However, there was no such enthusiasm as had prevailed in Just as the crusaders started on their march, King Roger of Sicily attacked the Byzantine Empire , but his expedition merely checked the progress of Nour-ed-Din's invasion.
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The sufferings endured by the crusaders while crossing Asia Minor prevented them from advancing on Edessa. They contented themselves with besieging Damascus , but were obliged to retreat at the end of a few weeks July, This defeat caused great dissatisfaction in the West; moreover, the conflicts between the Greeks and the crusaders only confirmed the general opinion that the Byzantine Empire was the chief obstacle to the success of the Crusades.
Nevertheless, Manuel Comnenus endeavoured to strengthen the bonds that united the Byzantine Empire to the Italian principalities. In he married Mary of Antioch, and in gave the hand of one of his nieces to Amalric, King of Jerusalem. This alliance resulted in thwarting the progress of Nour-ed-Din, who, having become master of Damascus in , refrained thenceforth from attacking the Christian dominions. King Amalric profited by this respite to interpose in the affairs of Egypt , as the only remaining representatives of the Fatimite dynasty were children, and two rival viziers were disputing the supreme power amid conditions of absolute anarchy.
In Amalric made another attempt to conquer Egypt , but failed. During that year Amalric, aided by a Byzantine fleet, invaded Egypt once more, but was defeated at Damietta. Saladin retained full sway in Egypt and appointed no successor to the last Fatimite caliph, who died in Moreover, Nour-ed-Din died in , and, while his sons and nephews disputed the inheritance, Saladin took possession of Damascus and conquered all Mesopotamia except Mosul. Thus, when Amalric died in , leaving the royal power to Baldwin IV, "the Leprous", a child of thirteen, the Kingdom of Jerusalem was threatened on all sides.
At the same time two factions, led respectively by Guy de Lusignan, brother-in-law of the king, and Raymond , Count of Tripoli, contended for the supremacy.
Crusade v Jihad
Baldwin IV died in , and was soon followed to the grave by his nephew Baldwin V. Despite lively opposition, Guy de Lusignan was crowned king, 20 July, Though the struggle against Saladin was already under way, it was unfortunately conducted without order or discipline.
In the end this fleet was destroyed by Saladin's, and, to the great joy of the Mohammedans , the Frankish prisoners were put to death at Mecca. Attacked in his castle at Karak, Renaud twice repulsed Saladin's forces A truce was then signed, but Renaud broke it again and carried off a caravan in which was the sultan's own sister. In his exasperation Saladin invaded the Kingdom of Jerusalem and, although Guy de Lusignan gathered all his forces to repel the attack, on 4 July, , Saladin's army annihilated that of the Christians on the shores of Lake Tiberias.
After slaying Renaud with his own hand, Saladin marched on Jerusalem. The city capitulated 17 September, and Tyre , Antioch , and Tripoli were the only places in Syria that remained to the Christians. Attempts to restore the Christian states and the crusade against Saint-Jean d'Acre The news of these events caused great consternation in Christendom , and Pope Gregory VIII strove to put a stop to all dissensions among the Christian princes. Moreover, a Scandinavian fleet consisting of 12, warriors sailed around the shores of Europe , when passing Portugal , it helped to capture Alvor from the Mohammedans.
Enthusiasm for the crusade was again wrought up to a high pitch; but, on the other hand, diplomacy and royal and princely schemes became increasingly important in its organization. Frederick Barbarossa entered into negotiations with Isaac Angelus, Emperor of Constantinople , with the Sultan of Iconium , and even with Saladin himself. It was, moreover, the first time that all the Mohammedan forces were united under a single leader; Saladin, while the holy war was being preached, organized against the Christians something like a counter-crusade.
Frederick Barbarossa , who was first ready for the enterprise, and to whom chroniclers attribute an army of , men, left Ratisbon , 11 May, After crossing Hungary he took the Balkan passes by assault and tried to outflank the hostile movements of Isaac Angelus by attacking Constantinople. Finally, after the sack of Adrianople , Isaac Angelus surrendered, and between 21 and 30 March, , the Germans succeeded in crossing the Strait of Gallipoli. As usual, the march across Asia Minor was most arduous.
With a view to replenishing provisions, the army took Iconium by assault.
On their arrival in the Taurus region, Frederick Barbarossa tried to cross the Selef Kalykadnos on horseback and was drowned. Thereupon many German princes returned to Europe ; the others, under the emperor's son, Frederick of Swabia, reached Antioch and proceeded thence to Saint-Jean d'Acre. It was before this city that finally all the crusading troops assembled. In June, , King Guy de Lusignan, who had been released from captivity, appeared there with the remnant of the Christian army, and, in September of the same year, the Scandinavian fleet arrived, followed by the English and Flemish fleets, commanded respectively by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Jacques d'Avesnes.
