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The article is devoted to the attitude of the higher European feudal lords to the Byzantine Christianity in the territory of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Frankokratia. The author believes that the statement widespread in historiography (expressed by J. Le Goff) that from 1054 the western medieval man considered the Byzantine man as a schismatic, almost a heretic, is unfounded. Disagreement with this view is argued with the help of sources in the article. Thus, even during the Second Crusade, the leaders of the Frankish army rejected the appeals of Bishop of Langres to capture Constantinople. In addition, such chroniclers of the fourth Crusade as Geoffrey of Villehardouin and Robert de Clari did not experience any hatred for Orthodoxy. Based on the analysis of their texts, the author singles out two main features in the views of these knights: the desire to explain the conquest of Constantinople not by religious reasons and the absence of a “mental” barrier in the perception of images typical of the church “Orthodox” art of that period.

In the second part of the article various aspects of the “practical” relation of “bellatores” to the orthodoxes are considered. Much attention is paid to the patronage of secular authorities over Byzantine monastic centers in the Kingdom of Jerusalem (the Monastery of St. Sabba), the Latin Empire and the Kingdom of Thessalonica. It is also noted that in no state of the Crusaders the Western liturgy was universally approved. In this context, the facts of the expulsion of Catholic patriarchs and legates from Antioch and Constantinople, the quantitative distribution of churches between representatives of the main communities of the imperial capital, as well as the offi cial recognition of the “Roman faith” by Geoffrey of Villehardouin in the Achaean principality are cited.

As a result, the author concludes that during the Crusades, one of the key contradictions between the church and the feudal lords was the question of Byzantine faith. For the generals who later ruled the states in the Holy Land and the Balkans, the unity of Christianity was not in the common administration, and not in a unifi ed liturgy, but rather in the worship of people to the “sign of the cross”. Moreover, these views were refl ected in the practical activities of the Latin rulers of the East and Romania everywhere: from Jerusalem to Constantinople.


Crusades, Кingdom of Jerusalem, Latin Empire of Constantinople, Frankokratia, Odo of Deuil, Geoffrey of Villehardouin, Henry of Flanders, Melisende of Jerusalem, St. Sabba’s monastery

Denis L. Frolov

P.G. Demidov Yaroslavl State University, Yaroslavl, Russia

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