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Cathars appear in Southern France.
c. 1160 - c. 1200
Catharism becomes increasingly popular in Southern France; the Church tries to suppress the heresy.
Cathar Council of Saint-Felix held to determine bishoprics and set rules.
1209 - 1229
The Albigensian Crusade against Cathars heretics in southern France.
1243 - 1244
Siege of the last Cathar stronghold Montsegur.
Fall of Montsegur; Cathars are massacred by the Church's army and the heresy is suppressed.
The Cathars were a Christian religious movement with dualistic and gnostic elements that appeared in the Languedoc region of France and other parts of Europe in the 11th century and flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries. Catharism had its roots in the Paulician movement in Armenia and the Bogomils of Bulgaria which took influences from the Paulicians. The political and religious power came to an end after a series of successful catholic 'crusades' and the siege and surrender of the castle of Quéribus in 1255.
What if Catharism survived
What if some Cathars were able to hide out in the Pyrenees and survive long enough to be an influential part of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation?
I definitely first read this as "Catholicism", thought it was one of the double blind what-ifs, and wondered what the divergence point was.
If so, then Luther and his supporters would be heavily at odds with the Cathars. While Protestantism spread in the north, the Cathars would either attempt to spread southward along the Mediterranean, and become critical of Luther and the Protestants. During the Counter-Reformation, the Church would both be trying to quash the Protestant Movement, as well as destroy what was left the Cathars. This would force the Cathars to flee and possible try and make a break for North America where religious persecution was non-existent. In the Americas, the Cathars would continue their religion , becoming a faith that becomes a major facet of the American landscape. In Europe, they would more than likely become an underground faith assuming they survive the Counter-Reformation.
Cathar Slide Show
This is the record of a slide talk I gave at the Queen of Heaven Gnostic Church Nov. 7, 2010, on the topic, "The Cathars from ancient to modern times." It is based on the handout I gave out, a time line of Cathar history, drawn from published sources given at the end, plus the images I used, photos that come from two trips to Cathar sites, 1999 and 2001, supplemented by images from the Internet or print sources. I include here material not covered in the talk: an interpretation of Shakespeare's Juliet as a Cathar heroine in part 3 additional material on Peter Martyr, also part 3 a fuller defense of my view of the Cathars' view on sex, part 1, and fuller explanations elsewhere. Part 4 is extensively rewritten compared to my handout.
Introduction: Who were the Cathars? They were the "perfecti" of the Cathar Church, both men and women, equivalent to priests in other religions, which in Western Europe flourished mainly in the 12th and 13th centuries. The word "Cathar" is one given to them by their enemies. Their friends called them the "good men," "bonnes hommes" in French, or sometimes "the good Christians." Exactly where the name "Cathar" came from is not clear. Some people say it comes from the German word for "heretic," i.e. "Ketzer." I have not looked to see if that word predates the rise of the Cathars. Another theory is that it was used by analogy to an early sect called the "cathari," or "pure ones," pronounced heretical by the first Nicean Council of 325 c.e. Another theory is that it is from the German word "katz," meaning "cat," because they were sait to work with devils who took the form of a cat. In Italy they were called Patarenes.
The Cathars were the last big survival of ancient Gnosticism. Their immediate predecessors were the Bogomils of the Balkan peninsula, as may be seen in the time line below. They emerged from the Paulicians, who traced their origin to Paul of Samasota, a 3rd century Syrian bishop declared heretical by the established church. The Paulicians had come into contact with Gnostic-influenced groups such as the Messalians, whose beliefs were influenced by he Manicheans.
To read this blog, just scroll down. To get to a particular chapter, you can use the links to the right.
1st-2nd century . Vision of Isaiah written, a basic document of Bogomils and Cathars, Jewish-Christian-Gnostic.
3rd century : Time of Paul of Samasota, pre-Nicean bishop of Antioch, an “adoptionist” heretic (according to which Jesus became Christ and the Son of God at his baptism, not before).
8th century : Paulicians recorded in Asia Minor. Originally part of Syrian Church, then Armenian (east of Turkey), but condemned by Armenians after “reforms.” They are adoptionists, hostile to images, reject veneration of cross. In Armenia they could have come into contact with the Mani-influenced Messalians.
747. Byzantine Emperor settles many Paulicians in Thrace, to protect the Empire against the Bulgars to the north.
843. Other Paulicians set up independent state after Byzantines become hostile to iconoclasm, but are driven back to Armenia. They apparently have exchanged adoptionism for dualism (devil = Old Testament God, who created our world of matter), a change also appearing in Thrace. Christ had only a spiritual body water baptism and the eucharist are part of world of matter the eucharist explained as an allegory for the teachings of Christ laying on of hands takes place of water baptism. Old Testament rejected.
927. Byzantine priests write polemics against “Manicheans” who hold that the devil is the eldest son of God, sent to Hell for his pride, where he created our world.
970 – 1100 . Bogomilism spreads into Balkans and into western Asia Minor. “Outbreaks" of heresy in France, northern Italy, Low Countries, Upper Lorraine. Word "cathar" appears in German area. It might be from the German for "heretic": Ketzer. Or it might be from the name of a sect condemned at the first Nicean Council, the cathari, from the Greek for "purified ones."
Image: map showing situation before 1100. Notice that the Paulicians andBogomils, are scattered among three locations: not just the Balkan peninsula of Europe, but also Turkey and Armenia. Turkey is important because that is where the Sufis were centered later, c. 1400. The map below is from Lambert, Medieval Heresies .
972. Cosmas’ treatise against priest named Bogomil, meaning “loved by God.” They reject Orthodox liturgy, and wine (but some approve wine later). Myth: the devil made human bodies, but without life until Father breathed soul into him. Then the Devil tempts Eve into sex, which binds us to mattter. More ascetic than Paulicians, rejecting sex, as well as the killing of animals and people, and the eating of animal products. The only good marriage is that of the soul and spirit in paradise. These strictures are only for the perfecti, however, who thus are made such late in life. It seems to me that the reason they reject sex and animal products is because it ties one to the body and matter, as opposed to the spirit.
Some books say, citing Inquisition testimony, that it is only procreation that is rejected, along. with the things that go along with procreation, such as milk and eggs. I don't think that is right. I suspect that the Inquisitors framed their questions in such a way that procreation was all they asked about. They wanted to present the Cathars as homosexuals, or "bougres," a corruption of "Bulgar." The Bogomil myth about the fall was that at first Adam and Eve didn't know about sex. Then the serpent taught Eve, and Eve taught Adam. The "tree of knowledge" was the snake of "carnal knowledge." That was the fall. Children followed, but the fall, in that story, was engaging in sexuality. It didn't matter what gender the serpent was.
A Bogomil/Cathar Myth: the souls of some humans are of angels who fell with Lucifer. In spiritual baptism,the Gospel of John was laid on the initiate's head and the initiating perfectus lay hands on the shoulders of the initiate.
1145 . Bernard of Clairvaux preaches against Cathars in Albi/Toulouse area. Knights’ clanging of armor prevents him from preaching outside a church in a village near Toulouse, despite his healing the son of a heretic. Advocates state interference against prosylitizers. Warns that burnings will follow calls them the “little foxes” who “spoil the vine” in his commentary on the Song of Songs.
1163 . Hildegaard of Bingen writes about the new “unleashing of the devil,” starting either 62 or 82 years earlier, with their trial and burning at Cologne in 1143, but still continuing. These heretics have the characteristic Bogomil beliefs and structure.
Image: routes showing connections between Balkans and Western Europe. Four separate church Balkan churches are indicated, each with slightly different doctrine. The most important early on was the "Church of the Latins" in Constantinople, which would have trained Western Europeans who were living there temporarily, either merchants or crusaders or religious pilgrims, for life as perfecti in their home country. Then later bishops from the other churches came to re-console the perfecti in the name of new doctrines, described in the next entry.
