Version classiqueVersion mobile
OpenEdition Books

Minorités et régulations sociales en Méditerranée médiévale

 | 
John Tolan
, 
Stéphane Boissellier
, 
François Clément

Quatrième partie. Minorités et contre-culture

Popular heresy in mid-twelfth-century Italy

R. I. Moore

Texte intégral

  • 1 For a recent discussion of current historiography, R. I. Moore, “Afterthoughts on The Origins of E (...)
  • 2 See especially M. Zerner, dir. Inventer l’hérésie? Discours polémiques et pouvoirs avant l’inquisi (...)
  • 3 E.g. M. Roquebert, “Le ‘déconstructionisme’ et les études cathares’”, in M. Aurell, dir., Les cath (...)

1Reports of the activity of heretics among the unprivileged laity of medieval Europe – and indeed at many other times and places – commonly credit them with coherent and articulate teachings, and with a degree of organisation that enables them to co-ordinate their endeavours in a number of widely separated places at the same time. How far such reports represent an unadorned description of the thought and behaviour of the heretics in question, and how far they reflect the expectations, anxieties or interests of the reporters, has always been an issue for historians, especially and notoriously in respect of the extent and nature of influence from the Balkans on the dualist heresies of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.1 Recently the question has once again become acutely controversial, not to say heated. The traditional account of the appearance in the Rhineland and the Languedoc from at least as early as the middle of the twelfth century of a “Cathar church” with roots in Bulgaria or Constantinople has been challenged – certainly, not for the first time – at essential points, by scholars from several backgrounds and traditions, among whose auditores and creditores I am honoured to consider myself.2 I should add, since the language of discourse and deconstruction can sometimes, in the heat of debate, give rise to misunderstanding on the point,3 that what is denied, or rather in varying degrees doubted, by these scholars is not the existence of people and communities that dissented from the teachings or resisted the disciplines of the Church, and certainly not the fates that overtook them. What is challenged is the significance, the chronology, perhaps even the reality, of the elaboration of organisation and doctrine, and the associated links with the Balkans, that were attributed to the dissenters by their Catholic opponents and have been accepted by generations of historians.

  • 4 Acta Synodi Atrebatensis, J-P. Migne, Patrologiae cursus completus… Latinae, Paris, 144–64, t. 142 (...)
  • 5 A. Dondaine, “La hiérarchie cathare en Italie, II: Le ‘Tractatus de hereticis’ d’Anselme d’Alexand (...)
  • 6 E. Bozóky, Le livre secret des Cathares. Interrogatio Iohannis, Paris, Beauchesne, 1980 (Textes, d (...)
  • 7 See now M. Zerner, dir., L’histoire du catharisme en discussion: le concile de Saint-Félix (1167),(...)

2It is with this discussion in view that I turn to my subject here. I have no independent competence in the voluminous materials for the study of heresy in Italy, and only a superficial acquaintance with its distinguished historiography. I approach it not as a contributor, but as a mendicant, asking whether the view from Italy may illuminate particular aspects either of the emergence of heresy in transalpine Europe or, perhaps more importantly, of the historiographical and methodological dilemmas which lie at the root of all our difficulties. The Italian connection, or asserted connection, was prominent in the representation of heresy as conspiracy from the beginning, and remained so. “An Italian named Gundolfo” and “a woman from Italy”4 were credited with bringing the much controverted heresies of the early eleventh century to Châlons and Orléans respectively. Conversely, Anselm of Alessandria, active as an inquisitor in Lombardy between 1267 and 1277-8 and author of one of the most influential accounts of the early history of the Cathar heresy, believed that it had first been brought to Lombardy by a notary “de Francia”,5 though also, somewhat later, directly from the Balkans. The handful of texts which contain the myths and rituals of the Cathars passed back and forth across the Alps: the Interrogatio Johannis, thought to have been brought from Bulgaria to Concorezzo, by lake Garda, in the last years of the twelfth century, also reached the archives of the inquisition of Carcassonne in a somewhat different version; the so-called Ritual of Lyons survives in a Latin version in an Italian hand, but apparently following a Provençal original, from around the middle of the thirteenth century, and also in Provençal from a somewhat later date, though perhaps reflecting rather earlier practice.6 The most difficult and controverted of all the documents associated with them, the so-called acts of a meeting of leading heretics held at St Félix de Caraman in 1167, describes what was or purports to have been an administrative reorganisation and doctrinal rehabilitation of Cathar churches in the Languedoc, at the direction of a Greek dignitary who had been escorted there by Cathars from Lombardy.7

  • 8 Cf. A. Siegel, “Italian Society and the Origins of Eleventh-Century Western Heresy”, in Frassetto,(...)
  • 9 Historia Mediolanensis II. 27, ed. D. L. C. Bethmann and W. Wattenbach, Monumenta Germaniae Histor (...)
  • 10 A. Frugoni, Arnaud de Brescia dans les sources du xiie siècle, Paris, les Belles Lettres, 1993.

