Note: Endnotes preceded by an asterisk (*) have been supplied by the translator and editor Christopher Jones.

Translator’s Foreword

1. The Georg Büchner Prize is Germany’s most distinguished literary award. It was originally given only to those writers who were born in Hessen; in 1951, it was opened to all German authors. “Kreuz und Gral, Versuch einer Einführung,” Nr. 50, Baseler Nachrichten, December 10, 1933.

2. Crusade has been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, among other languages. Rahn is also credited as being the prototype for Steven Spielberg’s swashbuckling archaeologist Indiana Jones. His books are mentioned as sources in the 1982 bestseller Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln, among others.

3. Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival, translated by A. T. Hatto (New York: Penguin Books, 1980).

4. Robert Graves.

5. Le livre des sentences de l’Inquisiteur Bernard Gui, translated and annotated by Annette Palès-Gobillard (Paris: CNRS—Centre National des Recherches Scientifiques).

6. Napoléon Peyrat, L’Histoire des Albigeois (Nîmes: Editions Lacour).

7. Paul-Aléxis Ladame, Quand le laurier reverdira (Saltkine, 2003). Other works by Ladame include La quête du Graal and Unir l’Europe.

8. Rahn explains the possible Celtic origins of the legend among the Volcae Tectosages, a tribe that lived in southern France and Germany. What he missed was the fact that this tribe may have been involved in an incident some 600 years before the Christian era, when a comet slammed into the Earth in the area of the Chiemsee in Bavaria that was inhabited by Celtic tribes. The effects of the explosion were similar to the detonation of an atomic device; however, once the tribes returned, they discovered that the comet had left a special ore that they used to fashion the best swords of antiquity. A real case of a stone that fell from the stars.


1. Parzival, 827.

2. *“Despite its undeniable religious character, the Church and the clergy never acknowledged the existence of the legend. Not a single writer of the ecclesiastical establishment speaks of the Grail. Although the curious tale of this symbol of the faith could not have passed unnoticed, not one of the numerous works by clerics that have reached us—with the exception of the chronicler Helinand—mentions the name of the Grail. They did not want to mention it. They silenced it, nothing more. Even more than its repudiation by the clergy, what astounds us is that the idea of this precious relic was neither understood nor brought to reality.”—Eduard Wechssler, Gral, p. 24. In the same work, p. 177, Dr. Wechssler discusses the possible reasons why Guyot’s poem was lost.

3. *Walter Map (circa 1140–1210), Archdeacon of Oxford. A Welshman, Walter Map is remembered for De Nugis Curialium [Courtiers Triflings] a book of gossip and anecdotes.

4. *Caesarius von Heisterbach (1180–1240), Cistercian, master of novices at the monastery at Heisterbach, and one of the most widely read authors of the thirteenth century. His best-known work is Dialogus magnus visionum atque miracolorum [Dialogue of Visions and Miracles], Libri XII.

5. *Maurice Magre (1877–1941), Magiciens et illuminés (Paris: Fasquelle, 1930). Magre, Magicians, Seers, and Mystics (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1932), translated by Reginald Merton.

6. *Rahn is referring to his alleged participation in the Polaire expedition to southern France in March 1932 that was reported by the southern French newspaper La Depêche in several articles. The Polaires were a secretive group linked to the Anthroposophical Society; among their most prominent members was writer-poet Maurice Magre.

7. *Joséphin Péladan, De Parsifal à don Quichotte, le secret des troubadours (1906).

8. *Franz Kampers, Das Lichtland der Seelen und der heilige Gral (1916), p. 78.



1. *Parzival, Wolfram von Eschenbach, p. 235 (Hatto translation, p. 125). The proper translation of the name “Parsifal” or “Parzival” is disputed. Rahn, in his second book, Lucifer’s Courtiers (1937), asserts that the name comes from the Persian language and means “Pure Flower” (p. 137).

2. See Peyrat, Nostradamus and Civilisation romaine. *Physician and astronomer Michel de Nôtredame (1503–1566), better known as Nostradamus, was accused during his lifetime of being a Cathar; see also Claude de Vic and Joseph Vaissètte, Histoire Générale de Languedoc (Paris, 1872–1892), Vol. VI, Kampers, Wechssler, Biographien, K.A.F. Mahn, Kannegiesser, and others.

3. Re: the troubadour Guilhem de Montanhagol, see Jules Coulet, Montanhagol (p. 48 et seq).

4. The didactic poems of troubadours Arnaut de Mareulh and Armanieu des Escas were taken from Peyrat, Histoire des Albigeois, Vol. I, pp. 86 and 87.

5. Provençal is the first derivative of the lingua rustica Latina. In the Middle Ages it was preferred for poetry. Its name stems from Provence, and it was spoken throughout southern France, above all in the Dauphinat, Languedoc, Auvergne, Poitou, Guyenne, and Gascony as well as in the Spanish regions of Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia. The basic characteristic of the Occitan language or langue d’oc is the word oc, which means yes (from the Latin word hoc) in juxtaposition to the French Langue d’oil (oil signifies yes, from the Latin hoc illud; oui today).

6. All so-called “protectors” in the biography of Raimon de Miraval were heretics who played an important part in the crusade. Peyrat describes the siege of the castles of Saissac, Cab-Aret, and Penautier with luxuriant detail in Croisade, Vol. II. See de Vic and Vaissètte and Guillermo de Tudela, La Canción de la Cruzada Albigensa. Bertran de Saissac was the tutor of Raimon-Roger of Carcassonne.

