Fourth Crusade

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  • Topic: Fourth Crusade, Crusades, Pope
  • Pages : 4 (1175 words )
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  • Published : October 27, 2012
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Role of the Papacy in the 4th Crusade
The fourth Crusade was one of the most astonishing turn of events during the Middle Ages. Each Crusade was called for one purpose, to reconquer the Holy Land from the Muslims. With that in mind, the fourth Crusade was disaster, not only failing to get anywhere near Jerusalem but then to attack and conquer two Christian cities, which had been unprecedented to this time. When discussing these points in history, it is important to discuss how such events came to be, and whilst the sacking of Zara and Constantinople are not in question, what is in question is how much of a role did Pope Innocent III did play in the 4th Crusade? Was he the mastermind, or was control of the 4th Crusade taken from him? This essay will attempt to look through the sources and see whether Pope Innocent III did intend for events to take place as they did. When Pope Innocent III assumed power in the Papacy, in 1198 he immediately sent letters preaching about another Crusade. What was different from previous Crusades, the strategy they devised was to travel by sea and take over Egypt, which at the time, was the Muslim capital because of its critical position between the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, and then continue north onto Jerusalem. The Pope then chose Boniface Montferrat to lead this Crusade force in order to retake the Holy Land.

During the year 1201, the Crusade made some progress as all of the Catholic nations put taxes in place to fund the Crusade. The main problem facing the Crusaders was transport, in previous Crusades, traveling by distance was the only route taken, yet was not only time-consuming, but expensive as well. As a result, the only logical mode of transportation was to go via the sea, however the only place that had the potential to manufacture the entire Crusade was the city of Venice.

Venice was the only state that could meet the needs of the Crusaders to provide the necessary supplies needed to fund the trip, so...
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