Was the Fourth crusade the First one? Was Babylon located in Cairo?

"The Crusades were a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The most commonly known Crusades are the campaigns in the Eastern Mediterranean aimed at recovering the Holy Land from Muslim rule, but the term "Crusades" is also applied to other church-sanctioned campaigns. These were fought for a variety of reasons including the suppression of paganism and heresy, the resolution of conflict among rival Roman Catholic groups, or for political and territorial advantage. At the time of the early Crusades the word did not exist, only becoming the leading descriptive term around 1760." - Wikipedia

List of 9 Crusades

  • First Crusade (1096 - 1099)
  • Second Crusade (1147 - 1149)
  • Third Crusade (1189 - 1192)
  • Fourth Crusade (1202 - 1204)
  • Fifth Crusade (1217 - 1221)
  • Sixth Crusade (1228 - 1229)
  • Seventh Crusade (1248 - 1254)
  • Eighth Crusade (1270)
  • Ninth Crusade (1271 - 1272)
I will primarily focus on the Fourth one, which lasted from 1202 to 1204. Inspecting some of the publications pertaining to this Crusade, I will attempt to present some evidence, that the alleged three Crusades pre-dating the Fourth one could have been faked.


Official Version
source + wiki
  • First Crusade (1096 - 1099) - The First Crusade was launched after Pope Urban’s call to help the fellow Eastern Christians against the Muslims. Conquered lands supposed to be returned to the Byzantine Empire but after capturing Jerusalem in 1099, the leaders of the crusade divided the territories among themselves. They created the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Principality of Antioch, County of Tripoli and County of Edessa and established themselves as the rulers of the newly formed crusader states in the Holy Land.
  • Second Crusade (1147 - 1149) - The second military expedition to the Holy Land was called for by the Church to recapture the County of Edessa that fell to the Muslims in 1144. Two kings, Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, decided to lead the crusade. One year later, they laid siege to Damascus but after failing to capture the city, the German king decided he had enough and left the Holy Land. His French counterpart soon followed his example and the Second Crusade came to an end, failing to achieve anything.
  • Third Crusade (1189 - 1192) - Also known as the Kings’ Crusade because it was participated by as many as three European kings, the Third Crusade was launched after the fall of Jerusalem to the Muslim leader Saladin in 1187. However, Frederick I (Barbarossa) of Germany died on the way to the Holy Land, while Philip II soon departed for France due to conflicts with Richard I of England. The latter won several notable battles but failed to recapture Jerusalem. Before returning to Europe, however, the English king managed to negotiate a free access to Jerusalem for Christian pilgrims.
  • Fourth Crusade (1202 - 1204) - Unable to cope with the loss of Jerusalem, Pope Innocent III energetically preached for crusade. He succeeded to raise an army of crusaders who, however, never made it to the Holy Land. On their way to Jerusalem, they captured the Adriatic city of Zara for Venice and shortly thereafter got involved in the struggle for the Byzantine throne. Instead of recapturing Jerusalem as the Pope hoped, the Fourth Crusade ended with the Sack of Constantinople and formation of the short-lived Latin Empire on the conquered Byzantine territories.
I have a blasphemous idea of Jesus being born in the 12th Century; in its second half to be exact ( J. life span: 33 years between 1150 and 1190). In later threads I will present the reasons I have to think that way. Essentially, Fomenko and Nosovsky are two amazing individuals to spot all the inconsistencies. More importantly, they demonstrated a line of thinking capable of exposing these inconsistencies.

Based on the yet unpublished opinion of Jesus dying closer to the end of the 12th Century, I was somewhat suspicions of any possibility of the first two, and may be even three Crusades. The dates were not really possible. So I decided to look into the Third and Fourth ones, and the Fourth one sure was interesting. To say the least, it does put a serious dent into the official sequence of the Crusades. Well, for me it does.

The Third Crusade
Itinerarium Regis Ricardi.jpg

Itinerarium Regis Ricardi
Accounts of events surrounding the Third Crusade were written by the anonymous authors of the Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi (a.k.a. the Itinerarium Regis Ricardi), the Old French Continuation of William of Tyre (parts of which are attributed to Ernoul), and by Ambroise, Roger of Howden, Ralph of Diceto, and Giraldus Cambrensis.