3For most of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, however, the most immediately striking point about popular heresy in Italy is its absence.8 On the basis of the account of Landolf Senior of Milan, writing seventy years or more after the event, the heresy of the Countess of Monforte di Alba and her companions, burned in 1028 for refusing to abjure their attachment to a refined neoplatonist spirituality, can hardly be considered popular, though after their arrest they tried to spread their beliefs to the rustics who flocked to view them in captivity.9 The heresies of which we hear much in the second half of the eleventh century, of course, are those of simony and nicolaitism, by definition charges directed against clergy, not lay people. The Milanese Pataria which was the main object of Landulf’s disapproval is not usually included in the list of heretical movements, though perhaps, as he thought, it should be. That the tensions which the Pataria created or revealed persisted for decades in several of the Lombard cities may account for the revival of the name as a description of heretics in the last quarter of the twelfth century, although no continuity has been demonstrated. This is to say not that the Italian laity of the period entertained no heterodox ideas – such an assertion would be absurd – but that the absence of accusations, and a fortiori of formal charges, suggests strongly that the bishops were not particularly nervous of the circulation of such ideas, and did not identify them as a potential source of popular unrest. To that extent, even the dramatic career of Arnold of Brescia, a powerful and effective preacher of course, but neither accused of doctrinal error nor seemingly guilty of it, does not belong (at least directly) to the history of popular heresy.10

  • 11 Vita Sancti Galdini, Acta sanctorum April 18, II, p. 591; Vita Sancti Petri Parentinii, ibid. May 5 (...)
  • 12 William of Newburgh, Historia rerum Anglicarum, ed. R. Howlett, Historia rerum Anglicarum 2 vols. (...)

4The long silence remains unbroken until the pontificates of Galdinus of Milan (1166 – 76) and Rustico of Orvieto (1168 – 76). In their time, “the heresy of the Cathars began to spread in the city” of Milan, while “the seeds of Manichaeism” were sown in Orvieto by Diotosalvo from Florence, which in 1173 had been placed under interdict by its bishop “on account of the Patarenes.”11 This is consistent with the account of the origins of Catharism in Italy later pieced together by the Dominican inquisitors. According to the most circumstantial of them, Anselm of Alessandria, it was brought to Concorezzo, on the shores of Lake Garda, by a notary from France, where in 1163 a Council at Tours, presided over by Alexander III, had denounced the (unnamed) heresy “spreading like a cancer from Toulouse through Gascony and neighbouring regions”.12 The notary converted Mark of Colognio, under whose leadership the heresy spread rapidly. Its growth was attended by divisions arising from personal rivalries among Mark’s early followers, upon whose resolution they were advised by one Papa Nicetas, “their bishop at Constantinople” – and the very same who is said subsequently to have presided over the meeting at St. Félix de Caraman to which we have already referred.

  • 13 Eapropter quia in Gasconia, Albigesio et partibus Tolosanis et aliis locis, ita haereticorum, quos (...)
  • 14 “Imprimis ergo Catharos et patarinos et eos, qui se Humiliatos vel Pauperes de Lugdono falso nomin (...)
  • 15 H. Maisonneuve, Études sur les origines de l’inquisition, Paris, Vrin, 1960 (L’Église et l’État au (...)

5The texts which describe these events – including the Council at St Félix – were discovered, and the correspondences between them elucidated, by one of the twentieth century’s greatest historians of medieval heresy, Antoine Dondaine, O.P. The lively picture which they paint of struggles for leadership and legitimacy among Lombard heretics of the 1160s and ‘70s makes the sudden increase in reports of heresy after the Third Lateran Council, in 1179, seem quite predictable. The Council anathematised “the heretics whom some call Cathari, some Patarini and others again Publicani.”13 At the Council of Verona, in 1184, the bull ad abolendam condemned “the Cathari, the Patarini and those who falsely call themselves Humiliati or Poor Men of Lyons, Passagini, Josepini and Arnaldistae,”14 and prescribed systematic and regular action against them and their supporters. The bishops of Rimini and Ferrara immediately called upon the secular power to expel heretics from their cities,15 inaugurating the long tale of the pursuit of heresy in Italy, and its inextricable entanglement with political conflict at every level.

