Levantine attitudes towards the Franks during the early Crusades (490/1096 - 564/1169)
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The period of the Crusades was one of the most important periods in the history of both Western Europe and the Middle East, for it was during this period that the peoples of Western Europe made their first major incursion on eastern soil. The result of this was that an unprecedented amount of contact was established between East and West, forcing each side to become more closely acquainted with the culture of the other. As far as this cultural exchange is concerned, one of the most significant parts of the crusading period was that encompassing the first two crusades and their aftermath (490/1096-564/1169), as it was during this period that crusaders and easterners first clashed with each other, and were forced to learn much about each other. This sudden clash and forced acquaintance resulted in the development of certain attitudes on each side towards the other. This thesis concerns itself with the development of the attitudes of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities towards the Franks (western crusaders) in the major theatre of conflict of the area, the Levant. In the thesis as many texts as possible from the literature of the period are examined, in order to extract information from them concerning the developments in Levantine knowledge of and attitudes towards the Franks. The texts examined include both contemporary and later historical, geographical and judicial texts from the area, and also local works of literature. In addition to the Muslim, Christian and Jewish texts, and for the sake of comparison and completeness, brief consideration is also given to a number of works of Byzantine and Frankish writers. Naturally, use is also made of secondary works by modern scholars. In this way this thesis provides a detailed examination of cross-cultural inter-faith relations during this formative period.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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