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Symposium: Crusades, Classics, and the Latin East

Online symposium organised by Julian Yolles (CML) on 29 January 2021

To most people, the word “crusade” is unlikely to conjure up notions of learning and bookishness. And yet, those who participated in crusading expeditions and settled lands across the Levant and Eastern Mediterranean—collectively known as the Latin East—commissioned sumptuously decorated books of ancient works of literature. Despite the growing evidence, the crusader settlements of the Latin East have not been viewed as having had a meaningful part in important intellectual developments across western Europe that involved an engagement with a classical past. To challenge this narrative, this online symposium centres on engagements in and around the Latin East with “classics” in a broad sense and across a range of disciplines and languages, including Romance philology, Byzantine studies, and medieval Latin philology.

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Opening remarks

Lars Boje Mortensen,Centre for Medieval Literature, University of Southern Denmark


Paper 1:“Reconceptualising the Latin East as a Place for Classical Reception.”

Julian Yolles, Centre for Medieval Literature, University of Southern Denmark


Paper 2:“Old French Manuscripts Copied in the Latin East: A New Appraisal.”

Laura Minervini, Universita' degli studi di Napoli Federico II

14:45-15:00 Break

Paper 3:“Arthurian Prose Cycles and the Crusades. Unanswered Questions.”

Nicola Morato, Université de Liège


Paper 4:“Classicising Learning in Byzantium in the Time of the Crusades”

Niels Gaul, University of Edinburgh


Concluding remarks

Julian Yolles,Centre for Medieval Literature, University of Southern Denmark

Editing was completed: 29.01.2021