Maguelone Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church and former cathedral located around 6 miles south of Montpellier in the Hérault department of southern France. The building stands on an isthmus between the Étang de l'Arnel lake and the Mediterranean Sea in the Gulf of Lion, once the site of the original city of Maguelone, opposite the present-day town of Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone. Maguelone Cathedral was once the episcopal seat of the former Bishop of Maguelone until 1563, when the see was transferred to the newly created Bishopric of Montpellier; the cathedral, constructed when the see was returned here in the 11th century from Substantion by Bishop Arnaud, is a Romanesque fortified building. Although parts, such as the towers, have been demolished, the main body of the building remains functional and is a registered national monument, it is run by a dedicated preservation society, les Compagnons de Maguelone, is used for both religious and secular purposes. During archaeological excavations in 1967, Roman and Etruscan remains and a number of Visigothic sarcophagi were discovered on this ancient island.
The foundations of a church destroyed in the 7th century were found. At the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, the Visigoths took over part of the region of Melgueil, the island of Maguelone. Christianity imposed its rule on the area. From 533, a bishopric was established on the island; the first bishops were Genies and a church-cathedral existed on the island. The bishopric of Maguelone appears in the texts at the end of the 6th century, on an island, said to have been inhabited in antiquity; the reasons for the establishment of the bishopric of Maguelone on this island away from the Via Domitia road and far from any urban area are not clear, but the island location meant that the bishopric was accessible only by sea, offering some protection. As well as being the episcopal seat, Maguelone was the seat of Gothic Counts, which ensured the presence of temporal power. Although Maguelone was well protected on the inland side, its strategic position meant that it was vulnerable to invasions from the sea.
During the 8th century, the power of the Visigoths weakened and the Kingdom of Toledo collapsed, allowing the Saracens in Spain to increase their attacks on Christian states. After the conquest of Catalonia, Saracen armies crossed the Pyrenees in 715 and took control of the whole region of Septimania in 719. Maguelone, because of its key position, was renamed Port Sarrasin a fortified place. A harbour was established allowing ships to unload their cargo safely. Today an area called the Sarrazine corresponds to an inlet, the site of these constructions. Despite the Muslim invasion, freedom of worship was maintained on the island, its inhabitants being granted the status of dhimmi. In response to the invasion, the Franks began their campaign of reconquest. Following the Battle of Poitiers in 732, the Saracens abandoned the south of France, pursued by Charles Martel. In 737, after Martel's failure to reconquer Septimania, he destroyed the first cathedral at Maguelone, converted into a mosque by the Saracens.
The architecture of the original building remains unknown. Since the site remained abandoned for three centuries, although it seems that Maguelone continued to support a precarious settlement despite the threat of pirates; the bishop of Maguelone moved his seat a few kilometres north-east to an the ancient oppidum named Substantion, the site of the present-day municipality of Castelnau-le-Lez, in the County of Melgueil. From 1030, Bishop of Maguelone from 1029 to 1060, decided to rebuild the cathedral at Maguelone, he adopted a chapter of twelve Canons Regular, after the Rule of St. Augustine. A chapel adjoining the south of the cathedral building is dedicated to St. Augustine, which survives today. To improve access to the city, which could only be reached by boat, Arnaud built a bridge nearly 1 kilometre in length which stretched from the island to Villeneuve-les-Maguelone, placed in the charge of a dignitary of the chapter, he erected fortifications to protect the site from attacks by Muslims.