1165. Nicetas re-consoles perfecti of Italy and Langudoc in St. Felice, near Toulouse, because their previous consoler had “lain with a woman” and also preached an erroneous doctrine. For Nicetas the god of the Catholics is not the elder son of the good God, but an eternally existing separate principle. This is accepted by the Langdochians but splits the Italians into two camps, “moderate dualists” of Concorezzo and “radical dualists” of Desenzano. It was estimated by the Inquisition that in 1250, 1500 perfecti were with the former and 500 with the latter. Radical dualists admitted part of Old Testament: Wisdom Literature, Psalms, and some of the Prophets. The differences between the "radical" and "moderate" dualists are only at the most rarified level. Both groups have three levels: hearers, believers, and perfects. The consolamente is the purifying rite, binding the person to a strict life, for perfecti and people on their deathbeds.
Concorezzo, the seat of the "moderate dualists," is interesting in another regard. It is within 5 miles of where another sect of the time, the Gugliemites, had a center, in which the abbess--or Popess, as the Catholics charged--Sister Manfreda, was a member of the Visconti, the ruling family of Milan. (My source: https://marygreer.wordpress.com/category/major-arcana/) Manfreda's convent was in a town named Biassono , only 5 miles from Concorezzo. In the 15th century, a later Visconti named Bianca Maria frequently visited the church at Brunate, which has a "Saint Guglielma" chapel so she had to be aware of Manfreda's connection. Bianca Maria Visconti is famous in tarot card history for being a key figure involved with the first known tarot cards, those of first the Visconti and then the Sforza, after she married Francesco Sforza. Some people see the tarot Popess card as reflecting Sister Manfreda. Also, some people see Cathar symbolism in the early tarot. I do not but the proximity of the two sites is striking.
For now let us return to the Languedoc, in what is now southwestern France. Here is a road sign entering the Department of the Ariege if nothing else, it indicates that they are ready for fans of the Cathars. Actually, we have been in Cathar Country ever since our plane touched down in Toulouse, which was at about the geographic center of Cathar activity.
1204 . Esclarmonde de Foix, the sister of Count, is consoled at Fanjeux (south of Toulouse, in the province of Foix) by Cathar bishop of Toulouse, Guilhabert de Castres. She sets up houses for women in Pamiers and elsewhere. In that same year Montsegur, which I have read might have been owned by Esclarmonde, is fortified and established as retreat center and place of pilgrimage.
1206. St. Dominic (1170-1221) arrives en route between Spain and France. He is astonished to find the region he is passing through to be filled with heretics preaching quite openly. He sets himself up in one of the places known for Catharism, Fanjeax, and begins preaching against Cathars.
Image: close up of plaque on house. We will see later why Dominic left in 1215.
Dominic debates Cathars at nearby Montreal a miracle purportedly occurs, the paperon which Dominic had written his refutation doesn't burn when thrown on the fire, unlike that of the Cathars he is debating. Dominic sets up houses for women, so as to counteract those of Esclarmonde de Foix. Soon he gets permission to establish a new monastic order, a preaching order later known as the Dominicans.
Image: fresco by Fra Angelico, 15th century Italian. At left, Dominic holds up the "testament of the Faith," a kind of check-list of questions to ask suspected heretics. At the time, Cathar perfecti were pledged not to lie to anyone, even Inquisitors. At right is the miracle of the fire that wouldn't burn the paper.
South of Fanjeux is the capital of the region, also called Foix. Still a rather small town dominated by the castle in which Esclarmonde de Foix grew up with her brother Raymond-Roger, Count of Foix.
The castle is rather tall. It remains as it was, except that all that remains inside are some archeological relics from caveman times and suits of armor.
It was never taken in battle. The wily Counts of Foix always knew when to fight and when they couldn't win and had to compromise. Raymond-Roger and his son Raymond-Roger II reportedly fought the enemies of the Cathars on numerous occasions. But when the French army arrived in force in 1443, he struck a deal instead.
Beneath the castle flows the beautiful Ariege River, which soon leads up into the Pyrenees.
Not twenty miles south of Foix is the spa town of Ussat les Bains. It was told to me that a Cathar cave lay above the town, with mysterious markings inside. I followed the signs for caves, but none looked liked what I want. I took the picture below at one of them. I think I eventually did find the right cave, purportedly called the Cave of Bethlehem. It had no sign pointing to it. It is quite close to the village directly east uphill. By then it was too dark for me to see inside.
On the other side of the mountains to the east, many miles distant, lies fabled Montsegur, mountain of safety, likely the model for Wolfram von Eschenbach's Grail Castle of Munsalvaesche, meaning "mountain of salvation."
Although used previously as a fortress, one feature of the fortress suggests that it had a sacred function even before the Cathars. Because of its connection to the sun, it was probably initiated by the Celtic priests known as Druids, for whom the sun was the symbol of an important god. It's orientation is between East and South (below, from postcard bought in village).
So at the Summer Solstice the following occurs at dawn:
This is the result of the sun's rays having to go through the slits in the opposite wall.
I need to point out that the ruins that we see today are not those of the 13th century fortress. That one was completely leveled by the French army, so that it couldn't easily be rebuilt. Then laterthe French rebuilt it from scratch. However I suspect that many of the old stones in the middle used as filler are from the 13th century walls. Breaking and hauling rocks was too much trouble.
Besides its military and spiritual value, another reason for choosing Montsegur was that it was at the intersection of two trail systems, one going west toward the Mediterranean and the other going south to Catalonia. Below is a modern sign post at the site.
"Sentier" is French for "trail." And here is a map in French and Catalan, of the route south. Here the right side is north, the left side south. These two systems are now simplified into the two "Sentier Cathar" and "Chemin des Bonhommes" (Road of the Good Men) for the sake of modern hikers or horseback riders who want to go along the high mountain ridges interrupted occasionally by ruined castles.
In the beginning, as I have said, Montsegur had a modest role as retreat center and pilgrimage site, plus occasional use as a refuge. Later its use expanded. I will return to Montsegur later on in this blog.
The Teachings of Jesus
One historian explained this unusual use of the adjective “naked” to mean both “materially poor” and “of Christ alone.” With no religious “extras,” the Waldensians sought to follow Christ in his poverty and as their only reference point for faith.
Thus, the goal of the Waldenses was to live in absolute faithfulness to the teachings of Jesus Christ, especially those in his Sermon on the Mount. Adherents wanted to relive, as close as possible, the experiences of the first disciples. As a result, the practice that most sharply defined the Waldensians was their vow to live in poverty and simplicity as the earliest Christians did.
History of the Pyrenees
Forming a natural border with Spain, the mighty Pyrenees and the surrounding areas have a fascinating history that dates back thousands of years. And, because it stretches from the Mediterranean Sea on the east coast, to Atlantic Ocean on the west, the region has played an integral role throughout the ages for France, Spain, and Europe as a whole.
Dawn of civilisation
The earliest evidence of prehistoric human occupation in the Pyrenees is said to have been found in the Arago Cave of the Southern Corbieres region, while the recently excavated remains of the Tautavel Man have been dated back a remarkable 450,000 years. This early age of occupation makes the region fascinating to archaeologists and tourists alike, with additional remains from the Bronze and Iron Ages forming a legacy for all to admire.
In the millennia that followed, it was the Celts who made the Pyrenees home before the Romans seized control of Gaul and the Pyrenees, developing an infrastructure of towns, villages, and roads that would survive for centuries.
Fall of Rome
The demise of the Roman Empire would shepherd in an era of rule under the Franks and later the Visigoths, who eventually settled in the region and established their capital in the city of Toulouse. This rule proved only temporary, however, with the Frankish King, Clovis I, invading Gaul in 507 and seizing control over the nation and the Pyrenees.
After incursions by the Moors and a number of bloody battles throughout the Middle Ages, the region of the Pyrenees was bound to the Holy Roman Empire. With the advent of Christianity and the heresy of the Cathars in the region purged, the path was clear for the region to develop and expand through later centuries.
