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Fourth Crusade

The Fourth Crusade 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 state 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, rather than Egypt as planned. In late 1202, financial issues led to the Crusader army sacking Zara, a Catholic city on the Adriatic Sea, brought under Venetian control; when the pope heard of this, he excommunicated the crusader army. 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 to continue to Jerusalem with promised Byzantine financial and military aid.

On 23 June 1203, the main Crusader army reached Constantinople, while other contingents continued to Acre. 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 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 Byzantine Empire into three rump states centred in Nicaea and Epirus. The Crusaders founded several Crusader states in former Byzantine territory hinged upon the Latin Empire of Constantinople; the presence of the Latin Crusader states immediately led to war with the Byzantine successor states and the Bulgarian Empire. The Nicaean Empire recovered Constantinople and restored the Byzantine Empire in 1261.

The Fourth Crusade is considered to have solidified the East-West Schism, dealt an irrevocable blow to the weakened Byzantine Empire, paving the way for Muslim conquests in Anatolia and the Balkans in the coming centuries. Between 1174 and 1187, the Ayyubid sultan Saladin conquered most of the Crusader states in the Levant. Jerusalem was captured in 1187; the Crusader states were reduced by Saladin to little more than three cities along the sea coast: Tyre and Antioch. The Third Crusade was launched in response to the fall of Jerusalem and with the goal of recovering it, it reclaimed an extensive territory reestablishing the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Although Jerusalem itself was not recovered, the important coastal towns of Acre and Jaffa were. On 2 September 1192, a truce was signed with Saladin, it was to last for eight months. The crusade had been marked by a significant escalation in long standing tensions between the feudal states of western Europe and the Byzantine Empire. During the crusade, Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, had besieged Constantinople because of the failure of the Byzantines to provide him with safe passage across the Dardanelles.

The Byzantines for their part suspected him of conspiring with the breakaway Byzantine provinces of Serbia and Bulgaria. King Richard I of England seized the breakaway Byzantine province of Cyprus. Rather than return it to the Empire, he sold the island to the Knights Templar. Saladin died on 4 March 1193 before its expiration and his empire was contested and divided between three of his sons and two of his brothers; the new ruler of Jerusalem, Henry of Champagne, signed an extension of the truce with Sultan al-Aziz of Egypt. In 1197, the peace was interrupted by the arrival of a German crusade. Without the permission of Henry, the Germans attacked the territory of al-Adil of Damascus, who responded by attacking Jaffa; the sudden death of Henry prevented the relief of the city was taken by force. The Germans did, succeed in capturing Beirut in the north. Henry was succeeded by Aimery of Cyprus, who signed a truce with al-Adil of five years and eight months on 1 July 1198; the truce preserved the status quo: Jaffa remained in Ayyubid hands, but its destroyed fortifications could not be rebuilt.

Before the expiration of the new truce on 1 March 1204, al-Adil succeeded in uniting the former empire of Saladin, acquiring Egypt in 1200 and Aleppo in 1202. As a result, his domains completely surrounded the diminished Crusader states. Constantinople had been in existence for 874 years at the time of the Fourth Crusade and was the largest and most sophisticated city in Christendom. Alone amongst major medieval urban centres, it had retained the civic structures, public baths, forums and aqueducts of classical Rome in working form. At its height, the city held an estimated population of about half a million people behind thirteen miles of triple walls, its planned location made Constantinople not only the capital of the surviving eastern part of the Roman Empire but a commercial centre that dominated trade routes from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea, China and Persia. As a result, it was both a rival and a tempting target for the aggressive new states of the west, notably the Republic of Venice.

In 1195, the Byzantine Emperor Isaac II Angelos was deposed in favour of his brother by a palace coup. Ascending as Alexios III Angelos, the new emperor had his brother blinded (a traditional punishment for treaso

First Interstate Center (Missoula, Montana)

The First Interstate Center, or First Interstate Bank Building, is a building in the heart of Downtown Missoula, Montana. It is located at 310 West Front Street, it is one of many post-modern buildings built in Missoula. Standing at 6 floors it is one of the tallest in Missoula, with 118,000 square feet of space, it is the largest square footage office building in Missoula; the Missoula Downtown Master Plan — which the Missoula Downtown association has created — seeks to redevelop Missoula's historic buildings, encourage new development of buildings such as this one in the cities downtown. The First Interstate Bank Building in Downtown Missoula is now for sale/lease; the price is not yet known but the entire 2-6 floors are now up for sale/lease. Missoula, Montana

