- You took the cross upon your shoulders, and on that Cross and on the Holy Gospels you swore that you pass over Christian lands without violence, turning neither right nor to left. You assured us that your only enemy was the Saracen, and that his blood only would be shed...Far from carrying the Cross, you profane it and trample it underfoot. You claim to be in quest of a pearl beyond price, but in truth you fling that most precious of all pearls, which is the body of our Saviour, into the mud. The Saracens themselves show less impiety.
- Nicetas Choniates, Alexios Ducas (IV, 4), on the sacking of Constantinople by the Latin crusaders in 1204