4th Crusades: Overview, Facts, Important People and Events
4th crusade - Fulk of Neuilly - A parish priest addressed his flock and everyone else to renounce vice in the name of the Holy Spirit. The Papal legate Cardinal Peter Capuano authorized him on behalf of the Pope to preach a crusade. Told his audiences of the benefits that accrued to the faithful when they left everything they possessed and journeyed to the holy land. Passion for the crusade sprang out of the knowledge of the vice and corruption in Paris and the provinces. He saw the crusade as an instrument for the cleansing of the people of their sins and setting them on the road to paradise.
Peter Capuano - Papal legate during the time of the 4th crusade authorized master Fulk of Neuilly to preach the crusade.
Geoffrey of Villehardouin - one of the principles chroniclers of the 4th crusade and one of the 2 envoys chosen by Thibault who were sent to Venice to discuss the cost of transporting the troops by sea. Villehardoin did most of the talking and was largely responsible for what followed. The envoys were empowered to make arrangements that would be binding to Thibault, Louis, and Baldwin. Villeharouin was also high in the counsels of the leaders of the 4th crusade. And therefore had much influence in the events.
Enrico Dandolo - Doge of Venice descended from an illustrious family. Lost full use of his eyes by an accident in Constantinople and came to hate the city. Made agreement with Vilehardouin for the financial arrangement and terms for carrying the troops to Cairo. It was an extremely high sum and was to be paid in 3 installments.
Boniface of Monterrat - When Villehardoin returned to France, he found Thibault dying. A replacement had to be found to lead the crusade. Boniface was chosen. He had ties to the Holy land. Eldest brother was William Long Sword who had married Sibylla, the daughter of King Amaury of Jerusalem and fathered king Baldwin V, the leper king. Another one of his brothers was Conrad who was one of the husbands of Queen Isabelle of Jerusalem; he also had close ties to Constantinople. The Doge of Venice would easily play him.
Zara - The crusaders did not have the amount of money agreed upon. Instead of paying the sum the crusaders were required to capture Zara.
Zara was a city that had rebelled against Venice and now belonged to Hungary. Zara was an important seaport 200 miles Southeast of Venice. Zara was rich and a Christian city. The pope protested against the conquest to no avail. He excommunicated all that would take part in its capture. Zara was captured. The Doge had no intentions of attacking Cairo or going to the holy land. He intended on establishing an empire.
Prince Alexius Angelus son of the Emperor Isaac II. He fled Byzantine when his Uncle blinded his father and threw him in prison. During his exile, he contacted the leaders of the crusade and urged them to help him regain his fathers throne promising them great rewards. He offered the crusaders the money they needed to pay off the Venetians, assume the cost of the conquest of Egypt, provide an army of 10,000 and pay the maintenance of 500 knights and ensure that the Orthodox church would submit to Rome. Alexius was used by the Doge and Marquis to justify conquest of Constantinople and to get the crusaders to conquer the city by returning the rightful emperor to the throne.. After Constantinople conquest, Isaac was put back on the throne. Isaac abdicated in favor of his son.
Alexius Ducas or Murzuphlus had been in prison and released by Emperor Alexius and made chief steward. He hated the crusaders and Venetians. Murzuphlus prevailed upon the emperor and convinced him not to pay the Doge. Since the Emperor Alexia had signed the covenant with the Doge and put Byzantium in debt to the Crusaders. Murzuphlus killed the Emperor and retook the city. The Crusaders put the city under siege, recaptured the city and set about the destruction of the city. Murzuphlus was captured and killed.
Consequences of the 4th Crusade - The sack of the city was so devastating that it sent shock waves all over Europe and beyond. The libraries of Constantinople contained great collections of the Golden Age and ancient Greece all or nearly all were destroyed. The mindless cruelty of the crusaders sought to extract the utmost from the conquest shocked the west and destroyed all chances of reconciliation between east and west. It destroyed the buffer between the Turks and west. Weaken the empire. The conquest harmed the whole idea of the crusades and the crusades reputation was tarnished. It diverted help that was desperately needed by the kingdom of Jerusalem helping to bring about its inevitable fall. It made people think differently towards the crusaders and the crusades lost it enthusiasm. The Capture of Constantinople was the turning point of the crusade. It ruined the Latin states in the east.
