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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents an overview of this book, which shows how papal crusading policy in the Baltic region was formed and how it developed in first century, from Eugenius III’s proclamation of the crusade against the pagan Slavs in 1147 to the end of Pope Innocent IV’s pontificate in 1254. Highlighting the interplay between canon law and theology, politics and the Church’s pastoral concerns, it analyses the papal stand and the causes and impetus behind the changes that occurred. The book examines the papacy’s perception of the campaigns, the intentions stated, the rewards granted as well as the extent of papal involvement in the organization and implementation of the campaigns. It also discusses the character and importance the popes ascribed to the Baltic expeditions and whether the various popes considered them to be on a par with the crusades undertaken in aid of the Holy Land.

Keywords: Baltic region; Eugenius III; Holy Land; papal crusading policy; Pope Innocent IV



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