  • 16 Cf. J. Tolan, Petrus Alfonsi and his Medieval Readers, Gainsville, University Press of Florida, 19 (...)

6In this way the histories of Catharism in Italy and the Languedoc are aligned, and the critical moment in the formation and dissemination of the greatest heretical movement of the high middle ages is seen to have been the decades of the 1160s and 1170s. The difficulty is that it all depends on a reconstruction made almost a century after the events, by men working in and among communities which, in Lombardy as in the Languedoc, though in different ways, had undergone profound and profoundly traumatic and divisive transformations. No doubt the inquisitors were able and dedicated, some of them converts who had themselves held (or claimed to have held) leading positions among the heretics – though I need hardly remind you, in John Tolan’s presence, that converts do not invariably provide a dispassionate and accurate account of the customs and history of the community that they have left.16 But even if we accept the inquisitorial account as an authentic version of the heretical communities’ own traditional memory of their origins – their foundation legends – the question remains, how those legends relate to what actually happened. It will do no harm to remember as we approach it that the construction of foundation legends was not, in the twelfth century, an activity by any means restricted to heretics, and that when we consider it in relation to noble families, for example, or urban or monastic communities, we have learned to understand that there may be many influences at play beyond those of historical accuracy and unvarnished truth.

  • 17 C. Lansing, Power and Purity: Cathar Heresy in Medieval Italy, New York, Oxford University Press, (...)
  • 18 G. Zanella, Itinerari ereticali: Patari e catari tra Rimini e Verona Rome, Istituto storico Italia (...)
  • 19 Zanella, Itinerari; see also G. Zanella, La culture des hérétiques italiens (XIIe-XIVe siècle) in (...)
  • 20 U. Brunn, Des contestataires aux “Cathares”: discours de réforme et propagande antihérétique dans (...)
  • 21 I Da Milano, L’eresia di Ugo Speroni nella confutazione del Maestro Vacario, Vatican, 1955, (Studi (...)

7In principle the questions how far the inquisitors were correct, first in interpreting the information which they secured about the heretics, or alleged heretics, of their own time, and second, in reading their conclusions back into the twelfth-century past, are the same for every part of Europe. Parallel developments in the historiography are correspondingly apparent. Thus, for example, for all the differences of context and source, Carol Lansing’s investigation of the citizens of Orvieto and Mark Pegg’s of the villagers of the Lauragais in the early thirteenth century suggest equally clearly that popular fidelity was vested in the character and conduct of individuals, and not in systems of belief, blurring in everyday life the distinction between heretics and Catholics, and suggesting that (in Lansing’s words) “only in the imaginations of anti-Catholic polemicists did the [Italian] cathars effectively create an anti-church, with a defined membership and an institutional and sacramental structure parallel to Rome.”17 Lansing’s observations are consistent with Gabriele Zanella’s rejection of the reconstruction of a Cathar hierarchy in Italy propounded by Dondaine and by Arno Borst,18 and with Zanella’s view that Catharism was not certainly present in Italy before 1250, and reached its maximum support only in the last third of the thirteenth.19 The recent suggestion of Uwe Brunn’s outstanding account of the development of anti-heretical rhetoric in the archdiocese of Cologne,20 that much of it was inspired by fear of those who argued against the validity of sacraments administered by unworthy priests, echoes a theme long stressed in relation to Italy by Ilarino da Milano21 and others – a theme which accounts rather more obviously than the notion of dualism for the persistent association in Italy of the word Patarene with heresy. The medieval Donatist, if we remain determined to link the heresies of the middle ages with the great conflicts of antiquity in a single Augustinian epithet, was a good deal more dangerous than the medieval Manichee.

  • 22 See, for example, L. Paolini, “Italian Catharism and Written Culture”, in P. Biller and A. Hudson, (...)
  • 23 J-P Poly and E. Bournazel, La mutation féodale, Paris, Presses Universitaires françaises, 1980, (N (...)

