Neophytes as actors in the Livonian crusades
DOI link for Neophytes as actors in the Livonian crusades
Neophytes as actors in the Livonian crusades book
This chapter addresses the role and agency of neophytes, focusing especially on the Livonian crusades. Research about the representation of native peoples of the Baltic Sea area in Christian sources has mostly focused on the images of paganism and otherness. In the Baltic Sea region, missionary activities and religious warfare had a long history. Shortly after the Saxon wars, in the ninth and tenth centuries, the newly established German bishoprics aimed to expand missionary work in the Nordic region and the Western Slavic areas. The conquest of the Wendish territories resulted in the expansion of religious warfare towards the Eastern Baltic, Livonia and Prussia. Missionary activities and campaigns to Livonia started in the late twelfth century, initiated by the Danish royal and ecclesiastical elites and Northern German clerics. The networks of communication included not only the sending of letters, but also the exchange of envoys and papal legates.