The development of the historiography concerning Doge Enrico Dandolo, Byzantine-Venetian relations and the Fourth Crusade

This essay achieved a low 1st in the second year of my undergraduate.

Project Abstract

The diversion of the Fourth Crusade has attracted many eminent Crusade historians, and remains one of the areas where a consensus has still not yet been reached. The debate rages on as to whether the diversion to Constantinople was the product of careful planning or not.

This essay, of 5048 words, is a critical survey of the development of the historiography concerning the relations between Venice –and Enrico Dandolo- and Constantinople and how they affected the course of the Fourth Crusade. The essay begins with a consideration of two primary sources –Geoffrey of Villehardouin and Robert of Clari- and a discussion over their relative contributions to the debate. The conclusion is that Villehardouin is the more useful, although with limitations, and Robert is useful only as a complement.

The next section briefly discusses the existence of a traditionalist school, and assesses the difficulties when trying to catalogue the various developments in the two major schools of thought, the Chance Theory and the Premeditation Theory. The section closes with a consideration of the definition of ‘modern historiography,’ and the idea that de Mas-Latrie should be considered the ‘traditionalist school.’

What follows is a detailed, critical survey of the development of the Byzantinist School, the Chance School and the so-called ‘Post-Revisionist’ School in turn, followed by a brief summary of my own view. The validity and credibility of various aspects of each are questioned. When various parts of the more general argument came in is also tracked.

Overall, the development of the historiography is assessed, with comments and discussion on the problems faced when conducting this task. It assesses whether or not the Premeditation Theory is in fact dead, or if indeed a consensus has been reached, which it quickly becomes clear has not.

The development of the historiography concerning Doge Enrico Dandolo, Byzantine-Venetian relations and the Fourth Crusade

The Fourth Crusade remains, to this day, one of the most contentious areas of the Crusades, itself an already polemical topic. The debate over whether or not the events of 1201-4 were an accident is one area of historical discussion which shows no signs of abating, so much so that Claster has simply given up, claiming that ‘assessing blame is unimportant.’[1] The debate centres on interpretation of the primary sources, the most significant of which shall be examined below, and include Geoffrey of Villehardouin and Robert of Clari, both of whom have diverse viewpoints and varying levels of reliability.

It is generally accepted that there are two clear schools of thought: Byzantinists and proponents of the ‘Theory of Accidents,’ also known as the ‘Chance Theory.’[2] Despite this, it remains difficult categorise them into the commonly used traditionalist and revisionist schools. However it is still perhaps possible to identify a ‘post-revisionist,’ school, which is neither Byzantinist nor Chance Theory in nature.[3] By and large, the Byzantinist view is negative about western Christendom, the Venetians and Dandolo specifically, with the Theory of Accidents being a defence against this. The different schools all have some useful points; the most convincing argument takes something of each and combines them: the longer term context and strained Byzantine-Venetian and wider relations between the Empire and the west caused the development of a certain hostile mind-set. This would imply that, while the expedition was not a series of accidents, it was also not one big conspiracy.

Primary Sources

Perhaps the most significant historians of the Fourth Crusade are those who were contemporaries of it. While some might not consider these sources as part of the historiography, both authors form records of events and are each affected by various influences much like any other historian, and so must be considered. More than this though, the contemporary historians form the basis for the main viewpoints considered below, and a lot of the debate centres around their relative reliability.[4] There is an abundance of source material surrounding the expedition, but perhaps the most useful are the accounts of two knights who took part: Geoffrey de Villehardouin, and Robert of Clari.[5] Widely considered the most accessible account, Villehardouin’s has been considered the more significant, with Angold going so far as to state that modern historiography has reached the point where it now revolves around the reliability and accuracy of his account.[6] Possibly a slight exaggeration, the two accounts are of most benefit when used alongside each other – they complement each other due to their contrasting points of view. While Villehardouin was the Marshall of Champagne, Robert of Clari was a poor knight, and his account is often regarded as reflecting the opinion and feeling in the ranks of the Crusade.[7]

