Literature. — G. T. De Thaumassière: Assises et bons usages du royaume de Jérusalem, etc., Paris, 1690, 1712; Assises de Jérusalem, in Recueil des Historiens des croisades, 2 vols., Paris, 1841-1843. — Hody: Godefroy de Bouillon et les rois Latins de Jérus., 2d ed., Paris, 1859. — Röhricht: Regesta Regni Hierosolymitani, Innsbruck, 1893; Gesch. des Königreichs Jerus. 1100-1291, Innsbruck, 1898. — Lane-Poole: Saladin and the Fall of the Kingdom of Jerus., N. Y., 1898. The first biography of Saladin in English, written largely from the standpoint of the Arab historians. — C. R. Conder: The Latin Kingd. of Jerus., London, 1899. — F. Kühn: Gesch. der ersten Patriarchen von Jerus., Leipzig, 1886. — Funk: art. Jerusalem, Christl. Königreich, in “Wetzer-Welte,” VI. p. 1335 sqq.
Eight days after the capture of the Holy City a permanent government was established, known as the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem. Godfrey was elected king, but declined the title of royalty, unwilling to wear a crown of gold where the Saviour had worn a crown of thorns. He adopted the title Baron and Defender of the Holy Sepulchre. The kingdom from its birth was in need of help, and less than a year after the capture of the city the patriarch Dagobert made an appeal to the “rich” German nation for reënforcements. It had a perturbed existence of less than a century, and in that time witnessed a succession of nine sovereigns.
Godfrey extended his realm, but survived the capture of Jerusalem only a year, dying July 18, 1100. He was honored and lamented as the most disinterested and devout among the chieftains of the First Crusade. His body was laid away in the church of the Holy Sepulchre, where his reputed sword and spurs are still shown. On his tomb was the inscription: “Here lies Godfrey of Bouillon, who conquered all this territory for the Christian religion. May his soul be at rest with Christ.”
With the Latin kingdom was established the Latin patriarchate of Jerusalem. The election of Arnulf, chaplain to Robert of Normandy, was declared irregular, and Dagobert, or Daimbert, archbishop of Pisa, was elected in his place Christmas Day, 1099. Latin sees were erected throughout the land and also a Latin patriarchate of Antioch. Dagobert secured large concessions from Godfrey, including the acknowledgment of his kingdom as a fief of the patriarch. After the fall of Jerusalem, in 1187, the patriarchs lived in Acre.
The constitution and judicial procedure of the new realm were fixed by the Assizes of Jerusalem. These were deposited under seal in the church of the Holy Sepulchre and are also called the Letters of the Holy Sepulchre. They were afterwards lost, and our knowledge of their contents is derived from the codes of Cyprus and the Latin kingdom of Constantinople, which were founded upon the Jerusalem code.
These statutes reproduced the feudal system of Europe. The conquered territory was distributed among the barons, who held their possessions under the king of Jerusalem as overlord. The four chief fiefs were Jaffa and Ascalon, Kerat, east of the Jordan, Galilee, and Sidon. The counts of Tripoli and Edessa and the prince of Antioch were independent of the kingdom of Jerusalem. A system of courts was provided, the highest being presided over by the king. Trial by combat of arms was recognized. A second court provided for justice among the burgesses. A third gave it to the natives. Villeins or slaves were treated as property according to the discretion of the master, but are also mentioned as being subject to the courts of law. The slave and the falcon were estimated as equal in value. Two slaves were held at the price of a horse and three slaves at the price of twelve oxen. The man became of age at twenty-five, the woman at twelve. The feudal system in Europe was a natural product. In Palestine it was an exotic.
The Christian occupation of Palestine did not bring with it a reign of peace. The kingdom was torn by the bitter intrigues of barons and ecclesiastics, while it was being constantly threatened from without. The inner strife was the chief source of weakness. The monks settled down in swarms over the country, and the Franciscans became the guardians of the holy places. The illegitimate offspring of the Crusaders by Moslem women, called pullani, were a degenerate race, marked by avarice, faithlessness, and debauchery.
Godfrey was succeeded by his brother Baldwin, count of Edessa, who was crowned at Bethlehem. He was a man of intelligence and the most vigorous of the kings of Jerusalem. He died of a fever in Egypt, and his body was laid at the side of his brother’s in Jerusalem.
During Baldwin’s reign, 1100-1118, the limits of the kingdom were greatly extended. Caesarea fell in 1101, St. Jean d’Acre, otherwise known as Ptolemais, in 1104, and Berytus, or Beyrut, in 1110. Sidon capitulated to Sigurd, son of the king of Norway, who had with him ten thousand Crusaders. One-third of Asia Minor was reduced, a part of the territory reverting to the Greek empire. Damascus never fell into European hands. With the progress of their arms, the Crusaders reared strong castles from Petra to the far North as well as on the eastern side of the Jordan. Their ruins attest the firm purpose of their builders to make their occupation permanent. “We who were Westerners,” said Fulcher of Chartres, “are now Easterners. We have forgotten our native land.” It is proof of the attractiveness of the cause, if not also of the country, that so many Crusaders sought to establish themselves there permanently. Many who went to Europe returned a second time, and kings spent protracted periods in the East.
During Baldwin’s reign most of the leaders of the First Crusade died or returned to Europe. But the ranks were being continually recruited by fresh expeditions. Pascal II., the successor of Urban II., sent forth a call for recruits. The Italian cities furnished fleets, and did important service in conjunction with the land forces. The Venetians, Pisans, and Genoese established quarters of their own in Jerusalem, Acre, and other cities. Thousands took the cross in Lombardy, France, and Germany, and were led by Anselm, archbishop of Milan, Stephen, duke of Burgundy, William, duke of Aquitaine, Ida of Austria, and others. Hugh of Vermandois, who had gone to Europe, returned. Bohemund likewise returned with thirty-four thousand men, and opposed the Greek emperor. At least two Christian armies attempted to attack Islam in its stronghold at Bagdad.
Under Baldwin II., 1118-1131, the nephew of Baldwin I., Tyre was taken, 1124. This event marks the apogee of the Crusaders’ possessions and power.
In the reign of Fulke of Anjou, 1131-1143, the husband of Millicent, Baldwin II.’s daughter, Zengi, surnamed Imaded-din, the Pillar of the Faith, threatened the very existence of the Frankish kingdom.
