Page images
PDF
EPUB

Castelnaudary, and were in their turn put to the rout. In spite of this success, in spite of the arrival of Alain de Rouci a French knight, with a fresh body of crusaders, the affairs of Simon de Montfort continued to decline to the end of the year. The count of Toulouse reconquered all the strong places of Albigeois, and, in more than fifty castles, the inhabitants eagerly expelled or massacred their French garrisons, to surrender themselves to their ancient lord." The hatred against the crusaders which seemed rooted in the hearts of all the inhabitants of the country, and of all who spoke the provençal language, gave occasion to the legates, the vice-legates, the monks of Citeaux, and to all that ecclesiastical council which hitherto had directed the crusade, to announce that it was time to complete the regeneration of the country, by changing the secular clergy. They had long accused the bishops of lukewarmness, or indifference to the triumphs of the church, and had solicited their destitution. This they at last obtained, in the year 1212, either from the pope, or from the timidity . of the persecuted prelates themselves. Bernard Raymond de Rochefort, bishop of Carcassonne, consented to give in his resignation; and Guy, abbot of Vaux-Cernay, was invested with his

* 6 Petri Vallis Cerm. Hist. Albig. c. lvi, lvii, lviii, p. 604 et seq. Guill. de

Podio Laurentii, cap. xix, p. 677. Historia de los faicts de Tolosa, p. 42 et seq. Hist, gén. de Languedoc, liv. XXII, chap. viii, ix, x, p. 218 et seq.

bishopric. It is not known whether Berenger, archbishop of Narbonne, escaped by death from the persecutions which he had so long suffered, or whether he was deposed; but Arnold Amalric, abbot of Citeaux, and chief of all the legations to the Albigenses, took possession of this archbishopric. Amongst the bishops of his province, who assisted at his consecration, two others were taken from that order of Citeaux, which had preached and conducted the crusade. The abbot Arnold did not, however, content himself with the spiritual dignity which he acquired, as the fruit of his labours for the extirpation of heresy. To the archiepiscopal throne of Narbonne, and to the rich revenues of that metropolitan see, he resolved also to join the ducal crown. The count of Toulouse bore, at the same time, the title of duke of Narbonne, and the viscount of that same city was his vassal, and owed him homage. The abbot Arnold, in excommunicating Raymond VI, had abandoned his states to the first occupant, and he had taken care, in consequence, to be the first to occupy the duchy of Narbonne. He had taken possession of the archbishopric on the 12th of March, 1212, and on the 13th he demanded homage of the viscount of Narbonne, and an oath of fidelity.” The fanaticism and cruelty of a monk were more easily pardoned, in that age, than the cupidity

* Hist. de Lang. liv. xxiii, ch. xvi, p. 223. Preuves ib. No. 106, p. 236.

which induced him to seize upon the spoils of him
whom he had persecuted. The monks of Citeaux
began to sink in the estimation of the people,
when it appeared that they had shed so much
blood only for the opportunity of gaining posses-
sion of those episcopal sees which they coveted.
Perhaps the legate, Arnold Amalric, who, by this
conduct, had highly offended Simon de Montfort,
and had dissolved that intimate union which had
hitherto subsisted between those two ferocious
men, endeavoured to cause this symptom of am-
bition to be forgotten, by rendering new services
to the church; or perhaps he might be drawn, by
his enthusiasm alone, to a new crusade, different
from that which he had hitherto preached. Be
this as it may, he had scarcely taken possession
of the archbishopric of Narbonne, before he pass-
ed into Spain, to aid the kings of Castille, of Ara-
gon, and of Navarre, against Mehemed-el-Nasir,
king of Morocco.”
This Emir-al-Mumenim had been called in-
to Spain by the victories of the Christian kings
over the Moors of Andalusia. A mussulman cru-
sade had been preached in Africa: innumerable
swarms of warriors had crossed the strait of Ca-
diz; and the victory of the Moors at Alarcos, on
the 18th of July, 1195, had given them a prodigious
ascendency over the Christians. After losing many
provinces, Alphonso IX, of Castille, had been

9 Guill. de Podio Laurentii, cap. xx, p. 677.

[ocr errors]

obliged to demand an armistice; but this truce expired in 1212. The fanaticism of the Almohadans, who had annihilated the African church, gave reason to apprehend the entire extirpation of Christianity from Spain. Innocent III had therefore granted the preaching of a new crusade, to succour the Spaniards. The abbot Arnold, archbishop of Narbonne, was not the only Gallic prelate who passed the Pyrenees; the archbishop of Bordeaux and the bishop of Nantes arrived also at Toledo, and with them a considerable number of barons, knights, and pilgrims, from Aquitaine, France, and Italy. This multitude, rendered ferocious by the war against the Albigenses, distinguished itself, however, only by the massacre of the Jews of Toledo, which it effected, notwithstanding the efforts of the noble Castillians to protect them ; and, by its earnestness to put to death the Moorish garrison of Calatrava, in contempt of the capitulation. The French crusaders afterwards pretended, that they could no longer support the heat of the Spanish climate, and they retired before the terrible battle of Navas de Tolosa, fought on the 16th of July, 1212. This battle saved the Christians of Spain, and overturned the power of the Almohadans.”

1 Roderici Archiepiscopi Toletani, lib. vii.1, cap. i., ii, p. 129, et seq. In Hisp. illustratae, t. ii. Roderic of Toledo had himself preached the crusade in France and Italy, and he describes, in detail, the events of which he was the principal author. We cannot, however, admit his testimony for the incredible number of combatants, or that of the slain. 10. M* rianae, lib. xi, cap xxiii, xxiv, p. 548.

The crusade against the Moors of Spain, occasioned but a short interruption to that against the Albigenses. During the winter, Simon de Montfort had been reduced to the small number of knights attached to his fortunes; but, at the same time, the monks of Citeaux had recommenced their preaching, throughout all Christendom, with more ardour than ever; and the expedition against the Albigenses, to which, according to their assurances, such high celestial favours were attached, was, nevertheless, so short and so easy, that the army of the crusaders was renewed, four times in the course of the year, by pilgrims, who, after forty days' service, returned to their homes. Guy de Montfort, the count's brother, (who had just returned from the Holy Land), the provost of the church of Cologne, the archbishop of Rouen, the bishop of Laon, the bishop of Toul, and an archdeacon of Paris, were amongst the principal chiefs who, in the year 1212, came to range themselves under the banners of Montfort. Their hope of contributing to the slaughter and punishment of the Albigenses was not entirely disappointed, but they had no opportunity of distinguishing themselves by great achievements in arms. Upon the arrival of these fanatical bands, almost all the castles of the Toulousians were abandoned by their inhabitants, who sought a refuge in the cities of Toulouse and Montauban, almost the only places which they thought proof against a siege. But

« PreviousContinue »