Villehardouin’s account is valuable largely due to his high standing in the Crusade, a quality which is emphasised by ‘Chance’ historians but criticised by the likes of Byzantinists such as Alphandéry, Brand, Pears and Riant. While Villehardouin must be considered a key historian due to his position and resultant intimate knowledge of the negotiations and treaties undertaken in the course of the campaign, the aforementioned Byzantinists have criticised this as being an ‘official point of view.’[8] In terms of his accuracy regarding the events of the campaign, its precise and specific nature is praised by supporters and critics alike, with some earlier historians such as Michaud (1767-1839) doing little more than summarising Villehardouin.[9]

The account does have problems however, not least the fact that it was written in medieval French, translation from which has inevitably thrown up problems and errors with mistranslations.[10] As well as this practical consideration, Burrow considers Villehardouin to be biased by his involvement in the campaign, embodied by a certain tone of self-justification which arguably shapes the narrative.[11] There is also the argument made by Beer and Dufournet that Dandolo was romanticised by Villehardouin, and framed in a ‘typical epic-hero mold’ like that of La Chanson de Roland, which seems plausible when one considers his account of the assault on Constantinople.[12] Villehardouin claims that Dandolo personally led the attack up the beach at Constantinople, despite his physical handicaps.[13] While there are obvious advantages to having such an eyewitness account as Villehardouin’s, the idea that the events of the Fourth Crusade were a series of accidents is far too simplistic. Such an inane view is perhaps symptomatic of the fact that Villehardouin was a soldier, not a historian in the modern sense of the word.[14]

Robert’s account by contrast is a view from the ranks, and reflects the more general feeling of the crusaders. While this makes it more useful in some ways than Villehardouin’s account, it does also mean that Robert was not particularly well-informed about the private meetings and negotiations which Villehardouin took part in.[15] This inevitably has led to inaccuracies in his account, which are shown in the numbers he reports for the deficit, and the projected size of the Crusade, which Villehardouin puts at 33,500 but Robert states is 104,000.[16] While Queller almost dismisses this as Robert having ‘no head for figures,’ it remains an issue, if a minor one, considering these are the only two points at which Robert is different when compared to Villehardouin.

Robert’s account suffers from similar limitations to that of Villehardouin in terms of translation and bias. Bagley has also argued that Robert divides the participants into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ individuals, although it has been done very generally, with the Venetians being ‘good’ and the leaders being ‘bad.’[17] While this is useful because it likely shows the feeling in the camp, the strength of Robert’s feeling may have led him to exaggerate somewhat. Robert is useful only in complementing to Villehardouin because of how removed he was from the centre of power – it is both a strength and a weakness. Even if he is of less use than Villehardouin, Robert likewise supports the ‘Theory of Accidents’ idea.

The ‘Traditionalist’ School

The existence of a ‘traditionalist school’ is potentially contentious, as there are at least five distinct phases of Fourth Crusade historiography. The first phase lasted from 1204-1861 uncontested, and was based largely upon Villehardouin’s account – a proponent of the Theory of Accidents. Following this, from 1861-1877 came the first incarnation of the Byzantinist Premeditation Theory led by Louis de Mas-Latrie, and later supported and expanded by the likes of Hopf and Riant.[18] In the early 20th century, Norden put forward a modified Chance Theory, where he argued that the Fourth Crusade was not quite a series of accidents, but certainly not premeditated, arguing that it was the product of a certain mind-set prevalent in the west.[19]

Following this, in what is perhaps considered ‘modern historiography,’ Runciman and Mayer took up the argument from a Byzantinist point of view, which meant a return to the Premeditation or ‘Intrigue’ Theory, starting in 1954 with the publishing of Runciman’s History of the Crusades.[20] The idea seemed to have returned to prevalence until 1977 when Queller returned to Norden’s idea of a modified Chance Theory. Ever since, the two ideas have remained alongside each other, despite Madden’s claims that by the end of the twentieth century, the Chance Theory was ‘unknown in academic scholarship.’[21] Some Byantinist historians such as Brand and Nicol retain their views in spite of Queller’s conclusions, however others such as Browning and Runciman ignore them altogether.[22] More recently in 2003 Harris and Angold have begun to form alternative theses, placing more emphasis on the long term causes of the diversion from Egypt.[23]

The discussion over the existence of a ‘traditionalist’ school then might seem simple: the Theory of Accidents put forward by Villehardouin is the traditionalist school – the argument stood largely unchallenged until 1861, with other contemporary accounts being largely dismissed due to their more obvious bias.[24] The most obvious examples of these are the accounts of Nicetas Choniates and the Gesta Innocentii, which are skewed strongly in favour of the Byzantine Empire and the papacy respectively.[25]  There are however those who would argue that Villehardouin and other authors of the primary sources should not be considered historians and should therefore not be included in the historiography. This would make de Mas-Latrie and his Premeditation Theory the traditionalist school.