Baldwin III., 1143-1162, came to the throne in his youth. His reign witnessed the fall of Edessa into Zengi’s hands, 1144, and the progress of the Second Crusade, as also the rise of Zengi’s son, Nureddin, the uncle of Saladin, who conquered Damascus, 1154.
Amalric, or Amaury, 1162-1173, carried his arms and diplomacy into Egypt, and saw the fall of the Fatimite dynasty which had been in power for two centuries. The power in the South now became identified with the splendid and warlike abilities of Saladin, who, with Nureddin, healed the divisions of the Mohammedans, and compacted their power from Bagdad to Cairo. Henceforth the kingdom of Jerusalem stood on the defensive. The schism between the Abassidae and the Fatimites had made the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 possible.
Baldwin IV., 1173-1184, a boy of thirteen at his accession, was, like Uzziah, a leper. Among the regents who conducted the affairs of the kingdom during his reign was the duke of Montferrat, who married Sybilla, the king’s sister. In 1174 Saladin, by the death of Nureddin, became caliph of the whole realm from Damascus to the Nile, and started on the path of God, the conquest of Jerusalem.
Baldwin V., 1184-1186, a child of five, and son of Sybilla, was succeeded by Guy of Lusignan, Sybilla’s second husband. Saladin met Guy and the Crusaders at the village of Hattin, on the hill above Tiberius, where tradition has placed the delivery of the Sermon on the Mount. The Templars and Hospitallers were there in force, and the true cross was carried by the bishop of Acre, clad in armor. On July 5, 1187, the decisive battle was fought. The Crusaders were completely routed, and thirty thousand are said to have perished. Guy of Lusignan, the masters of the Temple and the Hospital, and Reginald of Châtillon, lord of Kerak, were taken prisoners by the enemy. Reginald was struck to death in Saladin’s tent, but the king and the other captives were treated with clemency. The true cross was a part of the enemy’s booty. The fate of the Holy Land was decided.
On Oct. 2, 1187, Saladin entered Jerusalem after it had made a brave resistance. The conditions of surrender were most creditable to the chivalry of the great commander. There were no scenes of savage butchery such as followed the entry of the Crusaders ninety years before. The inhabitants were given their liberty for the payment of money, and for forty days the procession of the departing continued. The relics stored away in the church of the Holy Sepulchre were delivered up by the conqueror for the sum of fifty thousand bezants, paid by Richard I.
Thus ended the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem. Since then the worship of Islam has continued on Mount Moriah without interruption. The Christian conquests were in constant danger through the interminable feuds of the Crusaders themselves, and, in spite of the constant flow of recruits and treasure from Europe, they fell easily before the unifying leadership of Saladin.
After 1187 a line of nominal kings of Jerusalem presented a romantic picture in European affairs. The last real king, Guy of Lusignan, was released, and resumed his kingly pretension without a capital city. Conrad of Montferrat, who had married Isabella, daughter of Amalric, was granted the right of succession. He was murdered before reaching the throne, and Henry of Champagne became king of Jerusalem on Guy’s accession to the crown of Cyprus. In 1197 the two crowns of Cyprus and Jerusalem were united in Amalric II. At his death the crown passed to Mary, daughter of Conrad of Montferrat. Mary’s husband was John of Brienne. At the marriage of their daughter, Iolanthe, to the emperor Frederick II., that sovereign assumed the title, King of Jerusalem.
52. The Fall of Edessa and the Second Crusade
Literature. — Odo of Deuil (near Paris), chaplain of Louis VII.: De profectione Ludovici VII. in Orientem 1147-1149 in Migne, 185, translated by Guizot: Collection, XXIV. pp. 279-384. — Otto of Freising, d. 1158, half brother of Konrad III. and uncle of Fred. Barbarossa: Chronicon, bk. VII., translated in Pertz-Wattenbach, Geschichtschreiber der Deutschen Vorzeit, Leipzig, 1881. Otto accompanied the Crusade. — Kugler: Gesch. des 2ten Kreuzzuges, Stuttgart, 1866. — The De consideratione and De militibus Christi of Bernard and the Biographies of Bernard by Neander, ed. by Deutsch, II. 81-116; Morison, Pp. 366-400; Storrs, p. 416 sqq.; Vacandard, II. 270-318, 431 sqq. F. Marion Crawford has written a novel on this Crusade: Via Crucis, a Story of the Second Crusade, N. Y., 1899.
The Second Crusade was led by two sovereigns, the emperor Konrad III. and Louis VII. of France, and owed its origin to the profound impression made in Europe by the fall of Edessa and the zealous eloquence of St. Bernard. Edessa, the outer citadel of the Crusader’s conquests, fell, December, 1144. Jocelyn II., whose father, Jocelyn I., succeeded Baldwin as proprietor of Edessa, was a weak and pleasure-loving prince. The besiegers built a fire in a breach in the wall, a piece of which, a hundred yards long, cracked with the flames and fell. An appalling massacre followed the inrush of the Turks, under Zengi, whom the Christians called the Sanguinary.
Eugenius III. rightly regarded Zengi’s victory as a threat to the continuance of the Franks in Palestine, and called upon the king of France to march to their relief. The forgiveness of all sins and life eternal were promised to all embarking on the enterprise who should die confessing their sins. The pope also summoned Bernard to leave his convent, and preach the crusade. Bernard, the most conspicuous personage of his age, was in the zenith of his fame. He regarded the summons as a call from God, and proved to be a leader worthy of the cause.
At Easter tide, 1146, Louis, who had before, in remorse for his burning the church at Vitry with thirteen hundred persons, promised to go on a crusade, assembled a great council at Vézelai. Bernard was present and made such an overpowering impression by his address that the bearers pressed forward to receive crosses. He himself was obliged to out his robe to pieces to meet the demand. Writing to Eugenius, he was able to say that the enthusiasm was so great that “castles and towns were emptied of their inmates. One man could hardly be found for seven women, and the women were being everywhere widowed while their husbands were still alive.”
From France Bernard proceeded to Basel and Constance and the cities along the Rhine, as far as Cologne. As in the case of the First Crusade, a persecution was started against the Jews on the Rhine by a monk, Radulph. Bernard firmly set himself against the fanaticism and wrote that the Church should attempt to gain the Jews by discussion, and not destroy them by the sword.
