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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume II: The later Crusades, 1189-1311

IV: Byzantium and the Crusades, 1081-1204,   pp. [unnumbered]-151 PDF (14.1 MB)

Page 151

prisoned and was himself proclaimed as Alexius V. Isaac died shortly afterwards
and Alexius IV was probably strangled. 
 Alexius IV, understandably enough, had been favorably disposed towards the
Latins. Alexius V, on the other hand, did at least attempt to keep them in
check, and he set about fortifying the city against the inevitable attack.
The very severity of his discipline made enemies. The Latins were by no means
at one among them selves, but expediency and ambition determined Boniface
and the other leaders to support the intentions of the doge. The empire was
partitioned in advance (March 1204) and the city taken by assault on April
13. <38> Mourtzouphlus' troops fought with determination to stave off
the repeated attacks made from the crusading ships in the Golden Horn, but
his camp was finally broken up and he fled from the city and joined his father-in-law
at Mosynopolis. Alexius III treacherously had him blinded; he was caught
by the crusaders and finally killed by being hurled from the column of Theodosius
in Constantinople. Alexius III fared somewhat better than he deserved: he
fell into the hands of Boniface of Montferrat, then took refuge in Epirus
with the despot Michael I, who had ransomed him, and finally, after fomenting
trouble in Asia Minor, was captured by his son-in-law Theodore Lascaris in
1210; he ended his days in a monastery in Nicaea. It was here that Theodore
Lascaris had established his base after the fall of the city, and with courage
and astuteness he was now rebuilding the shattered Byzantine state. 
 38 See below, chapter V, pp. 184-185. 

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