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Guide City of the Legions.4. (From Crusade to Disaster)

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There they found the remnants of the great German and French land armies. Arriving close together at Constantino- ple in September and October after following the land route through central Europe, each was defeated by Turkish forces in Asia Minor. The subsequent Holy Land cam- paign failed utterly. Conrad III managed to reconstruct some sort of army from the crusaders who had sailed from Lisbon.

Siege of Damascus () - Wikipedia

With Louis VII and the king of Jerusalem, Baldwin III —63 , he led an attack on Damascus 23—28 July that ended in a hasty enforced withdrawal as the Christians lacked the resources for a prolonged siege or to protect themselves from Muslim relief armies. The disaster led to bitter recriminations and accusations of treachery that scandalized the west, casting the whole idea of such expeditions in doubt. The Third Crusade, —92 The four decades after the failed attack on Damascus in witnessed a gradual erosion of the strategic position of Outremer.

The royal succession passed in turn to a possible bigamist Amalric —74 , a leper Baldwin IV —85 , a child Baldwin V —6 , and a woman Sybil —90 and her unpopular arriviste husband Guy — Within a year almost all the Frankish ports and castles had surrendered or been captured; Jerusalem fell on 2 October Resistance was reduced largely to Tyre, Tripoli, and Antioch. The response in the west was massive. By March , the kings of Germany, France, and England had taken the cross with many of their leading nobles.

Third Crusade

Preaching and recruitment had begun and campaign strategies carefully developed. For the next two years, this became the focal point of Christian military effort. The battle of Hattin, 4 July A portrait of Frederick I of Germany dressed as a crusader c. Demoralized, his huge army disintegrated, only a small rump reaching Acre.

Although English and French contingents began sailing eastwards in , the kings did not embark until , delayed by political feuding over the succession to Henry II of England d. July Given the delicate relationship caused by the English king holding extensive lands as a vassal of the French crown, King Philip II of France — and the new king of England, Richard I —99 , decided to travel together. With elements in his army being mistreated by its independ- ent Greek ruler, Richard took the opportunity to conquer the island in a lightning campaign in May. Cyprus remained in Christian hands until Most of his followers showed what they thought of his action by staying.

The Palestine war of —2 revolved around security.


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Since overwhelming victory eluded both sides, the only resolution lay in a sustainable political agreement. Richard I used force to try to frighten Saladin into restoring the pre kingdom of Jerusalem.

If diplomacy succeeded, battles and sieges became unnecessary. Negotiations proved tortuous. Sala- din refused to contemplate suggestions of any formal Chris- tian authority within Jerusalem, but was otherwise prepared to accept a measure of Palestinian partition. The Treaty of Jaffa 2 September left the Franks in control of the coast from Acre to Jaffa and allowed access to Jerusalem for pilgrims and freedom of movement between Muslim and Christian territories.

A twelfth-century impressionistic ground plan of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, with the shrine at the centre of the rotunda at the bottom. Such images penetrated widely in Christendom, inspiring journeys to Jerusalem and architectural imitations of the rotunda itself, a circular design seen in churches such as that of the Temple in London.

Ironically, Saladin died less than six months later 4 March While failing to recapture Jerusalem, the Third Crusade determined the pattern for later eastern crusades. There- after, support for the reconstituted kingdom of Jerusalem, which lasted until , came exclusively by sea. Cyprus provided a new and valuable partner for the Frankish settlements of the mainland. Diplomacy and truces between Muslims and Christians became standard practice.

The sub- jugation of Egypt adopted centre stage in western strategic planning.

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After the failures of —2, even the focus on Jerusalem shifted, the iter Jerosolymitana Jerusalem journey became subsumed into the negotium terrae sanctae the business of the Holy Land , or simply the sanctum negotium the holy business. The Fourth Crusade, — The thin strip of Palestinian coast restored to Christian rule by the Third Crusade proved a commercially viable base for a restored, if reduced, kingdom of Jerusalem over the fol- lowing century, although the Holy City itself only returned to Christian rule between and This Innocent promoted as part of the general devo- tional life of the west through preaching and the liturgy.

