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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars War on Heresy, 3 Sep 2012
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This review is from: The War On Heresy: Faith and Power in Medieval Europe (Hardcover)
This book is a new departure on this subject. Previously many historians have concentrated on understanding the belief systems
of the heretics. Where the sources survive this is still quite difficult to write as heretics suffer from a bad press composed mainly not by sympathetic writers but by their enemies. This is where this work starts as it explores the hostile context (where the sources survive)around each case written by opponents of the heresy. According to this historian this is a new departure for most medieval heresies. I always have before me the case of Jeanne d'Arc who was burnt for 'heresy' for military /political reasons by the English. This is fundamental in studying this subject as the scrutiny of source material deciding where bias lies is absolutely basic in historical writing. I remember the very first essay I was set as an undergraduate student at Portsmouth Poly was to decide how valid Machiavelli's view of Ferdinand of Aragon and Cesare Borgia was in The Prince. How previous historians have missed the hostile contexts of heretical groups remains to be explained. Lambert's work is still the very best on the Cathars as is Wakefield
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