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Zacour, N. P.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The impact of the Crusades on the Near East
(1985)

III: Social Classes in the Crusader States: The "Minorities",   pp. 59-115 PDF (23.0 MB)


Page 59

III 
SOCIAL CLASSES 
IN THE CRUSADER STATES: 
THE "MINORITIES" 
' '  
 inority" is used in this chapter in the sense of "a group of people, differentiated
from others in the same society by race, nationality, religion, and language,
who both think of themselves as a differentiated group and are thought of
by the others as a differentiated group with negative connotations. Further,
they are relatively lacking in power and hence are subjected to certain exclusions,
discriminations, and other differential treatment." 1 This definition is
particularly useful, since although the "minorities" dealt with formed in
total an overwhelming numerical majority in the areas conquered by the crusaders,
their legal, social, and economic position was determined by the European
conquerors who settled in Syria and Palestine. We shall be concerned, however,
with more than a single minority. The term as applied to the crusader states
covers many groups quite varied in culture, although the conquerors paid
little attention to distinctions among them, looking upon the entire non-Frankish
population of whatever kind as a single entity. Despite the efforts of some
modern historians to distinguish different policies followed by the crusaders
respecting natives who were Christians and those who were not, in law—as
distinguished from practice—no such difference existed. Contemporary
sources written by Europeans are very much aware 
 In general see Hans Prutz, Kulturgeschichte der Kreuzzdge (Berlin, 1883;
repr. Hildesheim, 1964); Claude Cahen, La Syrie du nord a l'époque
des croisades et laprincipautéfranque d~4ntioche (IFD, BO, I; Paris,
1940), esp. pp. 176—204. For more particular studies regarding Palestine
see Joshua Prawer, The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem: European Colonialism in
the Middle Ages (London, 1972), pp. 46 ff.; Jean Richard, Le Royaume latin
de Jerusalem (Paris, 1953); and Hans E. Mayer, Geschichte der Kreuzzdge (Stuttgart,
1965), tr. John Gillingham as The Crusades (Oxford, 1972). The sources and
secondary bibliographies for the different minorities are given below at
the appropriate places throughout the chapter. 
 1. Arnold M. Rose, in International Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences,
X (1968), 365, s. v. "Minorities." 
59 


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