Front Page Titles (by Subject) IX.: THE CRUSADES - A Source Book for Mediaeval History. Selected Documents Illustrating the History of Europe in the Middle Age
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IX.: THE CRUSADES - Oliver J. Thatcher, A Source Book for Mediaeval History. Selected Documents Illustrating the History of Europe in the Middle Age 
A Source Book for Mediaeval History. Selected Documents Illustrating the History of Europe in the Middle Age, ed. Oliver J. Thatcher and Edgar Holmes McNeal (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1905).
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The following selections are meant to illustrate briefly (1) the religious value attaching to crusading, nos. 274-277; (2) the immediate origin of the crusading movement, nos. 278-280; (3) the disorders and excesses attending the first crusade, nos. 282, 283; (4) the crusade of Frederic Barbarossa, no. 285; (5) the activity of the popes in fostering the crusades, the special inducements offered by them to crusaders, etc., nos. 284, 287, 288; (6) the commercial interests of the Italian cities, nos. 286, 288.
The Meritorious Character of Martyrdom. Origen, Exhortation to Martyrdom, 235 ad, Chaps. 30 and 50. (Greek.)
The chief inducement which the church at first offered crusaders was the remission of their sins. To lose one’s life in fighting against pagans and infidels, or even to wage war on them, was regarded as closely akin to martyrdom, and therefore as possessing the power to atone for sins. Cf. nos. 274-277. As the interest in the crusades declined, the church found it necessary to offer still other inducements, chiefly of a secular character. The student should compare the later documents with the earlier in order to see what new inducements were offered.
Ch. 30. But we must remember that we have sinned and that there is no forgiveness of sins without baptism, and that the gospel does not permit us to be baptized a second time with water and the spirit for the forgiveness of sins, and that therefore the baptism of martyrdom is given us. For thus it has been called, as may clearly be implied from the passage, “Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” [Mark 10:38]. And in another place it is said, “But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!” [Luke 12:50]. For be sure that just as the sacrifice of the Saviour was for the whole world, so the baptism by martyrdom is for the service of many who are thereby cleansed [of their sins]. For as those sitting near the altar according to the law of Moses minister forgiveness of sins to others through the blood of bulls and goats [Heb. 9:13], so the souls of those who have suffered martyrdom are now near the altar [in heaven] for a particular purpose and grant forgiveness of sins to those who pray. And at the same time we know that just as the high priest, Jesus Christ, offered himself as a sacrifice, so the priests [that is, the martyrs], of whom he is the high priest, offer themselves as a sacrifice, and on account of this sacrifice [which they make], they have a right to be at the altar [in heaven].
Ch. 50. Just as we were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ [1 Peter 1:19], who received the name which is above every name [Phil. 2:9], so by the precious blood of the martyrs will others be redeemed.
Origen, Commentary on Numbers, Homily X, 2. (Greek.)
I fear therefore that now since there are no more martyrs and the saints are not offered up as sacrifices [that is, as martyrs], we are not securing the remission of our sins, and that the devil, knowing that sins are forgiven by the suffering of martyrs, does not wish to stir up the heathen to persecute us.
Forgiveness of Sins for Those who Die in Battle with the Heathen. Leo IV (847-55) to the Army of the Franks.
Now we hope that none of you will be slain, but we wish you to know that the kingdom of heaven will be given as a reward to those who shall be killed in this war. For the Omnipotent knows that they lost their lives fighting for the truth of the faith, for the preservation of their country, and the defence of Christians. And therefore God will give them the reward which we have named.
Indulgence for Fighting Heathen, 878.
John II to the bishops in the realm of Louis II [the Stammerer]. You have modestly expressed a desire to know whether those who have recently died in war, fighting in defence of the church of God and for the preservation of the Christian religion and of the state, or those who may in the future fall in the same cause, may obtain indulgence for their sins. We confidently reply that those who, out of love to the Christian religion, shall die in battle fighting bravely against pagans or unbelievers, shall receive eternal life. For the Lord has said through his prophet: “In whatever hour a sinner shall be converted, I will remember his sins no longer.” By the intercession of St. Peter, who has the power of binding and loosing in heaven and on the earth, we absolve, as far as is permissible, all such and commend them by our prayers to the Lord.
Gregory VII Calls for a Crusade, 1074.
Gregory VII barely missed the honor of having begun the crusading movement. His plan is clear from the following letter. The situation in 1095 was not materially different from that in 1074, and it is probable that Urban II, when he called for a crusade, had nothing more in mind than Gregory VII had when he wrote this letter. Gregory was unable to carry out his plans because he became involved in the struggle with Henry IV.
Gregory, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to all who are willing to defend the Christian faith, greeting and apostolic benediction.
We hereby inform you that the bearer of this letter, on his recent return from across the sea [from Palestine], came to Rome to visit us. He repeated what we had heard from many others, that a pagan race had overcome the Christians and with horrible cruelty had devastated everything almost to the walls of Constantinople, and were now governing the conquered lands with tyrannical violence, and that they had slain many thousands of Christians as if they were but sheep. If we love God and wish to be recognized as Christians, we should be filled with grief at the misfortune of this great empire [the Greek] and the murder of so many Christians. But simply to grieve is not our whole duty. The example of our Redeemer and the bond of fraternal love demand that we should lay down our lives to liberate them. “Because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” [1 John 3:16]. Know, therefore, that we are trusting in the mercy of God and in the power of his might and that we are striving in all possible ways and making preparations to render aid to the Christian empire [the Greek] as quickly as possible. Therefore we beseech you by the faith in which you are united through Christ in the adoption of the sons of God, and by the authority of St. Peter, prince of apostles, we admonish you that you be moved to proper compassion by the wounds and blood of your brethren and the danger of the aforesaid empire and that, for the sake of Christ, you undertake the difficult task of bearing aid to your brethren [the Greeks]. Send messengers to us at once to inform us of what God may inspire you to do in this matter.
The Speech of Urban II at the Council of Clermont, 1095. Fulcher of Chartres.
In 1094 or 1095, Alexius, the Greek emperor, sent to the pope, Urban II, and asked for aid from the west against the Turks, who had taken nearly all of Asia Minor from him. At the council of Clermont Urban addressed a great crowd and urged all to go to the aid of the Greeks and to recover Palestine from the rule of the Mohammedans. The acts of the council have not been preserved, but we have four accounts of the speech of Urban which were written by men who were present and heard him. We give the two most important of these accounts. The interest of the speech lies in the fact that it gave the impulse which started the crusading movement.
