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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume III: The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries

I: The Crusade in the fourteenth century,   pp. 2-26 ff. PDF (69.3 KB)

Page 21

seas. Al3mad, the ruler of Tunisia, also promised to pay an annual tribute
for fifteen years to the Genoese for retaining Mahdia in Moslem hands, and
further, to pay an immediate war indemnity of 25,000 ducats, to be shared
between the duke and the commune. Both sides were exhausted, and the Christian
council of war ap proved the treaty, with the duke insisting that he should
be the last to board a galley. The armies reached Europe in October 1390.
The Genoese had achieved their aims, and the crusaders had unwittingly helped
in the fulfillment of the Genoese aspirations. In other words, the duke and
his contingents proved to be a cat's-paw for the clever Genoese merchants,
and the Barbary crusade failed to accomplish its original purpose as a holy
 The pious propagandists and earnest crusaders had again suffered disillusionment,
and their spiritual agonies were voiced in the works of Philip of Mézières,
who had retired in 1380 to the convent of the Celestines in Paris, to devote
himself to crusade propaganda until his death in 1405. The period between
the campaign of 1390 and the crusade of Nicopolis in 1396 represents the
peak of Philip's prolific output in the field of propagandist literature.
It was then indeed that his project of a New Militia found its fullest expression
in several new tracts, notably in his unpublished epistle to Richard II dated
1395. 22 The importance of this document lies in the fact that it was semi
official, since it was submitted by order of Charles VI of France to the
English king. In its nine "materes," or chapters, he preached peace between
the two monarchs and the unity of their armies with the New Militia in order
to serve effectively the cause of the crusade. Although the proposition was
not discountenanced in either of the two courts, its supporters had to turn
elsewhere for a leader of the new movement, and this they found in rich Burgundy.
Its duke Philip lithe Bold wanted his son, John of Nevers, to be knighted
in the field of honor fighting the "infidels" and, moreover, to earn much
prestige for his duchy by leading the crusade. 
 The time was ripe for war in the east. Alarming news had reached the west
about the advance of the Ottoman Turks even beyond the confines of the Byzantine
empire. King Sigismund of Hungary sent John of Kanizsay, the archbishop of
Gran, to solicit help at the French court in 1395. The response to the call
for a crusade was widespread among the French nobility, particularly in Burgundy.
21. On Louis of Bourbon's crusade see also below, pp. 481—483. Apparently
neither the indemnity nor the tribute was ever paid. 
22. British Museum, MS. 20, B VI. 

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