С.В. Близнюк. Латинский эллинизм и греческий латинизм в королевстве Кипр XIV–XVI вв.

С.В. Близнюк. Латинский эллинизм и греческий латинизм в королевстве Кипр XIV–XVI вв. // Исторический вестник. 2020. Т. ХXХI. С. 82—101.

S.V. Blizniuk. Latin Hellenism and Greek Latinism in the Kingdom of Cyprus in the 13th–16th centuries [Latinskij ellinizm i grecheskij latinizm v korolevstve Kipr XIV–XVI vv.]. Istoricheskij vestnik / Historical Reporter. Vol. 31. 2020. P. 82—101.

Ключевые слова: Кипр, Византия, латиняне, греки, идентичность, взаимодействие, этнические группы, культура, общество.

Key words: Cyprus, Byzantium, Latins, Greeks, identity, interaction, interference, ethnic groups, culture, mentality, society.


The article analyzes the processes of Greek-Latin dialogue, ethno-cultural Cypriot-Latin integration, the formation of the Cypriot mentality in the kingdom of the crusaders in Cyprus in the XIII–XVth centuries. The author emphasizes that the political, social and economic development of the state inevitably entailed the need for dialogue between different ethnic groups and the formation of a new social and cultural community in Cyprus. In the XIII century mutual understanding and cooperation between the two ethnic groups were greatly obstructed due to distrust and fear of the conquerors towards the conquered). The subdued, in turn, needed to learn how to live with the conquerors, how to recognize them, while at the same time preserving their own traditions, language and Orthodox faith. The Orthodox church was the most important institute, that consolidated and preserved the Greek community in the Frankish Cyprus. The situation begins to change no earlier than in the middle of the XIVth century. The Greeks themselves begin to seek common ground with the conquerors. The first example of a deep Greek-Latin cooperation is the family of the famous Cypriot chronicler Leontios Machiras. The merchants and craftsmen as a whole were more mobile, pragmatic and ready for integration. The Frankish nobility, on the contrary, was closed for a long time and prevented the formation of an elite among the indigenous population.

The Cypriot-Genoese war of 1373–1374 contributed to overcome the bias and prejudice of the Latin nobility towards the Greeks. Military and human losses as well as the political struggle at the royal court lead to a decrease in the number of Cypriot nobility. Replenishment of its ranks with new members was possible from the local population. The process of anoblation of some local Greek families begins in the end of the XIVth century and continues during the XVth century. At first, the penetration of the Greeks into the Latin nobility begins at the level of personal contacts, personal trust of the kings and of the Latin nobility towards some representatives of other ethnic groups and only then this process reaches social, juridical and political spheres. In parallel, there is a community that identifies itself as «Cypriots» forming during that time. In this case the ethnic origin doesn’t play a paramount role. A «Cypriot» means a citizenship of the Cypriot kingdom, place of birth and submission to the king. At the same time the Greek-Cypriots keep their Byzantine identity. The Greek language that penetrates into the Latin society, the Orthodox faith and historical memory helped them in this respect. The Greek-Cypriots accept the Latin society and power, considering the history of the Kingdom of Cyprus as part of the Byzantine world, and the continuation of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. Based on the analysis of manuscript collections, education, theatre, and influence of the Italian Renaissance on the royal court the author concludes, that the perception of elements of a foreign culture and their incorporation into their own lead to a change in both the Greeks and the Latins of Cyprus not only in consciousness, mentality, but also in the subconsciousness, at the psychological level. Over the long years of Latin rule the Greeks adopted a feeling of impossibility to change the situation, the need to accept the Latin conquest of the island and adapt to it. The Latins, for their part, never regarded the conquered territory as a colony, which they simply exploited. They strongly demonstrate and prove that this is their land, which they defended as their own. Such a policy increased the confidence of the local population in the new government, forced it to rally around it, and engage in a dialogue and cooperation with it. Thus, Cyprus gives a brilliant example of a deep interpenetration, infiltration and integration of Latin and Greek cultures in the XIV–XVth centuries.


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Близнюк Светлана Владимировна доктор исторических наук, доцент кафедры истории средних веков Московского государственного университета имени М.В. Ломоносова.

Svetlana V. Bliznyuk — Dr. Hab. (History), Associate Professor, Department of History of the Middle Ages Lomonosov Moscow State University.

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