The crusades caused the immigration of Greeks to the east, enriched the west with the plunder of treasures including the money gained by the sale of relics that ended up in European churches. It was vital to the renaissance as some Greek books filtered into the west; Moslem were far more advanced than the west and their knowledge filtered in, commercial benefits were established for domination of trade for the west. The Byzantines found it easier to bear the Turks than Rome. The papacy became absolute which contributed to the reformation, contributed to the nationalist growth of the west. It destroyed Byzantine culture and the empire, weaken the east to Mongol invasion and Turks.
Phillip of Swabia was married to Alexius's sister and lived in Germany. Alexius came to Phillips court and sent messages to the crusader leaders urging them to help him regain his gathers throne (he thought his father dead)
Isaac II - Emperor of Constantinople at the time of the 4th crusade who was thrown into prison by his brother Alexius who then proclaimed himself Emperor.
Count Baldwin of Flanders and Hainault took the cross at Bruges. He married the sister of Thibault and was one of the 3 leaders of the 4th Crusade. He was made emperor of Constantinople after the final conquest of the city.
Louis count of Blois assumed responsibility for leading 4th crusade with Thibault and Baldwin.
Nur ed Din - son of Zengi leader of the Moslems during the 2nd crusade After the fall of Edessa. His capital was Allepo and he was an adversary of Saladin.
Stephan of Cloyes - had a vision that Christ had said for him to lead a children's crusade. He was known as the prophet. He convinced hundreds of children to go on the crusade. He organized and lead the crusade of close to 8-10000 children to march from Paris to Marseilles. A Hugh Ferreus and William of Posqueres offered to carry the children on ships to the Holy Land. A few ships were lost the remaining 5 went to the African coast and sold the children into slavery.
Nicolas of Cologne called for a children's crusade from Germany to go to the Holy Land.. Nicolas marched his group over the Alps and ended up in the port of Brindisi. They were not offered any trip to the holy land. Instead the girls were sold to brothels and the boys to the slave markets. Both Nicolas and Stephan believed they could win about Jerusalem with the innocence of the children, that a miracle would happen because of the appearance of the innocent
James of Vitry - preached strongly against evils. He was one of the Chroniclers. He became the Bishop of Acre in 1216 and abandon his see to return to a monastery 12 years later. He wrote his history of the Crusades. He took part in the crusades against the Albigenses and went with the armies that invaded Languedoc as well as the expeditions in the holy land.
John of Brienne - king of Jerusalem in 1216. Ordered the strengthening of fortifications and the building of Chastel Pelerin.. Also directed expeditions through the Galilee to test the enemy's strength. Directed an assault on Damietta where they entered the city and found the entire population dead from the plague.
Al Mu' Assam - Sultan of Damascus at about the same time as John of Brienne.
John of Joinville - Chronicler who accompanied Louis the IX on the Crusades from France. Was captured at the battle of Monsourah and witnessed together with King Louis the IX the assassination of the Sultan Turanshah on a galley in the river.
John of Ibelin - Lord of Beirut ruled Cyprus at the time of Frederick the II who tried to take his Lordship by Force and wanted the revenues of Cyprus. But did not. His son Balain became a member of Fredericks staff after being a prisoner.
Damietta - an Egyptian city situated on the mouth of the Nile. It was an entry port to Egypt by the crusaders who believed that the way to re-conquer Jerusalem was through Egypt. Destroy the power of Egypt and Jerusalem would be free. King Louis was able to take the city with no effort and the loss of only one man. The city was the scene of many floods, pestilences, and sandstorms and battles.
John of Capistrano. Established communities of Franciscan renewal. Reported to heal by making the Sign of the Cross over a sick person. Wrote extensively, mainly against the heresies of the day. After the fall of Constantinople, he preached Crusade against the Muslim Turks. no one showed up At age 70 he was commissioned by Pope Callistus II to lead it, and marched off at the head of 70,000 Christian soldiers. He won the great battle of Belgrade in the summer of 1456. He died in the field a few months later, but his army delivered Europe from the Muslims.
Celestine II succeeded Innocent II, his Papacy was the absolution of Louis VII of France at the request of that penitent monarch, and the removal of the interdict under which that country had lain for three years.
Simon de Montfort Under the leadership of Simon de Montfort, the whole province of Languedoc was reduced literally to ashes.
Innocent III Crusade against the Albigenses