When the Church and the needy and fanatical nobles of northern and central France destroyed the feudal dynasty of Toulouse and the rich civilization of the south in the Albigensian crusade, it was for Philip Augustus that their leader, Simon de Montfort, all unknowing, conquered Languedoc. At last, instead of the two Frances of the langue doc and the lax gue dorl, there was but one royal France comprising the whole kingdom.
In character and interests he was rather Provencal than Spanish, a favourer of the troubadours, no enemy of the Albigensian heretics, and himself a poet in the southern French dialect.
When he was compelled to decree the Albigensian crusade he endeavoured more than once to discontinue the work, which had become perverted, and to curb the crusading ardour of Simon de Montfort.
But the preaching of the papal legates, even when supported by military demonstrations, had no effect; and the Albigensian question, together with other questions vital for the future of the papacy, remained unsettled and more formidable than ever when Innocent III.
During the Albigensian crusade it surrendered of its own accord to Simon de Montfort; and in 1356 it was raised to a countship by King John of France.
Had been able to encroach on France at one point only, when the Albigensian crusade had enabled him to exercise over the southern fiefs conquered by Simon de Montfort a political and secular supremacy in the form of collections of moneys.
He used often to organize formal disputations with Albigensian leaders, lasting a number of days.
It was not till the 25th of May that the edict against Luther was presented to a small number of members of the diet, after the elector of Saxony and many important members had left Worms. It threatened all Luther's sympathisers with extermination, and practically proclaimed an Albigensian war in Germany.
There he repaired the evils of the Albigensian war and made a first attempt at administrative centralization, thus preparing the way for union with the crown.
Charged them to preach among the Albigensian heretics in Languedoc. For ten years (1205-1215) this mission in Languedoc was the work of Dominic's life.