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Heresy and aristocracy in thirteenth-century Languedoc

Hardstaff, Rachael (2019) Heresy and aristocracy in thirteenth-century Languedoc. PhD thesis, University of York.

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This thesis responds to the historiographical emphasis which has traditionally been placed on aristocratic support for Catharism in thirteenth-century Languedoc. It advocates a shift away from reliance on outdated ideas and assumptions about the aristocracy, its coherency as a group, and the bonds which both held it together and linked it to the rest of society. Instead, it looks to construct a more nuanced understanding of aristocratic support, opening up a dialogue with new work that has been done in the field of the southern French aristocracy in order to refine our understanding of social bonds as mechanisms which produced opportunities for Cathar activity and for the transmission of Cathar ideas. It also responds to the idea that the appearance of predominantly aristocratic support suggested by the inquisition records may be more a result of inquisitorial interest in elite groups than an objective reflection of reality. It does this by pushing beyond the immediate quantitative evidence and shedding light on the different modes of support that were provided to the Cathars by the aristocracy and by other social groups. Introducing other social groups as comparisons or controls helps to build a more nuanced and relative picture of aristocratic support for the Cathars, and the extent to which it can or should be considered socially distinctive.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > History (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.794257
Depositing User: Miss Rachael Hardstaff
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2020 16:52
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2020 10:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/25467

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