Still more problems arise when one considers the definition of ‘modern historiography,’ as many Crusade historians, including Madden earlier in his career, refer to Runciman in 1954 as the significant commencement of the debate over the Fourth Crusade.[26] Only thorough surveys include the debate beginning in 1861, but it seems impossible to leave out the roots of the more modern points of view, and de Mas-Latrie should be considered the beginning of modern historiography. Therefore the Premeditation Theory of de Mas-Latrie should be considered the traditionalist school of modern Fourth Crusade historiography. The argument would be that although Villehardouin and other contemporaries must be considered historians, their viewpoints should not be taken into account as part of the historiography precisely because of their contemporary nature – many perceptions come with the benefit of hindsight, and knowledge of the wider context.

The Byzantinist School

The first point at which the Byzantinist school singled out the Venetians for blame in diverting the Fourth Crusade was in 1861. It started with Louis de Mas-Latrie based his argument on the accounts of Nicetas Choniates, a Byzantine politician, Ernoul the Cypriot chronicler and the Chronicle of Novgorod.[27] All of these accounts are decidedly anti-Venetian in nature, with Choniates perhaps being the more widely studied. De Mas-Latrie’s thesis was essentially that the Venetians as an entity were responsible for the diversion of the Fourth Crusade, due to their commercial interests in Egypt, and their relations with the Byzantine Empire – de Mas-Latrie claims they were on the verge of war anyway.[28] Much of the evidence for this thesis is based on the account of Nicetas Choniates, whose somewhat extreme Byzantinist views form an obvious basis for a Premeditation Theory with its stereotyped description of Latins.[29] That the Venetians are those held to account is beyond doubt, as is stated by Angold.[30] Even Byzantinist historians such as Nicol recognise that there is a certain amount of bias present in Choniates’ account, who argues that Venetian competition with Genoa and Pisa led them to seek ‘monopoly through conquest.’[31] By extension, Choniates has a somewhat negative view of Doge Enrico Dandolo, although it is more as a face of the Venetian entity than the Doge personally – the ideas of Dandolo harbouring personal grudges against Byzantium came in later.[32]

It is easy to see why such significance is placed on Choniates’ account as he was a Byzantine senator as well as chronicler, which means he would have been close to the centre of Byzantine power and so would have been a near eyewitness account, particularly following 1175. Magdalino argues specifically that Choniates’ combination of power, nuance, acuity and high moral tone make the account hard to refute initially, although he goes on to argue more credibly that the merits which make the account so convincing also make him a ‘sophisticated manipulator of the facts.’[33] This idea is supported by many of the Chance theorists, who point out that Choniates description of Dandolo in particular is second-hand – how could he have had such insights into a Doge he had never met?[34]

The argument gained further support in 1867 when Karl Hopf appeared to have dated a commercial treaty between Venice and Egypt to just prior to the onset of the Fourth Crusade. This seemed to put the idea that the Venetians had diverted the Crusade knowingly from Egypt to Constantinople.[35] Although this dating was later definitively disproved in 1877 by Hanotaux, the idea has survived in both popular works and those of some scholars.[36] Many of the more modern Byzantinists have argued that the Venetians did not need the excuse of a non-aggression treaty with the Egyptians in order to steer the Crusade to Constantinople, which would therefore incorporate Hanotaux. As mentioned above however, the story has persisted.

