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2 Crusades and Crusaders in Medieval Greece

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Chapter Summary

Crusading became a defining feature of the history of the Eastern Mediterranean in the High and Late Middle Ages ever since Pope Urban ii's call to arms at Clermont, in 1095, set the First Crusade in motion. The crusade permeated western involvement in all the "frontiers" of Latin Christendom. This chapter examines the interaction between Byzantium and the crusades down to the conquest of Constantinople. It outlines the factual framework and the major developments of crusading from the 13th to the 15th century. The chapter then discusses a thematic exploration of the expeditions and of the people who were involved in them. The series of organisational characteristics which are particular to the crusade, and which one can call "crusade mechanisms", include crusade preaching, indulgences, funding, crusader privileges, and the commutation and redemption of vows. The chapter concludes with some observations on the impact of the crusades on the Greek lands.

Keywords: Byzantium; Constantinople; Crusades; Greek; Latin Christendom; papacy



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