By the mid-twelfth century the lands on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, from Finland to the frontiers of Poland, were Catholic Europe’s final frontier: a vast, undeveloped expanse of lowlands, forest and waters, inhabited by peoples belonging to the Finnic and Baltic language groups. In the course of the following three centuries, Finland, Estonia, Livonia and Prussia were incorporated into the Latin world through processes of conquest, Christianisation and settlement, and brought under the rule of Western monarchies and ecclesiastical institutions. Lithuania was left as the last pagan polity in Europe, yet able to accept Christianity on its own terms in 1386. The Western conquest of the Baltic lands advanced the frontier of Latin Christendom to that of the Russian Orthodox world, and had profound and long lasting effects on the institutions, society and culture of the region lasting into modern times. This volume presents 21 key studies (2 of them translated from German for the first time) on this crucial period in the development of North-Eastern Europe, dealing with crusade and conversion, the establishment of Western rule, settlement and society, and the development of towns, trade and the economy. It includes a classified bibliography of the main works published in Western languages since World War II together with an introduction by the editor.
Contents: Introduction. Part One Historiographical Approaches: Crusades and colonisation in the Baltic: a historiographic analysis, Sven Ekdahl; Approaches to the conversion of the Finns: ideologies, symbols, and archaeological features, Derek Fewster; Part Two Crusade, Conquest and Conversion: Sweden's conquest of Finland: a clash of cultures?, Philip Line; From Fulco to Theoderic: the changing face of the Livonian mission, Peep Peter Rebane; The military activity of the Order of the Sword Brothers (1202-1236), Ä’valds MugureviÄs; Military orders and the beginning of crusades in Prussia, Maria Starnawska; Prussian mission and the invitation of the Teutonic Order into Kulmerland, LÃ¡szlÃ³ PÃ³sÃ¡n; The arrival of Christianity in Lithuania: baptism and survival (1341-1387), Michal Giedroy. Part Three State Formation: Acquisition of the acquired: the establishing of a real administration in Livonia, Muntis Auns; The military occupation of Semgallia in the 13th century, William Urban; Estonia under Danish rule, Niels Skyum-Nielsen; The Teutonic Order in Prussia, Karol GÃ³rski. Part Four Population and Society: Finns as aliens and compatriots in the late medieval kingdom of Sweden, Marko Lamberg; Genesis of the Livonian town in the 13th century, Enn Tarvel; Interactions between indigenous and Western culture in Livonia in the 13th to 16th centuries, Ä’valds MugureviÄs; Languages in a medieval North European city: an example from medieval Tallinn, Tiina Kala; The Teutonic Order and the non-German population of Prussia, Reinhard Wenskus. Part Five Economy: The profits of the Cross: merchant involvement in the Baltic crusade (c. 1180-1230), Mark R. Munzinger; The Hanseatic League and the Eastern Baltic: towns, trade and politics in medieval Livonia from the 13th to the mid-16th century, Andris Å ne. Index.
The 'rise of the west' is the most familiar and most elusive topic in global history. Everyone agrees it happened. No one can say how, when, where or why, without provoking dissent. Yet the world we inhabit is, by universal acknowledgement, the outcome.
In recent years, controversy has focussed on the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries - the 'early modern period', when Western expansion became a conspicuous phenomenon in a world of colliding empires and unprecedented long-range cultural exchange. But, like most such apparently new departures in history, Western European activity in the 'expanding world' of early modernity is best understood against a background of long, sometimes faltering preparation in the Middle Ages.
Therefore, following the success of the series An Expanding World, a series of key papers on the period, published by Routledge and edited by A.J.R. Russell-Wood, Ashgate has commissioned an attempt to collect cutting-edge research on the medieval background and events of European expansion. Felipe Fernandez-Armesto and James Muldoon have gathered classic and key contributions from learned journals and other arcane publications to give readers a conspectus of knowledge, analysis and reflection on the history of the frontiers, mental horizons, internal expansion and means of growth of Latin Christendom from the eleventh to the early sixteenth centuries.