Joseph Priestley.

A general history of the Christian church, from the fall of the western empire to the present time (Volume 2) online

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*' red, reckoning from the time of his appearance."
As a farther motive to the expedition, he urged the
critical fituation of the chriftians in Paledine, and
promifed plenary indulgences to all who would un-
dertake the expedition, with a difcharge of all ufury
from Jews and others. He mentioned the forces that
each of the princes, civil and ecclefiallical, Ihould
furnilh, and promifed to do in proportion himfelf.
Farther, to unite them in this one objefl, he re-
called the indulgences he had granted to thofe
who ferved againfl: the Saracens in Spain, or the
heretics in Languedoc, except to the natives of
thofe countries. He alfo excommunicated the
pirates who obflru61;ed the navigation of the Le-
vant, and ordered proceflions every month, and
prayers every day in the churches, to receive the
alms that v/ere defigned for this objeS.' In the
laft place, he wrote to SeifFeddin, the brother
of Saladin, the fultan of Damafcus and Babylon,
to exhort him to give up the city of Jerufalera,
and reftore the captives on both fides, to prevent
the further eflFufion of blood.

In confequence of this fummons, the council
met at the Latcran church in Rome in a. d. 1215,


Se-c. i. The christian ciiuncH. tcs

when orders were given for a new crufade, to take
place in a. d. 1217, when all \vho fhould take the
crofs were dire6led to meet at Erindifi, or MefTina,
where he promifed to attend in perfon. That there
might be no obftru6lion to this expedition, peace
was ordered to be kept through all chriftcndom for
four years. Notwithflanding all this, only the
king of Hungary, and Leopold duke of Auftria,
tho' accompanied by feveral bifhops and counts,
and a multitude of common people, fet out. At
the Oime time, however, William count of Hol-
land, and others irom German}'^, went by fea to
Portugal, when they took Aleazar from the Sara-
cens, and fpent the winter in Lifbon.

The arrival of the king of Hungary and the
duke ot Auftria alarmed the Mahometan powers,
but without any reafon. For after a fuccefsful ex-
pedition as far as the river Jordan, and returning
loaded with booty, they divided into four parties;
and the king of Hungary having fpent three
months in Palelline, and thereby accomplilhed his
vow, returned to his own country.

The firft who arrived the lol! owing year were
the Germans from Portugal, who went to Damiata
in Egypt, and laid fiege to it. But the army was
much divided betwen the pope's lep'ate, who claim-
ed the command, and the king of Jerufalem, who
joined them there. On the 29th of Augu'l a. d.

L 2 1219


1219 they came to a battle with the Mahometans,
and loft fix thoufand men, killed or taken prifon-
ers. At length, however, they took the place on
the 5th of November, after a fiege of nine months.
But after this they fell into great diforder, living
in the mofl licentious manner, without regarding
even excommunications. Many left the army,
and many even went over to the enemy. The king
of Jerufalem not agreeing with the legate, went to
Acre, in a. d. 1220. The next year he returned,
and at the earneft requefl of the legate, they march-
ed towards Cairo ; but being furrounded by the
waters of the Nile, they were under the necefhty of
capitulating with the fultan on condition of giv-
ing up Damiata, which they did November 8, a.
D. 1221, after they had held it a year and ten
months. For this they got nothing but what was
luppofed to be the true crofs, which Saladin had
carried from Jerufalem, the chriflian captives, and
a fafe condu6i to Acre ; agreeing on a truce for
eight months. But fo much was the fultan ir-
ritated by this invafion of his territories, that, reco-
verin<y the pofTefBon of Damiata, he demolifhed
the chriftian churches, and greatly infulted and
oppreffed the chriflians in his dominions.

In A. D. 1223 the king of Jerufalem was in
England, to get fuccours for the holy land, and
thence he went £0 France ; but he complained that



he met with little encouragement, and the preach-
ers of this crufade were even ridiculed in Germa-
ny and other places, the publifhers being perfons
ofpo confideration ; and, as the emperor Henry
obferv^ed to the pope, having but little power of
granting indulgences. He, therefore, urged his
holinefs to remedy this inconvenience, and to re-
move every other obfi;?xIe to the expedition, on
which he was much intent, having prom i fed to
marry the daughter of the king of Jerufalem.

