Motivations and Response to Crusades in the Aegean: c.1300-1350

Mike Carr

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This thesis examines the interaction between the conflicting ideologies of crusade and commerce, during the period when the Turkish maritime emirates of Anatolia became the primary target of western crusading endeavour. Through the close study of papal documents and archival evidence from the Italian mercantile republics, two principal areas are focussed on: firstly, the extent to which the temporal and spiritual mechanisms (e.g. trade licences and indulgences) introduced by the popes of the fourteenth century encouraged the Italian mercantile republics to participate in a crusade; secondly, the analysis of the policies of commercial exchange and military opposition adopted by the Latin states with regard to the Turks in the Aegean. The crusades in the Aegean are discussed in six chapters which broadly reflect the activities of the principal participants: 1) crusade negotiations during the pontificates of Clement V and John XXII: distractions to an Aegean crusade under Clement V; extrication from French influence under John XXII; gradual replacement of Byzantium as a target of the Aegean crusades during the 1320s; and the temporal and spiritual concessions granted by the popes to those Latin resisting the Turks in the Aegean; 2) the Zaccaria of Chios: their defence of the Aegean from Turkish attacks and the privileges they received from the papacy for this; 3) Venetian commercial activities in the Aegean: their alliances with and activities against the various Turkish emirates; 4) the 1334 naval league: the first anti-Turkish coalition; 5) the neglect of the Aegean crusades under Pope Benedict XII (1335-1342); 6) the Crusade of Smyrna and the climax of Latin efforts against the Turks in the first half of the fourteenth century (1343-1351). Although trade and crusade have often been regarded as incompatible by historians of the crusades (such as Stephen Runciman and Aziz Atiya), they both formed an integral, and inseparable, aspect of crusade policy and of western perceptions of the Turks.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Harris, Jonathan, Supervisor
Award date1 Sept 2011
Publication statusUnpublished - 2011


  • Medieval History
  • Crusades
  • Byzantine History

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