THE STATE OF THE EASTERN EMPIRE, and of the Greets Church in the Thirteenth Century, was Subject to various Revolutions. The Emperor Isaac Angelus, after he had Reigned Nine Years, was of the Greek dethroned in the Year 1195, by his own Brother Alexius, who took upon him the Sirname of Comnenus, and after he had put out his Brother’s eyes, cast him and his young Son into Prison.
The Son having made his Escape from Constantinople, went into Germany to wait upon his Brother-in-Law the Emperor Philip, by whose advice he made his application to the Army of the Crusade, which was ready to march for the Conquest of the Holy-Land. He desired that before they marched into Palestine, they would reestablished him in Constantinople, and expel the usurper, with all promising afterwards to join forces with them, and to help them to considerable supplies.
This Proposal being made to the Crusade, at their rendezvous at Venice, by the Emperor’s Ambassadors and the Deputies of Alexius, was accepted by the Venetians and French, whose Army marched to, and besieged Constantinople in the Year 1203, and within Eight days took it. Alexius the elder fled by the Bosphorus and the Euxine Sea to Zagora, an Isle of Thrace. Isaac was let at liberty, and reestablished on the Throne with his Son Atexiut. This Prince promised to recognize the Pope, to put an end to the Schism, and to reconcile all his Subjects to the Church of Rome. But not being as yet altogether in a Capacity of performing what he had promised to the Princes of the Crusade, he prevailed upon them to put off their expedition into the Holy-Land till Easter following.