The Popes and the Baltic Crusades 1147-1254


The Popes and the Baltic Crusades examines the extension of the crusading idea from the Holy Land to the Baltic region. Highlighting the interplay between canon law, missionary ideas and politics, it shows how papal policy on the campaigns against the pagan peoples of north-eastern Europe developed from Pope Eugenius III’s proclamation of a crusade against the Slavs in 1147 to the end of Innocent IV’s pontificate in 1254. It also discusses the interaction between Rome and the princes and bishops of the Baltic region and demonstrates how these local leaders influenced papal crusading policy. The volume shows the variety of the crusading movement of the central Middle Ages and offers a contribution to the ongoing debate about the nature and definition of crusading.
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Biographical Note

Iben Fonnesberg-Schmidt, Ph.D. (2004) in Medieval History, University of Cambridge, is currently working at Aalborg University in Denmark. The main focus of her research is the papacy's policies on the crusades and mission in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

Review Quotes

“An important book..”

William Urban in Speculum 83/1, Jan 2008

Table of contents

Acknowledgements .. ix
Abbreviations .. xi
Note on Names .. xiii
Maps .. xv

Introduction .. 1
Sources and literature .. 13

Chapter One: Papal policy on the Baltic crusades to 1198 .. 23
The pontificate of Eugenius III (1145–53) .. 27
Mission and crusade in the Baltic region during the pontificate of Alexander III (1159–81) .. 52
The later twelfth century .. 65
Conclusions .. 75

Chapter Two: Innocent III (1198–1216) and the crusades in the Baltic region .. 79
Innocent III and the Baltic crusades .. 91
Innocent III and mission among non-Christians .. 113
Innocent III and the care for the newly converted .. 117
Conclusions .. 128

Chapter Three: Honorius III (1216–27) and the crusades in the Baltic region .. 133
Honorius III and the Baltic crusades .. 136
Honorius III and the Dominicans .. 153
Honorius III and mission among non-Christians .. 162
Honorius III and the new Church in the Baltic region .. 179
Conclusions .. 183

Chapter Four: Papal policy on the Baltic crusades during the pontificates of Gregory IX (1227–41) and Innocent IV (1243–54) .. 187
Crusades in Prussia during the pontificate of Gregory IX .. 192
Gregory IX and the crusades in Livonia, Estonia and Finland .. 206
Gregory IX, the mendicant orders and the conversion of non-Christians .. 210
The curia and the campaigns against the Russians .. 215
Innocent IV and the Prussian crusades .. 224
Innocent IV and the royal Danish crusades in the Baltic .. 235
Innocent IV and mission among non-Christians .. 239
The Baltic crusades after Innocent IV .. 240
Conclusions .. 246

Chapter Five The popes and the Baltic crusades: conclusions and reflections .. 249

Bibliography .. 257

Index .. 277


Academic libraries; graduate students and academics interested in the Baltic crusades; the crusading movement of the 12th and 13th centuries in general; history of the Church; papal policy-making; mission.


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