8For Italy as for France, of course, these revisionist proposals have met with energetic responses, defending the received account with similar arguments in each case.22 I make no attempt here at summary, still less at arbitration. I do, however, suggest that the long silence of the Italian sources to which I have drawn attention clarifies the methodological issue in at least one important respect. For northern Europe, as everybody knows, we have an irregular but growing trickle of evidence relating to heresy and accusations of heresy from the beginning of the eleventh century. Consequently there has been persistent debate as to whether or not almost every episode and accusation of “popular” heresy between 1000 and 1140 is to be interpreted as an early and partial manifestation of the organised dualist movement of which the inquisitors provided a complete account in the second half of the thirteenth century. Many readers will be familiar, for example, with the dazzling gymnastic of the chapters of La mutation féodale in which MM. Poly and Bournazel present an account of eleventh and twelfth-century heresy on that basis, to which I venture to mention my own work by way of antithesis.23

  • 24 The treatise Contra Patarenos by Hugo Eterianus, apparently directed against a group of Italian he (...)

9For Italy no such debate is necessary. While, as we have seen, reports of popular heresy in Italy abound after the Third Lateran Council, and even more after its sequel at Verona in 1184, there are none for a century before it. (The intervals between the purported “Cathar” activity at Milan, Florence and Orvieto in the early 1170s mentioned above and the texts which describe them are not long, but they are sufficient to place all the texts, and therefore the vocabulary they employ, after 1179.24) Whatever may be the explanation of that long silence, it is unlikely to be the absence of public dissent from the teaching and discipline of the church. On any view of what the causes of heresy might have been Lombardy and Tuscany display them in abundance – a hermit movement active since the millennium; associated with it, preaching enthusiastically received and often luridly anticlerical; both the fragmentation and the reassertion of ecclesiastical authority; rapid economic and demographic growth accompanied by profound social change and conflict in town and countryside; high levels of pedagogic activity, of lay literacy and of social mobility; all the miseries of oppression and war, and so on. In short, we cannot and should not assume that the ideas and activities condemned and proscribed by Lateran III were in themselves new, or newly conspicuous. The sudden and dramatic change registered by its decree was a change in the discourse of literate culture, associated with a change in ecclesiastical policy, in the way in which the princes of the Church chose to categorise and describe certain phenomena. The questions that remain are, what were these phenomena, and what were the reasons for the sudden innovation in ecclesiastical policy with regard to their classification?

  • 25 Above, n. 13.
  • 26 Hamilton, Hugh Eteriano, p. 4.
  • 27 Ad abolendam (above, n. 9): Catharos et [not vel] Patarinos… Hamilton (p. 9) appears to regard this (...)

10Canon 26 of Lateran III, a real turning point in the treatment of heresy in medieval Europe, has been quoted more energetically than it has been examined. The famous passage which begins “Since in Gascony, in the territory of Albi, and in Toulouse and its neighbourhood and other places, the perversity of the heretics whom some call Cathari, some Patarini and others again Publicani has assumed such proportions that they practice their error no longer in secret as some do, but preach publicly…”25 has been taken as confirming that groups known under these three names (by themselves, by their opponents, or by both?) constituted a single heresy, and that it was a dualist heresy (though the canon does not say so), invariably assumed to be that later described by the inquisitors. There is no direct contemporaneous evidence to support any of those assumptions. As we have seen, all is retrospect, though some earlier texts and incidents are capable of being plausibly interpreted as consistent with it, and usually have been. Yet the Council’s identification of the three epithets is so generally taken to have been both authoritative and definitive that a distinguished recent commentator can remark, quite simply, “The name Patarenes came to mean Cathars after 1179.”26 It is necessary to ask, if the Council indeed intended such an identification,27 upon what basis it did so, and whether its information was accurate.

  • 28 R. I. Moore, The Origins of European Dissent, 2 ed., Oxford, Blackwell, 1985, pp. 182–7, with the (...)
  • 29 W. Stubbs ed., Gesta Regis Henrici Secundi London, 1867, (Rolls Series), I, pp. 214–220, 222–226, (...)
  • 30 J. Gillingham, “Royal Newsletters, Forgeries and English Historians: Some links between Court and (...)
  • 31 Gesta Henrici, I, p. 198; W. STUBBS ed., Roger of Howden, Chronica, London, 1869, (Rolls Series), I (...)
  • 32 Gesta Henrici, I, p. 224.
  • 33 Y. M. J. Congar, “Arriana haeresis”, Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques XLIII (1959 (...)

