By Robert Harrison
Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Vol.22:1 (1991)
Introduction: During the past forty years, scholars of medieval heresy have reconstructed the rise of Catharism in twelfth-century France and Italy with ever greater clarity, aided by the discovery of valuable primary sources and an appreciation for the links between Catharism and Bogomilism. The notion that ancient Manichaeism and twelfth-century Catharism were connected by the transmission of dualism via various heretical groups, set forth most powerfully by Steven Runciman, has been abandoned. The growth of Catharism in twelfth-century Germany, however, has not attracted the kind of scrutiny directed toward the Languedoc and Lombardy, mainly because the sources for such a study are scarce by comparison and also because German Catharism, faced with persecution from church and emperor during the early thirteenth century, never achieved the permanency of the French and Italian heretics.