Bishop Arnaud and his successors were subject to the suzerainty of the Counts of Melgueil. In 1085 the Counts bequeathed their rights over the diocese to Pope Gregory VII, they received many donations. Pope Urban II visited the island in 1096, proclaimed that Maguelone Cathedral was "second only to that of Rome." With political and ecclesiastical turmoil raging Italy, a number of pontiffs who fled to France found refuge at Maguelone. The prestige and the increased wealth of the diocese lead to the construction of a new cathedral, replacing the building that dated back to the episcopate of Arnaud. Three bishops led this major undertaking: Bishop Galtier built the chevet and apse, the wide fortified transept. At the beginning of the 13th ce
Pope Innocent III
Pope Innocent III, born Lotario dei Conti di Segni reigned from 8 January 1198 to his death in 1216. Pope Innocent was one of the most influential of the medieval popes, he exerted a wide influence over the Christian states of Europe, claiming supremacy over all of Europe's kings. He was central in supporting the Catholic Church's reforms of ecclesiastical affairs through his decretals and the Fourth Lateran Council; this resulted in a considerable refinement of Western canon law. He is furthermore notable for using interdict and other censures to compel princes to obey his decisions, although these measures were not uniformly successful. Innocent extended the scope of the crusades, directing crusades against Muslim Spain and the Holy Land as well as the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathars in southern France, he organized the Fourth Crusade of 1202 -- 1204. Although the attack on Constantinople went against his explicit orders, the Crusaders were subsequently excommunicated, Innocent reluctantly accepted this result, seeing it as the will of God to reunite the Latin and Orthodox Churches.
In the event, the sack of Constantinople and the subsequent period of Frankokratia led to an increase in the hostility between the Latin and Greek churches. The Byzantine empire was restored in 1261 but it never regained its former strength until its final destruction in 1453. Lotario de' Conti was born in Gavignano, near Anagni, his father was Count Trasimund of Segni and was a member of a famous house, Conti di Segni, which produced nine popes, including Gregory IX, Alexander IV and Innocent XIII. Lotario was the nephew of Pope Clement III. Lotario received his early education in Rome at the Benedictine abbey of St Andrea al Celio, under Peter Ismael; as Pope, Lotario was to play a major role in the shaping of canon law through conciliar canons and decretal letters. Shortly after the death of Alexander III Lotario returned to Rome and held various ecclesiastical offices during the short reigns of Lucius III, Urban III, Gregory VIII, Clement III, reaching the rank of Cardinal-Deacon in 1190.
As a cardinal, Lotario wrote De miseria humanae conditionis. The work was popular for centuries, surviving in more than 700 manuscripts. Although he never returned to the complementary work he intended to write, On the Dignity of Human Nature, Bartolomeo Facio took up the task writing De excellentia ac praestantia hominis. Celestine III died on 8 January 1198. Before his death he had urged the College of Cardinals to elect Giovanni di San Paolo as his successor, but Lotario de' Conti was elected pope in the ruins of the ancient Septizodium, near the Circus Maximus in Rome after only two ballots on the day on which Celestine III died, he was only thirty-seven years old at the time. He took the name Innocent III, maybe as a reference to his predecessor Innocent II, who had succeeded in asserting the Papacy's authority over the emperor; as pope, Innocent III began with a wide sense of his responsibility and of his authority. During the reign of Pope Innocent III, the papacy was at the height of its powers.
He was considered to be the most powerful person in Europe at the time. In 1198, Innocent wrote to the prefect Acerbius and the nobles of Tuscany expressing his support of the medieval political theory of the sun and the moon, his papacy asserted the absolute spiritual authority of his office, while still respecting the temporal authority of kings. The Muslim recapture of Jerusalem in 1187 was to him a divine judgment on the moral lapses of Christian princes, he was determined to protect what he called "the liberty of the Church" from inroads by secular princes. This determination meant, among other things, that princes should not be involved in the selection of bishops, it was focused on the "patrimonium" of the papacy, the section of central Italy claimed by the popes and called the Papal States; the patrimonium was threatened by Hohenstaufen German kings who, as Roman emperors, claimed it for themselves. The Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI expected to be succeeded by his infant son Frederick as king of Sicily, king of the Germans, Roman Emperor, a combination that would have brought Germany and Sicily under a single ruler and left the patrimonium exceedingly vulnerable.
