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means of transport across the sea he had been obliged
to seek from the Venetians. They were granted, but
under conditions similar to those which had been im-
posed on Baldwin and his allies. He must recover
Durazzo for the republic, as for her they had conquered
Zara. His success was not greater than
that of Bohemond, and his miserable march Cap*

from Durazzo led him into trackless moun- peter of
tains, amongst which he fell into the hands of ^^^^^"^y-
his enemies. With him the papal legate became a captive.

At once the pope threatened to place the Epirot sove-
reign under his ban ; but it soon became evident that his
anxiety was for the legate, not for the emperor. The
former was released ; the latter was probably murdered
in prison ; and the successor of Henry died without see-
ing the city of which he was the Caesar.

While Peter of Courtenay pined in his dungeon, his
wife Yolande, in the midst of her grief, anxiety, and appre-
hension, gave birth to Baldwin, the luckless child with
whom the Latin dynasty was to reach its close. Death
soon brought relief from her sorrows ; and the barons had
again before thefti the task of choosing an emperor.
Namur, the inheritance of Yolande, had passed to her
eldest son Philip, who was too prudent to change the sub-
stance of his principality for the shadow of „ ^

f^ ^ J Robert, empe*

an empire. The crown was offered to her rorofConstan-
second son Robert, who set out on his jour- ^*'
ney, by way of Germany and the Danube, through the
territories of his brother-in-law, the king of

, A. D. 13x9.

Hungary. He was crowned by the patri-


178 The Crusades, CH. x.

arch in Justinian's church ; but the pageant preceded an
endless line of disasters. Demetrius, the son and suc-
cessor of the marquis Boniface, was expelled from his
kingdom of Thessalonica : and the remains of Asiatic
territory still in the hands of the Latins were

A. D. 1234. . , , 1

seized by the Nicaean emperol-, John Vataces,
the son-in-law of Theodore Lascaris. Still more omi-
nous was the fact that these conquests were achieved by
the aid of French mercenaries. The house was indeed
divided against itself; and the champions of the cross
had learnt the art of turning their arms to profit in the
service of the highest bidder or the most successful
general. To disaster in the field was added vice, with its
issue crime, in the palace : and Robert, in an agony of
grief and rage at the mutilation of a woman for whom he
had wished to thrust aside his wife, the daughter of
Vataces, sought comfort and redress at the feet of the
Roman pontiff. He was told to go back to his capital
and there do his duty. The weight of his
humiliation was a burden beyond his
strength. Death relieved him from the duty of obedi-
ence to the papal order.

Baldwin, the youngest son of Yolande, was a child only
seven years old when Robert died ; and the barons of
John of Bri- the Latin empire felt tliat the imperial power,
of Con!S-°'" shadowy though it had become, could not
nopie. yet ]5e entrusted to his hands. They re-

solved to offer it in the mean season to John of Brienne,
titular king of Jerusalem, by right of his wife Mary,
daughter of Isabella (p. 144) and Conrad of Montferrat,
and grand-daughter of king Almeric. This veteran
warrior, now more than eighty years of age, whom in his
earlier years we shall meet in the crusade of Frederick
II., was induced to accept the title of emperor on condi-


1 2 28-6 1. The Latin Empire of Constantinople, 179

tion that Baldwin should marry his second daughter and
succeed him on the throne. But his energy was im-
paired, whether by age or by desire for rest. He did not
reach Constantinople till 1231, two years after his elec-
tion : and the Greek traditions are silent a. d. 1235.
about the exploits which he is said by the ftondnop^e^by
Latins to have performed during a siege of Vataces.
the city by the forces of Vataces and the Bulgarian chief
Azan. On his death began the ignominious reign of the
second Baldwin, a reign of twenty-five years, most of
which were spent in foreign lands for the a. d. 1237-1261.
purpose of exciting pity for his sorrows and f^^JJ,"©/ '

raising alms to relieve his needs. His sue- Constantino-

, , . . . . ,- pie.

cess was not equal to his importunities. If

at the council of Lyons which excommunicated Frederick
II. he was placed on the right hand of the pope, at
Dover he was asked how he could presume without
leave to enter an independent territory. In England he
received 700 marks: at Rome the pontiff Efforts to
loaded him with indulgences and proclaimed "^^^ money.
a crusade in his favour. The sainted Louis of France .
was moved to tears of sympathy by the story of his
wrongs : but his arms were directed to Egypt, not to Con-
stantinople. Still, by alienating his marquisate of Namur
and his lordship of Courtenay, he contrived to return to
the East with an army of 30,000 men. But the next scene
of his history exhibits him as^the ally of the sultan of
Iconium, on whom he bestowed his niece, and of the
Comans, in whose pagan rites he did not hesitate to take
part. His needs became more pressing, and he bethought
him of the sacred relics which still remained ^ , , ,.

