Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal

May 20-26, 2016, Our Homeschool Weekly Report, days 120-124

May 20-26, 2016
days 120-124

Quentin finished up the study of the crusades with a look at the minor crusades. James made notes on the reading we are doing about the Mayans.  He will eventually use these notes to write a paper.

"I know a bank where the wild thyme blows," 
- Midsummer Night's Dream

We started early on next year's  study of Shakespeare, using Ken Ludwig's How to Teach your Children Shakespeare as a guide. James, meanwhile, is using Edcon's Midsummer Night's Dream guide. This is a big change for us, as the workbook format is against everything I prefer in a teaching style, but it was recommended by James' Educational Consultant. It practices the foundational skills needed for kids who are having trouble keeping up with high school level reading material. He is doing well with it. Meanwhile, I am reading the play to them in short bits everyday.

Quentin is working through his Teaching Textbooks math. Since we started this program mid-year, he will be working on it all summer (and maybe the beginning of next year.)
Quentin's seafood dinner of salmon, mussels and scallops, with garlic bread to sop up the broth with. Not pictured is broccoli with cheese sauce that went with his dinner.

Quentin is learning how to cook, and is cooking most of the meals, with my supervision. The goal is that he will be able to cook our basic meals totally by himself.

Sam and Alex have finished their year up, and I have sent for their diplomas. We will have their home graduation late June. I will still be doing some activities with Alex, as he will need mental stimulation all his life since he will not be able to pursue a career.

Katie's garden is producing lots of tasty herbs, which we have been enjoying in our cooking.

How was your week?

Join me at...

James' Ninth Grade Plans

English 9
  • Grammar: Daily Grams
  • Literature: 20 books, half classics, half Shakespeare:
    • Swiss Family Robinson
    • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    • Rip Van Winkle
    • Uncle Tom's Cabin
    • The Jungle Book
    • A Christmas Carol
    • The Hobbit
    • Tom Sawyer
    • Treasure Island
    • The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
    • The Tempest
    • Romeo and Juliet
    • The Winter's Tale
    • Pericles
    • Measure for Measure
    • As You Like It
    • Much Ado About Nothing
    • A Midsummer's Night Dream
    • The Merchant of Venice
    • Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • Writing: 
    • 4 short papers
    • 3 essays
    • A 7 page paper or a 5 and a 3 page paper
    • At least 1 speech outside of the immediate family
Math: Teaching Textbooks Algebra I
Science: Exploring Creation with Physical Science (at least 3/4 textbook)
History: American History: 135 hours of independent study projects OR 16 books and written summaries of each book
Career Training: at Delaware Technical College
We have not decided about World Language or Electives yet.


Quentin's Seventh Grade Plans

English:
  • Grammar: Daily Grams
  • Literature and Reading (15 books), Shakespeare (Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, As You Like It)
  • Writing: 4 short papers, 2 essays, 1-5 page paper, at least one speech to an audience outside the immediate family
Bible: Old Testament, Picture Smart Bible Curriculum
Math: Teaching Textbooks, 6th grade
Science: Physical Science, Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physical Science, Jeannie Fulbright
History: American History: Kingfisher Encyclopedia of History, Colonial Gothic, George Washington's World, Abraham Lincoln's World, Genevieve Foster
Languages: Videotext Latin
Electives: 
  • Art and Music History and Appreciation
  • Drama


History in Action: The Minor Crusades

The Fifth, 1221
In order to finance the Fifth Crusade, a tax was imposed. The plan for this crusade was to enter Jerusalem by way of the sea and then go on to Egypt because Frederick II was headed there. They planned to meet there, gather forces and go back to fight the Muslims, who had just let them pass through Jerusalem. Frederick never showed up, but the Muslims knew that the Crusaders were camping on a flood plain and so opened the floodgate and the crusaders were washed away.

The Sixth, 1228
Well, it turns out that Frederick II had become friends with the Muslims, and decided to team up with them instead of the Christians.  The leader of the Muslims was at this time Al-Kamul. He and Frederick decided to share Jerusalem and let the Christians visit as long as the Muslims were also allowed to worship there. The Pope was not happy about Frederick's behavior in this matter and so excommunicated him and didn't allow Christians to pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

The Seventh, 1254
Next the Turkish Muslims attack the remaining Christians in Jerusalem. Louis IX of France decided to take matters in his own hands and led a crusade. Despite his good intentions, his army had to retreat to regroup. It didn't help that his army suffered from dysentery.

