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Zacour, N. P.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The impact of the Crusades on Europe
(1989)

IV: Financing the Crusades,   pp. 116-149 PDF (13.4 MB)


Page 118

 118 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES 
France.5 Later crusaders also benefitted by the spoils of their conquests.
King Richard I of England profited enormously by his capture of Cyprus, and
later in Palestine he did not scorn to capture a rich caravan. He and king
Philip II Augustus of France divided the spoils of Acre, and from his share
of the captives alone Philip hoped to obtain ransoms worth 100,000 bezants.6
The capture of Damietta in 1216 and again in 1249 provided the crusading
armies with quantities of precious goods, but they probably lost as much
at Mansurah as they gained at Damietta. 
 The prudent crusader planned to finance his journey before he departed,
to take great bags and chests of money with him. He could use his savings,
if he had any. It has been suggested that count Robert II of Flanders may
have financed his participation in the First Crusade from his treasury.7
Stephen of Blois went on two crusades without paying any heed to his financial
arrangements, and he may have had sufficient savings. Theobald III of Champagne,
a century later, had saved a great treasure for the Fourth Crusade, which
he bequeathed to it on his premature death.8 And the countless legacies and
gifts that were made to the crusades from the end of the twelfth century
on represented increased savings. Some crusaders may have saved the whole
of the cost of their journey, but two general considerations render it doubtful.
First, the scarcity of money early in the crusading era militated against
savings per Se. Second, when money became more plentiful, social attitudes
which had been engendered earlier continued to inhibit savings, since a chivalric
society regarded money rather as a means of consumption than as a means of
investment. A gentleman did not save money; he spent it. A large expenditure,
such as a crusade, had to be made from his capital, whether chattels or lands.
While this second consideration perhaps did not apply to the "little people",
the bourgeoisie and the free peasants, one may suppose that the chevaliers,
who were the crusaders par excellence, used what savings they might have
had but that they generally found them insufficient. 
 5. Heinrich Hagenmeyer, ed., Die Kreuzzugsbriefe aus den Jahren 1088—1100,
mit Erladterungen (Innsbruck, 1901), p. 149. 
 6. Itinerarium peregrinorum et gesta regis Ricardi, ed. William Stubbs (Rolls
Series, 38—1), pp. 192—204, 385—391, 232—234; Ambroise,
L'Estofre de la guerre sainte, ed. Gaston Paris (Collection des documents
inédits sur l'histoire de France; Paris, 1897), lines 4575—4586.
 7. Marshall M. Knappen, "Robert II of Flanders in the First Crusade," The
Crusades and Other Historical Essays Presented to Dana C. Munro, ed. Louis
J. Paetow (New York, 1928), p. 85. 
 8. Geoffrey of Villehardouin, La Conquête de Constantinople, ed. Edmond
Faral (Les Classiques de l'histoire de France au moyen-âge; 2 vols.,
Paris, 1938—1939), I, 36—39, 44—45; Robert of Clan, La
Conquête de Constantinople, ed. Philippe Lauer (Les Classiques francais
du moyen-âge, XL; Paris, 1924), p. 4. 


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