During the late 15 th century the Kings of Navarre, followed by King Ferdinand of Spain, took control of the region, before rule returned to the French crown during the 17 th century. During the Napoleonic period, the Pyrenees would see the development of the area’s first spa resorts thanks to the mountain’s natural thermal springs. During the Second World War, meanwhile, the elevated location proved the perfect retreat for the French Resistance.
Cathars and Ranters didn't exist?
I've read on this forum that there are now revisionist accounts that claim that Cathars as we think of them did not actually exist, and I just recently saw that historian J. C. Davis claimed that the Ranters did not in fact exist.
Two questions: 1). Are there other heretical groups whose existence we have recently begun to doubt? 2). How solid is the history behind these revisionist accounts?
My field is heresy in the central middle ages, and this includes study of the infamous heresy called ⟊tharism' and the crusade that ⟊tharism' supposedly triggered. I cannot speak at all to the 'Ranters' as it's far beyond my speciality. However, I can speak to the nature of your second question:
How solid is the history behind these revisionist accounts?
Let's invert the question, and in doing so we see the essential issue in historiography and for the work of the historian:
How solid is the history behind the claims that Cathars (or whatever group) existed?
Despite so-called claims of history-as-science, or the perception that somehow a history that has been accepted for several hundred years must be true, historians actually deal less often in absolute facts than they deal in inferences and suppositions and the biases of historiography that comes before us. It could in fact be likened to a wrongful conviction that gets overturned due to mishandled evidence, intimidated witnesses, and botched science.
So, for my part, I do not posit whether the evidence for revision is strong but whether the evidence existed for Cathars in the first place. I've written fairly extensively on Reddit about the existence of Cathars 1, and so I won't rehash it here. Suffice it to say that the debate (fight!) between historians on this goes to the heart of complexities of research and judging veracity of evidence. Here are some examples with respect to the Cathars which reflect broader issues in history writing:
False positives: the term Cathar was rarely used to label or describe the heretics of southern France before, during or right after the phenomenon. The few times is was used, it was by Paris-trained theologians (Jacques de Vitry, Alain de Ville) who it seems never had contact with the heretics themselves those who did have famous, continuous contact with the heretics, Bernard de Clairvaux and other Cistercians, never used the term. This provoked some modern historians to ask 'why?', and in looking with fresh eyes at evidence, we discover that Parisian scholars 12th century used ancient models of heresy for debating and teaching orthodoxy, in arguably the most important century (12th) for the concretization of ⟊tholicism'. These ancient models were the Catharii and the Manicheaen dualists of Augustinians writings.
Smoking guns, fakes and forgeries: one of the most important (and perhaps only) first hand documents is the charter of the ɼouncil of St Felix'. This is a record which purports that the Cathar Church was founded with bishops and deacons, in 1176 at St Felix (near Toulouse), at a meeting between local heretics and Bogomil missionaries from Byzantine lands (the Bogomils did indeed have a church-like organization). Fine, this looks like the smoking gun, right? A Cathar Church exists. Sure, except that many scholars now say it's a forgery. The document only exists in a single 17th century copy, found in the back of a book written by a historian of the time who is known to have produced other questionable documents. The best French paleographers and manuscript specialists were convened in 1999 to examine this transcribed document to determine whether it may have been a legit copy and they concluded that it is questionable, but certainly does not date to the 12th century. Any historiography we have inherited that is dependent on this document (a lot) is effectively overturned.
Witness intimidation: the only time we hear from the 'heretics' themselves stem from the first medieval inquisition, from 1230s through 1320's. We have records of thousands of interviews, transcribed by inquisitors in Latin in great detail. Among all these records there is: i. not one use of ⟊thar' by neither inquisitor nor subject ii. no indications of a heretical ɼhurch' iii. almost no dualist ideas, let alone a manichean theology claimed for the Cathars and the list goes on.
This really is only a small glimpse into the debate the point of this isn't to argue for or against Cathars, but to illustrate that the question of revisionism is really the question of looking at evidence again.
So, who cares? Some historians will say, 'The label is useful to describe a group for purposes of writing history'. To which I respond, the project of the historian is to let the subjects speak for themselves. If we remove the label and let all the accumulated assumptions fall as well, perhaps we can here those voices a little more clearly, and at the same time we gain a little more insight into who we are as subjects of history.
The war [ edit | edit source ]
War in the Outer Rim [ edit | edit source ]
In 3976 BBY, Mandalore the Ultimate's forces made their first move: a raid on the industrialized planet Althir III in the Outer Rim Territories. A fleet of Neo-Crusader warships stormed the world, Α] though the battle lasted a total of five days, as the Althiri managed to hold off the Mandalorians—a stalemate that was finally broken by the unit of a young warrior named Canderous Ordo, who was tasked with feinting against one of the enemy flanks in order to draw the enemy out of formation. However, Ordo saw an opening in the enemy ranks and took the initiative, forcing the Althiri to fend off assaults on two sides and exposing their vulnerable command ships. Ordo's forces quickly eradicated the Althiri fleet, which was ten times the size of their own, and Ordo was rewarded with command over an entire sub-sect of his clan. Γ] Althiri became a productive part of Mandalore's war machine, and three years later, Mandalore's forces struck at another world—Cathar, home of the feline Cathar species. Α]
The Battle of Cathar ΐ] was led by Cassus Fett, who directed his forces to herd the defenseless Cathar population into the ocean. There, Fett's forces massacred the Cathar, despite the protests of a single Mandalorian woman, who was killed along with the Cathar. Δ] Basilisk war droids swept across the planet, killing the remaining population—only a few hundred survived, ⎡] with over 90 percent of the Cathar population dying during the massacre. Η] The Republic learned of the event but chose to suppress news of the battle in order to prevent rioting and panic, ΐ] and it mobilized the Republic Navy to guard Dxun—still home to some defiant Mandalorian clans—and the planet Taris, Α] which sat along the trade route known as the Mandalorian Road and linked the planets Corsin and Mandalore. Η]
Over the next eight years, the Mandalorians also raided worlds such as Corsin and Azure, and Mandalorian warships expanded their territory into the Tion Hegemony and Hutt Space on the eastern edge of the galaxy. Starting with the capture of the Lianna system, the Mandalorians traveled up the Perlemian Trade Route and took the Makem and Quermia systems before heading southeast along the Overic Griplink hyperroute, conquering the Kaelta system and then taking the Florn system. At the same time, another campaign was launched from the Lianna system—the Mandalorians first took the Jaminere system, then headed south to the Sy Myrth system, and finally intruded on Hutt Space by taking the Taskeed system, capturing the Dennogra system, and then seizing the Dernatine system. The Hutts resorted to hiring mercenary armies to defend their territories, but frequently the Mandalorians simply recruited the mercenaries into their own ranks. Η] Some Neo-Crusaders suggested using kryotin, a powder from the planet Veroleem, as a bioweapon to soften up targets, but most Mandalorians were disgusted by the idea. ⎢] A forward supply post named Unity was established on the planet Caillte to support the planned advance into the Mid Rim. ⎣]
Rohlan Dyre flees a raid in the early years of the war.
Commander Rohlan Dyre served in the early battles in the Outer Rim but began to question Mandalore's goals and reasoning for testing the Republic's defenses. When his questions went unanswered, Dyre responded by refusing to fight the next time he was called upon. Dyre was placed on the front lines anyway, so he escaped during the fighting and went in search of answers on his own, Β] investigating "Doctor Demagol's" history and talking to people who knew the scientist before he joined the Mando'ade. ⎝] "Rohlan the Questioner," as he became known, was eventually captured and placed back on the front lines, but he ran away again—a cycle that continued to repeat over the next few years. By 3964 BBY, Dyre had been caught and sent back to the front lines six times. Β] In 3966 BBY, when Taris's resource worlds of Jebble, Vanquo, Tarnith, and Suurja began to be threatened by the Mandalorians, ⎤] the Republic established the Jebble-Vanquo-Tarnith line, a protective cordon around Taris that linked those three planets Admirals Jimas Veltraa and Noma Sommos were among the officers tasked with holding the line. ⎛]
The coming storm [ edit | edit source ]
The False War [ edit | edit source ]
The Revanchists are captured on Suurja.
