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)
178 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES II doing in his land, since they were supposed to be on their way to recover the Holy Sepulcher; if they were in need, he would gladly give them provisions for their journey, but if they harbored any hostile intentions toward him or his empire, he would destroy them to a man. The crusader spokesman, Conon of Béthune, answered that Alexius III was a traitor and usurper, and demanded his surrender to his nephew, whom, Conon said, the crusaders would try to persuade to treat him gently. After sending back this defiance, the leaders decided to appeal to the people of Constantinople to acknowledge their protégé. The galleys set out from the harbor of Scutari, one of them bearing the young Alexius, Boniface, and Dandolo, and sailed as close as they could to the sea walls, while those on board shouted out to the crowds thronging the shore and the walls that they were come to help the people of Constantinople overthrow their tyrant and restore their rightful lord. The demonstration failed, as the only response was a shower of missiles. So the leaders now made preparations for an attack, mustering their forces (probably something over 10,000) in the plain outside Scutari in seven "battles" or divisions, each containing as far as possible men of the same region and each commanded by one of the counts or high barons, On July the fleet crossed the Bosporus; the French repulsed a Byzantine force and made a landing at Galata, across the Golden Horn from Constantinople. The next day the French stormed and captured Galata's principal defense work, a great tower. The Venetian fleet broke the harbor chain that closed the opening of the Golden Horn, and moved in, sinking or capturing the few Byzantine galleys stationed there as a defending force. <57> They now wanted to concentrate the attack against the sea walls from the waters of the Golden Horn; but the French preferred to fight on land, and agreed to time their assault to coincide with the Venetian action. So the French forces now marched inland from Pera along the shore of the Golden Horn until they came to the little stream at its upper end. Over this they threw a bridge, then crossed and established their camp outside the land walls of the city near the Blachernae palace, at the angle between the land walls 57 On the topography of Constantinople, see A. M. Schneider, Byzanz, Istanbuler Forschungen herausgegeben von der Abtheilung Istanbul des Archaologischen Instituts des deutschen Reiches, vol. VIII (Berlin, 1936); supplemented to some extent by R. Janin, Constantinople byzantine, Archives de l'orient chrétien, IV (Paris, 1950). The treatment of A. van Milligen, Byzantine Constantinople: The Walls of the City and Adjoining Historical Sites (Lon don, 1899) is still valuable for its special subject. The large map of the land walls by "Misn" (Nomides), Xa'prrjs~ twv TEIXWV /LEOaLWvLK9)s KWVCTaV-TLVOUITO'AEUJS(:(<see image>) (Constantinople, 1945) is also extremely useful.
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