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A History of the Christian Faith: 13th Century

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.



Frederick II

Frederick II (1194-1250) was named Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1220. His contemporaries called him “the astonishment of world.” To some this was meant as a compliment, and to others it wasn’t.

Frederick spoke six different languages, displayed an unlimited thirst for knowledge, and was an avid patron of the arts and sciences. One of his crowning achievements was the Constitutions of Melfi, the preeminent legal code of the Middle Ages. Frederick also wrote the foundational text of ornithology, The Art of Hunting with Birds.

Frederick II squabbled repeatedly with the Roman Catholic Church, and was excommunicated on two different occasions. Upon his second excommunication, he proclaimed Pope Gregory IX to be the “Antichrist.” He marched toward Rome with his army, which was led by Muslim troops, before thinking better of it.

Frederick II was a cruel man. He purged the clergy of perceived enemies; confiscated property; stuffed his dungeons; conducted mass executions of prisoners; cut off the hands and feet of emissaries from the Pope; blinded men with hot pokers; stuffed people into sacks filled with snakes. Other people he didn't like were mutilated, drowned, hung, burned to death, or dragged behind horses through city streets.

He traveled with a huge entourage that included a harem, a menagerie, the imperial library, and vast collections of both gold and jewels.



The Sixth Crusade

Frederick II led his own army, accompanied by the Teutonic Knights, to the Holy Land for what would be the Sixth Crusade (1228-1229), even though he had no support in his endeavor from the Pope in Rome. His actions and what he was able to accomplish astounded Europe as he was successful in negotiating a treaty without firing a shot.

Amazingly, in this treaty he was granted by the Sultan of Egypt the cities of Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Sidon, and Jaffa for Christendom. But the treaty had a ten year expiration date.



The Teutonic Knights

The Teutonic Knights were formed in 1190 to care for German casualties in the Third Crusade. Soon after, they became a military monastic community that was sent by the Pope to forcibly convert the Baltic peoples to Christianity.

The Teutonic Knights conquered Prussia, Estonia and Finland. They later served the king of Hungary from 1211-1225, and then were hired by the Duke of Poland. Prussia became the Teutonic state in 1295.



Saint Louis and the Seventh Crusade

King Louis IX of France (1215-1270), would provide not only a model for monarchy for the rest of the Middle Ages, but also a model for political rectitude that would last for all time. He is the only French Monarch to become canonized; King Louis IX became St. Louis - the namesake of a very large American city.

King Louis IX, led the Seventh Crusade in 1249 with the aim of first conquering Egypt and then Jerusalem. His army laid siege to a city in Egypt during a particularly torrid summer. Poor conditions allowed for disease to set in amongst his troops, and shortly afterwards the Muslims were successful in cutting off their food supply.

Louis could have escaped on his own, had he been willing to leave the sick behind, but he refused to do so and was thus captured. A ransom was paid and the King was freed, but the Muslims---despite an agreement that they were free to go---then slaughtered thousands of sick French and English soldiers.

As king, St. Louis was notably frugal in his expenditures which included clothing, food, and drink. His need for penance and humility led to his voluntarily wearing a hair shirt as a constant reminder that Christians were still suffering in the Holy Land.

Louis willingly consulted with his court before dispensing justice, and even the humblest peasant could approach him with a grievance. He was a radical reformer who forbade royal officers from accepting “gifts” (bribery being common); he put an end to the common practice of selling political appointments; he stopped authorities from levying taxes without representation; and he outlawed fines against citizens without a court hearing. Louis was determined to stop money lenders from charging interest on loans (usury) within his kingdom, but he also compensated the lenders he put out of business so that their families wouldn’t suffer.

He founded the first homeless shelters in the history of France; he was responsible for the construction of the first home for the blind; and he was well known for stopping and visiting those who resided in the poor houses and leper colonies in order to wash the feet of these destitute and diseased individuals.

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The Inquisition

Pope Gregory IX (1157-1241) is the Pope who declared cats to be an instrument of the devil, leading to a great reduction in the cat population of Europe, which in turn helped the spread of the black plague from an exploding rat population. Anyway, I digress.