11The name Patarini, as we have already seen, had been used in Italy – and so far as I know, nowhere else in Latin Europe – of the Milanese reformers and their associates in other Lombard cities, whose heresy, if they were heretics at all, was Donatist, not dualist – to deny the sacraments, including ordination, of unworthy priests. Publicani, with some variants (Populicani, Piphiles) appears in the Low Countries from time to time from the 1150s; scholars habitually describe those to whom it refers as “Cathars” – presumably on the basis of the Lateran identification – but none of the references to them has anything useful to say about their beliefs.28 As to heresy in the Languedoc the Council was directly informed by reports from the two cardinals, Pietro di San Chrysogono and Henri de Marcy, abbot of Clairvaux, who had led a papal mission to the region in the previous year. Their reports are contained in, or at least closely echoed by, the letters in which each described the course of the mission in detail, as preserved by the English court chronicler Roger of Hoveden,29 who may himself have accompanied the mission.30 Neither uses the vocabulary of the Council: they refer to their antagonists in Toulouse simply as “the heretics”, as Catholics in the region would continue to do, not always with hostility. In the earlier, effectively contemporaneous version of his chronicle Roger describes the mission as directed against “the heretics who call themselves boni homines”, the name by which they were invariably known in the region; in the later version, written in the early 1190s, he substitutes ariani,31 perhaps because Henri of Clairvaux reports that a leading heretic, Pier Maurand, was accused of “having fallen into the wickedness of the Arian heresy.”32 Ariani has been taken, on the strength of this reference, to imply belief in two principles (of which, indeed, the heretics in Toulouse were accused), but seems generally to have been used in the eleventh and twelfth centuries to invoke not so much any particular doctrinal error – even that from which it took its name – as the sin, and the menace, of the father of heresy – of those who “rend the garment of Christ” by provoking disunity in the Church.33

  • 34 Des contestataires, pp. 337–8.
  • 35 Cf. P. Diehl, “Overcoming Reluctance to Persecute Heresy in Thirteenth-century Italy”, Waugh and D (...)
  • 36 M. Pegg, “‘Catharism’and the Study of Medieval Heresy,” in D. Lawton, R. Copeland and M. Scase, ed (...)
  • 37 Migne, PL 195, col. 11–102.

12The term Cathari seems to have reached Lateran III, as Brunn has argued,34 from Germany. This Council was, of course, called largely to celebrate the end of the eighteen-year schism; its successor at Verona was also designed to advertise the newfound unity of Pope and Emperor – who could agree, if not on much else, on the perfidy of heresy and the urgency of action against it.35 Among those prominent in the preparations on the imperial side was the Archbishop of Cologne, Philip of Heinsberg, like his predecessor Reinhald von Dassel one of the emperor’s closest advisers. Cathar, and some variants of it, had occasionally appeared as a description of heresy in patristic literature,36 but it was first applied to medieval heretics in the Rhineland in the early 1160s, and specifically by Eckbert of Schönau, in the thirteen sermons collected in the Liber contra hereses Catarorum which he dedicated to Reinhald von Dassel.37

  • 38 D. Iogna-Prat, Ordonner et exclure. Cluny et la soceté chrétienne face à l’hérésie, au judaïsme et (...)
  • 39 R. I. Moore, “The War against Heresy in Medieval Europe”, Historical Research, Oxford, lxxxi (2008 (...)
  • 40 Zerner, Inventer.
  • 41 J.-L. Biget, “Les Albigeois: remarques sur une dénomination”, ibid., pp. 219–255; see also B. M. K (...)
  • 42 R. I. Moore, “Les albigeois d’après les chroniques angevines”, La Croisade Albigeoise, Carcassonne (...)

13That this was the route by which the term Cathar entered the mainstream of European religious vocabulary whose waters it has subsequently muddied so thoroughly suggests a good deal about what lay behind the pronouncements of Lateran III on the issue of heresy. It was, as many have pointed out, the first Council for many years to be attended by prelates from every part of Latin Christendom. It is entirely to be expected that they, or their advisers, should have taken the opportunity to exchange information on the issues that had exercised them in the interval, during which the attention of many of those from beyond the Alps had been drawn to the alleged dissemination of heresy. The circumstances in which this had happened varied a good deal. The preaching of heresy to the laity excited most eleventh-and early-twelfth-century churchmen a good deal less than it has some modern historians. Only when Peter the Venerable – for reasons which Dominique Iogna-Prat has elucidated so brilliantly38 – and Bernard of Clairvaux began to proclaim its dangers, in the late 1130s, did it became a matter of general concern.39 Specific accusations of heresy against clerks, on the other hand, had played a regular and often important part in ecclesiastical and sometimes in wider political dispute at least since the ninth century. In his fully documented and closely argued study Brunn shows how almost all the familiar episodes and accusations of heresy in the archdiocese of Cologne, and in the Low Countries, throughout the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, arose in the context of disputes between secular and regular clergy, and between different strands of “reforming” opinion and spirituality. They regularly involved conflicts over property and office, calling into question the legitimacy of office-holders and hence the validity of the orders from which their authority was derived. Monique Zerner and her colleagues have traced the emergence in the second half of the twelfth century of the idea of a heresy undermining the foundations of Christendom,40 particularly in the Languedoc, and particularly in Cistercian rhetoric.41 The surviving evidence for that characterisation of the Languedoc in the years between the Council of Tours in 1163 and the mission to Toulouse in 1178, is almost all contained in materials from the court of Henry Plantagenet, who had a strong and sustained political interest in representing the Count of Toulouse as a protector of heresy.42