Thousands flocked to hear the fervent preacher, who added miraculous healings to the impression of his eloquence. The emperor Konrad himself was deeply moved and won. During Christmas week at Spires, Bernard preached before him an impassionate discourse. “What is there, O man,” he represented Christ as saying, seated in judgment upon the imperial hearer at the last day, — “What is there which I ought to have done for thee and have not done?” He contrasted the physical prowess, the riches, and the honors of the emperor with the favor of the supreme judge of human actions. Bursting into tears, the emperor exclaimed: “I shall henceforth not be found ungrateful to God’s mercy. I am ready to serve Him, seeing I am admonished by Him.” Of all his miracles Bernard esteemed the emperor’s decision the chief one.
Konrad at once prepared for the expedition. Seventy thousand armed men, seven thousand of whom were knights, assembled at Regensburg, and proceeded through Hungary to the Bosphorus, meeting with a poor reception along the route. The Greek emperor Manuel and Konrad were brothers-in-law, having married sisters, but this tie was no protection to the Germans. Guides, provided by Manuel, “children of Belial” as William of Tyre calls them, treacherously led them astray in the Cappadocian mountains. Famine, fever, and the attacks of the enemy were so disastrous that when the army fell back upon Nicaea, not more than one-tenth of its original number remained.
Louis received the oriflamme from Eugenius’s own hands at St. Denis, Easter, 1147, and followed the same route taken by Konrad. His queen, Eleanor, famed for her beauty, and many ladies of the court accompanied the army. The two sovereigns met at Nicaea and proceeded together to Ephesus. Konrad returned to Constantinople by ship, and Louis, after reaching Attalia, left the body of his army to proceed by land, and sailed to Antioch.
At Antioch, Eleanor laid herself open to the serious charge of levity, if not to infidelity to her marriage vow. She and the king afterward publicly separated at Jerusalem, and later were divorced by the pope. Eleanor was then joined to Henry of Anjou, and later became the queen of Henry II. of England. Konrad, who reached Acre by ship from Constantinople, met Louis at Jerusalem, and in company with Baldwin III. the two sovereigns from the West offered their devotions in the church of the Holy Sepulchre. At a council of the three held under the walls of Acre, they decided to direct their arms against Damascus before proceeding to the more distant Edessa. The route was by way of Lake Tiberias and over the Hermon. The siege ended in complete failure, owing to the disgraceful quarrels between the camps and the leaders, and the claim of Thierry, count of Flanders, who had been in the East twice before, to the city as his own. Konrad started back for Germany, September, 1148. Louis, after spending the winter in Jerusalem, broke away the following spring. Bernard felt the humiliation of the failure keenly, and apologized for it by ascribing it to the judgment of God for the sins of the Crusaders and of the Christian world. “The judgments of the Lord are just,” he wrote, “but this one is an abyss so deep that I dare to pronounce him blessed who is not scandalized by it.” As for the charge that he was responsible for the expedition, Bernard exclaimed, “Was Moses to blame, in the wilderness, who promised to lead the children of Israel to the Promised Land? Was it not rather the sins of the people which interrupted the progress of their journey?”
Edessa remained lost to the Crusaders, and Damascus never fell into their power.
53. The Third Crusade. 1189-1192
For Richard I.: Itinerarium perigrinorum et gesta regis Ricardi, ed. by Stubbs, London, 1864, Rolls Series, formerly ascribed to Geoffrey de Vinsauf, but, since Stubbs, to Richard de Templo or left anonymous. Trans. in Chronicles of the Crusades, Bohn’s Libr., 1870. The author accompanied the Crusade. — De Hoveden, ed. by Stubbs, 4 vols., London, 1868-1871; Engl. trans. by Riley, vol. II. pp. 63-270. — Giraldus Cambrensis: Itinerarium Cambriae, ed. by Brewer and Dimock, London, 7 vols. 1861-1877, vol. VI., trans. by R. C. Hoare, London, 1806. — Richard De Devizes: Chronicon de rebus gestis Ricardi, etc., London, 1838, trans. in Bohn’s Chron. of the Crusades. — Roger Wendover. — De Joinville: Crusade of St. Louis, trans. in Chron. of the Crus.
For full list of authorities on Richard see art. Richard by Archer in Dict. of Vat. Biog. — G. P. R. James: Hist. of the Life of B. Coeur de Lion, new ed. 2 vols. London, 1854 — T. A. Archer: The Crusade of Richard I., being a collation of Richard de Devizes, etc., London, 1868. — Gruhn: Der Kreuzzug Richard I., Berlin, 1892.
For Frederick Barbarossa: Ansbert, an eye-witness: Hist. de expeditione Frid., 1187-1196, ed. by Jos. Dobrowsky, Prague, 1827. — For other sources, see Wattenbach: Deutsche Geschichtsquellen, II. 303 sqq., and Potthast: Bibl. Hist., II. 1014, 1045, etc. — Karl Fischer: Gesch. des Kreuzzugs Fried. I., Leipzig, 1870. — H. Prutz: Kaiser Fried. I., 3 vols. Dantzig, 1871-1873. — Von Raumer: Gesch. der Hohenstaufen, vol. II. 5th ed. Leipzig, 1878. — Giesebrecht: Deutsche Kaiserzeit, vol. V.
For Saladin: Baha-ed-din, a member of Saladin’s court, 1145-1234, the best Arabic Life, in the Recueil, Histt. Orientaux, etc., III., 1884, and in Palestine, Pilgrim’s Text Soc., ed. by Sir C. W. Wilson, London, 1897. — Marin: Hist. de Saladin, sulthan d’Égypte et de Syrie, Paris, 1758. — Lane-Poole: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem, New York, 1898, a full list and an estimate of Arab authorities are given, pp. iii-xvi.
See also the general Histories of the Crusades and Ranke: Weltgesch., VIII.
The Third Crusade was undertaken to regain Jerusalem, which had been lost to Saladin, 1187. It enjoys the distinction of having had for its leaders the three most powerful princess of Western Europe, the emperor Frederick Barbarossa, Philip Augustus, king of France, and the English king Richard I., surnamed Coeur de Lion, or the Lion-hearted. It brought together the chivalry of the East and the West at the time of its highest development and called forth the heroism of two of the bravest soldiers of any age, Saladin and Richard. It has been more widely celebrated in romance than any of the other Crusades, from the songs of the medieval minstrels to Lessing in his Nathan the Wise and Walter Scott in Talisman. But in spite of the splendid armaments, the expedition was almost a complete failure.