The early death of Henry VI left his 3-year-old son Frederick II as king. Henry VI's widow Constance of Sicily ruled over Sicily for her young son before he reached the age of majority, she was as eager to remove German power from the kingdom of Sicily as was Innocent III. Before her death in 1198, she named Innocent as guardian of the young Frederick until he reached his maturity. In exchange, Innocent was able to recover papal rights in Sicily, surrendered decades earlier to King William I of Sicily by Pope Adrian IV; the Pope invested the young Frederick II as King of Sicily in November 1198. He later induced Frederick II to marry the widow of King Emeric of Hungary in 1209. Innocent was concerned that the marriage of Henry VI and Constance of Sicily gave the Hohenstaufens a claim to all the Italian peninsula with the exception of the Papal States, which would be surrounded by Imperial territory. After the death of Emperor Henry VI, who had also conque
Excommunication is an institutional act of religious censure used to deprive, suspend, or limit membership in a religious community or to restrict certain rights within it, in particular receiving of the sacraments. The term is historically used to refer to excommunications from the Catholic Church, but it is used more to refer to similar types of institutional religious exclusionary practices and shunning among other religious groups. For instance, many Protestant denominations, such as the Lutheran Churches, have similar practices of excusing congregants from church communities, while Jehovah's Witnesses, as well as the Churches of Christ, use the term "disfellowship" to refer to their form of excommunication; the Amish have been known to excommunicate members that were either seen or known for breaking rules, or questioning the church. The word excommunication means putting a specific group out of communion. In some denominations, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation of the group.
Excommunication may involve banishment and shaming, depending on the group, the offense that caused excommunication, or the rules or norms of the religious community. The grave act is revoked in response to sincere penance, which may be manifested through public recantation, sometimes through the Sacrament of Confession, piety or through mortification of the flesh. Within the Catholic Church, there are differences between the discipline of the majority Latin Church regarding excommunication and that of the Eastern Catholic Churches. In Latin Catholic canon law, excommunication is a applied censure and thus a "medicinal penalty" intended to invite the person to change behaviour or attitude and return to full communion, it is not an "expiatory penalty" designed to make satisfaction for the wrong done, much less a "vindictive penalty" designed to punish: "excommunication, the gravest penalty of all and the most frequent, is always medicinal", is "not at all vindictive". Excommunication can be either latae ferendae sententiae.
According to Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, "excommunication does not expel the person from the Catholic Church, but forbids the excommunicated person from engaging in certain activities..." These activities are listed in Canon 1331 §1, prohibit the individual from any ministerial participation in celebrating the sacrifice of the Eucharist or any other ceremonies of worship. Under current Catholic canon law, excommunicates remain bound by ecclesiastical obligations such as attending Mass though they are barred from receiving the Eucharist and from taking an active part in the liturgy. "Excommunicates lose rights, such as the right to the sacraments, but they are still bound to the obligations of the law. They are urged to retain a relationship with the Church, as the goal is to encourage them to repent and return to active participation in its life; these are the only effects for those. For instance, a priest may not refuse Communion publicly to those who are under an automatic excommunication, as long as it has not been declared to have been incurred by them if the priest knows that they have incurred it.
On the other hand, if the priest knows that excommunication has been imposed on someone or that an automatic excommunication has been declared, he is forbidden to administer Holy Communion to that person.. In the Catholic Church, excommunication is resolved by a declaration of repentance, profession of the Creed and an Act of Faith, or renewal of obedience by the excommunicated person and the lifting of the censure by a priest or bishop empowered to do this. "The absolution can be in the internal forum only, or in the external forum, depending on whether scandal would be given if a person were absolved and yet publicly considered unrepentant." Since excommunication excludes from reception of the sacraments, absolution from excommunication is required before absolution can be given from the sin that led to the censure. In many cases, the whole process takes place on a single occasion in the privacy of the confessional. For some more serious wrongdoings, absolution from excommunication is reserved to a bishop, another ordinary, or the Pope.
