Crusading at the Edges of Europe : Denmark and Portugal c.1000 � c.1250 book cover
1st Edition

Crusading at the Edges of Europe
Denmark and Portugal c.1000 � c.1250

ISBN 9780367881405
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
402 Pages

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Book Description

This book is the first to compare Denmark and Portugal systematically in the High Middle Ages and demonstrates how the two countries became strong kingdoms and important powers internationally by their participation in the crusading movement.

Communication in the Middle Ages was better developed than often assumed and institutions, ideas, and military technology was exchanged rapidly, meaning it was possible to coordinate great military expeditions across the geographical periphery of Western Europe. Both Denmark and Portugal were closely connected to the sea and developed strong fleets, at the entrance to the Baltic and in the Mediterranean Seas respectively. They also both had religious borders, to the pagan Wends and to the Muslims, that were pushed forward in almost continuous crusades throughout the centuries.

Crusading at the Edges of Europe follows the major campaigns of the kings and crusaders in Denmark and Portugal and compares war-technology and crusading ideology, highlighting how the countries learned from each other and became organised for war.

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Figures


  1. The Letter to Chief Librarian Bruun

  2. Were There Any Crusades in the Periphery?

  3. The Missionary Wars of the 11th Century: Precursors of the Crusades

  4. Is the Edge of the World Far Away?

  5. The Extending of Jerusalem

  6. Afonso and Valdemar: The Victorious Crusader Kings

  7. The Struggle for Land and History

  8. The Rise and Fall of the Crusader Kingdoms

  9. Syncretism and Regimentation

  10. Co-ordinated Crusades in North and South?

  11. Conclusion


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Kurt Villads Jensen is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Stockholm, Sweden.