On the news of Saladin’s victories, Urban III. is alleged to have died of grief. An official summons was hardly necessary to stir the crusading ardor of Europe from one end to the other. Danes, Swedes, and Frisians joined with Welshmen, Englishmen, Frenchmen, and Germans in readiness for a new expedition. A hundred years had elapsed since the First Crusade, and its leaders were already invested with a halo of romance and glory. The aged Gregory VIII., whose reign lasted less than two months, 1187, spent his expiring breath in an appeal to the princes to desist from their feuds. Under the influence of William, archbishop of Tyre, and the archbishop of Rouen, Philip Augustus of France and Henry II. of England laid aside their quarrels and took the cross. At Henry’s death his son Richard, then thirty-two years of age, set about with impassioned zeal to make preparations for the Crusade. The treasure which Henry had left, Richard augmented by sums secured from the sale of castles and bishoprics. For ten thousand marks he released William of Scotland from homage, and he would have sold London itself, so he said, if a purchaser rich enough had offered himself. Baldwin, archbishop of Canterbury, supported his sovereign, preaching the Crusade in England and Wales, and accompanied the expedition. The famous Saladin tax was levied in England, and perhaps also in France, requiring the payment of a tithe by all not joining the Crusade.
Richard and Philip met at Vézelai. Among the great lords who joined them were Hugh, duke of Burgundy, Henry II., count of Champagne, and Philip of Flanders. As a badge for himself and his men, the French king chose a red cross, Richard a white cross, and the duke of Flanders a green cross.
In the meantime Frederick Barbarossa, who was on the verge of seventy, had reached the Bosphorus. Mindful of his experiences with Konrad III., whom he accompanied on the Second Crusade, he avoided the mixed character of Konrad’s army by admitting to the ranks only those who were physically strong and had at least three marks. The army numbered one hundred thousand, of whom fifty thousand sat in the saddle. Frederick of Swabia accompanied his father, the emperor.
Setting forth from Ratisbon in May, 1189, the German army had proceeded by way of Hungary to Constantinople. The Greek emperor, Isaac Angelus, far from regarding the Crusaders’ approach with favor, threw Barbarossa’s commissioners into prison and made a treaty with Saladin. He coolly addressed the western emperor as “the first prince of Germany.” The opportunity was afforded Frederick of uniting the East and West once more under a single sceptre. Wallachians and Servians promised him their support if he would dethrone Isaac and take the crown. But though there was provocation enough, Frederick refused to turn aside from his purpose, the reconquest of Jerusalem, and in March, 1190, his troops were transferred across the Bosphorus. He took Iconium, and reached Cilicia. There his career was brought to a sudden termination on June 10 in the waters of the Kalycadnus river into which he had plunged to cool himself. His flesh was buried at Antioch, and his bones, intended for the crypts of the church of the Holy Sepulchre, were deposited in the church of St. Peter, Tyre. A lonely place, indeed, for the ashes of the mighty monarch, and far removed from those of his great predecessor, Charlemagne at Aachen! Scarcely ever has a life so eminent had such a tragic and deplored ending. In right imperial fashion, Frederick had sent messengers ahead, calling upon Saladin to abandon Jerusalem and deliver up the true cross. With a demoralized contingent, Frederick of Swabia reached the walls of Acre, where he soon after became a victim of the plague, October, 1190.
Philip and Richard reached the Holy Land by the Mediterranean. They sailed for Sicily, 1190, Philip from Genoa, Richard from Marseilles. Richard found employment on the island in asserting the rights of his sister Joan, widow of William II. of Sicily, who had been robbed of her dower by William’s illegitimate son, Tancred. “Quicker than priest can chant matins did King Richard take Messina.” In spite of armed disputes between Richard and Philip, the two kings came to an agreement to defend each other on the Crusades. Among the curious stipulations of this agreement was one that only knights and the clergy were to be allowed to play games for money, and the amount staked on any one day was not to exceed twenty shillings.
Leaving Sicily, whence Philip had sailed eleven days before, Richard proceeded to Cyprus, and as a punishment for the ill treatment of pilgrims and the stranding of his vessels, he wrested the kingdom in a three weeks’ campaign from Isaac Comnenus. The English at their occupation of Cyprus, 1878, might well have recalled Richard’s conquest. On the island, Richard’s nuptials were consummated with Berengaria of Navarre, whom he preferred to Philip’s sister Alice, to whom he had been betrothed. In June he reached Acre. “For joy at his coming,” says Baha-ed-din, the Arab historian, “the Franks broke forth in rejoicing, and lit fires in their camps all night through. The hosts of the Mussulmans were filled with fear and dread.”
Acre, or Ptolemais, under Mount Carmel, had become the metropolis of the Crusaders, as it was the key to the Holy Land. Christendom had few capitals so gay in its fashions and thronged with such diverse types of nationality. Merchants were there from the great commercial marts of Europe. The houses, placed among gardens, were rich with painted glass. The Hospitallers and Templars had extensive establishments.
Against Acre, Guy of Lusignan had been laying siege for two years. Released by Saladin upon condition of renouncing all claim to his crown and going beyond the seas, he had secured easy absolution from the priest from this solemn oath. Baldwin of Canterbury, Hubert Walter, bishop of Salisbury, and the justiciar Ranulf of Glanvill had arrived on the scene before Richard. “We found our army,” wrote the archbishop’s chaplain, “given up to shameful practices, and yielding to ease and lust, rather than encouraging virtue. The Lord is not in the camp. Neither chastity, solemnity, faith, nor charity are there — a state of things which, I call God to witness, I would not have believed if I had not seen it with my own eyes.”
Saladin was watching the besiegers and protecting the garrison. The horrors of the siege made it one of the memorable sieges of the Middle Ages. It was carried on from the sea as well as on the land. Greek fire was used with great effect by the Turks. The struggle was participated in by women as well as the men. Some Crusaders apostatized to get the means for prolonging life. With the aid of the huge machine Check Greek, and other engines constructed by Richard in Sicily, and by Philip, the city was made to surrender, July, 1191. By the terms of the capitulation the city’s stores, two hundred thousand pieces of gold, fifteen hundred prisoners, and the true cross were to pass into the hands of the Crusaders.
