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It never recovered from the sacking of the capital of the Byzantine Empire » Historical Journal of the Past » News

It never recovered from the sacking of the capital of the Byzantine Empire » Historical Journal of the Past » News

April 13, 2023 09:50 past verb

The corpses of the people massacred by the crusaders lay in heaps in the streets, the besieged satisfying their lust, which broke out in a murderous frenzy by dishonor of women. Not sparing the nuns either, the knights raided churches and monasteries. The altars of the sanctuaries were smashed to steal their precious material items. In Constantinople 819 years ago, on April 13, 1204, the world was turned upside down. The heart and engine of Orthodox Christendom was in ruins, its buildings destroyed by fire. The frenzied “Latins” scorned the idea of ​​\u200b\u200bthe Crusades.

Sack of Constantinople

The Latin Crusade originally began with the conquest of Egypt in order to crush the dominant power in the Middle East, the Ayyubid Empire. the fourth. The backbone of the army of the leader of the Crusade, Boniface of Montferrat, was landless French knights who wanted to get land and secure their presence in the East.

Third campaign theme. Pope Innes promoted it by persuading Venice, one of the most important maritime and trading powers in the Mediterranean region, to take part in the massive undertaking through negotiations.

The Venetians promised to transport the crusaders from Europe to the Middle East for a fee, but the army failed to collect the shipments. The Venetians did not despair and requested the armed forces of the Crusaders in return for the sea transport which they used to achieve their own political goals.

In the last third of the twelfth century, a very important diaspora of Latins, that is, the Venetians, Genoese and Pisans, lived in Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. The Latins gained great influence in the maritime trade and the financial life of the city.

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The local Greek aristocracy did not take this kindly, and as soon as the opportunity presented itself, they pitted the city’s Greek population against the foreigners, who staged a massive bloodbath in 1182, claiming the lives of countless people they called the “migrants” of the Westerners. The incident, recorded in history as the massacre of the Latins, deepened the gap between Western and Eastern Christianity, and the Italian city-states wanted revenge.

In addition to the financial problem of the Crusaders and the desire for revenge against the Italian city-states, the raging power struggles in the Byzantine Empire also contributed to the sack of Constantinople. The second expelled Byzantine ruler. Ibn Isaacs IV later. Alexios joined the crusaders and made various promises to Boniface of Montferrat.

Among other things, he would pay the crusade’s debt to Venice if they expelled his usurping uncle and helped crown him emperor. Both the Venetians and the Crusaders liked the show, so they entered the shop. In July 1203 they besieged and captured Constantinople.

Arch. Alexios, who ruled co-emperor on his father’s side during the Crusades, had difficulty raising funds; The seizure of church assets and the financial cancellation of his opponents only partially helped to settle the debts. The Crusaders became increasingly impatient, as did the Byzantine power elite, whose members were not at all enthusiastic about Alexios’ money-making methods.

A palace revolt broke out, and the anti-Latin lords took action, poisoning Alexios’ father and strangling him himself. After the new Byzantine ruler refused to pay the crusaders, the Montferrats – to the great joy of Venice – again attacked the city, but this time they also sacked it.

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After the siege of 1204, the Crusaders separated important territories from the Byzantine Empire, dividing them among themselves. The Byzantines managed to recapture Constantinople from the Latins in 1261, but the empire never regained its former glory and amazing power, so its lands were gradually absorbed by the Ottoman Empire, born in Asia Minor and growing stronger, which also captured the city of Constantinople in 1453.

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