chapter  8
39 Pages

From confrontation to coexistence: the Golden Horde

In December 1273 a report by Bishop Bruno of Olmütz (Olomouc),submitted to Pope Gregory X in advance of the Second Council of Lyons, painted a depressing picture of the eastern regions of Latin Europe. Hungary was gravely afflicted by the turbulence of the pagan Cumans. Its queen (Elizabeth, the consort of István V) was a Cuman, and two of her daughters were betrothed to rulers from among the schismatic Rus′. Poland was under constant pressure from the pagan Lithuanians. It was through these territories that the Mongols had mounted attacks in the past, and they would surely do so again. The German princes were united only in their determination to have no master, and were incapable of defending the Christian cause in Europe or the Holy Land.1