The advance upon Jerusalem was delayed by rivalries between the armies and their leaders. Richard’s prowess, large means, and personal popularity threw Philip into the shade, and he was soon on his way back to France, leaving the duke of Burgundy as leader of the French. The French and Germans also quarrelled. A fruitful source of friction was the quarrel between Guy of Lusignan and Conrad of Montferrat over the crown of Jerusalem, until the matter was finally settled by Conrad’s murder and the recognition of Guy as king of Cyprus, and Henry of Champagne, the nephew of both Richard and Philip Augustus, as king of Jerusalem.
A dark blot rests upon Richard’s memory for the murder in cold blood of twenty-seven hundred prisoners in the full sight of Saladin’s troops and as a punishment for the non-payment of the ransom money. The massacre, a few days before, of Christian captives, if it really occurred, in part explains but cannot condone the crime.
Jaffa and Ascalon became the next points of the Crusaders’ attack, the operations being drawn out to a wearisome length. Richard’s feats of physical strength and martial skill are vouched for by eye-witnesses, who speak of him as cutting swathes through the enemy with his sword and mowing them down, “as the reapers mow down the corn with their sickles.” So mighty was his strength that, when a Turkish admiral rode at him in full charge, Richard severed his neck and one shoulder by a single blow. But the king’s dauntless though coarse courage was not joined to the gifts of a leader fit for such a campaign. His savage war shout, “God and the Holy Sepulchre aid us,” failed to unite the troops cloven by jealousies and to establish military discipline. The camps were a scene of confusion. Women left behind by Richard’s order at Acre came up to corrupt the army, while day after day “its manifold sins, drunkenness, and luxury increased.” Once and perhaps twice Richard came so near the Holy City that he might have looked down into it had he so chosen. But, like Philip Augustus, he never passed through its gates, and after a signal victory at Joppa he closed his military achievements in Palestine. A treaty, concluded with Saladin, assured to the Christians for three years the coast from Tyre to Joppa, and protection to pilgrims in Jerusalem and on their way to the city. In October, 1192, the king, called back by the perfidy of his brother John, set sail from Acre amid the laments of those who remained behind, but not until he had sent word to Saladin that he intended to return to renew the contest.
The exploits of the English king won even the admiration of the Arabs, whose historian reports how he rode up and down in front of the Saracen army defying them, and not a man dared to touch him. Presents passed between him and Saladin. One who accompanied the Third Crusade ascribes to him the valor of Hector, the magnanimity of Achilles, the prudence of Odysseus, the eloquence of Nestor, and equality with Alexander. French writers of the thirteenth century tell how Saracen mothers, long after Richard had returned to England, used to frighten their children into obedience or silence by the spell of his name, so great was the dread he had inspired. Destitute of the pious traits of Godfrey and Louis IX., Richard nevertheless stands, by his valor, muscular strength, and generous mind, in the very front rank of conspicuous Crusaders.
On his way back to England he was seized by Leopold, duke of Austria, whose enmity he had incurred before Joppa. The duke turned his captive over to the emperor, Henry VI., who had a grudge to settle growing out of Sicilian matters. Richard was released only on the humiliating terms of paying an enormous ransom and consenting to hold his kingdom as a fief of the empire. Saladin died March 4, 1193, by far the most famous of the foes of the Crusaders. Christendom has joined with Arab writers in praise of his chivalric courage, culture, and magnanimity. What could be more courteous than his granting the request of Hubert Walter for the station of two Latin priests in the three churches of the Holy Sepulchre, Nazareth, and Bethlehem?
The recapture of Acre and the grant of protection to the pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem were paltry achievements in view of the loss of life, the long months spent in making ready for the Crusade, the expenditure of money, and the combination of the great nations of Europe. In this case, as in the other Crusades, it was not so much the Saracens, or even the splendid abilities of Saladin, which defeated the Crusaders, but their feuds among themselves. Never again did so large an army from the West contend for the cross on Syrian soil.
54. The Children’s Crusades
“The rich East blooms fragrant before us;
All Fairy-land beckons us forth,
We must follow the crane in her flight o’er the main,
From the posts and the moors of the North.”
— Charles Kingsley, The Saint’s Tragedy.
Literature. — For the sources, see Wilken: Gesch. der Kreuzzüge, VI. 71-83. — Des Essards: La Croisade des enfants, Paris, 1875. — Röhricht, Die Kinderkreuzzüge, in Sybel, Hist. Zeitschrift, vol. XXXVI., 1876. — G. Z. Gray: The Children’s Crusade, N. Y., 1872, new ed. 1896. — Isabel S. Stone: The Little Crusaders, N. Y., 1901. — Hurter: Innocent III., II. 482-489.
The most tragic of the Crusader tragedies were the crusades of the children. They were a slaughter of the innocents on a large scale, and belong to those mysteries of Providence which the future only will solve.
The crusading epidemic broke out among the children of France and Germany in 1212. Begotten in enthusiasm, which was fanned by priestly zeal, the movement ended in pitiful disaster.
The French expedition was led by Stephen, a shepherd lad of twelve, living at Cloyes near Chartres. He had a vision, so the rumor went, in which Christ appeared to him as a pilgrim and made an appeal for the rescue of the holy places. Journeying to St. Denis, the boy retailed the account of what he had seen. Other children gathered around him. The enthusiasm spread from Brittany to the Pyrenees. In vain did the king of France attempt to check the movement. The army increased to thirty thousand, girls as well as boys, adults as well as children. Questioned as to where they were going, they replied, “We go to God, and seek for the holy cross beyond the sea.” They reached Marseilles, but the waves did not part and let them go through dryshod as they expected.
The centres of the movement in Germany were Nicholas, a child of ten, and a second leader whose name has been lost. Cologne was the rallying point. Children of noble families enlisted. Along with the boys and girls went men and women, good and bad.
The army under the anonymous leader passed through Eastern Switzerland and across the Alps to Brindisi, whence some of the children sailed, never to be heard from again. The army of Nicholas reached Genoa in August, 1212. The children sang songs on the way, and with them has been wrongly associated the tender old German hymn:
“Fairest Lord Jesus,
Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of man and God, the son,
Thee will I cherish,
Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown.”
The numbers had been reduced by hardship, death, and moral shipwreck from twenty to seven thousand. At Genoa the waters were as pitiless as they were at Marseilles. Some of the children remained in the city and became, it is said, the ancestors of distinguished families. The rest marched on through Italy to Brindisi, where the bishop of Brindisi refused to let them proceed farther. An uncertain report declares Innocent III. declined to grant their appeal to be released from their vow.
