Mike Gerow Bendel World History 9/17/07 The fourth Crusade (1198 under Innocent III) To understand the setting

it is important to note that the fourth crusade occurs six years after the third crusade. The third crusade was resolved between the Muslims and the Christians by Saladin and Richard the Lion-Hearted. Through their agreement, Jerusalem would remain under Muslim control, but Saladin promised that unarmed Christian pilgrims could visit the holy places in the city without worry. This worked well for a while, but Pope Innocent III wanted control over Jerusalem, and thus started the fourth crusade. This story is from the view of Robert de Clari, a relatively low level knight who takes part in the crusade. These are not Clari’s exact words, but this work is based off them. Clari’s story begins in Venice and an encounter with the doge of Venice. A group of crusaders had arranged to pay the Venetians in order to use their boats to get to Jerusalem. They severely overestimated the number of boats they would need, but still needed to pay for every boat. The knights had to pool together in order to pay for the voyage, but where unsuccessful twice. The dodge worked with them to get them to agree to pay the rest after they had made their first conquest, and they agreed.

Winter came and the crusaders were unable to go to Jerusalem, but the doge recommended that they go to Zara. Zara had apparently had some conflicts with Venice, and the doge wanted to settle it through the crusaders. They stayed the winter in Zara, but discovered that they didn’t have enough supplies to make it to Jerusalem. Again, the doge recommended that they take supplies from elsewhere. This time, the doge picked Greece. The crusaders probably would have gone to Greece had the marquis (Boniface of Montserat; leader of the crusades) not recommended that they find the brother-in-law of the emperor of a Germanic tribe. The marquis claimed that this brother-in-law was the rightful heir of Constantinople and planned to find this brother-in-law and use him to get provisions for the crusaders. So then, the crusaders decided to head for Constantinople, veering off from their original religious goals. Alexis was crowned, but what happens next is very confusing. Apparently, Alexis owed money to the to the barons, which he refused to pay. Regardless, the clergy decided that the war against Greece (including Constantinople) was a just one. They called them traitors and murders and described them as being “worse than Jews.” The pope took authority and promised all the crusaders that they would all be absolved for attacking the Greeks, and to not even wink while doing so. And so, the crusaders did just that. They went to Constantinople and ravaged the town. This created a deep split between the eastern and western church.