Friday, May 18, 2012

How did medieval Europeans deal with Greek debt? They sacked their capital city

Historians of the Fourth Crusade (1202-04) have been seeking explanations why the crusaders decided to sail to the Byzantine capital of Constantinople instead of Egypt. Some believe that the crusaders were tricked into doing it by the Doge of Venice or some other conspirator, while others argue that the decision to go to Constantinople was almost an accident, where unforeseen events led to the crusader army.

But Savvas Neocleous, writing in the latest issue of the Journal of Medieval History, states ”the real reason for the diversion to Constantinople in 1203 by the Venetians and the crusaders, and for their subsequent attack on the imperial capital in 1204, was a simpler and, in their minds, increasingly pressing concern: the payment of outstanding debts.”

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