Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
I: The Crusade in the Fourteenth Century, pp. 2-26 ff. PDF (9.6 MB)
6 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES III never been extinguished. Men of the sword and men of the pen together with a stream of pilgrims returning from Jerusalem helped to rekindle enthusiasm for the cause by word of mouth and by the written letter. Indeed, it would be idle to attempt to make a full list of the late medieval propagandists and to outline their life and work. The fourteenth century in particular is marked by an avalanche of literary propaganda covering almost all the countries of Europe. That propaganda was inaugurated by an eye-witness of the fight ing which had taken place within Acre in 1291, one Thaddeus of Naples. He wrote a tract of considerable interest under the title of Hystoria de desolacione. . . tocius Terre Sancte. . . shortly after he had been forced out of Acre with the rest of its Christian inhabitants. He describes himself as "Magister Neapolitanus" and presents his work in the form of an Epistola addressed to the whole of Christen dom. He describes the siege and the storming of the city in a style designed to arouse the feelings of all Catholics for the revival of the crusading movement against the enemies of the cross. He exhorts all the princes of Europe to abstain from their local squabbles and join their forces and efforts into one united body under the leadership of the church militant in order to save the Holy Land, which he calls "our heritage." Thaddeus was a contemporary of pope Nicholas IV (1288—1292), whose pontificate was an important landmark in the history of propaganda for the crusade. Nicholas grouped around himself at the Roman curia a number of men devoted to the cause, two of whom are worthy of special mention. Charles II of Anjou, king of Naples, who had inherited his father's claim to the crown of the kingdom of Jerusalem, was naturally interested in the affairs of the east; he was also a papal vassal and as such collaborated with Nicholas IV in his project of a passagium generale. The second advisor to Nicholas was a Franciscan friar named Fidenzio of Padua, who had just returned from a special mission to the east before the Moslem conquest of Acre. He drew up his recommendations in his Liber recuperationis Terre Sancte. 8 He favors a maritime blockade of the Mamluk empire, and he states that certain points on the coast of Cilician Armenia would provide a fine base for military operations against Syria and Palestine. His book deals with the routes as well as with numerous details concerning the fleet and the land forces and other items of interest to the pilgrim and the crusader. Perhaps the most vulnerable 7. Ed. Paul Riant (Geneva, [1873J). 8. Ed. G. Golubovich, Biblioteca bio-bibliografica della Terra Santa e dell' Oriente francescano, 1st ser., II (Quaracchi, 1913), 1—60.
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