T. F. (Thomas Frederick) Tout.

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monarch the king of earthly kings. 1

1 Rex Francorum qui terrestrium rex regum est turn propter ejus
ccelestem inunctionem turn propter suam potestatem et militias eminentiam.
Hist. Major, v. 480.



PERIOD II.



CHAPTER XIX

THE LAST CRUSADES AND THE EAST
IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. 1

Characteristics of the Thirteenth-Century Crusades Innocent in. and the
Crusades The Children's Crusade The State of the Latin Kingdom
The Fifth Crusade Andrew of Hungary John of Brienne and the Siege
of Damietta Crusade of Frederick n. and the Recovery of Jerusalem
Crusades of Theobald of Navarre and Richard of Cornwall The Charis-
mians conquer Jerusalem The Tartar Crisis The Sixth Crusade St.
Louis in Egypt Divisions of the Latin Kingdom The Mamelukes and
Bibars Fall of Antioch The Seventh Crusade Death of St Louis at
Tunis Crusade of Edward I. The Fall of Acre and the end of the
Crusades.

THE terrible disappointment of the Fourth Crusade showed
that the great age_of the Holy Wars was over. Yet the
century that began with that colossal failure has a place of
its own in the history of the Crusades. In no age was the
need of new expeditions to the Holy Land more

The place

oftheThir- constantly discussed or more commonly recog-
teenthCen- nised. Numerous great Crusades were planned:

turyinthe . . r

History of many leading kings and princes took the Cross ;
the Cm- and never was Europe more systematically or
regularly taxed to defray the expenses of the pro-
jected movements. But very little positive results flowed from
all the talk and preparation. The very Crusaders were not in

1 Besides the general authorities referred to in an earlier chapter,

special reference may be made to important recent monographs such as

Rbhricht's Die Kreuttugsbewegung im Jahre 1217 (Fyrschungen tur

detttschen GeschitAte 1876), Die Bclagerung von Damiette (Raumer's

460



The Last Crusades and the East 451

earnest with their work, and few of those magnates who signed
themselves with the Cross put their whole energy into the
redemption of their vows. There were no longer the prospects
of rich estates or principalities to attract Crusaders of the baser
sort. To most the Crusade was a pious aspiration, or at best
an incidental pilgrimage. The great expeditions never came
off. St. Louis alone represented the ancient ardour, but the
most successful Crusader was the sceptical and self-willed
Frederick n. There was no thirteenth-century St. Bernard
to direct the enthusiasm of Christendom. It was character-
istic that St. Francis went to Egypt not to fight the Sultan
but to reason with him, and that his disciple Roger Bacon
questioned altogether the utility of the movement. The
holy war aga'nst the Moors of Spain brought results that no
longer flowed from the struggle in Palestine. Hermann of
Salza showed a true instinct when he transferred the
operations of his order from Syria to Prussia. Even the
Popes began to divert the crusading zeal of Europe toTfieT"
so-called crusades against heretics, and finally also against the
political enemies of the Holy See. Yet to all earnest minds
of the century, to fight, pay, or pray for the maintenance of
the Latin East remained a Christian duty, while a constant
stream of pilgrims and frequent small crusading expeditions
kept alive for nearly the whole of the century the poor
remnants of the Catholic kingdom of Jerusalem.

Despite the failure of the Fourth Crusade, Innocent HI.
never lost sight of the need of a more devoted and better-
directed expedition that would save the declining Innocent ni<
fortunes of Latin Syria. Yet he did but a doubt- and the
ful service for the crusading cause when he forced Crusades -
princes so careless as John of England and Frederick of Sicily
to pledge themselves to the holy work. The enthusiasm
for the Crusades was dying jimon& the mighty, but it still

Historisehes Taschenbuch 1876), and Riant's article on Edward i.'s Crusade
in the Archives de f Orient Latin, Joinville is indispensable for St.
Louis's Egyptian Crusade.



452 European History, 918-1273

lived on in the hearts of the poor, and the strange episodes
TheChii- known as the Crusade of the Children showed
dren'sCru- that the ignorant and disordered zeal that had
1 e> ia preceded the march of Godfrey of Boulogne had
still its representatives in the early thirteenth century. A
shepherd lad from the neighbourhood of Vendome, named
Stephen, assembled a crowd of boys, peasants, workmen
and women, who made their way to Marseilles, and prevailed
upon two merchants to provide them with a passage to Syria ;
but once embarked on the sea, the merchants sold them as
slaves in Egypt. Another swarm of German youths from the
Lower Rhine made their way to Brindisi, where the bishop
wisely prevented them taking ship, though very few ever
managed to make their way back to their distant homes. 1
The useless devotion of these swarms of children is said to
have provoked from Innocent in. the remark, ' These children
shame us. While we are asleep, they march forth joyously
to conquer the Holy Land.' He had good reason for his
bitterness. ' Despite all his efforts, no Crusade had been
actually started at the moment of his death. Three kings^
however, had taken the Cross, and the Lateran Council
fixed June 1217 as the moment of their departure for the
East.

