by Theresa Shawcross
The Chronicle of Morea, one of the most important and controversial historical narratives written in the late Middle Ages, tells the story of the formation and government by the Villehardouin dynasty of a remarkably successful Crusader State following the conquest by western invaders of the capital – Constantinople – and the provinces of the Byzantine Empire. By examining all the Chronicle’s surviving Greek, French, Spanish and Italian versions, this study, the first of its kind, explores in depth the literary and ideological contexts in which the work was composed, transmitted and re-written. The result is a fascinating analysis of cultural exchange in a rich and vibrant eastern Mediterranean world where different ethnicities were obliged to live alongside each other, and outside political interests frequently intruded in dramatic fashion. Translations into English have been provided of all the material discussed.