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The village of Montaillou was the last stronghold of the cult of Catharism in medieval France. Under the Inquisition of Bishop Fournier, members of this sect were persecuted and some burnt at the stake, and the interrogations about the way they lived were chronicled in a Register. From this document Ladurie has reconstructed an intriguing account of everyday peasant life in a medieval village. "Montaillou" gives us a glimpse into how people really lived 700 years ago: from their homes and the food they ate, to their body language and attitudes to sex.
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Table of Contents

Part 1 The ecology of Montaillou - the house and the shepherd: environment and authority; the domus; a dominant house - the Clergue family; the shepherds; the great migrations; the life of the shepherds in the Pyrenees; the shepherd's mental outlook. Part 2 An archaeology of Montaillou - from body language to myth: body language and sex; the libido of the Clergues; temporary unions; marriage and love; marriage and the condition of women; childhood and other ages in life; death in Montaillou; cultural exchanges; social relationships; concepts of time and space; fate, magic and salvation; religion in practice; morality, wealth and labour; magic and the other world.

About the Author

Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie was born in 1929. He has had a distinguished career, serving as Administrateur General of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France (1987-94); member of the Institute (Academy of Moral and Political Sciences). He is a professor atthe College de France and chair of the department of the History of Modern Civilization.

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