The Eighth, 1291
King Louis of France decided that he needed to team up with the Mongols against the Muslims. The Muslims, however, had meanwhile began abducting Russian slaves and training these youths to be ruthless warriors called Mamelukes. The Muslims and the Mamelukes devastated the Christians, therefore taking control of Jerusalem.

How to Host a Spaghetti Dinner for a Crowd

Whether you are thinking about hosting a fundraising dinner, a dinner theater meal or just a get-together, the planning you will need to do will be similar. After hosting our dinner theater meal for 40 people, I learned a lot about what works and what doesn't work in planning a meal for a crowd, and I thought I would share what I have learned with you.

Plan Ahead. Plan a couple of months in advance. If you are asking for donations from businesses, some will need the time to take the requests through their corporate headquarters. Most of the time you will need a letter from your group's president, validating your request as legitimate. Some will say "no", so ask at more places than you actually need. Some will give you the donation then and there, without any special requirements. If you happen to be fortunate enough get more donations than you can use, you can raffle it off and give the proceeds to your sponsoring group.
Secure your location. We were blessed to have the use of a church hall that has an attached kitchen for no charge. (It is the same place we hold our co-op.) If you can secure a similar location, even if you have to pay for it, it is well worth it.

Planning the Meal. Before you begin seeking donations, you need to determine what you need. Some donations are the actual foods, so you will need to be on top of what you need, so you can tell the sponsors without hesitation. You can determine this by just looking at the packaging of the dinner items you are buying. I will give you all the details of our spaghetti dinner, and it can give you an idea of how it works, even if you plan a different tupe of meal. We used:

  • Spaghetti noodles: One pound of spaghetti serves about 6 people. We also had a gluten-free option, so we bought 2 of those as well.
  • Spaghetti sauce: You could buy the ingredients for homemade sauce, but for convenience, we opted for canned/jarred sauce; one container of sauce for every pound of spaghetti. We also provided little cups of Parmesan cheese for each table. We used 1 container of Parmesan cheese for 40 people in little cups for each table.
  • Meatballs: Again, you could buy the ingredients for homemade meatballs, but we opted for frozen, pre-made meatballs. We decided to plan for about 4 meatballs per person. We bought gluten-free meatballs as well (Farm Rich brand Original flavor is both gluten and dairy-free and is delicious,)
  • Bread: You can either go the bread and butter route or the garlic bread route. Either way, you will need about one loaf for every 10-15 people. Remember, if you go the bread and butter route, you will need to provide little dishes for each table for the butter, in addition to the bread baskets you will need for the bread. You would need approximately 1/2 pound butter for every 40 people.
  • Salad: We bought salad greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrot shavings, croutons and a variety of salad dressings. You will need about one pound of lettuce for every 10 people. You also need 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes for every fifteen people. This type of tomatoes can be left whole in the salad so that the juices from the tomato doesn't make the salad mushy. We did slice the cucumbers into the salad at the last minute, using one cucumber for every 20 people. We also added croutons on the salad right before serving. We used one bag for every 20 people. We had a wide variety of dressings because the dinner theater script called for it, but you really only need one bottle of each Italian, Ranch, Blue Cheese and Thousand Island. We also bought little plastic cups to hold portions of dressings for each salad. 
  • Drinks: The least expensive route is to provide iced tea (sweetened and unsweetened), lemonade (2 cups lemon juice, 2 cups sugar and 1 gallon of water) and ice water.  You could also go the 2-liter route. In that case, you will need a variety (mostly cola), planning for one 2-liter for every 6-8 people. You will also need 10 pounds of ice for every 20 people and cups for each person, with lots of extras.
  • Dessert: We opted for brownie sundaes, using 13x9 pan of brownies for every 12-16 people and 1 gallon ice cream for every 40 people. We used Fudge Swirl ice cream, but you could use vanilla ice cream and add chocolate syrup. You would need 1 bottle syrup for every 40 people. We also had gluten-free and dairy-free options.
  • Tableware: We used paper plates and napkins, plastic cups, bowls (remember bowls are used for both the salad and the sundaes, so you will need two bowls for every one plate) and plasticware, 1 per person, with ample extras. We also used plastic tablecloths. We also bought vases and plastic flowers for each table from a dollar store. 

Buy Now, Buy Later. Once you have gotten your donations, you can buy your non-perishables and plan to buy your perishables the day of or the day before the dinner. Make sure you have secured a place to store your items, especially the perishables.

