A little more than a month before he planned to go on crusade to the Holy Land, Thibaut IV of Champagne (1201-1253) presided over one of the largest burnings of heretics ever to take place in northern France, in which some 180 people were executed. Historians have traditionally portrayed the burning at Mont-Aimé as a particularly egregious example of inquisitorial zeal on the part of northern French ecclesiastical authorities, especially the Dominican friar Robert le Bougre, in the wake of Pope Gregory IX's introduction of the first papal inquisitorial tribunals into the region in the 1230s. This study argues that Thibaut's status as a crusader gave him his own interests in punishing heretics at that time and that the burning helped satisfy the material and devotional demands that planning for a crusade imposed upon powerful magnates who took the cross.
- Robert le Bougre
- Thibaut of Champagne