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Sources And Literature

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Chapter Summary

A series of narrative sources contains information about the expeditions against pagans and the missionary work in the Baltic in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The Danish chronicler Saxo, who wrote the Gesta Danorum around 1200, described the Danish activities, while the older version of the Chronicle of Novgorod informs us of those Swedish campaigns against Finland which brought the Swedes into contact with the lands tributary to Novgorod. An analysis of papal policy on the Baltic crusades must, of course, mainly be based on the letters issued by the curia. The expansion of papal authority and activity led to an increased correspondence and to changes in the papal chancery as more business was brought before the curia, but it is impossible to ascertain with any certainty how many letters were issued during the various pontificates.

Keywords: Baltic crusades; narrative sources; pagans; papal policy

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