The death of John and the calculated delays of Frederick n.

Fifth Cm- left Andrew of Hungary the only reigning king

made, 1217. w h o started in 1217 for what is generally called

the Fifth Crusade. Andrew was a hot-headed and chivalrous

prince, who, abandoning the administration of his kingdom to

Andrew of the great lords who were breaking down the

Hungary, central power, sought in foreign adventures the

career that was denied him at home. Embarking with a



1 The authenticity of the story of the Children's Crusade, challenged by
Winkelmann, Geschithte Frudrifhs des Zweiten, is upheld by the great
authority of Rohricht in his article on Der Kinderkreuzzug in the
Historitche Zeitschrift, rol. 36.



The Last Crusades and the East 453

small army, mainly German and Hungarian, at Spalato, he
took ship for Acre, where he, found the Latin East in an
exceptional state of confusion. The northern principality
of Antioch had been wasting its resources in a long and
devastating war with the Christian kings of Armenia, while
famine^jstilence^and_earthquake complicated the difficulties
irTwhich a rapid succession of weak rulers had plunged the
kingdom of Jerusalem. Luckily the division of

. . J ] - ;-: , State of the

the dominions of Saladm among his sons and Latin King-

other kinsmen broke up the unity of Islam and dom ' "97"

i i -r - ' . - laio.

saved the Latins from any real disaster,, while

the "Constant flow of small expeditions, the scanty outcome
of the great efforts of Henry vi. and Innocent in., still enabled
the Latins to carry on the struggle. Henry of Champagne,
whom Richard of England had left King of Jerusalem, was
accidentally slain in 1197. His widow Isabella, through
whom he held his right to rule, chose a new husband in
Amalric of Lusignan, the representative of the rival house
that Richard had established in Cyprus, who was now
crowned as King Amalric IL, and reigned vigorously and suc-
cessfully until his death in 1205. His infant son, who thus
became Amalric in., died, as did his mother Isabella,
before the year was out Hugh, Amalric ii.'s son by a
former wife, now became King of Cyprus, while Isabella's
eldest daughter by Conrad of Montferrat succeeded as
Queen Mary of Jerusalem. Both princes were children,
but a regent and husband was soon found for Mary by
Philip Augustus. This was John of Brienne, a warrior of
great experience and energy, though of slender resources.
He reached Acre in 1210, and was then crowned together
with Mary. Too weak to embark on an adventurous policy,
John made a truce with the Saracens, and patiently waited
unliT' tHe expected Crusaders came. ButUhe arrival of
Andrew did not afford the hoped-for relief. Though
a considerable army was collected, and the King of Armenia
joined the Western Crusaders at Acre, the Christians



454 European History, 918-1273

were not able to force the Saracens to engage in battle,
and the kings of Hungary and Armenia soon went home
disgusted.

The autumn passage brought many new Crusaders to Acre,
and in 1218 John of Brienne prevailed upon his Western allies
John of to take ship for Damietta, hoping thus to attack

Brienne and tne Sultan of Egypt near the very centre of his

the Siege of ~. ^T~\ ,

Damietta, power. At first fortune smiled upon their arms.
1218-1219. Damietta was closely besieged, and a strong tower
commanding the passage of the Nile was occupied, though
the city still held out. The siege was carried on vigorously
all through the winter, and many additional Crusaders joined
the besieging army, conspicuous among them being the papal
legate, Pelagius, who took the supreme command, and a band
of English warriors, including F obert Fitzwalter and the Earls
of Winchester, Arundel, and Chester. The Christians suffered
severely from flood, pestilence, and famine, but at last, on 5th
November 1219, Damietta was taken by a sudden assault.
The fall of Damietta spread joy throughout Christendom and
consternation all over the Mohammedan world. But the
Christians quarrelled fiercely over the partition of the spoils,
and John de Brienne, indignant at the assumption of Pelagius,
withdrew to Syria. Saladin's nephew, El-Kamil, who now
became Sultan of Egypt, profited by their slowness to build a
new fortress, Mansourah, to block their invasion of the interior
of Egypt Nevertheless, the fear of the Christians was so great
that the Sultan offered to yield up Jerusalem itself, if the
Crusaders would but restore Damietta. But the Latins
expected great things from the projected Crusade of Frede-
rick ii., and rejected his proposals. At last, in the summer of
1 22 1, Pelagius advanced against Cairo, having persuaded John
de Brienne to come back to his assistance. The expedition
was a disastrous failure. The Egyptians flooded the country,
and the invaders were soon prevented either from advancing
or retreating, and were, moreover, threatened with starvation.
John de Brienne prevailed upon the Sultan to allow the