An enthusiast for wars of the cross against a wide range of per- ceived threats to the church, Innocent regarded the recovery of the Holy Land as a central and urgent objective. Egypt was chosen as the target of the expedition. It became apparent in the summer of that the crusaders, by now gathered at Venice, could not raise the agreed sum. As well as supplying 50 warships of their own, the Venetians had committed much of their shipping and hence annual income to carry the crusade.

As a solution, the doge, Enrico Dandolo d. Despite evident qualms and papal disapproval, the crusaders had little option if they wished to pursue their ultimate objective. Zara fell to the Veneto-crusader force on 24 November By then, elements in the crusade and Venetian leader- ship were considering a further diversion to Constantinople in support of Alexius Angelus, son of the deposed Byzantine emperor Isaac II — Many crusaders were disgusted by the plan and withdrew, but the leadership and the bulk of the army sailed with young Alexius and the Venetians to Con- stantinople, arriving in June In January they were deposed, murdered, and replaced by Alexius V Ducas Murzuphlus who began hostile manoeuvres against the cru- saders.

On 12—13 April, the crusaders breached the walls of the city. Although probably exagger- ated, this atrocity has rung down the centuries in infamy. Within weeks a Latin emperor, Baldwin of Flanders, had been appointed and the territorial annexation of the Greek Empire begun.

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A year later, hopes of continuing the crusade to Egypt were abandoned. The Latin empire of Constanti- nople lasted until ; western occupation of parts of Greece for centuries. The precarious state of parts of the Frankish conquests in Greece prompted crusades to be pro- claimed against the Greeks from until well into the fourteenth century.

The capture of Constantinople was not an accident; it had been considered by every major expedition since Successive popes had voiced disappointment at Greek fail- ure to contribute to the recovery of the Holy Land. In the circumstances of —3, conquest appeared viable; in the spring of necessary. However, it was never the ultim- ate object of the crusade, and for Venice marked a new departure into territorial instead of simply commercial imperialism. The diversion was a result of policy not con- spiracy, its motives a mixture of pragmatism, idealism, and opportunism that characterized all other wars of the cross.

In the context of a wider process of semi-permanent evangelization, crusading acted as one manifestation of Christian revivalism. The papal bull Quia Maior launching the new eastern enterprise extended access to the crusade remission of sins, the indul- gence, to those who sent a proxy or provided a proportion- ate sum of money in redemption of their vow. In the Fourth Lateran Council of the western Church authorized universal clerical taxation to support the cause. The bulk of recruits came from Germany, central Europe, Italy, and the British Isles instead of France, the traditional heartland of crusade enlistment.

After early contingents landed at Acre in — 18, including one led by King Andrew of Hungary —35 , the focus of military operations turned to Egypt when, in , the crusaders attacked Damietta, a port in the eastern Nile Delta. Egyptian proposals to exchange Damietta for Jerusalem were rejected as improper and unworkable by a group led by the Cardinal Legate, Pelagius, whose control of the purse strings gave him con- siderable authority within the crusade army. Lack of leader- ship proved more damaging.

Damietta was evacuated on 8 September Recruiting continued almost unabated despite the set- back in Egypt. Although Pope Gregory IX —41 , a veteran crusade recruiting agent, lost patience and excommunicated him, Frederick, undaunted, sailed to the Holy Land in Exploiting the rivalries between the rulers of Egypt and Syria, in February Frederick agreed a treaty with the sultan of Egypt that restored Jerusa- lem to the Franks.

