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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume III: The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries

I: The Crusade in the fourteenth century,   pp. 2-26 ff. PDF (69.3 KB)

Page 5

5.See below, chapter XV.6.See below, chapter III. Ch. I THE CRUSADE IN THE
associates in western Europe, and was reiterated by the propagandists for
the crusade in the later medieval period.5 
 Thus the field of crusading activities during the fourteenth cen tury included
not only Europe and the Levant but also the Mongol world with its sweeping
vistas far beyond the frontiers of the Near East. Though the face of the
Respublica Christiana in Europe was changing, and crusading ideas were being
submerged in the tumult which accompanied the rise of the new nations and
the continuous decline of the old order, certain events helped to resuscitate
the moribund cause throughout the decades under review. The fall of Acre
in 1291, like the loss of Jerusalem in 1187 and the collapse of Constantinople
in 1453, brought home to Christians in Europe a feeling of dismay and aroused
in them a spirit of defensive, if not offensive, crusading. The occasional
presence of wandering kings from the Near Eastern Christian states served
their western coreli gionists in Europe as another reminder of the sad fate
of fellow Christians beyond the sea. The western peregrinations of Peter
I de Lusignan (whom Philip of Mézières described as the athieta
Christi) between 1362 and 1365 preceded the sack of Alexandria in the latter
year. King Leon VI of Cilician Armenia spent his closing days as a refugee
in Europe until he died in Paris in November 1393, hardly three years before
the crusade of Nicopolis. It was after the rout of the united forces of Europe
outside the wails of Nicopolis that emperor Manuel II Palaeologus undertook
his "mendicant pilgrim age" to the west between 1399 and 1401, in order to
persuade the pope and the kings of France and England to send military aid
for the relief of his beleaguered city of Constantinople.6 Even after the
downfall of Byzantium and the flight of the Palaeologi to the Morea, an imperial
pretender, Thomas Palaeologus, would take refuge in Rome in 1461. By then,
however, the opportunity for major crusad ing conquests would be gone beyond
 During the fourteenth century, propagandists for holy war in cluded even
more potent elements than the solitary royal figures from the Near East who
moved from court to court in Europe without any direct contact with the people
of western Christendom. The innumerable wandering knights of the dislocated
military-reli gious orders and the dwindling Latin principalities in the
Levant did much to renew the crusading zeal which, though weakening, had

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