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"The Fifth Crusade 121321" Topic

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Tango0103 Sep 2021 10:12 p.m. PST

"Writing in an optimistic mood in 1208 to the crusade enthusiast Duke Leopold VI of Austria, Innocent III characterized holy war as an imitation of Christ, an act of unconditional devotion. In recognition of this he sent Leopold a cloth cross and letters conveying the plenary indulgence. This innocuous exchange encapsulated the distinctive elements of Innocent III's crusade policy: theological precept, moral conviction, papal authority, pastoral care, administrative control and bureaucratic precision. The developments set in train by the Third Crusade reached new levels of thoroughness as Innocent sought to accomplish what he had failed to achieve in 12024, the destruction of Ayyubid Egypt, the recovery of Jerusalem and the spiritual renewal of Christendom. To this end, the so-called Fifth Crusade, planned in 1213, launched in 1215 and fought in a series of running expeditions between 1217 and 1229, marked the climax in papal cooperation with secular power. Innocent is often depicted as the most successful promoter of papal monarchism, wishing to control, even exclude, lay domination in his crusading policy after the debacle of 12024. It is frequently asserted that the Fifth Crusade represented the church's greatest and last serious attempt to run a holy war though its own leadership. Yet although the last acts of the Fifth Crusade were conducted in a hail of mutual recrimination and mistrust between popes and the emperor, Frederick II, leading to the bizarre, but not entirely unprecedented, scene in 1228 of a Holy Land crusade under an excommunicated leader, as with the Albigensian wars, Innocent III and his successor Honorius III based their policy on trying to obtain the cooperation and support of lay monarchs. The Fifth Crusade was intended to marry the universal ambitions of the papacy with the imperialism of the Hohenstaufen rulers of Germany and southern Italy. Innocent's involvement of the young Frederick II opened the prospect of a new order in Christendom. A mutually advantageous acceptance of the respective authority of pope and emperor would be signalled by the fulfilment of the eastern aspirations of Conrad III, Frederick I and Henry VI no less than those of Urban II, Eugenius III or Gregory VIII. The failure of the enterprise, and the reciprocal demonization that dominated papal-Hohenstaufen relations for the subsequent fifty years, obscured this central feature of Innocent's conception. If historical turning points exist, the Fifth Crusade was one; the direction of international high politics could have been set on a very different course.

The organization and conduct of the Fifth Crusade witnessed growing bureaucracy. In concert with developments in secular government and law, increasingly the crusade was becoming a written phenomenon. Preachers received licences and based their sermons on circulated papal bulls. Recruitment and finance was sustained by central and local record keeping, lists of crucesignati, accounts of moneys raised and expended, and written authorization for individuals' legal and fiscal privileges. While the creation of new technologies of record may not coincide with changes in what is being recorded, the weight of writing indicated the growing institutionalization of crusading as a social and religious activity…"
Weapons and Warfare

Part II


Puster Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Sep 2021 4:42 a.m. PST

Strange numbering.

There are two different "fifth crusades", one usually naming the crusade that targeted Damiette, of which Frederik more or less abstained. This one matches the years and topic given here, ending in 1221.

The other "fifth" crusade of Frederis was in 1228-29, seeing him leading an army to the "Holy land" and gaining control over Jerusalem not by battle but by negotiations. Admittedly some say its the second part of the fifth crusade, or even the sixth crusade (which botches up any later numbering).

Anyway, it is Frederiks (later) crusade that is imho the real break with the traditional crusading era bringing Jerusalem under Christian control without battle for a final 15 years before the British entered it at the end of 1918, by chance opening up the area for another round of conflict.

Tango0105 Sep 2021 3:37 p.m. PST



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