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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 13

1344, he decided to deflect his project from Spain and continue the Aegean
campaign under the auspices of the pope. After renouncing his feudal rights
over the Dauphiné, which would ultimately go to the French crown,
he offered to equip five galleys with twelve bannerets, three hundred knights,
and a thousand arbalesters. In return, he requested that the pope grant him
the high command of the crusade, allow him the proceeds of the usual tithes,
and recognize his suzerainty over all the conquered territories. With some
reluc tance, Clement VI and his cardinals approved these terms on condi tion
that Humbert should remain in the east for three years with some hundred
men-at-arms. Finally the "Captain-General of the Crusade against the Turks
and the Unfaithful to the Holy Church of Rome," as Humbert was styled, sailed
from Marseilles in September 1345 and disembarked at Genoa, to cross Lombardy
to Venice and, after weeks of negotiation, resume his voyage. He was urged
by the pope to proceed, if possible, to the Genoese colony of Kaffa across
the Black Sea, and to help in its relief from the Tatars, who were besieging
the whole of the Crimea. 
 When Humbert reached the Aegean, he allowed himself to become involved in
the futile diplomatic and military broils of the Genoese with the members
of the League and the Latins of the Orient to such an extent that he suffered
some losses at the hands of the Genoese in the waters of Negroponte. Afterwards,
he seems to have scored some minor successes over Turkish mariners on the
high sea and later at Smyrna. But until the summer of 1347, he neither attained
the Black Sea nor achieved any substantial victories over the enemies of
his faith. Meanwhile his wife died, and her death completed the tragedy of
his private life. In despair, he suddenly decided to relinquish all his plans
and retire to France, where he became a Dominican friar. The pope absolved
him from his previous obligations and, in 1351, even granted him the honorary
title of Latin patriarch of Alexandria. On January 24, 1354, he was nominated
bishop of Paris, but he died at Clermont at the age of forty-three before
reaching his new see. To the end, he preferred to retain the semblance of
his old titles and subscribed himself "the late dauphin of Viennois."
 The highwater mark in the history of the Levantine crusade in later medieval
times was reached during the reign of Peter I de Lusignan, Latin king of
Cyprus (1359—1369). Since the extermina tion of the crusader states
in the Holy Land, Cyprus had become one of the chief bulwarks of western
Christianity in the eastern Mediter ranean. It was therefore natural that
its Latin monarchs should do 

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