The Attack on Constantinople by the Crusaders

631 Words3 Pages
The Attack of Constantinople by Crusaders In his account of the Crusaders' siege of Constantinople, the Byzantine historian Nicetas Choniates, provides some compelling reports concerning the behaviors of the Christian knights and peasants who formed the Crusader army that sought to wrest control of the city from its defenders. In his account, Choniates makes the point that the Crusaders little resembled the good-hearted Christians they purported to be, but were more like a barbarian horde in the brutality of their actions when reaching the city, which was a major center of the Christian faith at the time. Moreover, the Crusaders had even sacked another Christian city, Zara, on their way to Constantinople. It was clear, then, that these Crusaders were less interested in wresting the Holy Land from the Moslems than they were in taking advantage of this opportunity to unjustly enrich themselves at the expense of anyone who happened to get in their way. Unfortunately, Choniates also emphasizes in his account that these actions were not those of just a few overzealous Crusaders, but were rather characteristic of the actions of all of them. For instance, Choniates reports that, "Nor, indeed, were these crimes committed and others left undone, on the ground that these were of lesser guilt, the others of greater. But with one consent all the most heinous sins and crimes were committed by all with equal zeal." Moreover, the list of the types of "sins and crimes" that Choniates
Get Access