KD Note: The Crusade known as the Kings' Crusade (Richard the Lionheart, Philip II of France, Frederick Barbarossa, Leopold V, Duke of Austria) was allegedly chronicled by some "anonymous" authors 30 years after the Third Crusade supposedly took place. Nobody bothered to officially record the event?


Result of the 3rd Crusade - Treaty of Jaffa
  • Crusader military victory, resulting in a three-year truce.
  • Recognition of the territorial status quo at the end of active campaigning, including continued Muslim control of Jerusalem and the restoration of the Levantine Crusader States.
  • The safety of both Christian and Muslim unarmed pilgrims guaranteed throughout the Levant.
The Fourth Crusade
aka the Conquest of Constantinople by French and Venetians
The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was a Latin Christian armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III. The stated intent of the expedition was to recapture the Muslim-controlled city of Jerusalem, by first conquering the powerful Egyptian Ayyubid Sultanate, the strongest Muslim nation of the time. However, a sequence of economic and political events culminated in the Crusader army sacking the city of Constantinople, the capital of the Greek Christian-controlled Byzantine Empire.


In late 1202, financial issues led to the Crusader army sacking Zara, which was then brought under Venetian control. In January 1203, en-route to Jerusalem, the Crusader leadership entered into an agreement with the Byzantine prince Alexios Angelos to divert the Crusade to Constantinople and restore his deposed father as Emperor. The intent of the Crusaders was then to continue to Jerusalem with promised Byzantine financial and military aid. On 23 June 1203, the bulk of the Crusaders reached Constantinople, while smaller contingents continued to Acre.
  • The Siege of Zara was the first major action of the Fourth Crusade and the first attack against a Catholic city by Catholic crusaders. The crusaders had an agreement with Venice for transport across the sea, but the price far exceeded what they were able to pay. Venice set the condition that the crusaders help them capture Zadar (or Zara), a constant battleground between Venice on one side and Croatia and Hungary on the other, whose king, Emeric, pledged himself to join the Crusade. Although some of the crusaders refused to take part in the siege, the attack on Zadar began in November 1202 despite letters from Pope Innocent III forbidding such an action and threatening excommunication. Zadar fell on 24 November and the Venetians and the crusaders sacked the city. After spending the winter in Zadar the Fourth Crusade continued its campaign, which led to the Siege of Constantinople.

In August, following clashes outside Constantinople, Alexios was crowned co-Emperor. However, in January 1204, he was deposed by a popular uprising. The Crusaders were no longer able to receive their promised payments from Alexios. Following the murder of Alexios on 8 February, the Crusaders decided on the outright conquest of the city. In April 1204, they captured and plundered the city's enormous wealth. Only a handful of the Crusaders continued to the Holy Land thereafter.

The conquest of Constantinople was followed by the fragmentation of the Empire into three rump states centred in Nicaea, Trebizond and Epirus. The Crusaders then founded several Crusader states in former Byzantine territory, largely hinged upon the Latin Empire of Constantinople. The presence of the Latin Crusader states almost immediately led to war with the Byzantine successor states and the Bulgarian Empire. The Nicaean Empire eventually recovered Constantinople and restored the Byzantine Empire in 1261.

The Crusade is considered to be one of the most prominent acts that solidified the schism between the Greek and Latin Christian churches, and dealt an irrevocable blow to the already weakened Byzantine Empire, paving the way for Muslim conquests in Anatolia and Balkan Europe in the coming centuries.

Wiki Note: Only a relatively small number of the members of the Fourth Crusade finally reached their originally intended goal of the Holy Land. Research indicates that about a tenth of the knights who had taken the cross in Flanders arrived to reinforce the remaining Christian states there, plus about half of those from the Île-de-France. During the ensuing half century the unstable Latin Empire siphoned off much of Europe's crusading energy. The legacy of the Fourth Crusade was the deep sense of betrayal felt by the Greek Christians. With the events of 1204, the schism between the Churches in the East and West was not just complete but also solidified.

Result of the 4th Crusade
KD tiny conclusion: After the 3rd (alleged) Crusade the temporary truce was reached, and the safety of both Christian and Muslim pilgrims was guaranteed. The 4th Crusade turned into a major looting expedition.

