Studies in the Ecclesiastical and Social History of Toulouse in the Age of the Cathars is John H.
Mundy's last major book concerning social and religious life in the city of Toulouse during the period 1150-1250 AD, a time when the alternate religion of Catharism, together with other divergent beliefs, rose to its height and, soon under intense repression, began to die out.
The various studies, entirely reworked for this publication, and prefaced with an account of Mundy's early research in the Toulouse archives in 1946-47, document his understanding that religious divergence flourished when the town's well-to-do were building a semi-popular oligarchy at the expense of local princely power.
The book reveals how the religious orders managed an extensive insurance network providing pensions, old age care and burial for lay society.
His chapters on hospitals and leprosaries, charities, entertainers, judges, heretics and usurers bring the daily life of this period to life.
The studies of Toulouse are enhanced by Mundy's expert cartography drawing on the Plan Sanguet of 1750. This volume, compiled in the year prior to his death, represents the culmination of his long career as archivist, scholar and teacher.
It completes the work he began in 1946 and published in earlier books: The Medieval Town (Princeton, 1958), Europe in the High Middle Ages, 1150-1309 (Longman, 1975), The Repression of Catharism at Toulouse: the Royal Diploma of 1279 (Toronto, 1985), Men and Women at Toulouse in the Age of the Cathars (Toronto, 1990) and Society and Government at Toulouse in the Age of the Cathars (PIMS, 1997).