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 171 The contemporary Byzantine historian, Nicetas Choniates, who is reliable, but whose chronology is often difficult to unravel, declares that Alexius III Angelus had freed his nephew, the young Alexius, from prison and taken him along on his campaign against a rebellious official, Manuel Camytzes, in 1201. Early in the campaign (1201), Nicetas says, the young Alexius fled the imperial camp, boarded a Pisan vessel (which had put into the Marmara port of Athyra ostensibly for ballast), escaped his uncle's agents by cutting his hair in western style and dressing in western clothes, and sailed away to the west, where, Nicetas knew, he turned to his sister Irene and her husband Philip of Swabia for help. <46> The Gesta Innocentii reports that Boniface of Montferrat visited Innocent in Rome, at a time after Boniface "was said to have discussed" with Philip of Swabia a plan to restore the young Alexius; with him he brought a letter from Philip Augustus, to which we have the reply, dated March 26, 1202. <47> This would push the alleged conversations between Boniface, Philip, and the young Alexius back to a date in 1201, certainly long before the summer of 1202, Villehardouin's date for the arrival of the young Alexius in the west. Then too, Alexius III Angelus, who was of course fully conscious, once his nephew had escaped, of the danger that now threatened him, wrote to the pope, asking for assurances that he would not support Philip of Swabia and the young Alexius against him, and offering to negotiate for a union between the Greek and Latin churches, as the Byzantine emperors usually did when danger threatened. Innocent answered somewhat reassuringly in a letter dated November 16, 1202. He reminded Alexius III that papal policy opposed Philip of Swabia and supported his rival Otto IV for the German imperial throne. Innocent also referred, however, to a visit which the young Alexius had paid him in Rome; and in so doing used the word olim to describe the period elapsing since the visit had taken place. It has been cogently argued that the word XIII (1904), 505-514, an excellent summary of previous scholarship. More emphasis is put on the role allegedly played by Innocent III in the works of F. Cerone, "Il Papa e i Veneziani nella quarta crociata," Archivio veneto, XXXVI (i888), 57-70 and 287-297, and J. Guldner, Uber die Versuche Papst Innocenz III. eine Union zwischen der abendlandischen und morgen-lándischen Kirche herbeizufuhren (Tubingen, 1893). See also the two recent articles by the Soviet historian, M. A. Zaborov, "Papstvo i zakhvat Konstantinopolya krestonostsami v nachale XIII v.," Vizantiiskii vremennik, n.s., V (1952), 152 ff., and "K voprosu o predistorii chetvertogo krestovogo pokhoda," ibid., n.s., VI (1953), 233 ff. 46 Nicetas, Historia; De Alexio Angelo, III (CSHB), pp. 711 ff. For the convincing argument against Faral's dating, see H. Grégoire, "The Question of the Diversion of the Fourth Crusade," Byzantion, XV (1940-1941), 158-166. 47 Gesta, chap. LXXXIII (PL, CCXIV, col. 132).
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