Fifth Crusade (1217-1229)

Evidence of the continuing enthusiasm for the idea of crusading can be seen in the Children's Crusade. In 1212, European children gathered together and marched (accompanied by many adults) in hopes of going on crusade. The largest group traveled in Lombardy where many dispersed, although some did reach Genoa. The few who reached Rome had their technically invalid crusade vows dispensed by Innocent III. Like the People's Crusade, this unofficial crusade never reached the middle east. Some reports described some of the children being sold into slavery.

The years from 1209 to 1219 (or 1229, depending on sources) saw the mounting of the Albigensian Crusade. This was a campaign against a sect of Cathar heretics in southern France. Simon de Montfort led the crusade for the Pope. This attempt was not very successful; the inquisition that was put in place ca 1233 was more effective.

These, of course, were not the only campaigns. In 1213, Innocent III began to plan the Fifth crusade for when a six-year truce ended in 1217. While Innocent died on July 16, 1216, his successor Pope Honorius III continued the preparations. The Fifth Crusade consisted of various expeditions against Egypt. In 1217-1218, Andrew II of Hungary tried to take Acre. In 1219-1221, Cardinal Pelagius led a crusade in Egypt. He seized Damietta and tried for Cairo, but al-Kamil, sultan of Egypt, defeated them. Frederick II (the Holy Roman Emperor), crusaded in 1228-1229. He gained Jerusalem from al-Kamil in 1229 in a treaty. However, at the time Frederick was excommunicated, owing either to earlier delays in fulfilling his crusade vows or to the pope's desire for his lands in southern Italy. Therefore, Jerusalem, even though in Frankish hands, was under interdict. The Franks (Franj) lost Jerusalem for the last time in 1244.

To see a summary of the end of the Great Crusades, click here.

To see a summary of the Fourth Crusade, click here.

To see a more detailed listing of events of this period, click here.

References: Erbstösser, Hallam [2], Maalouf, Riley-Smith [1]