The Mandalorians' progress came to a halt at the end of the year 3965 BBY—the Republic Navy's forces around Taris blocked the invaders' attempts to capture more star systems in the Outer Rim, and the Mandalorians went eight months without a victory. Finally, the Mandalorians made progress along the Mandalorian Road and captured the planet Flashpoint, home to the Flashpoint Stellar Research Station, after a brief skirmish with Republic forces. ⎥] Flashpoint Station was repurposed as a laboratory for Demagol, a place where captured Jedi were to be brought so that the scientist could experiment on them. Β] A few months later, the Mandalorians made an attempt to take the agrarian world of Suurja, ⎥] which sat along the cordon between Tarnith and Jebble, Η] but they were engaged by Republic forces under the command of Captain Saul Karath, and the battle was inconclusive. Over the next six weeks, three further battles were fought at Suurja, but all three of the skirmishes were likewise inconclusive. ⎥]
Around that time, a charismatic young Jedi began to move through the Jedi Order, calling for Jedi intervention in the conflict with the Mandalorians. He advocated revanchism, or the retaking of territories lost to the Mandalorians, and his views were met with suspicion and hostility by the increasingly conservative Jedi High Council, which remained wary of intervention due to the threat of the dark side. Encouraged by his Jedi Master, Kreia, the young Jedi began to openly challenge the Council and gathered a following of like-minded Jedi, including his friend Alek. ΐ] The movement became known as the Revanchists, and their leader was branded "the Jedi's own crusader" by the Republic media. ⎜] Defying the Jedi Council's wishes, the "crusader" led Alek and the other Revanchists on a scouting mission to the battlefront, and they stopped on Taris in hopes of recruiting some of the Jedi who were stationed at the planet's Jedi Tower. When the Jedi failed to sway any of the five Jedi Masters there or their Padawans, ⎦] they departed for the planet Suurja. However, the "crusader" left his followers on Suurja shortly afterward to investigate Mandalorian activity on Onderon and Dxun, and the Revanchists were unprepared for an ambush by Mandalorians led by Rohlan Dyre. ⎧] Alek and the other Revanchists were taken to Flashpoint, where Demagol tortured and experimented on them in hopes of determining the source of their powers. Β]
However, everything changed when the galaxy learned of the Padawan Massacre. Four of the five Padawans at the Jedi Tower were slain by their Masters, who were members of a secret Jedi Covenant dedicated to preventing the return of the Sith, and Master Lucien Draay's Padawan, Zayne Carrick, was blamed for the murders. Carrick and the Snivvian con man Marn Hierogryph evaded the Covenant Jedi and Taris's police officers, and their inability to capture Carrick sparked a public loss of faith in the Jedi Order's ability to police them. The same day as the Revanchists' capture on Suurja, Carrick was captured by a bounty hunter named Valius Ying and brought to the Jedi Tower. The news of Carrick's capture caused planet-wide celebrations on Taris, as companies such as Lhosan Industries had begun to pull out from the planet in light of the Massacre, but when Carrick escaped from the Jedi Tower with the help of his friends aboard the junk hauler The Last Resort, mass panic and rioting broke out over the following days. The police force was overwhelmed, with Constable Noana Sowrs's children being kidnapped in the chaos, and the five Jedi Masters were recalled to the Republic capital of Coruscant. ⎧]
The Onslaught [ edit | edit source ]
Republic and Mandalorian fleets clash at the Battle of Vanquo.
Seeing the Jedi's withdrawal as an opportunity to take Taris and begin the invasion of the Republic in force, Mandalore the Ultimate ordered his forces to attack the planet Vanquo, thereby ending the eight-month stalemate. At the Battle of Vanquo, Mandalorian forces overwhelmed the Republic Navy's forces and broke the Jebble-Vanquo-Tarnith line, conquering the mining world at the same time, Mandalorian forces broke through the Republic cordon and headed toward Taris. Β] As the year 3963 BBY began, Admiral Veltraa withdrew his forces closer toward Taris and reformed the remaining fleets under his command into a new defensive line. Admiral Sommos was gravely injured during the fighting, and she was evacuated to the planet Wayland however, Veltraa was killed when his flagship, the Reliance, was destroyed, and the Mandalorians besieged Taris itself. ⎛] Mandalorian dreadnaughts began to bombard the planet from orbit, beginning weeks of devastation as the Mandalorians began to invade the planet, though they were opposed by Taris's meager planetary defense forces, the Taris Home Guard. ⎤] A Taris Resistance soon formed from the remnants of the planet's police force, and swoop gangs such as the Hidden Beks fought the Mandalorian invaders as well. ⎨]
However, the Mandalorians also suffered losses on unexpected fronts—the Jedi Council ordered the "crusader" to rescue the captured Jedi at Flashpoint Station, but the Jedi were instead rescued by Zayne Carrick and his allies when Carrick's friend Jarael was herself taken. In order to rescue Jarael and the other Jedi, Carrick's group tricked the Mandalorians there into believing that the Republic was booby-trapping their ships with explosives and convinced them to flee the station. Demagol was also apparently captured, ⎩] but unbeknownst to Carrick and the others, the scientist switched armors with Rohlan Dyre—who had fled the Vanquo battlefront and joined forces with Carrick—and placed Dyre in a coma. ⎝] Alek and the Revanchists took "Demagol" back to Coruscant, while "Rohlan Dyre" slipped aboard The Last Resort. ⎩]
The path of the Onslaught
Not long afterward, the "crusader" reunited with his followers and continued his campaign for Jedi intervention but soon found himself to be a celebrity in the eyes of the Republic. Republic media cast "the Revanchist Leader" as a crusading savior who was wrongfully ignored by the Council, and he soon became known simply as the Revanchist. ⎜] The Revanchist continued to travel the galaxy and bring his message to all who would listen, and one of the Revanchist Jedi—a Cathar named Ferroh—brought to his attention the absence of the Cathar species from their homeworld. The Revanchists began investigating the planet, excavating and searching for evidence as to what had happened to the planet's population. Δ] As they besieged Taris, the Mandalorians also attacked the Republic through invasion corridors ⎛] that ran through three adjacent sectors Γ] —an offensive that became known as "the Onslaught." ⎛] The Mandalorians headed west along the Outer Rim and took the Zongorlu system before launching several offensives against planets along the Republic's northern rim: Η] Ord Mantell fell to the Mandalorians as they also attacked a number of colonies of the Zabrak species in the region, and they also attacked Ithor, though a Republic counterattack with the support of Zabrak military units repelled the invaders. Α]
The Mandalorians then attacked the Zabrak homeworld of Iridonia, which they conquered and occupied for quite some time, recruiting some of the natives into their ranks. ⎪] Republic and Zabrak forces ultimately liberated the planet, but a Mandalorian presence remained in Iridonian society. Α] A second invasion corridor saw the Mandalorians assault Wayland, Η] bombing the surface and wiping out colonists and factories. ⎫] The third invasion corridor was aimed Coreward—the Mandalorians captured Jebble, Η] building a war forge on the ice planet that supplied the Mandalorian offensive and also served as a staging point for a planned attack on the Core World of Alderaan. ⎬]
The Mandalorian Invasion [ edit | edit source ]
