Albigensian Crusade

20-year military campaign initiated by Pope Innocent III to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc in the south of France

The Albigensian Crusade or Cathar Crusade (1209–1229) was a 20-year military campaign. Pope Innocent III started it to eliminate the Cathar heresy in Languedoc and make the Roman Catholic Church supreme there again. The nobles of the Kingdom of France did most of the fighting, and it resulted in a reduction in the number of practicing Cathars. It also resulted in a realignment of Occitania, bringing it into the sphere of the French crown.

Albigensian Crusade
Part of the Crusades
Le massacre des Albigeois.jpg
Massacre against the Albigensians by the Crusaders
DateJuly 1209 – 12 April 1229
Result Crusader victory


County of Aurenja
County of Provence-Forcalquier

County of Toulouse

Marquisate of Provence
Template:Country data Béarn Viscounty of Béarn
County of Astarac
Crown of Aragon

Exiled knights
Commanders and leaders
Casualties and losses
At least 200,000[1] to at most 1,000,000[2] Cathars killed
Considered by many historians to be an act of genocide against the Cathars, including the coiner of the word genocide himself Raphael Lemkin[3][4]
Political map of Languedoc on the eve of the Albigensian Crusade


  1. Tatz & Higgins 2016, p. 214.
  2. Robertson 1902, p. 254.
  3. Lemkin 2012, p. 71.
  4. Pegg 2008, p. 195.