Montaillou: Cathars and Catholics in a French Village by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie

By Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie

Initially released in French in 1975, Montaillou is a pioneering paintings in microhistory through Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie (b. 1929), a examine of the village of Montaillou within the sector of Languedoc within the south of France through the age of the Cathar heresy. He drew upon the meticulous notes of a member of the Inquisition, Jacques Fournier, who served because the Bishop of Pamiers among 1318 and 1325 prior to changing into Pope Benedict XII, to increase a multi-layered learn of lifestyles in a small French village over the process a number of many years. utilizing the documents of interrogations performed by means of Fournier -- a consummate and pitiless inquisitor within the pursuit of heresy, an acute psychologist who used to be in a position to elicit from the accused the innermost secrets and techniques in their concepts and activities -- Le Roy Ladurie recreated either the fabric and psychological worlds of a wealthy solid of village characters. He tested the previous as mirrored in farming practices, homes, family members with different villages and with either secular and ecclesiastical strength, and the latter as mirrored of their ideals approximately God, destiny, sexuality, demise, lifestyles, marriage, magic, house, time, and salvation.

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From Montaillou and now a shepherd (ii. 1 7 1 ). 78-9). In 'normal' periods, Montaillou was a mountain-dwelling micro­ society, whose people generally had little money, little prestige and little power. On the other hand it was not too difficult for them to slip between the interstices of the various external and encircling powers. But a new situation arose in the 1 320s : at the time of the Fournier investigation, the four powers referred to above joined together, even though there were occasional cracks in their solidarity.

1 16 THE ECOLOGY OF MONTAI LLOU the other. The frontier between nobles and non-nobles was in general very fluid. 338). So was there a fully accepted group of false nobles, with fine houses and possessions, considered by other people as nobles, and perhaps even honoured as such ? At the level of everyday life and the relations between men, and especially between women, but between men and women also, the relations of nobility to non-nobility were often pleasant and generally relaxed. Of course, they were tinged with a minimum of deference.

But the chief area of friction concerned tithes. At the end of the summer of 1308 the Inquisition of Carc:lssonne arrested all 1 Unfortunately, there is insufficient documentary evidence to form an assessment of manorial dues in Montaillou between 1300 and 1320. E N V I R ON M E N T A N D A U T H O R I T Y 21 the inhabitants of Montaillou, male and female, over the age of twelve or thirteen. The round-up also included the shepherds, come down specially from the mountain pastures for the festivities at the end of the summer transhumance.

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