In return, the pope fent cardinal Conrad as
his legate into Germany in June a. d. 1224,
with ample powers, and alfo preachers, for the
purpofe of publifhing fufficient indulgences. In
confequence of this great numbers of perfons from
all parts of Germany took the cro fs j but it was
not till Augull A. D. 1227 that Frederic arrived
at Brindifi, where the army of the crufaders was
affembled ; and there being a great mortality in it,
and the emperor himfelf being ill, the expedition
was put off for that year. Pope Gregory, howe-
ver, thinking his illnefs to be a feint, excomm.uni-
cated him for not having kept his word. The non
arrivalof the emperor was a great difappointment
to thofe who wcve in Palefline, and more thau
forty thou fa nd pilgrims, who were already there,
returned in the veffels that had carried them.

L3 The


The emperor paid no regard to the pope's ex-
communication, tho it was folemnly repeated, but
had divine fervice performed in his prefence, and
he cr-lebrated Eafter as ufual. In June a. d. 1228
he a£lually embarked, tho' exprefsly forbidden to
proceed till he fhould be abfolved from the cen-
lure which he had incurred, and he arrived fafe in
PaJeftine. During this abfence of the emperor,
and while he was engaged in a war which the pope
pretended to have much at heart, he employed John
de Brienne the late king of Jerufalem to oppofe
Rainald duke of Spoleto, the emperor's general in
-the fouLh of Italy, and other commanders to at-
tack his dominions in the north ; and as Rainald
employed many Saracens, the emperor's fubjefts
in Sicily, who fpared nothing belonging to the
churches, much devcllation was committed on
both fides,

The emperor himfelf being arrived at Acre,
September 7 a. d. 1220, was received as a perfon
in a fiate of excommunication. However, by a
treaty which he made with the fultan of Egypt,
Le procured the poifefsion of Jerufalem for tea
years, and he himfelf went thither to perform his
devotions, notwithtlanding the place was laid un-
der an interdict on his account ; and there being
no bifhop to give him the crown, he took it from
the altar. So much were the Templars and Hofpi-



tallers his enemies, that when he defigned to vifit
the river Jordan with a few attendants, they gave
the fultan notice of it ; but he, detefling their
perfidy, fent their letter to th^ emperor. This
oppofirion to him both in Pakftine and Italy hast-
ened liis return, and accordingly he left the coun-
try May ill, A. D. 1229.

Being arrived in Italy, he foon recovered the
places which the pope had taken from him. So far,
however, was this prelate from being difcouraged,
that he proceeded farther to abfoive] the emperor's
i'ubje6ls from'their oath of allegiance to him; faying
th-at " no perfon ought to keep faith with thofe
*'who oppofed God and his faints, and who tram-
" pled upon his commandments." This w^as Au-
guft 20. At length the emperor made his peace
with the pope, fwearing to fubmit to the orders
of the church, without any condition, and on the
eSth of that month he was abfolved from his ex-
communication ; and on the firfl; of September fol-
fowing they met, at the pope's invitation, at An-
agni where they fat at the fam€ table, and had a
long converfation, in the prefence of the mailer of
the Teutonic order.

In A. D. 1234 Gregory IX publifhed a new
crufade, repeating the bull of pope Innocent III,
and renewing his excommunication of thofe who
furniflied arms or fhips to the infidels. The Do-

L 4 iniiiicans


aninicans and Francifcans were employed tn pieach
it, and to collv£l nione}'^ for it. But tho' great
fums were thereby raifed, the people feeing no
good ufe made of it, their zeal in the caufe, fays
Mattheiv Paris, was much cooled, and the buli-
nefs proceeded very llovvly.

Many wlio had taken the crofs being afTembled
at Lyons in a. d. 1229, the pope, perceiving the
diflrcfled fituation of the Latin emperor of Con-
ftantinople, urged them to go to his affi Ranee. Af-
terwards, however, he fent a nuncio to torbid them
to proceed ; and the emperor aUo defning them to
wait for him, they were thrown into great confu lion,
anddifp?rfedin different direflions, a few only go-
ing to Paleftine. Richard, earl of Cornwall, ar-
riving at Acre O£lober 8, a. d. 1240, was receiv-
ed with great joy, the affairs of the chriftians being
then in great diforder; the princes ivho had arrived
"before him having a£ted independently of one ano-
ther, and fomeof them having been defeated. Ad-
vancing to JalEi he made an advantageous truce
with the Mahometans, they giving up feveral
places which the chriftians were allowed to fortify.
This treaty was figned at the end of November a.

p. 1240.

