“The End Followed In No Long Time”: Byzantine Diplomacy And The Decline In Relations With The West from 962 to 1204
By Jeff Brubaker
MA Thesis, University of Texas at Arlington, 2009
Abstract: From the time Otto the Great was proclaimed Western Emperor in 962 to the conquest of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, numerous ambassadors traveled east on errands from their principals. The diplomacy they engaged in at the Byzantine capital infected every aspect of the East-West relationship, including commercial privileges, marriage alliances, church schism, and the crusades. As a result of changing conditions facing Byzantine foreign policy, especially in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, a negative perception of Byzantium as a traitor to Christendom began to erode the once amicable relations between Greeks and Latins.
In this context a select number of persons and events came to exemplify the deepening divisions between East and West. This study will examine these examples in the context of diplomacy between Byzantium and Western European powers, explaining how a breakdown in diplomacy affected every facet of the East-West relationship, creating the conditions in which the Fourth Crusade’s diversion to Constantinople was possible.