14I must make it clear, however, that I have no wish to paint a picture of crude materialism, or of simple opportunism. To do so, apart from any other consideration, would betray the scholarship and subtlety of the colleagues upon whose work I have relied so heavily. To suggest that the prelates assembled in 1179 concluded, mistakenly, that scattered, fragmentary and miscellaneous reports from a variety of sources showed a single organised heresy at work in several regions of Latin Christendom is not to accuse them of cynically or even consciously placing a political weapon in the hands of the unscrupulous – who, in any case, if one weapon will not serve can generally find another. So let me conclude by returning to Italy, and to Verona, the scene in 1184 of the Council which issued ad abolendam, in 1199 of the excommunication, which Innocent III thought indiscriminate, of a large group of lay people accused of belonging to the sect of the humiliati anathematised by ad abolendam, and in 1233 of a terrible mass burning, one of those which marked the beginning of the systematic repression of popular heresy, or alleged heresy, in Italy.

  • 43 M. C. Miller, The Formation of a Medieval Church. Ecclesiastical Change in Verona, 950-1150, Ithac (...)
  • 44 M. C. Miller, The Bishop’s Palace. Architecture and Authority in Medieval Italy Ithaca, Cornell Un (...)

15A city which so rapidly fell victim to faction and persecution in the years after Lateran III, having shown no sign of heresy or of heresy accusations in the previous two hundred years, might seem to illustrate the contention that heresy was no more than a discourse of power, a device of the privileged to consolidate their position by demonising their antagonists. But that is by no means the whole truth. In her study of Verona’s clergy in the turbulent years between 950 and 1150 Maureen C. Miller offers a very different explanation both of the absence of heresy in those years, and of its emergence shortly afterwards, as a phenomenon of lay sentiment and as the form in which authority responded to it. The church of Verona responded to the challenges of the eleventh-century transformation with remarkable success, catering with flexibility and imagination for the spiritual needs of a rapidly expanding urban population, and even more energetically for new and growing communities in the countryside. This led, however, probably necessarily (and certainly not unnaturally), to an increasing concentration of property and patronage in the hands of the bishop, potentially divisive in itself, and paradoxically more so after 1122, when control of the bishopric passed from imperial patronage into local hands. Hence by the 1150s not only growing tensions but increasing distance between bishop and community were perceptible, the seeds of the conflicts which became so prominent in the 1180s and beyond.43 Imperial recognition of the communes at the Peace of Constance in 1183 made it all the more urgent to redefine the role of the bishop, and so to present him as the champion of the poor and the defender of his community against the menace of heresy. “This,” Miller suggests, “rather than any upsurge of heresy, more likely explains the timing of ad abolendam.”44 In short, what the absence of popular heresy in mid-twelfth century Italy has to tell us is, indeed, that the received account of the appearance and dissemination of “Catharism” in the Lombardy of the 1160s and ‘ 70s owes a great deal more to imagination than to reality, but also that it was an imagination which responded to the real, various and often contradictory tensions of a society vigorously engaged in restructuring itself.

Notes

1 For a recent discussion of current historiography, R. I. Moore, “Afterthoughts on The Origins of European Dissent” in M. Frassetto, ed., Heresy and Persecution in the Middle Ages. Essays on the work of R. I. Moore Leiden: Brill, 2006, (Studies in the History of the Christian Tradition), pp. 291–326, at 299–311. I am grateful for the observations of Monique Zerner and Maureen Miller on the original version of this paper.

2 See especially M. Zerner, dir. Inventer l’hérésie? Discours polémiques et pouvoirs avant l’inquisition, Turnhout, Brepols, 1998 (Collection d’Études médiévales de Nice, 2).

