The main focus of this issue is the early thirteenth century Albigensian Crusade, a Catholic campaign against the Cathars of southern France that was the first crusade not to be officially directed against Islam (the Fourth Crusade having gone badly wrong and turned into an attack on Christian Byzantium).
There is an interesting selection of articles on this main topic. After a historical introduction we look at the author of one of the main sources, the character and achievements of Simon de Montfort and Arnaud Amaury, the battle of Muret, an unsuccessful attempt by the king of Aragon to interfere in the crusade and the crusades of Louis VIII of France. This was a bloodthirsty conflict, with massacres inspired by religious zeal, and also gave birth to the Inquisition. The two biographies give us some idea of the motivation for these actions, following de Montfort, the early leader of the crusade, and Arnaud Amaury, Abbot of Citeaux, a controversial leader associated with one of the worst of the massacres.
Three articles cover other topics. The article on wounded and disabled warriors looks at those who returned to combat, those who found cures and those needed long term care. The Hungarian invasion of Italy looks at a Neapolitan war of success that became embroiled in the Hundred Years War. Finally there is a look at the exploits of 12th Century Christian Vikings as they looked east towards Pagan areas.
This is an interesting selection of articles. The three independent articles are suitably varied, while the five on the Albigensian Crusade provide good coverage of this brutal war.
The Albigensian Crusade: A twist in the story of the Crusades
Guillaume de Puylaurens: The memories of a cleric in the service of history
The crusader and the cross: Simon de Montfort and the Siege of Termes
The Battle of Muret: The Albigensian Crusade's Spanish interlude
A church of wolves: Terror as Amaury's weapon of war
For God and France: The crusades of King Louis
The mutilated, lame and blind: Disabled warriors in medieval society
A medieval world war: The Hungarian invasion of Italy 1348-1350
The Christian Vikings - Bishop Absalon and the Wendish campaigns