Discussed is the first part (events from ca.1180-ca.1205) of the Chronicle of Henry of Livonia (written ca. 1224-1227). The chronicle is, even if factually and chronologically mostly correct, an extremely apologetic work. Henry defends the Church of Riga here, toning down its internal conflicts and keeping silent about issues unbecoming to it. Describing the very beginning of the history of the Bishopric of Riga and the military order of the Brethren of the Sword, Henry presents almost only episodes, legitimising the Rigan crusades. According to the chronicle, Riga (and not the King of Denmark, or other counterparts of Riga) had not only all legal, moral and divine authoris ations, but also the historical priority in Christianisation of Livonia.
This monograph by Anti Selart is the first comprehensive study available in English on the relations between northern crusaders and Rus'. Selart re-examines the central issues of this crucial period of establishing the medieval relations of the Catholic and Orthodox worlds like the Battle on the Ice (1242) and the role of Alexander Nevsky using the relevant source material of both “sides”. He also considers the wide context of the history of crusading and the whole Eastern and Northern Europe from Hungary and Poland to Denmark, Finland, and Sweden in 1180-1330. This monograph contests the existence of the constitutive religious conflict and extensive aggressive strategies in the region – the ideas which had played a central role in modern historiography and ideology.