The fate of the French children was, if possible, still more pitiable. At Marseilles they fell a prey to two slave dealers, who for “the sake of God and without price” offered to convey them across the Mediterranean. Their names are preserved, — Hugo Ferreus and William Porcus. Seven vessels set sail. Two were shipwrecked on the little island of San Pietro off the northwestern coast of Sardinia. The rest reached the African shore, where the children were sold into slavery.
The shipwreck of the little Crusaders was commemorated by Gregory IX., in the chapel of the New Innocents, ecclesia novorum innocentium, which he built on San Pietro. Innocent III. in summoning Europe to a new crusade included in his appeal the spectacle of their sacrifice. “They put us to shame. While they rush to the recovery of the Holy Land, we sleep.” Impossible as such a movement might seem in our calculating age, it is attested by too many good witnesses to permit its being relegated to the realm of legend, and the trials and death of the children of the thirteenth century will continue to be associated with the slaughter of the children of Bethlehem at the hand of Herod.
55. The Fourth Crusade and the Capture of Constantinople. 1200-1204
Literature. — Nicetas Acominatus, Byzantine patrician and grand logothete. During the Crusaders’ investment of Constantinople his palace was burnt, and with his wife and daughter he fled to Nicaea: Byzantina Historia, 1118-1206, in Recueil des historiens des Croisades, histor. Grecs, vol. I., and in Migne, Patr. Gr., vols. 139, 140. — Geoffroi de Villehardouin, a prominent participant in the Crusade, d. 1213?: Hist. de la Conquête de Constantinople avec la continuation de Henri de Valenciennes, earliest ed., Paris, 1585, ed. by Du Cange, Paris, 1857, and N. de Wailly, Paris, 1871, 3d ed. 1882, and E. Bouchet, with new trans., Paris, 1891. For other editions, See Potthast, II. 1094. Engl. trans. by T. Smith, London, 1829. — Robert de Clary, d. after 1216, a participant in the Crusade: La Prise de Constant., 1st ed. by P. Riant, Paris, 1868. — Guntherus Alemannus, a Cistercian, d. 1220?: Historia Constantinopolitana, in Migne, Patr. Lat., vol. 212, 221-265, and ed. by Riant, Geneva, 1875, and repeated in his Exuviae Sacrae, a valuable description, based upon the relation of his abbot, Martin, a participant in the Crusade. — Innocent III. Letters, in Migne, vols. 214-217. — Charles Hopf: Chroniques Graeco-Romanes inédites ou peu connues, Berlin, 1873. Contains De Clary, the Devastatio Constantinopolitana, etc. — C. Klimke: D. Quellen zur Gesch. des 4ten Kreuzzuges, Breslau, 1875. — Short extracts from Villehardouin and De Clary are given in Trans. and Reprints, published by University of Pennsylvania, vol. III., Philadelphia, 1896.
Paul De Riant: Exuviae sacrae Constantinopolitanae, Geneva, 1877-1878, 2 vols. — Tessier: Quatrième Croisade, la diversion sur Zara et Constantinople, Paris, 1884. — E. Pears: The Fall of Constantinople, being the Story of the Fourth Crusade, N. Y., 1886. — W. Nordau: Der vierte Kreuzzug, 1898. — A. Charasson: Un curé plébéien au XIIe Siècle, Foulques, Prédicateur de la IVe Croisade, Paris, 1905. — Gibbon, LX., LXI. — Hurter: Life of Innocent III., vol. I. — Ranke: Weltgesch., VIII. 280-298. — C. W. C. Oman: The Byzantine Empire, 1895, pp. 274-306. — F. C. Hodgson: The Early History of Venice, from the Foundation to the Conquest of Constantinople, 1204, 1901. An appendix contains an excursus on the historical sources of the Fourth Crusade.
It would be difficult to find in history a more notable diversion of a scheme from its original purpose than the Fourth Crusade. Inaugurated to strike a blow at the power which held the Holy Land, it destroyed the Christian city of Zara and overthrew the Greek empire of Constantinople. Its goals were determined by the blind doge, Henry Dandolo of Venice. As the First Crusade resulted in the establishment of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, so the Fourth Crusade resulted in the establishment of the Latin empire of Constantinople.
Innocent III., on ascending the papal throne, threw himself with all the energy of his nature into the effort of reviving the crusading spirit. He issued letter after letter to the sovereigns of England, France, Hungary, and Sicily. He also wrote to the Byzantine emperor, urging him to resist the Saracens and subject the Greek church to its mother, Rome. The failure of preceding crusades was ascribed to the sins of the Crusaders. But for them, one Christian would have chased a thousand, or even ten thousand, and the enemies of the cross would have disappeared like smoke or melting wax.
For the expense of a new expedition the pope set apart one-tenth of his revenue, and he directed the cardinals to do the same. The clergy and all Christians were urged to give liberally. The goods and lands of Crusaders were to enjoy the special protection of the Holy See. Princes were instructed to compel Jewish money-lenders to remit interest due from those going on the expedition. Legates were despatched to Genoa, Pisa, and Venice to stir up zeal for the project; and these cities were forbidden to furnish to the Saracens supplies of arms, food, or other material. A cardinal was appointed to make special prayers for the Crusade, as Moses had prayed for Israel against the Amalekites.
The Cistercian abbot, Martin, preached in Germany; and the eloquent Fulke of Neuilly, receiving his commission from Innocent III., distinguished himself by winning thousands of recruits from the nobility and populace of Burgundy, Flanders, and Normandy. Under his preaching, in 1199, Count Thibaut of Champagne, Louis of Blois, Baldwin of Flanders, and Simon de Montfort took the vow. So also did Villehardouin, marshal of Champagne, who accompanied the expedition, and became its spicy historian. As in the case of the First Crusade, the armament was led by nobles, and not by sovereigns.
The leaders, meeting at Soissons in 1200, sent a deputation to Venice to secure transportation for the army. Egypt was chosen as the point of landing and attack, it being held that a movement would be most apt to be successful which cut off the Saracens’ supplies at their base in the land of the Nile.
