The crusades: the Byzantine perspective

by: Ambar Ornelas

THE BYZANTINES AND THE CRUSADES

1.) The Crusades were a series of defensive acts against Islamic aggressions in the Middle Ages. They wanted to maintain the Christian presence since most of the Byzantines were Christians. Jerusalem was considered the Holy Land in all of the Christian groups. There were also other factors such as invaders trying to conquer their land.

2.) The Byzantines became concerned about a Turkish Nomadic people who were called the Seljuks. To the Byzantines, the threat of being overpowered by this new force was a greater matter than religious sites like the Church of the Holy Sepucher in Jerusalem.

3.) The Crusades led to a major weakening in the Byzantine Empire. "Foremost among the effects of the Crusades was the final fatal weakening of the Byzantine Empire. The Crusades failed to recover Anatolia from the Turks, and the sack of Constantinople in 1204 destroyed Byzantium as a first rate power. Henceforth, it would exist only as a convenience to the Turks. Initially it served as a buffer state against the Turks. By the late 1300's the Byzantines were encouraging the Turks to invade the Balkans to create a buffer to protect the Byzantines from rival Europeans. For a while longer Byzantium was useful to the Turks as a point of contact with the West; when it had outlived its usefulness, they took it in 1453," said Steven Dutch.

4.) The Byzantines saw the Franks and other groups as ignorant,violent barbarians that weren't to be trusted. The description of the Frank man named Bohemund was like one of a barbarian, and by the looks of it, the author describes the man as "like no other man seen in the Byzantine Empire." I believe the author was a woman who lived in the the time of the Crusades.          

                                                                            

                                                     Picture of the Franks

       Seljuk Warrior ( Tackk was stubborn and would not allow the picture to be moved).

                                                      WORKS CITED

"Byzantine Empire." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 25 Mar. 2014. Web. 28 Mar. 2014.

"Byzantine Empire." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

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