Subproject A02 — Crusader states
Foundations, conditions and regulations for creating "security" between Christians and non-Christians, Latins and non-Latins in the Crusader states (12th to 14th centuries)
Bildausschnitt: Vermittlung zwischen einem Kreuzfahrer, einem Juden und einem Muslim, in: Münchener Willehalm-Handschrift des Wolfram von Eschenbach
The subproject focuses on aspects of securitisation in the Latin Crusader states in the Near East, primarily in the 12th and 13th centuries. Issues surrounding securitising actors and their practices and the ambivalence about securitisation play a large role in this. Besides the monarchy, the nobility and the Latin Church, the privileged Italian republics of Venice, Genoa and Pisa in the Kingdom of Jerusalem and religious military orders are also encountered as securitising actors.
The Latin kings of Jerusalem behave as significant securitising actors when acting as legislators, issuers of charters and contracting parties. On the one hand, the hierarchy of the Latin Church performs an aggressive Latinisation of ecclesiastical conditions: Greek bishops are displaced and the Greek Christians are subjected to “forced integration”. On the other hand, there are some extensive compromises with Armenian and Syrian Christians and forms of recognition of autonomous churches. This “dual strategy” gives rise to richly varied politics that are to be examined from the perspective of securitisation, as they greatly contrast with the strong pressure of Latinisation and unification that the Roman church exercises in all other parts of Latin Europe.
The Latin nobility exercises its own forms of rule under feudal law. Noble rulers are found to be securitising actors in both military and settlement policy: As new lords of the land, they support the settlement of Latin colonists near Christian villages and govern the lives of the rural Muslim population. In doing so, their strategies range from “tolerance” to repression.
The religious military orders develop into exclusive military security elites that seize and equip royal castles in particular. Templars and the Knights of St. John are also found to be part of the politically active security elite from the second half of the 12th century, sometimes in competition with each other.
The Italian republics of Pisa, Genoa and Venice are already granted privileges by the Latin kings in the early 12th century and assume roles creating security on the coasts and high seas routes (fight against racy). With the districts assigned to them in the large port and coastal locations of the Crusader states, they also take on securitisation duties in the cities.
The loss of authority of the Crown and the absence of the kings in the 13th century increases the importance of the Latin high nobility, the knight’s orders and the Italian republics, which do, however, split into various fractions and let the kingdom become a “failing state”. The Crown now becomes merely an abstract authority, represented by the regents and used as a guarantor for feudal and judicial law in legal literature. The ambivalence of securitisation is examined in this context in particular.