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Title: The career and significance of John of Brienne, king of Jerusalem, emperor of Constantinople
Author: Perry, Guy J. M.
ISNI:       0000 0001 0769 9887
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis is a biographical study of John of Brienne, king of Jerusalem and later Latin emperor of Constantinople (d. 1237). John’s extraordinary career is touched on by many commentators concerned with the crusades and the Latin East in the early thirteenth century, but it has not been properly re-assessed for more than seventy years. A comprehensive re-examination opens up new angles on the political structures and social landscapes that produced it. John’s career illustrates some residual strengths of the Jerusalemite monarchy just before the start of the Hohenstaufen epoch. It also sheds light on a period in the history of the Latin empire all too easily regarded as largely a void. But within the biographical context, the thesis’s focus is more on the complex interplay between the Latin West and East in the early thirteenth century. A principal theme in this regard is the mobility, in geographical and politico-hierarchical terms, of a specific echelon of the high aristocracy in early thirteenth-century Europe, building on Bartlett’s conception of the contemporaneous western European ‘aristocratic diaspora’. Aristocrats who are ‘not quite first rank’ can be discerned on the make in regions, both west and east, distant from their original homelands. Much of the significance of that lies in the context, the variety of opportunities, and also the limitations on such figures. Whilst this thesis dwells on John’s experience of patronage and dependency, it also identifies grounds for tensions in his ‘new’ environments, as well as highlighting the opportunities and pitfalls presented by ‘dynastic interstices’. In this way, the thesis unpacks many of the ‘more normal’ features of the aristocratic diaspora out of John’s exceptional career. The thesis links together the thematic material to focus, in particular, on the interactions between various Western great powers and John as a client figure.
Supervisor: Tyerman, C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; Middle Ages ; Medieval ; Crusades