3 E.g. M. Roquebert, “Le ‘déconstructionisme’ et les études cathares’”, in M. Aurell, dir., Les cathares devant l’Histoire: Mélanges offerts à Jean Duvernoy Cahors, L’Hydre, 2005, pp. 105–33, and in discussion in the same volume, at p. 86.

4 Acta Synodi Atrebatensis, J-P. Migne, Patrologiae cursus completus… Latinae, Paris, 144–64, t. 142 col. 1272; J. France, ed. Rodulfus Glaber, Opera, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1989 (Oxford Medieval Texts), p. 139.

5 A. Dondaine, “La hiérarchie cathare en Italie, II: Le ‘Tractatus de hereticis’ d’Anselme d’Alexandrie, O. P.”, Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum xx, Rome (1950), p. 308.

6 E. Bozóky, Le livre secret des Cathares. Interrogatio Iohannis, Paris, Beauchesne, 1980 (Textes, dossiers, documents); W. L. Wakefield and A. P. Evans, Heresies of the High Middle Ages, New York, Columbia University Press (1969), pp. 448–9, 465–6.

7 See now M. Zerner, dir., L’histoire du catharisme en discussion: le concile de Saint-Félix (1167), Nice, Z’éditions, 2001, (Collection d’Études médiévales de Nice, 3).

8 Cf. A. Siegel, “Italian Society and the Origins of Eleventh-Century Western Heresy”, in Frassetto, pp. 43–72.

9 Historia Mediolanensis II. 27, ed. D. L. C. Bethmann and W. Wattenbach, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores VIII, pp. 65–6.

10 A. Frugoni, Arnaud de Brescia dans les sources du xiie siècle, Paris, les Belles Lettres, 1993.

11 Vita Sancti Galdini, Acta sanctorum April 18, II, p. 591; Vita Sancti Petri Parentinii, ibid. May 5, p. 86; Annales Florentini ed. G. H. Pertz, MGHSS xix, 224.

12 William of Newburgh, Historia rerum Anglicarum, ed. R. Howlett, Historia rerum Anglicarum 2 vols. (Rolls Series), London, 1884–5, ii. 137.

13 Eapropter quia in Gasconia, Albigesio et partibus Tolosanis et aliis locis, ita haereticorum, quos alii Catharos, alii Patrinos, alii Publicanos, alii aliis nominibus vocant, invaluit damnata perversitas, ut iam non in occulto, sicut aliqui nequitiam suam exerceant, sed suum errorem publice manifestent… ed. and trans. N. P. Tanner, Decrees of the Eumenical Councils, Washington, Georgetown University Press, 1990, I, pp. 224.

14 “Imprimis ergo Catharos et patarinos et eos, qui se Humiliatos vel Pauperes de Lugdono falso nomine mentiuntur, Passaginos, Iosepinos, Arnaldistas…”, E. Friedberg, ed., Corpus Iuris Canonici I, Leipzig, 1879, cols 780–2.

15 H. Maisonneuve, Études sur les origines de l’inquisition, Paris, Vrin, 1960 (L’Église et l’État au Moyen Âge), p. 155.

16 Cf. J. Tolan, Petrus Alfonsi and his Medieval Readers, Gainsville, University Press of Florida, 1993, especially at pp. 19–27.

17 C. Lansing, Power and Purity: Cathar Heresy in Medieval Italy, New York, Oxford University Press, 1998, quoted at p. 7; M. PEGG, The Corruption of Angels. The Great Inquisition of 1245-1246, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2001.

18 G. Zanella, Itinerari ereticali: Patari e catari tra Rimini e Verona Rome, Istituto storico Italiano per il medio evo, 1986, (Studi storici fasc. 153), contra Dondaine, “La hiérarchie cathare” and A. BORST, Die Katharer, Stuttgart, 1953 (Schriften Der Monumenta Germaniae historica), pp. 202–213.

19 Zanella, Itinerari; see also G. Zanella, La culture des hérétiques italiens (XIIe-XIVe siècle) in Cultures italiennes XIIe-XVe siècles, Paris, Cerf, 2000, pp. 343–73.

20 U. Brunn, Des contestataires aux “Cathares”: discours de réforme et propagande antihérétique dans le pays du Rhin et de la Meuse avant l’Inquisition Paris, Institut des Études Augustiniennes, 2006 (Série Moyen Âge et Temps Modernes, 414).

21 I Da Milano, L’eresia di Ugo Speroni nella confutazione del Maestro Vacario, Vatican, 1955, (Studi e Testi 115), pp. 423–469.