These can delegate a priest to act on their behalf. Interdict is a censure similar to excommunication, it too excludes from ministerial functions in public worship and from reception of the sacraments, but not from the exercise of governance. In the Eastern Catholic Churches, excommunications is imposed only by decree, never incurred automatically by latae sententiae excommunication. A distinction is made between major excommunication; those on whom minor excommunication has been imposed are excluded from receiving the Eucharist and can be excluded from participating in the Divine Liturgy. They can be excluded from entering a church when divine worship is being celebrated there; the decree of excommunication must indicate the precise effect of the excommunication and, if required, its duration. Those under major excommunication
Narbonne is a commune in southern France in the Occitanie region. It lies 849 km from Paris in the Aude department, it is located about 15 km from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and was a prosperous port, but declined from the 14th century following a change in the course of the Aude River. It is marginally the largest commune in Aude, although the prefecture is the smaller commune of Carcassonne. Narbonne is linked to the nearby Canal du Midi and the Aude River by the Canal de la Robine, which runs through the centre of town, it is close to the A9 motorway, which connects Montpellier and Nimes to Perpignan and, across the border, to Barcelona in Spain. There is a recently-renovated train station which serves the TGV to Spain and Calais, which in turn connects to the Eurostar; the source of the town's original name of Narbo is lost in antiquity, it may have referred to an Iron Age hillfort close to the location of the current settlement or its occupants. The earliest known record of the area comes from the Greek Hecataeus of Miletus in the fifth century BC, who identified it as a Celtic harbor and marketplace at that time, called its inhabitants the Ναρβαῖοι.
In ancient inscriptions the name is sometimes rendered in Latin and sometimes translated into Iberian as Nedhena. Narbonne in its current location was established in Gaul by the Romans in 118 BC, as Colonia Narbo Martius, colloquially Narbo, it was located on the Via Domitia, the first Roman road in Gaul, built at the time of the foundation of the colony, connecting Italy to Spain. Geographically, Narbonne was therefore located at a important crossroads because it was situated where the Via Domitia connected to the Via Aquitania, which led toward the Atlantic through Tolosa and Burdigala. In addition, it was crossed by the Aude River. Surviving members of Julius Caesar's Legio X Equestris were given lands in the area that today is called Narbonne. Politically, Narbonne gained importance as a competitor to Massalia. Julius Caesar settled veterans from his 10th Legion there and attempted to develop its port while Marseille was supporting Pompey. Among the amenities of Narbonne, its rosemary-flower honey was famous among Romans.
The province of Transalpine Gaul was renamed Gallia Narbonensis after the city, which became its capital. Seat of a powerful administration, the city enjoyed architectural expansion. At that point, the city is thought to have had 30,000–50,000 inhabitants, may have had as many as 100,000. According to Hydatius, in 462 the city was handed over to the Visigoths by a local military leader in exchange for support, as a result Roman rule ended in the city, it was subsequently the capital of the Visigothic province of Septimania, the only territory from Gaul to fend off the Frankish thrust after the Battle of Vouille. For 40 years, from 719 to 759, Narbonne was part of the Umayyad Empire; the Umayyad governor Al-Samh captured Narbonne from The Kingdom of Visigoths in 719. The Carolingian Pepin the Short conquered Narbonne from the Arabs in 759 after which it became part of the Carolingian Viscounty of Narbonne, he invited, according to Christian sources, prominent Jews from the Caliphate of Bagdad to settle in Narbonne and establish a major Jewish learning center for Western Europe.
In the 12th century, the court of Ermengarde of Narbonne presided over one of the cultural centers where the spirit of courtly love was developed. In the 11th and 12th centuries, Narbonne was home to an important Jewish exegetical school, which played a pivotal role in the growth and development of the Zarphatic and Shuadit languages. Jews had settled in Narbonne from about the 5th century, with a community that had risen to 2000 in the 12th century. At this time, Narbonne was mentioned in Talmudic works in connection with its scholars. One source, Abraham ibn Daud of Toledo, gives them an importance similar to the exilarchs of Babylon. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the community went through a series of ups and downs before settling into extended decline. Narbonne itself fell for a variety of reasons. One was due to a change in the course of the Aude River, which caused increased silting of the navigational access; the river, known as the Atax in ancient times, had always had two main courses which split close to Salelles.
