Siege of Constantinople (1204) - Sack of Constantinople

Sack of Constantinople

The Crusaders looted, terrorized and vandalized Constantinople for three days, during which many ancient and medieval Roman and Greek works were either stolen or destroyed. The famous bronze horses from the Hippodrome were sent back to adorn the facade of St Mark's Basilica in Venice, where they still remain. As well as being stolen, works of immeasurable value were destroyed merely for their material value. One of the most precious works to suffer such a fate was a large bronze statue of Hercules, created by the legendary Lysippos, court sculptor of no lesser than Alexander the Great. Like so many other priceless artworks made of bronze, the statue was melted down for its content by the Crusaders whose greed blinded them.

The Library of Constantinople was destroyed. Despite their oaths and the threat of excommunication, the Crusaders systematically violated the city's holy sanctuaries, destroying or stealing all they could lay hands on; nothing was spared. The civilian population of Constantinople were subject to the Crusaders' ruthless lust for spoils and glory; thousands of them were killed in cold blood. Women, even nuns, were raped by the Crusader army, which also sacked churches, monasteries and convents. The very altars of these churches were smashed and torn to pieces for their gold and marble by the warriors who had sworn to fight in service of Christendom without question. Although the Venetians engaged in looting too, their actions were by far more restrained. Doge Dandolo still appeared to have far more control over his men. Rather than wantonly destroying all around like their comrades, the Venetians stole religious relics and works of art which they would later take to Venice to adorn their own churches with.

It was said that the total amount looted from Constantinople was about 900,000 silver marks. The Venetians received 150,000 silver marks that was their due, while the Crusaders received 50,000 silver marks. A further 100,000 silver marks were divided evenly up between the Crusaders and Venetians. The remaining 500,000 silver marks were secretly kept back by many Crusader knights. Latin residents of Constantinople, meanwhile, in their own ways exacted retribution for the Massacre of the Latins of 1182.

Read more about this topic:  Siege Of Constantinople (1204)

Other articles related to "sack of constantinople, constantinople, of constantinople":

Fourth Crusade - Diversion To Constantinople - Sack of Constantinople
... The crusaders inflicted a horrible and savage sacking on Constantinople for three days, during which many ancient and medieval Roman and Greek works were either stolen or destroyed ... The magnificent Library of Constantinople was destroyed ... It was said that the total amount looted from Constantinople was about 900,000 silver marks ...

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