The devastation of Serroco [ edit | edit source ]
In light of the Onslaught, the Galactic Senate mobilized the entire Republic Navy to counter the Mandalorian threat. Γ] Around the same time, Mandalorian forces struck at Onderon, besieging the walled city of Iziz with basilisk war droids. Onderon and its moon Dxun remained under extended Mandalorian control, serving as a staging point later in the conflict. Η] The remains of the Outer Rim fleets fell back to the Core Worlds, where Captain Karath was promoted to Rear Admiral ⎛] and a large battle group, designated Battle Group Serroco, was gathered at the planet Ralltiir. Given the Inexpugnable-class tactical command ship Courageous, Karath was placed in command of the battle group and tasked with the defense of the planet Serroco, which was the next world in the path of the Mandalorians' advance from Jebble. Karath's forces set up camps right next to the stone cities of the native Stereb, and the fleet formed up in a defensive formation around the planet. However, Mandalore the Ultimate viewed this tactic as a defense without honor, as it assumed that the Mandalorians would not attack the civilian cities, so he decided to teach the Republic a lesson. ⎭]
Zayne Carrick was on Serroco with Marn Hierogryph while staffing the Quartermaster-class supply carrier Little Bivoli, which was serving the Republic forces as a fringer provisioning ship on Serroco the day before Mandalore's attack, Carrick experienced a Force vision of the forthcoming assault. ⎭] Carrick became determined to warn Karath and slipped aboard Lieutenant Carth Onasi's ship, the Deadweight, to reach the Courageous, but Karath refused to believe him: Karath had seen Carrick's ship, The Last Resort, fleeing the Battle of Vanquo for Mandalorian Space and believed him to be a Mandalorian spy. Ignoring Carrick's explanation that he had been heading for Flashpoint, Karath ordered Carrick's arrest, though he allowed Onasi to try and contact Alek, whom Carrick knew only as "Squint." However, the Mandalorian fleet arrived at the edge of the Serroco system only minutes after Onasi left the bridge, and Karath ordered his ships to raise their shields when the Mandalorians launched missiles. Ε]
To Karath's shock, the nuclear warheads swerved around the Republic ships to slam into Serroco's surface, impacting near twenty-seven population centers and wiping away most of the Stereb cities. The devastation caught most of the Republic ships on the surface by surprise, destroying all but eight of them, and Jedi all across the galaxy felt the simultaneous deaths of thousands through the Force. Fortunately for the Stereb, Onasi had been able to call down emergencies to seventeen of the Stereb cities, Ε] leading the inhabitants of those settlements to take shelter in the underground catacombs of the planet and thereby survive the nuclear devastation. ⎜] The Revanchist Jedi Meetra Surik, ⎮] who was on assignment at Serroco, managed to escape aboard one of the three military vessels that jumped out of the system before the devastation. ⎯]
The Battle of Serroco saw Karath's forces begin a slow retreat toward the Core as they came under fire from the Mandalorians, and the Admiral of the Fleet announced his intention to lodge an official protest with the Republic over the military's positioning of its forces near the Stereb cities. Karath sought to retreat to Myrkr or rendezvous with the Tremendous battle group near the Ryyk Nebula but was ultimately forced to fall back toward the banking planet of Telerath. ⎚] The Courageous was soon boarded by Neo-Crusader Shock Troopers, whose assault drove Karath, Onasi, and Captain Dallan Morvis to take up defensive positions in the ship's brig. They managed to escape the ship with the help of Carrick, who had created an escape route to the Deadweight in the hangar. According to Mandalore the Ultimate, the Courageous was melted down by the victorious Mandalorians, and Mandalore claimed that his battle axe was made from the hull of Karath's lost command. ⎠] Marn Hierogryph and his Trandoshan companion, Slyssk, barely escaped the bombardment when a panicking Slyssk seized command of a Republic ship that was slow to take off, inadvertently saving half a battalion that had been aboard. When they reached Chandrila, the two were approached by the Ministry of Defense, which convinced the pair to become propaganda figures: Captain Benegryph Goodvalor and his trusty Trandoshan sidekick. ⎘] Not long afterward, Jervo Thalien of Lhosan Industries hired Hierogryph and Slyssk to track down Senator Haydel Goravvus on Taris, which was still undergoing occupation by Cassus Fett's forces Hierogryph teamed up with the Hidden Beks swoop gang and helped them join forces with the Taris Resistance. ⎫]
The First Battle of Omonoth [ edit | edit source ]
The weaponized exogorths that Adasca attempted to auction
Not long after the bombardment of Serroco, Lord Arkoh Adasca of the Adasca BioMechanical Corporation of Arkania forced the scientist Gorman Vandrayk to complete his work on the weaponization of the enormous space slugs known as exogorths. Believing that possession of the exogorths, which were essentially a galactic plague that could destroy entire planets, made him a galactic power, Adasca arranged for an auction of the exogorths aboard his ship, the Arkanian Legacy, in the Omonoth system. ⎰] Adasca contacted representatives of the major players in the conflict—the Revanchist, Mandalore the Ultimate, and Admiral Karath—and requested their presence at his auction. The Revanchist was unable to attend in person, but after he and several Jedi foresaw that Adasca's offer could change the course of the war, he sent Alek in his place and instructed his friend to ensure that the danger they posed was eliminated. ⎱] The planet Telerath was caught up in mass panic upon the news that the Courageous was lost at Serroco, as Telerath was the next planet in the Mandalorians' path. ⎰] In the march to Omonoth, the Mandalorians ravaged the planet Nouane and then took Dagary Minor. Η] Meetra Surik participated in the fighting at Dagary Minor, as did a soldier named Xaart. ⎙]
By the time he reached the Omonoth system, Mandalore had used Rohlan Dyre's apparent death on Flashpoint as propaganda, using the Questioner as a martyr to advance the adoption of the Neo-Crusader cause. "Dyre" was the one who contacted Mandalore on Adasca's behalf, as he was accompanying Vandrayk's friend Jarael, whom Adasca was holding hostage to motivate Vandrayk, and upon meeting the warrior aboard the Arkanian Legacy, Mandalore instructed the Questioner to remain "dead" for the cause. ⎠] Karath offered Adasca a seat on the Senate, but Mandalore countered with the offer of making Adascorp the sole weapons manufacturer of the Mandalorians. However, Adasca quickly became power-hungry and declared himself to be a new galactic power—but Adasca's auction came crashing down, thanks to the efforts of Onasi, Carrick, and Lucien Draay, who had been imprisoned by Adasca with Carrick upon his arrival at the Arkanian Legacy in order to keep Draay away from Adasca's plans. Donning the set of Neo-Crusader armor that Mandalore had given "Dyre" as a reward for his continued silence, Carrick staged a fight with Onasi, and then he and Draay revealed themselves as Jedi and declared that the entire affair had been a trap for Mandalore. Despite Adasca's protests, Mandalore believed their claims, and chaos broke out aboard the Arkanian Legacy between the Mandalorians, Adasca's security forces, the Republic personnel, and Jedi. ⎲]
