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1204: The Capture of Constantinople
- Text in English

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Geoffrey of Villehardouin

The Latins Divide The Spoils

[From La conquête de Constantinople, in Villehardouin and De Joinville: Memoirs of the Crusades, translated by F.Marzials, London, 1908, reprint 1955, pp. 65-66.]

The booty gained was so great that none could tell you the end of it: gold and silver, and vessels and precious stones, and samite and cloth of silk, and robes vair and grey, and ermine, and every choicest thing found upon the earth. And well does Geoffrey of Villehardouin, the Marshal of Champagne, bear witness, that never, since the world was created, had so much booty been won in any city. ... That which was brought to the churches was collected together and divided, in equal parts, between the Franks and the Venetians. ... After the division had been made [the Crusaders] paid out of their share fifty thousand marks of silver to the Venetians, and then divided at least one hundred thousand marks among themselves. ... If it had not been for what was stolen, and for the part given to the Venetians, there would have been at least four hundred thousand marks of silver, and at least ten thousand horses -one with another.

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