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Thread: Massacre of the Latins

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    Default Massacre of the Latins

    I do not mean to start a flame war with the Eastern Orthodox.
    I just want to provide some context to the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, that is usually used as harsh critique against Catholic Europe.

    At that time, the Byzantines and the Western Kingdoms were wary of each other and consider each other "cismatic". In spite of the mutual enemy that they had in the Muslims, thing were always tense and violence appeared sporadically.

    The massacre of the Latins was the heaviest anti-Catholic repression that the Byzantines had committed, and rapidly deteriorated the relations between both sides, leading to the well-known episode of 1204.

    Here's the wiki entry to explain more (selected paragraphs):

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Massacre of the Latins
    (Italian: Massacro dei Latini; Greek: Σφαγή των Λατίνων) was a large-scale massacre of the Roman Catholic or "Latin" inhabitants of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, by the Eastern Orthodox population of the city in May 1182.

    The Roman Catholics of Constantinople at that time dominated the city's maritime trade and financial sector. Although precise numbers are unavailable, the bulk of the Latin community, estimated at over 60,000 at the time, was wiped out or forced to flee. The Genoese and Pisan communities especially were decimated, and some 4,000 survivors were sold as slaves to the Turks

    ---Background:

    The religious differences between the two sides, who viewed each other as schismatics, further exacerbated the problem. The Italians proved uncontrollable by imperial authority: in 1162, for instance, the Pisans together with a few Venetians raided the Genoese quarter in Constantinople, causing much damage.

    Emperor Manuel subsequently expelled most of the Genoese and Pisans from the city, thus giving the Venetians a free hand for several years.

    In early 1171, however, when the Venetians attacked and largely destroyed the Genoese quarter in Constantinople, the Emperor retaliated by ordering the mass arrest of all Venetians throughout the Empire and the confiscation of their property. A subsequent Venetian expedition in the Aegean failed: a direct assault was impossible due to the strength of the Byzantine forces, and the Venetians agreed to negotiations, which the Emperor stalled intentionally. As talks dragged on through the winter, the Venetian fleet waited at Chios, until an outbreak of the plague forced them to withdraw.

    The Venetians and the Empire remained at war, with the Venetians prudently avoiding direct confrontation but sponsoring Serb uprisings, besieging Ancona, Byzantium's last stronghold in Italy, and signing a treaty with the Norman Kingdom of Sicily. Relations were only gradually normalized: there is evidence of a treaty in 1179, although a full restoration of relations would only be reached in the mid-1180s

    ---Massacre




    Following the death of Manuel I in 1180, his widow, the Latin princess Maria of Antioch, acted as regent to her infant son Alexios II Komnenos. Her regency was notorious for the favoritism shown to Latin merchants and the big aristocratic land-owners, and was overthrown in April 1182 by Andronikos I Komnenos, who entered the city in a wave of popular support.

    Almost immediately, the celebrations spilled over into violence towards the hated Latins, and after entering the city's Latin quarter a mob began attacking the inhabitants.

    Many had anticipated the events and escaped by sea. The ensuing massacre was indiscriminate: neither women nor children were spared, and Latin patients lying in hospital beds were murdered.

    Houses, churches, and charitable institutions were looted. Latin clergymen received special attention, and Cardinal John, the papal legate, was beheaded and his head was dragged through the streets at the tail of a dog.
    Although Andronikos himself had no particular anti-Latin attitude, he allowed the massacre to proceed unchecked.

    A few years later, Andronikos I himself was deposed and handed over to the mob of Constantinople citizenry, and was tortured and summarily executed in the Hippodrome by Latin soldiers.
    (///Live by the sword, die by the sword.///)


    -----Impact

    The massacre further worsened the image of the Byzantines in the West, and although regular trade agreements were soon resumed between Byzantium and Latin states, the underlying hostility would remain, leading to a spiraling chain of hostilities: a Norman expedition under William II of Sicily in 1185 sacked Thessalonica, the Empire's second largest city, and the German emperors Frederick Barbarossa and Henry VI both threatened to attack Constantinople

    The worsening relationship culminated with the brutal sack of the city of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, which led to the permanent alienation of Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Last quote to remember:

    "The massacre itself however remains relatively obscure, and Catholic historian Warren Carroll notes that "Historians who wax eloquent and indignant - with considerable reason - about the sack of Constantinople ... rarely if ever mention the massacre of the Westerners in ... 1182"


    I just want this episode to be remembered, nothing more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baluarte View Post
    I do not mean to start a flame war with the Eastern Orthodox.
    I just want to provide some context to the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, that is usually used as harsh critique against Catholic Europe.

    At that time, the Byzantines and the Western Kingdoms were wary of each other and consider each other "cismatic". In spite of the mutual enemy that they had in the Muslims, thing were always tense and violence appeared sporadically.

    The massacre of the Latins was the heaviest anti-Catholic repression that the Byzantines had committed, and rapidly deteriorated the relations between both sides, leading to the well-known episode of 1204.

