"...And of kinsmen weeping for the slain!
Please! - heed my words;
In thy sorrow I will kiss thy tears -
In thy bliss I will take thee by thy hand -
The sapor of grapes thou shalt savor -
And harken the nighttingale sing oh so blithely!"

-Raymond F. Rohonyi

"The handsome knight,
your honourable grace is so
dear to me, that it worries me
each day.

Oh dear, what will I do,
If that which I hold most dear,
Makes me die, I know not why?"

-Marquis Boniface of Montferrat, Leader of the

Fourth Crusade

"Furthermore, under what guise can we call upon the other Western peoples for aid to the Holy Land and assistance to the Empire of Constantinople? When the Crusaders, having given up the proposed pilgrimage, return absolved to their homes; when those who plundered the aforesaid Empire turn back and come home with their spoils, free of guilt; will not people then suspect that these things have happened, not because of the crime involved, but because of your deed? Let the Lord's word not be stifled in your mouth. Be not like a dumb dog, unable to bark. Rather, let them speak these things publicly, let them protest before everyone, so that the more they rebuke you before God and on God's account, the more they will find you simply negligent. As for the absolution of the Venetian people being falsely accepted, against ecclesiastical rules, we will not at present argue with you...." Pope Innocent III, after the Fall of Constantinople

Conquering Constantinople was hardly on the agenda when the Fourth Crusade began. How could things have gone so wrong? Was it a case of severe muddle-headedness? Or was it cynical opportunism from start to finish?