Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 4.djvu/619

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CRUSADES


549


CRUSADES


^ith the remnant of the Christian army, and, in Sep- eraber of the same year, the Scandinavian fleet ar- ■ived, followed by the English and Flemish fleets, cora- nanded respectively by the Archbishop of Canterbury ind Jacques d'Avesnes. This heroic siege lasted two rears. In the spring of each year reinforcements ar- rived from the West, and a veritable Christian city iprang up outside the walls of Acre. But the winters vere disastrous to the crusaders, whose ranks were leciniated by disease brought on by the inclemency of he rainy season and lack of food. Saladin came to the issistance of the city, and communicated with it by neans of carrier pigeons. Missile-hurling machines pierricrcs), worked by powerful machinery, were ised by the crusaders to demolish the walls of Acre, )ut the Mohammedans also had strong artillery. This amous siege had already lasted two years when Philip Augustus, King of France, and Richard Coeur de Lion, ving of England, arrived on the scene. After long ieliberation they had left V^zelay together, 4 July, 190. Richard embarked at Marseilles, Philip at Jenoa, and they met at Messina. During a sojourn a this place, lasting until March, 1191, they almost [uarrelled, but finally concluded a treaty of peace. Vhile Philip was landing at Acre, Richard was ship- wrecked on the coast of Cyprus, then independent inder Isaac Comnenus. With the aid of Guy de Lusi-

nan, Richard conquered this island. The arrival of

he Kings of France and England before Acre brought ,bout the capitulation of the city, 13 July, 1191. icon, however, the quarrel of the French and English dngs broke out .again, and Philip Augustus left Pales- ine, 2S July. Richard w;is now leader of the crusade. ,nd. to punish Saladin for the non-fulfilment of the reaty conditions within the time specified, had the lohammedan hostages put to death. Next, an attack m Jerusalem was meditated, but, after beguiling the ^ristians by negotiations, Saladin brought numer- lus troops from Egypt. The enterprise failed, and ?icliard compensated himself for these reverses by irilliant but useless exploits which made his name egenilarj' among the Mohammedans. Before his de- )arture lie sold the Island of Cyprus, first to the Tem- )iars, who were unable to settle there, and then to Guy le Lusignan, who renounced the Kingdom of Jerusa- em in favour of Conrad of Montferrat (1192). After I last e.xpedition to defend Jaffa against Saladin, Richard declared a truce and embarked for Europe, I October, 1192, but did not reach his English realm uitil he had undergone a himiiliating captivity at he hands of the Duke of Austria, who avenged in his way the insults offered him before Saint-Jean I'Acre.

While Capetians and Plantagenets, oblivious of the ioly War, were settling at home their territorial dis- mtes. Emperor Henry VI, son of Barbarossa, took in land the supreme direction of Christian politics in the Sast. Crowned King of the Two Sicilies, 2.5 Decem- )er, 1194, he took the cross at Bari, 31 May, 1195, and nade ready an expedition which, he thought, would ecover Jerusalem and wrest Constantinople from the isurper Alexius III. Eager to exercise his imperial lUthority he made Amaury de Lusignan King of Cy- >nis and Leo II King of Armenia. In September, [197, the Gennan crusaders started for the East. rhcy landed at Saint-Jean d'Acre and marched on Fcnisalcm, but were detained before the little town )f Tibnin from November, 1197, to February, 1198. )n raising the siege, they learned that Henry VI had lied, JS .September, at Mcs.sina, 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 1143. a German pilgrim had founded a hospital for his fellow-count rjTiien ; the religious who served it moved to Acre and, in 1198, were organized in imitation of


the plan of the Hospitallers, their rule being approved by Innocent III in 1199.

V. The Crus.\de against Con.stantinople (1204). — In the many attempts made to establish the Chris- tian states the efforts of the crusaders had been di- rected solely toward the object for which the Holy War had beeen instituted ; the crusade against Con- stantinople 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 Janu- ary, 1198, 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 commmiion and use his troops for the lib- eration of Palestine. Peter of Capua, the papal legate, brought about a truce between Philip Augustus and Richard Cceur de Lion, January, 1199, and popular preachers, among others the parish priest Foulques of Neuilly, attracted large crowds. During a tourna- ment at Ecrj--sur-Aisne 2S November, 1199, 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 consult^ ing Innocent III. the French knights, who had elected Thibaud de Champagne as their leader, decided to at- tack the Mohammedans in Egypt and in March, 1201, 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 Boni- face of Montferrat to turn the crusade towards Con- stantinople, and a passage in the "Gesta Innocentii" (83, in P. L., CCXIV, CXXXII) indicates that the idea was not new to Boniface of Montferrat when, in the spring of 1202, lie made it known to the pope. Mean- while the crus:iilrrs :iss(>iiibled at ^'enice could not pay the amount called for by their contract, so, by way of exchange, the \'enetians suggested that they help re- cover the city of Zara in Dalmatia. The knights ac- cepted the proposal, and, after a few days' siege, the city capitulated. November, 1202. But it was in vain that Innocent III urged the crusaders to set out for Palestine. Having obtained absolution for the cap- ture of Zara, and despite the opposition of Simon of Montfort and a part of the army, on 24 May, 1203, the leaders orilered a march on Constantinople. They had concluded with Alexius, the Byzantine pretender, a treaty whereby he promised to have the Greeks re- turn to the Roman communion, give the crusaders 200,000 marks, and participate in the Holy War. On 23 ,Iune the cnisaders' fleet appeared before Constan- tinople ; on 7 July they took possession of a suburb of Galata and forced their way into the Golden Horn; on 17 July they simultaneously attacked the sea walls and Ian<l walls of the Blachernip. 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 dig- nity 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 montha