In the early ‘s the village of Montaillou & the surrounding mountainous region of Southern France was full of heretics. When Jacquest Fournier, Bishop of. Most editions of Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie’s classic Montaillou, first published in French 40 years ago, have one of two subtitles, neither of. Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Montaillou: Cathars and Catholics in a French Village, Montaillou itself is a tiny village in the south of France, in a region of high.

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I adore this book – it is one of the great texts of history from below and a real lesson in use of an archive to read through official records to find the stories of the people.

It is these households, more than anything else, that ladurle the key to understanding Montaillou. Apparently some Inquisitor back in the 14th century performed exceptionally detailed interrogations on an entire town; the author used those records to piece together a new look at exactly what life was like in that town.

Montaillou: The Promised Land of Error by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie

Most of the time he spends bonding with his fellow shepherds in their el huts and is so popular he becomes their virtual leader.

The Wars of the Roses 14 Source Exercise 5: Though Ladurie does not generally romanticize the Montaillou peasants, there is a great exception. We may also use external analysis systems which may set additional cookies to perform their analysis.

In addition, though, he clearly seems to be using this material to make a serious point. Once into his fifties, a man lost his position monaillou head of the household to his oldest son and had to defer to the latter. Ladurie’s Montaillou is a history book in the Annales tradition.

Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Montaillou — Faculty of History

The domus also had great cultural importance. Ladurie’s book is not primarily about Catharism. To ask other readers questions about Montaillouplease sign up. Open Preview See a Problem?

Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Montaillou

Montaillou was a small community of some souls, farmers and shepherds, of no particular interest except that it became the subject of this extraordinarily detailed and exhaustive inquisition.

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Being of the Annales school, Le Roy Ladurie has no hesitation in describing his work as “the factual history of ordinary people”, or suggesting that the job of the modern historian is to act as “the mouthpiece of the dead”, but in more recent decades the discipline has become more sceptical of such possibilities.

Taylor, English History Extract Simon Sebag Montefiore, Stalin: English Social History Overview Trevelyan: Ladurie also makes an interesting contrast between Pierre Maury, for whom fate and fortune “are primarily individual entities, affecting the life of one person,” and Pierre Clergue, for whom “fortune is above all connected with the common fate of his line and his household.

Sometimes it read like a piece of crappy prose with WAY too much detail, sometimes it read like a gossip column that man’s wife had an affair wi We had a good laugh about this book in class.

To read this is an immersive experience, but not exactly a thrilling one. Ladurie even goes into a long discussion about the homosexual practices of a priest outside of Monataillou. Le Roy Ladurie’s micro-history uses those records to lay bear the daily life of ladurke villagers from loving couples picking fleas off each other as much as to detail popular belief far from the more familiar and regulated Christian life montwillou the towns.

The Henrician Reformation 1 Source Exercise 5: He was relentless in questioning Mixed feelings. The Athenian Empire Source Exercise 1: A lascivious priest who not only seduces half his flock, but also instructs them in the heterodox traditions of the Cathars, that extinct and bizarre sect of Christianity whose philosophy sometimes seemed to hold truck with Zoroaster and Pythagoras more than it did the early Church fathers.

It seems weird to say that I’m enjoying a book of which I can only digest a few pages at a time, but it’s true.

Their religious beliefs are very plastic and flexible especially when the future of their domus is at stake. Their habits, daily routines, clothes, gossip, relationships, et cetera have all been recorded in vivid detail and the glimpse is revealing; we haven’t changed much.

Instead, he advances from his unique, comprehensive source only so far as to group it in topics and put it in language that we can understand.


This Ladurie does by providing examples of how peasants ladirie in such concepts as the migration of souls from one body to the next after death, similar to the Hindu belief in reincarnation.

Montaillou: The Promised Land of Error

We might scoff at metempyschosis – the belief that souls could travel from humans to animals and back again – but when the individual testimonies of the people of Montaillou grilled by the Catholic Inquisition montailolu looked at we can see astonishing parallels with our own times.

Older men experienced the opposite. In Montaillou, people did not shave, or even wash, often. I’d never expect to agree with every aspect of someone else’s methodology, and in many ways this book made for a fascinating read as much for what made me hmm and why it did as for the vivid detail. All aspects of life revolved around this almost sacred unit.

Ladurie here is not so much sensationalizing as he is trying to teach the reader something about the good life as he sees it.

Clergue used his influence to protect his friends and punish his enemies. Ladurie points out that Catharism may have been yet another factor in support of sexual permissiveness, but that this religion merely supported a trend already in existence.

Now I’m into the exploits of Pierre Clerque, the womanizing and then some! I recognise the enormous research work he has invested in his study of the small village, ravaged by the Inquisition, and yet I needed something more to consider it a masterpiece. Like climbing a long mountain trail that’s not too steep, but -just goes on and on. He refused to abandon his chosen way of life even though it entailed risks; he was reconciled to the future, whatever it might hold.

In doing so, our modern world now has a very thorough look at the life of peasants in the middle ages, rather than just the warriors and rulers.