Today in Catholic History – Alexandrian Crusade

On 11 October 1365, Peter I of Cyprus and his army occupied the city of Alexandria.

While part of the crusades of the West against the Islamic world, the crusade of Peter I was motivated primarily by economic desires not by religious goals. He attacked Egypt both to preempt a planned Egyptian attack on Cyprus as well as to direct more of the Mediterranean trade through Cyprus with the destruction of its rival. Peter I occupied and looted Alexandria but did not remain there because he did not believe he had the strength to rule it.

While a primarily economically motivated attack, the Knights of St. John did accompany the armies of Peter I. But the lack of religious motivation showed the declining interest in the Crusades in Europe and when Peter I later sought to assemble another crusading army Pope Urban V advised Peter to make peace with the Egyptian sultan.

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