Montpellier (Lat. Mons pessulanus or puellarum), a city of France, in the department of Herault, in 43° 36' N. lat. and 30 50' E. long., with a population (1881) of 52,673, is noted as the seat of several Church councils held there in the 12th and 13th centuries. At the first of these, held in 1162, by pope Alexander III, assisted by ten bishops, the antipope Victor (Octavianus) was excommunicated (Labbe, Cone. 10:1410). At the second council, held in 1195, indulgences were granted to those who marched into Spain to fight against the infidels (Moors), and interdicts were intrusted to the bishops in whose dioceses the Albigenses were gaining ground (Labbe, Cone. 10:1796). At the third council, held in 1215, by the papal legate, Peter of Beneventum, the question was the disposition of the city of Toulouse, and the other cities conquered by the Crusaders, count Simon of Montfort claiming them. Montfort (q.v.) was granted his demand. There were also forty-six canons passed relating to the dress of monastics and the clergy (Labbe, Cone. 11:183, and Append. page 2330). At the fourth council. held in August, 1224, and composed of all the bishops of the province, under the archbishop of Narbonne, the propositions of peace made by Raymond, count of Toulouse, and the Albigenses were considered. Raymond promised to keep the Catholic faith, and to cause it to be held throughout his territories, to purge out from them all heretics, to restore the Church to her rights, to preserve her liberties, and to pay within three years 15,000 marks as an indemnification for what she had suffered, upon condition that the count of Montfort should relinquish his pretensions to the lands of the county of Toulouse; but Amauri, who pretended to be count of Toulouse, in virtue of a decree of Innocent III given in the Council of Lateran, wrote to the bishops, and represented to them that, as he hoped to be able to bring the Albigenses into subjection, it would be a scandal to the whole Church should they enter into any agreement with Raymond. The council appear to have acquiesced in his view of the matter, and the offer of Raymond was rejected (Conc. 11:289, and Append. page 2334). The fifth council was held September 6, 1258, by James, archbishop of Narbonne. Eight statutes were published:
1, excommunicates ipso facto all who usurp the property of the Church and insult the persons of the clergy;
2, forbids bishops to give the tonsure or holy orders to persons not of their own diocese;
3, declares that clerks not living as clergymen ought to do so, or carrying on any business, they shall lose their privileges;
5, forbids Jews to exact usury;
6, forbids bishops to give letters to mendicant friars to authorize their begging before the friars have obtained leave of the metropolitan (Labbe, 11:778). See Hefele, Concilienyeschichte, volumes 5 and 6 (see Index); Landon, Manual of Councils, s.v.