In A. D. i2j4 the chridiansof Paleiline were
threatened with a new enemy, one of the Tartar
princes, driven from Karafm by Jenghis Khan ;



when the chiiflians in Jerufalem, finding them-
felves two weak to defend the place, left it, in or-
der to join their brethren in other places, to the
number of more than fix thoufand. But a party
of Saracens with whom they had made a truce fall-
ing upon them, killed fome, and fold the reft for
flaves. The Karafmians fell upon fome who had
efcaped, fo that fcarce three hundred were left. The
prince entering Jerufalem, found it almofl defert-
ed, and going into the church of the holy fepul-
chre, he cruelly butchered thofe who had taken
refuge in it, and abufed the place in a fhocking
manner. After this the chriftians joining their
forces with thofe of two Mahometan princes at-
tacked the Karafmians, the loth of 06lober a. d,
1244, but were defeated, fo that of the military
orders there remained only thirty three Templars,
twenty fix Hofpitallers, and three Teutonic
knights, the greater part having been killed or ta-
ken. So much of the country was feized, by thefc
Karafmians, that only a kw fortreffcs were left to
the chriftians ; and it was with much difficulty
that they were able to defend them.

Notwithftanding this unpromifmg afpe6l of
things, the greateft expe£lations of the pope and of
all the chriftian w^orld were raifed by the pious king
Lewis I X of France taking the crofs ; and iho' he
did it when he was ill, and his life was defpaired of,

L 5 ht


he folemnly renewed his vows after his recovery ;
and againfl the moll prefTing remonftranccs of his
mother and all his nobility, who thought his pre-
fence neceffary at home, he pcrfifted in his pur-
pofe. Accordingly on the 28th of June, a. d.
1248, he embarked, and landing at Cyprus on the
3 7th of September, was gladly received by Henry
de LuSgnan the kin^ of that Ifland, to whom alfo
the pops had given the kingdom of Jerufalem,
vacant in his idea by hisdepoHLion of the emperor
Frederick, and his fon Conrad ; and who, with all
his nobility, joined him in the expedition. On
the I3;h of May they failed, and arrived at Dami-
ata the 4th cf June a. d, 1249, ^^^ '^^^ place be-
ing abandoned hy the enemy, they took immedi-
ate poiicfsion of it. On the 20th of November
they marched with a view to attack Cairo, but al-
ter iome fuccefs, they fuSFered fo much through
illnefs and want of provifions, that they began to
return. This, however, they were prevented from
doing. Far being completely furrounded by the
eneniv, the whole army was killed or taken prifon-
ers, and among the latter was the king himfelf.
He obtained his liberty by giving up Damiata, all
his prifoners, and eight hundred thoufand befants
of hlver. lie alfo made a truce lor ten years, but
goin^ to Acre, and the Mahometans not obferving
the terms of the treaty with refpcd to the prifoners,



he continued there, fortifying feveral places, and
redeeming captives at a great expence. At length,
without attempting any thing farther he failed for
France the 24th of April a. d. 1254, and arrived
there the 11th of July.

This unfuccefsful expedition was only the be-
ginning of misfortunes. The wars between the
Pifans and the Genoefe, (the former afliiled by the
Venetians,) was nearly fatal to the interefl ot the
chriftians in Paleftine, they fighting with one ano-
ther on the very coaft. The Templars, alfo and the
Hofpitallers quarrelled, and a6lually fought at A-
cre, and the former being defeated, hardly one of
their knights remained. The greater part of the
Hofpitallers perifhed in the a6lion.

But the greatefl difafler, as it was then confi-
dered, was the lofs of Conflantinople. The Latin
emperor Baldwin being reduced to a flate of great
weaknefs, and his troops being abfent on an expe-
dition, the Greek emperor Michael Paleologus or-
dered his fon Alexis to march near the walls of
Conftantinople, and alarm the place. But he,
perceiving the defencelefs flate of the city, took it
by furprize in the ni;tjht of the 25th of July a. d.
1261, after the Latins had held it fifty feven years.
Baldwin, himfelf made his efcape.

They had farther lofles in Paleftineitfelf. For
in A. D. 1264 the fultan of Egypt took Csefarea.



The next yearhetook the caflle of Afouf, and e-
ven prepared to befiege Acre, which was the prin-
cipal place the crufaders then held ; and the year
after this he took the caflle of Saphet.

The hopes of the chriftian world were, howe-
ver, revived by Lewis taking the crofs a fecond
time, which, after much pious preparation, he did
with great folemnity, and on the ift cf July a. d.
1270 he fc£ fail in Genoefe veflels with a great
number of his lords, and other perfons of lefs note^
Among them was the king of Navarre, his fon-in-
law, the count of Poitou, his brother the count of
Flanders, and John the eldeO: fon of the count o
Bretagne. After fufifering much by a florm, and
rendezvoufing at Cagliari in Sardmia, they pro-
ceeded to Tunis, in hopes that the king of it would
declare for them, and become a chriflian, of which
they had been led to form fome expedtation, or
elfe to take the place. In both, however, they'
were difappointed ; and a violent diforder feizing
the army, many died, and at length the king him-
felt, ou the 25th of Auguft. He made his exit
with all the piety of the age, being laid on a bed
covered with cinders, and after giving excellent
inilru£lions to his fon, but among them was a ftri6t
charge to extirpate herefy. Judging by the max-
ims of the limes, and this prince's real difpofiiion,
no pcrfon appears to have better defervcd the title

of Saint, which he obtained.