The Last Crusades and the East 455

army to retire unmolested, on condition of Damietta being
restored and a long truce granted. Thus the enterprise,
from which so much had been hoped, ended in disastrous
failure, and the Latin East remained in a worse plight than
ever.

John de Brienne wandered through Europe imploring help
for his kingdom. By his marriage of his daughter lolande to
Frederick n., he gave the hesitating Emperor a crusadeof
new motive for fulfilling his vow ; but a rupture Frederick
soon broke out between them, and, though '* " a7 ' iaa9 -
Frederick claimed the kingdom on his wife's account, his
father-in-law disappeared from the history of Syria, finding
fresh fields for adventure in commanding the papal troops
in Apulia, and dying in 1237 as regent of the Latin Em-
peror of Constantinople (see pages 353 and 369). At last
Frederick n. went, as we have seen, on his long-deferred
Crusade (see page 368). Despite the ban of the Church
he obtained a large measure of success, and .the treaty of
1229 restored Jerusalem to the Christians, after it had been
for more than forty years in the hands of the Infidel. It was
the last real triumph of the Crusades.

Frederick had done a great Service to Christendom in
recovering Jerusalem, but his attempt to govern the Latin
kingdom of Syria as a non-resident sovereign involved the
land in fresh disasters. The Syrian lords revolted against the
governors of the Emperor, and the continued disfavour of the
Church extended with disastrous results the strife of Papacy
and Empire into a region where the absolute union of all the
Westerns was the essential condition of the maintenance of
the Christian cause. Fortunately, the divisions of Dec iine of
Islam saved the Syrian monarchy from any imme- the Ayoubite
diate danger, especially after El-Kamil's death Power -
in 1238, when there was again a general scramble for power
among the numerous Ayoubite chieftains. Moreover, a
constant stream of Crusaders still flowed to the East, and
occasionally regular expeditions were successfully organised.



European History, 918-1 273

Conspicuous among these latter was the Crusade of 1239,
Crusades of which Gregory ix. had proclaimed, and then
Theobald of sought to divert, because of his renewed quarrel
STnd ^k the Em P eror - Regardless of the Pope's
Richard of advice, a numerous band"bf French nobles, headed
by Theobald the Great > Count of Champagne and
King of Navarre, and including Amalric of Mont-
fort, the former Count of Toulouse, set sail for Acre. In 1240
an English Crusade appeared in Palestine, commanded by
Richard, Earl of Cornwall, the future King of the Romans,
who was joined by his brother-in-law, Amalric's famous brother,
Simon, Earl of Leicester. But the King of Navarre had been
beaten and had gone home disgusted before the Englishmen
had arrived, and Richard, whose name and the fame of his
uncle King Richard had excited the liveliest expectations,
was able to do little more than make a treaty which secured
the freedom of the captives. The fierce feuds of Templars
and Hospitallers, and the renewed quarrel of Pope and
Emperor, further increased the difficulties of the English
prince. The rival attractions of an alliance either with
Damascus or Egypt caused violent partisanships among
those pledged to general war against the Infidel, while
Richard was looked upon with much suspicion by the hier-
archical party because he persisted in regarding Frederick
n. or his son Conrad as lawful King of Jerusalem.

The great Mongol power was already disturbing all Asia.
About 1220 the Charismians, a Turkish race that had estab-
The Chans- lished itself to the south of the sea of Aral, and
mians and had finally reduced all Persia to subjection, were
the Tartar.. overwhelmed by the hosts of Genghiz Khan. The

survivors of the disaster were driven into exile, and forced
to earn their bread as the mercenaries of any Eastern prince
who could pay for them. Es-Saleh Ayoub, El-Kamil's-eldest
son, the lord of Damascus, had been so hard pressed by hia
Christian and Mohammedan enemies that he took some of
these fierce hordes into his service. In 1244 they suddenly



