How important was Byzantine help in the crusade?


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How important was Byzantine help in the crusade?
  1. Introduction
    1. In 1095, the church was split into the Latin and Roman church, known as the schism of 1095. The schism was a matter that was overseen during the crusade becasuee of the growing threat of the Seljuk Turks to Byzantine. The pope had added the healing of the schism to his crusade agenda so he could be the sole leader of christendom.
    2. In the First crusade, Alexius Comneus was expected to provide food, guides etc. However, Alexius feared that his remaining land would be taken as Bohemond and Robert previously fought against Constantinople. Alexius therefore summons the crusaders to take an oath to return any land captured. Moreover, the natural prejudice still existed between the two so it as not surprise that Bohemond secretly crossed the Bosphorus sea to avoid taking the oath.
      1. Alexius also did not attempt to control the crusade, this is seen at Antioch when he turned away at the franks lowest point because Stephen of Bolis claimed the crusaders were doomed, Byzantines lack of help at Antioch left the crusadders feeling betrayed. This is seen as Antioch is not returned to Alexius. The first city for the crusaders to take was Nicea, however Alexius negotiated secretly for the city to surrender while its leader Kilij Arslan was away fighting. However, when Nicea was taken the franks flew their flag over the city despite the oath stating the city was Byzantines, this casue further tension to the natural prejudice. Byzantine was key to the success of of the First crusade because it more or less guided them to success.
      2. The second crusades fail was heavily blamed by the Greeks to the point that king Loius IV wanted a crusade against Byzantine. The Greeks were blamed for their guides that led them into an ambush at Dorylaeum but Kilij Arslans's son ambushed the franks, not the guides. However, the greeks moved the crusaders across the Bosphrous sea because they feared that they would ransack Constantinople. This again signifies the natural prejudice between the two branches of Christianity.
        1. The greeks customary hate was also pivotal to the outcome of the second crusade. Emmanuel Comneus signed a treaty before the crusaders arrived with the Seljuk Turks meaning Byzantine showed no threat to the Muslims. There was a customary hate between the two. However the Byzantine empire did not expect a crusade and therefore didn't plan with only 5 out of the 200 ships requested arrived leaving many to go by foot.
        2. The weak relations between Byzantine and the West was seen in the Third crusade when King Richard took Cyprus which was part of Byzantine.
          1. The third crusade was also not needed so when the Emperor saw the German crusade, he put the envoys in prison and only released them when Constantinople was threatened with attack. naturally, the Byzantine Empire wanted to play no role in the crusade and thus provided no support.
          2. The fourth crusade really showed the bitter relations between the two branches of christianity. At Zara, the crusaders approached envoys sent by Philip of Swabia, to overthrow Alexius III from the throne for Alexius II and put Isaac in power, Isaac had promised the Franks supplies and money to re-pay the Venetians. The crusaders looked else were for support because Byzantine never provided it in the past.
            1. However, Byzantine could not be held responsible for the pilgrims failure to liberate the holy land.
              1. But, the the Greek and Muslim alliance broke in 1192 and the Venetians began to trade with the Byzantines again. A large western community had formed in Constantinople. So the Byzantine Empire had gained more than sot.
            2. To conclude, the religious and cultural tensions that existed between the East and West prevented a co-operation to liberate the holy land and strengthen the position of the Latin States. Political and self-interest worsen the relations.
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