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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The later Crusades, 1189-1311

VIII: The Albigensian Crusade,   pp. 276-324 PDF (19.3 MB)

Page 303

Aragonese kings north of the Pyrenees; towns and nobles that had faltered
in their submission to Montfort were in appreciable numbers again constrained
to make terms with him; recruiting in the north for the crusade, which had
languished for a time after pope Innocent's letters of the preceding January
had, in effect, declared it ended, was again pushed with vigor by Robert
of Courçon and other preachers; <36> the leaders of the opposition
were for the moment stunned and planless. The counts of Toulouse, Foix, and
Comminges met at Toulouse shortly after the defeat at Muret to discuss future
action, but nothing seems to have come of this meeting. Raymond VI and his
young son withdrew for a few months to the protection of king John of England.
 Simon of Montfort, on the other hand, continued the war with renewed vigor,
strengthened somewhat by the arrival of a few new crusaders from the north.
Completely disillusioned by the recent defections, he now pursued a systematic
policy of destroying strongholds, which he was unable to garrison. With rapid
thrusts he raided through the counties of Foix and Comminges. Thence he turned
eastward to the Rhone, where he made alliances designed to bring the marquisate
of Provence effectively under his control. From Provence he returned early
in 1214 to Narbonne where the viscount, Aimery, influenced by a group of
Aragonese who were seeking from Simon the return of their boy king James
I, challenged his authority. The quarrel was quieted for the moment by a
new papal legate, Peter of Benevento. After this episode Simon proceeded,
with considerable reinforcements, on a wide swing through the Agenais, as
far as Marmande on the Garonne, a portion of which he destroyed while leaving
unmolested the castle, which was held by troops of John of England; to Casseneuil
on the Lot, which he reduced after a considerable siege; through Quercy and
into southern Périgord, where, on the ground that they harbored heretics,
he captured four strongholds on the Dordogne; and thence through Rouergue
to Rodez, its capital city, where after consider able dispute he was recognized
as overlord by count Henry (November 7, 1214). With the subsequent acquisition
of the strong hold of Sévérac, some twenty-five miles to the
east of Rodez, Simon could feel himself in effective control of substantially
all the lands of Raymond of Toulouse. There remained, however, the problem
of securing satisfactory recognition of his conquests. 
 For such recognition favorable action by pope Innocent III was 
 86 Hyst. Alb., 494 (II, 185-186). 

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