208. He became Emperor-elect Otto IV Welf, not yet crowned by the pope, but he was crowned King of Burgundy and Italy on October 21, 1209, in Rome and consequently, if he proved worthy and pleased the Lord, that is, Pope Innocent III, he might be given the honour to rule the greatest Holy Roman Empire that ever existed. His coronation as Italian King was not popular among Romans, not because they hated Otto; they despised the direction the papacy was heading in given all the news of genocides coming from northern Europe.

Saint Pierre's replacement inquisitor arrived in France in June. The heretic Count Raymond VI Rouergue found himself arrested on June 18 and in front of the Episcopal Inquisition of the new Apostolic legate and Episcopal Inquisitor, Arnaud Amalric. Heretic Raymond made his submission in Saint-Gilles. He was publicly scourged, humiliated and then released.(4) The pope could not risk an already strained relationship with French King Philip II Augustus Capet.

The Holy See's patience with the Cathars ran out, and the inevitable phase to the problem implemented - systematic genocide. Pope Innocent III proclaimed his Albigensian Crusade (Peregrinus Albigensis, 1209-1229) in July 1209. A twenty-year Holy Crusade against Cathars began, Its mission was not to convert any Cathar to Catholicism but to eradicate Catharism completely by exterminating Albigensians named after their capital of Albi (Albigensium) in Languedoc region in south-eastern France. As Crusader armies departed Lyon, desperate, and knowing full well what was about to transpire, both Raymond IV and Raymond-Roger tried to head off disaster by feigning allegiance to the inquisitor, promising assistance to the Crusade. It won Raymond IV the annulment of his excommunication, but more importantly, the ability to mobilise his forces in plain view of the inquisitor's spies! It only delayed the inevitable.

If there was any doubt in anyone's mind as to what the mission of these crusades was, the Massacre at Béziers (Baeterrae), France in 1209 of Cathar Christians dispelled all doubts. The defenders of the fortified city of Béziers were no match against an overwhelming force of perhaps as many as 10,000 Crusaders. It was captured in the early stages of the crusade on the day of Saint Mary Magdalene, on July 22, 1209. The Papal Legate and Episcopal Inquisitor who led this crusade, Arnaud Amalric, ordered everyone in the city killed and the city torched. When one crusader asked the Apostolic commander-in-charge, Arnaud, how to distinguish between Catholics, Cathars, and others, according to one writer, he responded with:

Kill them all. The Lord will recognise His own. (Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.)

Quote from Chrysalis II: Carpathian Liberty (5)

There's historic conjecture as to whether or not Arnaud spoke these words, but given that both he and Caesarius Heisterbach who documented this crusade were from Bernard of Clairvaux's Cistercian order, these words came from the actual documents at the monastery where he worked. Caesarius, a monk, was repeating them years later. Defenders of Arnaud would have a case if not for Arnaud's damning letters to the pope. This genocide was conducted in the open for the world to observe. Albi (Albigensium), Castres, Caussade, Fanjeaux, Gontaud-de-Nogaret, Mirepoix, Puylaroque, Saverdun, and Tonneins fell that same month. As shocking as this event is, Amalric wrote a letter on behalf of himself and his assistant, Milo, to Pope Innocent on August of 1209 after the Béziers massacre to keep his pontiff appraised of progress. He titled his letter with De victoria habita contra hereticos (Victory achieved against heretics)(6) and went on to write (translated excerpt):

Holy Pope. To the most Holy Father, the grace of God, and the Lord Pope Innocent the highest priest, the brother of Arnaldus called the Cistercian abbot, his humble servant, and Milo, who, voluntary in compliant service, whose due it is a sacrifice in the service of God. ... while discussions were still going on with the barons about the release of those in the city who were deemed to be Catholics, the servants and other persons of low rank and unarmed attacked the city without waiting for orders from their leaders. To our amazement, crying "to arms, to arms!" within the space of two or three hours, they crossed the ditches, and the walls and Béziers were taken. Our men spared no one, irrespective of rank, sex or age, and put to the sword almost 20,000 people. After this great slaughter, the whole city was despoiled and burnt.

Quote from Chrysalis II: Carpathian Liberty (7)

Languedoc, France, 1209.
Languedoc (red), France, 1209.