The Venetian Grand Council agreed to provide ships for 9000 esquires, 4500 knights, 20,000 foot-soldiers, and 4500 horses, and to furnish provisions for nine months for the sum of 85,000 marks, or about $1,000,000 in present money. The agreement stated the design of the enterprise to be “the deliverance of the Holy Land.” The doge, Henry Dandolo, who had already passed the limit of ninety years, was in spite of his age and blindness full of vigor and decision.
The crusading forces mustered at Venice. The fleet was ready, but the Crusaders were short of funds, and able to pay only 50,000 marks of the stipulated sum. Dandolo took advantage of these straits to advance the selfish aims of Venice, and proposed, as an equivalent for the balance of the passage money, that the Crusaders aid in capturing Zara. The offer was accepted. Zara, the capital of Dalmatia and the chief market on the eastern coast of the Adriatic, belonged to the Christian king of Hungary. Its predatory attacks upon Venetian vessels formed the pretext for its reduction. The threat of papal excommunication, presented by the papal legate, did not check the preparations; and after the solemn celebration of the mass, the fleet set sail, with Dandolo as virtual commander.
The departure of four hundred and eighty gayly rigged vessels is described by several eye-witnesses and constitutes one of the most important scenes in the naval enterprise of the queen of the Adriatic.
Zara was taken Nov. 24, 1202, given over to plunder, and razed to the ground. No wonder Innocent wrote that Satan had been the instigator of this destructive raid upon a Christian people and excommunicated the participants in it.
Organized to dislodge the Saracens and reduced to a filibustering expedition, the Crusade was now to be directed against Constantinople. The rightful emperor, Isaac Angelus, was languishing in prison with his eyes put out by the hand of the usurper, Alexius III., his own brother. Isaac’s son, Alexius, had visited Innocent III. and Philip of Swabia, appealing for aid in behalf of his father. Philip, claimant to the German throne, had married the prince’s sister. Greek messengers appeared at Zara to appeal to Dandolo and the Crusaders to take up Isaac’s cause. The proposal suited the ambition of Venice, which could not have wished for a more favorable opportunity to confirm her superiority over the Pisans and Genoans, which had been threatened, if not impaired, on the Bosphorus.
As a compensation, Alexius made the tempting offer of 200,000 marks silver, the maintenance for a year of an army of 10,000 against the Mohammedans, and of 500 knights for life as a guard for the Holy Land, and the submission of the Eastern Church to the pope. The doge fell in at once with the proposition, but it was met by strong voices of dissent in the ranks of the Crusaders. Innocent’s threat of continued excommunication, if the expedition was turned against Constantinople, was ignored. A few of the Crusaders, like Simon de Montfort, refused to be used for private ends and withdrew from the expedition.
Before reaching Corfu, the fleet was joined by Alexius in person. By the end of June, 1203, it had passed through the Dardanelles and was anchored opposite the Golden Horn. After prayers and exhortations by the bishops and clergy, the Galata tower was taken. Alexius III. fled, and Isaac was restored to the throne.
The agreements made with the Venetians, the Greeks found it impossible to fulfil. Confusion reigned among them. Two disastrous conflagrations devoured large portions of the city. One started in a mosque which evoked the wrath of the Crusaders. The discontent with the hard terms of the agreement and the presence of the Occidentals gave Alexius Dukas, surnamed Murzuphlos from his shaggy eyebrows, opportunity to dethrone Isaac and his son and to seize the reins of government. The prince was put to death, and Isaac soon followed him to the grave.
The confusion within the palace and the failure to pay the promised reward were a sufficient excuse for the invaders to assault the city, which fell April 12, 1204. Unrestrained pillage and riot followed. Even the occupants of convents were not exempted from the orgies of unbridled lust. Churches and altars were despoiled as well as palaces. Chalices were turned into drinking cups. A prostitute placed in the chair of the patriarchs in St. Sophia, sang ribald songs and danced for the amusement of the soldiery.
Innocent III., writing of the conquest of the city, says: —
“You have spared nothing that is sacred, neither age nor sex. You have given yourselves up to prostitution, to adultery, and to debauchery in the face of all the world. You have glutted your guilty passions, not only on married women, but upon women and virgins dedicated to the Saviour. You have not been content with the imperial treasures and the goods of rich and poor, but you have seized even the wealth of the Church and what belongs to it. You have pillaged the silver tables of the altars, you have broken into the sacristies and stolen the vessels.”
To the revolt at these orgies succeeding ages have added regret for the irreparable loss which literature and art suffered in the wild and protracted sack. For the first time in eight hundred years its accumulated treasures were exposed to the ravages of the spoiler, who broke up the altars in its churches, as in St. Sophia, or melted priceless pieces of bronze statuary on the streets and highways.
Constantinople proved to be the richest of sacred storehouses, full of relics, which excited the cupidity and satisfied the superstition of the Crusaders, who found nothing inconsistent in joining devout worship and the violation of the eighth commandment in getting possession of the objects of worship. With a credulity which seems to have asked no questions, skulls and bones of saints, pieces of wearing apparel, and other sacred objects were easily discovered and eagerly sent to Western Europe, from the stone on which Jacob slept and Moses’ rod which was turned into a serpent, to the true cross and fragments of Mary’s garments. What California was to the world’s supply of gold in 1849 and the mines of the Transvaal have been to its supply of diamonds — that the capture of Constantinople was to the supply of relics for Latin Christendom. Towns and cities welcomed these relics, and convents were made famous by their possession. In 1205 bishop Nivelon of Soissons sent to Soissons the head of St. Stephen, the finger that Thomas thrust into the Saviour’s side, a thorn from the crown of thorns, a portion of the sleeveless shirt of the Virgin Mary and her girdle, a portion of the towel with which the Lord girded himself at the Last Supper, one of John the Baptist’s arms, and other antiquities scarcely less venerable. The city of Halberstadt and its bishop, Konrad, were fortunate enough to secure some of the blood shed on the cross, parts of the sponge and reed and the purple robe, the head of James the Just, and many other trophies. Sens received the crown of thorns. A tear of Christ was conveyed to Seligencourt and led to a change of its name to the Convent of the Sacred Tear. Amiens received John the Baptist’s head; St. Albans, England, two of St. Margaret’s fingers. The true cross was divided by the grace of the bishops among the barons. A piece was sent by Baldwin to Innocent III.
Perhaps no sacred relics were received with more outward demonstrations of honor than the true crown of thorns, which Baldwin II. transferred to the king of France for ten thousand marks of silver. It was given free passage by the emperor Frederick II. and was carried through Paris by the French king barefoot and in his shirt. A part of the true cross and the swaddling clothes of Bethlehem were additional acquisitions of Paris.
