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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

April 12th, 1204 - The Sacking of Constantinople

Conflict Fourth Crusade (1202-1204)

Combatants: Byzantines vs. French and Venetian Crusaders

Location: Turkey

Outcome: Crusader victory

Despite excommunication by Pope Innocent III, French and Venetian soldiers continued their own self-declared crusade against Byzantine. In July of 1203, the Crusaders forced the Byzantines to submit to two puppet co-emperors. By January of 1204, the Byzantine nobles had led a revolt against these rulers. The Crusaders returned in force and, between April 11 and 13th of 1204, conquered and sacked the city of Constantinople.

Conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204 by David Aubert

Points of Interest:

  • A few crusaders, the knight Simon de Montfort among them, refused to take part in the Byzantine expedition and sailed to Palestine instead.

  • The crusade against Byzantine hastened the empire's demise. Although it would cling to its fragmented territories for another two centuries, it was never able to recover its former power.

Pope Innocent III by Artaud de Montor



Dupuy, R. Ernest & Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: HarperCollins.

Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

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