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)
180 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES II riot, and to lodge them across the Golden Horn in the Jewish suburb of Estanor, now Pera. The object of the expedition attained, the Latins became wide-eyed tourists amid the marvels of Byzantium, wondering at the sacred relics, buying briskly from the Greeks. On August 1, 1203, the young Alexius was crowned co-emperor. <58> Late in August 1203 the leaders sent to the pope and the monarchs of the west an official circular letter, explaining their decision to go to Constantinople, recounting their experiences since their departure from Zara, announcing the postponement of the attack on Egypt until the spring, and summoning crusading Europe to join the host there in glorious deeds against the "infidel". This letter was apparently the first word Innocent III had had from the expedition since it had left Zara in April. He also received an accompanying letter from Alexius IV, dated August 23, in which the newly elected emperor assured the pope of his filial devotion and of his firm intention to bring the Greek church back into obedience to Rome. <59> Not until February 1204 did the pope reply, reproving the leaders for their disobedience, and commanding them to proceed at once with all their forces to the rescue of the Holy Land. He conjured young Alexius to fulfill his promise in respect to the Greek Church, and warned him that, unless he did so, his rule could not endure. To the doge of Venice, who apparently had sent a conciliatory message, he recalled the Venetians' persistent disobedience, and admonished him not to forget his vows as a crusader. He wrote also to the French clergy in the host commanding them to see to it that the leaders did penance for their misdeeds and carried out their professed good intentions. <60> By the time the pope's admonitions and instructions arrived, the dizzy pace of events in Constantinople had presented Christendom with a startling new development. In the months between August 1203 and March 1204 relations rapidly deteriorated between the crusading armies and the emperors they had restored. Alexius IV began to pay installments on his debt of 200,000 marks to the crusaders, who in turn paid off their own debt to the Venetians and reimbursed the knights who had paid passage money from Venice. But the leaders once more postponed departure for Palestine, as Alexius IV begged them to 58 Hereafter we refer to him as Alexius IV. 59 Innocent III, Epp., an. VI, no. 210 (from Alexius) and 211 (from the crusaders) (FL, CCXV, cols. 236-240). Cf. the letter from Hugh of St. Pol in Tafel and Thomas, Urkunden, I, 304. 60 Innocent III, Epp., an. VI, nos. 229-23 2 (PL, CCXV, cols. 259 ff.); an. VII, no. 18 (ibid., cols. 301 ff.); Potthast, Regesta, nos. 2122-2125, 2136.
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