“Most beloved brethren: Urged by necessity, I, Urban, by the permission of God chief bishop and prelate over the whole world, have come into these parts as an ambassador with a divine admonition to you, the servants of God. I hoped to find you as faithful and as zealous in the service of God as I had supposed you to be. But if there is in you any deformity or crookedness contrary to God’s law, with divine help I will do my best to remove it. For God has put you as stewards over his family to minister to it. Happy indeed will you be if he finds you faithful in your stewardship. You are called shepherds; see that you do not act as hirelings. But be true shepherds, with your crooks always in your hands. Do not go to sleep, but guard on all sides the flock committed to you. For if through your carelessness or negligence a wolf carries away one of your sheep, you will surely lose the reward laid up for you with God. And after you have been bitterly scourged with remorse for your faults, you will be fiercely overwhelmed in hell, the abode of death. For according to the gospel you are the salt of the earth [Matt. 5:13]. But if you fall short in your duty, how, it may be asked, can it be salted? O how great the need of salting! It is indeed necessary for you to correct with the salt of wisdom this foolish people which is so devoted to the pleasures of this world, lest the Lord, when He may wish to speak to them, find them putrefied by their sins, unsalted and stinking. For if He shall find worms, that is, sins, in them, because you have been negligent in your duty, He will command them as worthless to be thrown into the abyss of unclean things. And because you cannot restore to Him His great loss, He will surely condemn you and drive you from His loving presence. But the man who applies this salt should be prudent, provident, modest, learned, peaceable, watchful, pious, just, equitable, and pure. For how can the ignorant teach others? How can the licentious make others modest? And how can the impure make others pure? If anyone hates peace, how can he make others peaceable? Or if anyone has soiled his hands with baseness, how can he cleanse the impurities of another? We read also that if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the ditch [Matt. 15:14]. But first correct yourselves, in order that, free from blame, you may be able to correct those who are subject to you. If you wish to be the friends of God, gladly do the things which you know will please Him. You must especially let all matters that pertain to the church be controlled by the law of the church. And be careful that simony does not take root among you, lest both those who buy and those who sell [church offices] be beaten with the scourges of the Lord through narrow streets and driven into the place of destruction and confusion. Keep the church and the clergy in all its grades entirely free from the secular power. See that the tithes that belong to God are faithfully paid from all the produce of the land; let them not be sold or withheld. If anyone seizes a bishop let him be treated as an outlaw. If anyone seizes or robs monks, or clergymen, or nuns, or their servants, or pilgrims, or merchants, let him be anathema [that is, cursed]. Let robbers and incendiaries and all their accomplices be expelled from the church and anathematized. If a man who does not give a part of his goods as alms is punished with the damnation of hell, how should he be punished who robs another of his goods? For thus it happened to the rich man in the gospel [Luke 16:19]; for he was not punished because he had stolen the goods of another, but because he had not used well the things which were his.
“You have seen for a long time the great disorder in the world caused by these crimes. It is so bad in some of your provinces, I am told, and you are so weak in the administration of justice, that one can hardly go along the road by day or night without being attacked by robbers; and whether at home or abroad, one is in danger of being despoiled either by force or fraud. Therefore it is necessary to reenact the truce, as it is commonly called, which was proclaimed a long time ago by our holy fathers. I exhort and demand that you, each, try hard to have the truce kept in your diocese. And if anyone shall be led by his cupidity or arrogance to break this truce, by the authority of God and with the sanction of this council he shall be anathematized.”
After these and various other matters had been attended to, all who were present, clergy and people, gave thanks to God and agreed to the pope’s proposition. They all faithfully promised to keep the decrees. Then the pope said that in another part of the world Christianity was suffering from a state of affairs that was worse than the one just mentioned. He continued:
“Although, O sons of God, you have promised more firmly than ever to keep the peace among yourselves and to preserve the rights of the church, there remains still an important work for you to do. Freshly quickened by the divine correction, you must apply the strength of your righteousness to another matter which concerns you as well as God. For your brethren who live in the east are in urgent need of your help, and you must hasten to give them the aid which has often been promised them. For, as the most of you have heard, the Turks and Arabs have attacked them and have conquered the territory of Romania [the Greek empire] as far west as the shore of the Mediterranean and the Hellespont, which is called the Arm of St. George. They have occupied more and more of the lands of those Christians, and have overcome them in seven battles. They have killed and captured many, and have destroyed the churches and devastated the empire. If you permit them to continue thus for awhile with impunity, the faithful of God will be much more widely attacked by them. On this account I, or rather the Lord, beseech you as Christ’s heralds to publish this everywhere and to persuade all people of whatever rank, foot-soldiers and knights, poor and rich, to carry aid promptly to those Christians and to destroy that vile race from the lands of our friends. I say this to those who are present, it is meant also for those who are absent. Moreover, Christ commands it.
“All who die by the way, whether by land or by sea, or in battle against the pagans, shall have immediate remission of sins. This I grant them through the power of God with which I am invested. O what a disgrace if such a despised and base race, which worships demons, should conquer a people which has the faith of omnipotent God and is made glorious with the name of Christ! With what reproaches will the Lord overwhelm us if you do not aid those who, with us, profess the Christian religion! Let those who have been accustomed unjustly to wage private warfare against the faithful now go against the infidels and end with victory this war which should have been begun long ago. Let those who, for a long time, have been robbers, now become knights. Let those who have been fighting against their brothers and relatives now fight in a proper way against the barbarians. Let those who have been serving as mercenaries for small pay now obtain the eternal reward. Let those who have been wearing themselves out in both body and soul now work for a double honor. Behold! on this side will be the sorrowful and poor, on that, the rich; on this side, the enemies of the Lord, on that, his friends. Let those who go not put off the journey, but rent their lands and collect money for their expenses; and as soon as winter is over and spring comes, let them eagerly set out on the way with God as their guide.”
The Council of Clermont, 1095. Robert the Monk.