Charles king of Sicily arrived at the place jufl
jefore the king expired ; but all that could now
be done, was to make a truce with the king of Tu-
nis for ten years; and they did it on the following
advantageous terms. He was to pay the expences
of the armament, to make Tunis a free port, to pay
an annual tribute to the king oi Sicily, to fet at
liberty all his chriftian captives, and to allow the
free exercife of the chriRian religion, without ex-
afting the ufual tribute. After' the treaty was
figned, arrived Edward eldefl fon of the king of
England, with his brother Edmc-nd, and many of
the Englifh nobility. He was much diiTatisiied
with the treaty, but went with the army to Sici-y,
and there paiTed the winter ; but the nev/ king of
France returned to his own country.

Edward, having left Sicily in the fpring of a,
D. 1271, arrived at Acre the 9th of May, with a
thoufand chofen men, but he found the aGFairsof
the chriilians in a very declining way. The fal-
tan of Egypt had made great progrefs, having taken
Jaffa by treachery during a truce, the cadie ot
Beaufort, and the city of Antioch, where he put to
death feventeen thoufand perfons, and carried a-
way more than one hundred thoufand into flavery,
which fo ruined the place that it never after re-
covered itfelf. On the 8th of April he took the
caftle of Acre which belonged to the Hofpitallers.



He then made a truce with the count of Tripoli,
look Montfort, which belonged to the Germans,
and having laid it in ruins, advanced to the fiege
of Acre. Here, however, his progrefs was flopped
by the arrival of Edward, who after refting a month
marched with feven thoufandmen, and took Na-
zareth, killing all that he found there. He made
feveral other expeditions in the courfe of a year,
and half that time he continued in Paleftine, but
without any confiderableeffetl.

At this time Thibaud, arch deacon of Liege,
was in Palefline, and being raifed to the papal dig-
nity while he was there, by the name of Gregory
X, he made it his great obje£l to promote the cru-
fade, and be, engaged the maritime powers of Pifa,
Genoa, Marfeilles, and Venice, to affift in it, by
fending immediate relief till he could procure more
efFeaual afli (lance by means of a general council
which he called to meet the ill of May a. d. 1274.

In the mean time he gave the title of patriarch
of Jerufalem to Thomas of Leontine in Sicily, a
Dominican friar, who had been bifhop 'of Betha-
ny, that he might attend to the fpiritual affairs of
the crufade, which according to the reprefentation
of Gregory, wliD muft have known it, was indeed
deplorable. Writing to him on the occafion, hf
fays, *' You yourfelf know the enormous crimes
" that are committed there, and that the wretched

" flaves


" flaves of volaptuoufnefs have drawn the anger of
" God upon Antioch, and fo many other places,
" which the enemy has dedroyed. It is aftoniiLing
•* that our brethren fhould be fo little alFefted by
" fuch examples, that they ccntinue in the fame
" diforders without repentance, till they themfelve&
" perifh.

This patriarch arrived at Acyq with five hun-
dred men, in the pay of the pope ; but in the
mean time Edward v/as very near lofing his life,
by an affaffin fent by a Mahometan emir, who
had often brought him letters, pretending a will-
ingnefs to become a chriftian. At length, after
waiting in vain for fuccours, either from thechrifti- .
an powers, or theTartars who had promifed to join
the chrillians, he made a truce with the fultan of
Egypt for ten years, and left Acre the 2 2d, of Sep-
tember A. D. 1272, leaving the troops that were in,
his pay. Thus terminated another great effort to
reflore the affairs oi the chrifiians in the Eaft.

The great obje£l '.f the general council of Ly-
ons, which met in a. d. 1275, ^^"^^ ^^^^ relief cf
the holy land, and many orders were given ref»e6l-
ing it by Gregory X, who certainly had the
caufe much at heart; but all the preparations for
it term.inated in nothing. The principal obflruc-
tion arofe from the wars in which the chriilian
powers in Europe were mutually engage J, and ef-



peclally that between Peter of Arragon and Char-
les of Sici'y, whom the pope fovoured fo much,
that he granted him part of the tenths of the ec-
defiaftical revenues deftined for carrying on the
holy war.