oale of relics.

in the churches of Constantinople. Of these

the most precious was the crown of thorns which had

circled the brow of the Redeemer, and for which he re-


tSo The Crusades, CH. x.

ceived from Louis IX. 10,000 marks of silver. At smallei
prices he disposed of the baby linen used by the Virgin
Mary in the cave of Bethlehem, the lance and sponge used
in the Passion on Calvary, and the rod of Moses, all of
which, with some others, were transferred to the exqui-
site chapel in Paris which still attests the munificence
and perfect taste of the sainted king of France.

Meanwhile the power of Vataces was being extended

on every side ; and only his submission to the Roman

doctrine respecting the procession of the

Death of Va- Holy Spirit was needed to secure a papal

*** declaration in his favour. That submission

was not made ; and his death brought a respite to the
Latin emperor. But when Baldwin sent his envoys to
see what territorial concessions could be obtained from
Michael Paleologos, the colleague and guardian of John,
the grandson of Vataces, they were curtly
The envoys of told that he would yield them not a foot of
peiled^by^ land. By the payment of an annual tri-
dog^*^ ^^®" bute amounting to the whole sum received
from the customs and excise of Constanti-
nople the Latin Caesar might secure peace : if he refused
these terms, he must prepare for war. The great quarrel
was soon decided. Michael had bestowed the title of
Caesar on his general Alexios Strategopoulos ; and by
his orders this general went to keep close watch on the
capital, under the pledge that he would run no danger-
ous risks. He failed to keep his promise, and when with
a scanty band of followers he clambered over the un-
guarded walls, he began to tremble at his own rashness.
But his volunteers (for so they were termed) would listen
to no arguments for retreat. The die was cast, and the
result was victory. The Greeks rose on all hands at the
cry w^hich called them to the rescue of their ancient em-


i2bi.. The Latin Empire of Constantinople, i8i

pire ; the Genoese were not unwilling to take revenge
upon their Venetian enemies ; and the Latin emperor
with his chief vassals, embarking on board
the Venetian fleet, sailed first to Euboia and Recover^ of ^
thence to Italy. The capital of the Eastern ^^'SSTcl^fi!
empire was freed from the presence and the
yoke of its Western conquerors ; but for thirteen years
longer Baldwin bore about with him an empty title which
won for him the commiseration or the contempt of thou-
sands who could not be brought to stir hand or foot iji
his service. His pretensions were maintained by his son
Philip, and through his grand-daughter Catharine passed
to her husband Charles of Valois, brother of Philip the
Fair of France.

Next after, perhaps even before, the deliverance of the
Holy Land and the restoration of the Latin kingdom of
Jerusalem, the wish dearest to the heart of „

T T /• t 1 Permanent

Innocent III. was the recovery of the Greek alienation of
communion to the unity of the Church. He the West. ™
was also statesman enough to see that his
wishes would best be realized by a closer union between
the subjects of the Eastern and the Western empires.
The death-blow to these hopes and yearnings was dealt by
his own crusade. In itself, and in the events which fol
lowed it, not a single thing was lacking which could ex-
aggerate suspicion into vehement jealousy, and intensify
dislike into burning hatred. There was the merciless in-
tolerance which regarded Christian patriarchs with their
clergy and their laity as heathens because they ques-
tioned the supremacy of the pope and refused to add one
word to one proposition in the Nicene creed. There was
the cruelty which intruded strangers into the places of
those who had taught and ministered to the people, and
which suppressed a ritual hallowed by the associations


1 82 7he Crusades, CH. xi.

of ages. There was the gross injustice which thrust
Greeks out of every high, or responsible, or lucrative of-
fice, and which imposed on them a system of law utterly
alien to their wishes, thoughts, and habits. There was
the savage fury which had made the streets of the capi-
tal run with blood, and defiled its sanctuaries with blas-
phemy and massacre. Last, but perhaps not least, was
the brutality which had shattered or committed to the
fiames all that was beautiful in art, costly in materials,
exquisite in workmanship, precious from its rarity or the
absolute impossibility of restoring it. The tombs of the
emperors were burst open and rifled : the master-pieces
of ancient sculptors were thrown down and shattered.
In the Venetians alone the impulse to destroy was weaker
than the temptation to theft, and the horses of Lysippos,
borne across the sea to Venice, still stand above the
gorgeous portals of the basilica of St. Mark. The Greeks
were left with a bitter hatred of the laws, the customs,
the government of Latin Christendom ; and an impassable
gulf remained yawning between the churches of the East
and the West, which no efforts have thus far been able
to close or to bridge over.



