Albigensian Crusade or the Cathar Crusade was a 20-year military campaign initiated by Pope Innocent III to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc, in southern France.
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The Albigensian Crusade was prosecuted primarily by the French crown and promptly took on a political aspect, resulting in not only a significant reduction in the number of practicing Cathars, but a realignment of the County of Toulouse in Languedoc, bringing it into the sphere of the French crown, and diminishing both Languedoc's distinct regional culture and the influence of the counts of Barcelona.
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Albigensian Crusade offered the lands of the Cathar heretics to any French nobleman willing to take up arms.
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The Albigensian Crusade had a role in the creation and institutionalization of both the Dominican Order and the Medieval Inquisition.
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Albigensian Crusade was arrested around 1146 and never heard from again.
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The First Albigensian Crusade stirred up some support in the area, as Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse was one of its principal leaders.
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Albigensian Crusade refused to campaign in person but promised to send a contingent of troops, insuring that he would have a say in any political settlements that would result from the conflict.
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Albigensian Crusade was fiercely opposed by Amalric, but at Raymond's request, Innocent appointed a new legate, Milo, whom he secretly ordered to obey Amalric.
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Albigensian Crusade was scourged by Milo and declared restored to full Communion with the Church.
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Albigensian Crusade declared himself a loyal member of the Church, and disclaimed responsibility for the spread of heresy in his land on account of his youth.
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Albigensian Crusade was successful through a combination of rapid military movements and his policy of quickly getting towns to surrender in exchange for not being sacked.
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Albigensian Crusade faced a shortage of income and increasingly disloyal vassals.
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Albigensian Crusade fought the Moors in Spain, and served in the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa.
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Albigensian Crusade rebuked Simon for his alleged attacks on Christians and ordered him to restore the lands that he had taken.
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The Council called for a new crusade in the Middle East, which dried up recruits for the Albigensian Crusade, forcing Simon to rely increasingly heavily on mercenaries.
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Albigensian Crusade ruled that any person found to have died without confessing his known heresy would have his remains exhumed and burned, while any person known to have been a heretic but not known whether to have confessed or not would have his body unearthed but not burned.
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The uncontainable, prejudicial passion of local mobs and heresy hunters, the violence of secular courts, and the bloodshed of the Albigensian Crusade sparked a desire within the papacy to implement greater control over the prosecution of heresy.
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Strayer argues that the Albigensian Crusade increased the power of the French monarchy and made the papacy more dependent on it.
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