Livonia, Rus’ and the Baltic Crusades in the Thirteenth Century


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.
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Biographical Note

Anti Selart, Ph.D. (2002) is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Tartu, Estonia. He has published on the Baltic Crusades and the mediaeval and 16th-century history of the Baltic region and Russia.

Table of contents

Preface ix
List of Abbreviations x
Introduction 1
1 The Religious Frontier in Eastern Europe in the Twelfth Century 20
1.1 The Schism and the Russian Church 20
1.2 Relations between the Russian Principalities and their Western
Neighbours 28
1.3 The Crusades and the Schismatics 42
1.4 The Mission from Denmark and Bremen to the Eastern
Baltic Coast 47
1.5 The Papal Curia and North-Eastern Europe 55
Part 1
2 The Beginning of the Crusades in Livonia and their Impact
on Rus’ 61
2.1 The Influence of Rus’ on the Eastern Baltic Coast at the End of the
Twelfth Century 61
2.2 Bishop Meinhard of Livonia, Polotsk, and the Mission to the Livs 75
2.3 The Crusade in Livonia under Bishop Albert of Riga
(1199–1229) 84
2.3.1 The Rigan Church and the Daugava Principalities 89
2.3.2 The Conquest of Lettgallia 107
2.3.3 The Conquest of Estonia 115
3 Livonia and Rus’ in the 1230s and 1240s 127
3.1 Livonia, Pskov, and Novgorod c. 1230 127
3.2 The Legation of Baldwin of Aulne 129
3.3 The Treaty of Stensby of 1238 and the Military Campaigns against
Rus’ of 1240–42 142
3.3.1 The Battle of the Neva in 1240 147
3.3.2 The Conquest of Votia in 1240–41 154
3.3.3 Livonia and Pskov, 1240–42 159
4 Rus’ in the Catholic Sources from the First Half of the
Thirteenth Century 171
4.1 The Sources for South-Western Rus’ 171
4.2 Rutheni in the Chronicle of Henry of Livonia 179
4.3 Papal Policy: Livonia and Rus’ 183
4.4 Papal Policy: Finland and Rus’ 190
Part 2
5 Relations between Rus’ and Livonia under Archbishop Albert Suerbeer
(1245–73) 197
5.1 The Foundation of the Archbishopric of Riga 197
5.2 Polotsk, Livonia, and Lithuania 199
5.3 The Attempts at Church Union in South-Western Rus’ and the
Legation of Albert Suerbeer 210
5.4 The Attempts at Church Union in Northern and
North-Western Rus’ 218
5.5 Didman’s Votia Campaign of 1256 229
6 Livonia and Rus’, 1260–1330 234
6.1 Prince Dovmont’s Seizure of Power in Pskov 234
6.2 Livonia, Lithuania, and Polotsk 236
6.3 The Battle of Wesenberg in 1268 242
6.4 Livonia, Novgorod, and Pskov, 1270–80 252
6.5 The Internal Conflict in Livonia 259
6.6 Livonia and Rus’ in the 1320s 270
7 Russian Principalities in the Eastern European Sources, 1250–1350 279
7.1 The Papacy, the Mongols, and Rus’ 279
7.2 The Role of Rus’ in the Disputes between the Teutonic Order,
the Archbishop of Riga, and the City of Riga 286
7.3 Rus’ and its Western Neighbours in the First Half of the
Fourteenth Century 292
Conclusion 309
Appendix 312
Secular and Ecclesiastical Rulers 312
Genealogical Tables 314
Map: Livonia and its Neighbours in the Thirteenth Century 316
Map: North-Eastern Europe in the Thirteenth Century 317
Multilingual Place-Name Concordance 318
Bibliography 325
Primary Sources 325
Secondary Literature 332
Index 373


All interested in history of the crusades, the history of eastern and northern Europe, Baltic and Russian history, the Teutonic Knights, mission, and interconfessional relations.


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