7. Raimon de Miraval’s poem was dedicated to Adélaide de Boisseson Lombers, a well-known heretic who preferred the charms of King Pedro of Aragon. Irmingard de Saissac, the sister of Guilhabert de Castres, the patriarch of the heretics, and a “Daughter of Belissena,” was celebrated by Raimon as the “Beautiful Albigense.” Her infidelity drove the troubadour to the edge of madness. Stéphanie, the “She-Wolf,” wasn’t any better. During the crusade, Raimon lost his castle to the French. In his novel Die Dichterin von Carcassonne, Heyse describes his marriage with “Gaudairenca.” See also La vie et l’œuvre du troubadour Raimon de Miraval, Andraud, 1902. Peire d’Auvergne was also known as the “Monk of Montaudon” (de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. 6, p. 948). He donated the income from his poetry to a convent, the Abbey of Aurillac. Kannegiesser has translated a satire by Peire d’Auvergne called The Monk into German, although in reality Peire de Auvergne did not write this play about fifteen troubadours. Raimon’s poem is freely translated. Not far from Montségur was Poivert, the summer residence of the Viscountess Adélaide de Carcassonne.

8. See Patzig, Zur Geschichte der Hermaire (1891) and Hüffer, Der Troubadour Guillem von Cabestany (1869). According to Peyrat (Vol. I, p. 155 et seq), Donna Seremonda was a native of Tarascon, a small town of the Sabarthès. Boccaccio introduced the story of Guilhem de Cabestanh in his Decameron (4.9), and Uhland based his famous ballad on it. Petrarca (Petrarch) mentions the troubadour as well in his Trionfo d’Amore.

9. Unfortunately, Peyrat does not reveal the source for a different version of the story of Raimon Jordan on p. 153 of Vol. I of his Histoire des Albigeois, or Civilisation Romaine. Re: Helis and Alix de Montfort, see de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. VI, p. 558.

10. Re: the discovery of the presumed “sacro catino” by the Genoese in the Temple of Hercules in Tyre [which 16th-century legend claims was used by Christ at the Last Supper], see Kampers, p. 85; Wechssler, p. 129; Hertz, pp. 456–457; Birch-Hirschfeld, p. 223. *On the French Emperor Napoléon’s orders, the sacred emerald was analyzed in 1806.

11. De Vic and Vaissètte, Histoire (especially pp. 161–162); Vaux-Cernay, Ch. IV.

12. From Bertan’s “Guerra me plai.”

13. Re: the origin of the name Papiol, see Peyrat, Vol. I, p. 56. According to K. Mahn in Biographien, p. 6, *Papiol was the name of Bertran de Born’s juggler.

14. *A mournful poem, elegy.

15. Re: Bertran de Born and Henry of England, see Peyrat, Vol. I, p. 60.

16. *The Third Crusade (1189–1192) was an attempt to reconquer the Holy Land from the forces of Saladin. It is also referred to as the “King’s Crusade.”

17. The version in prose of the poems of Marcabru and Peirol was taken from Peyrat, Vol. I, p. 193. Also, K. Mahn uses Marcabru’s ballad in Biographien, p. 15.

18. *Joachim of Flora or “de Fiore” (1132–1202) did not consider himself a prophet. He believed instead that he had the right to interpret biblical prophecies. His writings were compiled under the title Evangelium aeternum, and the Franciscan “Spirituals” made good use of them during their confrontation with the Papacy. Circa 1254, Gherardino di Borgo San Donnino of the Order of the Minorites wrote an Introductio ad Evangelium aeternum in which he accused the Papacy of being a non-spiritual power. The Pope ordered the book confiscated, and the publisher paid for his impudence with fourteen years in prison. See Döllinger, Der Weissagungsglaube und das Prophetentum in der christliche Zeit (1880). Re: the links between the song of Alexander the Priest-king and the Grail, see Kampers, p. 105.

19. Wechssler, p. 135: “Arthur was a dux bellorum or military leader of the Welsh in their conflicts with the Anglo-Saxons at the end of the fifth and the beginning of the sixth centuries.” Also see Hertz.

20. Sources for the chivalric festivities at Beaucaire: Peyrat, Vol. I, p. 236; de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. VI, p. 60, Baudler, p. 28.

21. Peyrat, Vol. I, p. 239.

22. *Although Richard forgave the man who fired the fatal shot before he died, the assassin was flayed alive and hanged.

23. From Kannegiesser’s free translation of Gaucelm Faidit’s elegy.

24. The troubadours’ poem refers to Raimundo VI. See Lea, Vol. I, p. 146.

25. *Parzival, p. 235. Achmardi is an emerald green fabric that was exported from the Levant to Western Europe. According to a note by Hatto in his excellent English translation of Parzival, although the word is not recognized, it translates as emeraldine or az-zumurrudi in Arabic.

26. Peyrat, Vol. I, pp. 22 and 39; de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. VI.

27. Peyrat, Vol. I, pp. 29 and 265; Garrigou, Foix, Vol. I; Louis Palauqui, Esclarmonde de Foix (Foix: Lafont de Sentenac, 1911).

28. Re: the Sons of the Moon or Sons of Belissena: Peyrat, Vol. I, pp. 293–296, Vol. II, pp. 15, 17, 118, 197, 258; de Vic and Vaissètte, VI and IX; Witthöft (notes); Garrigou, Foix, Vol. I.

29. Munsalvaesche or Munsalvatsche, as Wolfram calls the Grail Castle, translates in German as Wildenberg, the name of the castle that the Graf Wertheim presented to Wolfram von Eschenbach. According to Pannier’s prologue to his translation of Parzival,Wolfram “believed that the castle of Munsalvaesche was located in the Pyrenees.” Re: the lords of Saissac, see Peyrat, Vol. II, pp. 101, 144, 200, 203, 241, etc.

30. See Baudler; Kampers, p. 19; Wechssler, p. 75.

31. See Wechssler, pp. 7, 165; Kampers, pp. 15, 112. Chrétien de Troyes wrote Li contes del Graal between 1180 and 1190. It is the oldest version of the story that we have, and it was dedicated to Philip of Flanders. Death surprised the author with pen in hand. “As fascinating as some parts are, compared to Wolfram’s Parzival, it seems superficial and trivial.”—the author.

