Theseus and the Fourth Crusade: Outlining a Historical Investigation of a Cultural Problem
Indrik: Essays Presented to Sergei Karpov for his 60th Birthday, edited by Rustam Shukurov, Moscow (2009)
On the one hand, the historiographical refl exion on the Latin Conquest of Constantinople and the consequent fragmentation of the empire of the Romans (imperium Romanorum / βασιλεία τῶν ῾Ρωμαίων) has a history of more then eight centuries without solution of continuity since 1204 to nowadays. It starts with the thirteenth century authors of chronicles, Greek (Niketas Choniates and George Akropolites), French (in primis Robert de Cléry and Geoff roy de Villehardouin), and Venetian (Martino da Canal, Marco and other anonymous like the author of the Historia ducum Veneticorum), and continues until the most recent publications of the Acts of the three international congresses (Andros, Athens and Venice) organized in occasion of the eight hundredth anniversary of the Latin conquest of Constantinople (1204-2004). In short our libraries are rich in works on this subject, written by Greek and “Latin” historians of various times and disparate schools. And, notwithstanding the always new and diff erent methods of reappropriation of the past, all of them have recognized the epoch-making role of the Fourth Crusade and its consequences in the historical process, which, between the eleventh and the thirteenth century, induced the Western chivalry, the Italian merchants and the Catholic clergy to conquer states and to settle in the territories of Islamic Syria and Palestine and in the territories of the Christian Byzantine empire.