Larry's Reviews > The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople
The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople
Feb 09, 2009
My generation, being the Cold War cohort, were taught that no real culture or history existed east of the Iron Curtain. Thus most of us had only the dimmest inklings of the Byzantine Empire, an enormous and long lived center of learning and the major repository of classical knowledge for centuries. Constantinople was the queen of all the cities of the earth for a thousand years. Then, after the kingdoms of the Holy Land were overrun by the Muslims a new crusade was promoted by the Papacy to regain that sacred soil. The venture turned into a "for profit" expedition run by the Venetians, who when denied the Holy Land turned on Constantinople was a target by which to profit from their investment in ships and armed men despite the injuction of the Pope from so doing. . Unfortunately the Byzantines were in the midst of one of their serial internal power struggles and the Venetians broke into the city. The subsequent rapine, looting and vandalism staggers the mind. Litterally all wealth and holy relics accummulated for 1500 years were piled on the Venetian ships and carried back to Italy. Perhaps the greatest theft in history. It is a story all us Cold Warriors should read to marvel at the culture and intellect formed around the Orthodox Catholic Church, in the 50's , of course, a part of the land of the International Communist Conspiracy.
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January 1, 2008 – Finished Reading
February 9, 2009 – Shelved