"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Latins and Byzantines

Brill today sends me their catalogue of forthcoming spring publications, and included in it is a new book that is part of an emerging pattern of re-evaluating our received notions of what happened in the aftermath of the Crusades:

Filip Van Tricht, The Latin Renovatio of Byzantium: the Empire of Constantinople (1204-1228) (Brill, June 2011), 544pp.

About this book, the publisher tells us:

In 1204 the army of the Fourth Crusade sacked the great city of Constantinople. In earlier historiography the view prevailed that these Western barons and knights temporarily destroyed the Byzantine state and replaced it with a series of feudal states of their own making. Through a comprehensive rereading of better and lesser-known sources this book offers an alternative perspective arguing that the Latin rulers did not abolish, but very consciously wanted to continue the Eastern Empire. In this, the new imperial dynasty coming from Flanders-Hainaut played a pivotal role. Despite religious and other differences many Byzantines sided with the new regime and administrative practices at the different governmental levels were to a larger or lesser degree maintained.

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