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The History of George Akropolites describes an exceptional period in Byzantine history, between the loss of Constantinople to the forces of the Fourth Crusade in 1204 and the reconquest of the city by Michael VIII Palaiologos in 1261.
The first, main title of this volume might seem to promise too little or too much—either a very superficial work of generalization, or a heterogeneous assortment of broadly grouped pieces too diverse and disparate to cohere.
D. K. Fieldhouse’s goal in this major comparative study of British and French imperialism in the Middle East is to consider the effects of the imposition of the mandate system on the former Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire.
Ottoman histories – better put: histories of the Ottoman state – have some right to be regarded in a pseudo-Braudelian sense as une historiographie du longue durée.
It is curious that it should have taken imperial proconsul Lord Cromer (1841–1917, Evelyn Baring until 1892) nearly a century to find a scholarly biographer worthy of his centrality to British, imperial and Egyptian history in the Victorian-Edwardian age.
On the cover of Gerald MacLean’s engaging new study, The Rise of Oriental Travel: English Visitors to the Ottoman Empire, 1580-1720 is a ‘Portrait of a European Man’ by the Ottoman Artist Abdelcelil Celebi, known as Levni, and painted c.1720. MacLean does not discuss this portrait, but its selection as a cover image is calculated and significant.
In a memorandum for the Committee of Imperial Defence dated 10 July 1920 Harold Nicolson, whose family connection with these matters dated back to the time when his father Lord Carnock entered the Foreign Office, namely 1870, wrote:
On 13 April 1204 the western or Latin armies participating in the Fourth Crusade conquered Constantinople, the capital of Byzantium. The approaching 800th anniversary of that event has generated renewed interest in the background, context and impact of that crusade, expressed in several new studies and in conferences.
N.B. Some older browsers may not render the accented characters which appear in the Arabic translations correctly. They should display correctly in Internet Explorer 6 and Netscape 6. It has not been possible to exactly replicate accents which appear below the text and where this has occurred and underline has been substituted.
There is probably no other region in today's world whose domestic and international politics have been more personalised than the Middle East. Not only have absolute leaders dominated the regional political scene for decades, superseding state institutions and personalising the national interest, but quite a few states have been established to satisfy the personal ambitions of local rulers.