Pope Gregory IX founded the first Papal Inquisition in 1231 to root out heretics, to try them, and then hand them over to the state for execution. The Roman Catholic Church officially sanctioned torture in 1252---long a tool of governments---to encourage confessions and confidential accusations.

An accusation was enough to assume guilt, and the accused were tried in secret without benefit of counsel. If the accused confessed, they were let off with the confiscation of all their property---a fine way to finance the expenses of the Church, and if they didn’t, they were unmercifully tortured until they did. Those who did not confess even under torture; they were burnt at the stake.









Dissent Against the Roman Catholic Church

Theology in the Thirteenth Century was focused on defending the “true and catholic faith” that originated in divine revelation against the “foolish wisdom of philosophers and heretics,” that was derived strictly through human thought.

There was a rise in the movements that criticized the Church for corruption, and eventually these criticisms expanded to include the institutional structure and liturgical practices of the Church, including the sacramental system.

Secret groups of Christians sprang up who did not participate in the formalities of the Roman Catholic Church. Many of these groups did not eat meat or drink alcohol; they refused to swear oaths; they repudiated war and capital punishment; and they completely opposed celibacy for priests.

Their chief ideal was that of Christian poverty---something they hadn’t seen in the ostentatious display of wealth by the Catholic Church. They were particularly incensed over the opulent lifestyles of the Catholic bishops and priests, whom they viewed as not only dishonest, but as a “den of thieves.”

There is evidence that some of these “heretics” were themselves former clergymen, that they had become dismayed over the offices of the Church being used for personal profits and shady dealings, and that they had left their positions to serve the Lord for the Lord’s sake.

Infant baptism also came to the fore as a major cause of dispute with the Church. It was said by some that baptism couldn’t confer anything onto a baby because Christ had commanded in Mark 16:15-16, that one must believe and be baptized---how can a baby believe the Gospel? Is it not impossible to please God without faith? How can a child have saving faith before its mental faculties are developed? Was not Christ himself baptized as an adult?

Dissenters from the Catholic faith refused to believe that babies were in need of salvation, and they denied that the Church itself had the power to save them if they did simply by sprinkling them with water. The Catholic Church responded “Who are you to declare the entire Church to be in error for a thousand years?”

Purgatory was another cause of dissent. It was not thought to be a Biblical doctrine by some people, but the Catholic Mass and the Eucharist were closely tied to it to a belief in Purgatory.

Christians deemed “Heretics” by the Church had argued against praying (or giving offerings and such) for the dead, not believing that living people or the Church can benefit the dead in any way. The Catholic Church held firm to their position that it was right and proper to pray for the rest and glory of the dearly departed.

There were also people who scorned the edifices of the Catholic Church, going as far as to refuse to call them churches at all, believing that the “Church” refers to the body of believers---not to manmade buildings. These folks opposed towers, bells, altars, religious imagery, Church Festivals, and even the display of crosses.

One heretic charged that it was “foolish and profane to adore or venerate the cross, because the tree that tortured the body of Christ deserves to be crushed and burned rather than adored and venerated."

The Catholic Church declared that these heretics were “tearing asunder the seamless robe of Christ by created division within the Church.”

Then along came the Cathars, a group who rejected all Roman Catholic Church tradition and authority. They declared themselves the “True Christians.” The Church stated that tradition and authority came from the same Holy Spirit who had inspired Scripture.







The Cathars

The Cathars charged that the Roman Catholic Church had fallen away from apostolic purity during the time of Constantine the Great---even proclaiming Pope Sylvester I to be the Antichrist prophesied in the New Testament.

They objected to the idea of praying to the dead, as well as its corollary that the dead are somehow praying for the living. The Cathars denied that shrines were “holy places,” and that church buildings should be called, “the house of God.” They denounced pilgrimages, and they denounced the sacraments.

Thus far, these objections are not far removed from the Protestants who would arrive a few hundred years hence, but that was not all. The Cathars believed in the existence of two Gods, a good God and a bad God. This belief was partly based on the saying of Jesus that a good tree cannot bear evil fruit. Therefore, it followed that a good God could not have created an evil world. Some went as far as to say that the devil himself had created the physical world in which we dwell, but that’s not all.