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate. Once you have obtained the items, delegate responsibility for the various things that need to be prepared in advance- for our dinner, this meant baking brownies, making salad and advance preparation of the spaghetti noodles. If you have a different dinner, then the needs might be a bit different.

Here is my favorite tip: If you are preparing spaghetti for a crowd, the day before or the day of the dinner, cook all of your spaghetti noodles 5 minutes (or about half the suggested time). Immediately run cold water over the noodles to stop them from continuing to cook. Put in gallon zip-lock bags and store in the refrigerator. When you are getting the dinner ready, the day of the dinner, put a large pot of water on to boil, and as soon as the water is boiling, dump the cold noodles from the refrigerator into the boiling eater and set your timer for 4 minutes. It doesn't matter if the water doesn't return to boiling in those four minutes, the spaghetti will still cook perfectly and will be steaming hot for serving. Transfer the cooked spaghetti to a warming tray and leave the pot of water on the stove to return to boiling for the next batch of spaghetti. It works perfectly every time. This does not work well for gluten-free noodles, which tend to turn to a solid, mushy mass. You will have to cook those as the directions on the box suggests.

The Big Day. The day of the dinner, you will need to set up serving areas. If you have a self-serve buffet, set up your warming trays, ice buckets (we used small Styrofoam coolers from the Dollar store.) and your service items on the buffet. We had our actors serve as waiters, so we set up the stations in the kitchen. We had one area for the gluten-free noodles and meatballs, so we wouldn't have a mistake in serving. We had another area for the regular spaghetti and regular meatballs. The sauce, which already was gluten-free, was in another area. We set up an additional area for the salad, which included the croutons  to be put on at the last minute and labeled cups of salad dressing. The drinks, cups and ice were set at a table in the back, for self serving.

Student Waiters. I printed out a menu for each person to check off what they wanted (gluten-free free or regular, what type of salad dressing, etc.). These were left at the tables along with pencils. As guests arrived, they filled them out and gave them to the waiter assigned to that table. The waiters brought the orders to the kitchen staff and we prepared the plates, putting them on large trays for the waiters to deliver to the tables. The waiters then returned the trays to the kitchen staff for the next table. We had 10 tables, 8 waiters and 3 people as the kitchen staff and it worked quite well. Note: You will need to consider you serving needs and secure those items in advance. Don't forget serving utensils.

Clean-Up. It would be best to plan to delegate clean-up responsibilities as you did the rest of the responsibilities. As it turns out, I had a whole group of take-charge helpers for our dinner, and so I never had to ask anyone to complete a chore, but I did plan ahead and had a checklist of everything that needed to be done, down to vacuuming the floor, so if anyone had asked if they could help, I wouldn't even have to think about what needed done, I could just refer to the list. Even with all the help, it was reassuring to be able to go down the list and make sure that everything had been attended to.

Thank You. Don't forget to send thank you cards or letters to everyone that helped, especially your donation providers. A nice touch is to include a photo of the event, even if it is just on paper and printed from your computer. Everyone likes a personal touch, and you will be more likely to be remembered should you want to do a similar event in the future.

May 15-19, 2016, Snapshot Summary, House Remodel, week 4

After the play went off without a hitch, we rested the next day because we were so tired. At least that was what we thought. However, when Monday rolled around, it became obvious that we had the flu. For the rest of the week, the ones that were most well took care of those that were the most unwell, in rotation.
During all this, the construction workers came and went sporadically. The appliances came and were installed, the flooring was laid in the dining room and a section of hard wood flooring was laid around the wood stove hearth. Various other small jobs were also completed.
We are looking foward to getting back to some semblance of normal for this coming week, hopefully with a more regular posting schedule.

Snapshot Summary, May 6-14, 2016: Murder at the Banquet and Kitchen Remodel, week 3

May 6-14, 2016

 Murder at the Banquet


Who will be murdered at the International Association of Mystery Solver's First Annual Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and who will solve the case?

Miss Winter
"With all you great detectives (especially Jack), this mystery should be a snap to solve."

Chief Harley Stanton
"I.m happier than a tick on a bulldog to be here tonight."
 Jack Diamond
"Well, Toots, it looks like we have nothing better to do than cool our heels with a dead guy."
  Foster Holmes
"My award was stolen, a man was killed, I'm locked up here with a hick sheriff, a bunch of old detectives and a woman who spends her life maligning my ancestry. How much brighter can it get?"
 Nathan Wimberly
"Here now! What is the meaning of this?"
 Jenny Watson
"Good thinking, Chief, it was real clever of me to stab him while sitting over here!"