The next development in the theory of Premeditation came in the 1950s with Runciman, although he labelled it the ‘clash of civilisations’ theory. Others quickly adopted and modified the idea, emphasising different parts of it. The emphasis of the ‘clash’ theory itself is on the gradually deteriorating relations between western and eastern Christendom. Runciman particularly marked out the expulsion of the Venetians in 1171, the 1182 massacre and the 1185 sack of Thessalonica as significant points, while others such as Vasiliev, Gibbon and Ostrogorsky  have pointed as far back as 1054.[37] In the short term, the claim is that this animosity manifested most strongly in Doge Dandolo and the Venetians, and the theories as to their motivations vary widely, but equally negatively. It is similar to de Mas-Latrie’s original thesis, although placed in the context of gradually deteriorating relations between Byzantium and Venice.[38] While it is important to examine the long-term context, it is unwise to over-interpret events, as many Byzantinists appear to have.

Something which is a feature of this development, and was not part of de Mas-Latrie’s is the focus on Dandolo personally, and his supposed hatred of Byzantium. Theories of varying credibility began to circulate about the circumstances of Dandolo’s blinding and how it caused his hatred of the Empire, including the most imaginative: that the Byzantine Emperor Manuel used a burning glass on his eyes.[39] The more believable accounts draw upon Villehardouin’s claim that Dandolo’s blindness was the product of a blow to the head, although some take this further with only limited evidence, claiming that he sustained this injury during the embassy to Constantinople in 1172, during a brawl. While some Chance theorists claim a complete lack of evidence for this, the idea has been traced to the Chronica Venetum of Andrea Dandolo written over a century later, between 1344-51.[40] Understandably, this source has been granted less weight than that of Villehardouin, who claims that Dandolo had his sight until 1176.[41]

The argument is that Dandolo planned the course of the Fourth Crusade from the outset, including the supposed extortion of the crusaders so they would be in his debt. The counter to this is more than plausible; such planning would have relied on superhuman prescience.[42] Much of this debate within the Byzantinist school developed in the twenty years after Runciman first put forward the idea, but was only seriously challenged in 1977 with the emergence of Queller’s modified Chance Theory. While Brand and Nicol have tried to form counters to this latest incarnation of the thesis, Runciman and Browning have simply ignored it and others have considered it of similar weight to populist works.[43]

The ‘Theory of Accidents’

By contrast the ‘Theory of Accidents’ has its origins in the Crusade itself, with the accounts of Villehardouin and Robert of Clari, although the argument is potentially compromised, as is mentioned above. The first major development in the thesis came in direct opposition to de Mas-Latrie’s Byzantinist thesis of 1861 with Norden suggesting a ‘modified Chance Theory,’ in 1898. Norden essentially synthesised the Chance Theory set forward by Villehardouin and the Premeditation Theory, arguing that relations had been deteriorating between Byzantium and the Latin west, but that the expedition itself was not the victim of a conspiracy. If anything he casts the ‘blame’ on the crusaders rather than the Venetians, arguing that the crusaders were confronted with a series of opportunities, which they took.[44] It must be stressed that it is far from the simple and short-sighted approach of Villehardouin, but it does have similar fundamentals.[45]

Once again, the development of the school relied on that of the Byzantinist view. Following Runciman’s thesis of 1954, the next expansion of the Chance Theory came in 1977 with Queller, and later supported by the Riley-Smith and then his own student Madden, as well as Tyerman and Phillips.[46] The main points of the argument are similar to those of Norden, and the two theses are often compared.[47] Many of Queller’s other points are direct counters to those of the Byzantinists – there are arguments against the negative state of Byzantine-Venetian relations, Dandolo’s cynical nature and the mercantile opportunism of the Venetians in general.[48]

Much of the argument rests on the comparative reliability of Villehardouin and Robert of Clari against Nicetas Choniates, and the flaws and assumptions made by the ‘clash’ theory. Madden makes the point that, particularly in the case of Dandolo, Choniates is contradicted by a diverse body of contemporary witnesses.[49] The good point is made that Villehardouin and Robert of Clari are both eyewitnesses, while Choniates never met Dandolo, and is only really reliable for events between 1175 and the sack in 1204 – even then only from a Byzantine point of view. Queller and Harris both argue that the Byzantinist school rests on a series of assumptions or flaws, depending on which article you read. The assumptions which Queller points out he then proceeded to argue against, and form his central thesis. He argues for Venetian crusading motives, that the target of Egypt was certainly advantageous, and that Venice had no interest in diverting the Crusade to Constantinople.[50] By contrast, Harris opposes the Byzantinist view of the wider context of East-West relations, arguing that the two civilisations were in fact closely intertwined through intermarriage and the Byzantine reliance on western manpower, and that there was in fact a causal link between the growing tension and the sack.[51] Another criticism which is more than credible is Phillips’ point that the sense of outrage among Byzantinist historians overshadows the broader critical approach, which would mean they are not as objective as other historians at the time perhaps were.

