You are here:Home/Research/ Byzantine Studies/ Fellows and Visiting Scholars/ Latin Culture in the Crusader States (1099–1187)

Latin Culture in the Crusader States (1099–1187)

Julian Yolles, Harvard University, William R. Tyler Fellow 2013–2015

During my stay at Dumbarton Oaks, I divided my time between my dissertation and my work for the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library. The vast holdings at Dumbarton Oaks of primary and secondary literature on the crusades enabled me to produce the first systematic overview of the extant Latin literary sources of the Latin East. In the second half of the dissertation, I argue that writers in the crusader states actively engaged with their cultural identity, particularly in relation to the West, and sought to define themselves by turning to classical, biblical, and Carolingian models. This process of cultural self-definition also took place within institutional contexts, as newly established institutions such as the Templum Domini composed narratives to distinguish themselves within the dynamic landscape of the Holy Land. My research was greatly aided by the feedback that I received from the interdisciplinary group of scholars at Dumbarton Oaks; on numerous occasions, the fellows generously provided me with helpful criticisms, showed me relevant parallels, and opened up new ways of thinking. During the spring term, I worked full time for the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library. I proofread a number of volumes for the medieval Latin subseries and coordinated with translators, and I utilized my skills as a philologist to ensure that English translations matched the Latin texts clearly and faithfully and that adequate notes were provided for the benefit of a general audience.