Işın Demi̇rkent

Keywords: Crusades, Byzantine Historians, Recueil des Historiens des Croisades


This article discusses the contents of the works by Greek historians contained in Recueil des Historiens des Croisades, II, a series in five parts. The relevant portion occupies two volumes-the first volume published in 1875 and the second in 1881. Volume one is arranged in five chapters. The first chapter summarizes the causes of the Crusades and the weakness of the Byzantine empire in the second half of the 12th century, based primarily on the information provided by Mikhail Attalelates and Mikhail Psellos in the works titled Codex Croislinianus and Codex Reginensis. The second chapter contains information on the Crusades and particularly on the First Crusade, which is largely based on the 10th-14th books of the Alexiade by Anna Comnenus. The third part is devoted to the Second and Third Crusades. Events pertaining to the Crusaders between the years 1137 and 1176 are based on the chronicles of Kinnamos and Nikheta Choniates. The narrative account by Choniates serves as the sole source for the years 1176­-90. In the fourth chapter, after providing a summary of events for the years 1191-1202, the capture of Istanbul by the Latins and their pillaging and the establishment of Latin rule and the period that extends up to the death of the Latin emperor, Baldwin, is presented as reported by Choniates. The fifth chapter, which serves as a supplement, presents selections pertaining to Istanbul for the period between the First and the Fourth Crusades from the works of Zonaras, Mikhail Glykas, Nikephoros Gregoras, Ephraim, Ioannes Phokas, Neophytos, and Georgios Akropolites. The volume is concluded by a list of additions and corrections. The second volume opens with information supplied by the editor, E. Miller, on the various revisions introduced in the course of preparing the work for publication. The subsequent chapter is devoted to information on the works and their writers appearing in the first volume accompanied by comments and notes. The Appendix that follows contains an unpublished speech by Niketas Choniates and excerpts of unpublished poems by Prodromos in Greek. Volume Two closes with an index in Greek and a general index of personal and place names in Latin.