History[ edit ] Foundation and early history[ edit ] Grand Master Pierre d'Aubusson with senior knights, wearing the "Rhodian cross" on their habits.
Both of his parents were or became members of parliament for David tyerman thesis Liberal Partyand were the first married couple to sit simultaneously in Parliament. His paternal grandfather, Walter Runciman, 1st Baron Runcimanwas a shipping magnate.
Eton and Cambridge[ edit ] It is said that he was reading Latin and Greek by the age of five. In the course of his long life he would master an astonishing number of languages, so that, for example, when writing about the Middle East, he relied not only on accounts in Latin and Greek and the Western vernaculars, but consulted Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Hebrew, Syriac, Armenian and Georgian sources as well.
In he entered Trinity College, Cambridge as a history scholar and studied under J.
Burybecoming, as Runciman later claimed, falsely, "his first, and only, student". His work on the Byzantine Empire earned him a fellowship at Trinity in Work as a historian[ edit ] After receiving a large inheritance from his grandfather, Runciman resigned his fellowship in and began travelling widely.
Thus, for much of his life he was an independent scholar, living on private means. From to he was Professor of Byzantine Art and History  at Istanbul Universityin Turkeywhere he began the research on the Crusades which would lead to his best known work, the History of the Crusades three volumes appearing in, and From to he was a representative in Athens of the British Council.
Jonathan Riley-Smithone of the leading historians of the Crusades,  denounced Runciman for his perspective on the Crusades.
Less than a decade after the Second World War ended, Runciman called the Fourth Crusade the greatest crime committed against humanity. According to Andrew Robinson, a history teacher at Eton, "he played piano duets with the last Emperor of China, told tarot cards for King Fuad of Egyptnarrowly missed being blown up by the Germans in the Pera Palace hotel in Istanbul and twice hit the jackpot on slot machines in Las Vegas".
Runciman also felt that his sexuality had potentially held back his career. Max Mallowan related a conversation where Runciman told him "that he felt his life had been a failure because of his gayness".
Earlier the same year, he had made a final visit to Mount Athos to witness the blessing of the Protaton Tower at Karyes the capital of the monastic communitywhich had been refurbished thanks to a gift from him.
Riddle says that for the greater part of the twentieth century Runciman was the "greatest historian of the Crusades. It is no exaggeration to say that Runciman single-handedly crafted the current popular concept of the crusades.
The reasons for this are twofold. First, he was a learned man with a solid grasp of the chronicle sources. Second, and perhaps more important, he wrote beautifully.
The picture of the crusades that Runciman painted owed much to current scholarship yet much more to Sir Walter Scott. Throughout his history Runciman portrayed the crusaders as simpletons or barbarians seeking salvation through the destruction of the sophisticated cultures of the east.
In his famous "summing-up" of the crusades he concluded that "the Holy War in itself was nothing more than a long act of intolerance in the name of God, which is a sin against the Holy Ghost.The company has offered to pay £47m for the asset manager.
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