In answer to Alex's question about why Moore suggests the Reform of the church was necessary (he doesn't really), however, these are some of the key concerns: * The Muslim recapture of Jerusalem in 1187 was a massive blow to Christendom and was linked to a fear that God was judging the church for its moral lapses, so it's motivated by a concern to redefine church policy and set standards. * The failure of the Third and Fourth Crusades, which led to the seizure of Constantinople, so the papacy wants to reforumulate it's involvement in the Crusades > Fifth Crusade with added measures against heretics. * Pope Innocent III (who is in power during the Fourth Lateran Council) is disatissfied with the great numbers of secular princes involved in the selection of bishops and wants to reaffirm papal authority. * Period of great theological debate in relation to the Eucharist, leading Church to establish it's stance. * Rise of heretical groups during this period that posed an explicit threat to the purity of the faith - especially the Cathars, and the Waldensians in southern France and Italy (groups to which we shall return in the seminar on heresy) In answer to Sian's question about pre-modern literacy. David Cressy has argued in his/Literacy and the Social Order in England /that two-thirds of the men and nine-tenths of the women on the eve of English Civil War (c. 1640) were unable to sign their name, so approximately 30% of men and 10% of women could write. Cressy has naturally come under attack for his methodology (looking at who could sign their name and who only left a mark), but it is probably one of the most accurate ways of determining literacy rates in any consistent manner. Naturally, such statistics vary between different social classes and between town and city. This is the source I mentioned to Joe about local authorities not always being in charge of crowd actions: I. The Cremation of Strasbourg Jewry St. Valentine's Day, February 14, 1349 - About The Great Plague And The Burning Of The Jews In the year 1349 there occurred the greatest epidemic that ever happened. Death went from one end of the earth to the other, on that side and this side of the sea, and it was greater among the Saracens than among the Christians. In some lands everyone died so that no one was left. Ships were also found on the sea laden with wares; the crew had all died and no one guided the ship. The Bishop of Marseilles and priests and monks and more than half of all the people there died with them. In other kingdoms and cities so many people perished that it would be horrible to describe. The pope at Avignon stopped all sessions of court, locked himself in a room, allowed no one to approach him and had a fire burning before him all the time. [This last was probably intended as some sort of disinfectant.] And from what this epidemic came, all wise teachers and physicians could only say that it was God's will. And as the plague was now here, so was it in other places, and lasted more than a whole year. This epidemic also came to Strasbourg in the summer of the above mentioned year, and it is estimated that about sixteen thousand people died. In the matter of this plague the Jews throughout the world were reviled and accused in all lands of having caused it through the poison which they are said to have put into the water and the wells-that is what they were accused of-and for this reason the Jews were burnt all the way from the Mediterranean into Germany, but not in Avignon, for the pope protected them there. Nevertheless they tortured a number of Jews in Berne and Zofingen [Switzerland] who then admitted that they had put poison into many wells, and they also found the poison in the wells. Thereupon they burnt the Jews in many towns and wrote of this affair to Strasbourg, Freiburg, and Basel in order that they too should burn their Jews.*But the leaders in these three cities in whose hands the government lay did not believe that anything ought to be done to the Jews. However in Basel the citizens marched to the city-hall and compelled the council to take an oath that they would burn the Jews, and that they would allow no Jew to enter the city for the next two hundred years. Thereupon the Jews were arrested in all these places and a conference was arranged to meet at Benfeld rAlsace, February 8, 13491. The Bishop of Strasbourg [Berthold II], all the feudal lords of Alsace, and representatives of the three above mentioned cities came there. The deputies of the city of Strasbourg were asked what they were going to do with their Jews. Thev answered and said that they knew no evil of them. Then they asked the Strasbourgers why they had closed the wells and put away the buckets, and there was a great indignation and clamor against the deputies from Strasbourg. So finally the Bishop and the lords and the Imperial Cities agreed to do away with the Jews. The result was that they were burnt in many cities, and wherever they were expelled they were caught by the peasants and stabbed to death or drowned. . . .* *[The town-council of Strasbourg which wanted to save the Jews was deposed on the 9th-10th of February, and the new council gave in to the mob, who then arrested the Jews on Friday, the 13th.]* The original can be found here: