Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The later Crusades, 1189-1311
V: The Fourth Crusade, pp. 152-185 PDF (13.5 MB)
166 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES II even for the imperial throne itself. About fifty years old, Boniface apparently had never been overseas or taken part in any crusading movement. He had, however, campaigned in Sicily in Henry VT's war with Tancred, and had also fought a long-drawn-out struggle with the Lombard communes. At his court chivalry flourished and he patronized Provençal troubadours like Peter Vidal. His own court poet was the troubadour Rambald of Vacqueyras. <37> Boniface now appeared at Soissons, and accepted the command which the crusaders offered him. Villehardouin says that only thereafter did the marquis receive the cross, in a special ceremony; but there is some evidence <38> that he may already have taken it in Italy. From Soissons, Boniface proceeded to Citeaux at the time of the annual chapter of the Cistercians (Holy Cross day, September 14, 1201). Fulk of Neuilly preached a sermon, and many Burgundians took the cross. The marquis then went on into Germany to attend the Christmas court of his suzerain, the German king, the Hohenstaufen Philip of Swabia, whose loyal friend he was. Philip, brother of the recently deceased emperor Henry VI, had married Irene, daughter of the Byzantine emperor Isaac Angelus, and widow of the Sicilian prince Roger, whom Henry VI had conquered. <39> With his Byzantine bride Philip had acquired the cause of her father Isaac Angelus, who had been deposed, blinded, and relegated to prison with his son Alexius in 1195 by his brother, Alexius III Angelus. Moreover, Philip had inherited from his late brother Henry the traditional enmity toward Byzantium, which had expressed itself in Henry's great but abortive plan for an expedition against the Byzantines, a legacy to the Hohenstaufens from their Norman predecessors in Sicily. When Boniface took command of the crusading armies, new interests thus found a voice in the leadership. From Germany he went back to Montferrat to make his final preparations. The covenant between the Venetians and the crusaders had set the date for the arrival of the host in Venice before the end of April 1202, in order to permit departure at the time of the summer cross- 37 In addition to the work of Usseglio, see D. Brader, Bonifaz von Montferrat bis zum Antritt der Kreuzfahrt (Berlin, 1907); K. Hopf, Bonifaz von Montferrat und der Troubadour Rambaut von Vaqueiras, Sammlung gemeinverstandlicher wissenschaftlichen Vortrage (ed. R. Virchow and F. von Holtzendorff, Berlin, 1877), 12; O. Schultz [Schultz-Gora] (ed.), Briefe an Bonifaz I. (II.) Markgrafen von Montferrat (Halle, 1893); Italian version, ed. G. del Noce (Florence, 1898). See the entry under "Rambaut de Vaqueiras" in A. Pillet and H. Carstens, Bibliographie der Troubadours, Schriften der Konigsberger gelehrten Gesellschaft Sonderreihe, vol. III (Halle, pp. 352 ff. 38 Gesta, chap. XLVI (FL, CCXIV), cols. xc-xci. 39 See above, chapter III, p. 119.
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