The Papacy and the Levant, 1204-1571 (Vol.2) The Fifteenth by Kenneth M. Setton

By Kenneth M. Setton

The second one of four vols. which hint the heritage of the later Crusades & papal kin with the Levant from the accession of blameless III (in 1198) to the reign of Pius V & the conflict of Lepanto (1566-71). Contents: Venice & the Latin Failure to Halt the Ottoman develop in Greece; Martin V & Eugenius IV, Constance & Ferrara-Florence, competition to Murad II; The campaign of Varna & Its Aftermath; The Siege & Fall of Constantinople (1453) & Perils & difficulties after the autumn; Calixtus III & the Siege of Belgrade, Mehmed II & Albania; Pius II, the Congress of Mantua & the Turkish Conquest of the Morea; Pius II, the campaign, & the Venetian warfare opposed to the Turks; Paul II, Venice, & the autumn of Negroponte; Sixtus IV & the Turkish profession of Otranto; Piere'd Aubusson & the 1st Siege of Rhodes; Sixtus IV & the restoration of Otranto; blameless VII, Jem Sultan, & the campaign; blameless VIII & Alexander VI, Charles VIII & Ferrante I; Alexander VI & Charles VIII, the French day trip into Italy; The French in Naples, the League of Venice, & Papal difficulties; & The Diplomatic Revolution: France & Spain, the Papacy & Venice.

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Maybe even fewer doubted the apocalyptic efficacy of Christian rule in the Holy Land. While many disapproved of the papacy’s increasing obsession in the thirteenth century with pursuing wars of the cross to eradicate enemies within Christendom, others were happy to join those campaigns and take advantage of the spiritual and material benefits on offer. Fighting under the cross, a uniquely potent metaphor for physical and spiritual struggle, held the gaze of lay and clerical elites and, judging from their wills, of lesser propertied faithful, men and women, because it appeared to them to embrace issues crucial to their beliefs: how to earn salvation in a sinful world; how to lead an active life of faith; how to measure God’s approbation of individuals and society on the gauge of temporal victory and defeat; even how to ensure the political survival of their religion.

Between 1095 and, say, 1500 there were scores of military operations that attracted the privileges associated with the wars of the cross. Yet only a few later became known by a number, all of them aimed at Muslim targets in and around Syria and Palestine in the eastern Mediterranean. Obviously, the nobles, knights, foot soldiers, unarmed pilgrims, and hangers-on who answered Urban II’s appeal in 1095–6 did not know they were embarking on the first of anything; they were told their 32 DEFINITION 8.

Maybe even fewer doubted the apocalyptic efficacy of Christian rule in the Holy Land. While many disapproved of the papacy’s increasing obsession in the thirteenth century with pursuing wars of the cross to eradicate enemies within Christendom, others were happy to join those campaigns and take advantage of the spiritual and material benefits on offer. Fighting under the cross, a uniquely potent metaphor for physical and spiritual struggle, held the gaze of lay and clerical elites and, judging from their wills, of lesser propertied faithful, men and women, because it appeared to them to embrace issues crucial to their beliefs: how to earn salvation in a sinful world; how to lead an active life of faith; how to measure God’s approbation of individuals and society on the gauge of temporal victory and defeat; even how to ensure the political survival of their religion.

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