This heroic siege lasted two years. In the spring of each year reinforcements arrived from the West, and a veritable Christian city sprang up outside the walls of Acre. But the winters were disastrous to the crusaders, whose ranks were decimated by disease brought on by the inclemency of the rainy season and lack of food. Saladin came to the assistance of the city, and communicated with it by means of carrier pigeons.
Richard embarked at Marseilles , Philip at Genoa , and they met at Messina. During a sojourn in this place, lasting until March, , they almost quarrelled, but finally concluded a treaty of peace. While Philip was landing at Acre , Richard was shipwrecked on the coast of Cyprus , then independent under Isaac Comnenus.
With the aid of Guy de Lusignan, Richard conquered this island. The arrival of the Kings of France and England before Acre brought about the capitulation of the city, 13 July Soon, however, the quarrel of the French and English kings broke out again, and Philip Augustus left Palestine, 28 July.
Battle of Arsuf, Third Crusade
Richard was now leader of the crusade, and, to punish Saladin for the non-fulfilment of the treaty conditions within the time specified, had the Mohammedan hostages put to death. Next, an attack on Jerusalem was meditated, but, after beguiling the Christians by negotiations, Saladin brought numerous troops from Egypt.
The enterprise failed, and Richard compensated himself for these reverses by brilliant but useless exploits which made his name legendary among the Mohammedans. Before his departure he sold the Island of Cyprus , first to the Templars , who were unable to settle there, and then to Guy de Lusignan, who renounced the Kingdom of Jerusalem in favour of Conrad of Montferrat After a last expedition to defend Jaffa against Saladin, Richard declared a truce and embarked for Europe , 9 October, , but did not reach his English realm until he had undergone a humiliating captivity at the hands of the Duke of Austria, who avenged in this way the insults offered him before Saint-Jean d'Acre.
While Capetians and Plantagenets, oblivious of the Holy War, were settling at home their territorial disputes, Emperor Henry VI , son of Barbarossa , took in hand the supreme direction of Christian politics in the East. Crowned King of the Two Sicilies, 25 December, , he took the cross at Bari , 31 May, , and made ready an expedition which, he thought, would recover Jerusalem and wrest Constantinople from the usurper Alexius III.
In September, , the German crusaders started for the East. They landed at Saint-Jean d'Acre and marched on Jerusalem , but were detained before the little town of Tibnin from November, , to February On raising the siege, they learned that Henry VI had died, 28 September, at Messina , where he had gathered the fleet that was to convey him to Constantinople.
The Germans signed a truce with the Saracens , but their future influence in Palestine was assured by the creation of the Order of the Teutonic Knights. In , a German pilgrim had founded a hospital for his fellow-countrymen; the religious who served it moved to Acre and, in , were organized in imitation of the plan of the Hospitallers , their rule being approved by Innocent III in The crusade against Constantinople In the many attempts made to establish the Christian states the efforts of the crusaders had been directed solely toward the object for which the Holy War had been instituted; the crusade against Constantinople shows the first deviation from the original purpose.
For those who strove to gain their ends by taking the direction of the crusades out of the pope's hands, this new movement was, of course, a triumph, but for Christendom it was a source of perplexity. Scarcely had Innocent III been elected pope , in January, , when he inaugurated a policy in the East which he was to follow throughout his pontificate. He subordinated all else to the recapture of Jerusalem and the reconquest of the Holy Land. In his first Encyclicals he summoned all Christians to join the crusade and even negotiated with Alexius III, the Byzantine emperor, trying to persuade him to re-enter the Roman communion and use his troops for the liberation of Palestine.
Peter of Capua, the papal legate , brought about a truce between Philip Augustus and Richard Coeur de Lion , January, , and popular preachers, among others the parish priest Foulques of Neuilly , attracted large crowds. During a tournament at Ecry-sur-Aisne, 28 November, , Count Thibaud de Champagne and a great many knights took the cross ; in southern Germany , Martin, Abbot of Pairis, near Colmar, won many to the crusade. It would seem, however, that, from the outset, the pope lost control of this enterprise.
Without even consulting Innocent III , the French knights , who had elected Thibaud de Champagne as their leader, decided to attack the Mohammedans in Egypt and in March, , concluded with the Republic of Venice a contract for the transportation of troops on the Mediterranean. On the death of Thibaud the crusaders chose as his successor Boniface, Marquis of Montferrat, and cousin of Philip of Swabia, then in open conflict with the pope. Just at this time the son of Isaac Angelus, the dethroned Emperor of Constantinople , sought refuge in the West and asked Innocent III and his own brother-in-law, Philip of Swabia, to reinstate him on the imperial throne.