In 1095 a great council was held in Auvergne, in the city of Clermont, Pope Urban II, accompanied by cardinals and bishops, presided over it. It was made famous by the presence of many bishops and princes from France and Germany. After the council had attended to ecclesiastical matters, the pope went out into a public square, because no house was able to hold the people, and addressed them in a very persuasive speech, as follows: “O race of the Franks, O people who live beyond the mountains [that is, reckoned from Rome], O people loved and chosen of God, as is clear from your many deeds, distinguished over all other nations by the situation of your land, your catholic faith, and your regard for the holy church, we have a special message and exhortation for you. For we wish you to know what a grave matter has brought us to your country. The sad news has come from Jerusalem and Constantinople that the people of Persia, an accursed and foreign race, enemies of God, ‘a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God’ [Ps. 78:8], have invaded the lands of those Christians and devastated them with the sword, rapine, and fire. Some of the Christians they have carried away as slaves, others they have put to death. The churches they have either destroyed or turned into mosques. They desecrate and overthrow the altars. They circumcise the Christians and pour the blood from the circumcision on the altars or in the baptismal fonts. Some they kill in a horrible way by cutting open the abdomen, taking out a part of the entrails and tying them to a stake; they then beat them and compel them to walk until all their entrails are drawn out and they fall to the ground. Some they use as targets for their arrows. They compel some to stretch out their necks and then they try to see whether they can cut off their heads with one stroke of the sword. It is better to say nothing of their horrible treatment of the women. They have taken from the Greek empire a tract of land so large that it takes more than two months to walk through it. Whose duty is it to avenge this and recover that land, if not yours? For to you more than to other nations the Lord has given the military spirit, courage, agile bodies, and the bravery to strike down those who resist you. Let your minds be stirred to bravery by the deeds of your forefathers, and by the efficiency and greatness of Karl the Great, and of Ludwig his son, and of the other kings who have destroyed Turkish kingdoms, and established Christianity in their lands. You should be moved especially by the holy grave of our Lord and Saviour which is now held by unclean peoples, and by the holy places which are treated with dishonor and irreverently befouled with their uncleanness.
“O bravest of knights, descendants of unconquered ancestors, do not be weaker than they, but remember their courage. If you are kept back by your love for your children, relatives, and wives, remember what the Lord says in the Gospel: ‘He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me’ [Matt. 10:37]; ‘and everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold and shall inherit everlasting life’ [Matt. 19:29]. Let no possessions keep you back, no solicitude for your property. Your land is shut in on all sides by the sea and mountains, and is too thickly populated. There is not much wealth here, and the soil scarcely yields enough to support you. On this account you kill and devour each other, and carry on war and mutually destroy each other. Let your hatred and quarrels cease, your civil wars come to an end, and all your dissensions stop. Set out on the road to the holy sepulchre, take the land from that wicked people, and make it your own. That land which, as the Scripture says, is flowing with milk and honey, God gave to the children of Israel. Jerusalem is the best of all lands, more fruitful than all others, as it were a second Paradise of delights. This land our Saviour made illustrious by his birth, beautiful with his life, and sacred with his suffering; he redeemed it with his death and glorified it with his tomb. This royal city is now held captive by her enemies, and made pagan by those who know not God. She asks and longs to be liberated and does not cease to beg you to come to her aid. She asks aid especially from you because, as I have said, God has given more of the military spirit to you than to other nations. Set out on this journey and you will obtain the remission of your sins and be sure of the incorruptible glory of the kingdom of heaven.”
When Pope Urban had said this and much more of the same sort, all who were present were moved to cry out with one accord, “It is the will of God, it is the will of God.” When the pope heard this he raised his eyes to heaven and gave thanks to God, and, commanding silence with a gesture of his hand, he said: “My dear brethren, today there is fulfilled in you that which the Lord says in the Gospel, ‘Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst’ [Matt. 18:20]. For unless the Lord God had been in your minds you would not all have said the same thing. For although you spoke with many voices, nevertheless it was one and the same thing that made you speak. So I say unto you, God, who put those words into your hearts, has caused you to utter them. Therefore let these words be your battle cry, because God caused you to speak them. Whenever you meet the enemy in battle, you shall all cry out, ‘It is the will of God, it is the will of God.’ And we do not command the old or weak to go, or those who cannot bear arms. No women shall go without their husbands, or brothers, or proper companions, for such would be a hindrance rather than a help, a burden rather than an advantage. Let the rich aid the poor and equip them for fighting and take them with them. Clergymen shall not go without the consent of their bishop, for otherwise the journey would be of no value to them. Nor will this pilgrimage be of any benefit to a layman if he goes without the blessing of his priest. Whoever therefore shall determine to make this journey and shall make a vow to God and shall offer himself as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God [Rom. 12:1], shall wear a cross on his brow or on his breast. And when he returns after having fulfilled his vow he shall wear the cross on his back. In this way he will obey the command of the Lord, ‘Whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me is not worthy of me’ ” [Luke 14:27]. When these things had been done, while all prostrated themselves on the earth and beat their breasts, one of the cardinals, named Gregory, made confession for them, and they were given absolution for all their sins. After the absolution, they received the benediction and the permission to go home.
The Truce of God and Indulgence for Crusaders. The Council of Clermont, 1095.
The canons of this council in their original form have not been preserved. We have translated the first two canons as Mansi has formulated them. See also nos. 240 ff. for truce of God.
1. It was decreed that monks, clergymen, women, and whatever they may have with them, shall be under the protection of the peace all the time [that is, shall never be attacked]. On three days of the week, that is, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, an act of violence committed by one person against another shall not be regarded as a violation of the peace [truce]. But on the remaining four days of the week if anyone does an injury to another, he shall be held to be a violator of the holy peace [truce], and he shall be punished as has been decreed.
2. If anyone out of devotion alone and not for honor or gain sets out for Jerusalem to free the church of God, the journey shall be regarded as the equivalent of all penance.
Rabble Bands of Crusaders. Ekkehard of Aura, Hierosolimita.
The lack of unity and organization in the first crusade gave many persons an opportunity to plunder and rob and commit all kinds of violence under the cloak of religion. Because they had taken the cross they pretended that they were privileged and might do as they pleased. They attempted to live at the expense of others. This and the following selection will give an idea of the violence and excesses committed by them. Their villainous conduct led many devout persons to criticise the crusading movement very sharply. The events described by Ekkehard occurred in 1096. He wrote the account between 1103 and 1106.
Folkmar [a priest] led his following [about 12,000] through Bohemia. When they came to Neitra, a town of Hungary, the people rose against them, took some of them prisoners and killed others. Only a very few of them escaped and they still tell how the sign of the cross appeared in the sky over them and saved them from imminent death.
Gotschalk, not a true but a false servant of God, suffered some losses while passing with his army through Austria. After entering Hungary, as a remarkable proof of their hypocrisy, they fortified a certain town on a hill and, after establishing a garrison there, the rest of them began to plunder the country round about. But the town was soon taken by the natives and many of the crusaders were killed. Gotschalk, the hireling and not a pastor, and those who were with him were driven off.