What's wrong with the 4th?
Here is why I think that the 4th Crusade was actually the Crusade #1. While I definitely do not know how to justify the "historical existence" of the official three initial Crusades, I do have an idea how to place a "Big Doubt" label on their "Crusade" status.

Take the Cross (definition): To accept a sign, badge of the Christian cross as part of an oath or vow, especially to take part in a crusade.

Let us take a closer look at an account of a certain Geoffrey of Villehardouin:


c. 1150 – c. 1213-1218
  • Geoffroi de Villehardouin, French soldier, chronicler, marshal of Champagne, and one of the leaders of the Fourth Crusade (1201–04), which he described in his Conquest of Constantinople. He was the first serious writer of an original prose history in Old French.
  • Although he was only one of the lesser nobility, Villehardouin was from the start accepted as one of the leaders of the Fourth Crusade. In 1205 his consummate generalship saved the Frankish army from destruction at the hands of the Bulgars outside Adrianople (modern Edirne, Turkey) and led them without loss through hostile country to safety in Constantinople.
  • Memoirs or Chronicle of The Fourth Crusade and The Conquest of Constantinople - translated by Frank T. Marzials, (London: J.M. Dent, 1908).
  • KD: I believe the above translation/interpretation to be fairly close to the original text but far from 100%. Look at the above Title Page cut outs from two different editions. Any mentioning of any Crusades? How come the below contemporary book cover does mention the Crusade?

The First Preaching of the Crusade

The Conquest of Constantinople: Be it known to you that eleven hundred and ninety-seven years after the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the time of Innocent Pope of Rome, and Philip King of France, and Richard King of England, there was in France a holy man named Fulk of Neuilly - which Neuilly is between Lagni-sur-Marne and Paris - and he was a priest and held the cure of the village. And this said Fulk began to speak of God throughout the Isle-de-France, and the other countries round about; and you must know that by him the Lord wrought many miracles.

Be it known to you further, that the fame of this holy man so spread, that it reached the Pope of Rome, Innocent III; and the Pope sent to France, and ordered the right worthy man to preach the cross (the Crusade) by his authority. And afterwards the Pope sent a cardinal of his, Master Peter of Capua, who himself had taken the cross, to proclaim the Indulgence of which I now tell you, viz., that all who should take the cross and serve in the host for one year, would be delivered from all the sins they had committed, and acknowledged in confession. And because this indulgence was so great, the hearts of men were much moved, and many took the cross for the greatness of the pardon.

KD: The above passage from The Conquest of Constantinople sounds fairly bizarre. First of all there were three previous Crusades, with the Third ending in 1192. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was safe, and any pilgrim was able to visit it. Yet, there is not a single reference to the previous Crusades.

Crusaders send Six Envoys to Venice
  • Afterwards the barons held a parliament at Soissons, to settle when they should start, and whither they should wend. But they could come to no agreement, because it did not seem to them that enough people had taken the cross. So during all that year (1200) no two months passed without assemblings in parliament at Compiègne. There met all the counts and barons who had taken the cross. Many were the opinions given and considered; but in the end it was agreed that envoys should be sent, the best that could be found, with full powers, as if they were the lords in person, to settle such matters as needed settlement.
  • To these six envoys the business in hand was fully committed, all the barons delivering to them valid charters, with seals attached, to the effect that they would undertake to maintain and carry out whatever conventions and agreements the envoys might enter into, in all sea ports, and whithersoever else the envoys might fare. Thus were the six envoys dispatched, as you have been told; and they took counsel among themselves, and this was their conclusion: that in Venice they might expect to find a greater number of vessels than in any other port. So they journeyed day by day, till they came thither in the first week of Lent (February 1201).
KD: These future participants of the Fourth Crusade approach the endeavor like they have never heard of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Crusades. Why would you travel all the way to Venice to learn the logistics of something you (the French) just did 3 times in a row, with the last time being less then 10 years ago.