After a confiderable interval, an attempt was
made to affifl: the chriflians in the Eaft by Henry
II king of Cyprus; who being in poITeflion of
what remained of the kingdom of Jerufalem, came
to Acre in a. d. 1286 with a fine army. The
lieutenant whom Charles king of Sicily (and who
likewife claimed the kingdom) had left there was
obliged to depart, and Henry was crowned at
Tyre Auguft 15 the fame year.

In A. D. 1288 the fultan of Egypt took Tri^
poli, and burned it ; but Henry made a truce with
him, and returned to Cyprus, leaving his brother
Aimcri to guard the city^; and app])ing to the
pope, he km him twenty gal lies with every thing
neceflary to ferve for one year. But when they
arrived at Acre, fo many of the crew went on
fhore, that only thirteen of them could be armed,
and the city not being attacked, as was expcfled,
they were of ii!tle ufe.

In the beginning of the year following pope
Nicoles IV publifhed a new bull to promote the
the crufade, with plenary indulgences as ufual.
At the fame time he direfted the patriarch to ef-


Sec.I. the christian church. 177

tablifh inquifitors in all the places fubj^fl to him,
taking: the afififtance of the Dominicans. For the
diforders occafioned by the war had givem impu-
nity to heretics and Jews in that part of the

After the lofs of Antioch, Tripoli, and other
places which the Chriftians held in Paleftine, the
city of Acre, to which they were now in a man-
ner reduced, was much flreng(;hened. The king
of Jerufalem, the prince of Antioch, the counts
of Tyre and Tripoli, the Templars, Hofpitallers,
the pope's legate, and the troops kept by the kinrrs
of France and England, all refided there ; and they
were not long without finding occafion for aftion.
Not with [landing the truce which king Richard had
made with the fultan of Egypt, about lixteen hun-
dred men, who had been fent by the pope, pre-
tending that they were not bound by it, plundered
and killed thofe Mahometans, who on the faith of
that treaty brought provifions and merchandife to
Acre. They alfo made excurfions to the neigh-
bouring villages, and plundered and killed the in-
habitants. The fultan Kelaoun Elafar, not beinT
able to obtain any fatisfa6lion for thofe outra^eSi
advanced againfl; the place wilh a great army in
Oftober A. D. 1290; and tho* he died on the
march, his fon Kalib began the liege on the 5th
of April A. D. 1291, with an army of one hundred
Vol. IV, M and


and fixty thoufand foot and fixty thoufand horfe,
and on the i8th of the fame month he took it by

The king fled in the night, and three thoufand
with him, the patriarch was drowned by overload-
ing the chaloup in which he was going to a fhip,
and the mailer of the temple, who had the com-
mand, died fighting. The Mahometans made a
dreadful flaughter of mofl that they found in the
place, and carried the reft captive, in number, it
was faid, fixty thoufand. Immenfe wealth was
found in the place, as every thing of value had
been brought thither from other places, and it had
long been the centre of all the commerce of the
Levant. The enemy, having carried away every
thing of value, fet fire to the city, and totally de-
molifhed it.

This event was at that time confider-
ed as a juft punifhment for the wickednefs of the
inhabitants, who are faid to have been the moft
corrupt of all Chriftians, efpecially with refpedt
to impurity, both of men and women. The fame
day that Acre was taken the inhabitants of Tyre
abandoned that place, and faved themfelves by
fea, and ihofe of Barut furrendered without mak-
ing any refiftance. Thus the Latins loft all that
they had hitherto kept of the country ; the greater
part of thofe who were faved retiring to Cyprus..



Such was the termination of the war for the re-
covery of the holy land, after it had lalled near
two hundred years.

Pope Nicolas, on receiving the afllicling news,
made every pofTible efFort to recover what had.
been loft ; and for this purpofe appointed a nev\r
crufade to take place two years after. In this he
publifhed bulls, in which he moft pathetically la-
mented the fad difafter, and earneftly exhorted all
Chriftians to repair the lofs. With this view he
wrote to ail the princes from whom he had any ex-
peftations, and efpecially to the flates of Venice
and Genoa, whom he exhorted to make peace for
this end. But in every country there was fome
particular obflrudion that retarded the bufmefs,
fo that nothing was done ; and the death of Nico-
las the 4th of April a. d. 1292 put an end to eve-
ry proje6l of the kind.


0/ the papal Power, and I he Oppojition that was
made to it in this Period,


N no period of this hiflory were the
claims of the popes more exorbitant than in this,
nor did they ever make a more intemperate ufe of
their excommunications and interdifts j and yet in

Online LibraryJoseph PriestleyA general history of the Christian church, from the fall of the western empire to the present time (Volume 2) → online text (page 10 of 30)