The city was to be open to all and the Haram al-Sharif, the Temple Mount, to remain under the Islamic religious authorities not dissimilar to the arrange- ments in Jerusalem after However, unpopular for his high-handedness, when Frederick embarked for the west from Acre on 1 May he was pelted with offal. With a brief interruption in , Jerusalem remained in Christian hands until captured by Khwarazmian raiders, Turkish free- booters in the pay of the sultan of Egypt, in The city remained under Muslim control until The Thirteenth Century After , eastern crusades progressed from the pragmatic to the optimistic to the desperate.

Truces with feuding Mus- lim neighbours continued to sustain Frankish Outremer until the accession to power in Egypt of the militant Mam- luk sultans, members of a professional caste of Turkish slave warriors, who replaced the heirs of Saladin in the s. Successive western expeditions under a series of great nobles the Count of Champagne in ; the Earl of Cornwall in ; the Lord Edward, later Edward I of Eng- land, in achieved little other than temporary advan- tage or respite. It was also one of the most disastrous, its failure matching its ambition.

Taking the cross in December , over the next three years he assembled an army of about 15,, a treasury of over 1 million livres, and a stockpile of food and equipment stored in Cyprus, where Louis arrived in the late summer of The following spring, supported by the Outremer Franks, Louis invaded Egypt, capturing Damietta the day he landed 5 June The assault on the interior began on 20 November, only to get bogged down in the Nile Delta for more than two months.

Withdrawal in early April turned into a rout as the Christian army disintegrated through disease, fatigue, and a superior enemy. Louis himself, suffering badly from dysentery, was among those captured, being released in return for Damietta and a massive ransom. The best-laid crusade plan had failed dismally. Following the defeat of the Mongols in , Baibars of Egypt and his successors Qalawun —90 and al-Ashraf Khalil —3 systematically dismembered the remaining Frankish holdings in Syria and Palestine.


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  6. To en- sure the Franks would not again return, the sultans levelled the ports they captured. The west watched this collapse with alarm, concern, and impotence. Political rivalries, compet- ing domestic demands, and a more realistic assessment of the required scale of operation conspired in the failure to organize adequate military response. There Louis died on 25 August and most of his followers went home. A series of penitential and revivalist processions in northern France, led by Stephen of Cloyes from the Vermandois, marched to St Denis near Paris voicing vague appeals for moral reform.

    Further east, at much the same time, large groups of young men and adolescents called in the sources pueri, meaning children but also anyone under full maturity as well as priests and adults, apparently led by a boy called Nicholas of Cologne, marched through the Rhineland proclaiming their desire to free the Holy Sepulchre. It seems some of these march- ers reached northern Italy seeking transport east but prob- ably getting no further. Their holy war was of the spirit. Experience soon taught them otherwise. Once its leaders were exposed not as holy men but disorderly rabble-rousers, the movement was violently suppressed.


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    However, there were similar expressions of social and pol- itical anxieties through support for the transcendent cause of the Holy Land in Italy in and France in These indulgences were seemingly granted without the attendant vows, preaching, or cross-taking. One of the most notorious of all medieval wars, the Albigensian Crusades —29 , degenerated from a genu- ine attempt to cauterize widespread heresy, which many saw as a dangerously infectious wound bleeding all Christen- dom, into a brutal land seizure.

    The puritanical dualist Cathar heresy had grown in strength in parts of Languedoc controlled by the count of Toulouse.

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    Six crusades were launched or planned against the Czech Hussite evangelicals of Bohemia between and Protestant Reformations in the sixteenth century stimulated a revival of crusade schemes against enemies of the Catholic Church, such as Henry VIII and Elizabeth I of England, and remained a traditional resort for devout and threatened Catholics in the new Wars of Religion, for example against the Huguenots in France in the s.

    The main crusades against Christians were fought over papal security in its lands in Italy. From the s, popes were fearful of being surrounded by the Hohens- taufen dynasty, kings of Germany who were also rulers of southern Italy and Sicily. These Italian crusades scarcely pre- tended to conceal papal corporate or personal interest, to the disgust of critics such as Dante.