Why did Pope Innocent III call the Fourth Crusade in Aug. 1198?

Alan Thomson
Mind Map by Alan Thomson, updated more than 1 year ago
Alan Thomson
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A level The Crusades Mind Map on Why did Pope Innocent III call the Fourth Crusade in Aug. 1198?, created by Alan Thomson on 03/20/2014.
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Why did Pope Innocent III call the Fourth Crusade in Aug. 1198?
1 Introduction
1.1 With the Papal bull Post miserabile, Pope Innocent III launched the Fourth Crusade, inspired ‘following the miserable collapse of the territory of Jerusalem’.
1.1.1 Pope Innocent III was determined to restore Christian control over the Holy Land, in particular to secure the reconquest of Jerusalem.
1.1.1.1 In Oct. 1187 the Holy city had fallen to Saladin, and although a Third crusade had taken place it had ended with the Treaty of Jaffa in 1192 without the return of Jerusalem into Christian hands.
2 The Kingdom of Jerusalem
2.1 Saladin died in Mar. 1193 and the divisions within the Muslim world presented opportunities for the Franks to extend their influence.
2.1.1 However, the Crusader states were still in a fragile position after the death of the King of Jerusalem, Henry of Champagne in 1197 which led to another succession crisis, so the Kingdom of Jerusalem needed the aid that Innocent’s crusade would provide.
3 King Henry VI
3.1 A crusade to the Holy land led by Emperor Henry VI had captured Beirut but ended in 1197 following the Emperor’s death.
3.1.1 Innocent wished to continue its momentum, but like his predecessor Pope Eugenius III he also wished to reassert Papal control over the crusading movement, Henry had launched his crusade without a Papal bull.
4 Political stability in Europe
4.1 Innocent may also have desired to stabilise European politics and end conflict between secular powers, especially England and France, channelling warfare into a righteous purpose.
5 Spiritual motives
5.1 like his Papal predecessors Pope Innocent III saw crusading as having the purpose of spiritual liberation-it was a means for promoting Christian unity.
6 Political ambition
6.1 He was inspired by a vision of his role and responsibility as head of Christendom, he was the ‘supreme pontiff’ and claimed a ‘fullness of power’ over Christ’s power.
7 Conclusion
7.1 Pope Innocent III had a clear vision of the papacy’s role as the leader of Europe, a favourite quote was ‘I have set thee above nations’, and calling a crusade only nine months after becoming pope was part of that wide sense of his responsibility and of his authority.
7.1.1 His goal was to use crusading (five took place during his pontificate) to create a unified and morally purified Christendom.
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