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Ideology and Holy Landscape in the Baltic Crusades

242 pages
Amsterdam University Press

This book examines how the military orders and the ideology of crusading gave rise to a new sacred landscape in the medieval Baltic region, an outpost of Latin Christianity. Drawing on a wide variety of sources and international scholarship, the book discusses the paganism of the landscape in written sources pre-dating the crusades, in addition to the narrative, legal, and visual evidence of the crusade period. It draws out the key sacralizing elements as expressed in those sources, which structure the definition of sacred landscape, particularly martyrdom, the manifestation of the sacred, and use of relics in battle. By analyzing these aspects with Geographical Information Systems (GIS), a map of the Baltic campaigns emerges that provides a fresh approach to studying contemporary views of holy war in a region with no initial links to the loca sancta of Jerusalem or Europe.

Author Bio
Gregory Leighton ================

Gregory Leighton earned his PhD in History (2018) from Cardiff University, where he studied the Teutonic Order and crusading in Prussia and Livonia. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of History at Nicholas Copernicus University in Torun.