Crusaders and Muslims each applied to their conflict in the Latin East a doctrine of holy war. Although so ideological a stance toward each other would seem to preclude peacemaking efforts, some 120 treaties were signed between parties to the conflict during the two-century Latin presence in the Holy Land (1097 – 1291). Explored here is how each party overcame this incongruity between ideology and praxis and sought a “small peace,” which is temporary and practical, rather than “great peace,” which is a final settlement. Features of these peace-making efforts examined here include the temporal nature of the treaties, the need for a pretext for making peace, gestural language and public ceremonies, gift giving, meal sharing, and oath taking that demonstrate familiarity with one's opponent's beliefs. Also considered is the interplay between state and nonstate entities in peacemaking endeavors and how it reflected the balance of power in the medieval Latin arena. The article concludes with a brief consideration of the shifting historical circumstances that ended medieval peacemaking in the East.
Skip Nav Destination
Research Article| January 01 2015
Yvonne Friedman; HOW TO END HOLY WAR: Negotiations and Peace Treaties between Muslims and Crusaders in the Latin East. Common Knowledge 1 January 2015; 21 (1): 83–103. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0961754X-2818037
Download citation file: