The late medieval eastern Mediterranean was a region typified by political, religious, social, economic, and cultural complexity. This volume aims to uncover some important unifying themes which can help to make sense of the region's highly fragmented and fluid polities, economies, and societies, and which may allow us to speak with confidence about the late medieval eastern Mediterranean as a coherent field of historical inquiry. This introductory chapter provides some background to the region's complexities and fluidities, especially at the level of political authority. It considers the preoccupations of the lively but rather diffuse recent historiography of the region. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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