The Last Crusades and the East 457

swooped down on Jerusalem, and captured it, brutally
murdering all its inhabitants. Christians and TheChans-
Mohammedans united against the savage Charis- ^^ n ~
mians, and provoked them to battle at Gaza. Jerusalem,
But the Saracens fled early in the fight, leaving I244-
the Christians to struggle alone against a superior enemy.
The result was the annihilation of the crusading host and
the practical end of the Latin Kingdom. Henceforth the
Christians were reduced, as after 1187, to a few sea-coast
cities. But the fall of Jerusalem now stirred up no such
general ferment throughout Christendom as did its first
reconquest by the Saracens. The news arrived when
Innocent iv. was fulminating his final deposition against
Frederick. The Crusade against the Emperor seemed to all
followers of the papal teaching a more pressing necessity
than the Crusade against Islam. Under such circumstances,
the proclamation of a new Crusade at the Council of Lyons
could lead to no real result It was not by talk only that
Jerusalem could be restored to the Cross.

The spirit of a former age was not quite extinct, but the
only great prince who was still under its influence was the
King of France. St. Louis had long desired to go upon
Crusade, and would gladly have accompanied the King of
Navarre in 1239. The state of his dominions was now so
satisfactory that he at last felt able to embark SixthCru .
upon the undertaking. After striving in vain to sade, 1248-
make the Crusade general by uniting Eope and I254>
Emperor, he saw that the effort would have to be made by
himself alone. In the summer of 1248 he embarked from
Aigues Mortes and took ship to Cyprus, where during the
winter a large but almost exclusively French army of pilgrims
gathered together. Among the adventurers was the lord of
Joinville, who has in his Life of St. Louis left an imperishable
account of the expedition.

Egypt was still the chief seat of Ayoub's power, and, as
in 1218, it was thought more profitable to attack Egypt



458 European History, 918-1273

than Palestine. Thus the Sixth Crusade became ahnort a
st Louis in repetition of the Fifth. In the spring of 1*49,
Egypt, 1249- the Christian host sailed from Cyprus and landed
near Damietta, They were luckier than John
de Brienne and Pelagitis, for their arrival threw the Mussulman
garrison into such alarm that it withdrew in the night, and
Damietta was occupied without any difficulty. Precious time
was now wasted waiting for Alfonse of Poitiers, who at last
arrived with reinforcements. The army was also joined by
William Longsword, Earl of Salisbury, and a band of English-
men. Hot disputes arose as to the method of carrying on the
campaign. The prudent were in favour of a gradual conquest
of the sea-coast, and advised a march on Alexandria. ^But
Robert of Artois urged a direct march on Cairo, and his
opinion prevailed. In November 1249 the Crusaders made
their way inwards through the Delta, untaught by the disasters
of thirty years before. The result was a further repetition of
the blunders and ill-luck of Pelagius. The vast host marched
from Damietta and invested Mansourah, but their progress was
made excessively slow by the difficult nature of the country,
cut up by broad canals and arms of the Nile. The fatal rash-
ness of Robert of Artois led a part of the army to a premature
attack, in which Robert was slain. Before long the besiegers
were themselves almost besieged. Wasted by heat and lack
of food, the Crusaders lost all heart, and finally a terrible
epidemic devastated the camp and completed their demoralisa-
tion. Louis at last ordered a retirement on Damietta,
but the Saracens threw themselves on the retreating host.
Louis fought valiantly at the post of danger in the rear. _He
was before long taken prisoner, whereupon the whole army
laid down its arms. The mass of the captives was put to the
sword, but Louis and the great lords were ransomed, in
consideration of an enormous payment and the surrender of
Damietta. The King on his release went on pilgrimage to
Palestine. He sent his brothers Alfonse and Charles back to
France, but himself abode for more than three years in the



The Last Crusades and the East 459

Holy Land, labouring strenuously at restoring the Christian
fortresses, and atoning for his failure in Egypt st LO U ; S j n
by works of piety and self-sacrifice. The Sultan Palestine,
of "Damascus offered him a safe-conduct to
Jerusalem, but he refused to see the Holy City since he
could not rescue it from the hands of the enemies of the faith.
At last the death of his mother necessitated his return to
France (June 1254). He was the last Western king who led
a great army to the East.

In the years after the return of Louis the Crusading State
managed to hold its own. The Tartars still pressed on Islam
on the east, and it was no time for the Saracens to make fresh
conquests when their very existence was in danger. Moreover,
constant changes in the Mohammedan world The Rise of
further limited its power of aggression. Es-Saleh the Mame-
died while St. Louis was in Egypt, whereupon in
1 254 the Mameluke mercenaries finally destroyed the Ayoubite
power, and, inspired by their leader Bibars, the soul of
the resistance to St Louis, set up sultans at their discretion
and murdered them when they were weary of them.