Escape from Alcatraz (film)

Escape from Alcatraz is a 1979 American prison thriller film directed by Don Siegel. It is an adaptation of the 1963 non-fiction book of the same name by J. Campbell Bruce and dramatizes the 1962 prisoner escape from the maximum security prison on Alcatraz Island; the film stars Clint Eastwood, features Patrick McGoohan, Fred Ward, Jack Thibeau and Larry Hankin. Danny Glover appears in his film debut. Escape from Alcatraz marks the fifth and final collaboration between Siegel and Eastwood, following Coogan's Bluff, Two Mules for Sister Sara, The Beguiled and Dirty Harry. In early 1960, Frank Morris, a prisoner with an exceptional I. Q. who has absconded from other facilities, arrives at the maximum security prison on Alcatraz Island. Soon after arriving, he is summoned to the office of the warden, who curtly informs him that Alcatraz is unique within the U. S. prison system for its exceedingly high level of security and that no inmate has successfully escaped. During the conversation, the warden fails to notice Morris steal one of the nail clippers on the desk.

Over the next several days, Morris makes acquaintances with a few inmates, including the eccentric Litmus, fond of desserts. Morris makes an enemy of a rapist called Wolf, who tries to harass him in the showers and attacks him in the prison yard with a knife. Morris is released; when the warden discovers that Doc has painted an ungainly caricature of him, as well as other policemen on the island itself, he permanently removes Doc's painting privileges. Morris encounters bank robber brothers John and Clarence Anglin, who are his old friends from another prison sentence, he makes the acquaintance of prisoner Charley Butts. Morris notices that the concrete around the grille in his cell is weak and can be chipped away, which evolves into an escape plan. Over the next few months, the Anglins, Butts dig through the walls of their cells with spoons, make papier-mâché dummies to act as decoys, construct a raft out of raincoats. During mealtime, Morris places a chrysanthemum at the table in honor of Doc, but the warden stops by and crushes it, causing a provoked and angry Litmus to suffer a heart attack.

The warden requests a shakedown of Morris's cell and finds nothing unusual. However, he issues orders for Morris to be relocated to a different cell as soon as possible. Wolf has been released from solitary confinement and prepares to attack Morris again, but English is able to intercept him, with English implying that his gang will rape Wolf; that night, the inmates decide to leave. Morris, the Anglins and Butts plan to escape. Butts fails to rendezvous with them, he changes his mind but is too late and returns to his cell where he sulks over his missed opportunity. Carrying the flotation gear and the Anglins access the roof and avoid the searchlights. From there, they scramble down the side of the building into the prison yard, climb over a barbed-wire fence, make their way to the shoreline of the island, where they inflate the raft; the three men depart from Alcatraz submerged in the water, clinging to the raft and using their legs as the primary propelling force. The following morning, the escape is discovered and a massive manhunt ensues.

Shreds of raincoat material, including personal effects of the men are found floating in the bay. While searching on Angel Island, the warden stubbornly insists that the men's personal effects were important, the men would have drowned before leaving them behind. However, another guard has his doubts, suggesting that the convicts got rid of them on the pretense that they drowned; the Warden is informed by his aide that he has been summoned to go to Washington to face his superiors, with the prospect of being forced to accept early retirement for having failed to prevent the breakout. On a rock, the Warden is told by his aide that none grow on Angel Island; the film closes with an inserted text narrative telling that the fugitives were never found, that Alcatraz was closed less than a year later. Alcatraz was closed shortly after the true events. Screenwriter Richard Tuggle spent six months researching and writing a screenplay based on the 1963 non-fiction account by J. Campbell Bruce, he went to the Writers Guild and received a list of literary agents who would accept unsolicited manuscripts.

He submitted a copy to each, to anybody else in the business that he could cajole into reading it. Everyone rejected it, saying it had poor dialogue and characters, lacked a love interest, that the public was not interested in prison stories. Tuggle decided to deal directly with filmmakers, he called the agent for director Don Siegel and lied, saying he had met Siegel at a party and the director had expressed interest in reading his script. The agent forwarded the script to Siegel, who read it, liked it, passed it on to Clint Eastwood. Eastwood was drawn to the role as ringleader Frank Morris and agreed to star, providing Siegel direct under the Malpaso banner. Siegel insisted that it be a Don Siegel film and outmaneuvered Eastwood by purchasing the rights to the film for $100,000. This