Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Yellow Cross: The Story of the Last Cathars' Rebellion Against the Inquisition, 1290-1329” as Want to Read:
The Yellow Cross: The Story of the Last Cathars' Rebellion Against the Inquisition, 1290-1329
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Yellow Cross: The Story of the Last Cathars' Rebellion Against the Inquisition, 1290-1329

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  127 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
The Yellow Cross is a harrowing tale of a desperate people in a small corner of France who defied the kings of Europe and the Pope. The Cathars, whose religion was based on the Gospels but contradicted the tenets set forth by Rome, found themselves the focus of ruthless repression. In systematic waves of brutal persecution, thousands of Cathars were captured, summarily tri ...more
Paperback, 468 pages
Published August 13th 2002 by Vintage (first published 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Yellow Cross, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Yellow Cross

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 332)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 09, 2011 Ruth rated it liked it
c2000. For a non-fiction book, this was "utterly absorbing" as per the quote from the Daily Telegraph. Five words from the blurb: heretical; bloodshed; gripping; Vatican; exterminating. I did like the way that the author interspersed the factual recountings of the story of the last Cathars with his own personal observations and travels. I found it incredibly difficult to sort through the persona dramitis as there were so many similar names and surnames to battle through. However, that is the sam ...more
Oct 02, 2010 Jay rated it liked it
This book is a marvel of scholarship and research about the last days of Catharism in the Languedoc area of southern France in the early 14th Century. The sheer volume of detail about personalities, events, and relationships that the author was able to glean from, mainly, records of peoples' testimonies before the Inquisition would be amazing if it dealt with events from 50 years ago; that these events took place almost 700 years ago makes it all the more astonishing.

Unfortunately the book is al
J.A. Gilbert
Jan 08, 2016 J.A. Gilbert rated it it was amazing
A very interesting book on a period of history that is often overlooked. I was amazed at the amount of detail that had been recorded in the archives.
A really interesting and informative read about the last of the Cathars. The people who feature in this story are very diverse and most are not that devout, either as Cathars or Catholics - lots of people using religion to control people and further their own interests.
Mary Ann
May 26, 2013 Mary Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was an excellent read. It was very detailed but it reads as easily as a novel. Apart from the historical interest, Weis's description of the individuals make them come to life. His description of the landscape and towns make it easy to visualise these individuals going about their daily lives in their native settings.

I did not read this book in one stretch; in fact, I read it over several months. While I sometimes had to skim a previous chapter as I'd forgotten some of the events that
Azimah (previously Hamizao) Othman
A strange Ramadhan endeavour. Yes. My hubby placed the book on my worktable and I got hooked since.

I first knew of the Cathars when reading "Rule By Secracy" by Jim Marrs which touched on the Jews fleeing from King Herod's reign founding refuge amongst the Cathars, and the Albigensian Crusade and also from Dan Brown's book.

This book tells the story of of the Cathar twilight focusing of course on the Inquisition in the mountain vilages of Languedoc currently the Catalonia in Spain. The annals of
Jan 25, 2008 Dianna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Religious studies
Recommended to Dianna by: Sylvia Browne's book The Secret Societies
Shelves: religious
The Cathars religion was based on the Gospels but somewhat contrary to religious Catholicism and therefore they were labeled 'heretics'. They were persecuted by the Roman Catholic church and most including children and women were burned at the stake. The majority lived in the Pyrenees mountains of Southern France and upper Spain.

This book was readable, historical, accurate but somewhat hard to keep track of all the people. So many with the same names made it difficult - you almost needed to sit
Jun 28, 2009 Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was infuriating to begin with. Far too much time spent on the geography of the area - at one point he spent nearly half a page describing how he worked out exactly where a rock referred to in one of the depositions actually was. I didn't care and I still don't! There was also the problem of everyone having one of about five names and either being related or having an affair. It could have done with some family trees to refer to. The first 250 pages were slow but then amazingly I got ve ...more
Pretty decent introduction to the Cathars, a fascinating heretical Christian sect which flourished in what is now southern France and Catalonia during the Middle Ages. Weis focuses on the movement in its death throws, as it faded away thanks to protracted persecution on the part of the Catholic church. It's a coherent account of the events which Ladurie would examine in microcosm in his Montaillou; a good place to begin if you don't want to start that more famous work blind.

