Thomas S. Asbridge
The First Crusade wrought many changes across the medieval world, not least in Levant, where the expedition culminated in the Frankish conquest of much of Syria and Palestine. This book is the first major study of the early history of one of these Latin settlements, the principality of Antioch; it reasserts the significance of Antioch, and challenges the dominant position of the kingdom of Jerusalem in modern crusading historiography. Thomas Asbridge examines the formation of Antioch's political, military and ecclesiastical frameworks and explains how the principality survived in the hostile political environment of the Near East. He also demonstrates that Latin Antioch was shaped by the complex world of the Levant, facing a diverse range of influences and potential threats from the neighbouring forces of Byzantium and Islam. Historians of the Frankish East and of medieval Europe in the eleventh century will find this an important contribution to crusading history; it is also a significant contribution to the study of frontier societies and medieval communities. THOMAS S. ASBRIDGE is lecturer in early medieval history at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London.