Raimund V. (Toulouse)

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Raimund V of Toulouse ( French Raymond de Toulouse ; Occitan Ramon de Tolosa ; * 1134 ; † December 1194 in Nîmes ) from the family of Raimundiner was Count of Toulouse , Quercy , Rouergue and Margrave of Provence . He was the eldest son of his predecessor Alfons Jordan .


The county of Toulouse (green) and its vassals (light green) in the 12th century

Raimund V was born in 1134 as the son of Count Alfons Jordans and his wife Faydiva d'Uzès. In 1148 he succeeded his late father in the extensive territorial conglomerate of the House of Toulouse. During his reign he faced the threat of the Angevin Empire of the Plantagenets . Henry II of England laid claim to Toulouse on behalf of his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine . To fend off this, Raimund leaned more strongly than his predecessors to the French crown under King Louis VII , whose sister he married. In the summer of 1159, Henry II moved with a large army before Toulouse , which he besieged. To save Raimund, King Ludwig VII appeared in the city with a small retinue, which he forced Heinrich to break off the siege, because he was a vassal of the king for his French possessions, whom he could not expose to any danger. This was the first time in centuries that a French king had made a presence in Toulouse again. The last time in 864, King Charles the Bald had appointed the ancestors of Raymond in Toulouse as counts.

To avoid an even greater French influence, Raimund made a political change in 1165 and divorced his wife. Due to his possible engagement to Richeza , a cousin of Emperor Frederick I , he came closer to the Hohenstaufen . Opposite Aragón , with whom Toulouse fought for supremacy in Languedoc , Raimund was able to strengthen his position after King Alfonso II of Aragón came into enmity with his own vassal Roger II Trencavel . He had previously also been an opponent of Toulouse, but now allied himself with Raimund in order to be able to defend himself against the attack by King Alfons in 1170. The war ended in 1171 with a failure of Aragón, which also ended the alliance between Toulouse and Trencavel, because Roger II. Trencavel then approached Aragón again.

In 1173, Raimund managed to achieve a compromise with the Plantagenets, gave up his formal vassalage to Castile and paid homage to Henry II and his eldest son, Henry , who had already been crowned King of England , in Limoges . Toulouse was obliged to give horses as an annual tribute and to provide knights for military service. In return, this submission brought Raimund recognition as the rightful Count of Toulouse, which effectively ended the inheritance dispute with Aquitaine. A number of historians see in this procedure why Eleanor of Aquitaine supported a rebellion of her sons against their father in 1173:

“In accepting Raymond's homage to Toulouse, Henry betrayed, in Eleonore's eyes, her long-standing claims to Toulouse as part of her rightful inheritance, and sowed doubts that the county was a vassal state of Aquitaine. At the same time he recognized Raymond [...] as the rightful ruler of Toulouse and implicitly suspended Eleonore's claim to the county. The fact that he accepted the Count's homage was all the more worrying for Eleanor as she knew that his claim to feudal lordship over Toulouse resulted solely from his marriage to hers. Finally, she interpreted Count Raymond's homage to the young [Heinrich] as a step that suggested a sovereignty of the English crown over the Duchy of Aquitaine - in her eyes a signal that Richard and his descendants would in future receive their title of duke by the grace of the English king should wear. Eleanor, however, wanted the direct transfer of rule over Aquitaine to Richard, without the English king as an intervening liege lord. "

Despite paying homage to Henry II, Raimund tried to maintain a largely independent position. He used the intra-family conflicts of the Plantagenets to his advantage, especially to weaken Richard the Lionheart. He therefore supported the young King Heinrich against Richard the Lionheart in the civil war of 1182. After the young Heinrich died unexpectedly in 1183, Raimund continued the fight against Richard the Lionheart, but fell on the defensive. The Lionheart allied with King Alfonso II of Aragón in 1186, which led Raimund to a war on two fronts. The Lionheart occupied the Quercy and Albigeois while Alfonso II advanced into the Languedoc and forced Raimund to give up the siege of Carcassonne . He was saved by the intervention of King Philip II August , who penetrated the lower Berry in 1187 and thus threatened Richard the Lionheart. The conflicting parties then agreed on a ceasefire, in which Raimund had to hand over several castles in the Quercy to Richard the Lionheart as security. During his absence in the Holy Land , Raimund tried to recapture his lost castles, but was prevented from doing so by Prince Sancho of Navarre , Richard's brother-in-law.

Raymond V died in Nîmes in 1194 and was buried there in the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Attitude to the Cathars

Under Raymond V, the county of Toulouse reached its peak of power, but his government also ushered in its decline. Its constant warlike activities and the emancipation of the city of Toulouse from the count's rule put the count's house under economic conditions. The count's authority was also called into question by the prosperous religious movement of the Cathars .

