Aydın Usta

Keywords: Tyre, Crusaders, Venice, Genoa, Commerce

Abstract

The city of Tyre has always been an important place in the commercial sense especially after the era when it was founded due to its geographical location. By 1099, the desire to establish links with the homeland of the Crusaders who settled in the Middle East made this city their target. The dominance of the Crusaders, who reached these goals in 1124, opened doors for a new era for Tyre. In the city which was included in the territory of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, commercial privileges were granted to the Italian maritime city states. At fi rst, the Venetians obtained 1/3 of the city as they could support the Crusaders. The Genoese and the Pisans followed them. Thanks to the mentioned Italian states, Tyre became one of the important trading points of the region. However, the Crusaders did not hesitate to make moves in order to get back the privileges they sometimes acquainted to the Italians. Likewise, maritime Italian city- states have also fought against each other on behalf of commercial hegemony in the region. As a matter of fact, the city of Tyre has become the new center of Genoese expelled from Akka by Venetians. Apart from the developments in trade, Tyre was the most important stage in the start of the Second Kingdom Period in the history of the Crusades. After the victory in the Battle of Hıttin in 1187 the Crusader presence in the Middle East run into danger with being captured by Sultan Saladin of many cities, especially Jerusalem and Acre but the Crusaders were able to hold them thanks to the resistance shown in the Tyre under the direction of Konrad de Montferrat. In this article, we will try to explain the historical, socio-economic situation of the city of Tyre during the Crusades and its place in the trade of the region.