The Latin Empire of Constantinople, which followed the capture of the city, lasted from 1204 to 1261. Six electors representing the Venetians and six representing the Crusaders met in council and elected Baldwin of Flanders, emperors. He was crowned by the papal legate in St. Sophia and at once set about to introduce Latin priests and subdue the Greek Church to the pope.
The attitude of Innocent III. to this remarkable transaction of Christian soldiery exhibited at once his righteous indignation and his politic acquiescence in the new responsibility thrust upon the Apostolic see. He appointed the Venetian, Thomas Morosini, archbishop; and the Latin patriarchate, established with him, has been perpetuated to this day, and is an almost unbearable offence to the Greeks. If Innocent had followed Baldwin’s suggestions, he would have convoked an ecumenical council in Constantinople.
The last of the Latin emperors, Baldwin III., 1237-1261, spent most of his time in Western Europe making vain appeals for money. After his dethronement, in l261, by Michael Palaeologus he presents a pitiable spectacle, seeking to gain the ear of princes and ecclesiastics. For two hundred years more the Greeks had an uncertain tenure on the Bosphorus. The loss of Constantinople was bound to come sooner or later in the absence of a moral and muscular revival of the Greek people. The Latin conquest of the city was a romantic episode, and not a stage in the progress of civilization in the East; nor did it hasten the coming of the new era of letters in Western Europe. It widened the schism of the Greek and the Latin churches. The only party to reap substantial gain from the Fourth Crusade was the Venetians.
56. Frederick II. and the Fifth Crusade. 1229
Röhricht: Studien zur Gesch. d. V. Kreuzzuges, Innsbruck, 1891. — Hauck, IV. 752-764, and the lit., §§ 42, 49.
Innocent III.’s ardor for the reconquest of Palestine continued unabated till his death. A fresh crusade constituted one of the main objects for which the Fourth Lateran Council was called. The date set for it to start was June 1, 1217, and it is known as the Fifth Crusade. The pope promised £30,000 from his private funds, and a ship to convey the Crusaders going from Rome and its vicinity. The cardinals joined him in promising to contribute one-tenth of their incomes and the clergy were called upon to set apart one-twentieth of their revenues for three years for the holy cause. To the penitent contributing money to the crusade, as well as to those participating in it, full indulgence for sins was offered. A brief, forbidding the sale of all merchandise and munitions of war to the Saracens for four years, was ordered read every Sabbath and fast day in Christian ports.
Innocent died without seeing the expedition start. For his successor Honorius III., its promotion was a ruling passion, but he also died without seeing it realized.
In 1217 Andreas of Hungary led an army to Syria, but accomplished nothing. In 1219 William of Holland with his Germans, Norwegians, and Danes helped John of Brienne, titular king of Jerusalem, to take Damietta. This city, situated on one of the mouths of the Nile, was a place of prime commercial importance and regarded as the key of Egypt. Egypt had come to be regarded as the proper way of military approach to Palestine. Malik-al-Kameel, who in 1218 had succeeded to power in Egypt, offered the Christians Jerusalem and all Palestine, except Kerak, together with the release of all Christian prisoners, on condition of the surrender of Damietta. It was a grand opportunity of securing the objects for which the Crusaders had been fighting, but, elated by victory and looking for help from the emperor, Frederick II., they rejected the offer. In 1221 Damietta fell back into the hands of Mohammedans.
The Fifth Crusade reached its results by diplomacy more than by the sword. Its leader, Frederick II., had little of the crusading spirit, and certainly the experiences of his ancestors Konrad and Barbarossa were not adapted to encourage him. His vow, made at his coronation in Aachen and repeated at his coronation in Rome, seems to have had little binding force for him. His marriage with Iolanthe, granddaughter of Conrad of Montferrat and heiress of the crown of Jerusalem, did not accelerate his preparations to which he was urged by Honorius III. In 1227 he sailed from Brindisi; but, as has already been said, he returned to port after three days on account of sickness among his men.
At last the emperor set forth with forty galleys and six hundred knights, and arrived in Acre, Sept. 7, 1228. The sultans of Egypt and Damascus were at the time in bitter conflict. Taking advantage of the situation, Frederick concluded with Malik-al-Kameel a treaty which was to remain in force ten years and delivered up to the Christians Jerusalem with the exception of the mosque of Omar and the Temple area, Bethlehem, Nazareth, and the pilgrim route from Acre to Jerusalem. On March 19, 1229, the emperor crowned himself with his own hand in the church of the Holy Sepulchre. The same day the archbishop of Caesarea pronounced, in the name of the patriarch of Jerusalem, the interdict over the city.
Recalled probably by the dangers threatening his kingdom, Frederick arrived in Europe in the spring of 1229, but only to find himself for the fourth time put under the ban by his implacable antagonist, Gregory. In 1235 Gregory was again appealing to Christendom to make preparations for another expedition, and in his letter of 1239, excommunicating the emperor for the fifth time, he pronounced him the chief impediment in the way of a crusade.
It was certainly a singular spectacle that the Holy City should be gained by a diplomatic compact and not by hardship, heroic struggle, and the intervention of miracle, whether real or imagined. It was still more singular that the sacred goal should be reached without the aid of ecclesiastical sanction, nay in the face of solemn papal denunciation.
Frederick II. has been called by Freeman an unwilling Crusader and the conquest of Jerusalem a grotesque episode in his life. Frederick certainly had no compunction about living on terms of amity with Mohammedans in his kingdom, and he probably saw no wisdom in endangering his relations with them at home by unsheathing the sword against them abroad. Much to the disgust of Gregory IX. he visited the mosque of Omar in Jerusalem without making any protest against its ritual. Perhaps, with his freedom of thought, he did not regard the possession of Palestine after all as of much value. In any case, Frederick’s religion — whatever he had of religion — was not of a kind to flame forth in enthusiasm for a pious scheme in which sentiment formed a prevailing element.
Gregory’s continued appeals in 1235 and the succeeding years called for some minor expeditions, one of them led by Richard of Cornwall, afterwards German emperor-elect. The condition of the Christians in Palestine grew more and more deplorable and, in a battle with the Chorasmians, Oct. 14, 1244, they met with a disastrous defeat, and thenceforth Jerusalem was closed to them.