The Chef
"I just had a good idea for taking care of the body."

This year's play was performed and a dinner was served to 40 people without a hitch.


Kitchen Remodel, week 3

 More work has been completed on our kitchen.
 The ceiling has been completed.
 The bar counter-top was completed with the laminate, edging and the lighting.
 It is hard to actually see the fixture in the last picture, so here is one with the light off.

Midas is still unsure about the idea of so many strangers in his house.

That about sums up our week.
How was your week?

April 29-May 5, 2016, Snapshot Summary: The Kitchen Remodel, week 2

As we entered week two of our kitchen remodel (plus some other home improvements), I was smart enough not to schedule anything but the most essential activities. We had play rehearsal, as the performance is next Saturday. Steven got our new car inspected so that he could get our permanent tags (it passed with flying colors.)

As far as the work goes, they built the kitchen bar (which they then used to store their equipment.) 
They built the kitchen counters.


They then added the laminate to the counters and Jason added a edge of cypress wood cut at an angle for the edging. 

The laminate is a stone color with black, white, grey and brown in it, which ties together the brown in the cabinets with the black and white of the floor, ceiling...

sink and appliances.
They put up the grid that will hold the suspended ceiling tile...
 and installed the ceiling lights.
They smoothed the hardwood flooring in the entryway, which required our moving a bookcase, and emptying the contents on our sofa. They also repaired the ceilings in the bedrooms and laundry room which had been damaged when the roof leaked. 
Hopefully the backsplash and ceiling tiles will be in for next week's work. 
That about sums up our week.
How was your week?
Happy Mother's Day to all of you. I bet you can guess what my Mother's Day present was. :)

Beginning Latin Grammar, Lesson 21: Compound Sentences and Conjugations

Latin Grammar for iPad and iPhone
"I would make them all learn English;
and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honour, and Greek as a treat." --Sir Winston Churchill

If your students need to review English grammar before introducing Latin Grammar, go to Simple Grammar.

Previous Lessons in the series:
Lesson 1: Latin Nouns
Lesson 5: Present Tense
Lesson 6: The Infinitive
Lesson 7: Review
Lesson 8 Direct Object
Lesson 9: Predicate Nouns
Lesson 10: Review and Vocabulary
Lesson 11: Possessives
Lesson 12: Appositives
Lesson 13: Review
Lesson 14: Prepositions
Lesson 15: Indirect Objects
Lesson 16: Review
Lesson 17: The Second Declension
Lesson 18: Vocabulary
Lesson 19: Second Conjugation
Lesson 20: Pronunciation, New Use of Accusative and  Review Exercises

In Latin, as in English, compound sentences must contain either a semicolon or a conjunction to connect the two or more clauses.

Conjugations
Et.....and
Sed.....but
Quod.....because
Et.....both, and
Aut.....either, or
Neque.....neither, nor

Translate.
Cornelia et pecuniam et praedam portat, sed neque percuniam neque praedam piratis dat.

You have learned that Latin verbs must be placed at the end of simple sentences. In compound sentences, each verb must be placed at the end of its clause. Because of this, when you translate a compound sentences in Latin, translate each clause separately.

April 22-28, 2016, Snapshot Summary: The Kitchen Remodel Begins

Kitchen Remodel: Before

When we bought our 100+ year old house 15 years ago, the kitchen was in desperate need of remodeling, but we never seemed to have the money to do it, and busy life just got in the way. Last year we decided that we couldn't put it off any longer. The linoleum's surface was long gone and there was even patches in which the surface was off completely. The lemon yellow counters and ugly wallpaper was in long need of being replaced. The cabinets were so old that the doors had been re-screwed in place so many times, that they couldn't be screwed up again and had to be taken off. The refrigerator, which we hastily replaced when the one before died suddenly, was way too small for our large family and the ceiling, which had been a drop ceiling needed to be replaced. We took it down in preparation to replace it, but we never got around to it, so the beams, along with the pipes and electrical work has been exposed all these years. Basically, the entire kitchen needed to be re-done from the walls, floor and ceiling, in. 
I set up the microwave, the crockpot, coffeepot and paper products in the dining room to use during these next few weeks.

Kitchen Remodel
Week One
The first week they ripped out the old cabinets and counters. They moved out the stove, refrigerator and freezer. The fridge and freezer will stay on our laundry room porch even after the remodel is completed. They moved the stove, so that it inconveniently, blocked the doorway into the dining room, which meant we struggled to get into the room. All my plans for surviving this week went down the drain and so we ended up eating out a lot.
They put down the linoleum, but the foreman was not here that day and so it ended up with a ton of bubbles. This means it has to be entirely redone. Hopefully this coming week will be a little easier.