There arose also in those days a certain knight, named Emicho, a count from the Rhine region, who for a long time had been infamous because of his manner of living. Like a second Saul [1 Sam. 10:9-13], he said that he had been called by divine revelation to engage in this sort of religious undertaking. He gathered about 12,000 crusaders, and while passing through the cities along the Rhine, Main, and Danube, led by their zeal for Christianity, they persecuted the hated race of the Jews wherever they found them, and strove either to destroy them completely or to compel them to become Christians. They were joined on the way by many men and women. When they came to the frontier of Hungary, which is protected by swamps and forests, they were prevented from entering it by guards who were stationed there for that purpose; for king Coloman had heard that the Germans made no distinction between pagans and Hungarians. The crusaders besieged Wieselburg [at the junction of the Danube and the Leitha] for six weeks, during which time they suffered a good many hardships. A foolish quarrel arose among them over the question who of them should rule as king over Hungary after they had taken it. They were about to take the city, the walls were broken down and the inhabitants were fleeing and setting fire to their own houses, when, in a miraculous manner, the victorious army of crusaders began to flee, leaving all their provisions and supplies. They escaped with nothing but their lives.
Peter the Hermit. Anonymi Gesta Francorum, 1097-99.
The anonymous author of the Gesta Francorum was a knight from southern Italy who went with Boemund on the crusade. He wrote his account of the crusade at various times while on the march to Jerusalem. After the capture of the city and the battle with the Mohammedans before Ascalon, he added a chapter in which he described those events. From the passage here given it will be seen that Peter the Hermit played a very inglorious part in the first crusade. His army did not differ either in its character or in its fate from those of Folkmar, Gotschalk, and Emicho.
One of the divisions of the Franks passed through Hungary. The leaders of these were Peter the Hermit, Godfrey, his brother Baldwin, and Baldwin, count of Mt. Henno. These most powerful knights and many others, whose names I do not know, went by the road which Karl the Great, the famous king of France, had caused to be made to Constantinople. But Peter, with a large number of Germans, preceded all the others to Constantinople, which he reached August 1 . There he found some Lombards, [other] Italians, and many others assembled. The emperor had given them a market and had told them not to cross the strait until the great body of crusaders should come, because they were not numerous enough to meet the Turks in battle. But these crusaders were conducting themselves badly. They were destroying and burning palaces [in the suburbs of Constantinople], and they stole the lead with which the churches were covered, and sold it to the Greeks. At this the emperor became angry and ordered them to cross the strait. But after they crossed they continued to do all the damage possible, burning and plundering houses and churches. At length they came to Nicomedia where, because of the haughtiness of the French, the Lombards, Italians, and Germans separated from them and chose a leader named Raynald. They then marched four days into the interior. Beyond Nicæa they found a castle, named Xerigordon, which had no garrison. They took it and found in it a good deal of grain, wine, and meat, and an abundance of all kinds of provisions. The Turks, hearing that the Christians were in this castle, came to besiege it. Before the gate of the castle was a well and at the foot of the castle a spring of water. Near this spring Raynald laid an ambush to catch the Turks. But they came on St. Michael’s day [September 29], and discovered the ambuscade and fell upon Raynald and those who were with him, and killed many of them. Those who escaped fled into the castle. The Turks laid close siege to the castle and cut off its supply of water. And the crusaders suffered so from thirst that they bled the horses and donkeys and drank their blood. And some let down girdles and pieces of rags into the cistern and squeezed the water out of them into their mouths. Some even drank urine, and others, to relieve their thirst, dug holes in the ground and, lying on their backs, covered their breasts with the moist earth. The bishops and priests comforted them and urged them not to give up, saying, “Be strong in the faith of Christ, and fear not those who persecute you, as the Lord said, ‘Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul’ ” [Matt. 10:28]. This continued for eight days. Finally the leader of the Germans agreed with the Turks to betray his companions to them. So, pretending to go out to fight, he fled to the Turks and many went with him. But those who would not deny their Lord were killed. The Turks took some prisoners and divided them like sheep among themselves. Some of these they put up as targets and shot arrows at them. Others they sold or gave away as if they were animals. Some took their prisoners home with them as slaves. In this way some of the Christians were taken to Chorasan, some to Antioch, some to Aleppo, and still others to other places. These were the first to suffer a glorious martyrdom for the name of the Lord Jesus.
Now the Turks, learning that Peter the Hermit and Walter the Penniless were at Civitot, which is above Nicæa, came thither with great rejoicing to kill them and those who were with them. Walter was leading his men out toward Xerigordon when the Turks met them and killed them. But Peter the Hermit had a short time before gone back to Constantinople because he could not control his people, who refused to obey him. The Turks then attacked those who were encamped near Civitot, some of whom they found asleep, others lying down, and others naked, and killed them. Among them they found a priest saying mass and killed him at the altar. Those who were able to escape fled into Civitot. Some sprang into the sea, and others hid in the woods and mountains. The Turks followed those who went into the castle, and gathered wood to burn them with the castle. But the Christians in the castle threw fire into the piles of wood, and the fire, turned against the Turks, burned some of them. But God delivered ours from the fire. But at length the Turks took them alive, divided them among themselves, as they had done before, and scattered them through all those regions. Some were sent to Chorasan and others into Persia. All this was done in the month of October .
Eugene III Announces a Crusade, December 1, 1145.
Edessa was taken by Zenki, the emir of Mosul, in December, 1144. The news of this disaster was carried to the west and at the same time an appeal for help was made. For some time no response was made to this appeal, but finally Eugene III issued this call, and appointed Bernard of Clairvaux to preach the crusade. The student will observe that the pope exercises high authority in secular matters, such as the payment of interest, the pawning of fiefs, etc. Since the days of Gregory VII (1073-85), the pope acts as the supreme law-giver in all matters, both spiritual and secular.
Eugene, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his most beloved son, Louis, the illustrious and glorious king of the Franks, and to his beloved sons, the princes, and to all the faithful in God in Gaul, greeting and apostolic benediction.
