IMC 2004: Sessions

Session 1004: The Conquest of Constantinople

Wednesday 14 July 2004, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Matthew Bennett, Department of Communication & Applied Behavioural Science, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst
Paper 1004-aAdrianopolis 1205: From Cultural Misunderstanding to Military Disaster
(Language: English)
Francesco Dall'Aglio, Istituto Italiano per gli studi Storici, Napoli
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Crusades
Paper 1004-bThe Epic Signifier in Geoffroi de Villehardouin's Conquest of Constantinople
(Language: English)
Gilles A. Chosson, Department of Romance Languages & Literatures, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Index terms: Crusades, Language and Literature - Celtic, Social History
Paper 1004-cEnrico Dandolo: The Conqueror of Constantinople, Seen Through The Eyes of his Descendant Andrea
(Language: English)
Dimitar Mollov, Independent Scholar, Sofia
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Crusades, Mentalities

session grouped by Norman Houseley (4/11/03):
Abstract paper -a:
The Latin Empire of Constantinople opened hostilities almost immediately with the Bulgarian kingdom; the arrogance and tactical mistakes of the crusades brought them to the disaster of Adrianopolis, which virtually marked the end of their empire as a major power in the Balkans.In the opinion of the writer, the causes of this defeat are cultural before than military, and must be seeked in the Latin ignorance of the customs and of the warfare style of their opponents, recklessly dismissed as marauders, while the Bulgarians and their Byzantine and Cuman allies were able to learn from their enemies and to skillfully exploit their faults.
Abstract paper -b:
This paper is a study of the hyperbolic language as a dominant voice in the chronicle of the Fourth Crusdade. Hyperbolic advertisements, attention-drawing formulas and ornemental adjectives indicate an effective literary embellishment and a noticeable epic mood despite assertions to the contrary. Villehardouin does more than merely accept epic conventions. The frequency of specific lexemes as determined by a structural and semiological analysis emphasizes the epic cliches which Villehardouin utilized to his end. These cliches become the signifiers of a chivalric ideology which sustains his account, thereby opening the door to a mythical signified which governs the Marshal’s narrative.
Abstract paper -c:
The main purpose of this paper is to shed some light on the problem regarding the Venetian approach to the conquest of Constantinople in 1204 and, most of all, to clear up the ways in which the later doge of Venice Andrea dandolo (1343-1354) has considered the glorious deeds of his predecessor and relative. The components of the present research paper will be predominantly based on the famous Venetiarum Cronica per extensum descripta aa.46-1280 written by the same doge in the period of his government. Besides the fact that the chronicle contain some lost documents that were kept in the ducal chancellery of venice of the 14th century, the work of Dandolo is tightly linked with the progress of the Venetian historical account and provide us with a possibility to follow out its basic aspects. In this sense, analyzing of the representation of Enrico Dandolo in the chronicle’s text will not neglect the specific approach of tha tuhor to the Venetian past and his understanding of the history of Venice. Therefore this paper is not intended to deal so much with the historical veracity of the chronicler’s account and the main accent will be put on the particular point of view shared by Andrea and reflecting, to a great extent, the ideas of the Venetian political elite of that time.
No doubt the historical memory of the Venetians about their remarkable doge of the beginning of 13c. closely regarded the concept of the glory and honor of Venice. The conquest of the Byzantine capital in 1204 turned into an important component of the Venetian political ideology sanctioning the elevaed status of the Republic, and creating his chronicle in the middle of the 14c., Andrea Dandolo must have been entirely aware that the act committed by his predecessor had an oecumenical sigificance. In this aspect, further attention is paid on the intriguing problem concerning the attempt of the chronicler to substantiate the idea of the special mission of Venice in the course of human history by stressing on the argument that the triumph of Enrico was a manifestation of God’s justice to the perfidy of the Eastern schismatics.