University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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

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

Page 141

erty to pay their way. The ordinances of Philip Augustus for the crusade
laid much greater emphasis on regulation of debts than on the Saladin Tithe,
and Frederick Barbarossa issued an edict that no crusader should set out
on the journey without complete equipment and enough money to last two years.77
 The popes of the thirteenth century undertook to provide a more corporative
financial base for the crusade. Innocent III desired a crusade not only called
by the papacy, but commanded by a papal legate; in order to ensure command,
the papacy had also to control the financing of the crusade. The leaders
of the Fourth Crusade refused papal direction and apparently received little
or none of the fortieth collected by the pope for the crusade. The legacy
of the count of Champagne and the individual financial arrangements of the
crusaders supported this as earlier crusades. The leaders contracted with
Venice to pay 85,000 marks of Cologne to transport and feed 29,000 men and
4,500 horses for nine months. When only about half that number actually came
to Venice, the leaders gave their own treasure and even borrowed what they
could to pay off their debt to the Venetian state. Eventually they had to
work it off by the capture of Zara, but this was hardly the kind of corporative
finance envisioned by the pope.78 
 The Fifth Crusade most nearly embodied the papal plan. Going to Acre, king
Andrew II of Hungary financed his expedition in the traditional way, by selling
and mortgaging property, by debasing the coinage, and by taking the sacred
utensils of the churches.79 But the twentieth exacted from the clergy of
all Europe provided the legate Pelagius with a sizeable command in Egypt.
By July of 1220 the pope 
 77. Annales Marbacenses, in MGH, SS, xvii, 164; cf. Itinerarium.. . regis
Ricardi, p. 43, which says one year. 
 78. The contract between venice and the crusade leaders is printed in Urkunden
zur älteren Handels- und Staatsgeschichte der Republik Venedig mit besonderer
Beziehung auf Byzanz und die Levante, ed. Gottlieb L. F. Tafel and Georg
M. Thomas (Fontes rerum austriacarum, Diplomataria et acta, XII—XIV;
3 vols., vienna, 1856—1857; repr. Amsterdam, 1964), I, 362—373,
no. 92. Villehardouin's manuscripts are curiously at variance on the total
sum, though all give the fare as 4 marks per horse and 2 marks per man. Four
manuscripts of the thirteenth century have a total of 85,000 marks. But two
extant manuscripts of the late fourteenth century and probably two that are
now lost, representing a tradition which Faral (Villehardouin, La Conquête
de Constantinople, I, xlvi—li) believes is better than that of the
earlier manuscripts and takes for the base of his text, give 94,000 marks.
Faral (I, 215-217, and cf. Donald E. Queller, The Fourth Crusade [Philadelphia,
1977], pp. 10—11 and note 13) explains this as a first offer of the
venetians of 4 marks for each horse and knight and 2 marks for each other
man, which was reduced before the contract was signed. Robert of Clan has
such a story (La Conquête de Constantinople, pp. 7—10), but the
text of Villehardouin says nothing about such bargaining and a scribal error
may be all the explanation required. 
 79. Reinhold Röhricht, Studien zur Geschichte desfunften Kreuzzuges
(Innsbruck, 1891), p. 24. 

Go up to Top of Page