From the history of our predecessors we learn how much they labored for the deliverance of the oriental church. For, in order to deliver it, our predecessor, Urban II, of blessed memory, sounded, as it were, a trumpet, and called together the sons of the holy Roman church from all parts of the world. At his voice, people from beyond the mountains, and especially the bravest and strongest warriors of the Franks and of Italy were inflamed with the ardor of love and came together. So a great army was collected which, with the aid of God, and not without great loss of life, freed from the filth of the pagans that city in which our Saviour died for us and left his glorious tomb as a memorial of his suffering for us. And they took many other cities which, for the sake of brevity, we omit. By the grace of God and the zeal of your fathers in defending them, these cities have, up to this time, remained in the hands of the Christians, and Christianity has been spread in those parts, and other cities have been valiantly taken from the infidels. But now, because of our sins and the sins of the people in the east (we cannot say it without great sorrow and weeping), the city of Edessa, or Rohais, as we call it, which was the only Christian city in those parts when the pagans held that country, has been taken by the enemies of the cross of Christ, and many Christian fortresses have been seized by them. The archbishop of Edessa and his clergy and many other Christians have been killed there. The relics of the saints have been trampled under foot by the infidels and scattered. You know as well as we how great a danger is threatening the church and the whole Christian world. If you bravely defend those things which the courage of your fathers acquired, it will be the greatest proof of your nobility and worth. But if not, it will be shown that you have less bravery than your fathers. Therefore we exhort, ask, command, and for the remission of your sins, we order all of you, and especially the nobles and the more powerful, to arm yourselves manfully to defend the oriental church, and to attack the infidels and to liberate the thousands of your brethren who are now their captives, that the dignity of the Christian name may be increased, and your reputation for courage, which is praised throughout the world, may remain unimpaired. Take for your example that Mattathias, who, to preserve the laws of his country, did not hesitate to expose himself, his children, and his relatives to death, and to leave all that he possessed in this world. And finally, by the divine aid, after many labors, he and his family triumphed over his enemies [1 Maccabees 2:1 ff.].
Wishing, therefore, to provide for your welfare as well as to relieve the church in the east, we grant to those who, in a spirit of devotion, shall determine to accomplish this holy and necessary work, by the authority of God conferred on us, the same remission of sins as our predecessor, Pope Urban, granted. And we decree that their wives and children, their goods and possessions, shall be under the protection of the holy church, of ourselves, and of the archbishops, bishops, and other prelates of the church of God. And until they return, or their death is known, we forbid by our apostolic authority any lawsuit to be brought against them about any of the property of which they were in peaceful possession when they took the cross. Moreover, since those who fight for the Lord should not have their minds set on fine clothing, or personal decoration, or [hunting] dogs, or falcons, or other things which savor of worldliness, we urge you to take care that those who undertake so holy a journey shall not deck themselves out with gay clothing and furs, or with gold and silver weapons, but that they shall try to supply themselves with such arms, horses, and other things as will aid them to defeat the infidels.
If any are in debt but with a pure intention set out on this holy journey, they shall not pay the interest already due; and if they or others are pledged to pay the interest, by our apostolic authority we absolve them from their oath or pledge. If their relatives or the lords on whose fiefs they live cannot or will not lend them the money [necessary for the journey], they may pawn their lands and other possessions to churches, to clergymen, or to others, without the consent of the lords of their fiefs. In accordance with the grant of our predecessor and by the authority of omnipotent God, and of St. Peter, prince of the apostles, which authority is vested in us, we grant such remission of sins and absolution that whoever shall devoutly undertake and complete so holy a journey, or shall have died while on the way, shall have absolution for all his sins which he shall have confessed with a humble and contrite heart, and he shall receive the reward of eternal life from God the rewarder of all.
The Third Crusade, 1189-90. From the Chronicle of Otto of St. Blasien.
The Greek emperor, Isaac Angelus, and Saladin had made an alliance against the sultan of Iconium, who was their common enemy. Isaac’s hostility to Frederick is explained in part by the fact that he had promised Saladin to try to prevent the crusaders from reaching Palestine. It was only natural that the sultan of Iconium should try to make an alliance with Frederick, since the latter was going to attack Saladin. But before Frederick reached Iconium, the sultan had divided his government among his sons, one of whom, Kutbeddin, was governor of Iconium. Kutbeddin had made an alliance with Saladin and married one of his daughters. This explains why the treaty with Frederick was broken.
In order not to confuse the student we have corrected a few errors in Otto’s account.
In the year 1187, Saladin, king of the Saracens, seeing the very base conduct of the Christians, and knowing that they were afflicted with discord, hatred, and avarice, thought the time was favorable and so planned to conquer all Syria with Palestine. He collected a very large army of Saracens from all the orient and made war on the Christians. Attacking them everywhere in Palestine with fire and sword, he took many fortresses and cities and killed or took prisoner all their Christian inhabitants, and put Saracen colonists in their place. The king of Jerusalem and the noble prince, Reinaldus [of Chatillon, governor of Kerak], and other nobles collected a large army and went out to meet Saladin. The true cross was carried at the head of the army. But they were defeated [at the battle of the Horns of Hattin, July 5, 1187] and many thousands of Christians were slain. The true cross, alas! was captured by the Saracens, and the Christians were put to flight. The king and Reinaldus and many others were taken prisoner, and carried off to Damascus, where . . . Reinaldus was beheaded, confessing the true faith. The pagans were made bold by this victory and took all the cities of the Christians except Tyre, Sidon, Tripolis, and Antioch, and a few other cities and fortresses which were the best fortified and most difficult to take. After taking Acco, where there is a port which had been the sole refuge of the Christians, they besieged Jerusalem. They destroyed all the churches about the city, among them those in Bethlehem and on the Mount of Olives. Finally the Christians surrendered, Jerusalem was taken, and the holy places were profaned and inhabited by pagans [Oct. 2, 1187].
I think that I should relate that while Jerusalem was besieged by the pagans, one of the towers of the city was taken, many of the Christians defending it were slain, and the standard of Saladin was raised over it. This caused the people to despair and they gave up the defence of the walls. And on that day the city came very nearly being taken and destroyed. But a certain German knight, seeing this, and made bold by the desperate situation, urged some of his companions to join him in making a bold attack on the enemy. They retook the tower, killed the pagans in it, tore down the standard of Saladin and threw it to the ground. By this act, he restored courage to the Christians and persuaded them to return to the defence of the walls. After the city had surrendered, as has been said, the sepulchre of the Lord was held in veneration for the sake of gain. . . .
Frederick the emperor, after ending the wars all over Germany and establishing peace, held a general diet in Mainz at mid-lent [March 27, 1188], and discussed the affairs of state. Papal delegates came to this diet and told the emperor about the destruction of the church beyond the sea [in Palestine], and, making complaint in the name of the pope and of the whole church, begged for his aid. A meeting having been held to consider the matter, Frederick offered to go to the aid of Jerusalem, and, for the remission of their sins, he and his son, Frederick, duke of Suabia, took the cross. Frederick publicly declared that he would avenge the insult which had been offered the cross, and by his example he aroused many nobles and a great multitude of various ranks and ages to take the cross. After these things were done, the cardinals preached the crusade in various parts of the country and persuaded many to leave father and mother, wife and children, and lands, for the name of Christ and to take the cross and follow him across the sea. They raised a large army. The emperor set the time of departure in May of the following year. He ordered the poor to provide themselves with at least three marks [about thirty dollars] for their expenses, and the rich to take as much money as they could. Under threat of excommunication he forbade anyone to go who did not have three marks, because he did not wish the army to be burdened with a useless crowd. After these things were done in Germany the pope sent cardinals to Philip [II], king of the Franks, and to Richard, king of the English, and persuaded them to take the cross. In England and in France he also raised a large army for the crusade.
