Through the Eyes of a Crusader: An Intensive Study Into the Personal Involvement of Two Men in the Fourth Crusade
Killmaster, Jami Kerissa
Honour Thesis, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Paper 235, May 1 (2002)
On November 28, 1199, the The Fourth Crusade began with the enlistment of an anny of knights in northern France. It was fifteen months after Pope Innocent III had asked for men to join another crusade. The Fourth Crusade was fought with the express purpose to get possession ofJerusalem according to the pope. However, it never reached its intended goal. Both men that I have chosen to study saw these events with their own eyes, but they both give a different point of view to the events. Robert de Clari and Geoffrey de Villehardouin left accounts of the crusade written from very different points of view. All of the crusaders faced many trials including the siege of Zara, the decision to attack Constantinople, the taking of the Tower of Galata, and most importantly the sack of Constantinople. The following paper investigates the different points of view that Clari and Villehardouin held, and shows how they are equally important to our understanding of the events of the Fourth Crusade. In researching the subject,I assert that an individual’s personal involvement during the crusades should be considered a vital source of infonnation. As I will indicate in this paper, the personal accounts of the crusades are a very important part of our history because they give us another view of the battles.
The Fourth Crusade has been typically viewed only from a large-scale perspective. However, I believe that there is much more to the Crusade if one could view the personal accounts ofthe crusaders individually. The Fourth Crusade was fought with the purpose of regaining control of the Holy Land for the papacy and Christianity, however it went way off course and ended in the city of Constantinople instead of Jerusalem. The crusaders had gone offtrack and attacked a Christian city, which had never happened on a crusade before, and would not ever happen again thereafter.
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