The year is 1202. Two hundred ships sail on an unthought-of mission, banners flowing from their towering masts; the blood-red flag, emblazoned with its mighty golden lion, of Venice, and the beautiful coats-of-arms of the greatest of French knights fluttered gaily. The quest of these 20,000 men: to sack the greatest and most powerful Christian city in world: Constantinople; to coronate an emperor whose throne was usurped; and to violate the orders of the Bible itself. Thus, the Fourth Crusade is often called the Ungodly War, as it set Christians upon Christians, further rending the mighty Christian religion, as it enlarged the chasm that had opened up between the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches.
Years before this infamous event, Pope Innocent III took control of the papacy, and with him came the desire to marshal another crusade to free the Holy Land from its Muslim rulers. At a tournament in France in 1199, his desire was realized as hundreds of French knights pledged to release the Holy Land from the Muslims’ clutches.... [continues]
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