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combine  the  prevailing  Roman  with  the  local  law.  Neither  did  the  Carolina  abolish  the
codes of the separate states, the new code serving only as a sort of guide for the princes and
electors.  The  new  code  brought  insignificant  changes  in  the  court  procedure.  It  mitigated
the  inquisitional  order  of  investigation  and  defined  the  right  of  defense.  But  torture  as  a
means  of  examination  of  the  defendant  was  retained  in  the  new  code.  The  chapters
concerning the ‘cutting of ears,’ ‘cutting of noses,’ ‘burning,’ ‘quartering,’ adorned the new
code  as  well.  The  code  retained  its  great  importance,  however,  up  to  the  Eighteenth


 –  A  religious  sect  which  sprang  up  in  the  cities  of  southern  France  in  the
middle of the Twelfth Century. The cities of northern Italy and southern France of that time
represented  very  favourable  ground  for  the  development  of  a  religious  reformist
movement.  Commerce  and  industry  had  developed  here  earlier  than  in  the  west;  the
bourgeoisie had come into existence, the crafts flourished. But while the cities of northern
Italy, which were partly interested in the exploitation of Rome, since they derived from it
no small profits, began to show spiritual independence only in relation to the doctrines of
the  Catholic  Church,  the  cities  of  southern  France,  which  were  no  less  developed
economically  but  at  the  same  time  less  dependent  upon  Rome,  started  the  first  serious
upheaval against the pope’s domination.
According to the legend, the sect of the Waldenses was founded by a rich merchant of
Lyons called Petrus Waldus. It is possible, however, that it existed prior to that time. Petrus
Waldus decided to follow the law of the Gospel. He distributed his possessions among the
poor,  gathered  around  himself  a  considerable  number  of  followers,  and  began  preaching
(1176). Soon the Waldenses combined in Lombardy with the sect of the Humiliates, who
also  called  themselves  the  paupers  of  Lyons.  The  Waldenses  did  not  confine  their
preachings  to  southern  France.  We  find  them  also  in  Italy,  Germany  and  Bohemia.  In
southern  France,  as  elsewhere,  they  recruited  their  followers  from  among  the  artisans,
particularly the weavers.
Originally, the Waldenses did not plan to secede from the church. But their free reading
of  the  Gospel  and  their  lay  preachings,  their  disagreement  with  Catholicism  in
understanding  the  mysteries  of  transubstantiation,  as  well  as  their  militant  character,
compelled  the  official  authorities,  the  clergy,  to  start  a  campaign  of  cruel  persecution
against  them.  Pope  Sixtus  IV  even  declared  a  crusade  against  them  in  1477.  Those
persecutions continued down to the Eighteenth Century. In 1685, French and Italian armies
killed  3,000  Waldenses  and  captured  1,000.  Only  in  1848  did  they  attain  civil  rights  and
religious freedom in Piedmont and Savoy. Italian Waldenses are to be found even at present
in  the  Alpine  valleys,  Val-Martino,  Val-Angrona.  The  Twentieth  Century  finds  46
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communities of Waldenses with 6,276 parishioners.
The  Evangelist  communism  of  the  Waldenses  in  the  Middle  Ages  was  of  a  monklike
character.  For  the  ‘perfect’  members  of  their  community  they  made  communism  and
celibacy  obligatory.  The  ‘disciples,’  however,  were  allowed  to  marry  and  to  possess
property.  The  Waldenses  rejected  military  service  and  the  oath.  They  devoted  their
attention to the education of the masses. In those communities of the Waldenses where the
peasants  and  the  middle-class  prevailed,  they  turned  into  a  bourgeois–democratic  sect.
Where the proletarian elements prevailed, the Waldenses became communist ‘dreamers.’

Arnold  of  Brescia

 –  Made  the  first  serious  attempt  to  reform  the  Catholic  Church  as
early as the middle of the Twelfth Century. Arnold of Brescia was born between 1100 and
1110 in Brescia, Italy. A disciple of the theologian and philosopher, Abélard, he adopted his
critical attitude towards the religious dogmas and the teachings of the fathers. In 1136, he
participated, with his native city, Brescia, in its struggle against its lord, the bishop. Arnold
of  Brescia  strove  to  bring  the  clergy  back  to  the  real  Christianity  of  the  Gospel.  He
demanded  that  the  clergy  should  relinquish  lay  authority  and  should  hand  over  its
possessions to the lay rulers. The clergymen who preached must content themselves with
the tithe and voluntary contributions, he said. At the second Lateran church council (1139),
the Bishop of Brescia accused him of heresy. Arnold of Brescia was compelled to flee to
Paris. In 1146, he returned to Rome, where be participated in the struggle between the city
democracy and the pope.
Rome in the middle of the Twelfth Century was a spiritual and political centre whither
material  wealth  was  flowing  from  all  sections  of  the  Christian  world.  The  popes  ably
exploited  the  favourable  situation  of  the  Christian  capital.  Arnold  of  Brescia  appealed  to
the people to depose the pope and to restore the ancient Roman republic. Pope Hadrian IV,
however,  succeeded  in  expelling  him  from  the  city.  He  was  taken  prisoner  by  Emperor
Frederick Barbarossa and extradited to the authorities of Rome. He was hanged as a rabid
heretic, and his body was burned (1155).

The Albigenses

– A religious sect of southern France, were widespread in the Eleventh
and Twelfth Centuries. Their name was derived from the city of Albi in Languedoc, one of
the  most  important  centres  of  the  movement.  The  Albigenses  preached  apostolic
Christianity and simple life according to the Gospel. They were called the ‘good men.’ The
pope and the councils of the church claimed that they denied the Trinity doctrine, the Holy
Communion  and  marriage,  as  well  as  the  doctrine  of  the  death  and  resurrection  of  Jesus
Christ. At the council of Toulouse (1119), Pope Calixtus II, and subsequently in 1139 Pope
Innocent II, excommunicated them. Finally, in 1209, Pope Innocent III organised a crusade
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