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Fourth Crusade

86 bytes removed, 20:42, July 8, 2010
Final capture of Constantinople: removed reduntant and emotionally-biased paragraph
{{cleanup|Standardize headers, summarize chronology into prose, standardize formatting. Recommend possible replacement with [[Wikipedia:Fourth Crusade]].}}
The '''Fourth Crusade''' lasted from 1201-1204. Though the Crusades were for the most part an entirely Western phenomenon, this one affected Eastern Church history because the invading Crusaders took Constantinople on [[April 12]], 1204. After defeating the Byzantine Emperor Alexius V (who had usurped the throne from his predecessor Alexius IV, put in power by the Crusaders), they conquered the city and famously looted and desecrated numerous churches, [[iconography|icons]], and [[relics]].<ref>[ Nicetas Choniates: The Sack of Constantinople (1204)] - from the ''Medieval Sourcebook.''</ref> They then set up the [[w:Latin Empire|Latin Empire]], based in Constantinople, lasting over 57 years until Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus recaptured Constantinople in 1261. This Crusade is widely regarded as having finalized the [[Great Schism]], as much bitterness towards the West remained even after the restoration of [[Byzantium]].
Also, in the acccount of the Second Crusade (1147-49), ''De profectione Ludovici VII in Orientem (On Louis VII's journey to the East)'', written by Odo of Deuil, a chaplain to the French King Louis VII and later abbott of Saint-Denis, Odo explains the failure of the Second Crusade in terms of human action rather than as the will of God. He blamed the Byzantine Empire under Manuel Comnenus for the downfall of the Crusade. Odo's prejudice against Byzantium led historian Steven Runciman to describe Odo as "hysterically anti-Greek."
===Anti-Byzantine Sentement Sentiment in connection with Previous Crusades and Byzantine Relations with Muslim Empires===
Emperor [[w:Alexios I Komnenos|Alexius I Comnenus]] helped the First Crusade but was very cautious, signing an uneasy treaty and alliance with the Crusaders. Emperor [[w:Manuel I Komnenos|Manuel I Comnenus]] promised to help the Second Crusade and signed the same treaty with the Crusaders, however he could not help because he was engaged in war against the Norman Prince Roger of Sicily, who had invaded Corfu. Manuel had also signed a treaty with the Turks of Iconium; the Crusaders, particularly the Franks, bitterly blamed him for their failure. Emperor [[w:Isaac II Angelos|Isaac II Angelus]] foolishly imprisoned the ambassadors of Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa (Hohenstauffen), head of the Third Crusade, who were sent to negotiate passage through imperial territory. Issac also had concluded a treaty with the Sultan of Iconium, as he was fearful of Frederick's ambitions.
[[Image:Eugène Ferdinand Victor Delacroix 012.jpg|thumb|300px|''The Entry of the Crusaders into Constantinople'' ([[Eugène Delacroix]], 1840). The most infamous action of the Fourth Crusade was the sack of the Orthodox Christian capital city of [[Constantinople]]]]
[[w:Boniface I, Marquess of Montferrat|Boniface of Montferrat]] had left the fleet before it sailed from Venice, to visit his cousin [[w:Philip of Swabia|Philip of Swabia]]. The reasons for his visit are a matter of debate. He may have realized the Venetians' plans and left to avoid [[excommunication]], or he may have wanted to meet with the Byzantine prince [[w:Alexius IV Angelos|Alexius IV Angelus]], Philip's brother-in-law and the son of the recently deposed Byzantine emperor [[w:Isaac II Angelos|Isaac II Angelus]]. Young Alexius had fled to Philip when his father was overthrown in 1195, but it is unknown whether or not Boniface knew he was at Philip's court.
There, Alexius IV offered 200,000 silver marks, 10,000 men to help the Crusaders, the maintenance of 500 knights in the Holy Land, the service of the Byzantine navy to transport the Crusader Army to Egypt and the placement of the [[w:Greek Orthodox Church|Greek Orthodox Church]] under the [[Roman Catholic Church]] if they would sail to Byzantium and topple the reigning emperor Alexius III Angelus. It was a tempting offer for an enterprise that was short on funds. Greco-Latin relationships had been complicated ever since the [[Great Schism]] of 1054.
Sir [[w:Edward Gibbon|Edward Gibbon]] stated that the spoils taken during one week in Constantinople equalled seven times the whole revenue of England at that time<ref>Treece, Henry. ''The Crusades''. London, 1962</ref>. The four magnificent bronze horses over the portals of San Marco's Basilica in Venice were snatched from the Byzantine hippodrome, standing monuments of one of the greatest acts of brigandage in history.
Its hard to exaggerate the harm done to European civilization by the sack of Constantinople. The treasures of the city, the books and works of art preserved from distant centuries, were all dispersed and most destroyed. The Empire, the great Eastern bulwark of Christendom, was broken as a power. The conquests of the Ottomans were made possible by the Crusaders' crime<ref>Runciman, Steven. ''Byzantine Civilization''. Cleveland World Publ. Co. 1965. pp.46</ref>.
A Roman Catholic patriarch was established and attempted to introduce Roman Catholicism by force. The new Venetian Patriarch in Constantinople, Tommaso Morosini, was appointed by the Doge of Venice, Enrico Dandolo (the main person who engineered the diversion of the Fourth Crusade); and according to Gibbon, the Venetians employed every art to perpetuate in their own nation the honors and benefices of the Greek church. Morosini appealed to the Pope for aid, and being unable to serve so many derisive masters, he died a madman. The new papal legate, Pelagius, rode into Constantinople dressed in scarlet from head to foot, like a Greek Emperor himself, and soon asserted that the easy days were over: Thenceforth the Greek clergy must adapt themselves in all religious rites and beliefs to those of the Church of Rome. He was prepared to wade through blood, he quickly showed, should the Orthodox Greeks deny any part of his assertion<ref>Treece, Henry. ''The Crusades''. London, 1962. pp.230-231</ref>.
[[Image:Greece_in_1214.JPG|right|thumb|Greece in 1214]]
After the ''[[w:Battle of the Olive Grove of Koundouros|Battle of the Olive Grove of Koundouros]],'' which took place in the spring of 1205, in Messinia, Peloponnese, between the Franks and the Greeks, all the castles and cities of the Peloponnese fell to the Franks. Meanwhile, the Venetians took possession of Crete in 1211, and retained it until ousted by the Ottoman Turks in 1669, a full 458 years later.

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