The Yellow Cross
The Story Of The Last Cathars, 1290-1329Book - 2001
A brilliant exploration of the medieval community that, with almost miraculous psychological fortitude and strength of faith, defied the Catholic Church and the Inquisition. The Cathars, whose religion was based on the Gospels but contradicted the orthodoxy of Rome, resided in what is now southwest France. In the early thirteenth century, they became the focus of systematic repression by both the monarchy and the Church, and were forced to wear the yellow cross, the original heretics' symbol of shame. In successive waves of brutal persecution, thousands of Cathars were captured, summarily tried, and burned at the stake. Yet so ardent was the faith of their community that during the years 1290 to 1320 the Cathars rose up one last time. René Weis tells the full story of these thirty years with the aid of remarkably detailed documentation--including previously untapped trial records, verbatim notes of interrogations, and minutes of the Inquisitors--as well as his own intimate knowledge of the last Cathars' hiding places, many of which survive to this day. It is a rich medieval tale of faith, adventure, sex, and courage that is miraculously true in every detail. Authoritative, eminently readable, andpeopled with indelible characters--almost 250 of them, from a charismatic, beautiful châtelaine and a double-dealing priest to a loquacious, heroic shepherd and a merciless bishop--The Yellow Crossis a exceptionally vivid re-creation of a fascinating, and otherwise lost, world.
Publisher: New York : Knopf, 2001.
Edition: 1st American ed.
Characteristics: 399 p. : col. ill, maps ; 25 cm.