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Settlement, identity, and memory in the Latin East: an examination of the term ‘Crusader States’

Buck, Andrew D. ORCID: 2020. Settlement, identity, and memory in the Latin East: an examination of the term ‘Crusader States’. The English Historical Review 135 (573) , pp. 271-302. 10.1093/ehr/ceaa008

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In a recent article, Christopher MacEvitt posited that historians should eschew the term ‘crusader states’ to describe the four polities formed in the Levant and Syria as a result of the First Crusade (the kingdom of Jerusalem, the principality of Antioch, and the counties of Edessa and Tripoli), arguing that crusading and its remembrance had little influence in the east, and so these states should not be viewed as extensions of the west. This paper seeks to offer a critical response to this by making use of the methodological approaches which have recently traced the emergence, influence and definitions of crusading in the Latin West and have re-situated the movement within broader patterns of elite behaviours and cultural identities. The aim, therefore, is to examine the processes of identity formation among Latin settlers in the east, the active remembrance and memorialisation of the First Crusade, and, most especially, what influence the latter had over the nature of inter-cultural contact. It does so by adopting an interdisciplinary approach, which incorporates textual, literary, vernacular, documentary, material and artistic evidence. It will be argued that, although the term ‘crusader state’ cannot be used in a monolithic sense, it nevertheless remains a crucial medium through which to understand the complex social and cultural history of the Latin polities of Outremer, as well as their impact on the Near East. Examination of this concept not only contributes to modern understanding of these states, it also lends greater depth to historiographical discussions on the nature of the crusading movement as a whole.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0013-8266
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 August 2022
Date of Acceptance: 2 March 2020
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 05:07

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