Getting to Jerusalem?
logistical nightmare
I think the following information is the most revealing. It shows that there either were no previous Crusades, or that people back then suffered a very serious case of logistical amnesia. How could French forget the steps required to organize a Crusade?
  • The Doge of Venice, whose name was Henry Dandolo and who was very wise and very valiant, did them great honour, both he and the other folk, and entertained them right willingly, marvelling, however, when the envoys had delivered their letters, what might be the matter of import that had brought them to that country. For the letters were letters of credence only, and declared no more than that the bearers were to be accredited as if they were the counts in person, and that the said counts would make good whatever the six envoys should undertake.
  • So the Doge replied: " Signors, I have seen your letters; well do we know that of men uncrowned your lords are the greatest, and they advise us to put faith in what you tell us, and that they will maintain whatsoever you undertake. Now, therefore, speak, and let us know what is your pleasure."
  • And the envoys answered: " Sire, we would that you should assemble your council; and before your council we will declare the wishes of our lords; and let this be tomorrow, if it so pleases you." And the Doge replied asking for respite till the fourth day, when he would assemble his council, so that the envoys might state their requirements."
The below passages will be taken from the 1829 translation, for the 1908 one omits quite a few valuable details.


KD Note: The endeavor clearly sounds serious enough for the Venetians to take eight days to think it over. Yet, if we were to believe the official history, the Venetians were supposed to be able to easily organize the logistics. The Venetian Crusade to the Holy Land took place between 1122 and 1124. Essentially both French and Venetians were supposed to have the road to Jerusalem paved with memories and experience: 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Venetian crusades had to provide valuable data. Meanwhile, they appear to be facing the logistical issue for the first time ever.


Visited Holy Land Before
Here is a short list of who supposedly visited the Holy Land prior to the Fourth Crusade:

1st Crusade
2nd Crusade
3rd Crusade
How Come?
If we were to believe the official history, between 1100 and 1200, the entire Europe made Jerusalem a revolving door. So, how is it possible that the 1202 Crusade organizers had no clue how to organize logistics?

Cairo equals Babylon?
I am not really surprised with them discussing the route, though the route to the Holy Land they should have known by then. But why (in the 12th - 13th centuries) they referred to present day Cairo as Babylon remains to be determined. What if Babylon was really in a different place?




source (txt)

Where is Cairo between 1540 and 1561?


1540 - source (map)


1548 - source (map)


1561 - source (map)

Cairo which was once called Babylon; Egypt largest city
Cairus Quae Olim Babylon Aegypt Maxima Urbs


1575 - source + 1 (city plan)
All the good and beautiful words that the Doge then spoke, I cannot repeat to you. But the end of the matter was, that the covenants were to be made on the following day; and made they were, and devised accordingly. When they were concluded, it was notified to the council that we should go to Babylon (Cairo), because the Turks could better be destroyed in Babylon than in any other land; but to the folk at large it was only told that we were bound to go overseas. We were then in Lent (March 1201), and by St. john's Day, in the following year-which would be twelve hundred and two years after the Incarnation of Jesus Christ-the barons and pilgrims were to be in Venice, and the ships ready against their coming.

At first glance historians got their bases covered here: Babylon Fortress in Egypt. But when you look at this Babylon Fortress, and compare it to the Egyptian Pyramids, it is quite obvious, that the Pyramids would have made it on the map way before this Fortress did. Besides, the above city plan of the 1575 Egyptian Babylon puts this "Fortress" idea to rest.

With Cairo being founded in 969 CE, and the above maps dated to 1540-1575... did it really take Cairo 600 years to get on a map? Sounds like there is an interesting possibility of the original Babylon being called Cairo today.

KD opinion:
  • Reading Geoffry de Villehardouin, it appears that the idea of Taking the Cross was a novelty. With less than 10 years passing since the 3rd Crusade there had to be thousands of those who had already Taken the Cross. Where did they all go?
  • Why Pope Innocent III (Rome) had to employ this Fulk of Neuilly who lived all the way in France to promote the idea of the Crusade?
  • I find it mighty strange that the organizers of the 4th Crusade ran into this logistical issue. It's like nobody had any knowledge of how to transport troops to the Holy Land.
  • Strange facts include the absence of a single reference to Egypt, while simultaneously we are supposed to believe that 300 year old Cairo was called Babylon in 1204. We are also expected to accept that as late as 1561 Cairo was still named Babylon on the maps.
In general this entire Crusade Story is way above my head. I kind of formed my opinion on a few things, and will try to build up upon those in some related future threads.

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