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Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / Volume I: The first hundred years

XV: The Second Crusade,   pp. 463-512 PDF (5.7 MB)

Page 511

Bohemia, the margrave of Istria, Henry of Carinthia, Henry of Bavaria-Austria,
William of Montferrat, Venice, Genoa, Pisa, Poland, Galicia, and the Kumans
against Hungary, Sicily, and their allies, among whom duke Weif was numbered
once more, now that he had returned from the crusade.39 
 Louis was less eager to depart from Palestine. He still dreamed of achieving
something helpful to the Holy Land. To Suger's urgent pleas that he come
home, he replied that in view of the oppression of the church and the emergency
existing in the east he had been moved by piety and by the prayers of the
eastern church to remain until after the following Easter. In the meantime
he did what he could financially to aid the inhabitants who were suffering
from frequent Moslem inroads. The defeat of the crusade had reduced the prestige
of the Christians to a very low level and had emboldened the Turks to attempt
things which they had not dared to do before, particularly in northern Syria.
When Louis did leave Palestine in 1149 his mind was still full of the necessity
to aid Outremer, but now Byzantium figured as an enemy rather than an ally
in future plans. This conviction was strengthened by the journey home. Louis
had chosen to sail on a Sicilian vessel and so narrowly escaped being captured
by part of the Byzantine navy, which was still at war with Roger. The king
did lose a ship on which some of his retinue were traveling, and Eleanor
was detained for a while. This misadventure added fuel to the French hatred
and distrust of the Byzantines, which had grown tremendously in the past
year and a half. When Louis landed in Calabria, he was glad to claim Roger
as an ally, and together they spoke of launching a new crusade to bring effective
aid to the east and to avenge themselves on the Greeks. Louis crowned Roger
king; then he journeyed home, stopping at the papal curia to tell of his
experiences and to sound out the pope on the idea of a new expedition. Eugenius
assented to this plan, and St. Bernard and Suger supported it, too; but there
was no real response to the new crusade among the nobles and the people.
They were exhausted by the grueling experiences of the Second Crusade and
its tremendous expenditure of resources and strength in the east without
any positive achievement. Conrad, of course, was not willing to be drawn
into such a scheme. His antipathy for the Latin east 
 ~ Wibaldi epistolae, no. i~ K. Heilig, "Ostrom und das deutsche Reich urn
die Mitte des i 2. Jahrhunderts," Kaiserium und Herzogsgewalt im Zeitalter
Friedrichs I (Leipzig, 1944), pp. 148—167. G. Constable, "The Second
Crusade," pp. 266—276, gives a more detailed discussion of the various
accusations made regarding responsibility for the failure. 

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