Between the years 1165 and 1175 , papa Niketas , who had traveled from Constantinople , convened the leading representatives of the Occitan Cathar community for a council in Saint-Félix-de-Caraman , at which the community had imposed the formation of a form of ecclesiastical organization. This meeting is symptomatic of the wide spread and social anchorage that Catharism had reached in Occitania since it first appeared there in the early 12th century. Cathar dualism had gained supporters in the highest social classes, the feudal nobility and the urban bourgeoisie, and had thus become a politically relevant factor. For Raimund this development posed a problem insofar as Catharism was replaced by Catholic Orthodoxy under Pope Alexander III. had been condemned as a heresy at the Council of Tours in 1163 , which secular rulers were urged to combat. In 1165, Raimund took part on the side of the Archbishop of Narbonne in Lombers in a dispute with Cathar leaders, which ended with a renewed condemnation of their faith. However, the rapid spread of the heresy had not been able to stop this, so that in September 1177 Raimund felt compelled to describe his difficult situation in a letter to the abbot of Cîteaux , which enabled him to take action against the heresy or to turn a large part of it Vassals to her made impossible. He was indignant about the introduction of the "two principles" in his lands and asked the abbot to seek help from King Louis VII of France .

The call for help was answered the following year when the kings Louis VII of France and Henry II of England commissioned the papal legate for France, Peter of Pavia , with a missionary trip to Occitania. When the latter had arrived in Toulouse , Raimund had brought him in front of one of the leading citizens, who openly confessed to the legate his support for the Cathar faith, from which he did not want to turn. For fear of the reaction on the part of the Tolosan citizens, Raimund decided not to burn the confessed heretic, instead locked him in a prison and had his house checked out. Thereupon the citizen declared his willingness to convert, with the condition that he would travel to the Holy Land for several years. Raimund then moved to Castres with the legate , where two leading heretics, one of whom was the Cathar bishop of Toulouse, were excommunicated. However, both had managed to move to Lavaur before they could be captured. With that, Peter von Pavia's mission was over. At the third Lateran Council in 1179, the military fight against heresy was finally included in the church canon. Raimund was the first secular prince to use these new instruments to persecute heretics when, in June 1181, he and the cardinal legate Heinrich von Albano , formerly Abbot of Clairvaux , rose at the head of an army before Lavaur and besieged the city. Not only had the two Cathars fled to this city, who had escaped his grasp in Castres, the city was also the property of his son-in-law and archenemy Roger II Trencavel . However, his daughter Adelheid had also come to the city, whose influence the abandonment of the city was thanks to after only a few days and without major sacrifices. The two heretics had been extradited to Raimund, who soon converted to orthodoxy and spent the rest of their lives as canons in Toulouse.

Raimund V had tried to counter the spread of Catharism with the support of the Catholic Church with military means. The siege of Lavaur is referred to in modern historical research as the “pre-crusade”, a military prelude to the Albigensian crusade, which was proclaimed in 1208 . In contrast to him, his son Raymond VI. thought it inappropriate to act against the Cathar heresy, she had even willingly tolerated it. In this way, the House of Toulouse in particular was exposed to suspicion of heresy, from which its historical fate was to grow.

Marriages and offspring

Raimund V married the French Princess Konstanze, a daughter of King Louis VI , on August 10, 1154 . and widow of Count Eustach IV of Boulogne . The marriage, which was divorced in 1165/66, had several children:

Furthermore Raimund had two illegitimate children, the son Peter Raimund and the daughter India, who was married first to Vice Count Gilbert von Lautrec and then to Bernard Jourdain de l'Isle-Jourdain.


  • Michel Roquebert: The History of the Cathars, Heresy, Crusade and Inquisition in Languedoc. German translation by Ursula Blank-Sangmeister, Philipp Reclam jun. GmbH & Co. KG, Stuttgart 2012. (French first edition, Histoire des Cathares. Hérésie, Croisade, Inquisition du XIe au XIVe siècle. Éditions Perrin, Paris 1999).
  • Jörg Oberste : The crusade against the Albigensians. Heresy and Power Politics in the Middle Ages. Darmstadt 2003.
  • Ralph V. Turner: Eleanor of Aquitaine - Queen of the Middle Ages. CH Beck, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-406-63199-3 .


  1. ^ Turner: Eleanor of Aquitaine. 2012, p. 293.
  2. Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio vol. 21, ed. by Giovanni Domenico Mansi (1776), col. 1175–1181 .
  3. Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio vol. 22, ed. by Giovanni Domenico Mansi (1778), col. 157-168 .
  4. A copy of the letter has come down to us in the Chronicle of Gervasius of Canterbury . See: The Historical Works of Gervase of Canterbury, Vol. 1: The Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II and Richard I , ed. by William Stubbs in: Rolls Series , Vol. 73 (1879), pp. 270-271.
  5. Gesta Regis Henrici secundis et Gesta Regis Ricardi Benedicti abbatis , ed. by William Stubbs in: Rolls Series , Vol. 49.1 (1867), pp. 198-206.
  6. ^ Geoffroy du Breuil , Ex Chronico Coenobitae Monasterii S. Martialis Lemovicensis ac Prioris Vosiensis Coenobii , in: Recueil des Historiens des Gaules et de la France , Vol. 12 (1877), pp. 448-449. Here the term "Albigenser" is used for the first time for the followers of the Catholic faith.
  7. Guillaume de Puylaurens , Historia Albigensium , in: Recueil des Historiens des Gaules et de la France , Vol. 19 (1880), p. 196. Lavaur is referred to here by the author as the “synagogue of Satan”, just as he did a little later also called the Montségur as such.
predecessor Office successor
Alfons Jordan Count of Toulouse
Raymond VI.
Alfons Jordan Margrave of Provence
Raymond VI.