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This Part covers the years 1207-1215, that is to say, between the settlement of a group of women and a group of preachers at Prouilhe, and Dominic’s departure for Toulouse in 1215, which was the first step on the road to the creation and recognition of a religious order of preachers. During this period, the community at Prouilhe expands, undertakes building works and becomes clearly recognisable as a monastic community, even if for the moment it remains unaffiliated to any religious order – a highly unusual situation at the time.

As in the previous Part, attention to detail in a close reading of the texts is important, as modern scholarship obliges us to rethink certain of the assumptions of classic Dominican historiography concerning this period. Notably, for example, the idea that Dominic remained in Fanjeaux for the whole of this time, as Jordan of Saxony gives us to believe. This position
is challenged by Fr Simon Tugwell – see extracts from a long article by him, which is the fruit of extensive and brilliant research in Part 3. There is also the thorny question of Dominic’s presence at and or participation in the Battle of Muret in particular and the military campaign against the Cathars in general..........