    Here's the wiki entry to explain more (selected paragraphs):

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (Italian: Massacro dei Latini; Greek: Σφαγή των Λατίνων) was a large-scale massacre of the Roman Catholic or "Latin" inhabitants of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, by the Eastern Orthodox population of the city in May 1182.

    The Roman Catholics of Constantinople at that time dominated the city's maritime trade and financial sector. Although precise numbers are unavailable, the bulk of the Latin community, estimated at over 60,000 at the time, was wiped out or forced to flee. The Genoese and Pisan communities especially were decimated, and some 4,000 survivors were sold as slaves to the Turks

    ---Background:

    The religious differences between the two sides, who viewed each other as schismatics, further exacerbated the problem. The Italians proved uncontrollable by imperial authority: in 1162, for instance, the Pisans together with a few Venetians raided the Genoese quarter in Constantinople, causing much damage.

    Emperor Manuel subsequently expelled most of the Genoese and Pisans from the city, thus giving the Venetians a free hand for several years.

    In early 1171, however, when the Venetians attacked and largely destroyed the Genoese quarter in Constantinople, the Emperor retaliated by ordering the mass arrest of all Venetians throughout the Empire and the confiscation of their property. A subsequent Venetian expedition in the Aegean failed: a direct assault was impossible due to the strength of the Byzantine forces, and the Venetians agreed to negotiations, which the Emperor stalled intentionally. As talks dragged on through the winter, the Venetian fleet waited at Chios, until an outbreak of the plague forced them to withdraw.

    The Venetians and the Empire remained at war, with the Venetians prudently avoiding direct confrontation but sponsoring Serb uprisings, besieging Ancona, Byzantium's last stronghold in Italy, and signing a treaty with the Norman Kingdom of Sicily. Relations were only gradually normalized: there is evidence of a treaty in 1179, although a full restoration of relations would only be reached in the mid-1180s

    ---Massacre


    Following the death of Manuel I in 1180, his widow, the Latin princess Maria of Antioch, acted as regent to her infant son Alexios II Komnenos. Her regency was notorious for the favoritism shown to Latin merchants and the big aristocratic land-owners, and was overthrown in April 1182 by Andronikos I Komnenos, who entered the city in a wave of popular support.

    Almost immediately, the celebrations spilled over into violence towards the hated Latins, and after entering the city's Latin quarter a mob began attacking the inhabitants.

    Many had anticipated the events and escaped by sea. The ensuing massacre was indiscriminate: neither women nor children were spared, and Latin patients lying in hospital beds were murdered.

    Houses, churches, and charitable institutions were looted. Latin clergymen received special attention, and Cardinal John, the papal legate, was beheaded and his head was dragged through the streets at the tail of a dog.
    Although Andronikos himself had no particular anti-Latin attitude, he allowed the massacre to proceed unchecked.

    A few years later, Andronikos I himself was deposed and handed over to the mob of Constantinople citizenry, and was tortured and summarily executed in the Hippodrome by Latin soldiers.
    (///Live by the sword, die by the sword.///)


    -----Impact

    The massacre further worsened the image of the Byzantines in the West, and although regular trade agreements were soon resumed between Byzantium and Latin states, the underlying hostility would remain, leading to a spiraling chain of hostilities: a Norman expedition under William II of Sicily in 1185 sacked Thessalonica, the Empire's second largest city, and the German emperors Frederick Barbarossa and Henry VI both threatened to attack Constantinople

    The worsening relationship culminated with the brutal sack of the city of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, which led to the permanent alienation of Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Last quote to remember:

    "The massacre itself however remains relatively obscure, and Catholic historian Warren Carroll notes that "Historians who wax eloquent and indignant - with considerable reason - about the sack of Constantinople ... rarely if ever mention the massacre of the Westerners in ... 1182"


    I just want this episode to be remembered, nothing more.
    Yeah, it's quite true. I would like to add a little background to the story.

    The hatred of the Greek population against the Latins date from the time of the rule of Manuel Komnenos. A number of incidents contributed to that hatred, most notably the Norman campaign in Greece which resulted to the sack of many inhabited places and a siege of Thessaloniki. Above all though, the preferential treatment of Manuel towards the Latins
    outraged the common people, and this preferential treatment resulted to a failed crusade against Egypt, and the Sikelian vespers which were payed for by Manuel and dried up the East Roman treasury. Another long-term cause of contention was the pillaging of Christian territories by crusaders crossing Eastern Roman lands in a number of Crusades, as well as the capitulations which were inagurated by Leo III and lasted all the way to the end of the Ottoman empire.

    By the time the massacres took place, the Latins - who were better soldiers by that time - had grown very arrogant and there is one occasion when one of them while moving from the west towards the Middle East and stopping into Constantinople and visiting the imperial palace, sat in the imperial throne and refused to remove himself in front of the emperor!!!

    Even before when the Normans had conquered Italy, the locals considered them worse than the Greeks. They were evidently more barbaric.

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