Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume II: The later Crusades, 1189-1311
VI: The Latin Empire of Constantinople, 1204-1261, pp. 186-233 PDF (13.5 MB)
202 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES II be my fault."<12> Ioannitsa had already tried to make friends with the Latins, who had contemptuously rejected his advances. He there fore entered into relations with Greek nobles in Thrace, possessing troops of their own, whom the Latins had also rebuffed. The folly of this Latin policy was compounded by their rejection of the offer of an alliance from the Selchükid sultan in exile, Kai-Khusrau I, who was soon afterward restored to power in Iconium. Yet the consequences of the folly did not manifest themselves at once. The first campaigns of the Latins, in the autumn and winter of 1204-1205, were successful. In Asia Minor, though set back at Brusa, parties of crusaders won notable victories over Lascaris, obtained the alliance of the Armenians of the Troad, seized strong points, and captured the blinded Alexius V Mourtzouphlus. They forced him to climb the great sculptured column in the forum of Theodosius and to jump to his death from the top: "For a high man, high justice", as Dandolo put it in a grim jest. <13> Indeed, one of the scenes carved on the column showed an emperor falling from the summit; so that an old prophecy was now fulfilled. The Latins henceforth called the column "Mourtzouphlus's leap". On the European mainland, Renier of Trit took possession of his dukedom of Philippopolis. Reinforcements from Syria arrived in Constantinople. From Thessalonica, Boniface of Montferrat struck south through Thessaly to Thebes and Athens, building a castle on the bridge across the channel to Euboea, and, at Corinth, driving the local magnate, Leo Sgourus, into the citadel. The impetus of the campaign wore itself out in the sieges of Corinth and Nauplia. A nephew of the historian and marshal, the younger Geoffrey of Villehardouin, landed at Modon (Methone), and the conquest of the Morea was begun. Marco Sanudo, nephew of the doge, seized the island of Naxos, key to the Cyclades, and two years later, in a second expedition, conquered the islands left unassigned by the partition treaty, most of which were thereafter held as fiefs from him. Sanudo himself eventually received from the Latin emperor Henry the title of duke of the Aegean Sea (Ai'yaiov 7reAayos', "Archipelago"), and held his fief "on a freer tenure than any baron in Romania". <14> Despite these Latin successes, the year 1205 brought the first of 12 A. Theiner (ed.), Vetera monumenta Slavorum, I, See R. L. Wolff, "The 'Second Bulgarian Empire', Its Origin and History to 1204," Speculum, XXIV 167-206. 13 Robert of Clan, Conquéte (ed. Lauer), p. 104. 14 Text in K. Hopf, "Urkunden zur Geschichte der Insel Andros," Sitzungsberichte der k. Wiener Akademie der Wissenschaften, XXI (1856), 243. For the entire early history of the dukedom, see J. K. Fotheringham, Marco Sanudo (Oxford, 1915).
Copyright 1969 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved. Use of this material falling outside the purview of "fair use" requires the permission of the University of Wisconsin Press. To buy the paperback book, see: http://www.wisc.edu/wisconsinpress/books/1733.htm