The infatuation by which in every instance the champions
of the cross had nullified or thrown away the advantages
^. rr gained by their victories was to be shown

Chieffeatures ° , "^ . , . , • ,

of the sixth not less persistently m the sixth crusade,
crusa e. ^^^ ^^ short-sighted obstinacy of the mass

was to be brought out in more prominent relief by its
contrast with the moderation and sagacity of the great


I204- 'The Sixth Crusade, 183

sovereign whose name is especially associated with this
enterprise. In the career of this remarkable man we
have a picture in which we see running together or side
by side the lines which belong to the old order of things
with others which seem to belong exclusively to the
modern civilization of Europe. The struggle between
Frederick II. and Gregory II. anticipated in more than
one of its features the struggle between Leo X. and Luther.

The famine which Dandolo urged on the leaders of
the fifth crusade (p. 1 53) as a reason for delaying their
voyage to Palestine till the spring which fol- .

lowed the conquest of Zara, pressed less ihe Latins in
heavily on the Latin Christians in the Holy ^ "**
Land than the destruction wrought by an earthquake
which laid many cities in ruins and which was regarded
as a presage of the last judgment. In spite of this belief
much money and labour was spent in repairing the
shattered walls of Acre ; and amongst the captives im-
pressed for the work was, it is said, the Persian poet

Both sides in fact were greatly weakened and de-
pressed : and the tidings that Constantinople was in the
hands of Boniface, Dandolo, and Baldwin
carried with them for Saphadin a conclusive Trace^Stwec©
reason for concluding a peace of six years ^J^ofrisU^i^^
with the Christians. But before the six
years had come to an end the death of Almeric and his
wife had left to Mary, the daughter of Isa-
bella and Conrad of Tyre, the titular sover-
eignty of Jerusalem. Unable to find on the spot a man
of sufficient energy and ability to share with her the
shadowy dignity, the barons invoked the aid of the
French king, Philip Augustus, to find her a husband. His
choice fell on John of Brienne, who promised to lead a


1 84 The Crusades. CH. xi.

powerful army to Palestine within two years. The pros-
pect of this formidable increase to the strength of his
enemies led Saphadin to propose a renewal of the peace,
and to give as guarantees of his good faith any ten
castles which they might choose to name. As we might
expect, the approval of the Teutonic knights and the
Hospitallers called forth the angry protests of the Temp-
lars and the clergy : and the decision was given for war.
Three hundred knights only accompanied John of
Brienne when he set out for Palestine. In England the
wretched John was defying the pope while the kingdom
for his sake lay under the papal interdict ; the French
king was more anxious to turn that interdict to his own
advantage than to face once more the perils of a distant
enterprise ; and for the time even Innocent III. felt that
the chastisement of Christian heretics was a

A. IJ. 12IO.

johnofBri- more pressmg duty than the deliverance of
k?ngof Jem- the Holy Sepulchre. Hence the marriage
saiem. q£ j^j^j^ q£- Brienne to Mary, and their coro-

nation as king and queen of Jerusalem, were soon fol-
lowed by the sterner business of war. In his encounters
with Saphadin his exploits may have equalled those of
Tancred ; but he was compelled to write and tell the
pope that the Latin kingdom was attenuated to the
shadow of a shade.

His entreaties roused in the pope the old crusading
spirit. Innocent revoked the indulgences which had
made the crusade against the Albigenses as
cent in. in "°' attractive as the crusade against the Sara-
SewTmsfde. ^^"5 ' ^"^^ ^"^ ^^s encyclical letter he de-
clared that the Moslem power was tottering
and ready to vanish away. It had lasted 666 years, the
mystic number which showed it to be the Beast of the
Apocalypse. A little while ago he had written to the sul-


I2i6. The Sixth Crusade, 185

tan of Aleppo .to thank him for his moderation to the
Christians and his respect for their religion. He now de-
manded of Saphadin the peaceable and immediate sur-
render of all Palestine, as a country from which he was
deriving far more of annoyance than of profit.

