Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume II: The later Crusades, 1189-1311
V: The Fourth Crusade, pp. 152-185 PDF (11.7 MB)
Ch.V THE FOURTH CRUSADE 167 ing toward the end of June. In fact, however, the first bands did not leave the various regions of France until April and May, and others straggled along throughout June, July, and August. Boniface himself arrived in Venice with his contingent of Lombards only in the middle of August, and the small bands of crusaders from Germany put in their appearance at about the same time. Worse still, a number of the "high men" from the Ile de France, Burgundy, and Provence decided on their own initiative not to sail from Venice at all, but to seek transportation overseas for themselves and their men at other ports, some from Marseilles and some from southern Italy. So when the leaders in Venice were able to make a muster of the forces at their command, they found to their dismay that only about a third of the expected 33,500 men had turned up at Venice. The leaders had counted on raising the large sum of money still owing the Venetians by collecting passage money from the individual crusaders, but they found that, with only ten or twelve thousand troops on hand, they could not meet their obligations. After the individual soldiers had made their contribution, Boniface and the counts and some of the high barons added what money they could spare from their private funds, and pledged their gold and silver plate to the Venetian moneylenders, <40> but in the end they still owed the Venetians some 34,000 marks. Thus the expedition was threatened with failure before it ever got under way, for the Venetians were not likely to go on with it unless they received all the money that was coming to them by the terms of the contract. Villehardouin lays the blame for the threatened fiasco on those who, as he says, were false to their oaths and went to other ports. The primary cause, however, was the excessively high estimate made in the first place by Villehardouin himself and the other envoys as to the size of the army for which transportation would be needed. Even if all the defaulting contingents had come to Venice, they still would not have made up more than half the estimated number of 33,500 men. At this juncture, doge Enrico Dandolo came forward with a proposal that offered a way out of the impasse. For some time the rulers of Hungary, now in control of the Croatian hinterland, had been encouraging the towns along the Dalmatian coast to rebel against Venetian authority, dominant in Dalmatia for about a 40 See the document printed in Tafel and Thomas, Urkunden, I, no. xcv, in which count Baldwin acknowledges his indebtedness to certain Venetian merchants in the amount of 118 marks, 3 ounces, with interest. Note also R. Morozzo and A. Lombardo, Documenti del commercio veneziano nei secoli XI-XIII, I (Turin, 1940), 542, no. 462.
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