The Fourth Crusade and the Sacking of Constantinople

altDr James Kane from the University of Sydney will present a lecture entitled “The Fourth Crusade and the Sacking of Constantinople” on Thursday 30 May 2019, at the Greek Centre, as part of the Greek History and Culture Seminars offered by the Greek Community of Melbourne.

The sacking of Constantinople in 1204 by the armies of the Fourth Crusade and the subsequent installation of a Latin ruler on the imperial throne sent shockwaves throughout Europe and the Middle East. For years, historians have argued fiercely about what drove the crusaders to conquer the Christian capital of the Eastern Roman Empire after they had originally set out to fight against Muslims to help the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. This talk will draw on various medieval sources and recent academic studies to explain the lead-up to the crusade, its dramatic key events, and its longer-term consequences. At the heart of the matter lies a long-standing question that this talk will also address: was the Latin conquest of Constantinople planned from the start, or was it just the result of a series of accidents?

Dr James Kane is a lecturer at the University of Sydney, where he currently teaches Old English and Old Norse language and literature. He completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2016 on the topic of how crusading terminology evolved across various western languages between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. He is now preparing this thesis for publication under the tentative title Wearing the Cross in the Medieval West, c. 1095–c. 1300. Together with Dr Keagan Brewer (University of Sydney), he has just published The Conquest of the Holy Land by Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn: A Critical Edition and Translation of the Anonymous ‘Libellus de expugnatione Terrae Sanctae per Saladinum’ (London: Routledge, 2019), which makes a key eyewitness account of the fall of Jerusalem in 1187 available in translation to a wider audience. He has also written articles and reviews in Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Parergon, the Journal of Religious History, and the Journal of Medieval History.

When: Thursday 30 May 2019, 7.00pm
Where: Greek Centre (Mez, 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne)

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