Of ‘Pious Traitors’ and Dangerous Encounters. Historiographical Notions of Interculturality in the Principality of Antioch

  • 1 Theologische Fakultät, Lehrstuhl für Kirchengeschichte, Universität Rostock


The principality of Antioch is often seen as a major example of peaceful and fruitful cross-cultural relations between Christians and Muslims in the crusader states. This article asks if and how Antioch’s multicultural character is also reflected in Western medieval historiography. Two examples are in the focus of consideration: the story of the betrayal of a certain man named Fîrouz who helped the crusaders capture the city in 1098; and the way(s) Walter the Chancellor depicted and judged the coexistence of Franks, Oriental Christians and Muslims in the principality in his chronicle of the so-called Antiochene Wars. The question is whether the Latin historiography acted to silence and gloss over the positive surplus value of cultural and religious exchange processes in the Middle Ages. Also it will be asked how we can interrelate the evidence from these texts with other research results to arrive at a persuasive image of the historical reality in the crusader society of Antioch.

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The Journal of Transcultural Medieval Studies provides a forum for scholarship of pre-modern times. It publishes comparative studies, which systematically reflect the entanglement and the interconnection of European, African, Asian and American cultures. The Journal pursues an interdisciplinary approach. It also intends to foster methodological reflections on transculturality in the broad sense.