Byzantium and the Crusades

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Hambledon and London, 2003 - History - 259 pages
6 Reviews

The first great city the crusaders came to in 1089 was not Jerusalem but Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine empire. Almost as much as Jerusalem itself, Constantinople was the key to the foundation, survival and ulti-mate eclipse of the crusading kingdom.

The Byzantines had developed an ideology over seven hundred years which placed Constantinople rather than Rome or Jerusalem at the centre of the world. The attitudes of its rulers reflected this priority, and led to tensions with the cru-saders over military and diplomatic strat-egy At the same time, the riches and sophistication of the great city made a lasting impression on the crusaders, even though they found Byzantine society alien and remote. Tn the end, the lure of the city`s wealth was irresistibly fatal to the claims of Christian unity In 1204 the Fourth Crusade, under the Venetian doge Enrico Dandolo, captured and sacked Constantinople, signalling the effective end of almost a thousand years of Byzantine dominance in the east.

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Review: Byzantium and the Crusades (Crusader Worlds)

User Review  - Alexander - Goodreads

OUTSTANDING! (Yes I had to say that in caps!). Easy, accessible and enjoyable read which is particularly important when reading about the various complexities and nuances of the Byzantine world ... Read full review

Review: Byzantium and the Crusades (Crusader Worlds)

User Review  - Joseph Scipione - Goodreads

This offers a different perspective on the motivations of the diversion of the 4th Crusade from Jerusalem to Constantinople. Some Crusade historians have been critical of Harris' argument regarding the fourth Crusade but I think he does a good job proving his argument. Read full review


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Contesting the Crusades
Norman Housley
No preview available - 2006
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About the author (2003)

Jonathan Harris taught English in Turkey before completing his doctorate in Byzantine History in 1993. He is currently Reader in Byzantine History at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. He is the author of Byzantium and the Crusades (Continuum).

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