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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume II: The later Crusades, 1189-1311
(1969)

XI: The Fifth Crusade,   pp. 376-428 PDF (13.1 MB)


Page 386

386 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES II 
without first deducting the ordinary and general taxes, could hardly afford
to do so, except for those who had an assured living. 
 Everywhere indeed the twentieth was regarded as an onerous burden. Its collection
often required compulsory measures. In Spain, where a twentieth had already
been levied to meet the expenses of the war against the Moors, demands for
the collection of another twentieth occasioned bitter protests. In Scandinavia
the twentieth had to be levied through payments in kind, and could not be
accurately estimated. Generally the twentieth, together with similar taxes,
constituted a part of the donation chest maintained in many churches. After
collections were made in this manner they were usually sent through Aimard,
treasurer of the Temple in Paris, and thence through a duly designated agent
to the papal legate in the Holy Land, or directly to the leaders of crusading
armies. It was expected that the legate, upon receiving these funds, would
distribute them equitably among those crusaders who had taken the cross in
the diocese where the taxes had been collected. Exceptions to this practice
were authorized in those cases where previous arrangements had been made
and sanctioned by the pope, permitting the sending of the money directly
to the leaders. The questionable handling of such funds is more than suggested
in Gervase's second letter. He complains to Honorius that the people were
asking, "What use has been made of the money deposited in the chests of the
church, and of the taxes paid by the clergy?" False accounting by some clergymen,
even though the culprits were all too frequently absolved, indicates the
difficulties in the administration of the finances of the crusades. In at
least one instance, there was evidence of actual theft.26 
 Only a few Frenchmen, including archbishop Aubrey of Rheims and bishops
John of Limoges and Robert of Bayeux, took part in the expedition of 1217.
Most French nobles were pre-occupied in the west, and unwilling to go in
the company of Germans and Hungarians.27 But king Andrew II of Hungary and
duke Leopold VI of Austria, in the absence of support from the greater princes
of Europe, devoted themselves all the more zealously to assembling and equipping
their troops.28 
 Many years before, at the time of his father's death on April 20, 1 1 96,
Andrew had assumed the crusading obligation which his 
26 Röhricht, Funft. Kreuz., p. 10. 
 27 L'Estoire de Eracles (RHC, 0cc., II), p. 322; Aubrey of Trois-Fontaines,
Chronicon (MGH, SS., XXIII), p. 905 (also in RHGF, XVIII, 787). 
28 Röhricht, Funft. Kreuz., pp. 24-36, is a basic study of the Hungarian
crusade. 


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