18.11.

1202: Crusaders Conquer Zadar: Unseen Crimes against Christians

1202: Crusaders Conquer Zadar: Unseen Crimes against Christians
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Story Highlights

  • historical event: The abbot of Vaux said to the Crusaders: ” Sirs, I forbid you, in the name of the Pope at Rome, to attack this city; for the inhabitants are Christians and you are pilgrims”. However, that did not stop the Crusaders.

On this day in 1202 occurred one of the most paradoxical events in the history of the Crusades. The Crusader army conquered the Christian city of Zadar in Dalmatia.

What was the cause of such crimes of Christians against Christians? The answer lies in the greed of the powerful Venetians. Namely, the Venetian Republic tried for more than 20 years to conquer Zadar. It was not successful, so finally it decided to take advantage of the poor French knight crusaders to conquer the city instead. The Crusaders set off from Western Europe to the Holy Land in the Fourth Crusade. However, they were mostly poor and could not afford the transport to Palestine. The Venetians used their destitution, and offered them transport if they take Zadar for them.

One part of the Crusaders ruled out that possibility and did not want to participate in such a crime. Even the Roman pope condemned the venture. However, some of the crusaders agreed to the demands of the Venetian and, together with the Venetian army, besieged Zadar.

Even during the siege, there were people among the Crusaders who appealed to the Christian conscience in order to dissuade them from the act. For example, the abbot of Vaux said: “Sirs, I forbid you, in the name of the Pope at Rome, to attack this city; for the inhabitants are Christians and you are pilgrims”.

However, nothing helped. The Crusaders started to catapult the city with stones and undermine the foundations of the city walls. On this day in 1202 Zadar surrendered.

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