32. Parzival, p. 115; Willehalm, pp. 2–19; Karl Pannier, Vol. I, p. 15.

33. Peyrat, Vol. I, p. 215; Baudler, p. 19.

34. See Titurel, 26, 27. Re: the name Herzeloyde, see Hertz, pp. 469, 478, 529; Wechssler, p. 166.

35. Parzival, pp. 140, 235. *Rahn returns to discuss the origins of this name. According to the author, Wolfram based it in perce (imperative of “to pierce, cut, or drill”) and bellement. So in German, Parsifal could be translated as Schneidgut. The primitive sense of the name could also be “spring in the valley.” See Wechssler, pp. 34, 135; Hertz, pp. 490–492; Kampers, p. 56.


The Grail

1. Parzival, p. 235 (Hatto translation, p. 125).

2. According to Pannier’s introductory note to his translation of Parzival, Peire Vidal shared Wolfram von Eschenbach’s concept of the Minne.

3. Parzival, pp. 1 and 3 (Hatto translation, p. 15); see also Peyrat, Histoire des Albigeois, Vol. I, Civilisation romaine, p. 65.

4. *The ancient Zoroastrians.

5. *Antonin Gadal was the first to use the expression “Pathway of the Cathars.”

6. *Parzival, pp. 454–456 (Hatto translation, pp. 233–235). Wolfram uses the word “innocence” in place of “purity.” The “Day of the Supreme Minne” refers to Good Friday.

7. The Gleysos are located in the vicinity of the spulga (cave) of Ornolac; *during their extensive explorations, Rahn and Antonin Gadal discovered that they are connected through the caves of “the Hermit” and “the Fish.”

8. *In 1963, regional publisher Trois Cèdres in Ussat-les-Bains brought out a small book, Sabarthès, by G. Zagelow, complete with maps—Karl Rittersbacher.

9. Parzival, p. 475 (Hatto translation, p. 242). The Cathars believed that they were celestial spirits who originated in divine substance. Döllinger, Beiträge zur Sektengeschichte der Mittlealters, Vol. I, p. 134.

10. Alfred Loisy, Les mystères païens et les mystères chrétiens (1914–1918), p. 44.

The Golden Fleece

1. Roscher, Encyclopedia, art. “Golden Fleece,” calls the Golden Fleece the “Classical Grail.”

2. See Reinach, Orpheus, pp. 58–59.

3. Re: Ilhomber, see Peyrat, Vol. I, Civilisation romaine, p. 127; Abellio, Vol. I, p. xv. Re: the Phoenician settlements in the vicinity of Narbonne, see Movers, II, 2, pp. 644–654. According to Tacitus, Germania XLIII, a priest in Germany whose name appears to have been Alcis offered sacrifices to the two divinities, Castor and Pollux, while dressed as a woman. Regarding Orpheus, see Reinach’s Orpheus, p. 122, and Loisy, Ch. II.

4. Wolfram clearly states that the Grail was a stone. He calls it—erroneously—a Lapsis exillis, which is taken from Lapsis ex coelis; according to this legend, the “Grâl” fell from Lucifer’s crown to Earth during the fall of the angels, and landed directly on Montségur in the Pyrenees. Kampers, p. 86 and his notes at the foot of p. 121. Also see Wechssler, p. 167. Re: the link between the Argonauts and a “cup,” see Kampers, p. 72.

5. Kampers, p. 71; “Flegetanis,” Parzival, p. 454. *According to Wolfram, a Jewish astronomer in Toledo named Flegetanis is the source of the legend of the Grail. Over the ages, many have been intrigued by the character’s name, which translates as “familiar with stars” in Persian. Others have identified the character with Thabit ben Gorah, an alchemist who lived in Baghdad between 826 and 901; still others assert that the origin of the name is “Felek Thâni,” the guardian of the planet Mercury in Arabic. Surprisingly, Flegetanis is a family name in the Empordà, in the northern Catalonian region of Spain.

6. Kampers, p. 71.

7. The Ciste Ficorini is preserved in Rome in the Vatican Museum. See Loisy, p. 67. Re: Pythagoras: Parzival, p. 773.

Gwion’s Cup

1. Pythagoras of Samos, 580–496 b.c.

2. Dispater: ab dite patre prognatos (Caesar, VI, 17).

3. Ptolemy: Geography, Vol. II, 10. All sources for the march of the Volcae Tectosages through Greece can be found in de Vic and Vaissètte, Histoire, Vols. I and II.

4. Ernest Renan, La Vie de Jésus, p. 82. The Manicheans considered both Christ and Manes as prophets who consoled humanity.

5. The head of the Buddha discovered in an Iberian burial chamber is on display in the Museum of Rennes. According to Alexandre de Bernay, two traitors were reponsible for the death of Alexander: Jovispater and Antipater; Birch-Hirschfeld, Epische stoffe,p.21. Peire Vidal also mentions Antipater when he refers to Alexander.

6. Re: Celtic theology, hierarchy, and their God Hesus or Esus in particular, see de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. I, p. 28, and note 56 (Ammianus Marcellinus).

How the Bard Taliesin Came to the World

1. Re: the legend of Taliesin, see Bosc, Belisama, pp. 93 and 107. The Phoenician Hercules was depicted as a dwarf, and was also called Gwion, Ogmi, or Albion, all considered gods. It would appear that the mysterious bards played an important role as guards of the “sacred cup.” In Loisy, p. 79, the author describes the extraordinary parallels between the Eleusins and the metamophosis of Gwion.

The Legend of the Bard Cervorix

1. Bosc, p. 122: “The island of the Seine, says Pomponius Mela (III, 6), is renowned as the seat of the oracles of Gaul, whose nine high priestesses have the power to unleash tempests, and winds … these Druid women were considered saints because of their chastity.” Bosc, p. 56, but also Reinach, Orpheus, p. 179. In this respect I would like to call attention to the similarity between the nine muses, the nine priestesses of the Seine, and the seven times nine virgins of the Grail.