It was small praise to the Franks themselves that the
Crusading State still continued. The fierce factions of the
Latins grew worse than ever. A line of bailiffs of vicissitudes
the house of Ibelin ruled in the name of the of the Latin
absentee Hohenstaufen, Henry, Conrad and Con-
radin. With the execution of the latter, the house of Hohen-
staufen became extinct, and the King of Cyprus, Hugh in. of
Lusignan, was crowned in 1269 as King of Jerusalem, though
his title was contested by his aunt, Mary of Antioch. His
rule was not strong enough to keep order, so that Templars
and Hospitallers, Pullani and emigrants, Venetians and
Genoese, carried out their feuds with little hindrance. Acre,
the crusading capital, remained, despite the disorder, a con-
siderable commercial centre, and the trading rivalries of the
Italian cities were the most fruitful of all sources of disorder.
In 1258 a pitched battle between great fleets of Venetians



460 European History, 918-1273

and Genoese was fought off the coast of Acre, in which the
Genoese were so severely beaten that they were obliged to
abandon their quarter in the capital and establish their factory
at Tyre.

While this was going on, the contest of Saracen and Tartar
reached its height In 1258 the Tartars took Bagdad and
The Tartar ended the nominal Caliphate. Next year they
crisis, 1258- appeared in Syria and captured Damascus. The
Western Christians hoped that the Tartars would
root out Islam and then turn Christians, but the Syrian
Franks knew better. Though the Prince of Antioch appeared
as a suppliant in the Tartar camp, the barbarians soon turned
their arms against Acre. All that the Christians could hope
for was from the dissensions of their enemies. Even this
did not avail them long. In 1260 thfl Sil ^** n Kutuz of
Egypt defeated the Tartars at Ain Talut It was tEe Eastern
counterpart of the victories of Conrad, and equally decisive.
The barbarians withdrew to the East, leaving Islam again
triumphant.

Kutuz went back to Egypt, and was murdered by his
Mameluke soldiers. The time was now ripe for Bibars to
The Sultan mount his throne, and the former Turkman slave
Bibars, 1260. an( j Mameluke captain soon proved himself the
most dangerous enemy that the Eastern Christians had seen
since the death of Saladin. A stern but just ruler of his own
subjects, and a pious and ascetic Mussulman, he was willingly
obeyed by the Mohammedans of the Levant. A strenuous
warrior against the Christians, he was also statesman enough
to seek allies among the Christian states of Europe, whose
friendship soon proved as useful to him as the valour of his
soldiers. In 1262 Bibars began his attacks on the Latin
Kingdom. Though town after town fell into his hands, the
Franks could not end their quarrels even in the face of the
enemy. In 1267 the Genoese waged war against Acre, now
wholly given over to the commerce of Venice. At that
very time Bibars, having already conquered the Templars'



The Last Crusades and the East 461

stronghold of Safed, was devastating the country about Acre.
In the spring of 1 268 he conquered Jaffa, and then, Fan of Jaffa
turning his arms northwards, overran the princi- and Antioch,
pality of Antioch. Before the end of the year
Antioch had surrendered, after a disgracefully short resistance.
The northern crusading state was thus brought to an end, and
once more Europe was confronted with the imminent danger
of the few remaining towns, like Acre and Tripoli, that still
resisted Bibars.

St. Louis again took the Cross, but even in France the
crusading fever was dying out, and Joinville himself refused
to accompany the king on his second adventure seventh
against Islam. Other sovereigns promised to Crusade,
follow Louis's example. James of Aragon actually 127<x
embarked, but a tempest shattered his ships, and he piously
withdrew from an enterprise of which, he argued, God had
shown His disapproval. Edward of England did not hesitate
to leave his aged father to follow his uncle, the French king, but
his following was small, and his departure was delayed. But the
woj-st was that the host of St. Louis was no longer St L OU ; S
an army of pilgrims or enthusiasts, but of highly again takes
paid mercenaries or of reluctant barons, whom
duty to the king alone withdrew from their homes. Even more
fatal was the presence of Charles of Anjou, established in Sicily
since 1266, with whom Bibars had established friendly rela-
tions, and who had striven hard to divert his The crusade
brother's army from Egypt or Syria to a place diverted to
where it would more directly play the game of
the house of Anjou. His craft proved only too successful.
He persuaded Louis to direct his forces against Tunis, an



Online LibraryT. F. (Thomas Frederick) ToutThe empire and the papacy, 918-1273 → online text (page 38 of 45)