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The Popes And The Baltic Crusades: Conclusions And Reflections

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Chapter Summary

The papal policy on the Baltic crusades from Pope Eugenius III’s proclamation of a crusade against the pagan Slavs in 1147 to the end of Pope Innocent IV’s pontificate in 1254 was not a gradually evolving one. The first half of this period saw great discontinuity with the papal policy varying considerably from pope to pope, as some of Eugenius’s successors did not regard these campaigns as equal to the crusades in aid of the Holy Land. From Pope Honorius III’s pontificate onwards, however, the papal line was consistent and the Baltic campaigns were recognized as being on a par with the crusades undertaken in the East. There were no attempts to resurrect the fight against the pagans or to expand the Christian faith under papal leadership.

Keywords: Baltic Crusades; Christian faith; pagan Slavs; papal policy; Popes



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