The Fourth Crusade
Is karma the reason for the slow but evident sinking of Venice into the Mediterranean? Maybe it is indemnity for the cruel selfish acts of Venice during the Fourth Crusade. The Venetians along with crusaders robbed Constantinople for personal gains. The Fourth Crusade should be an example that it is crude and unjust to attack fellow men for no reason. The Crusades were a series of battles and short wars against the Muslims. In the eleventh century Jerusalem had been taken over by the Turks. This sparked the Crusades the Crusades ended up lasting 200 years. The third crusade was deemed unsuccessful because Jerusalem was still in Muslim hands. In 1198, Pope Innocent issued the need for a Fourth Crusade. Priest Faulk of Neuilly stirred up excitement after he preached at a knight tournament (Williams 103). In other areas the recruitment work "was done on tours by major prelates, preaching sermons designed to move their listeners to take the cross" (103). At the time Egypt was the center of Muslim power so Egypt was the intended target. Unknown to crusaders, ambassadors of the Doge of Venice Enrico Dandolo were in Egypt negotiating with the sultan and assuring the sultan that Egypt would not be attacked (Williams 104). Dandolo wanted to attack Constantinople. The leader of the crusaders Count Boniface agreed with Dandolo. In Venice, Dandolo agreed to supply enough ships for 33,500 men and 4,500 horses as well as an extra 50 armed galleys (Williams 104). By the intended departure date there were only 10,000 men ready to leave (Robinson). Later, 30,000 men arrived but a new problem arose. The men only had 51,000 marks when the price was set at 85,000 for the ships. Dandolo agreed to suspend the debt if the crusaders would first help get back the old Venetian port city Zara (Williams 107). When the Crusaders departed, it seemed “as if the whole wide sea swarmed with ants and the ships burned on the water” (Grant 110). Zara was an old Venetian...
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