At this time messengers of the sultan of Iconium came to Frederick and, with the intention to deceive, renewed the treaty with him. They promised him a free passage through all Cilicia if he would go peaceably. For Frederick was going to pass with his army through Cilicia, the land of the sultan, and the pagans, fearing for their land, preferred to have peace rather than war. But the outcome was not what they had expected.
At Pentecost, 1189, Frederick held a general diet at [Regensburg] . . . and had his army gather there. He gave the royal insignia to his son, king Henry. He appointed a certain income to each of his other sons, conferred titles on them, and after making all necessary arrangements, said farewell to all. His son, Frederick, duke of Suabia, the marquis of Meissen, with the Saxons, and many other princes and bishops, went with him. And so with a very large army, well equipped and organized, he set out for the orient to attack Saladin and all the enemies of the cross. While passing through Hungary its king honored him with many gifts and gave the army large supplies of flour, wine, and meat. When he entered Bulgaria the inhabitants tried to block the road. But he forced his way through, killed many of those who opposed him, took some of them prisoner, and hung them on the trees along the road. By this he showed that he was visiting the grave of the Lord not with a pilgrim’s wallet, but with the sword and lance of a warrior. Thus he passed through Bulgaria and entered Greece. But the Greeks were worse than the Bulgarians. At the command of the Greek emperor they showed the army no kindness and even refused to sell them anything to eat. They shut themselves up in their fortresses, into which they had taken all their possessions. It made Frederick angry to receive such treatment from Christians, and so he permitted his army to plunder the country. He determined to treat the Greeks as pagans because, by their acts, they showed that they were aiding his enemy, Saladin. His whole army besieged Philipopolis, a very rich city, and took and plundered it. He likewise captured a very strong fortress called Demotica. By this he so frightened the Greeks that he got possession of several fortresses and cities. After devastating the country and taking much booty, he compelled the rest of the Greeks to furnish the army with provisions. These things were done about the end of August . After consulting the princes, the emperor determined to pass the winter in Greece. So he took possession of the country round about, fortified a strong mountain as a camp for his soldiers and called it Kingsmountain. Having thus taken up a strong position against Constantinople, he had supplies for the army brought from the neighboring territory, and thus overcame Greek treachery with Roman strength and German bravery. He remained there all winter to the next Easter [March 25, 1190]. The Greeks were unable to resist his army and always fled before it.
Now the Greek emperor, not being able to withstand the power of Frederick, made amends for what he had done, and entered into a treaty with him. He appeased the army by supplying them with provisions. Thus, having been reconciled with Frederick, he set him and his army across the Propontis [March 22-28, 1190, from Gallipolis]. Frederick now entered Asia with his army. He marched for some time, meeting everywhere with success, and all the people in Romania [western Asia Minor] submitted to him. As the emperor approached Iconium, the sultan broke his treaty, caused all the provisions to be carried into the fortresses, and, like a barbarian and Scythian, refused to sell the army provisions. The army suffered from hunger and were compelled to eat the flesh of mules, donkeys, and horses. Besides, the pagans attacked the rear and those who went out foraging, and killed some of them. In this way they hindered the army. Our troops wished to meet the Saracens in open battle and often drew themselves up in battle array, but the Saracens always withdrew and refused to join in a general engagement. Now although the army was annoyed in this way and was suffering from hunger and want, the emperor, out of regard for the treaty with the sultan, kept his army from devastating and plundering the country, because he thought the people were attacking him without the permission of the sultan. But when he learned from couriers that the sultan had perfidiously ordered the people to attack him, he was angry, and, declaring the sultan an enemy, he permitted the army to take vengeance. They devastated Cilicia, Pamphilia, and Phrygia with slaughter, rapine, fire, and sword, while the pagan army constantly withdrew before them. The army now turned toward Iconium, which is the capital of Cilicia, and the chief residence of the sultan, and quickly took it [May 18, 1190]. It was a very populous city, well fortified with strong walls and high towers, and had in its midst an impregnable citadel. It was well supplied with victuals against a siege, while all the surrounding country was stripped of provisions, in order that when the emperor came he would not long be able to support an army there. But God overruled their efforts so that the outcome was just the opposite of what they sought. For the emperor suddenly attacked the city with great violence before the third hour of the day [9 o’clock], killed a great many of the inhabitants and took the city by storm before the ninth hour [3 o’clock p.m.]. Many people, of both sexes and of all ages, were put to the sword. The sultan with many of his nobles fled into the citadel, which the emperor began to besiege the same day. Now the sultan saw that nothing could resist the force of the Germans and that, supported by some divine power, they despised death and without hesitation attacked everything that resisted them. So, taught by dangerous experience, and thinking it necessary to demand peace from the emperor, he asked to speak with him. The emperor granted his request. The sultan then marched out of the citadel and surrendered at the discretion of the emperor, and gave hostages. After peace was made the city of Iconium and his kingdom were restored to him.
The army was thus made rich with spoil and the emperor left Iconium in triumph. The Armenian princes from all sides began to come to him, among them Leo, the noblest Christian prince of all that country. They all welcomed Frederick with joy and thanked him heartily for coming and attacking the Saracens. They were all well disposed toward him, so he set out for Tarsus, famous as the birthplace of St. Paul. But God who is terrible in his doing toward the children of men [Ps. 66:5], showing that the time had not yet come for showing mercy on Zion [Ps. 102:13], cut the anchor of the little boat of St. Peter and permitted it to be tossed about and beaten by the storms of this world. For the great emperor, Frederick, while on the road to Tarsus, after a part of the army had crossed a certain river, went into the water to refresh himself. For it was very hot and he was a good swimmer. But the cold water overcame him and he sank. So the emperor, powerful by land and sea, met with an unfortunate death. Some say that this happened in the Cydnus river, in which Alexander the Great almost met the same fate. For the Cydnus is near Tarsus. He died in the 38th year of his reign, the 35th of his rule as emperor [June 10, 1190]. If he had lived he would have been a terror to all the orient, but by his death the army lost all its courage, and was overwhelmed with grief. His intestines and flesh were buried in Tarsus, but his bones were carried to Antioch and buried with royal ceremony.
Innocent III Forbids the Venetians to Traffic with the Mohammedans, 1198.
