Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/146

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eagerly seized. They were popularly classed as heretics, and were accused of openly denying the existence of God. In 1181 Bishop Stephen of Tournay feelingly describes his terror while traversing, on a mission from the king, through the Toulousain, then recently the seat of war between the Count of Toulouse and the King of Aragon, where deserted solitudes revealed nothing but ruined churches and desolated villages, and where he was ever in expectation of attack, from robbers or from the more dreaded bands of Cotereaux. It was probably a result of the crusade decreed against them, in common with the Patarins, that a concerted attack was soon after made upon the bandits in central France. They were driven together, and in July, 1183, at Chateaudun, a signal victory over them was won, the number of the slain brigands being variously estimated at from six thousand to ten thousand five hundred and twenty-five. An immense booty was obtained, among which may perhaps be reckoned fifteen hundred strumpets, who accompanied the robber host. The victors, who had assumed the name of Paciferi in token of their peaceful object, were not merciful. Fifteen days later we hear of the capture of one of the routier captains with fifteen hundred men, who were all summarily hanged; and about the same time of eighty more, Avho were caught and bhnded. In spite of these ruthless measures, the evil continued unabated. The causes which produced it remained as active as ever, and the services of the reckless and Godless mercenaries continued useful to the great feudatories involved in endless war with their neighbors.[1]

The admitted failure of the crusade of 1181 seems to have rendered the Church hopeless, for the time, of making headway against heresy. For a quarter of a century it was allowed to develop in comparative toleration throughout the territories of Gascony, Languedoc, and Provence. It is true that the decree of Lucius III., issued at Yerona in 1184, is important as attempting the foundation of an organized Inquisition, but it worked no immediate effect.

  1. Stephani Tornacens. Epist. 92. — Gaufridi Vosiens. Cbron. ann. 1183. — Gualt. Mapes de Nugis Curialium Dist. i. c. xxix.— Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1183. — Rigord. de Gest. Phil. Aug. ann. 1183.— Guillel. Brito de Gest. Phil. Aug. ann. 1183.— Ejusd. Philippidos Lib. i. 726-45.— Gran des Chroniques, ann. 1183.— Du Cange s. vv. Cotarellus, Palearii.