The crusade which Innocent now wished to set in mo-
tion was preached in France by Robert of
Courcon, an Englishman whom he had Robert of
made his legate. This pupil of Fulk of
Neuilly had inherited all his earnestness with some por-
tion of his eloquence ; nor, if the numbers whom he
enrolled as pilgrims be taken as a test, was his success
much less splendid. But in truth the barons and knights
who engaged in these expeditions were getting tired of
the zeal which invited the maimed, the halt, the blind,
and the leper to take the kingdom of heaven by vio-
lence ; and the same charge which had been heard in
the days of Fulk was now urged with greater force
against his disciple. Robert was convicted of diverting
to other purposes money given solely for the recovery
of the Holy Land; but he had a firm friend in Innocent
who, in 12 1 8, appointed him the colleague of Pelagius,
bishop of Albano, in his legatine commission.

A few months sufficed after the council of Clermont
to get together and send forth the armies of the first cru-
sade : for these latter enterprises the time of preparation
was extending to years. In his sermons ^ i, ,^,5
preached before the fourth council of La- f^"^^jj ^^
teran Innocent declared his intention of Lateran.
accompanying the champions of the cross to the scene
of their exploits ; and the troubadours in their songs ex-
tolled him as their firm and courageous guide. But
another year had passed before the king of
a people who had done what they could to


1 86 Jhe Crusades, CH. xi.

bar the way of the first crusaders was prepared to set
forth on his eastward journey. The ships
Andrew, king of Venice conveyed Andrew, king of Hun-
ungary. gary, first to Cyprus, and thence to Pales-
tine, where an unsuccessful attack on a tower or castle
on Mount Thabor seems to have disgusted him with the
undertaking. He determined to return to

A. D. I217. **

Hungary, and he reached hon^e with
scant glory, but rich in relics gathered in Armenia and

In the following year another force, which had been
brought together at Cologne and on its way had done
some work in Portugal by taking Alcazar from the
Moors, joined the Templars and Teutonic knights who
had fortified a post on mount Carmel. These warriors
now inclined to the policy of Almeric I. which had aimed
at attacking and recovering Palestine through
Siege of Egypt. The siege of Damietta was begun ;

the castle was soon taken ; and the Chris-
tians were still further aided by the disorders which in
^ , , EffYpt followed the death of Saphadin, and

Death of f; , , , . , ^ *^ .

Saphadin. which drove his son, the Egyptian sultan

Kameel, to take refuge in Arabia. In the crusaders*
camp success, as usual, produced arrogance and sloth.
Their strength was increased by the arrival of new bands
from France under the counts of Nevers and la Marche,
from England under William Longsword, earl of Salis-
bury, and from Italy under the bishop of Albano and
Robert of Courcon. The latter landed only to be cut
off by sickness ; and while the other chiefs lay idle,
Kameel was brought back to his throne by his brother
the Syrian sultan Coradin. At length the siege was
resumed with some vigour and good fortune : and Cora-
din, knowing the consequences which the fall of Dami-


1 202. The Sixth Crusade, 187

etta would bring with it, dismantled the walls of Jeru-
salem and then offered peace to the .
besiegers, pledging himself to rebuild the peace offered
walls which he had just thrown down, and ^
to surrender not only the piece of the true cross but the
whole of Palestine, with the exceptions of the castles of
Karac and Montreal for the purpose of protecting the
pilgrims for Mecca.
All that the crusaders could even hope to ., . . .

^ Mad rejection

accomplish was thus within their grasp, of the terms by
But the eagerness of king John of Brienne, * ™^ *^'
with the Teutonic knights and the French, to seize the
prize was for the Templars and Hospital-
lers, with the Italians and the papal legate, Falf'of
a sufficient reason for rejecting the proffers *°*'^
of the sultan with indignant contempt. Folly carried
the day. Damietta was taken, and the Christians
^hurried in to plunder and to slay. The pillage was
abundant enough ; but in the work of slaughter pesti-
lence had been beforehand with them. Three thousand
only remained, it is said, of the 70,000 who were shut up
in the city at the beginning of the siege, and to these
plague-stricken wretches life was promised on condition
that they should clear the streets and houses of the dead
bodies of their kinsfolk.

