Europe in the Orient. Political and Cultural Interactions in the Middle East During the Crusades
Европа в Ориента: Политическо и културно взаимодействие в Близкия изток по време на кръстоносните походи
Language: Bulgarian with an extended summary in English
Category: Crusades


     The age of the Crusades in the Holy Land is a typical period of “thickening” and intensifying of historical time. Within these two centuries the lands of the Middle East produced an impressive amount of dynamic historical phenomena  political, but also cultural, closely related to the exchange of ideas and the cultural and religious interactions between the partakers in this encounter of civilizations. Purpose of this text is to examine the role of the European overseas territories, born as a result of the Crusades and then becoming a scene of the abovementioned cultural and ideological exchange. This task naturally requires a substantial portion of interdisciplinary research, enabling it to clarify as many aspects of this unique interaction as possible: political and military, institutional, cultural or regarding everyday life… Its essence were the common tendencies and hybrid phenomena born from this dialogue: military and political ties and cooperation, knightly orders and chivalric culture, common religious cults etc. They will show us what Europe took and what gave to the Middle East and vice versa, as well as another, not the least less important result from this dialogue: how Westerners and Muslims changed the perception of each other during their coexistence in the European overseas territories. In other words, the text aims for a different approach towards the crusading phenomenon, avoiding the common stereotype of pure military collision between Christianity and Islam.

     The role of ideas and spirituality during the Crusades naturally became cornerstone of this research. My work in the libraries gave this inquiry three main directions, traceable in its structure and contents. The first one explores the way in which the ideas determine the nature of political and military processes in the Holy Land and influence the relations between the main participants. Good example is the way in which both Christian and Muslim ideology and propaganda used to employ the spiritual to validate their politics and war. Counterpoint of this habit one can find in the influence of the specific ideological atmosphere of the Middle East, which made possible the diplomatic contacts and the numerous unnatural at first glance military alliances. The leading role in these relations was reserved for the military religious orders. The chivalric ideas in the Middle East that gave birth to this controversial, curious and emblematic for the crusading era phenomenon, are examined in chapter two. Their common acceptance by both Franks and Muslims in the Holy Land clearly demonstrates the similarity between their seemingly incompatible morals and cultures. The Middle Eastern spiritual climate, born from the centuries-long co-existence of civilizations and religions, prevailed and ordained its inherent modus vivendi to the local people and the Western newcomers. This made possible the existence of the Crusader states in the Middle East for two centuries and the integration of many newcomers into the vivid local society. The continuity of ideas that could also be seen in the everyday life of the mixed Middle Eastern territories, together with the significant spiritual coherence, which made it possible are subject of the third and final chapter of the book.       


Table of contents

Увод, извори и историография



Бит и култура

Резюме на английски език





Publisher AZ Press
Language Bulgarian with a summary in English
Pages 240
Illustrations b/w figures
Binding paperback
ISBN 978-954-90661-6-6
Creation date 2010
Size 16 х 24 cm

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