The Ottoman Threat and Crusading on the Eastern Border of Christendom during the 15th Century


In The Ottoman Threat and Crusading on the Eastern Border of Christendom during the Fifteenth Century Liviu Pilat and Ovidiu Cristea focus on less-known aspects of the later crusades in Eastern Europe, examining the ideals of holy war and political pragmatism. They analyze the Ottoman threat and crusading as political themes through a unifying vision based in the political realities of the fifteenth century and the complex relationship between crusading, Ottoman expansion, and the political interests of the Christian states in the region. Approaching the relationship between the borders of Christendom and crusading as a highly complex phenomenon, Pilat and Cristea introduce new elements to the image of Latin Christendom's frontier from the perspective of Catholic-Orthodox relations, frontier ideology, and crusading rhetoric in political propaganda.

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Liviu Pilat, Ph.D. (2007), "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" University, is Professor of Medieval History at that university. He has published monographs and articles on various aspects of Central and Eastern Europe political history in the fifteenth century.
Ovidiu Cristea, Ph. D. (2003), Institute of History "Nicolae Iorga", is senior researcher at the same centre of historical research. He has published monographs and articles concerning the Venetian presence in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean in the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries, on the Later Crusades and on the political history of late medieval Wallachia and Moldavia.
"There is no area of medieval history more obscure than Moldavia and Wallachia. Consequently, this book will be heartily welcomed by specialists in Polish, Romanian, Hungarian, and Turkish history. The authors are thoroughly familiar with the mass of materials in multiple languages, both in original sources and the most recent publications. [...] Summing Up: Highly recommended." W. L. Urban, Monmouth College (IL), Choice, vol. 55 no. 10,(June 2018).

''The freshness of the volume stems from its angle of investigation. [...] The region of the Black Sea has, until recently, been much neglected as a theater of crusading. Pilat and Cristea bring forward new ideas to bring current research on the later Crusades to life. They make one realize that crusading in the fifteenth century was not restricted to the anti-Ottoman struggle undertaken by Hunyadi and Skanderbeg, or the steadfast efforts of Pius II or John of Capistrano, but involved much more. In their pluralist interpretation this area is a genuine theater of crusading and should rightfully be included in the concept of a universal propugnaculum in the minds of contemporaries, even though this area has often been overshadowed in historical scholarship by other, more dominant spheres of crusading research. [...] The volume puts forward new considerations regarding the complexity of the frontiers of Christendom and will be most useful to researchers and as an educational resource in the university, making the history of the medieval Pontic region more accessible to an international readership''. Attila Bárány in Speculum vol. 94, no. 4. (October 2019).

''The Ottoman Threat and Crusading on the Eastern Border of Christendom is a paragon of primary research. Moreover, the authors seem to have read every relevant secondary article and book. Their English prose is proper and the book features color illustrations,footnotes, a bibliography and index. The volume will provide a valuable reference for a broad range of scholars''. Lucien Frary, in Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 8 (2018).

List of Maps and Illustrations

 The Sources
 Ottoman Threat and Crusading
 Frontier Societies and the Eastern Border of Christendom
 Crusading, Information and Propaganda

1 Crusade and Commercial Hegemony in the Black Sea from the Fourth Crusade to the Ottoman Conquest
 The Fourth Crusade and its Consequences in the Black Sea Area
 The Genoese Hegemony in the Black Sea, the Venetian Reaction and the Crusade
 The Hungarian—Venetian Rivalry and the Ottoman Threat
 From the “War of Tenedos” to the Crusade of Nicopolis
 Kilia as an Outpost in Hungary’s Crusading Projects

2 The Eastern Border and the Struggle for Supremacy in the Northern Black Sea
 Ottoman Threat, Christian Solidarity and Political Rivalry
 The Eastern Border in Sigismund of Luxembourg’s Plans
 Ottoman Threat and Crusading in Jagiello’s Policy
 Witold’s Ambition to Control North-Western Black Sea
 A Failed Anti-Ottoman Campaign
 The Eastern Border and the Teutonic Knights
 Schismatics, Heretics and Crusaders

3 The Union of Florence, Crusade and Ottoman Hegemony in the Black Sea
 The Fail of the Union in Eastern Europe
 Crusade Plans and Political Contradictions
 John Hunyadi, Kilia and the Fall of Constantinople
 The Eastern Border of Christendom, Mehmed II and the Byzantine Legacy
 Crusading Versus Economic Interests

4 Crusade and Political Propaganda in the Last Years of Mehmed II
 The Crusade of Pope Sixtus IV
 A Schismatic Crusader
 Diplomatic Actions of Venice
 A Great Christian Victory
 Matthias Corvinus Propaganda
 A Plan of the Annihilation of Mehmed II and the Fall of Caffa
 Moldavia the “Gateway of Christendom”
 The Campaign of Mehmed II in Moldavia
 One Battle, More Victories
 A New Crusade Plan: Reconquest of Caffa
 The Crusade of Otranto and its Eastern Implications

5 The Eastern Border of Christendom and the Ottoman Conquest of Black Sea
 The Ottoman Campaign of 1484 and Venetian Intelligence
 Ottoman Threat Ascending
 Ottoman Pressure and Crusading in Poland
 A Failed Crusade Expedition
 The Eastern Border and the Congress of Rome
 Coalition against Jagiellons

6 The Crusade against Ottomans and the Political Backdrop in East-Central Europe at the End of the Fifteenth Century
 The “Crusade” of Jan Olbracht
 Crusade Rhetoric and Political Propaganda
 Crusade Rumours in Venice and Ottoman Propaganda
 New Plans of Crusade
 Between Crusade and the Defence of the Greek-Orthodox Faith
 Discussions on Crusade in Muscovy
 The Peace


All interested in the complexities of crusading history and in lesser known aspects of political history from Central and Eastern Europe during the fifteenth century.
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