Church authorities were incensed over assertions that were made declaring that the Law of Moses was actually given by the Prince of Darkness; that in fact the Old Testament was indeed about the evil God, and that only the New Testament was about the good God. This belief meant that the Old Testament patriarchs were damned. Thus, the Cathars claimed exclusive possession of the truth of the Christian faith and universally condemned the Church Fathers.

The targets of the first inquisition were the Cathars of Languedoc, part of modern day France. The Church had already launched a 21 yearlong assault on them that had become known as the Albigensian Crusade.

This specific crusade against the Cathars involved a humungous amount of breaking and entering, chasing, bludgeoning, stealing, raping, stoning, blinding, and burning. In the first day of the crusade a total of 20,000 died at Beziers. It is estimated that by the time it was over, one million lay dead, and that many of those who lost their lives were falsely accused orthodox Christians.

The Cathars (Katharoi means pure in Greek) were spiritual descendents of the ancient Gnostics, Manichaeans, and Bogumils. Among other things, they were vegetarian puritans who believed in the equality of women. More troubling, was their declaration that the humanity and crucifixion of Jesus was just an illusion.

They proclaimed marriage to be evil, and homosexuality was embraced because it produced no children. Suicide was considered the noblest death for a Cathar.

This heresy appealed to some folks because at the time both the Church and its leaders were engaged in an age of wild sinfulness and luxurious living. Peasants were isolated from the cathedral, their children were not taught the faith, and superstition ran rampant amongst the masses. Caesarius of Heisterbach, a monk and chronicler, wrote, “The tragic law of civilization is that discipline creates wealth, and then wealth destroys discipline.”

The crusade’s conclusion was soon followed by the Inquisition. Its leader? One Robert the Bugger (I’ll let my readers sort out how he got that appellation).

Every parish was ordered to provide two laymen and a priest called “inquirers,” to search out the Cathars in their area. Although, when it became apparent that public accusations would bring retribution to the stool pigeons, secret indictments were then approved.

The inquisition against the Cathars continued on for a 40 year period that was filled with torture, terror, and death, and before it was over five thousand Cathars had been executed.







Defense of the Church Against Islam and Judaism

The greatest enemies of Holy Christendom were declared to be the Saracens (Islam) and the Jews. Saracens were alternately called pagans or heretics. Polemics against them were plentiful during these times since they occupied the divine city of Jerusalem and had subjugated the Holy Land.

Theological treatises about the doctrines of Islam accompanied the military actions of the Crusades in their quest to retake the Holy Land for Christendom. Theologians expressed a grudging admiration for the way Islam had “mixed the true with the false.” Some even called Islam a Christian heresy because it accepted some Christian truths, but yet again, rejected others.

Mohammed had learned what he knew about Christian doctrines from heretical sources, in particular the Nestorian monk who had converted him from heathenism. Mohammed then added elements of Judaism into the mix, charging that Christianity was most obviously polytheistic because of the Trinity; along with the accusation that the Church’s use of images constituted idol worship.

Muslims believe that Christ was born of a virgin, and conceived by the Holy Spirit of God. They also believe His teachings to be true, and that His miracles were indeed real, but they deny that Christ was God, or even the Son of God. Instead, he is believed to be a prophet who neither lied nor sinned. The Muslims teach that Jesus never died, but that he ascended to heaven.

Christian theologians did not appreciate Muslim eschatology. The promises of the heavenly paradise after death for devout Muslims in the Koran seemed utterly materialistic, focused on objects of earthly desire and physical appetites.

Most Christians had an even more dim view of the Jews than they did of the Muslims. They charged that Jews were still like the Pharisees who observed the Law of God, but who knew God not. Jews used the Sabbath as a point of contention with Christians.

The Christian view was that the Mosaic Law and the Old Testament were temporary, that they were placeholders for the new eternal law and the New Testament. Hadn’t the Old Testament prophets promised a new law “written on the heart” to replace the old law “written on stone?”

Christian theologians believed the new law to be a recovery of the original Natural Law, which had preceded Mosaic Law. The patriarchs of the Old Testament, including Abraham, did not have Mosaic Law, which it was said was valid for its own time, but not for all time.

The Jews responded by saying, “All these things you say belong to me, and you have taken them over from my books. Where did you get these things? What business do you have with my Scriptures?”

