Merchant Crusaders in the Aegean, 1291-1352

June 2019
4 black and white, 4 line illustrations
214 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Warfare in History
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS037010, HIS010000, HIS027130

Merchant Crusaders in the Aegean, 1291-1352

Mike Carr

An examination of the changing nature of crusade and its participants in the late medieval Mediterranean.
The period from the fall of Acre until the end of the Crusade of Smyrna signified a dramatic shift in crusade impetus, as expeditions to liberate the Holy Land were superseded by those aimed at reducing the maritime power of the Turks in the Aegean. With this shift came a change in participation, as the members of the merchant republics of Venice and Genoa, together with the Frankish states in the Aegean, began slowly to replace the chivalry of western Europe as the most suitable leaders of a crusade. This resulted in a subtle alteration in how the papacy aimed to justify a crusade and encourage involvement from the merchant crusaders who were vital for its success.
Drawing on a wealth of previously unexplored sources, including those related to crusading and also those recording trade between Christians and Muslims in the eastern Mediterranean, this book analyses the changing Latin perceptions of the Greeks and Turks during the period, the nature of the military response to the threat posed by the Turks in the Aegean and the relationship between the papacy and the merchant crusaders. In its investigation of the complex interplay between mercantile objectives and crusading ideals, it sheds revealing insights into the complexities of crusading in the later Middle Ages.

Mike Carr is Lecturer in Late Medieval History at the University of Edinburgh.

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This eloquently written, accessible, and well-argued monograph makes an innovative contribution from a fresh perspective to the study of the pre-modern Mediterranean. AL-MASAQ

[R]epresents a painstaking effort to piece together information from disparate sources of varied provenience into an exceptionally accurate and comprehensive, yet brief and readable survey of Latin-Turkish interactions in the fourteenth-century Aegean. This book will serve scholars in research and teaching for a long time. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TURKISH STUDIES

[M]akes especially interesting use of petitions and supplications to the pope for exemptions from trade embargoes and the relationship of these dispensations to crusading projects . also draws on a wide variety of other sources, both narrative and otherwise . Scholars interested in the later crusades, maritime warfare, trade between Christians and Muslims, and the Aegean region will all find interesting food for thought here. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW

Mike Carr has written a monograph designed to "cut across the subgenres of economic and crusading history" (p 6). He qualifies and corrects common assumptions about the conduct of the Crusades by revealing profound diversity among Islamic actors on one hand, and rivalries both subtle and profound within Greek and Latin Christianity on the other. DE RE MILITARI

[An] innovative perspective . By pitting interfaith conflict against the backdrop of the larger Mediterranean world in which it was happening, Carr makes a compelling case for the "merchant crusader," one that ought to be considered in other theaters in which the crusading phenomenon occurred. H-WAR

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