Amid the chaos, Carrick informed Vandrayk that Jarael was safe, prompting the inventor to seize control of the exogorths. Vandrayk used the exogorths to attack the Arkanian Legacy, killing Adasca, before he took the exogorths with him to Wild Space in order to remove their installed hyperdrive units and eliminate the threat they posed. All of Adasca's "guests" managed to escape the doomed Arkanian Legacy, and while Carrick was called to Taris to meet with Hierogryph, ⎲] Karath returned to Coruscant. Karath promptly resigned his commission over the loss of Battle Group Serroco, but the Admiral of the Fleet refused to accept it and publicly commended Karath's performance Karath was ultimately given command of the newly-built Inexpugnable-class tactical command ship Swiftsure. ⎳] On Taris, the Taris Resistance attempted to bomb the Jedi Tower, which Cassus Fett had been using as a command post, but Fett had already abandoned the Tower and attacked the Resistance in the Lower City. ⎴]
The advance is halted [ edit | edit source ]
Mandalorian forces, gathered for an attack on Alderaan
Not long after the First Battle of Omonoth, as the Adasca affair came to be known, the Republic and Mandalorians both attempted to salvage the remains of the Arkanian Legacy and clashed in the Second Battle of Omonoth. The skirmish was inconclusive, and the concurrent battle on Myrkr ⎯] —the continuation of the Mandalorians' campaign from Wayland Η] —saw the Republic suffer approximately 2,000 casualties overnight. However, the Republic was able to secure a set of Neo-Crusader shock armor on Myrkr and began to study it for weaknesses. ⎯] From Myrkr, the Mandalorians moved on to conquer the nearby Thustra system and then took the Obroa-skai system. Η] However, their Coreward advance was brought to a halt after a series of events on Jebble, where the Mandalorians were preparing for their assault on Alderaan. Pulsipher, Demagol's former assistant, uncovered the Sith artifact known as the Muur Talisman in the Undercity of Taris ⎬] and brought it to Jebble—but on the way there, the Talisman "bit" one of Pulsipher's subordinates. The Jedi Shadow Celeste Morne, along with Carrick and Hierogryph, stowed away aboard Pulsipher's ship, and upon uncovering the Mandalorians' plans on Jebble, Carrick decided to warn the Republic. ⎵]
Before Carrick could do so, the "bitten" Mandalorian transformed into a rakghoul, a fearsome creature that spread the rakghoul plague the rakghoul quickly infected several other Mandalorians, and the plague began spreading like wildfire. ⎵] Carrick managed to make contact with Cassus Fett, who had moved on from the Taris offensive, and warned the Field Marshal of the events on Jebble. Pulsipher lost control of the Talisman, which held the spirit of its original owner, the Sith Lord Karness Muur, when the Talisman attempted to take the Force-sensitive Carrick as its host, though Morne sacrificed herself in his place. ⎶] Under Muur's influence, Morne took control of the rakghouls—the Talisman was the original source of the plague—and quickly infected the entire Mandalorian army stationed on Jebble. However, Carrick eventually brought Morne to her senses, and Morne agreed to be locked inside an oubliette, or stasis casket, to contain the Talisman's power. As Carrick and Hierogryph escaped from Jebble, Fett's forces arrived in the system and, to Carrick's horror, bombarded the planet with nuclear warheads as they did Serroco. The assault wiped out the rakghouls on Jebble, Ζ] and the loss of the Mandalorians' infected forces put an end to their planned Core World offensive. Α]
Around that time, the Republic arranged for Jedi Master Dorjander Kace—one of the Jedi Council members who was most strenuously opposed to the Revanchist's interventionist philosophy—to step down from the Council. Disillusioned with the Republic, Kace—who had fallen in love with a Mandalorian named Varda before her death in the Sith War—decided to join the Mandalorians, believing that he could change them for the better. Kace formed the Mandalorian Knights, a group of like-minded Jedi who fought alongside the Mandalorians. ⎷] However, Kace was succeeded by the similarly anti-interventionist Lucien Draay, who issued arrest warrants for the Revanchist Jedi. ⎸] Shortly afterward, Coruscant was thrown into chaos by Vindication, a pre-planned insurrection among the Jedi Order by the Jedi Covenant. Vindication was ordered by the Covenant's true leader, Haazen, who had been manipulating the group for his own ends, and Haazen seized control of the Republic blockade around Coruscant, whose tactical computers were linked by a tactic known as the Vanjervalis Chain. Haazen used the blockade's firepower to bombard Coruscant, eliminating the members of the Jedi Order who had been attempting to seize the Draay Estate just before Vindication ⎹] the entire affair finally ended with Haazen's death and the destruction of the Draay Estate. The incident was covered up as a Mandalorian terror plot, and Carrick's and Hierogryph's names were cleared of all charges relating to the Padawan Massacre. ⎺]
The Revanchists join the fight [ edit | edit source ]
The Revanchists on Cathar
Sometime after the Covenant affair, the Jedi Council arrived in force on Cathar to confront the Revanchists, who had ignored the Council's demand that they stand down. Δ] Master Vandar Tokare had foreseen a great destruction that was to come to the galaxy in war, but the Council misinterpreted the vision—which actually referred to the forthcoming Jedi Civil War—as a warning against engaging Mandalore the Ultimate in battle. ΐ] The Council warned the Revanchist and his followers that the Mandalorians were nothing special and ordered the movement to disband—but its tirade was interrupted when the Revanchist discovered a Mandalorian mask underfoot. As the Revanchist picked up the mask, all of the Jedi present were suddenly enveloped in a shared Force vision of the past: They witnessed Cassus Fett herd the defenseless Cathar into the ocean and massacre them, despite the protests of the woman whose mask the Revanchist had found. Disgusted by the genocide, the Revanchist donned the mask and, adopting the simpler name of Revan, vowed to wear it until all of the Mandalorians were brought to justice. Δ] In light of the vision, the Jedi Council begrudgingly sanctioned the Revanchists' intervention into the Mandalorian Wars, Δ] though it still publicly denounced Revan's actions as unwise and too hasty. Γ]
Revan soon came up with a solution that appeased the Council and allowed the Revanchists to join the war: He revived the idea of a Mercy Corps from the Sith War, in which Jedi were deputized to serve alongside the Republic Military allegedly as healers. The Council reluctantly agreed to Revan's request, and the Revanchists—now an official Mercy Corps—were placed under Revan's direct command. Revan and Alek, who by that time had adopted the name Malak, were appointed as generals, and they worked with Captain Telettoh of the Hammerhead-class cruiser Testament. Δ] In the following months, the Revanchists joined the Republic in battling the Mandalorians openly, and Revan proved himself a capable military leader by winning several victories against the Mandalorians. Γ] As the year drew to a close, "Demagol" awoke from his coma and was put on trial for his crimes, though Rohlan Dyre's claims as to his true identity were ignored. Fortunately for Dyre, he was rescued by Carrick and Hierogryph, who had realized that Demagol had switched places with Dyre. ⎘] In order to save his friend Jarael from Demagol, Carrick called in the favor that Cassus Fett owed him from Jebble: Carrick arranged for Fett's forces to encounter Admiral Karath near the Ithor system to draw out Dace Golliard, a member of the Crucible slaving organization. Fett's forces staged an attack on Karath only to jump to hyperspace, and Golliard—who had been lurking nearby in order to capture the survivors of the battle—was captured by Karath, allowing Carrick to learn Jarael's location. ⎝]
The Mandalorian Triumph [ edit | edit source ]
Mandalorian Knights [ edit | edit source ]
Dorjander Kace leads his Knights "against" the Mandalorians.
