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Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / Volume I: The first hundred years

Preface,   pp. xxi-xxiii ff. PDF (367.8 KB)

Page xxiii

 PREFACE xxiii 
fitably established in all the major ports. Notwithstanding, these Europeans
of the east, these "creoles", to use the expression of Rubió y Liuch,
Grousset, and others, inevitably acquired some thing of the viewpoint of
the eastern Mediterranean. Basically western and no less brave than their
forbears, they nevertheless lost much of the crusading ardor of the men of
1095 or of those who came from Europe in later expeditions. A cleavage between
"natives" and "newcomers" was evident in the middle of the twelfth century
and was especially prominent during and after the Second Crusade. 
 Despite their more oriental attitude, western colonials were never able
for long to act in concert with Byzantium. During the period covered in this
volume there were, it is true, many appar ently fruitful diplomatic exchanges,
marriage alliances, and the like. But more than one favorable opportunity
for increasing the military security of the Latin states or even of extending
their frontiers was lost because Latin and Greek could not agree. By the
end of the first century of the crusades little hope remained of healing
the breach. It is difficult to overemphasize the significance of this failure.
As much as any other single factor the break-down of the military alliance
between Jerusalem and Byzantium under lies the ultimate loss of the crusaders'
states. And the failure goes deeper. Western Europe's brilliant achievement
in the middle ages, of which the crusades were a part, was not accomplished
without the loss of its former eastern half. Although blame may be attached
to both sides, certainly the crusades were an element in a schism whose consequences
are felt to this day. 
 The present volume describes what might be called the classical period of
the crusades. It carries the reader from the great surge of the eleventh
century and the establishment of colonies to the Moslem counter-offensives
of Zengi, Nür-ad-Din, and Saladin. The cultural and institutional history
of the Latin states will be found in later volumes, as indicated by Professor
Setton in the Foreword. Here, rather, is a narrative of war, diplomacy, and
politics. It was precisely these matters which most interested contemporaries
and which fill the pages of the chroniclers. Accordingly, the contri butors
to this volume are following in the footsteps of illustrious predecessors
in presenting one more "continuation" of the crusade story. Moreover, like
the crusaders themselves they are men of different national backgrounds who
have joined together in a com mon enterprise. 
[New York University, 1955] 

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