Hellenic Nationalist Comrade On Final Conflict Weblog
"You may not be aware of this but the Fourth Crusade, originally meant to conquer Jerusalem through an invasion of Egypt, opted to attack the greatest Christian civilization of that time, the Eastern Roman Empire (which was later labeled as the "Byzantine Empire" by Greek-hating Westerners in an attempt to obfuscate the Empire's link to the Roman Empire). In 1204 the Franks and Latins were successful in their campaign with the result that Constantinople fell to them. Then followed what most historians regard as the bloodiest sack of medieval history.
"This is no exaggeration as many historians regard the Crusaders' sack of Constantinople in 1204 as worse than the sack of Constantinople by the Muslim Turks in 1453. Historian L.S. Stavrianos in "The Balkans Since 1453" writes the following: "In this moment of triumph Mohammed showed himself to be a statesman as well as a conqueror. Had he so wished he could have destroyed Constantinople and massacred its citizens, as the Mongols had done repeatedly with even more populous cities. This, in fact, would have been in accord with the precepts of Islam for a city that had resisted to the end. But after the three days of merciless pillage and murder, which was the custom of the time and probably not as destructive as the handiwork of the Christian crusaders in 1204, Mohammed firmly restored
order. He had decided to make his prize the capital of his empire and did not wish to be left with a hollow shell". (Note: for more information regarding the great bloodshed committed by the Turks to the Christian Greeks, see "The Fall of Constantinople: 1453" by Sir Steven Runciman.)
"Regarding the fall of Constantinople to the Crusaders, historian Ferdindand Schevill writes the following in "A History of the Balkans: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day" (originally published as "History of the Balkan Peninsula"): "Then followed such a sack as is rare even in the brutal annals of medieval conquest. Every church was stripped of its treasures, every house plundered from cellar to garret, and when everything portable had been seized, the victors, shaking off the last human restraint, indulged their lusts and perpetrated every outrage forbidden by the religion whose chosen instruments they professed to be. In the face of these living horrors the aesthetic plaints of the lovers of beauty,
who record the wanton destruction of many masterpieces of ancient art set up by the founder Constantine to adorn the squares and palaces of his brilliant capital, sound a thin note hardly heard above the tumult. Very characteristically the Doge Dandalo, the fiery but level-headed Venetian business man, managed to save out of the general wreck four horses of gilded bronze which he dispatched to his Adriatic home and ordered set up over the portico of the great church dedicated to Saint Mark. There they prance and curvet to this day, reminding the beholder of how victorious Venice broke and despoiled the Christian metropolis on the Golden Horn".
"Here follows a more vivid account from Speros Vryonis in "Byzantium and Europe": "The Latin soldiery subjected the greatest city in Europe to an indescribable sack. For three days they murdered, raped, looted and destroyed on a scale which even the ancient Vandals and Goths would have found unbelievable. Constantinople had become a veritable museum of ancient and Byzantine art, an emporium of such incredible wealth that the Latins were astounded at the riches they found. Though the Venetians had an appreciation for the art which they discovered (they were themselves semi-Byzantines) and saved much of it, the French and others destroyed indiscriminately, halting to refresh themselves with wine, violation of nuns, and murder of Orthodox clerics. The Crusaders vented their hatred for the Greeks most spectacularly in the desecration of the greatest Church in Christendom. They smashed the silver iconostasis, the icons and the holy books of Hagia Sophia, and seated upon the patriarchal throne a whore who sang coarse songs as they drank wine from the Church's holy vessels. The estrangement of East and West, which had proceeded over the centuries, culminated in the horrible massacre that accompanied the conquest of Constantinople. The Greeks were convinced that even the Turks, had they taken the city, would not have been as cruel as the Latin Christians. The defeat of Byzantium, already in a state of decline, accelerated political degeneration so that the Byzantines eventually became an easy prey to the Turks. The Crusading movement thus resulted, ultimately, in the victory of Islam, a result which was of course the exact opposite of its original intention".
"If you (or any of your readers) are interested in learning more about the atrocities committed during the Fourth Crusade, as well as a better understanding
of how and why it came to pass, I recommend "An Ungodly War: The Sack of Constantinople & The Fourth Crusade" by W.B. Bartlett.
"It must also be noted that the Western occupation of Constantinople lasted for 57 years and, in other Greek areas (such as Cyprus, which was under Western occupation since the Third Crusade -- when King Richard I of England captured, looted, and massacred the island, turning it into a Crusader state), for much longer. During this time, the Franks and Latins tried to subject the Greeks to the Papist heresy (i.e. Catholicism). However, by their actions, they only ensured that our undying hatred of the West would remain firm. To this very day, Helleno-Orthodox nationalists have not forgotton the 4th Crusade or the Frankokratia (i.e. the Frankish occupation). Indeed, as our nation becomes more and more Westernized by the pro-Western political puppets who currently rule Greece, more of us are becoming aware that we are living in an era of a new Frankokratia.
"Finally, to give answer to your rhetorical questions: the Crusaders, given their hatred of (genuine) Christianity (as represented by Eastern Orthodoxy), their blasphemous desecrations of Christian sites, rape of nuns, and murder of clerics, would not only stand by amidst Jewish sacrilege of Christianity and atrocities committed to Christians but would very likely engage in such activities themselves, if the persecuted were Orthodox Christian (as many Palestinians are). In truth, the NATO bombing of the Orthodox Serbs was a 20th century manifestation of the Crusader psyche that still remains strong in modern Europeans." --Hellenic Nationalist comrade