The Chance theorists have been if anything helped by the arrival of populist works which support the Byzantinist school. There are numerous populist works, and they almost exclusively support the outdated view set forward by Runciman. Amongst the most heavily criticised are those of Godfrey, Bradford and Sayers, with Madden stating that there are few footnotes, errors of fact, and limited depth of reading.[52] If anything, these unscholarly books have only detracted from the Byzantinist argument and thus added to the Chance Theory as they generally draw from each other, leading them to simply deteriorate, with the repetition of myths, or conjecture lacking evidence.

‘Post-Revisionism’

While Harris is a self-styled ‘post-revisionist,’ it has been shown above that his argument is nearer to that of the Chance theorists than is perhaps thought.  Harris considers Angold another whose viewpoint is not strictly Chance Theory or Premeditation.[53] These theses have developed in the last two decades, with both Harris and Angold publishing books in 2003 which put forward their new ideas. Although they are generalised as ‘post-revisionism,’ the ideas are somewhat different. Harris’ argument is essentially that of a failure of Byzantine foreign policy, a view which is not as original as he might claim – Brand made a similar point almost thirty years prior and Richard’s argument is also comparable.[54]

Angold’s argument is somewhat different, as he examines both long- and short-term accidents. In a sense his theory is also one of accidents, but he looks further back, at the history of Byzantine-Venetian relations, as well as Byzantine relations with the wider western Christian world, and the accidents which took place. In his thesis, one can clearly discern aspects of other arguments. As an example, he argues that the expedition itself was a series of accidents – he does however also argue that Byzantine relations with Venice were poor at the inception of the Crusade.[55] In general, his thesis is somewhere between Byzantinist and Chance theorist in nature when considering the period preceding the Crusade. While he argues that relations were indeed poor, he challenges the premise that taking Byzantium was the answer to Venetian troubles, something that can perhaps be considered a legacy of Queller’s initial thesis.[56] However when considering the campaign itself, his argument aligns more with the Theory of Accidents, including with regards to Dandolo himself.

My own view does not fit neatly into one or another of the broad schools discussed above, although it perhaps comes closer to the Chance Theory than the Byzantinist viewpoint. Byzantine-Venetian relations certainly were strained, for all the claims that eighty-five per cent of reparations for 1171 had been paid by 1203, and relations had been fully repaired.[57] The mistake of many historians has been to consider only the most well-known events, those of 1171 and 1182. What is perhaps more important is study of the chrysobulls through the two centuries before the Fourth Crusade, the trade negotiations entered into with the other Italian cities, and the tension that created throughout Europe, as Emperors attempted to manipulate not just the Italian cities, but also the Holy Roman Empire and the Normans in Sicily. It is, however unlikely that relations were quite as bad as has been suggested by such Byzantinists as Brand.[58]

What is equally clear is that the expedition was not planned out, by Dandolo or anyone else. For the expedition to be following a plan, there were too many variables; too many contingencies had to fall into place. Such planning would have relied upon near-supernatural intelligence. While possible, it remains unlikely. Most compelling of all is the argument put forward by Pryor, about the composition of the Venetian fleet. The fleet was suited for a campaign to Egypt, much more so than Constantinople, as the ships did not lend themselves to an amphibious assault of the type which later took place.[59] Many would probably not have noticed the subtle difference, and so there would have been no reason to jeopardise the campaign for the sake of a cover.

