Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
I: The Crusade in the Fourteenth Century, pp. 2-26 ff. PDF (9.6 MB)
12 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES 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. 294—295.
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