As the year 3962 BBY began, Dorjander Kace developed a plan to give the Mandalorians their own Jedi by kidnapping younglings from the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine. ⎷] His plan was approved by Mandalore the Ultimate, who agreed to let Kace keep the younglings and train them on the planet Ordo, and Mandalore assigned a detachment of his warriors to assist Kace. ⎻] With Mandalore's support, Kace continued the campaign on the northern edge of the galaxy once the Mandalorians captured the planet Essien, he lured the Republic into an attack there. As the Republic lacked a regular army in that region, it was forced to rely on local militias to fight, and the militia from the planet Phaeda was placed under the command of Captain Morvis and tasked with liberating Essien. The Republic was unaware of Kace's defection, and he and his Mandalorian Knights led Morvis's men—including Zayne Carrick, who had been drafted into the militia—in a charge against the Mandalorian bastion underneath Mount Savage. After "securing" the beach at the foot of the mountain, Kace ordered Morvis's forces to root out the Mandalorians in the forests, though Morvis chose to burn them down with Tibanna Six shells instead. Carrick attempted to warn the Mandalorians, as his pacifist nature would not let him stand by and allow the retreating Mandalorians to be massacred, but discovered that it was a trap—just as a swarm of Basilisk war droids descended on Morvis's command and captured them, with Kace's Mandalorian Knights at the lead. ⎖]
Morvis's militia was drafted into the Neo-Crusaders despite the protests of his men, and Kace's Mandalorian Knights led their forces in a campaign northward toward Dantooine. The planet Halthor was one of the first targets, and the Mandalorian Knights led an assault on a signal station manned by members of the Gran species. ⎼] Kace blackmailed Carrick into helping his plans—Carrick could either help Kace capture the Phaedacomm relay station or watch the Mandalorians devastate his homeworld of Phaeda. Carrick developed a scam to get Mandalorians aboard the station by staging a fake viral outbreak aboard Morvis's captured ship, the frigate Reciprocity, which was diverted to Phaedacomm, and the Mandalorians quickly captured the station. Upon discovering Kace's intended target, ⎷] Carrick recruited Morvis's crew to help him steal the Mandalorian dreadnaught Parjai as Kace's Mandalorian Knights took the Reciprocity to Dantooine. Carrick scammed Field Marshal Garon Borm and the Parjai ' s crew into fleeing the dreadnaught by repeating the viral outbreak scam, and he took the commandeered Parjai to Dantooine. ⎗]
The Mandalorian Knights quickly took control of the Enclave and secured the students, and Carrick's attempt to con Kace into leaving ended in failure. Exposed, Carrick destroyed the ship on which Kace intended to extract the younglings, and Morvis's troops evacuated the younglings to the Reciprocity. Carrick and Kace dueled in the Enclave when the latter tried to stop the escaping younglings, but when Kace learned that the Mandalorians had withdrawn support of his plans, Carrick managed to convince the former Jedi Master to surrender. Kace and his Knights were put on trial, where the former Jedi preached for nine hours straight about the righteousness of his cause with the loss of the Mandalorian Knights, Mandalore the Ultimate abandoned the northern offensive and withdrew his forces from Halthor. In the aftermath of the campaign, Carrick secured a position as a lieutenant and special diplomatic agent attached to Morvis's Reciprocity. In his new post, Carrick sought to serve as an "official conscience" for the Republic, teaching the military restraint in hopes of saving lives and bringing a peaceful end to the conflict. ⎻]
Coreward-bound [ edit | edit source ]
A naval battle during the conflict
Meanwhile, in the rest of the galaxy, the Mandalorian Wars entered a phase known as the Mandalorian Triumph—a campaign that first saw the Mandalorians conquer the border world of Eres III Η] and set fire to the planet's Xoxin plains, driving back Meetra Surik's forces from the world. The plains continued to burn over a decade afterward, earning the battle infamy. ⎙] Also during this time, the Mandalorians continued their offensive from the Dernatine system, heading along the Lesser Lantillian Route to conquer the Charros system, and then along the Great Kashyyyk Branch and the Randon Run in an attempt to conquer the strategically-valuable Randon system. However, the Mandalorians' attempted conquest of Randon, which sat at the intersection of numerous routes, was defeated by the Republic. From Eres, the Mandalorians raided Azure and subsequently the planet Contruum, and then headed south along the Vaathkree Trade Corridor to take the Gizer system. The Nazzri system was next to fall, followed by the Vena system Η] after meeting up with additional forces at Dxun, Α] the Mandalorians took the Ambria system and then the Zel system. Η]
With the advent of Jedi involvement in the war, the Republic unveiled the multitude of warships that they had been constructing in the shipyards of the Core and Trailing Sectors, such as Centurion-class battlecruisers and Hammerhead-class cruisers. The Interdictor-class cruiser was also introduced at this time, a concept that had been pioneered by the late Admiral Veltraa. Α] A number of manufacturing companies designed and marketed various new battle droid models in hopes of cashing in on the war effort, but the droids were not as successful as the companies had hoped. ⎽] From the Zel system, the Mandalorians headed Coreward to Commenor, where they smashed a Republic task force, Α] and then conquered the Quellor system. After taking the Exodeen system, the Mandalorians moved on to the shipyard world of Duro, Η] whose orbital cities and shipyards were bombarded by Basilisk war droids. ⎙] Sometime around then, the Mandalorians also attacked the Lantillies system, though the Republic repelled their assault. Η]
Duro's infrastructure was devastated by the attackers, who destroyed many of the orbital space platforms in order to cut off the Corellian Trade Spine. ΐ] However, Revan, Malak, Α] and Meetra Surik ⎙] managed to save the Battle of Duro from becoming even more of a disaster. They arrived with a fleet of Interdictor-class cruisers, thereby stopping the Mandalorians from escaping with war matériel stolen from Duro's shipyards. Bowing to public pressure, Supreme Chancellor Tol Cressa appointed Revan Supreme Commander of the Republic Military. Α] Sometime during the course of the conflict, a fleet of Mandalorian warships attacked the Tibanna-mining planet of Bespin, which hosted a mining infrastructure built by the distant and carbonite-rich planet Empress Teta. The attackers destroyed most of the mining operations in orbit of Bespin, hoping to break the Republic's supply of Tibanna gas. ΐ]
Republic counteroffensive [ edit | edit source ]
Driving them back [ edit | edit source ]
Over the course of 3961 BBY and 3960 BBY, Revan directed the Republic Navy in taking the offensive against the Mandalorians. During that period, the Republic liberated Taris, ending the lengthy siege and occupation of the world. Revan himself spearheaded the charge, leading a group of Jedi into battle in Taris's Undercity. While there, Revan freed a group of slaves who were about to be sold on the slave market, and one of them—a Force-sensitive Cathar named Juhani—was encouraged by one of Revan's compatriots to join the Jedi Order. Revan's tactical prowess saw the Republic achieve victory after victory, but it was not without a cost: Revan became increasingly willing to sacrifice populations and key planets in order to win victories elsewhere, Γ] and Revan understood that the Republic's industrial might was the key to victory. Α]
"Moral shortcuts" became common under Revan's leadership as he and Malak began to adopt a policy of victory at all costs. Early in 3961 BBY, the pair discovered an ancient ruin of the Rakata species on Dantooine, where they found a Star Map—a relic of the Rakata that showed part of the location of the Rakatan space station known as the Star Forge. Γ] Revan soon discovered another Star Map on the planet Kashyyyk, ΐ] and not long afterward, he briefly visited the Sith tombworld of Korriban. Revan's visit to the planet of Malachor V saw the Jedi discover the Trayus Academy, a temple of Sith learning, and Revan began to be seduced by the dark side of the Force as he learned from the Academy's knowledge. Γ]
Though under the thrall of the dark side, Revan and Malak did not renounce the Jedi ways initially, and he and Malak continued to lead the Republic against the Mandalorians. Γ] From the Perlemian, Republic forces attacked planets in Mandalorian Space—the Vorzyd system was first to fall, and from there the Republic split their forces on two offensives. The attack on the Lucazec system saw the Republic driven back, but the Republic was successful in taking the Stenos system and then the Elom system. From the Elom system, the Republic moved to Jaga's Cluster. Η]
Republic ground troops during the war
However, the Battle of Jaga's Cluster ended in disaster—despite the presence of Revan and Malak, Cassus Fett's forces still managed to emerge victorious, and Fett gained notoriety for personally boarding one of the Republic flagships and killing the captain himself. ⎾] Not long after, at the Battle of Althir, forces under Revan's command annihilated most of the Mandalorian ground forces, reclaiming the industrial world after around twenty-five years of Mandalorian control. Η] Late in the Mandalorian Wars, Revan ordered his forces to retake the planet Onderon and its moon Dxun, which was a heavily-fortified Mandalorian stronghold. A large-scale assault was organized to take Dxun, though the offensive was incredibly costly to the Republic—the enemy had decades to fortify the moon, with defenses that included minefields, traps, anti-air turrets, and the jungle beasts themselves. ⎙]
