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The Crusaders expel the Cathars from Carcassonne (miniature from Grandes Chroniques de France, c. 1415).

Year 1209 (MCCIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.


By place


  • May – The First Parliament of Ravennika convened by Emperor Henry of Flanders, is held in the town of Ravennika in Greece – in an attempt to resolve the rebellion of the Lombard nobles of the Kingdom of Thessalonica. Henry pardons Lord Amédée Pofey (or Buffois) and reinvests with his fief – while the other nobles persist in their rebellion and keep to their castles. After receiving imperial recognition, Geoffrey I of Villehardouin becomes Henry's vassal, thereby subordinating Achaea directly to Constantinople.[1]
  • July 22Massacre at Béziers: The Crusader army led by Simon de Monfort arrives in the Languedoc area and makes camp at Béziers to start a siege. The citizens believing that their city walls be impregnable, harass the Crusaders by sending a group of soldiers (supported by armed civilians) to launch a sortie against the enemy camp. When they are forced to retreat, the Crusaders storm the walls (who are not properly manned) and enter the gate. Sacking and killing some 20,000 Cathars and Catholics alike.[2]
  • June – Treaty of Sapienza: The Republic of Venice recognizes the possession of the Peloponnese by Geoffrey I of Villehardouin – and keeps only the fortresses of Modon and Coron. Venice also acquires an exemption of her merchants from all tariffs, and the right to establish "a church, a market and a court" in every city of Achaea.[3]
  • August 15 – Simon de Montfort takes Carcassonne, after negotiating the city's surrender with Raymond Roger (or Raimond), viscount of Béziers and Albi. He is imprisoned and dies in mysterious circumstances 3 months later in his own dungeon. The Cathars are allowed to leave and expelled with nothing more than their clothes.


  • November – King John (Lackland) is ex-communicated by Pope Innocent III. Despite the ex-communication, John will continue to make amends to the Church – including giving alms to the poor whenever he defiles a holy day by hunting during it. He feeds 100 paupers to make up for when he "went into the woods on the feast of St. Mary Magdalen", and three years from now, he will feast 450 paupers "because the king went to take cranes, and he took nine, for each of which he feasted fifty paupers."[4]
  • Black Monday, Dublin: A group of 500 recently arrived settlers from Bristol are massacred by warriors of the Irish O'Byrne clan. The group (accompanied by women and children) leaves the safety of the walled city of Dublin to celebrate Easter Monday near a wood at Ranelagh, and are attacked without warning. Although a relatively obscure event in history, it is commemorated by a mustering of the Mayor, Sheriffs, and soldiers on the day, as a challenge to the native tribes for centuries afterwards.
  • London Bridge is completed by a stone-arched structure. On the bridge are houses built; this is for paying the maintenance, though it has to be supplemented by other rents and by tolls.


  • Spring – The Mongols led by Genghis Khan begin their first invasion against the Western Xia state (or Xi Xia). They push up along the Yellow River, capturing several garrisons and defeating an imperial army. The Mongols besiege the capital Zhongxing – which holds a well-fortified garrison of some 70,000 men (hastily reinforced with another 50,000). Genghis lacks the proper equipment and experience to take the city. In October, an attempt to flood the city by diverting the Yellow River is disastrous and floods the Mongol camp, forcing the Mongols to withdraw.[5]
  • Tamar the Great, queen of Georgia, raids Eastern Anatolia and seizes Kars. She leads a liberational war in southern Armenia.

By topic




  • February 24 – The Franciscan Order is founded by the Italian priest Francis of Assisi. He and 11 of his followers journey to Rome where he receives approval of his rule from Pope Innocent III. Franciscan friars can not own any possessions of any kind. They wander and preach among the people, helping the poor and the sick. They support themselves by working and by begging for food, but they are forbidden to accept money either for work or as alms. The Franciscans work at first in Umbria and then in the rest of Italy. The impact of these street preachers and especially of their founder is immense, so that within 10 years they number some 5,000 followers.[8]
  • October 21 – Innocent III crowns Otto IV as emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in the St. Peter's Basilica at Rome.[9]




  1. Wolf, Robert Lee; Hazard, Harry W. (1969). The Latin Empire of Constantinople, 1204–1261, pp. 207–208.
  2. Tyerman, Christopher (2006). God's War: A New History of the Crusades, p. 591. Page Template:Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css has no content.{{#invoke:Catalog lookup link|main}}{{#invoke:check isxn|check_isbn|9780674023871|error={{#invoke:Error|error| Parameter error in {{ISBN}}: Invalid ISBN.|tag=span}}}}.
  3. Setton, Kenneth M. (1976). The Papacy and the Levant (1204–1571), Volume I: The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, p. 34. Page Template:Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css has no content.{{#invoke:Catalog lookup link|main}}{{#invoke:check isxn|check_isbn|0-87169-114-0|error={{#invoke:Error|error| Parameter error in {{ISBN}}: Invalid ISBN.|tag=span}}}}.
  4. King John by Warren. Published by University of California Press in 1961. p. 141
  5. John Man (2011). Genghis Khan: Life, Death and Resurrection, pp. 159–162. Page Template:Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css has no content.{{#invoke:Catalog lookup link|main}}{{#invoke:check isxn|check_isbn|978-0-553-81498-9|error={{#invoke:Error|error| Parameter error in {{ISBN}}: Invalid ISBN.|tag=span}}}}.
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  9. Hywel Williams (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History, p. 133. Page Template:Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css has no content.{{#invoke:Catalog lookup link|main}}{{#invoke:check isxn|check_isbn|0-304-35730-8|error={{#invoke:Error|error| Parameter error in {{ISBN}}: Invalid ISBN.|tag=span}}}}.
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