Christians believed that the Roman conquest of Jerusalem and the Holy Land was a result of divine retribution. The destruction of the Jewish temple showed that Judaism, while valid for its time, had now come to an end as a dispensation of God. A calamity of this proportion could not have come upon the Jewish nation as Peter Abelard put it: “except by the most extreme wrath of God and by his righteous vengeance brought on by no cause other than their sin against Jesus Christ.

The Jews objected to Christians calling Christ “God” and Lord.” Christians countered that the Diaspora was the direct result of Jewish culpability in the death of Jesus and their continued malevolence toward him. To Jews the Messiah has not yet come. The Christian belief that Jesus was the promised Messiah of the Jews defined the difference between Jews and Christians.

So it was that heretics, Jews and Muslims were considered worse than unbelievers to the Christian Church in those days. Whereas in times past, Church authority had been the chief weapon against rival belief systems, it was now becoming more necessary to refute other belief systems with reason and rhetoric. After all, God made man in His own image, capable of reasoning, so that man might be aware of Him, ponder Him, and love Him. So, that which is rational bears the likeness of the supreme nature of God.

My resources used for this article include these books: "The Christians" by the Society to Explore And Record Christian History (SEARCH); "Europe" by Norman Davies; "The Growth of Medieval Theology" by Jaruslav Pelikan; and "A Short History of Christianity" by Stephen Tompkins.
















James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 17, 2020:

KC McGee ~ Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I sure appreciate your kind compliments. Godspeed!


KC McGee from Where I belong on July 16, 2020:

James A Watkins,

What I like most about about all the article you write is the depthness of each one regardless of the subject. Your knowledge is clearly impressive. They are sound and most difficult to argue against. I really enjoy reading your work. Keep it up.

Have a great day.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 16, 2020:

Khaing Htoo ~ Thank you for reading my work. I am well pleased to see that you found it very interesting. I appreciate you saying so.

Khaing Htoo on July 16, 2020:

very interesting in your article

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 21, 2012:

Szogunos-- Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. I surely appreciate your astute remarks. And I am grateful for your gracious compliments.

With any historic figure of the outsized magnitude of Frederic II, it is extremely difficult to sum him up in four paragraphs. HubPages by design serves the MTV attention span and thus I must hand select what to me seems the words that will set the man apart from his contemporaries. I cannot claim to have, by any means, perfect judgment in these matters. Perhaps my view is perceived through the lens of my own experience and understanding. I surely meant no offense.

I totally agree with you that the cardinal sin of any historian is to judge men of the past by current sensibilities. I did not mean to do so. Perhaps my source was slanted. I did offer praise to Frederic as well.

I think your perception of the Teutonic Knights matches reality quite well.

I am well pleased to hear from such a learned history buff as yourself. That is a rare pleasure indeed and one for which I am grateful.


Szogunos on March 15, 2012:

Good job mr Watkins, very good one. However, i disagree with one-way point of view on Frederic II. He was great man - both as a ruler and researcher (and patron of researchers as well), open-minded and tolerant for other cultures. Thus the most famous Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt called him "first modern man of the throne". I would never say that Frederick "was a heartless and very evil man" as in first comment - he had to fight with opposition, usually cruel, ignorant and intolerant people. Keep in mind we should not measure medieval people by modern standards - times were more cruel and men wicked. It was rather Gregory IX who could be classified as "black character". Here, see this:,_Holy_Roman_Emperor

And also about Teutonic Order - they were not "hired" since they weren't mercenaries - they were invited by prince Konrad of Piast dynasty, given small fiefs at start, with promise that whatever they will take from heathens in Prussia will be theirs. Of course, they abused that - but this is another story.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 31, 2012:

Michele Travis— Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to read this piece. It is one of 40 Hubs I have written that trace the History of Christianity from Jesus to, so far, the 19th Century. I need to publish a new index of the episodes.

I surely appreciate your gracious compliments. :)

Michele Travis from U.S.A. Ohio on January 30, 2012:

James this is a wonderful hub. I love reading about this history of Christianiy. You have done an excellent job in the research while writing this hub. I will be reading more.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 13, 2010:

joe w bennett— Thank you, kind sir. I write about the Spanish Inquisition in this Hub:

I appreciate your visitation to this Hub. I enjoyed realizing what a sharp eye you have for detail.

joe w bennett from Clinton, MS, US of A on October 13, 2010:

Another fine piece, James...particularly enjoyed the discussion of the Inquistion and the Church-led genocide against the Cathars...would liked to have seen more on the Spanish Inquisition, the autos-de-fe and the infamous Grand Inquisitor Tomas de Torquemada...possibly in a future hub?