The Romans had improved the navigability of the river by building a dam near Salelles and by canalising the river as it passed through its marshy delta to the sea A major flood in 1320 swept the dam away. The Aude river had a long history of overflowing its banks; when it was a bustling port, the distance from the coast was 5 to 10 km, but at that time the access to the sea was deep enough when the river was in full spate which made communication between port and city unreliable. However, goods could be transported by land and in shallow barges from the ports The changes to the long seashore which resulted from the silting up of the series of graus or openings which were interspersed between the islands which made up the shoreline had a more serious impact th
Abbey of Saint-Gilles
The Abbey of Saint-Gilles is a monastery in Saint-Gilles, southern France. Founded by Saint Giles, it is included in the UNESCO Heritage List, as part of the World Heritage Sites of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France. According to the legend, it was founded in the 7th century by Saint Gilles, over lands, given him by the Visigoth King Wamba after he had involuntarily wounded the saint during a hunt; the monastery was dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul: however, in the 9th century, the dedication was changed to St. Giles himself, who had become one of the most venerated figures in the area, his relics attracted numerous pilgrims. In the 11th century, the monastery was attached to that of Cluny. Thanks to its prosperity, it was enlarged and decorated from the 12th to the 15th century, when the cloister was finished. In the 16th century the church, in the course of the Wars of Religion, was devastated when the Huguenots took shelter in it. Restorations were held in the 17th century and again, after further damage during the French Revolution, in the 19th century.
The tomb of St. Giles was rediscovered in 1865, becoming again a pilgrim destination from 1965; the abbey church is in typical southern French Romanesque style. The façade, built from 1120 to 1160, has a decorated entrance portico with three portals with Corinthian columns and medieval sculpture decorations; these include, in a bestiary and scenes from the Old Testament. The frieze scenes are inspired to Roman ones; the upper part of the façade had also a classical-inspired decoration, which has now disappeared. The bell tower dates to the 18th century; the crypt, or lower church, dates to the early 11th century. It measures 50 by 25 meters, occupies the whole subterranean section of the nave. In its center is the tomb of St. Giles, a medieval place of veneration until in the 16th century, his relics were moved to the Basilica of Saint Sernin at Toulouse; the upper church, with a nave and two apses belongs to the 17th-century reconstruction, aside from the massive pillars in Corinthian style. Behind the apse are the remains of the ancient choir, which once were part of the longer church.
Inside the northern wall of the ancient choir is a spiral staircase known as "Screw of St. Gilles", dating to the 12th century, made of cantilevered stone steps. Saint-Jean, Robert. Languedoc roman. Marconot, Jean-Marie. Saint Gilles. L'abbatiale romane. Nîmes: Riresc. ISBN 2-910539-37-7. Eric White, "Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Gilles" Regordane Info - The independent portal for The Regordane Way or St Gilles Trail, which commences at St-Gilles-du-Gard. and
Catharism was a Christian dualist or Gnostic revival movement that thrived in some areas of Southern Europe what is now northern Italy and southern France, between the 12th and 14th centuries. The followers were known as Cathars and are now remembered for a prolonged period of persecution by the Catholic Church, which did not recognise their belief as being Christian. Catharism appeared in Europe in the Languedoc region of France in the 11th century and this is when the name first appears; the adherents were sometimes known as Albigensians, after the city Albi in southern France where the movement first took hold. The belief system may have originated in the Byzantine Empire. Catharism was taught by ascetic leaders who set few guidelines, thus, some Catharist practices and beliefs varied by region and over time; the Catholic Church denounced its practices including the Consolamentum ritual, by which Cathar individuals were baptized and raised to the status of "perfect". Catharism may have had its roots in the Paulician movement in Armenia and eastern Byzantine Anatolia and in the Bogomils of the First Bulgarian Empire, who were influenced by the Paulicians resettled in Thrace by the Byzantines.
