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The Burning of the Books

openDemocracy Opendemocracy
29 April 2007

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The Burning of the Books or St. Dominic De Guzman and the Albigensians, 15th-century panel by Pedro Berruguete.

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Detail from The Burning of the Books or St. Dominic De Guzman and the Albigensians, 15th-century panel by Pedro Berruguete.

The panel portrays the disputation between Saint Dominic (Santo Domingo de Guzmán) and the Albigensians (the Cathars).

Pope Innocent III had declared the Albigensians heretics in the early thirteenth century. When the books of the both the Saint and the Albigensians were thrown on a fire Dominic's books were miraculously preserved from the flames (see the book floating above the fire), thus proving his teaching to be true and that of the Cathars false.

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