Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume II: The later Crusades, 1189-1311
X: The political Crusades of the thirteenth century, pp. 343-375 PDF (7.1 MB)
Ch. X POLITICAL CRUSADES OF THIRTEENTH CENTURY 375 Papal taxation and petty Crusades in Italy had certainly weakened papal prestige, but it could be argued that the expedition against Aragon in 1 85 had done it more harm than had anything else. On the Spanish side, the excommunication of Peter III and the pro clamation of a crusade against him had had very little effect. Even though the barons of Aragon had been quarreling violently with their king, they had had no use for an intruder imposed on them by the pope. On the French side, the crusade had led to a strong reaction against papal policy. The expedition had been opposed by Matthew, the influential abbot of St. Denis, and, probably, by the heir to the throne. In any case, the failure of the crusade and the death of his father must have made a strong impression on Philip the Fair. He was only seventeen when he became king; the un happy memories of the crusade and the diplomatic and financial problems into which he was plunged may well have made him unfriendly to the church. Certainly he began by asserting firmly his authority over his own clergy; during the first five years of his reign the popes made repeated protests against his attacks on the rights of French churches. He showed little interest in crusades or Mediterranean politics. This weakened the alliance between the papacy and France, which had been the dominant feature of European politics for three generations. By depriving the popes of French military support he made it impossible for them to pursue an active policy either in Italy or overseas. Philip was a pious Christian in his private life, but as king he put the interests of the French monarchy far ahead of those of the church. When the two clashed he did not hesitate; he was determined to be master in his own kingdom and to reject any outside interference. Anagni and the exile at Avignon were the logical consequences of the political crusades.
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