22 See, for example, L. Paolini, “Italian Catharism and Written Culture”, in P. Biller and A. Hudson, eds., Heresy and Literacy, 1000-1300, Cambridge, 1994, pp. 83–103, and notice the affinity of its argument to that of B. Hamilton, “Wisdom from the East: the reception by the Cathars of Eastern dualist texts”, ibid., pp. 38–60.

23 J-P Poly and E. Bournazel, La mutation féodale, Paris, Presses Universitaires françaises, 1980, (Nouvelle Clio), pp. 382–427; R. I. Moore, “Heresy, Repression and Social Change in the Age of Gregorian Reform”, in S. L. Waugh and P. D. Diehl, eds, Christendom and its Discontents. Exclusion, Perscution and Rebellion, 1000-1250, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 19–46; “Afterthoughts”.

24 The treatise Contra Patarenos by Hugo Eterianus, apparently directed against a group of Italian heretics in Constantinople, and the letter in which the canonist Vacarius rebutted the anticlerical and anti-sacramental arguments of Hugo Speron, also postdate Lateran III, though the latter (which is not ostensibly part of the public rhetoric) seems to show that Speroni had formed his sect before it: B., J. and S. Hamilton, Hugh Eteriano Contra Patarenos, Leiden, Brill, 2004 (The Medieval Mediterranean), pp. 9 –10; Da Milano, L’eresia, pp. 41–46.

25 Above, n. 13.

26 Hamilton, Hugh Eteriano, p. 4.

27 Ad abolendam (above, n. 9): Catharos et [not vel] Patarinos… Hamilton (p. 9) appears to regard this as confirming the identification; it seems to me to imply just the opposite.

28 R. I. Moore, The Origins of European Dissent, 2 ed., Oxford, Blackwell, 1985, pp. 182–7, with the qualifications implied in the present discussion.

29 W. Stubbs ed., Gesta Regis Henrici Secundi London, 1867, (Rolls Series), I, pp. 214–220, 222–226, and on Howden’s court connections J. Gillingham, “The Travels of Roger of Howden and his Views of the Irish, Scots and Welsh”, Anglo-Norman Studies 20 (1998), pp. 152–69, reprinted in Gillingham, The English in the Twelfth Century, Woodbridge, 1999.

30 J. Gillingham, “Royal Newsletters, Forgeries and English Historians: Some links between Court and History in the Reign of Richard I”, in M. Aurell, ed., La Cour Plantagenêt (1154-1204), Poitiers, 2000, pp. 171–86.

31 Gesta Henrici, I, p. 198; W. STUBBS ed., Roger of Howden, Chronica, London, 1869, (Rolls Series), II, p. 150.

32 Gesta Henrici, I, p. 224.

33 Y. M. J. Congar, “Arriana haeresis”, Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques XLIII (1959), pp. 449–61.

34 Des contestataires, pp. 337–8.

35 Cf. P. Diehl, “Overcoming Reluctance to Persecute Heresy in Thirteenth-century Italy”, Waugh and Diehl, Christendom, pp. 47–66, at pp. 50–52.

36 M. Pegg, “‘Catharism’and the Study of Medieval Heresy,” in D. Lawton, R. Copeland and M. Scase, eds., New Medieval Literatures 6, Oxford, 2004, pp. 249–269.

37 Migne, PL 195, col. 11–102.

38 D. Iogna-Prat, Ordonner et exclure. Cluny et la soceté chrétienne face à l’hérésie, au judaïsme et à l’Islam, 100-1150, Paris, Aubier, 1998, notably at pp. 254–262.

39 R. I. Moore, “The War against Heresy in Medieval Europe”, Historical Research, Oxford, lxxxi (2008), pp. 189-210.

40 Zerner, Inventer.

41 J.-L. Biget, “Les Albigeois: remarques sur une dénomination”, ibid., pp. 219–255; see also B. M. Kienzle, Cistercians, Heresy and Crusade in Occitania, 1145-1229, York, York Medieval Press, 2001.

42 R. I. Moore, “Les albigeois d’après les chroniques angevines”, La Croisade Albigeoise, Carcassonne, 2004, (Actes du Colloque du Centre d’études cathares, Carcassonne, October 2002), pp. 81–90.

43 M. C. Miller, The Formation of a Medieval Church. Ecclesiastical Change in Verona, 950-1150, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1993.

44 M. C. Miller, The Bishop’s Palace. Architecture and Authority in Medieval Italy Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 2000, pp. 157–169, quoted at p. 165.

Auteur

Professor of medieval history, University of Newcastle.

© Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2010

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540