Templar Quest in the Languedoc, France
|Fortified Templar Village in the Languedoc|
|Inside a Templar Village - the best preserved in France.|
The Cathars were a Christian group who flourished in Europe, especially the Languedoc, during the twelfth century. The Catholic Church claimed to represent the One True Christian Church and regarded the Cathars as heretics (just as the Cathars regarded the Catholics as heretics, having been mislead from the True Faith in the fourth century).
The Cathars recognised no priests. All baptised Cathars were equal. They preached and lived as the apostles had lived. Men and women alike, they lived in poverty, working for their food; ate minimal diets - just enough to stay alive; dressed simply; lived celibate lives; refused to kill, lie, swear oaths or judge others; and led lives of extreme asceticism, expressing contempt for everything material.
While Catholics and Cathars considered not only heretical, but inspired by the Power of Evil. For Cathars the Catholic attachment to material items like church buildings, crosses and crucifixes, holy relics, fine vestments and jewelled mitres invited contempt. For Catholics the popularity of Catharism represented an existential threat. Neither preaching nor debating did anything to bring people back to the Catholic Church, so Pope Innocent III called a crusade against the Cathars of the Languedoc. This was only partially successful, so the Dominican Order created the first papal Inquisition to root out the last vestiges of Catharism.
It would be this same Inquisition that a century later would eliminate the Knights Templar, accusing the Templars of some of the same improbable heresies that Cathars had been charged with.
We will hear talks on the Cathars by James and visit Cathar sites; review Cathar origins and their fate, discuss their beliefs including Gnosticism and Dualism, and consider their role in popular culture and whether there were any links between the Cathars and the Templars.
|The Iconic Castle of Montsegur|
Troubadour were composers of Occitan lyric poetry during the High Middle Ages (11001350). The troubadour tradition began in the late 11th century in Occitania (roughly the Aquitaine and the Languedoc).
It subsequently spread into France (what is now Northern France), Italy, Spain and Germany, under different local names: trouvères in France, trovadorismo in Galicia and Portugal, and Minnesanger in Germany.
The texts of troubadour songs deal mainly with themes of chivalry and courtly love. Many were humorous or vulgar satires. There were many genres, the most popular being the canso, the sirventes and the tensos.
Rennes-le-Château is a small village in the Languedoc. It lies at the centre of a series of mysteries focused on a nineteenth century priest, Abbé Saunière, who was the curé of the church here and involving theories about the nature of the Holy Grail.
A number of books have been written about Rennes-le-Château, including Holy Blood, Holy Grail and The Da Vinci Code. We will review the various theories and assess how much validity they carry.
|The demon Asmodeus supporting the holy water stoup at Rennes-le-Château|
|The largest passage tomb in Southern France: a prehistoric allée couverte, known as the hill of the fairies. Within the remains of the allée are two portals, each constructed from two stone slabs, with semi ovoid entrance holes cut into each, which together would create an oval shaped entrance.|
|Quest Topics - Templars / Cathars / R-le-C / Megaliths|
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