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 06, 2010:

Glen G--- I'm still at it, bro'. My fingers are OK but my back hurts from sitting in this chair so long. I'm glad you found it interesting. Thanks for reading.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 06, 2010:

Kaie--- More troubling? Maybe that didn't come out right. :D

Laughter is good for the soul, my dear. Thank you for the compliments. You are welcome. Being thanked by a teacher is a special treat.


Glen G on February 06, 2010:

James James James, see your still going at it, thought by now those fingers would have cramps.......I don't believe but interesting hub none the less....Be well Sir.

Kaie Arwen on February 05, 2010:

James................ more troubling???????? Uh, you made me laugh, a lot! ;-) !

Beautifully done............ as always!

Thank you teacher; I learned quite a bit today!


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 04, 2010:

fits4life--- You are welcome. I am glad I could clear that up. :)

Thank you for coming to visit and leaving your kind comments. I'm gratified that you liked the pictures. :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 04, 2010:

Nicks--- Yes, I hear you. I cannot disagree with your point of view expressed quite well in your comments. I appreciate your kind compliments. Thank you for coming by to visit my humble Hub.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 04, 2010:

canbyte--- I have read a fair amount of the Qu'ran. My understanding is that a proper reading must be done in Arabic, of which I know nothing and have not time to learn at my old age.

Yes, I think the Reformation is going to fun to research and write. And hopefully to read.

Thank you for your excellent comments. I hear you. And I appreciate what you're saying.

Cherri Brown-Jett from Richmond on February 04, 2010:

Thank you for the history lesson. You made things alot clearer for me. I didn't realize how ignorant I was. Thanks for the eye opener. Nice hub. The pictures are extraordinary.

Nicks on February 04, 2010:

James - a really excellent Hub providing relevant and useful information that shows, so well, the 'roller-coaster' nature of Christianity over the years. Most striking of all is the lunatic (and dangerous) dogmatism that appears time and time again. This rarely has anything to do with the true essence of Christianity, let alone the tolerance and forgiveness that lies at its supposed core.

canbyte on February 03, 2010:

Interesting but I would urge you to give primary sources more weight than other analysis, especially when it comes to understanding the interaction of Islam and Christianity. Reading the Qu'ran will dispel many misunderstandings - of both religions!! Until this happens, I fear, the mistakes of history will be repeated.

When you get to the Reformation, I would be particularly interested in how the idea of freedom of religion came about - not the technical detail, but the philosophical backstory and whether it will be sustainable in the future.

Good luck.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 03, 2010:

Ictodd1947--- Thank you! Your compliments have made my day! I appreciate it. And you are truly welcome, too. :D

Linda Todd from Charleston on February 03, 2010:

Perfect! Wonderful and full of great information that we all need. You make it come to life and so well written.

Thank you

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 03, 2010:

DeBorrah K. Ogans--- Thank you, dear! It is indeed disconcerting to write some of this stuff. But it is the story I am compelled to write. I am anxious to get up to the Reformation, and then later the History of Christianity in America should prove quite interesting. But first, I continue to set the stage by providing the backstory.

Thank you for coming to see me and for your always excellent comments. And of course you are most welcome. :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 03, 2010:

gusripper--- Thank you for the accolades, brother. I hope all is well over in Greece. It's great to hear from you.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 03, 2010:

dahoglund--- I published two Hubs about the Crusades: "Holy Crusades" and "The Third Crusade." Thank you for this visit and for your comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 03, 2010:

Pamela99--- Thank you for saying so. I appreciate your visits always. I too am glad the Christians and Jews have a good relationship these days. You are welcome, dear.