The “Pure Ones” and Their Doctrine

1. Parzival, p. 463; Astaroth = Astarté; Belcimon = Baal-Schemen or Samin (a Syrian divinity); Beleth = the Chaldean Baal; Radamant = Radamantis; the judge of Avernus = Hell.

2. *“Mosiach” means “descended from King David” in Hebrew; the belief in the coming of the Messiah is fundamental to Judaism.

3. St. Luke, The Acts and Deeds of the Apostles, 2:II, 46.

4. Renan, La Vie de Jésus, pp. 55, 85, 110; Loisy, p. 251. Also see Peyrat, Vol. I, Civilisation romaine, p. xx.

5. Priscillian, Bishop of Avila.

6. Priscillianism was a Gnostic Manichaeism; its cruel extermination—the first time a sentence of death was pronounced against a heresy—provoked a division between the bishops who approved of Priscillian’s trial and condemnation, and those like Ambrosio of Milan and Martin de Tours, who opposed it. See Lea, Vol. I, pp. 239–240; Reinach, Orpheus, pp. 351 and 383; Peyrat, Vol. I, pp. x, 121, and 286; Vol. II, p. 8. Ref: Babu, Priscillien et le Priscilliensime.

7. *In one of the later editions of Rahn’s work, Karl Rittersbacher notes that a document, Liber de duobis principiis, discovered in Florence in 1939 by Dondaine, is the oldest and most important surviving Cathar document we have. Zoë Oldenbourg proceeds in a different way, publishing Cathar texts—a ritual for example—translated into French, and lets the reader form his own opinion (pp. 382–399).

8. Schmidt, Vol. II, pp. 8 et seq; Döllinger, Vol. I, pp. 132 et seq.

9. Matthew 4:9 and 14:13; Schmidt, Vol. II, p. 16.

10. St. John 1:12 and 13; 3:6; Hebrews 13:14; Schmidt, p. 25.

11. Galatians 3:28; Col. 1:20; Genesis 3:15, 6:2; First Epistle of St. John 3:9; St. John 10:8; Schmidt, Vol. II, p. 21; Döllinger, Vol. I, pp. 144, 147, 165; N. Peyrat, Vol. I, p. 361.

12. Parzival, p. 463.

13. Kampers, pp. 103 and 86: “In Merlin’s French and Italian prophecies, the magus writes of the Babylonian dragon’s crown with four precious stones, and something similar that belonged to the mythical Emperor of Orbante, Aurians-Adriano. One of the chapter titles of the Italian prophecy identifies this figure with the Babylonian dragon. By chance, the crown of the lord of Orbante was found in the sea, and a fisherman took the precious stones that adorned it to Emperor Fredrick. In the manner that the passage was written, it is possible to deduce that the stones were the most important part of the crown.”

14. Schmidt, Vol. II, p. 72; Döllinger, Vol. I, p. 150; Dicunt Christum phantasma fuisse non hominem. Schmidt, Vol. II, p. 38, note 1.

15. Schmidt, Vol. II, p. 36; Döllinger, Vol. I, p. 152; Peyrat, Vol. I, p. 383; Cum cogitaret Pater meus mittere me in mundum, misit angelum suum ante me, nomine Maria, us acciperet me. Ego autem descendens intravi per auditum, et exivi per auditum. See Schmidt, Vol. II, p. 41, note 2. Christ is born like Athena from the head: St. Augustine adds (in a treatise attributed to him), deus per Angelum Loquebatur, et Virgo auribus impraegnabatur. Ref: Schmidt, Vol. II, p. 41; Peyrat, Vol. I, p. 384.

16. Schmidt, Vol. II, pp. 78, 167, 169; Döllinger, Vol. I, p. 178. For paragraph 3, see Saint Luke, 9:56.

17. Inquisitor and troubadour Isarn was only stating a generally accepted truth when he asserted that no member of the faithful could be converted by the Cathars or Waldenses if he had a good pastor: Ya no fara crezens heretje ni baudes si agues bon pastor que lur contradisses. Lea, Vol. I, p. 67.

18. The number of heretical Perfecti was extremely small. During the First Crusade—the glory days of Catharism—their number did not surpass 800. This is not surprising, given that the Cathar doctrine demanded ascetic practices that could undermine even the most robust constitution. On the other hand, the credentes or believers were very numerous. Together with the Waldenses, they topped the number of orthodox Catholic believers, who were eventually reduced to the clergy. Obviously this refers exclusively to the south of France. Regarding the division of Catharism into Perfecti and credentes; see 1 Cort. 2:6; Hebrews 5:12–13; Loisy, p. 248; Reinach, Orpheus, pp. 104–105. The Cathar faithful were simply called “Christians.”

19. The Cathars had their meeting places inside castles, and in the cities as well. Schmidt, Vol. II, p. 11. In Montségur there was an abode quae erat deputata ad faciendum sermonem (an entry in a register preserved in Carcassonne dated 1243). Regarding the bendicion, see Schmidt, p. 116; Döllinger, on p. 230. The actual prayer was: Pater et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus, parcat vobis et dimittat vobis omnia peccata vestra. A popular Occitan prayer said: Senhor prega Deu per aquest pecaire, que Deus m’aport a bona fi…to which was answered: Deus vos benedicat, eus fassa bon Chrestia, eus port a bona fi. Schmidt, Vol. II, p. 126.

