Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

David Bachrach

Second Advisor

Michael Leese

Third Advisor

Ann Zimo


Historians have debated the role of stereotypes and hostile language in the diversion of the Fourth Crusade to Constantinople mostly through the outdated "Clash of Civilizations" lens. This work investigates the role of hostile stereotypes in both Western and Byzantine narrative histories discussing the first four crusades through a deep textual and literary analysis. This work argues that contemporary narrative histories from the first four crusades demonstrate that virulently hostile attitudes abounded in both Byzantine and Western sources, and that these attitudes greatly affected diplomatic and political decision making during Byzantine-Crusader interactions from 1096-1204. This work's close textual examination of narrative histories throughout this period will provide unique value to furthering the understanding of the role of stereotypes and hostile language in political and diplomatic decision making during Byzantine-Crusader interactions.