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The Fourth Crusade

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Chapter Summary

The Fourth Crusade was proclaimed by Pope Innocent III in 1198, in an attempt to restore the old Latin kingdom of Jerusalem. The proclamation was especially successful in France. The reason for changing the objective of the Fourth Crusade from Egypt to Constantinople will probably never be definitively known. The city finally fell to the crusaders in April 1204, and for three days there was little more than plunder and killing to describe. The defenders of Constantinople carried some amazing relics into battle; an icon of Mary and the apostles, with a tooth Jesus lost as a child, a piece of the lance used to pierce his side on the cross, part of the Shroud and relics from thirty martyrs. Innocent III was satisfied by the conquest of the city although outraged at the sacking of so many Christian treasures.

Keywords: Christian treasures; Constantinople; Fourth Crusade; Jerusalem; Pope Innocent III



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