20. Regarding the Cathar’s “particion del pan,” also called the benediction of the bread, see Schmidt, Vol. II, p. 129. Concerning the dogma of reincarnation, see Reinach, Orpheus, p. 422; Hauck, Transubstantiation. Finally, in addition to the breaking of bread in primitive Christianity, see for example Loisy, p. 215; loco vero consecrati panis eucharistie corporis christi, confingunt quedam panem quem appelant panem benedictum seu panem sancte orationis quem in principio mense sue tenendo in anibus secundum ritum suum, benedicunt et frangunt, et distribuunt assistentibus et credentibus suis. Bernard Gui, p. 12. Also, St. Paul said that the community of the faithful is the “body of Christ”: Rom. 12:5; 1a Corint. 12:13. Finally, Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 139 examines the constitution of the “Church of Amor” on p. 139; Döllinger, Vol. I, p. 200; Peyrat, Vol. I, book 6, Ch. 7, pp. 395 et seq.

21. Not all Cathars believed that the Holy Spirit was the Paraclete; according to Psalm 1:14, it was also called the Spiritus principalis, to which adoration was given along with the Father and the Son. The Cathars made a distinction between the Spiritus principalis and the protecting spirits on one hand, and the “seven spirits” that according to the Apocalypse, 1:4 stand before the throne of God. For the Cathars, one of these seven spirits was the Paraclete. See Döllinger, Vol. I, pp. 137–138, 155 et seq. The predominating belief (found in the Gospel of St. John) was that the Paraclete was identical with the Holy Spirit. See John 14:16 and 26; 15:26; and 16:7 and 13.

22. *The Cathar Manisola was celebrated four times a year, according to a solar calendar: on the equinoxes in spring and autumn, and at the summer and winter solstices. Three major Cathar castles in Occitania—Montségur, Quéribus, and Cab-Aret—were constructed according to an astronomical plan similar to the pyramids in Egypt. See Fernand Niel, Les Cathares et Montségur (Seghers, 1973). According to Rahn’s friend, Col. Karl Maria Wiligut, “Mani” is the Old Norse word for “moon”—a clue that could unravel the mystery of the most radical of all Cathar sects, the “Sons of the Moon.”

23. Regarding the Cathar consolamentum, see Schmidt, Vol. I, pp. 119, 123; Döllinger, Vol. I, 143, 153, 191, 204; Peyrat, Vol. I, p. 378. Et confingunt, tanquam simie, (!) quedam alia loco ipsorum, que quasi similia videantur, confingentes loco baptismi facti in qua baptismum alia spiritualem, quem vocant consolamentum Spiritus Sancti quando videlicet recipiunt aliquam personam in sanitate vel infirmitate ad sectam et ordinem suum per impositionem manuum secundum ritum suum execralibem (!)—Bernard Gui, p. 12. The real purpose of the consolamentum was to stop the transmigration of the soul from one body to another. Re: Cathar beliefs of metempsychosis, the words of St. Peter are especially relevant. Peter referred to spirits that are captured in a prison, which is to say in the human body; he added that Christ preached to the incredulous in the days of Noah (1 Peter 3:19); See Döllinger, Vol. I, p. 143, Schmidt, Vol. II, p. 46.

24. The “Black Mountain” in the Corbières region between Castres and Carcassonne.

25. Schmidt, Vol. II, pp. 83, 94; Peyrat, Vol. I, p. 104. The “habit” can be traced to the kosti and saddarah, the sacred shirt and dress worn by all Zoroastrian or Mazdaist faithful. The fact that the Zend and Brahmans wore them indicates a prehistoric origin, before the dispersion of the Indo-Europeans. In Cathar times, those who wore the habit were considered by the Inquisitors as haereticus indutus o vestitus, or “intiates in all the mysteries of the heresy.” See Lea, Vol. I, p. 101.

26. Regarding the endura, see Molinier, Endura, Schmidt, Vol. II, p. 103; Döllinger, Vol. I, pp. 193, 221, and 225.

27. *A famous plaster death mask of an anonymous young woman who committed suicide by drowning; 1898–1900, plaster; Musée Nationale des Moulages, Paris.

28. Re: Dante’s “mountain of purification,” see Kampers, p. 62: “the representation—reflection of the Hindu myth—of an inaccessible celestial mountain, where at the foot or on the summit the Garden of Eden could be found, was preserved throughout the Middle Ages.”

29. Schmidt, Vol. II, pp. 82, 93; Döllinger, Vol. I, pp. 180–181. Among the first Christians, there was a strong tendency to explain the apparent injustices of God with metempsychosis. See Lea, Vol. I, pp. 109 and 122.

The Caves of Trevrizent Close to the Fountain Called La Salvaesche

1. Peyrat, Vol. II, p. 78; Lea, Vol. I, pp. 121–122.

2. Parzival, p. 452.

3. Parzival, p. 459 (Hatto translation, p. 235). Re: Solomon’s treasure, see Kampers, pp. 26, 27, 33, 39, 54, 66, 80, 81, 85, 94.

4. Kampers, pp. 15, 28, 34, 42, 43, 62, 71, 90.

5. Re: the Sacred Fish, see Reinach’s Orpheus, pp. 29–30; Cultes II, p. 43; Kampers, pp. 35, 71, 74, 75; Wechssler, p. 130; Renan, p. 238. Unlike the rest of the Cathars, the townfolk of Albi ate fish and drank wine.

6. For specific literature on the Sabarthès, see Garrigou and Antonin Gadal. Peyrat’s history of the Albigenses, Albigeois et l’Inquisition, is the only work that refers to the death knell of Catharism in the caves of Tarascon. While Garrigou and Gadal (both from Tarascon) discovered traces of the tragedy of the Cathars during their explorations, they mention them only in passing. On the other hand, Peyrat visited only the cave of Lombrives, which he mistook for the spulga Ornolac. In his Cartullaire de Prouille, Guiraud dedicates an entire chapter to Lupo de Foix, which is nevertheless very incomplete. See de Vic and Vaissètte, Vols. VI and IX, and Note 46.

