Travellers, Merchants and Settlers in the Eastern Mediterranean, 11th-14th Centuries  book cover
1st Edition

Travellers, Merchants and Settlers in the Eastern Mediterranean, 11th-14th Centuries

ISBN 9780367600624
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
344 Pages

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Book Description

This collection of studies (the eighth by David Jacoby) covers a period witnessing intensive geographic mobility across the Mediterranean, illustrated by a growing number of Westerners engaging in pilgrimage, crusade, trading and shipping, or else driven by sheer curiosity. This movement also generated western settlement in the eastern Mediterranean region. A complex encounter of Westerners with eastern Christians and the Muslim world occurred in crusader Acre, the focus of two papers; a major emporium, it was also the scene of fierce rivalry between the Italian maritime powers. The fall of the crusader states in 1291 put an end to western mobility in the Levant and required a restructuring of trade in the region. The next five studies show how economic incentives promoted western settlement in the Byzantine provinces conquered by western forces during the Fourth Crusade and soon after. Venice fulfilled a major function in Latin Constantinople from 1204 to 1261. The city's progressive economic recovery in that period paved the way for its role as transit station furthering western trade and colonization in the Black Sea region. Venice had also a major impact on demographic and economic developments in Euboea, located along the maritime route connecting Italy to Constantinople. On the other hand, military factors drove an army of western mercenaries to establish in central Greece a Catalan state, which survived from 1311 to the 1380s.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Bishop Gunther of Bamberg, Byzantium and Christian pilgrimage to the Holy Land in the eleventh century; Benjamin of Tudela and his ‘book of travels’; Hospitaller ships and transportation across the Mediterranean; New Venetian evidence on crusader Acre; Society, culture and the arts in crusader Acre; Houses and urban layout in the Venetian quarter of Constantinople: twelfth and thirteenth centuries; The economy of Latin Constantinople, 1204-1261; The Venetian government and administration in Latin Constantinople, 1204-1261: a state within a state; The demographic evolution of Euboea under Latin rule, 1205-1470; L’état catalan en Grèce: société et institutions politiques; Marino Sanudo Torsello on trade routes, commodities, and taxation; Addenda and corrigenda; Indexes.

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David Jacoby is an Emeritus Professor at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.


'Viewed individually, the articles provide new perspectives on sources that have previously been engaged with in the context of 'the Crusades' by other scholars. Taken together, as in this book, they provide a layered understanding that proves the worth and value of this reprint ... the authors layered categorisations explore Westerners' interactions with the local social, cultural, economic, and political environment(s). Such a framework helps to open up room for more nuanced understandings of the Eastern Mediterranean.' Reviews in History '... Jacoby's book will surely satisfy a wide range of readership, and it should be acquired by any library with relevant holdings.' Bulletin of the Association for the Study of Travel in Egypt and the Near East 'These articles cover a wide range of topics ... each position is thoughtfully presented and well-argued ... for the scholar or graduate student interested in trade in the Levant and its economic and cultural impact on the communities there, this collection will be a valuable resource and excellent addition to a library.' International Journal of Maritime History