Although the course of the Crusade was not premeditated, it would be inaccurate to call it a series of accidents. An argument among some historians is that there was a gradual decline in relations between Byzantium and both Venice and western Christendom – that there was a development of a certain mind-set alongside and perhaps as part of Crusader ideals. Magdalino in particular talks of the diversion being ‘a reversion to a prevailing tendency,’ claiming that the ‘sack expressed and deepened old hatreds,’ but he is not the only one. Phillips makes a similar point, and Tyerman describes it as a product of policy, not conspiracy, and overall the argument is more than credible.[60] In short, the events of the Crusade itself should be framed within wider, longer term causes as has been argued by Kindlimann, although they should not be considered accidents, as Angold suggests.[61]

Conclusion

Overall then the debate seems no closer to coming to a conclusion than when it opened in 1861, despite Chance theorist claims that the Premeditation Theory is unknown in academic scholarship. One might make the mistake of assuming that, because Queller’s thesis has survived without any serious challenge since 1977, it means that his is the standard work. It is far more complicated than this however – there are both Byzantinist and Chance Theory arguments which are currently alive and well, as has been mentioned above. Despite this, some important conclusions can be drawn through the above analysis of the development of the historiography. The contemporary authors should certainly be considered historians despite their flaws and potentially compromised viewpoints, and as such, Villehardouin and the simple Theory of Accidents are to be considered the traditionalist school.[62]

Therefore, this makes de Mas-Latrie’s Premeditation Theory the revisionist school. It is possible to argue that Norden’s argument is far enough away from the original Theory of Accidents to warrant it being named post-revisionism. However his main influence was Villehardouin, and as such he should only be considered to be revisiting traditionalism, or at least his own interpretation of it. Similarly, Runciman and the like merely re-interpret and expand on de Mas-Latrie’s argument, and so true post-revisionism should be restricted to Angold’s view, alongside which the thesis above should perhaps be placed. Although these broad schools do exist, there are many ideas which do not fit entirely into one school or another, and there will continue to be for as long as the debate continues. This essay has by no means been exhaustive in its examination of the different arguments, as there are too many myriad aspects of the Fourth Crusade and its context. It has however examined the more significant facets of the development of the historiography concerning the Fourth Crusade and its background of Byzantine-Venetian tension. As Luchaire said in 1907 ‘the issue will likely never be settled,’ but it seems premature to resign oneself to that fact, without at least trying for some sort of consensus.[63]

Word limit: 5,048

[1] J.N. Claster, Sacred Violence: The European Crusades to the Middle East, 1095-1396 (Toronto, 2009), p.214.

[2] For a brief summary, see J. Harris, ‘The Debate on the Fourth Crusade,’ History Compass 2 (2004), pp.1-10.

[3] An example of this is perhaps M. Angold, The Fourth Crusade (Great Britain, 2003), although Harris also counts himself as such, see Harris, ‘Debate,’ p.6.

[4] T.F. Madden (ed.), The Fourth Crusade: Event, Aftermath and Perceptions (Aldershot & Burlington, 2008), p.viii, D.M. Nicol, Byzantium and Venice: A Study in Diplomatic and Cultural Relations (Cambridge, 1988), p.125.

[5] For a comprehensive list, see D.E. Queller and I.B. Katele, ‘Attitudes towards the Venetians in the Fourth Crusade: The Western Sources,’ The International History Review 4 (1982), pp.1-36.

[6] Angold, Fourth Crusade, p.11, see also N. Jaspert, The Crusades (New York & London, 2006), p.52.

[7] D.E. Queller, ‘Review of “La Conquista di Constantinopoli (1198-1216),” by Roberto di Clari (trans. Nada Petrone),’ Speculum 49 (1974), p.719.

[8] Queller and Katele, ‘Attitudes,’ p.8-9, see also J. Burrow, A History of Histories: Epics, Chronicles, Romances and Inquiries from Herodotus and Thucydides to the Twentieth Century (London, 2007), p.261.

[9] J.J. Norwich,  A Short History of Byzantium (London, 1997), p. 299, Harris, ‘Debate,’ p.2, D.E. Queller and T.F. Madden, The Fourth Crusade: The Conquest of Constantinople (Philadelphia, 1997), p.18.

[10] J.L. La Monte, ‘Some Problems in Crusading Historiography,’ Speculum 15 (1940), p.63.

