History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire -, Volum 6

Forside
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 22. jun. 2017 - 802 sider
Chapter LIX: The Crusades.-Part I. Preservation Of The Greek Empire.-Numbers, Passage, AndEvent, Of The Second And Third Crusades.-St. Bernard.-Reign Of Saladin In Egypt And Syria.-His Conquest OfJerusalem.-Naval Crusades.-Richard The First Of England.-Pope Innocent The Third; And The Fourth And Fifth Crusades.-The Emperor Frederic The Second.-Louis The Ninth OfFrance; And The Two Last Crusades.-Expulsion Of The LatinsOr Franks By The Mamelukes. In a style less grave than that of history, I should perhaps compare the emperor Alexius to the jackal, who is said to follow the steps, and to devour the leavings, of the lion. Whatever had been his fears and toils in the passage of the first crusade, they were amply recompensed by the subsequent benefits which he derived from the exploits of the Franks. His dexterity and vigilance secured their first conquest of Nice; and from this threatening station the Turks were compelled to evacuate the neighborhood of Constantinople. While the crusaders, with blind valor, advanced into the midland countries of Asia, the crafty Greek improved the favorable occasion when the emirs of the sea-coast were recalled to the standard of the sultan. The Turks were driven from the Isles of Rhodes and Chios: the cities of Ephesus and Smyrna, of Sardes, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, were restored to the empire, which Alexius enlarged from the Hellespont to the banks of the Maeander, and the rocky shores of Pamphylia. The churches resumed their splendor: the towns were rebuilt and fortified; and the desert country was peopled with colonies of Christians, who were gently removed from the more distant and dangerous frontier. In these paternal cares, we may forgive Alexius, if he forgot the deliverance of the holy sepulchre; but, by the Latins, he was stigmatized with the foul reproach of treason and desertion. They had sworn fidelity and obedience to his throne; but he had promised to assist their enterprise in person, or, at least, with his troops and treasures: his base retreat dissolved their obligations; and the sword, which had been the instrument of their victory, was the pledge and title of their just independence. It does not appear that the emperor attempted to revive his obsolete claims over the kingdom of Jerusalem; but the borders of Cilicia and Syria were more recent in his possession, and more accessible to his arms. The great army of the crusaders was annihilated or dispersed; the principality of Antioch was left without a head, by the surprise and captivity of Bohemond; his ransom had oppressed him with a heavy debt; and his Norman followers were insufficient to repel the hostilities of the Greeks and Turks. In this distress, Bohemond embraced a magnanimous resolution, of leaving the defence of Antioch to his kinsman, the faithful Tancred; of arming the West against the Byzantine empire; and of executing the design which he inherited from the lessons and example of his father Guiscard. His embarkation was clandestine: and, if we may credit a tale of the princess Anne, he passed the hostile sea closely secreted in a coffin....

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LibraryThing Review

Brukerevaluering  - DarthDeverell - www.librarything.com

In The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon argues that the loss of civic virtue amongst the Romans enabled barbarian invaders to succeed in their conquest. The book traces the period ... Les hele vurderingen

LibraryThing Review

Brukerevaluering  - SteveJohnson - LibraryThing

One of Gibbons' major theses is that the rise of Christianity, with its emphasis on other-worldly concerns, was a major factor in the decline of the Roman empire. In his notes, Milman, a minister, attempts to counter these conclusions. Les hele vurderingen

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