The crusades had everything once more in their
hands ; but the winter was allowed to pass by without
further action. When spring came round

. r o ^ U ,220.

the legate, m opposition to the remonstrance March of the
of John of Brienne, insisted on attempting for Cairo,
the conquest of Egypt. On their march to Cairo they
received from the Sultan Kameel the same
offers which they had rejected during the terms again
siege of Damietta ; and they rejected them "^**^'*^ '


i88 The Crusades. CH. xi.

again. But the Nile was fast rising. The Egyptians
opened the sluices; the camp of the crusaders was
„ . , , inundated ; their tents and baffeaee swept

Rum of the ^ ' , ^ , ,

crusaders. away. It was now the turn of the legate to
sue for peace, and he offered to surrender Damietta. In
the Saracen camp it was no easy task for the Sultan
Kameel to repress the stern indignation with which many
of the chiefs demanded the utter destruction of the enemy.
He urged the vast importance of doing nothing which
should excite fresh crusades in Europe, while Syria was
menaced and ravaged by Tartar invasions, and of re-
covering Damietta without a blow from a garrison strong
enough to sustain a siege as long as that which had come
to an end a few months ago.

The triumph of the Egyptian sultan seemed to be
^ ^ , , complete ; but he had now to encounter an

Frederick ^ ^

II., grand- enemy of a very different temper. At the
barossa. ^' age of eighteen Frederick, the son of the in-
famous Henry VI. and grandson of Frederick Barbarossa,
had been summoned by the pope to assume the imperial
crown which Otho of Brunswick, the son of
Henry the Lion, was pronounced to have
forfeited by his misdeeds. It was the old story. The
strife between pope and anti-pope was but a reflection of
the almost fiercer strife of rival emperors ; and in this
struggle the pope naturally inclined to that
and the em- side from which the church was likely to
perors. ^^^^ ^^^ most advantage. Otho, the nephew

of Richard Coeur de Lion, came of a house which had
been generally loyal and faithful to the Roman pontiffs ;
his rival belonged to the Swabian house of Hohenstaufen,
at whose hands the popes had experienced more of
enmity than of friendship. The remembrance of the
days of Frederick Barbarossa was vivid in the mind of

A. D. I2I2.


I200-2I. The Sixth Crusade. 189

Innocent III., to whom the two emperors

A. D. I300 .

appealed after their coronation. The delib-
eration was grave and long ; but the issue was not doubt-
ful. Otho's rival Philip was ' an obstinate persecutor of
the Church,* and he was even then scheming to deprive
the pontiff of his kingdom of Sicily. He must be put
down before he could reach his full strength ; and there-
fore the pope declared himself for Otho, himself devoted
to the Church, by his mother's side from the royal house
of England, by his father from the duke of Saxony, all
loyal sons of the Church. Him, therefore, we proclaim
king ; him we summon to take on himself the imperial
crown.* Innocent, like the frogs in the fable, was only
exchanging king Log for king Stork. The ^ . ^
reign of Otho was a period of desperate Bmnswick.
strife and anarchy in Germany, of despe-
rate struggles on his part to throw off the papal yoke.
The pope turned his eye on the youthful Frederick, then
basking in the sunshine of his Sicilian paradise and giv-
ing promise of the brilliant qualities of his nature which
were afterwards to be sullied by darker lines of angry
passion. In 12 12 Frederick was chosen emperor at Frank-
fort. In 1 2 14 his victory at Bouvines shat-
tered the power of Otho. The gratitude of Battle of *
Frederick for the favour of the pope had "^*"«*-
been shown by taking the crusader's vow and pledging
himself to lead an army for the recovery of the Holy
Land. While his rival Otho lived, it was impossible for
him to fulfil his promise. Two years before his death
Innocent III. had passed away from the scene of proud
dominion and unceasing toil, and the more
moderate and kindly Honorius III. sat in Hononus
his seat. In courteous language which ' ^^*
might pass for that of friendship, the pope besought him


A. O. I220.

190 The Crusades, CH. xi.

to march to the rescue of the Holy Sepulchre ; but the
dark shadows were already stealing across the clear sky.
Without asking the sanction of the pope Frederick by a
compact made with his vassals and prelates at the Diet
of Frankfort procured the election "of his son
Henry to the crown of Germany. Honorius
expressed his displeasure at a step which seemed de-
signed to unite permanently the Sicilian kingdom with
the empire. Frederick hastened to say that he had no
such wish, and that Sicily should revert to the pope if he
should die without lawful heirs. When, a
little while later, he was crowned with his
queen by the pope in the church of St. Peter's, Freder-
ick promised that part of his army should be ready for
the crusade in March of the following year, while he
himself would follow in August with the rest.

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