Though the term Cathar has been used for centuries to identify the movement, whether the movement identified itself with this name is debated. In Cathar texts, the terms Good Men, Good Women, or Good Christians are the common terms of self-identification; the idea of two gods or principles, one good and the other evil, was central to Cathar beliefs. This was antithetical to the monotheistic Catholic Church, whose fundamental principle was that there was only one God, who created all things visible and invisible. Cathars believed that the good God was the God of the New Testament and the creator of the spiritual realm, they believed the evil God was the God of the Old Testament, creator of the physical world whom many Cathars, their persecutors, identified as Satan. Cathars thought human spirits were the genderless spirits of angels trapped in the material realm of the evil god, destined to be reincarnated until they achieved salvation through the consolamentum, when they could return to the benign God.
From the beginning of his reign, Pope Innocent III attempted to end Catharism by sending missionaries and by persuading the local authorities to act against them. In 1208, Innocent's papal legate Pierre de Castelnau was murdered while returning to Rome after excommunicating Count Raymond VI of Toulouse, who, in his view, was too lenient with the Cathars. Pope Innocent III abandoned the option of sending Catholic missionaries and jurists, declared Pierre de Castelnau a martyr and launched the Albigensian Crusade which all but ended Catharism; the origins of the Cathars' beliefs are unclear, but most theories agree they came from the Byzantine Empire by the trade routes and spread from the First Bulgarian Empire to the Netherlands. The name of Bulgarians was applied to the Albigensians, they maintained an association with the similar Christian movement of the Bogomils of Thrace. "That there was a substantial transmission of ritual and ideas from Bogomilism to Catharism is beyond reasonable doubt."
Their doctrines have numerous resemblances to those of the Bogomils and the Paulicians, who influenced them, as well as the earlier Marcionites, who were found in the same areas as the Paulicians, the Manicheans and the Christian Gnostics of the first few centuries AD, although, as many scholars, most notably Mark Pegg, have pointed out, it would be erroneous to extrapolate direct, historical connections based on theoretical similarities perceived by modern scholars. John Damascene, writing in the 8th century AD notes of an earlier sect called the "Cathari", in his book On Heresies, taken from the epitome provided by Epiphanius of Salamis in his Panarion, he says of them: "They reject those who marry a second time, reject the possibility of penance ". These are the same Cathari who are mentioned in Canon 8 of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in the year 325, which states "... F those called Cathari come over, let them first make profession that they are willing to communicate with the twice-married, grant pardon to those who have lapsed..."It is that we have only a partial view of their beliefs, because the writings of the Cathars were destroyed because of the doctrinal threat perceived by the Papacy.
Conclusions about Cathar ideology continue to be debated with commentators accusing their opponents of speculation and bias. There are a few texts from the Cathars themselves which were preserved by their opponents which give a glimpse of the inner workings of their faith, but these still leave many questions unanswered. One large text which has survived, The Book of Two Principles, elaborates the principles of dualistic theology from the point of view of some of the Albanenses Cathars, it is now agreed by most scholars that identifiable historical Catharism did not emerge until at least 1143, when the first confirmed report of a group espousing similar beliefs is reported being active at Cologne by the cleric Eberwin of Steinfeld. A landmark in the "institutional history" of the Cathars was the Council, held in 1167 at Saint-Félix-Lauragais, attended by many local figures and by the Bogomil papa Nicetas, the Cathar bishop of Fran
Peire de Castelnou (troubadour)
Peire de Castelnou was a minor troubadour from Provence. He was a client of the lords of Baux, his one surviving piece, Oimais no·m cal far plus long'atendensa, is a sirventes written after either the Battle of Benevento or the Battle of Tagliacozzo. He favoured the Angevin cause in Italy. Peire wrote that Raymond Berengar IV of Provence had kept the troubadour Sordello close to him