In Suzdal also Alexander found himself in the presence of insolent victors and exasperated subjects. In 1262 the inhabitants of Vladimir, of Suzdal, of Rostof, rose against the collectors of the Tartar impost. The people of Yaroslavl slew a renegade named Zozimus, a former monk, who had become a Moslem fanatic. Terrible reprisals were sure to follow. Alexander set out with presents for the Horde at the risk of leaving his head there. He had likewise to excuse himself for having refused a body of auxiliary Russians to the Mongols, wishing at least to spare the blood and religious scruples of his subjects. It is a remarkable fact that over the most profound humiliations of the Russian nationality the contemporary history always throws a ray of glory.
At the moment that Alexander went to prostrate himself at Sarai, the Suzdalian army, united to that of Novgorod, and commanded by his son Dmitri, defeated the Livonian knights and took Dorpat by assault. The khan Berkai gave Alexander a kind greeting, accepted his explanations, dispensed with the promised contingent, but kept him for a year near his court. The health of Alexander broke down; he died on his return before reaching Vladimir. When the news arrived at his capital, the metropolitan Cyril, who was finishing the liturgy, turned toward the faithful and said, “Learn, my dear children, that the Sun of Russia is set, is dead.”
“We are lost,” cried the people, breaking forth into sobs. Alexander, by this policy of resignation, which his chivalrous heroism does not permit us to despise, had secured some repose for exhausted Russia. By his victories over his enemies of the West he had given her some glory, and hindered her from despairing under the most crushing tyranny, material and moral, which a European people had ever suffered.
THE SIXTH CRUSADE
TREATY OF FREDERICK II WITH THE SARACENS
SIR GEORGE W. COX
For six years after the end of the Fifth Crusade—in which the crusaders, forgetting their vows, instead of delivering Jerusalem sacked Constantinople—the Christians of Palestine were protected by a truce with Saphadin, who had succeeded his brother Saladin in power. This truce was broken by the action of the Latin Christians, Pope Innocent himself, who had been the leading spirit of the Fifth Crusade, continuing to make known his designs for the recovery of the Holy Land. Between the Fifth and the Sixth Crusades occurred that which was in some respects the strangest manifestation of the crusading mania, whereby the inspiration of the Pope and other preachers of a new crusade carried some fanatics to the maddest extremes. This movement, or series of movements, is known as the “Children’s Crusade,” 1212.
In response to the appeals of certain priests who went about France and Germany calling