The maritime cities of Italy took quite a part in the crusades, but their interests were largely commercial. In all the cities of the eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea they tried to get harbor privileges, freedom from tolls or at least a reduction in them, and quarters, consisting of a few city blocks, in which their agents or colonists could reside. They carried on an extensive commerce with the Mohammedans and cleverly and selfishly made use of the crusades to increase it. While the church was glad to have their aid in the wars with the Mohammedans, it found them a disturbing element, because they were content and wished to end hostilities as soon as they had secured good commercial advantages. The popes took the position that there should be no peaceable intercourse between Christians and Mohammedans, and so tried to prevent all commerce between them. This letter of Innocent III to the people of Venice illustrates the attitude of the pope in this matter, informs us what some of the chief articles of commerce were, and shows how the pope was compelled to make concessions to the commercial spirit.
In support of the eastern province [that is, the crusading states], in addition to the forgiveness of sins which we promise those who, at their own expense, set out thither, and besides the papal protection which we give those who aid that land, we have renewed that decree of the Lateran council [held under Alexander III, 1179], which excommunicated those Christians who shall furnish the Saracens with weapons, iron, or timbers for their galleys, and those who serve the Saracens as helmsmen or in any other way on their galleys and other piratical craft, and which furthermore ordered that their property be confiscated by the secular princes and the consuls of the cities, and that, if any such persons should be taken prisoner, they should be the slaves of those who captured them. We furthermore excommunicated all those Christians who shall hereafter have anything to do with the Saracens either directly or indirectly, or shall attempt to give them aid in any way so long as the war between them and us shall last. But recently our beloved sons, Andreas Donatus and Benedict Grilion, your messengers, came and explained to us that your city was suffering great loss by this our decree, because Venice does not engage in agriculture, but in shipping and commerce. Nevertheless, we are led by the paternal love which we have for you to forbid you to aid the Saracens by selling them, giving them, or exchanging with them, iron, flax (oakum), pitch, sharp instruments, rope, weapons, galleys, ships, and timbers, whether hewn or in the rough. But for the present and until we order to the contrary, we permit those who are going to Egypt to carry other kinds of merchandise whenever it shall be necessary. In return for this favor you should be willing to go to the aid of the province of Jerusalem and you should not attempt to evade our apostolic command. For there is no doubt that he who, against his own conscience, shall fraudulently try to evade this prohibition, shall be under divine condemnation.
Papal Protection of Crusaders. Innocent III Takes the King of the Danes under his Protection, 1210.
We commend you because, fired with zeal for the orthodox faith and for the praise of God and for the honor of the Christian religion, you have taken the cross and have drawn your royal sword to repress the cruelty of an infidel people [the Turks]. And we also give you our apostolic favor, and take under the protection of St. Peter as well as under our own your person and your kingdom with all your possessions, decreeing that so long as you are engaged in this work all your possessions shall remain intact and free from all molestation. Nevertheless we urge upon you to take all possible precautions to protect you and yours, in order that you may not suffer any loss.1
Innocent III and the Lateran Council Announce a Crusade, 1215.
It was the greatest ambition of Innocent III to recover Palestine from the Mohammedans. During his pontificate he never lost sight of this object. One of the chief purposes of the Lateran council which he called together in 1215, was to arrange for a universal crusade. This decree shows his earnestness in the matter, but at the same time betrays the difficulties which were in the way. (1) The character of the clergy was not such as to insure the best results, and their conduct was not above reproach. They were jealous of each other, and intrigued to secure places to which much honor and rich livings were attached (par. 2). (2) Many who took the cross afterwards refused to go. Some had no doubt made the vow in a moment of enthusiasm; others, in a calculating spirit, hoping to gain some reputation, or secure some advantage, such as an extension of time in the payment of their debts, the cancellation of interest, the freedom from local taxation, or feudal dues, the right to raise money by pawning their fiefs, etc. (pars. 4, 10, and 11). (3) There was a general unwillingness on the part of the rich to go in person on a crusade. Nor were they all willing to equip someone to go in their place (pars. 5 and 6). (4) The commercial interests and spirit of the Italian cities were stronger than their religious sentiment, and led them to sell arms and ships to the Mohammedans, and even to serve in important positions on their boats (pars. 12, 13, and 14). (5) The warlike spirit of the west had found a new outlet in the bloody tournaments which were now much in fashion, and the feuds and private warfare offered the ambitious and adventurous knight a convenient field for the constant exercise of arms (pars. 15 and 16).
In spite of his great efforts, many things made the execution of Innocent’s plan impossible. The popular days of the crusades were over. Innocent escaped a bitter disappointment only by his death, which occurred the following year, 1216.
Since we earnestly desire to liberate the holy land from the hands of the wicked, we have consulted wise men who fully understand the present situation. And at the advice of the holy council we decree that all crusaders who shall determine to go by sea shall assemble in the kingdom of Sicily a year from the first of next June. They may gather at their convenience either at Brindisi, Messina, or in any other place on either side of the strait. If the Lord permits, we shall also be there in order that the Christian army may, with our advice and aid, be well organized, and set out with the divine benediction and papal blessing.
1. Those who determine to go by land shall be ready at the same date, and they shall keep us informed of their plans in order that we may send them a suitable legate to counsel and aid them.
2. All clergymen of whatever rank, who go on the crusade, shall diligently devote themselves to prayer and exhortation, by word and example teaching the crusaders always to have the fear and the love of God before their eyes and not to say or do anything to offend the divine majesty. Even if they sometimes fall into sin, they shall rise again by true penitence. They shall show humility of heart and of body, and observe moderation in their way of living and in their dress. They shall altogether avoid dissensions and rivalries, and shun hatred and envy. Thus, equipped with spiritual and material arms, they shall fight more securely against the enemies of the faith, not resting on their own power but hoping in the divine strength.
3. These clergymen shall receive all the income of their benefices for three years, just as if they were residing in them, and, if it is necessary, they may pawn their benefices for the same length of time.
4. In order that this holy undertaking may not be prevented or delayed, we earnestly command all prelates, each in his own locality, to urge and insist that all who have taken the cross fulfil their vows to the Lord. And, if necessary, they may compel them to do so, in spite of all their subterfuges, by putting their persons under excommunication and their lands under the interdict. We except, however, those who may find some real hindrance in the way, on account of which we may decide that their vow may be commuted or put off.