How was your week?

Beginning Latin Grammar, Lesson 20: Pronunciation, New Use of Accusative and Review Exercises



Latin Grammar for iPad and iPhone
"I would make them all learn English;
and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honour, and Greek as a treat." --Sir Winston Churchill

If your students need to review English grammar before introducing Latin Grammar, go to Simple Grammar.

Previous Lessons in the series:
Lesson 1: Latin Nouns
Lesson 5: Present Tense
Lesson 6: The Infinitive
Lesson 7: Review
Lesson 8 Direct Object
Lesson 9: Predicate Nouns
Lesson 10: Review and Vocabulary
Lesson 11: Possessives
Lesson 12: Appositives
Lesson 13: Review
Lesson 14: Prepositions
Lesson 15: Indirect Objects
Lesson 16: Review
Lesson 17: The Second Declension
Lesson 18: Vocabulary
Lesson 19: Second Conjugation

Latin Pronunciation.....as in
a....ah
e.....they
i.....ravine
o.....hope
u.....book
ae.....aisle
au.....ouch
c and g are hard as in cat and goat
i and j are interchangeable
v.....w as in wine
The rest if the letters are pronounced as in English.

The preposition in in Latin can also mean into. When it does, it introduces a propositional phrase, but is followed by the Accusative Case.

Ad, meaning to or toward also may introduce a prepositional phrase showing place to or toward which and calls for the Accusative Case. Ad insulam natamus. means We are swimming to the island. In provinciam ambulo. means I am walking into the province.

Exercises:
Pronounce out loud.
Gens
Vel
Hoc
Pax
Usus
Latititudo
Cogo
Publicus
Detrimentum
Victoria
Praemium

Translate from English into Latin.
The slave is carrying water into the town.
Cornelia is walking toward the queen.
Galba is in the town.

April 15-21, 2016, Our Homeschool Weekly Report, days 115-119 and Snapshot Summary

April 15-21, 2016

The kitchen remodel starts next week, so we have been packing up the kitchen and preparing crockpot meals to eat while the remodel is going on. James is still working on his research paper and I will post about the steps he is taking as soon as things settle down here. We are still studying the crusades but will be finishing that up soon. We finished up co-op this week. One of Katie's friends was just diagnosed with cancer (at age 24) and so Katie is making her 1000 paper cranes and saying a prayer as she makes each one. She sent her the first box of them this week. I will update you on our crazy life during kitchen remodel next week. Meanwhile, how was your week?

Beginning Latin Grammar, Lesson 19: Second Conjugation

Latin Grammar for iPad and iPhone
"I would make them all learn English;
and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honour, and Greek as a treat." --Sir Winston Churchill

If your students need to review English grammar before introducing Latin Grammar, go to Simple Grammar.

Previous Lessons in the series:
Lesson 1: Latin Nouns
Lesson 5: Present Tense
Lesson 6: The Infinitive
Lesson 7: Review
Lesson 8 Direct Object
Lesson 9: Predicate Nouns
Lesson 10: Review and Vocabulary
Lesson 11: Possessives
Lesson 12: Appositives
Lesson 13: Review
Lesson 14: Prepositions
Lesson 15: Indirect Objects
Lesson 16: Review
Lesson 17: The Second Declension
Lesson 18: Vocabulary

All the verbs we have studied so far belong to the First Conjugation. Verbs belonging to the Second Conjugation have the vowel stem -e in thr Infinitive. The Present Tense of verbs belonging to the Second Conjugation is formed in the same way as those of the First.
-eo
-ere
-ui
-itus

To form the Present Tense, remove re from the Infinitive and add personal endings.

Vocabulary:
    Verb.....English derivation.....meaning

  1. Docere......doctor.....to teach
  2. Habere.....habit......to have
  3. Monere.....monitor.....to warn, to advise
  4. Terrere.....terrify.....to frighten
  5. Videre.....vision.....to see
  6. Manere.....remain.....to stay, to remain
Exercises:
Translate.
Terretis
Manemus
Vident
Doceo
Mones
Habet

Translate from English to Latin.
We are staying in the town.
The man has a slave.
Wars frighten the boys.
The master is teaching the sons of the queen.