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans on February 02, 2010:

James A Watkins, Wonderful commentary on the history of the Church 1250! Very well presented Professor! The history of the Church is quite intriguing and disconcerting! It is befuddling what extreme lengths one goes to undermine, force and exert their control on someone all in the name of God! As though God is totally removed and not aware of what is going on! The sad thing is to a great degree it is still happening…

God truly is most gracious! “What I tell you in the dark, speak in the Light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear HIM who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10 Thank you for the excellent presentation! Thank you for sharing as always, In His Love, Blessings!

gusripper on February 02, 2010:

Hail James.Another perfect hub.History of Cristianity and some really dark centuries.Bravo

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on February 02, 2010:

You certainly made an extensive review of Christianity. I need to delve into the crusades more. It is hard to really understand a historical culture

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 02, 2010:

James, This is a very interesting article. Religion has been the basis of battles for centuries and continue. Frederick was horrid and I'm glad I didn't live in the time of the crusades! It is wonderful the as Christians we have a good relationship with the Jewish. Thanks for such a fine article.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 02, 2010:

hypnodude--- We are not so far away, :D I like that. Thanks.

Andrew from Italy on February 02, 2010:

And I consider some Catholics Christians. :) We are not so far away.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 02, 2010:

hypnodude--- Thank you very much for the laudations. I am grateful for your gracious words. Paragon is a fine word. Just for the record: I consider Catholics to be Christians. :-)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 02, 2010:

ateenyi--- Thank you!! I'm glad you found this a pleasure to read and thought the photographs to be beautiful. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community. We have a number of fine writers in here from Chicago.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 02, 2010:

carolina--- Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. And for the compliment. I appreciate it.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 02, 2010:

Hxprof--- I know! And this is after I chopped it down and cut it in half (the first half "Christian History 1200" was once part of this Hub). Yet, it held your attention so that's good. There is a lot of irony on this page. Thanks for reading and commenting.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 02, 2010:

Will Benson--- Why, I thank you very much for letting me know you enjoy my work. That is gratifying to read. Thanks for coming by to visit.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 02, 2010:

cheaptrick--- You are welcome. Thank you for reading and leaving behind your kind remarks. The Cathars were Gnostics and I thought I hit on the major points of their belief system. They were not a monolithic community, though. I made myself a note and I will do a Hub about Gnosticism for you in the future. Maybe next week or two.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 02, 2010:

Ann Nonymous--- You are welcome. Thank you for letting me know that is is easy to read. That is surely one of my aims. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community. I enjoyed reading your profile page and I will be perusing your Hubs soon.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 02, 2010:

dohn121--- You are most welcome, Dohn. I very much enjoyed reading your insightful comments. I'm glad you enjoyed this piece. Thank you for the visit.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 02, 2010:

itakins--- Charming. Yes. :-)

The cat thing is a bit weird. I am well pleased that you loved this Hub. Thank you for your compliments. I appreciate your affirmation.

Andrew from Italy on February 02, 2010:

Exceptional hub James, you well deserve your reputation here on hubpages. It's a long hub yet easy and a pleasure to read. I'm sure it will be a paragon on the web. (I hope it's the correct wording :) I appreciate everything of it, but what really hit me is the distinction between Christians and Roman Catholics, a real truth much forgotten. I had to stumble it. :)

ateenyi from Chicago on February 01, 2010:

Great Hub!!!!!!!

The hub regarding Christian history is highly informative. It updated our knowledge of this big religion. Photographs displayed are amazingly beautiful. It provided immense pleasure while going through this great hub. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Keep on Hubbing

carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on February 01, 2010:

James... another fascinating read- thank you!

Hxprof on February 01, 2010:

This is a long piece James, yet you held my attention throughout.

I love the irony in the 'devilizing' of cats by Pope Gregory. History has so many examples of idiotic, self-defeating acts by humans; these kinds of things have provided me with many hours of contemplation and yes, even amusment (I love dark humor).

Good piece.

Will Benson on February 01, 2010:

Well done. I always enjoy your hubs and this was another great one.

cheaptrick from the bridge of sighs on February 01, 2010:

Very well written James.

As a practicing Christian Gnostic I was a bit disappointed that you did not include an in-depth description of our beliefs though.

Please write a Hub on us.You have the skills to explain us better than any other writer on HP.

Once again,very well written,thank you.