5. In addition to these things, that nothing relating to Christ’s business may be neglected, we command patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, abbots, and all others who have the care of souls, zealously to preach the crusade to those who are under their charge, by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one only true eternal God, beseeching kings, dukes, princes, marquises, counts, barons, and other magnates, as well as the communes of cities, villages, and towns, that those who do not go in person to aid the holy land may, in proportion to their wealth, furnish a suitable number of fighting men and provide for their necessary expenses for three years. This they shall do for the remission of their sins according to the terms published in our general letter, and, for the sake of greater clearness, repeated below. Not only those who give their own ships, but also those who shall try to build ships for this purpose, shall have a share in this remission of sins.
6. If any shall be found so ungrateful to the Lord as to refuse, we warn them that they must answer for it to us before the terrible judge on the last day. Let all such consider with what conscience and what security they will be able to make their confession before the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, into whose hands the Father has given all things, if, in this matter which so peculiarly concerns them, they refuse to obey him who was crucified for sinners, by whose favor and goodness they live and are sustained, nay, more, by whose blood they are redeemed.
7. Lest we should seem to put on other men’s shoulders burdens so heavy that we would not so much as put a finger to them, like those who say, but do not, we give 30,000 pounds out of our savings for this work, and besides the passage-money which we give all crusaders from Rome and the surrounding country, we also give 3,000 silver marks which are left in our hands from the gifts of certain Christians, the rest having been spent for the benefit of the holy land by the patriarchs of Jerusalem and the masters of the Templars and the Hospitallers.
8. Since we wish all other prelates and clergy to have a share in this meritorious work and its reward, we, with the approval of the council, decree that all the clergy of whatever rank shall, for three years, give the twentieth of the income of their churches to the aid of the holy land, and for the collection of it we shall appoint certain persons. We except from this tax certain monks and also those who shall take the cross and go in person on the crusade.
9. Moreover, we and our brethren, the cardinals of the holy Roman church, will pay a tenth of our incomes; and let all know that they must faithfully do this. For any cardinal who shall knowingly commit any fraud in this matter shall incur the sentence of excommunication.
10. Now, because it is only just that those who devote themselves to the service of the heavenly ruler should enjoy some special prerogative, and since it is a little more than a year until the time set for going, we decree that all who have taken the cross shall be free from all collections, taxes, and other burdens. As soon as they take the cross we receive them and their possessions under the protection of St. Peter and of ourselves, so that archbishops, bishops, and other prelates are entrusted with their defence, and besides, other protectors shall be specially appointed to defend them. And until they return or their death shall be certainly known, their possessions shall not be molested. And if anyone shall act contrary to this he shall be restrained by ecclesiastical censure.
11. If any of those who go on the crusade are bound by oath to pay interest, their creditors, under threat of ecclesiastical censure, shall be compelled to free them from their oath and from the payment of the interest. If anyone compels them to pay the interest, he shall be forced to pay it back to them. We order the secular authorities to compel the Jews to remit the interest to all crusaders, and until they do remit it they shall have no intercourse with Christians. If any are not able for the present to pay their debts to Jews, the secular authorities shall secure an extension of time for them, so that after they have set out on the journey until their return or their death is certainly known, they shall not be disturbed about the interest. The Jews shall be compelled, after deducting the necessary expenses, to apply the income which they receive in the meantime from the property which they hold in pawn, toward the payment of the debt; since a favor of this kind, which defers the payment but does not cancel the debt, does not seem to cause much loss. Moreover, all prelates must know that they will be severely punished if they are lax in securing justice for crusaders or their families.
12. Since corsairs and pirates greatly impede the work by taking and robbing those who are going to, or returning from, the holy land, we excommunicate all who aid and protect them. Under the threat of anathema we forbid anyone knowingly to have anything to do with them in buying or selling, and we command all rulers of cities and other places to prevent them from practising this iniquity. Otherwise, since not to interfere with the wicked is the same as to aid them, and since he who does not prevent a manifest crime is suspected of having a secret share in it, we command all prelates to exercise ecclesiastical severity against their persons and lands.
13. Besides, we excommunicate and anathematize those false and impious Christians who, against Christ and the Christian people, furnish the Saracens with arms, irons, and timbers for their galleys. If any who sell galleys or ships to the Saracens, or accept positions on their piratical craft, or give them aid, counsel, or support with regard to their [war] machines to the disadvantages of the holy land, we decree that they shall be punished with the loss of all their goods, and they shall be the slaves of those who capture them. We command that this decree be published anew every Sunday and Christian feast day in all the maritime cities, and the bosom of the church shall not be opened to offenders against it unless, for the support of the holy land, they give all that they have gained from such a damnable business, and as much more from their possessions, so that they shall be justly punished for their crimes. But if they cannot pay, they shall be punished in some other way, in order that by their punishment others may be prevented from impudently attempting things of the same sort.
14. We forbid all Christians for the next four years to send their ships, or permit them to be sent, to lands inhabited by Saracens, in order that a larger supply of vessels may be on hand for those who wish to go to the aid of the holy land, and also that the Saracens may be deprived of that aid which they have been accustomed to get from this.
15. Although tournaments have been prohibited by many councils under the general threat of punishment, we forbid them for three years under the threat of excommunication, because the crusade is hindered by them.
16. Since, for the accomplishment of this work, it is necessary that Christian princes and peoples live in peace, and in order that the clergy may be able to make peace between all who are quarreling, or persuade them to make an inviolable truce, with the approval of the holy universal council we decree that a general peace shall be observed in the whole world for at least four years. And those who shall refuse to observe this peace shall be compelled to do so by excommunication of their persons and interdict on their lands, unless they have been so malicious in inflicting injuries on others that they themselves do not deserve the protection of such a peace. If they disregard the censure of the church, the ecclesiastical authorities shall invoke the secular power against them as disturbers of the business of Christ.
17. Trusting, therefore, in the mercy of omnipotent God and the authority of Saints Peter and Paul, and by the authority to bind and loose, which God has given us, to all who shall personally and at their own expense go on this crusade we grant full pardon of their sins, which they shall repent and confess, and, besides, when the just shall receive their reward we promise them eternal salvation. And to those who shall not go in person, but nevertheless at their own expense and in proportion to their wealth and rank shall send suitable men, and likewise to those who go in person but at the expense of others, we grant the full pardon of their sins. All who shall give a fitting part of their wealth to the aid of the holy land shall, in proportion to their gifts and according to the degree of their devotion, have a share in this forgiveness. This universal council wishes to aid in the salvation of all who piously set out on this work, and therefore grants them in common the benefit of all its merits. Amen.
Given at the Lateran, 19 kal. Jan., year 18 of our pontificate.
[1 ] From this sentence it may be inferred that the papal protection was not always respected. It sometimes failed to protect the possessions of a crusader from violence and seizure.