7. Re: the haereticatio of Esclarmonde, see Peyrat, Civilisation Romaine, p. 329; Palauqui, Esclarmonde de Foix; Guiraud, Saint Dominique, p. 56; Coulet, Montanhagol, pp. 28, 97, 103, and 106. Montanhagol’s verses probably refer to Esclarmonde de Foix’s niece Esclarmonde de Alion, and not the famous Cathar. Today, townsfolk simply refer to “Esclarmonde” without any further elaboration. See Magre, pp. 93–94.

Muntsalvaesche and Montségur

1. Monmur: The obvious correlation between the poems of Huon and the tales of the Grail has been ignored until now.

2. Parzival, pp. 250–251, 472, 492, 493, 495, 797, 827.

Repanse de Schoye

1. Parzival, p. 235.


The Crusade

1. As Roger, the Bishop of Châlons, asserted in his letter to Wazo, the Prelate of Liège, the Cathars saw the Holy Spirit in their “Mani”: “per sacrilegam manuum impositionem dari Spiritum sanctum mentientes quem non alias Deo missum quam in haeresiarcha suo Mani (quasi nihil aliud sit Manes nisi Spiritus sanctus) fasissime dogmatizarent.” See Schmidt, Vol. II, p. 259, note 1. Peyrat, who changes Manichaeism into Maneism and then designates it “The Church of the Paraclete,” speaks of Catharism as a monotheistic Manichaeism. According to the author, Manes was the “messenger of the Mani” or “one who has the Mani.” The word “Mani” comes from the Zend, the Persian commentary on the Zoroastrian Avesta, and (as we have already mentioned) means “spirit,” the equivalent of the Latin mens. See also Peyrat, Vol. I, pp. xii, 121, and 412.

2. Re: the repudiation of the cross by the Albigenses, see Schmidt, Vol. II, p. 112; Moneta, pp. 112, and 461. The Templar knights also repudiated the cross.

3. Fulk or Folquet in Occitania: Peyrat, Vol. I, p. 311; Lea, Vol. I, p. 148; de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. VI, p. 243, Vol. VII, p.144; Guiraud, Dominique, p. 66. Fulk, St. Dominic, and Simon de Montfort were united in a “pious friendship.” See also Dante Alighieri,La Commedia Divina, IX, 88; Tudela, Ch. CLXV.

4. Lea, Vol. I, p. 149; de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. VI, p. 471; Palauqui, La vérité sur l’Albigéisme, p. 10. In the city of Toulouse alone, Fulk ordered the execution of 10,000 presumed heretics; Schmidt, Vol. I, pp. 66, 68, 96; Lea, Vol. I, p. 29.

5. Schmidt, Vol. I, pp. 195-196. Already in the era of St. Bernard de Clairvaux, almost all knights of the Midi—fere omnes milites—were heretics. Guiraud, Dominique, p. 23.

6. Lea, Vol. I, pp. 40, 142; Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 192. On p. 70, Vossler writes: “From an ethical and political perspective, Cardinal put himself so decidedly on the side of the persecuted Albigenses, and above all with the Counts of Toulouse with his quatrains, that he can be considered without any doubt the author of the second part of the epic poem of the Crusade against the Albigenses.”

7. Lea, Vol. I, pp. 15, 16, and 18; Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 335; Doat, XXV, folio II. Re: the Waldenses, see above all Jas, Moneta, and Bernard Gui; Vaux-Cernay says of them in Ch. II they were “longe minus perversi” than the Cathars.

8. *Bernard Gui, né Guidonis, Dominican monk and French bishop (1261– 1331), wrote the Practica Inquisitionis Heretice Pravitatis [The Conduct of the Inquisition of Heretical Depravity] (1307–1323), better known as the Inquisitor’s Manual. Recently Annette Palès-Gobillard translated Le livre des sentences de l’Inquisiteur Bernard Gui into French (CNRS Editions). The fanatical Inquisitor Gui appeared as a character in Umberto Eco’s 1983 novel The Name of the Rose (also a 1986 film). Also see David de Augsburg’s De inquisitione haeretocorum, p. 206, Mollat (prologue to Gui), p. xxxix, and finally Lea, Vol. I, pp. 35, 93, and 95.

9. Re: the Council of Tours: Peyrat, Vol. I, pp. 123 and 160. Around this time, the slave Niketas appeared as the Pope-heretic. See Peyrat, Vol. I, Ch. IV and V; Döllinger, Vol. I, p. 122; de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. VI, pp. 2 and 3; Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 73.

10. Re: the discussion at Lombers, see Peyrat, Vol. I, p. 127; Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 70. Re: Peire Morand: Peyrat, Vol. I, p. 161; Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 76; Lea, Vol. I, p. 135; de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. VI, p. 3.

11. Re: the supposed orthodoxy of the House of Trencavel, see de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. VI, p. 155.

12. *Pope Alexander III (1105–1181, r. 1159–1181).

13. Re: Cardinal Albano and his “crusade,” see Peyrat, Vol. I, pp. 165, 171; Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 83; Lea, Vol. I, p. 137. On p. 176, Peyrat writes: “As Albano headed for Gascony, all the inhabitants of the plains fled to the mountains accompanied by Esclarmonde de Foix and her troubadours, Arnaut Daniel, Peire Vidal, and the intrepid Marcabru.”

14. Re: Innocent III, see Achille Luchaire, Innocent III, and in particular Vol. II (1906); Peyrat, Vol. I, pp. 251, 286; Lea, Vol. I, p. 149.

15. Schmidt, Vol. I, pp. 197, 205; Lea, Vol. I, p. 197; Guilhem de Puylaurens, Guilelmus de Podio Laurentii chronica, p. 671; Vaux-Cernay, pp. 559, 560.

16. Also known as Arnaud Amaury or Amalric (?–1225). For a biography of Arnaud de Cîteaux, see Peyrat, Vol. I, pp. 291, 315. Also see Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 210; Lea, Vol. I, pp. 156, 157; de Vic and Vaissèette, Vol. VI, pp. 245–246.

