A History of the Crusades, Vol. III: The Fourteenth and by Kenneth M. Setton, Harry W. Hazard

By Kenneth M. Setton, Harry W. Hazard

The six volumes of A background of the Crusades will stand because the definitive background of the Crusades, spanning 5 centuries, encompassing Jewish, Moslem, and Christian views, and containing a wealth of knowledge and research of the historical past, politics, economics, and tradition of the medieval global.

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As soon as the news of the fall of Smyrna reached the west in December 16. See Paul Lemerle, L 'Emirat d'Aydin, Byzance etl'occident (BibliotMque byzantine, Etudes, II; Paris, 1957), pp. 180-203, and cf. below, pp. 294- 295. Ch. I THE CRUSADE IN THE FOURTEENllf CENTURY 13 1344, he decided to deflect his project from Spain and continue the Aegean campaign under the auspices of the pope. After renouncing his feudal rights over the Dauphine, which would ultimately go to the French crown, he offered to equip five galleys with twelve bannerets, three hundred knights, and a t housand arbalesters.

The news spread far and wide in the western states, and auxlliary armies began to form in Germany and elsewhere. The German crusaders were led by the palsgrave Rupert II (Ruprecht Pipan), the count of Katzenellenbogen, 24 count Hermann II of Cilly, and burgrave John III of Nuremberg. Although it was formerly believed that a large English contingent participated in the crusade, the contemporary sources do not justify this view. 25 A few Englishmen did take part, and similarly small numbers of volunteers and mercenaries were raised from Spain and the Italian communes.

This proved fatal to the campaign against the Turks, since Amadeo pursued the Bulgarians to regain John V's freedom instead of purging the Balkans of Mos\em contingents. The count, wisely avoiding the treacherous land route to the heart of Bulgaria, sailed through the Bosporus and northward on the Black Sea until he landed at a small place named Sozopolis. His men took it by storm, together with a few other Bulgarian coastal towns including Mesembria, until they finally laid siege to the· fortified city of Varna.

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