The question has been raised whether it was pre-arranged between Philip and Boniface of Montferrat to turn the crusade towards Constantinople , and a passage in the "Gesta Innocentii" 83, in P. Meanwhile the crusaders assembled at Venice could not pay the amount called for by their contract, so, by way of exchange, the Venetians suggested that they help recover the city of Zara in Dalmatia.
The knights accepted the proposal, and, after a few days' siege, the city capitulated, November, Having obtained absolution for the capture of Zara , and despite the opposition of Simon of Montfort and a part of the army, on 24 May, , the leaders ordered a march on Constantinople. They had concluded with Alexius, the Byzantine pretender, a treaty whereby he promised to have the Greeks return to the Roman communion, give the crusaders , marks, and participate in the Holy War. The troops of Alexius III made an unsuccessful sally, and the usurper fled, whereupon Isaac Angelus was released from prison and permitted to share the imperial dignity with his son, Alexius IV.
But even had the latter been sincere he would have been powerless to keep the promises made to the crusaders.
After some months of tedious waiting, those of their number cantoned at Galata lost patience with the Greeks , who not only refused to live up to their agreement, but likewise treated them with open hostility. On 5 February, , Alexius IV and Isaac Angelus were deposed by a revolution, and Alexius Murzuphla, a usurper, undertook the defence of Constantinople against the Latin crusaders who were preparing to besiege Constantinople a second time. By a treaty concluded in March, , between the Venetians and the crusading chiefs, it was pre-arranged to share the spoils of the Greek Empire.
On 12 April, , Constantinople was carried by storm, and the next day the ruthless plundering of its churches and palaces was begun. The masterpieces of antiquity, piled up in public places and in the Hippodrome, were utterly destroyed.
Clerics and knights , in their eagerness to acquire famous and priceless relics , took part in the sack of the churches. The Venetians received half the booty; the portion of each crusader was determined according to his rank of baron, knight , or bailiff, and most of the churches of the West were enriched with ornaments stripped from those of Constantinople.
On 9 May, , an electoral college, formed of prominent crusaders and Venetians , assembled to elect an emperor. Dandolo , Doge of Venice , refused the honour, and Boniface of Montferrat was not considered. In the end, Baldwin, Count of Flanders, was elected and solemnly crowned in St. Meanwhile, the Venetians reserved to themselves the ports of Thrace, the Peloponnesus, and the islands. Thomas Morosini, a Venetian priest , was elected patriarch.
At the news of these most extraordinary events, in which he had had no hand, Innocent III bowed as in submission to the designs of Providence and, in the interests of Christendom , determined to make the best of the new conquest.
His chief aim was to suppress the Greek schism and to place the forces of the new Latin Empire at the service of the crusade. Unfortunately, the Latin Empire of Constantinople was in too precarious a condition to furnish any material support to the papal policy. The emperor was unable to impose his authority upon the barons. Theodore Lascaris was proclaimed emperor. In Europe , Joannitsa, Tsar of the Wallachians and Bulgarians , invaded Thrace and destroyed the army of the crusaders before Adrianople , 14 April, During the battle the Emperor Baldwin fell.
His brother and successor, Henry of Flanders, devoted his reign to interminable conflicts with the Bulgarians , the Lombards of Thessalonica , and the Greeks of Asia Minor. Nevertheless, he succeeded in strengthening the Latin conquest, forming an alliance with the Bulgarians , and establishing his authority even over the feudatories of Morea Parliament of Ravennika, ; however, far from leading a crusade into Palestine, he had to solicit Western help, and was obliged to sign treaties with Theodore Lascaris and even with the Sultan of Iconium.
Greek convents were replaced by Cistercian monasteries, commanderies of Templars and Hospitallers , and chapters of canons. With a few exceptions, however, the native population remained hostile and looked upon the Latin conquerors as foreigners. Having failed in all his attempts to induce the barons of the Latin Empire to undertake an expedition against Palestine, and understanding at last the cause of failure of the crusade in , Innocent III resolved to organize a new crusade and to take no further notice of Constantinople.
Circumstances, however, were unfavourable. Instead of concentrating the forces of Christendom against the Mohammedans , the pope himself disbanded them by proclaiming a crusade against the Albigenses in the south of France , and against the Almohades of Spain , the pagans of Prussia , and John Lackland of England.