(Cate, I actually thi
Somehow something I saw or read on one of our outings while in Belgium set me off looking at things religious tied to the diasporas and Jewish and Muslim and Catholic interactions and this book fell into my hands thereafter. Fascinating reading to my thinking. Maybe not everyone's idea of that however.

I'm thinking the lovely church across the plaza from the Royal palace in Madrid may have been what set me off on this binge but I can't verify dates at the moment having packed most of my Belgian
Oct 19, 2010 Carolyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Fascinating narrative derived from 700 year old depositions taken by the Inquisition in their relentless pursuit of heretics. Although the detail is at times overwhelming, the author succeeded in vividly depicting the lives of ordinary people of Languedoc during the middle ages, most of whom died for their rebellion against the Catholic church.
Gregory Lamb
Mar 24, 2011 Gregory Lamb rated it liked it
This is a fascinating history of a little known movement at a precarious time. The most interesting aspect of the story of the Cathars is that the idea is still alive and the unique language is being preserved. Don't pick up this book if you want an easy relaxing read though. It is more like a graduate level textbook than a story.
"Came across the Cathars from reading Stuart Gordon's fantasy ""the Watcher's"" trilogy. This is a history of the end of the time of the Cathars and after their earlier persecutions. This marks the end of the Albigensian crusade, and I highly recommend it for those interested in this period of history."
Tony Glover
Oct 18, 2012 Tony Glover rated it really liked it
This is the story of a religious sect, the Cathars, who lived in the Languedoc, a region of south west France. The church was determined to wipe out the families they believed were heretics and this book captures the desperation of their struggle to survive.
Sep 22, 2011 Julia rated it it was ok
Originally I was interested in reading more about how this lost old world Cathar Religion was wiped out through the Inquisition but found this book much too detailed with scholarly medevil language and trivia for my level of interest.
Mar 24, 2008 Kimo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
The story behind the reasoning for the Albisengian Crusade,and a step by step detailed analisys based purely on source materiel. If you love to read about the history of the Church, then this is a must.
Aug 07, 2010 Judy rated it it was ok
A couple of years ago I had read a novel for Sharyn's book club that was about the torment of the Cathars by the Catholic Church. It interested me enought to pursue the real story.
Nov 11, 2011 Mike rated it it was ok
An OK book. Very detailed, but not about the Albigensian Crusade. Great to give you a picture of everyday life in medieval France. REALLY dry.
T. Frohock
Nov 27, 2013 T. Frohock rated it really liked it
Excellent book. It read more like a novel than a history. Weis gives a very intimate look at the Cathars of Montaillou.
Francisco Becerra
Beautiful depiction of the last days of the cathars, full of history, culture and humanism.
Lania Knight
Feb 02, 2013 Lania Knight rated it it was amazing
Excellent, detailed descriptions. Thoroughly researched.
John Fanning
Apr 30, 2009 John Fanning rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Good, but gets tiring.
Wouter Bruffaerts-Dupont
Wouter Bruffaerts-Dupont marked it as to-read
Feb 10, 2016
Kathy marked it as to-read
Feb 02, 2016
HJChadd marked it as to-read
Jan 31, 2016
Chris Newton
Chris Newton marked it as to-read
Jan 31, 2016
Andre marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2016
Carolina Montague
Carolina Montague rated it it was amazing
Jan 28, 2016
Katharina marked it as to-read
Jan 27, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Perfect Heresy: The Revolutionary Life and Spectacular Death of the Medieval Cathars
  • The Cathars: The Most Successful Heresy of the Middle Ages
  • The Other God: Dualist Religions from Antiquity to the Cathar Heresy
  • I re taumaturghi
  • Massacre at Montségur: A History of the Albigensian Crusade
  • Lucifer: The Devil in the Middle Ages
  • Crusade Against the Grail: The Struggle between the Cathars, the Templars, and the Church of Rome
  • Your Money or Your Life: Economy and Religion in the Middle Ages
  • The Barbarian Conversion: From Paganism to Christianity
  • The Siege of Vienna: The Last Great Trial Between Cross and Crescent
  • Marianne in Chains: Daily Life in the Heart of France During the German Occupation
  • William Pitt the Younger
  • The Great Fire of London: In That Apocalyptic Year, 1666
  • The Northmen's Fury: A History of the Viking World
  • Arab Historians of the Crusades
  • The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople
  • Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages (The Penguin History of the Church, #2)
  • A History Of The Crusades 3 Volume Set

Share This Book