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

I: The Crusade in the Fourteenth Century,   pp. 2-26 ff. PDF (9.6 MB)

Page 12

the Aegean crusade, which resulted in the capture of Smyrna in 1344.16 After
prolonged negotiations between the Roman see and Venice, pope Clement VI
in a memorandum dated August 1343 proclaimed the formation of a Holy League
to suppress Turkish aggression. The constituent members of the League agreed
among themselves on raising a fleet of twenty galleys to intercept Turkish
movements in the Archipelago; Venice was ready to provide six, the pope four,
king Hugh IV of Cyprus four, and the Hospitallers six. Clement VI finally
nominated Henry of Asti, the Latin patriarch of Constantinople, as head of
the coalition fleet and Martin Zaccaria, the Genoese former lord of Chios,
as commander of his naval squadron. Venice appointed Peter Zeno admiral of
the Venetian galleys. They met at Negroponte and were joined by the remaining
ships from Cyprus and Rhodes, now the seat of the Hospitallers, under their
master Hélion of Villeneuve. The joint fleet then sailed toward Anatolia
and took the city of Smyrna by surprise, though the citadel was held by Umur
Pasha, emir of Aydin. Their armies made a triumphant entry into the city
on October 28, 1344. It would remain in the hands of the Christians until
the whole of Asia Minor was seized by the invincible hordes of Timur after
the battle of Ankara in 1402. 
 The crusade of Humbert II of Viennois was the natural continua tion to the
success of the Holy League in the Aegean. Meager as it may seem, the capture
of Smyrna was hailed by the pontiff as the beginning of the end of the sorrows
and humiliation of the Latins in the Near East. Processions were ordained
to commemorate the victo ry in the streets of Avignon. The pope urged the
kings of England and France, Edward III Plantagenet and Philip VI of Valois,
to desist from the Hundred Years' War and unite their forces against their
common enemy. He wrote the doge of Venice a congratulatory message to induce
him to persist in his struggle against the Turks. In brief, western Europe
seemed astir, and another Godfrey of Bouillon was expected to emerge on the
scene of events and lead the Christian hosts to a crushing victory over the
forces of Islam. 
 It was at this moment that Humbert II, dauphin of Viennois, a very unhappy
man, took to the idea of the crusade. The death of his only son and heir
had left him inconsolable, and he had resolved to drown his grief in fighting
the Moors in Spain and to atone for his past disaffection with ecclesiastics
by serving the Roman see. As soon as the news of the fall of Smyrna reached
the west in December 
 16. See Paul Lemerle, L ' Emirat d'Aydin, Byzance et l'occident (Bibliothéque
byzantine, Etudes, II; Paris, 1957), pp. 180—203, and cf. below, pp.

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