17. Peyrat described the conference of Pamiers in detail in Vol. I, book IV. See Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 213; Vaux-Cernay, Ch. VI; Palauqui, Esclarmonde de Foix, p. 21; de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. I, p. 250; Puylaurens, Ch. VIII (672). The Count of Foix, Raimon Roger, authorized the conference. His wife Philippa and (as we know) his sister Esclarmonde were both Cathars. His second sister Cecilia, the wife of Roger Comminges, was a Waldense—the only case that we have of an Occitan noble belonging to this sect, which is surprising because they were basically composed of farmers and artisans. In the Council of the Lateran of 1215, Fulk of Marseille accused the Count of Toulouse of heresy: see Tudela, Ch. CXLV.

18. Mirepoix and Montségur: Peyrat, Vol. I, p. 303 etc; Palauqui, Esclarmonde de Foix, p. 19. Schmidt, Vol. I, pp. 215, 234; Doat, XXIV, folios 217 and 240; XXII, folios 168 and 216; Tudela, verses 3260 et seq; Guiraud, Cartullaire, p. ccl. The foundation of the first Dominican convent, Notre Dame de Prouille, near Fanjeaux: Guiraud, Cartullaire and Saint Dominique; de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. VI, p. 252; Peyrat, Vol. II, p.131; Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 216; Luchaire, Vol. II, p. 99. According to Peyrat and Palauqui, Bertrand de la Baccalaria reconstructed Montségur. In pagan times, a sanctuary dedicated to Abellio stood close to another venerating Belissena.

19. “Blessed” Pierre de Castelnau was killed on January 15, 1208. To this day, the Papal legate’s assassin has never been identified. Tudela asserts that the murderer was a shield bearer of the Count of Toulouse who wanted to avenge the insults to his lord.

20. Re: the Papal Encyclica of Leo XIII, see Lea, Vol. I, pp. 169, 170; Schmidt, Vol. I, pp. 221, 228; Louis Palauqui, Esclarmonde de Foix, pp. 22–24.

21. Tudela, p. 175 (Verse 342 et seq). Apart from Raimon-Roger, Raimon Roger de Foix, and the Sons of Belissena, the most powerful protectors of the Cathars at the beginning of the crusade against the Albigenses were Gaston VI, Count of Béarn, Gérard VI, Count of Armagnac, and Bernard VI, Count of Comminges. There were no heretics in the domains of Guilhem VI, Count of Montpellier. See Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 196. Re: the siege of Béziers: Tudela, Ch. XVI et seq; Vaux-Cernay, XVI; Peyrat, Vol. II, p. 40; Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 228; de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. VI, p. 288. Caesarius von Heisterbach, Book V, Ch. 21. According to one chronicler, 60,000 persons perished; Heisterbach puts the figure closer to 100,000. Que nols pot grandir crotz (Tudela, verse 495): “Nothing could save them, not the cross, the altar or the crucifix. Those madmen and sneaky ruffians slit the throats of priests, women, and children. Not one, I believe, was left alive; shall God receive them in his Glory!” Tudela continues, “I do not believe that since the time of the Saracens, such a bestial killing has been decided upon and carried out. The booty that the French obtained was enormously large. If those ruffians and crooks had not appeared with their King, all the inhabitants of Béziers would have been rich for the rest of their lives.”

22. Re: the siege of Carcassonne: Tudela, Ch. XXVI et seq; Vaux-Cernay; Guillaume de Puylaurens, Ch. XIV; Peyrat, Vol. II, p. 48; Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 230; Lea, Vol. I, p. 174; de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. VI, p. 291. Caesarius von Heisterbach calls the townpulchravallis. The Veni Creator Spirituswas the official hymn of the crusade against the Albigenses, and so became the leitmotiv of all the atrocities committed by the Vatican and Royal Paris against the “Church of the Paraclete.” Messa lor cantata: Tudela, verse 768.

23. Re: the death of Raimon Roger Trencavel: See de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. VI, p. 313. Raimon Roger was less than thirty years of age when he died. The year of his birth is given as 1185. His mother, Adélaide de Burlats, had died in 1199. Raimon Roger’s wife, Inès de Montpellier, fled to Foix with her only son, Raimon Trencavel (b. 1207) before the arrival of the crusaders; see de Vic and Vaissètte, Peyrat, and above all Tudela, p. 181, note 1. Shortly after the death of her husband, Inès left her parents in Foix and went over to the enemy.

24. Lea, Vol. I, p. 178; Peyrat, Vol. II, Books VIII and X (Ch. VI); Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 233.

25. Minerve: Lea, Vol. I, p. 181; Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 242; Peyrat, Vol. II, p. 157; Tudela vv 1071; Vaux-Cernay, Ch. XXXVII; de Vic and Vaissètte, Ch. LXXXVII. Termès: Peyrat, Vol. II, p. 184; Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 243; as well as the sources given for Minerve; Tudela, Ch. LVI; de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. VI, Ch. XCIII. *Raimon de Termès’ son Olivier became an expert in siege warfare. After serving in the Catalonian army, he converted to Catholicism and died in the Holy Land.

26. Lea, Vol. I, p. 184; Peyrat, Vol. II, p. 184; Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 244; de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. VI.

27. Lavaur: Peyrat, Vol. I, pp. 325 and 337; Vol. II, p. 204; Schmidt, Vol. I, pp. 247–248; Vaux Cernay, Ch. XLIX; Tudela, Ch. LXVIII; de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. VI, Ch. CII, CIII, CVIII; Guillaume de Puylaurens, Ch. XVI. Estiers dama Girauda: “Donna Geralda was thrown into a well. (The Crusaders) covered her with stones. Supreme mockery and derision, because nobody in this world—you can take this for certain—ever left her home without receiving hospitality.” Tudela, vv 1557 et seq. Dominal etiam castri, quae erat soror Aimerici et haeretica pesima, in puteum projectam Comes lapidibus obrui fecit; innumerabiles, etiam haereticos peregrini nostri cum ingenti gaudo combuserunt. Vaux Cernay, end of Ch. LII.