History in Action: The Fourth Crusade


The Fourth Crusade is perhaps the most misunderstood of all the crusades and is frequently used to discredit both the Crusades in specific and the Church in general. The goal of this crusade was, like most of the crusades, to win back the holy city of Jerusalem. 


Let's review what we have learned so far. Jerusalem was conquered by Islamic armies in the 7th century. It was regained for Christendom by the First Crusade in 1099. In 1187, during the Second Crusade, Jerusalem fell to the Muslim Saladin.  The Third Crusade (1189-92) was another recovery attempt, but ended in a stalemate. 

The strategy of Fourth Crusade was to strike at Egypt, the base of Muslim power. It was conceived in 1199 at a jousting tournament in northern France where knights and barons swore solemn oaths to go as armed pilgrims to gain the land back from the Muslims. Rather than wear out their army by a long land march through hostile territory, the leaders decided to reach Egypt by sea. 

A delegation of knights went to Venice, the leading seafaring city of Western Europe, to arrange for passage. Venice agreed that they would provide transport ships, crews and a year’s provisions for a total of 33,500 men and 4,500 horses, in return for a half-share of all conquests. 


During the late spring of 1202, the crusaders began to gather at Venice. By the intended departure date their host totaled some 10,000 men, far short of the 33,500 planned for, and too few to provide the agreed upon charter fee. The Venetians had suspended their regular commerce to build and equip an immense fleet. Now they demanded that the crusaders hold up their end of the deal: 84,000 marks, or no crusade. The Fourth Crusade seemed on the point of collapse. Then the Venetians made the offer would suspend the unpaid balance of the transport charge in return for assistance in conquering the city of Zara, a Hungarian-owned port on the Adriatic coast. The crusaders were split on this matter, some feeling that it was an unholy act of war against fellow Christians, but others saw no choice if the crusade was to go forward. Although many knights deserted, in the end, most were persuaded to proceed. On November 10, the fleet reached Zara, which surrendered after a 14-day siege. Pope Innocent III excommunicated the Venetians and threatened to excommunicate the entire crusade. The crusaders set up winter quarters at Zara, as it was too late in the season to go on. There, the leaders met with Prince Alexius, who was the teen-aged son of the deposed Byzantine Emperor Isaac II escaped from captivity in Constantinople. The relations between Byzantines and Western Christians had deteriorated steadily through the century of the crusades, over which they were often at odds. From a Western viewpoint, an emperor who owed his throne to crusaders might be more cooperative. And so, the new plan was that the crusaders would stop at Constantinople on their way to Egypt, overthrow the usurper and put the young Alexius on the imperial throne. In return for the crusaders’ aid, he promised to pay off their debt to the Venetians and lead a Byzantine army in the proposed assault on Egypt. 

In the spring of 1203, the crusade set out from Zara to the city of Constantinople (today’s Istanbul, Turkey). Constantinople withstood two epic sieges by the Muslim Arabs, from 673 to 678 and in 717, and other sieges by Avars, Bulgars and Russian Vikings so they were prepared for a seige both in terms of fortifications an in terms of the strong Byzantine army. However, the crusaders attacked both my land and sea, the Venetians against the harbor wall and the French against the north end of the land wall. The Venetians, once they were successful in their assault from floating siege towers, advanced to the shores set fire to the buildings, and driven by the wind, the fire then burned much of the city. The French attack on the land wall did not go as well. Word of the French peril reached the Venetians and so their soliders were redeploy in support of their allies. Constantnople, as a compromise, agreed to let young Alexius be crowned beside his father as Emperor. The crusaders agreed. It was, by this time, too late in the season to go on, but the crusaders looked forward to receiving supplies and Byzantine reinforcements. Come spring they could sail on to Egypt and retake the Holy Land.

Young Alexius, however, could not keep the grand promises he had made, as the imperial treasury was empty. The relationship between the Byzantines and the crusaders grew steadily worse. The throne was taken over by noble adviser, who kicked out the intruders and took steps to defend the city. He also took offensive measures, launched a fireship attack against the Venetian fleet.

The crusaders resolved to conquer the city and take the entire Byzantine Empire for themselves. The French were persuaded to join them in another amphibious attempt. After several hours and no success, the crusaders were forced back, and the fleet retired. 


They regrouped and attacked again. This time Constantinople suffered a thorough and ruthless sack. While the French knights and men-at-arms went on a drunken rampage, the Venetians set to work like seasoned professional thieves, scooping up the best of the fallen city’s treasures. 

Sources and Resources: