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Chapter Summary

The inevitable starting point of any study of the Latin Empire of Constantinople is the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204), for during the final phase of this turbulent expedition, the crusade leaders determined to bring the Byzantine Empire under Latin control. The deviation of the Fourth Crusade to Constantinople is a controversial issue in historiography. A determining factor as to whether or not the planned Latin re-creation of the Byzantine Empire would be a success was the initial reaction of Byzantine society to the Latin taking of Constantinople and to the planned Latin take-over of the Byzantine Empire. This chapter examines the question as to what the initial reaction of the Byzantine population was to the Latin conquest of Constantinople in 1204, one limit themselves to the imperial elite domiciled in Constantinople, since the sources provide scarcely any information concerning the broader strata of the capital's inhabitants.

Keywords: Byzantine empire; fourth Crusade; Latin empire



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