Crusaders were called "Latins" by some narrative sources and Mediaeval historians.

Medieval sources: Albertus Aquensis, Willermus Tyrensis

Why was this descriptive term used?

  • 1
    The question would be improved with references to some of these "narrative sources".
    – Steve Bird
    Dec 26, 2016 at 16:17
  • Medieval sources: Albertus Aquensis, Willermus Tyrensis...
    – turuncu
    Dec 26, 2016 at 16:19
  • 1
    And called Franks by others. This question is a little short on substance, and would be improved if you would edit in the sources into the question. This isn't an internet forum, and comments will often go away. Since the sources are germane to the question you are asking, include them in the question, as I have done via an edit. Dec 26, 2016 at 19:45

2 Answers 2


Crusaders are sometimes called "Latins" because they were of the Roman Catholic Church and used Latin as their liturgical and scholarly language.

The names Byzantine and Latin were not contemporaneous terms. They were invented much later by historians seeking to differentiate between the classical period of the Roman Empire, the medieval period of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the late medieval Latin Empire, all of which called themselves "Roman." The term Latin has been used because the crusaders (Franks, Venetians, and other westerners) were Roman Catholic and used Latin as their liturgical and scholarly language. It is used in contrast to the Eastern Orthodox locals who used Greek in both liturgy and common speech. - Latin Empire (Wikipedia)

  • And in fact the Byzantines routinely used "Latins" to refer to the Catholic church. Apr 21, 2018 at 13:15
  • The schism dates from 1054, the first crusade from 1096. "Catholic" meant the "universal" church, and the Byzantines were certainly not going to call the church of Rome Universal. Apr 21, 2018 at 14:04

If you're asking why the crusaders are sometimes referred to as "Latin", I believe it's to distinguish them from the followers of the "Eastern" or "Orthodox" Christian Church.

  • William of Tyre (12 th century sources) and another sources of the crusades mention "latins" for crusaders.
    – turuncu
    Dec 26, 2016 at 16:18

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