Ann Nonymous from Virginia on February 01, 2010:

Wow, there is a lot of history in this one hub, but I always believed if you cannot learn from the mistakes of history you are bound to repeat them yourself. Thanks for writing this hub as it's like a mini textbook series! I really like how you've compiled a lot of information in an easy to read format! Well done, James!

dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on February 01, 2010:

Although I am a Buddhist, I did learn a great deal about Christianity in college and fittingly so, as a Creative Writing and English major. It is without question, imperative that we all learn about not only history, but of Christian history as well, when learning about Western civilization. You really did your homework in writing this one and sharing with us the brutality and history involved in the warring of religions. I had no idea until now, about Pope Gregory IX (and his abolishing of cats) and the Cathars. This was a very fascinating read. I thank you James for sharing this lesson to all of us.


itakins from Irl on February 01, 2010:


A great 'meaty' hub.Frederick 11 was a charming man!!

As for the poor cats-now that would be a real test of faith or allegiance for me.

I'm fascinated by the idea of forcing Christianity on people-and also by the vulgar wealth.

Great hub-loved it.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 01, 2010:

SirDent--- I am well pleased to read your gracious words, Sir. If I inspire you to write a new Hub, that's great! Let me know when it's done and I will surely come by to read it. I appreciate you being my fan and I enjoy being your fan, too, my friend. Thanks for you comments. I surely enjoyed them.

SirDent on February 01, 2010:

It seems every time I read something new from you, it is even better than before. Your attention to detail is far above most when writing. I believe you could write a complete book of history.

I haved learned a lot that I didn't know before and may have gotten an idea for a new hub from this article. I am so glad that I am your fan.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 01, 2010:

BrianS--- That's right! I knew you were living over that way. Thanks for the reminder. I am glad you found my article to be interesting. Thanks for the compliment and the visit.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 01, 2010:

H P Roychoudhury--- You are very welcome, my friend. This article concludes my burst of nine Hubs in nine days. I'm going to kick back for a few days and catch up on reading Hubs, including yours.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 01, 2010:

Angela Blair--- Thank you, Sis, for the laudatory remarks. I so appreciate you for coming by to read my work and leaving behind your gracious words. More to come. God willing.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 01, 2010:

James Mark--- Don't be ashamed. Truth is, I didn't know who St Louis was either until I researched the material for this article. Thank you for your accolades. I appreciate your affirmation.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 01, 2010:

RevLady--- You are most welcome. It's always great to hear from you. Your comments always convey illuminating insights. And so it continues. Indeed it does. Thank you for this visitation.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 01, 2010:

Hello, hello,--- Well, the RC only claims to be the "true faith" because they believe that to be true. Thank you for coming by to visit. I appreciate your comments and compliments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 31, 2010:

msorensson--- Well, I am truly gratified to read your laudations in response to my work. This makes me feel good. Thank you.

As to reincarnation, I do not recall ever having read or heard that myself. I don't think it fits in with the Christian concept of the soul and judgement day and all. But that is a very fine question.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 31, 2010:

Tom Whitworth--- Thank you for saying so. There are some old hard feelings lingering around just yet. Hopefully, people can put this behind them.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 31, 2010:

Partisan Patriot--- Thank you and you are welcome. I am glad to be of service. It is wholly my pleasure.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 31, 2010:

Vladimir Uhri--- You are welcome. As you might have guessed: I love history, too. Thanks for coming by and letting me know you enjoyed this piece.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 31, 2010:

A M Werner--- I am pleased that I was able to hit on one of your passions. I appreciate your accolades. Thank you for reading and leaving your fine comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 31, 2010:

stars439--- Thank you for the compliments. I'm glad you like the photos and artwork. God Bless You, my friend.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 31, 2010: Thank you very much for your compliment. I enjoyed putting this together.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 31, 2010:

cameciob--- Thank you for reading my article and I appreciate your outstanding comments here, dear. Yes, religious and non-religious people have all committed great atrocities. Human nature can be pretty ugly at times. I'm glad you enjoy the detail and pictures. Thanks for saying so.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 31, 2010:

DiamondRN--- Oh, yes, I agree with you 100%. That's right. Thank you for coming by and pointing that out. It is important.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 31, 2010:

creativeone59--- You are most welcome,dear. Thank you for being my first visitor! You guessed right: Frederick II died badly of dysentery, in a city he feared where he begged people not to take him--and all of his sons were killed or died within 20 years meaning his line ended without a male heir to keep the Kingship in the family (the one thing he wanted most).

