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Still, a good number of second-tier nobles were inspired to join up or ‘take the cross’, as it was known, especially from northern France.There were the counts of Champagne and Blois (although the former would die before the expedition got underway), Geoffrey of Villehardouin (who would later write his an important record of the Crusade), Count Baldwin of Flanders, and Simon de Montfort.
In August 1201 CE the leader of the expedition, after the untimely death of Theobald of Champagne, was selected.
The choice was an immensely rich and chivalrous Italian with an impressive Crusader pedigree in his family, Marquis Boniface of Montferrat.
This would permit Venice to get several steps ahead of long-time trade rivals Pisa and Genoa in cornering the trade market within the Byzantine Empire.
It may, then, have been the goal of Dandolo and the Crusaders to merely pass through Constantinople, put a new emperor on the throne and then carry on to Jerusalem with their ships resupplied and their coffers refilled.
Historians continue to debate the exact reason why the Crusaders then turned on Constantinople instead of Jerusalem, but one crucial ingredient in the troublesome mix of mutual suspicions between the western powers and Byzantium was the Republic of Venice and one man, in particular, the Doge Enrico Dandolo (r. Intent on winning Venetian domination of the trade in the east, Dandolo well remembered his undignified expulsion from Constantinople when he had served there as an ambassador.
Essay On Why It Is Important To Follow Rules - 4th Crusade Essay
This seemed as good an opportunity as ever to install a new sympathetic emperor. 1203-1204 CE), whose father Isaac II Angelos had been deposed as emperor seven years earlier, had been touting for western support for some time.It may not, as some conspiracy-theory historians have claimed, have all been so cynically planned beforehand by all parties, but in the end, it is exactly what happened with the exception that the Fourth Crusade ended with the fall of the Byzantine capital and Jerusalem was left for a later date.The Crusader army arrived outside Constantinople on 24 June 1203 CE.The Venetians, being the rapacious traders they were, insisted that their 240 ships be paid for, but the Crusaders could not meet the astonishing asking price of 85,000 silver marks (double the annual income of France at the time).Consequently, a deal was made that in return for passage the Crusaders would stop off at Zara on the Dalmatian coast and reconquer it for the Italians, the city having recently defected to the Hungarians.The Byzantines were considered to lack the will to fight the common Muslim enemy while, from the other side, the Crusaders were seen as opportunists out to grab the choicest parts of the Byzantine Empire in the east.In a sense, both sides were right in their judgement.The Fourth Crusade thus gained its infamous reputation as the most cynical and profit-seeking of all the crusades.The Byzantines saw themselves as the defenders of Christendom, the beacon which shone out across the Mediterranean and central Asia, hosts to the holiest city outside Jerusalem, and the rock which stood against the tide of Islam sweeping in from the east.There were also more concrete sources of division, the historical rivalry between popes and emperors, and the rising ambition of western states to wrest from Byzantium the remnants of its empire in Italy were fuelled by the failures of the crusades in permanently securing the Holy Land for Christendom.Blame was apportioned to either side for the lack of success.