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Montségur and the Mystery of the Cathars
Inner Traditions

Montségur and the Mystery of the Cathars

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Montségur and the Mystery of the Cathars
Author(s): Jean Markale

The history and philosophy of the mysterious Cathar religion and its lost treasure

• Demonstrates that Catharism is not simply a heretical Christian cult as it is often portrayed

• Examines the evidence for the existence of a lost Cathar treasure and its possible connection to the Holy Grail

On March 16, 1244, over 200 Cathars were captured in their fortress stronghold of Montségur and were burned alive by troops of the Inquisition. While some Cathar enclaves survived into the next century, this was the death blow to a religion that had been a powerful symbol of Occitain sovereignty against the designs of the French monarchy and the papacy. History has recorded that four high-ranking Cathar perfecti carried a great treasure out of Montségur the night before its fall, a fact that led rebel Huguenots of the 17th century and members of Hitler’s S.S. to believe that an enormous treasure or weapon of awesome spiritual power lay hidden somewhere nearby the ruins of the former Cathar stronghold.

Seeking to untangle the true from the false, Celtic and medieval scholar Jean Markale meticulously searches through the obscure history of the Cathars, tracing their roots back to the ancient Zoroastrian religion of Persia. He examines what earned the Cathars--who practiced vegetarianism, non-violence, and tolerance--the ruthless persecution of both the Church and the state. He explores their doctrine, their place in medieval Occitain culture, and their secret pact with the Knights Templar. Most important, he uses all available documentation to reveal the nature of the treasure the Cathars spirited away from their fortress at Montségur the night before its surrender to French troops.

"Readers are certain to find Markale's answer revealing, if not altogether disturbing."
"Presents a very focused and fascinating treatise with enough detail to satisfy even the most knowledgeable Cathar scholar."
"The amount of information in this book is astounding. . . and it is written in a highly intelligent manner."
“Combining impeccable scholarship with an imaginative insight, Markale illumnates a critical nexus in the development of Western religious history--one that has long been shrouded in darkness. The relevance of the Cathar doctrine to modern spiritual development is also confirmed by his analysis.”
“In this remarkable book, poet-historian Jean Markale evokes the spirit of the land where the Cathars walked in the light of their faith and were martyred by the Inquisition. Deftly navigating eddies of fact, fiction, and folklore concerning their treasure, he debunks frivolous speculation and rumor while allowing those theories supported by evidence to survive.”
"Markale's book strips away the mythology and nonsense of the Cathar legend to reveal their true courage and honor. . . "
"If you are looking for a scholarly read that explores the Cathars and untangles myth from fact with many Celtic and Druid references, [this book] is highly recommended."
". . . enjoyable, filled with interesting information. . . . The final chapter in Montsegur and the Mystery of the Cathars will be particularly interesting to those awaiting the release of Otto Rahn's work on the Cathars later this year."
"Thankfully, [Markale's] Montsegur and the Mystery of the Cathars is a solidly and scholarly work which depels the most egregious of myths."
"[Markale's] descriptions of the wild Breton moors and the inaccessible peaks of the Pyrenees are described with a bardic grandeur that is befitting of his poetic roots."

ISBN:  9780892810901