28. Re: Innocent III: see Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 244, Note 1.

29. Lea, Vol. I, pp. 174, 190; Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 255; Peyrat, Vol. II, book XI. Re: the death of Simon de Montfort: Peyrat, Vol. II, pp. 68, 410; Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 270; Lea, Vol. I, p. 208; Puylaurens, Ch. XXVIII-XXX; Vaux-Cernay, Ch. LXXXIII et seq. Re: the death of Raimundo VI: Purlaurens, Ch. XXXIV; de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. VI, book XXV.

30. Re: the end of the third part, see Lea, Vol. I, p. 227; Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 283; de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. VI, books XXV.

31. The poem by Bernard Sicard has been taken from Peyrat, l’Histoire des Albigeois.


The Apotheosis of the Grail

1. Domingo de Guzman: Peyrat, Vol. I, p. 316; Guiraud, Saint Dominique; Dante Alighieri, La Commedia Divina (Heaven) XII. Tomas de Malvenda: Guiraud, p. 40; Lea, Vol. I, pp. 335, 337, 368, 411, 459, 487. The “model interrogation” was taken from Bernard Gui, Vol. I, p. 64, and Lea, Vol. I, p. 459. Also see David von Augsburg, pp. 229–232.

2. Re: the oath of Joan Teisseire: Lea, Vol. I, pp. 107–108. Re: flagellation: Lea, Vol. I, p. 519; Cauzons, Vol. II, p. 299. Re: pilgrimages: Lea, Vol. I, p. 520; Cauzins, Vol. II, p. 295; Mollat, Manuel, LVI. Re: wearing the crosses: Lea, p. 523; Doat, XXXI, 57; Cauzons, Vol. II, p. 227.

3. Re: Torture: Lea, Vol. I, pp. 470, 477; Doat, XXXI, 57; Cauzons, Vol. II, p. 227.

4. Re: murus: Schmidt, Vol. II, p. 196; Cauzons, Vol. II, p. 367; Lea, Vol. I, p. 544, Vol. II, p. 36. Re: death by fire and the “secular arm”: Lea, Vol. I, pp. 249, 597; Cauzons, Vol. II, pp. 381, 401. The Inquisitors believed that they could justify death by burning at the stake with the Gospel According to St. John 15:6. Re: condemnation of dead heretics: Lea, Vol. I, pp. 259, 501, 566, 619. Cauzons believes that the phenomenon is based in 1 Kings 13:2 and 2 Kings 23:16. See Cauzons, Vol. II, p. 360. Re: Pope Stephen VII, see Lea, Vol. I, p. 259.

5. St. Thomas Aquinas (circa 1225–1274), “doctor angelicus,” a Dominican.

6. Re: confiscation of assets: Lea, Vol. I, p. 560; Cauzons, Vol. II, p. 318.

7. Pope John XXII: born Jacques Duèse in 1245.

8. Pope Urban VI (1318–1389, r. 1378–1389), born Bartolomeo Prignano, provoked the Great Schism; he died in Rome from the injuries caused by a fall from his mule.

9. Lea, Vol. I, pp. 623–625; Ch. XVII of the Apocalypse says: Item, duas configunt esse ecclesias, unam benignam quam dicunt esse sectam suam, eamque esse asserunt ecclesiam Jhesu Christi; aliam vero ecclesiam vocant malignam, quam dicunt esse Romanem ecclesiam eamque impudenter appellant matrem fornicationum, Babilonem magnam meretricem et basilicam dyaboli et Sathanae synagogam; Bernard Gui, Vol. I, p. 10; Döllinger, Vol. I, p. 189.

10. The murder of Inquisitors in Avignonet: de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. VI, p. 738; Puylaurens, Ch. XLV; Lea, Vol. II, p. 37; Doat, VVII, 107, XXIV, 160; Peyrat, Les Albigeois et l’Inquisition, Vol. II, p. 304; Schmidt, Vol. I, p. 320.

11. *Raimon de Alfar, Alfaro, or Alfier, was part of a family of Navarran knights in the service of Count Raimundo of Toulouse; it is rumored that Raimon, Ferran, and Hugo or Huc were among the four knights who evacuated the Grail from Montségur. All escaped from Montségur and at least one joined the army of James I of Aragon (aka Jaume “el Conquistador”) during the seventh crusade to the Holy Land; see Gauthier Langlois, Olivier de Termès.

12. Montségur: de Vic and Vaissètte, Vol. VI, pp. 766–769; Puylaurens, Ch. XLVI; Catel, Histoire des Comtes de Toulouse, p. 162; Doat, XXII, 202, 204, 210, 214, 216–217, 224, 228, 37; XXIV, 68, 76, 80, 160, 168, 172, 181, 182, 198; Peyrat, Croisade, p. 359;Les Albigeois et l’Inquisition,Vol. II, pp. 299, 315, 324; Palauqui, Esclarmonde de Foix, p. 31; Albigéisme, pp. 10–11; Magre, p. 88; Duclos, Vol. II, Ch. I. Also see Gaussen, Garrigou (Foix) Gadal.

13. Lea, Vol. II, p. 105; Magre and the oral tradition. Re: Jacques Fourner, Bernard Délicieux, and Pierre Autier: Jakob, Studien über Papst Benedikt XII; de Vic and Vaissètte, Histoire, Vol. IX, p. 86, 229, 258, 260, 277, and 333, 389–392, 445; Lea, Vol. I, p. 297, Vol. II, pp. 80, 93, 107, 475; Peyrat, Lavisse, Haureau, Vid.

14. *Some say that Philip had Boniface beaten so badly that the Pontiff died.

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