Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume III: The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
III: Byzantium and the Crusades, 1354-1453, pp. 69-103 PDF (16.6 MB)
70 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES III son Manuel, then a child of seven, to the papal court to be educated by the pope in the Latin faith. The emperor went so far as to pledge that, should these promises for some reason not be fulfilled, he would himself abdicate the throne. In that case control of the empire would be left to the papal ward, Manuel, or if he were still a minor, to the pope.3 Not surprisingly, Innocent replied enthusiastically to this astonish ing letter. No less understandably, he apparently had some reserva tions about the seriousness of the proposals, for in his reply he made no reference to anything specific; rather, in general but warm terms, he praised the imperial sentiments. At the same time he wrote letters to the Byzantine patriarch Callistus and to the principal Greek bishops, while dispatching two nuncios to Constantinople, one of them the famous Carmelite Peter Thomas.4 Though the pope him self was guarded in his approach, news of the proposals was received in other western quarters with distrust mixed with gratification. Characteristically, Philip of Mézières, a propagandist for the crusade in the court of king Peter of Cyprus, wrote, "The news of John V's desire for conversion was very difficult to believe, because it had been so long that the Greeks were separated from the church, and because in previous negotiations they had so often deceived the Roman church."5 Wishing nevertheless to capitalize on the opportunity offered, Innocent made' overtures to Venice, Genoa, the king of Cyprus, and the Hospitallers of Rhodes in order to secure ships to send to Constantinople, but he failed in his efforts. No one would furnish the contingents requested; papal plans were also set back by the hostil ities of the Venetian-Hungarian war. As for the Byzantine emperor, seeing no help forthcoming from Rome, he was obliged to write to Innocent that he was in no position to win the Greek populace over to his policy,6 since their inherent suspicions were now magnified by the west's failure to send military aid. Negotiations for union were ended for several years. Yet the case for Greco-Latin rapprochement found its defenders also in the west. And the thought planted in the mind of the pope by William Adam now sought to "Latinize" the Greeks, forcibly or otherwise, by compelling many to learn Latin (Geanakoplos, Byzantine East and Latin West, p. 2, note 3, and p. 103, note 74). 3. Halecki, op. cit., pp. 31 ff. 4. lorga, Philippe de Mezieres, pp. 137—138; at Constantinople Peter Thomas instructed John in the Catholic faith. 5. Smet, Life of Saint Peter Thomas, p. 74. 6. Iorga, loc. cit.
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