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The Latin Orient

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Chapter Summary

During the greater part of the twelfth century the relations between Byzantium and the Principality of Antioch were strained. The emperors repeatedly tried to establish either direct control of or their suzerainty over the principality. The policy of the Byzantine predecessors partially determined the policy of the Latin emperors vis-à-vis the Latin Orient. The clearest manifestation of this was the renewal of the feudal tie between Constantinople and Antioch. The imperial policy was characterized by many aspirations, but a lack of sustained internal stability in the empire meant that, as often was the case in the Byzantine period before 1204, in reality the emperors never held much influence in the Latin principalities in Syria and Palestine. These principalities were perhaps prepared to allow the emperor to play the role of patron, but only on condition that he had effectively offered his support.

Keywords: Byzantine period; Constantinople; imperial policy; Latin emperors; Latin Orient; Palestine; Principality of Antioch; Syria; twelfth century



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