The chilling report was only the beginning. It was a report on the first two months of the crusade. Imperial Ungar (Hungarian) policy changed. The kingdom's senior nobility began making preparations for independence from both Rome (Catholicism) and Regensburg (Holy Roman Empire). The Church and its secular imperial institution had become genocidal in dealing with heretics in Europe. Europe's monarchies protested bitterly to the pope. He simply ignored them. The genocide simply moved to other cities. The next city to fall was Carcassonne which was overflowing with refugees. Crusaders arrived on August 1. By August 15 it was all over with Raymond-Roger murdered in captivity. In September, a Synod at Avignon (Avenio) decreed twenty-one canons against Jews and heretics. In this way, Rome began ridding itself of its undesirables whom it saw as unworthy to share the world.(8)

Minerve was conquered on July 22, 1210. Here, one hundred and forty Cathars were burned alive. Termes fell on November 23, 1210. On December 20, 1210, Cathars were burned alive in Paris. Entire massacres of Cathar garrisons followed at Vindrac-Alayac, Bram and Pennautier.(9) Emperor-elect Otto VI Welf's army finally bludgeoned their way to Rome. Here, Otto pressed his demand to be crowned personally with Pope Innocent III. Instead, Otto was declared an excommunicate king on November 18, 1210. Around this same time, assassinated Ungar King Emeric II Arpad's widow and mother of an assassinated son, Dowager Queen Constance Aragon, was living in the cloistered and secluded safety of in the Abbey of Nuestra Senora, at Villanueva de Sigena (Villanova Sigenensis), Spain. Here, Constance learned that negotiations for her desired betrothal to King Frederick II Hohenstaufen of Sicily had begun. She was thirty-one, and Frederick was seventeen years of age. King Peter II Castille of Aragon, Constance's brother and Cardinal Chancellor Cencio Savelli, Frederick II's tutor, on behalf of Pope Innocent III, concluded the necessary marriage contract negotiations.

In Languedoc, France, the city of Lauvaur fell where four hundred Cathar prisoners were burned alive. Ninety-four Cathars were burned alive in Les Cassés on May 3, 1211. Later in May 1211, the genocide came to Toulouse with predictable results. Raymond IV defended his domains against the onslaught unsuccessfully. He was excommunicated for a second time. This time he fled to England where he was granted exile by his brother-in-law, King John I Plantagenet. In September, Castelnaudary; Vahuzac, Coustaussa, Gailac, La Garde, La Grave, La Guépie, Montaigu, Moncuq, Montferrand, Montgey, Puycelsi, and Rabastens fell - their citizens had also been slaughtered. By November 18, 1211, Otto IV had neither atoned to the pope nor declared his support for the crusade. And so, Otto, the would-be emperor came to understand Pope Innocent III's real earthly power. Innocent publicly declared Otto IV's regal titles annulled. Otto's power which he achieved by laborious allegiances between estates unwound. Without the pope's support and protection, and by medieval rules, Otto's domains exploded in rebellion as ambitious nobles exploited this opportunity for self-enrichment and political power.

Pope Innocent III's calculated Albigensian Crusade butchery had significant unintended consequences. It resulted in a flood of protest and condemnation from most, if not all European monarchies as far east as Kievan Rus. Here, Grand Prince Yuri II Vsevolodovich Rurikov of the Grand Duchy of Vladimir (Vladimiro-Suzdal'skoye knyazhestvo) was already facing a different genocidal crusade - a Mongol Invasion from the east. To Pope Innocent III's Vatican, the Kievan Rus were Slavic-Turkic "barbarians" and deserved it. Moreover, spiritually, Kievan Rus were Eastern Orthodox Christians - heretics by Vatican doctrine! But Ungaria had invasion troubles too. By 1211, Turkic-Oghuz Cuman tribes were invading Imperial Ungaria from the Crimean Kievan Rus region. Their plight was exacerbated by Andrew II's imperial ambition. Cumans had been pushed westwards by advancing Mongols in the previous century into Kievan Rus territories. Meanwhile, imperial Ungar King Andrew II Arpad who was loyal to Pope Innocent III was doing his part for Rome despite opposition from his royal council. He too, was invading the heretic Kievan Rus Principality of Halych from the west, in other words, conducting a crusade on behalf of the pope of his own. This brought Ungaria into direct conflict with the formidable Cumans, now besieged by two invasion armies. Andrew II, like his father Bela III was doing his duty for Rome and self-enrichment. His efforts came with a steep price. To this Ungar king, the single greatest external threat to Imperial Ungaria were Cuman tribes comprised of the western branch of the Cuman Qipchaq confederation, which, by the early thirteenth century already included the eastern part of Transylvania and most of Bulgarian Wallachia. Curiously, they were reported to be a people with blond hair, fair skin and blue eyes. They, like the Mongols, had a cultural tradition as herdsmen, but were also a militaristic culture which specialized in mounted warfare. Like Turkic-Oghuz Pechenegs that settled in Ungaria in the ninth century, they were tolerant of all religions. By their settlement in Crimea Black Sea region and their interaction with the Slav Kievan Rus, they had also adopted much of the Slav culture, including names. Spiritually, they were also enemies of the Roman Catholic imperium and pontificum - heretics and heathen. There was not a single Catholic among Cumans. Naturally, Andrew did his part on behalf of the Holy Roman imperium, to deal with them - unsuccessfully. To make matters more complicated, Cumans had no allegiances to any political entity. They hired themselves out as mercenaries to whomsoever paid them. In fact, they were famous for it.(10)