Revan's battle plan called for battle droids to be deployed on the moon to take out the anti-air turrets, and then his forces—under the command of the Jedi General Meetra Surik—undertook hundreds of small-unit feints to probe the Mandalorian defenses. Surik lost most of her forces when they charged across a minefield in an attempt to strike at the Mandalorian emplacements, but she carried out Revan's plans regardless. The battle lasted for months as the Mandalorians refused to give in, resulting in incredibly high casualties—veterans of the battle stated that the Republic lost ten soldiers for every Mandalorian killed. Despite the cost, the Republic ultimately captured the moon, driving the Mandalorians back toward the Outer Rim. ⎙]
Showdown [ edit | edit source ]Main article: Battle of Malachor V
In 3960 BBY, Revan drove the Mandalorians increasingly farther back, and the Republic retook the Lianna system. Η] Revan then forced a final confrontation at Malachor V, deploying a massive fleet to the planet in order to lure the Mandalorians into attacking. Revan also deployed a superweapon that he had prepared in secrecy: the Mass Shadow Generator, a gravitational weapon designed by the Zabrak engineer Bao-Dur. The generator was intended as the centerpiece of the trap at Malachor, where Revan hoped to bring an end to the conflict. Revan split his forces in two, giving half to Meetra Surik to lure the Mandalorians into range of the superweapon and tasking her with the activation of the Mass Shadow Generator. However, Revan himself was delayed outside of the Malachor system by a Mandalorian scouting party, and by the time he arrived in the system, a massive naval battle was underway between Mandalore the Ultimate's fleet and Surik's ships. ⎟]
Mandalore, realizing that defeat was inevitable due to the Republic reinforcements, challenged Revan to single combat aboard his flagship. Revan accepted his challenge and boarded the vessel, where he engaged in a duel to the death with the warrior chieftain. Despite Mandalore's strength, he was eventually overcome by his Jedi opponent Revan struck down Mandalore, who ended up dying at the Jedi's feet. As the Taung coughed up blood, he removed his mask and began to speak to Revan about how he had been betrayed. Mandalore explained how the Sith had manipulated him, as the Sith's spell had broken in Mandalore's last moments, and in order to prove his story, he gave the coordinates of the planet Rekkiad to Revan. As Mandalore died, Revan picked up Mandalore's Mask, the symbol of Mandalorian leadership, and took it as his spoils of war, preventing a new Mandalore from being chosen. ⎟]
With Revan's victory over Mandalore, the Republic forces began to press the Mandalorian fleet ever closer to Malachor V, but they also suffered heavy casualties in the process, prompting Surik to command Bao-Dur to activate the Mass Shadow Generator. Both Revan and Surik's ships were out of range of the weapon, and they watched in horror as most of the Mandalorian fleet and a large part of the Republic fleet was drawn toward the planet into a massive gravity vortex. Tens of thousands died as hundreds of vessels collided with Malachor's surface, devastating the once-lush world and fracturing its core as the ships were crushed into the planet. The Republic suffered incredible casualties, though nowhere near as many as the Mandalorians, and the sheer number of deaths caused a substantial wound in the Force. Surik was the closest Jedi to the vortex to survive, and she instinctively severed her own connection to the Force to avoid being killed by the resulting shock wave. In the wake of the utter devastation, the remaining Mandalorians transmitted their unconditional surrender to the Republic. ⎙]
Useful Notes / The Cathars
The Cathars (from the ancient Greek katharoi, "the pure ones") were a medieval religious movement of Christian Gnosticism, active in the 11th and 14th centuries around Southern Europe. Still shrouded in mystery, speculations and supposed historical conspiracies, they were a vital part of the landscape of France and Italy until their extermination by Catholic Church and Ottoman Empire, which saw them as competition for both religious and political reasons.
The origin of this movement remains unknown, although it has been traditionally tied to the Bogomils, a 10th century Gnostic sect from the Bulgarian Empire founded by some preacher named Bogomil. A current of social anarchist, Bogomils rejected the regular Christian teachings and replaced them by a creation myth of moderate dualism. According to their doctrine, God had two sons, Sataniel and Michael the former revolted and created the material world as a prison, enslaving mankind there and founding the Abrahamic religions out of arrogance, while the latter took the guise of Jesus and came to the world to teach humans the way to escape. Bogomils were deeply social, rejecting the cross, any religious hierarchy beyond the rank of teacher, and any temple beyond the human body, which meant it was their duty to travel far and wide to preach and heal the sick. Bogomilism was eradicated in the 13th century by both the Pope and the Ottoman Empire, but they had time to influence religious thought in the south of France and Italy, giving birth to Catharism.
Cathar beliefs, and the main source of differentiation from Catholicism, were basically a modernized version of the Gnostic butter and bread as seen by Bogomils. They believed the cosmos was ruled by two forces, the true God or "Invisible Father" and an evil deity named "King of the World" note In the Bible this explicitly refers to 2 Corinthians 4:9 - The god of this age (aka Satan) has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (aka god of all ages). , the latter of which was either identified with Satan or considered his father, creator or corrupter. The material world was a corrupt prison created by Satan, who had warred against God, while humans were actually luminous spirits note sexless spirits of angels, i.e the third of Heaven that rebelled against God before the beginning of the world deceived into leaving God's heaven and inhabiting bodies of flesh. Trapped in matter, the human souls would be forever condemned to suffer under Satan and his whims, reincarnating over and over upon dying without hope to escape. Fortunately for us, the ever cool Jesus had been sent by God to save humans by teaching them the true divine teachings, which would allow us to return to heaven by renunciating the material world and practicing ascetism and celibacy.
Contrary to what is often implied, Catharism was not a strongly organized religion, but a myriad of regional factions that only shared a few central ideological pillars, sometimes varying wildly in the rest of their teachings. They didn't even have a real collective they only saw them as Christians, the "true" kind of Christianism which had not been tainted by the devil, and therefore they only called themselves "Good Men" or "Good Christians". Catharism was a label given to them by chroniclers, who also called them Albigensis after the city Albi where the movement first took hold. That said, they shared some ranks and sacraments, like a form of baptism called consolamentum, and it's apparent at some point they formed their own ecumenical council of bishops, which was joined by Bogomil representatives.
Thanks to the admiration they caused in peasant and nobles alike for their sobriety, especially compared to the scandalous and dissolute lifestyles of the Catholic clergy, Cathars became highly influential in France and amassed a huge amount of wealth, castles, and prestige, which eventually made the Church feel threatened. When Pope Innocent III realized retaking the spiritual control of the region was impossible, and after the murder of the papal legate (likely for having insulted a powerful Cathar noble), he requested military action and proclaimed the Albigensian Crusade, the usual campaign of massacre and forceful re-conversion. Although Christianity had already their hands busy with the Fifth and Sixth Crusades, King Philip II eventually saw this as a great chance to reassess his political authority over the unruly Languedoc, and when the Pope promised the heretics' lands to all nobleman who joined the fight, the Cathar's fate was decided. The conflict also saw the creation of the Dominican Order and the Medieval Inquisition to help eradicate the heresy.
The Cathars were ultimately defeated with devastating consequences, leading historians to call it a literal genocide when facing the question of how to tell apart heretics from Christians, the crusade's high commander Amalric would be quoted as "kill them all let God sort them out". The Inquisition worked on destroying the rebels' ideology until much of the 14th century, punishing with tortures and penitency those Cathars who repented, and burning at the stake those who did not. Indeed, the image of Cathars voluntarily climbing into the fires and perishing while chanting hymns pervived in the time's chronicles. The results were bitter for the winning side too, though, as the conflict had inflated the French crown into making the Papacy dependant on him, which ended up causing the Avignon Papac, and it also decreased heavily the support they all could give to the true Crusades at the time, making them fail.
The legacy of Catharism lived on, turning through centuries into a fountain of legends, spawning theories that they were in possession of the Holy Grail and other conspiracies. You might have come to this page due to Dan Brown's, The Da Vinci Code, where they are claimed to be secret custodians of the bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalene - something whose sole concept, ironically, would have infuriated true Cathars.
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