[11] J. Shepard, ‘Review of “The Fourth Crusade: Event and Context” by Michael Angold,’ The International History Review 27 (2005), p.348, Burrow, History, p.262, D.E. Queller and T.F. Madden, The Fourth Crusade: The Conquest of Constantinople (Philadelphia, 1997), p.18.

[12] Queller and Katele, ‘Attitudes,’ p.11.

[13] Geoffrey of Villehardouin, Chronicle of The Fourth Crusade and the Conquest of Constantinople, ch.42, http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/villehardouin.asp accessed 19/3/13.

[14] Queller and Madden, Fourth Crusade, p.18.

[15] Queller and Katele, ‘Attitudes,’ p.13.

[16] Robert of Clari, The Conquest of Constantinople in eds. S.J. Allen and E. Amt, The Crusades: A Reader (Toronto, 2003), p.227.

[17] Queller and Katele, ‘Attitudes,’ p.16.

[18] A.A. Vasiliev, History of the Byzantine Empire, 324-1453, vol.2 2nd edn. (Madison & London, 1952), p.456, J. Harris, Byzantium and the Crusaders (London, 2003), p.xiv, H.E. Mayer, The Crusades Second Edition (Oxford, 1988), pp.201-2.

[19] For a broad overview of the earlier historiography, see Mayer, Crusades, pp.201-2, D.E. Queller and G.W. Day, ‘Some Arguments in Defense of the Venetians on the Fourth Crusade,’ The American Historical Review 81 (1976), pp.717-8.

[20] S. Runciman, A History of the Crusades, vol.3: The Kingdom of Acre (Cambridge, 1954), pp.114-5.

[21] T.F. Madden (ed.), The Fourth Crusade: Event, Aftermath and Perceptions (Aldershot & Burlington, 2008), p.ix.

[22] T.F. Madden, ‘Outside and Inside the Fourth Crusade,’ The International History Review 17 (1995), p.734.

[23] Harris, ‘Debate,’ pp.6-7.

[24] Argued by Vasiliev, History, p.456.

[25] Queller and Katele, ‘Attitudes,’ pp.21-3.

[26] Madden, ‘Outside,’ p.730, Angold, Fourth Crusade, p.4.

[27] Mayer, Crusades, p.201, Madden, ‘Outside,’ p.732.

[28] J. Richard, The Crusades, c.1071-c.1291, trans. J. Birrell (Cambridge & New York, 1999), p.248.

[29] A. Kazhdan, ‘Latins and Franks in Byzantium: Perception and Reality from the Eleventh to the Twelfth Century,’ in eds. A.E. Laiou and R.P. Mottahedeh, The Crusades from the Perspective of Byzantium and the Muslim World (Washington, 2001), p.88, C. Tyerman, God’s War (London & New York, 2006), p.515.

[30] Angold, Fourth Crusade, p.8.

[31] Nicol, Byzantium, p.88, Queller and Day, ‘Some Arguments,’ pp.734-6.

[32] Nicetas Choniates in C.M. Brand, Byzantium confronts the West, 1180-1204 (Cambridge, 1968), pp.203-4.

[33] P. Magdalino, ‘The Byzantine Empire, 1118-1204,’ in eds. D. Luscombe and J. Riley-Smith, The New Cambridge Medieval History, vol.4: c.1024-c.1198 (Cambridge, 1995-2005), p.613.

[34] J.H. Pryor, ‘The Venetian Fleet for the Fourth Crusade and the Diversion of the Crusade to Constantinople,’ in eds. M. Bull and N. Housley, The Experience of Crusading (Cambridge, 2003), p.106, T.F. Madden, Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice (Baltimore, 2003), p.118.

[35] Queller and Madden, Fourth Crusade, p.51, Harris, Byzantium, p.xiv.

[36] J. Phillips, The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople (London, 2005), p.70, Madden (ed.), Fourth Crusade, p.ix, J. Phillips, Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades (London, 2009), p.174, Queller and Day, ‘Some Arguments,’ p.729, Mayer, Crusades, pp.201-2, Harris, Byzantium, p.xiv.

[37] Harris, Byzantium, pp.xiv-xv.