King Andrew II Arpad's army was unable to stem the influx of Cumans into Ungaria. So, to counter the threat, Andrew II granted the Burzenland County (Comitatus Barcia) region in south-eastern Transylvania to the Teutonic Knights in 1211, charging them with the security of the southern and eastern borders of Transylvania against Cuman invasion. Cuman interest was never geopolitical, but they excelled in the art of war, and they were desperate to find a new homeland. Teutonic Knights failed to defeat them during several campaigns. Instead, the Teutonic Order began to establish Burzenland into a domain independent of the Imperial Kingdom of Ungaria. Now, Andrew's Ungaria was not just in conflict with raiding Cumans, but at great expense, had to mount an offensive against the Teutonic Knights to drive them out of Burzenland. Andrew II was also obsessed with regaining control over the Slav Rus Principality of Halych on which he squandered a fortune. He won and lost it several times. Imperial Ungaria, unfortunately, was also Slavic-Turkic, despite being a Holy Roman Imperial Catholic Kingdom (at a monarchical level) although most of the population was a cacophony of religions.

As for the Albigensian Crusade's unintended consequences, well, thanks to this and other crusades in Northern Europe, Mongol invasions against Slavs and Caliphates in the east and southeast, gave rise to King John's English Magna Carta, the Ungarian Golden Bull of 1222, the terrors of the Apostolic Inquisition, the rise of the Ottomans, Bathory's and Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen, and eventually the Habsburgs. It is this later dynasty who would forever depose the Vatican as a secular power on Earth. Eventually, all this gave rise to the Reformation, but it would be the Bathorys who would wage war with Habsburgs over humanity's right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. The world would never be the same again.

And Carcassonne? All physical traces of its genocide past have been erased - but not from French historical memory. The city survived intact. It weathered two world wars and is today a UNESCO world heritage site.

Photo Gallery
Photo Gallery: Old Bridge, Aerial View, Sunset, Basilica in Carcassonne
Medieval fortified city of Carcassonne. The Old Bridge in Carcassonne
© benkrut
Aerial top view of Carcassonne medieval city and fortress castle.
© Jaysi
Carcassonne sunset.
© BrianAJackson
Carcassonne sunset.
© Juris Kraulis
© benkrut
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© Jaysi
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© BrianAJackson
File size: 21.2 MB
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© Juris Kraulis
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Historical Place
Historical Place: Carcassonne, Languedoc Region, France

Location: 43°12'48.68"N, 2°21'6.70"E.


Notes
  1. Borovský, Jozef. Chrysalis II: Carpathian Liberty. 2019. p. 78
  2. Also known as the Latin Empire, although this description is inaccurate - it depends on whose history one reads.
  3. Borovský, Jozef. Chrysalis II: Carpathian Liberty. 2019. p. 59
  4. Oldenbourg, Zoe. Massacre at Montsegur: A History of the Albigensian Crusade. 2015.
  5. Maseko, Achim N. Church Schism & Corruption. 2008. p. 485
  6. Patrologia Latina (The Latin Patrology), Arnaud Amalric to Innocent III, August 1209, Patrologia Latina (PL) 216, column. 138 - 141. (Migne, Jacques-Paul. Patrologiae Cursus Completus. 1855)
  7. Ibid. 216, column. 139.
  8. (Oldenbourg, 2015)
  9. Ibid.
  10. Ibid.

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