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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 147

Ch. IV FINANCING THE CRUSADES 147 
much, and he agreed that his terms were high. But he reminded the king that
he had lost all his possessions in Egypt including horse and armor, the implication
being that he would not ask as much as he was worth if he did not have to.'°'
It seems reasonable to conclude, then, that a baron could hardly take a company
of ten knights on the crusade in 1250 for much less than 3,000 li. a year,
and that Joinville had been very rash to attempt it if his land was worth
no more than 1,000 li. a year. 
 For the simple knight and the lower ranks of society the stipends promised
by Louis and Alphonse in 1270 afford the best measure of the costs. To knights
who took their meals at his table Louis gave 160 ii. a year, but to those
who undertook to maintain themselves he gave wages of 10 sous a day, or 182½
li. a year. In all cases the king appears to have furnished transportation.
It seems fair to say, therefore, that the simple knight in the later thirteenth
century needed roughly 200 li. a year to make his pilgrimage. By the same
reckoning the light cavalryman and the footsoldier needed about 100 and 20
li. respectively. 
 If the cost of crusades varied with the rank and wealth of the crusaders,
it varied also as western Europe experienced a rise in prices and in the
standard of living during the crusading era. In 1195 Henry VI offered to
pay his crusaders about 90 ii. a year plus their maintenance. A little earlier
at Acre Philip Augustus was paying the going rate of about 72 li. a year
when Richard, with his usual chivalric magnificence, offered 96 ii. 102 These
stipends indicate that costs increased two or three times between the Third
Crusade and Louis's second expedition. So also Richard spent about 400 to
500 ii. each for his ships and their sailors' wages for a year, while Louis
a century later paid from 850 to 7,000 ii., 103 on the average seven to eight
times as much, but the ships were probably larger. Earlier than the Third
Crusade good evidence on costs fails, and the rate of increase between 1096
and 1191 cannot be stated. That costs rose, however, cannot be doubted. It
is probable that the money needed by a common footsoldier with Louis IX would
have sufficed a knight with Godfrey of Bouillon. 
 When costs of a crusade can be compared with the income of crusaders in
the same period, the results are illuminating. At the time of the Third Crusade
when the two kings were paying 72 and 96 li. a year to knights at Acre, it
was held in England that a knight's fee should 
101. Joinville, Histoire de Saint Louis, pp. 156—157. 
102. MGH, Legum, II, 198; Itinerarium.. . regis Ricardi, pp. 213—214.
 103. Pipe Ro112 Richard I, ed. Doris M. Stenton (Pipe Roll Society, n.s.,
I; London, 1925), pp. 8—9; Jal, Pacta naulorum, I, 507—615. 


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