[38] R. Browning, The Byzantine Empire Rev. Ed. (Washington, 1992), p.176, for a more complete detailing of the decline, see Nicol, Byzantium, pp.70-111.

[39] E. Bradford, The Great Betrayal: Constantinople 1204 (London, 1967), p.31, see also, Phillips, Fourth Crusade, p.58.

[40] J.J. Norwich, A History of Venice (London, 1982), p.124, Harris, Byzantium, p.115, Queller and Katele, ‘Attitudes,’ p.7.

[41] Norwich, Venice, p.125.

[42] Queller and Madden, Fourth Crusade, p.55.

[43] See Madden, ‘Outside,’ pp.734-6.

[44] Harris, ‘Debate,’ p.4, E. Sakellariou, ‘Byzantine and Modern Greek Perceptions of the Crusades,’ in ed. H.J. Nicholson, Palgrave Advances in the Crusades (London, 2005), p.254, Vasiliev, History, p.458.

[45] M. Angold, ‘The road to 1204: the Byzantine background to the Fourth Crusade,’ Journal of Medieval History 25 (1999), p.257.

[46] Madden, ‘Outside,’ pp.733-4, Tyerman, God’s War, p.543.

[47] G.A. Zinn Jr., ‘Review of “The Fourth Crusade: The Conquest of Constantinople, 1201-1204” by Donald E. Queller,’ Church History 48 (1979), p.337.

[48] Queller and Madden, Fourth Crusade, p.10, Angold, Fourth Crusade, p.58, Phillips, Holy Warriors, pp.173-8, for on overview of the thesis, see Queller and Day, ‘Some Arguments,’ pp.717-37.

[49] Madden, Enrico Dandolo, pp.118-9.

[50] Queller and Day, ‘Some Arguments,’ p.718.

[51] Harris, Byzantium, pp.xv-xvi, ‘Debate,’ pp.5-6.

[52] Madden, ‘Outside,’ pp.735-6.

[53] Harris, ‘Debate,’ pp.6-7.

[54] See Sakellariou, ‘Byzantine,’ p.254, Richard, Crusades, p.248.

[55] Angold, Fourth Crusade, p.88.

[56] Queller and Day, ‘Some Arguments,’ p.732.

[57] T.F. Madden, ‘Vows and Contracts in the Fourth Crusade: The Treaty of Zara and the Attack on Constantinople in 1204,’ The International History Review 15 (1993), p.445.

[58] Brand, Byzantium, p.195.

[59] See Pryor, ‘Venetian Fleet,’ pp.103-23.

[60] Magdalino, ‘Byzantine,’ pp.611, 633, Phillips, Fourth Crusade, p.xxii, C. Tyerman, Fighting for Christendom: Holy War and the Crusades (Oxford, 2004), p.59.

[61] Sakellariou, ‘Byzantine,’ p.254.

[62] Vasiliev, History, p.456

[63] Madden, ‘Outside,’ p.738.

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Feedback:

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All the following feedback is rated on the following scale: Outstanding-Excellent-Good-Competent-Pass-Fail.

Choice and definition of topic: Excellent

Range of resources used: Outstanding-Excellent

Organization of the material: Excellent-Good

Critical approach to historiography: Excellent

Lucidity and cogency of argument: Excellent-Good

Depth of understanding and insight: Excellent

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General Comments and Advice: This essay demonstrates a good understanding of the medieval and modern historiography, and a very impressive amount has been read and used, and it is well evaluated. The two chronicles are nicely compared. You have a good array of the more marginal sources too, and rightly give a good deal of attention to the 19th century historians. You say some important things about what the various schools/historians say about and other, and you categorise them intelligently. Lovely conclusion, but the preceding section on your own view should go there too.

I got a bit lost trying to keep track of the various terms used for schools of thought, but aside from that you address the various positions, with their various ‘sub-positions’ and variants/modifications well. You understand their development over time well. You could have said more about historians not wanting to clarify the primary sources as part of the historiography. Presumably it is more to do with the fact that the chronicles, especially Villehardouin, influenced events?

Nicely written. In fact a great deal of care has been taken of content and style. But you could have said more about the Doge, as per the title.

 

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