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1 The Latins in Greece: A Brief Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The Fourth Crusade and the sack of Constantinople by the crusaders cast a shadow on Greece's history and on relations between Greeks and western Europeans down to the present day. The Latin polities were the product of conquest. Even before the conquest of Constantinople was achieved on 12 April 1204, the crusading army, comprised of Frankish knights and Venetians, had inadvertently laid the foundations of the new empire by agreeing on a pact, aimed at safeguarding the interests of the participants in the expedition in the event of the siege's success. Other Latin polities in Greece were created as an indirect result of the crusade. Genoa, who had been excluded from the whole enterprise, managed to re-establish a presence by allying herself with the Greeks of Nicaea in 1261 and being rewarded with trade privileges and quarters in the capital and other coastal areas after Michael viii's reconquest of Constantinople.

Keywords: Constantinople; Crusade; Greek; Latin; medieval Greece



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