Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-x64cq Total loading time: 0.194 Render date: 2022-05-23T18:35:02.333Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

4 - Geoffrey of Villehardouin's and Robert of Clari's Narratives of the Fourth Crusade

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 February 2019

Get access

Summary

The sources for the Fourth Crusade are as rich as for the Third, if not richer. In addition to charter evidence for departing crusaders and newsletters sent home by some of the leading figures in the crusade army, we have several letters to and from Pope Innocent III as well as an apologia, the Gesta Innocentii Papae, written in 1206, which amongst other aspects of the pope's pontificate up to that point addresses his handling of the problems that the crusade had presented. In addition, there are formal records of some of the treaties and agreements that scaffold the story of the crusade, and narrative accounts that were either written by an eyewitness or capture the reminiscences of a former participant. The invaluable balancing function performed in the case of the Third Crusade by authors close to Saladin is, for the Fourth, principally assumed by a major Byzantine historian, Niketas Choniates, a high-ranking member of the aristocracy of service in the imperial government who was directly affected by the crusaders’ capture and sack of Constantinople in April 1204. Choniates's account of this turn of events is a famous set-piece that has done much to set the tone of modern sensibilities about the crusade's moral bankruptcy and negative cultural legacy.

There are significant gaps in the evidence, nonetheless. Crucially, there is no closely contemporary historiographical coverage from a Venetian perspective, an imbalance that undoubtedly contributed to the dim view of Venice's involvement in the crusade that characterized a great deal of scholarship in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It is only in recent decades that a more balanced assessment of the Venetian role has emerged, thanks to the work of scholars such as Donald Queller and Thomas Madden. We now have a better appreciation of the enormous costs that Venice incurred in building and equipping the large fleet that it contracted to supply for the crusaders, and of the various ways in which the Venetians’ reactions to events as they unfolded constantly came back to the implications and consequences of this central fact.

Type
Chapter
Information
Eyewitness and Crusade Narrative
Perception and Narration in Accounts of the Second, Third and Fourth Crusades
, pp. 256 - 336
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2018

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×