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Further information: Names of the Levant
The Near East in 1135, with the Crusader states of Outremer marked with red crosses.
Illustration from the Old French translation of Guillaume de Tyr's Histoire d'Outremer

Outremer (French: outre-mer), for "overseas", was a general name given to the Crusader states established after the First Crusade: the County of Edessa, the Principality of Antioch, the County of Tripoli and especially the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The name was often equated to the Levant of Renaissance. The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia had its origins before the Crusades, but was granted the status of a kingdom by Pope Innocent III, and later became fully westernised by the French House of Lusignan.

The term was, in general, used to refer to any land "overseas"; for example, King Louis IV of France was called "Louis d'Outremer" as he was raised in England.

In the Chanson de Roland, "Outremer" is used as the name of a Muslim country - one of the many countries participating in the general mobilization of the Muslim World against Christianity at the climax of the plot.

Present-day use[edit]

The modern term outre-mer, spelled with a hyphen and equally meaning "overseas", is notably used for the overseas departments and territories of France (In French: Départements d'outre-mer – Territoires d'outre-mer or DOM – TOM, collectively Pays et territoires d'outre-mer (PTOM)).


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