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Waldenses

Waldenses, a Christian community named from Peter Waldo, a rich citizen of Lyons, who, about 1170, divided his wealth among the poor, and became the leader of a body of wandering preachers. The Waldenses were expelled from Aragon in 1194, and went to Strasburg, where a party of them were burned in 1212. Many of them perished in the crusade against the Albigenses (q.v.), though they were not open to the charge of heresy, and in 1218 they were condemned by the fourth Lateran Council. In 1532, however, a Senate was held in the Valley of Angrogna, in which it was resolved to accept the doctrines of the Calvinists, and conform to their religious usages. From this time they became merged in the general body of Protestants, but they were still liable to outbursts of persecution such as that which called forth Milton's noble sonnet in 1655.

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