Brian Stephens from Laroque des Alberes, France on January 31, 2010:

I live right in the middle of Cathar country in France, amazingly some survived and their ancestors still exist to this day. This was a very interesting read for me, particularly as you touched on French history and that of the Cathar history especially. Nice work.

H P Roychoudhury from Guwahati, India on January 31, 2010:

Thanks for the history of Christianity, the content of which will enlighten the knowledge of the person who knows little of Christianity. Thanks James for sharing.

Angela Blair from Central Texas on January 31, 2010:

James - another magnificent Hub - your research and presentation is amazing. I'm only now realizing how limited my knowledge is -- thanks to you I'm filling in some blanks! Looking forward to your next Hub! Best, Sis

James Mark from York, England on January 31, 2010:

Another tour de force which should send people to their books. I'm ashamed to say that we have visited the Ile St Louis in Paris without knowing where it got its name!

RevLady from Lantana, Florida on January 31, 2010:

Thank you James for a very detailed and articulate picture of Christian History 1250. It was both didactic and disturbing. Overall, it reminded me of the Pharisee Paul, when he was running around doing wrong, but in his heart and soul, he believed he right. I thought of the thousands in the graves who sacrificed their lives for what has been intrinsically wrong, but thought they were right.

So it continues..

Forever His,

Hello, hello, from London, UK on January 31, 2010:

You have done another great job on that. What I hate about the RC that they always insists they were the true faith. Nobody knows and everybody believes what they want to believe. Reading this and what happened in the last few years - morality hasn't changed in Rome. I like the idea of us worhshipping the cross. There is a point.

msorensson on January 30, 2010:

Wow! As always, you delight, educate and most of all dazzle your audience with the simplicity of your presentation that everything that you write is a pure gift.

I do have a question, James.

Isn't it true that in the early times, the Catholic church accepted the theory of reincarnation until they removed it from their doctrines?

I seem to recall reading something in the same time frame you have mentioned here.

Thank you kindly

Tom Whitworth from Moundsville, WV on January 30, 2010:


Another great hub on the history of Christianity. It's no wonder the chaos of the past hasn't yet been resolved. There's a lot of pent up emotion in the arguments that defy reconcilation.

Partisan Patriot on January 30, 2010:

Thanks James for the free education; I am starting a desk top history of the world with your hubs; good job Professor!

Vladimir Uhri from HubPages, FB on January 30, 2010:

James, I love history. Thank you for great review of many facts.

Allen Werner from West Allis on January 30, 2010:

Very indepth, great research James. Medieval studies is one of my personal passions. I usually hit the time period just before this, when Frederick was an infant and Innocent III was empowering the Catholic Church to new heights. Excellent. I loved the read. Peace.

stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on January 30, 2010:

Wonderful hub with superb art and photographs. God Bless You for another great work. on January 30, 2010:

fascinating hub James. What a wonderful world of differences!

cameciob on January 30, 2010:

James, what i like very much about your hubs with historic subjects is the abundance of detail that brings the story to live. the other thing are the pictures that complement the text very well. As for religion, being Christian or not, it really makes me sick and mad that had been so many crimes against humanity in the name of a god, by people that called themselves believers or more like those popes or leaders of crusade's. But I guess we have to keep in mind how cruel and inhuman we can be in certain circumstances.

Bob Diamond RPh from Charlotte, NC USA on January 30, 2010:

The Jews are no longer considered to be foes by Evangelical Christians. Jesus has grafted the Gentiles - who are believers in Him - into the Jewish vine. Jews and Christians are adopted brothers and sisters and heirs of salvation, through the blood of Jesus.

Benny Faye Ashton Douglass from Gold Canyon, Arizona on January 30, 2010:

James thank you for your hubs on Christian History,they have shown me how much religious lunacy has gone on ,for so many years and still counting. Fredrick ll, was a heartless and very evil man, I'm sure he died a horrid and malicious death. Not to mention the other lunacies that wen on. I truly thnak you for sharing , or I would know the information, God bless you. creativeone59

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