Kingdom of Hungary (1301–1526)
In the Late Middle Ages, the Kingdom of Hungary, a country in Central Europe, experienced a period of interregnum in the early 14th century. Royal power was restored under a scion of the Capetian House of Anjou. Gold and silver mines opened in his reign produced about one third of the world's total production up until the 1490s; the kingdom reached the peak of its power under Louis the Great who led military campaigns against Lithuania, southern Italy and other faraway territories. The expansion of the Ottoman Empire reached the kingdom under Sigismund of Luxemburg. In the next decades, a talented military commander, John Hunyadi directed the fight against the Ottomans, his victory at Nándorfehérvár in 1456 stabilized the southern frontiers for more than half a century. The first king of Hungary without dynastic ancestry was Matthias Corvinus, who led several successful military campaigns and became the King of Bohemia and the Duke of Austria. With his patronage Hungary became the first country.
The Kingdom of Hungary came into being when Stephen I, grand prince of the Hungarians, was crowned king in 1000 or 1001. He forced his subjects to accept Christianity. Although written sources emphasize the role played by German and Italian knights and clerics in the process, a significant part of the Hungarian vocabulary for agriculture and state was taken from Slavic languages. Civil wars, pagan uprisings and the Holy Roman Emperors' unsuccessful attempts to expand their authority over Hungary jeopardized the new monarchy, its position stabilized under Ladislaus Coloman. Following the succession crisis in Croatia as a result of their campaign the Kingdom of Croatia entered a personal union with the Kingdom of Hungary in 1102. Both them were regarded as a successor by hereditary rights Coloman was crowned in Biograd in 1102 and the title now claimed by Coloman was "King of Hungary and Croatia". Rich in uncultivated lands and in silver and salt deposits, the kingdom became a preferred target of the continuous immigration of German and French colonists.
The colonists were peasants who settled in villages, but large number of townsfolk arrived as craftsmen and merchants. Their arrival contributed to the development of Esztergom, Székesfehérvár and many other cities and large number of villages in various parts of the Kingdom. Situated at the crossroads of international trade routes, Hungary was affected by several cultural trends. Romanesque and Renaissance buildings, literary works written in Latin prove the predominantly Roman Catholic character of the culture of the Kingdom, but Orthodox, non-Christian ethnic minority communities existed. Latin was the language of legislation and judiciary, but "linguistic pluralism" contributed to the survival of a number of tongues, including a great variety of Slavic dialects; the predominance of royal estates ensured the sovereign's preeminent position, but the alienation of royal lands gave rise to the emergence of a self-conscious group of lesser landholders. They forced Andrew II to issue his Golden Bull of 1222, "one of first examples of constitutional limits being placed on the powers of a European monarch".
The kingdom received a major blow from the Mongol invasion of 1241–1242. Thereafter Cuman and Jassic groups were settled in the central lowlands and colonists arrived from Moravia and other nearby countries. Andrew III died on January 14, 1301, his death created an opportunity for about a dozen lords, or "oligarchs", who had by that time achieved de facto independence of the monarch to strengthen their autonomy. They acquired all royal castles in a number of counties where everybody was obliged either to accept their supremacy or to leave. For instance, Matthew III Csák ruled over fourteen counties in the lands now forming Slovakia, Ladislaus Kán administered Transylvania, Ugrin Csák controlled large territories between the rivers Száva and Dráva. At the news of Andrew III's death, Charles of Anjou, the late Charles Martel's son hurried to Esztergom where he was crowned king. However, most secular lords opposed his rule and proposed the throne to King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia's namesake son; the young Wenceslaus could not strengthen his position and renounced in favor of Otto III, Duke of Bavaria in 1305.
The latter was forced to leave the kingdom in 1307 by Ladislaus Kán. A papal legate persuaded all the lords to accept Charles of Anjou's rule in 1310, but most territories remained out of royal control. Assisted by the prelates and a growing number of lesser nobles, Charles I launched a series of expeditions against the great lords. Taking advantage of the lack of unity among them, he defeated them one by one, he won his first victory in the battle of Rozgony in 1312. However, the most powerful lord, Matthew Csák preserved his autonomy up until his death in 1321, while the Babonić and Šubić families were only subjugated in 1323. Charles I introduced a centralized power structure in the 1320s. Stating that "his words has the force of law", he never again convoked the Diet, his most faithful partisans depended on revenues from their temporary honours, because the king made land grants. This practice ensured the loyalty of the Drugeths, Lackfis, Szécsényis and other families who emerged in his reign.
The king afforded to grant privileges which contradicted customary law. For instance, he authorized daughters of noblemen to inherit their fathers' estates, although local customs required that a deceased nobleman's inherited lands were to be trans
The Wendish Crusade was a military campaign in 1147, one of the Northern Crusades and a part of the Second Crusade, led by the Kingdom of Germany within the Holy Roman Empire and directed against the Polabian Slavs. The Wends are made up of the Slavic tribes of Abrotrites, Liutizians and Pomeranians who lived east of the River Elbe in present-day northeast Germany and Poland; the lands inhabited by the Wends were rich in resources, which played a factor in the motivations of those who participated in the crusade. The mild climate of the Baltic area allowed for the cultivation of livestock. Animals of this region were thickly furred, supporting the dependence on fur trading. Access to the coast line developed fishing and trade networks; the land was attractive for the resources it boasted, the crusade offered an opportunity for noble families to gain part of it. By the early 12th century, the German archbishoprics of Bremen and Magdeburg sought the conversion to Christianity of neighboring pagan West Slavs through peaceful means.
During the preparation of the Second Crusade to the Holy Land, a papal bull was issued supporting a crusade against these Slavs. The Slavic leader Niklot preemptively invaded Wagria in June 1147, leading to the march of the crusaders that summer, they were repulsed from Demmin. Another crusading army marched on the Christian city of Szczecin, whereupon the crusaders dispersed upon arrival; the Christian army, composed of Saxons and Danes, forced tribute from the pagan Slavs and affirmed German control of Wagria and Polabia through colonization, but failed to convert the bulk of the population immediately. The Ottonian dynasty supported eastward expansion of the Holy Roman Empire towards Wendish lands during the 10th century; the campaigns of King Henry the Fowler and Emperor Otto the Great led to the introduction of burgwards to protect German conquests in the lands of the Sorbs. Otto's lieutenants, Margraves Gero and Hermann Billung, advanced eastward and northward to claim tribute from conquered Slavs.
Bishoprics were established at Meissen, Brandenburg and Oldenburg to administer the territory. A majority of Wendish tribes had been Christianized from the German conquests, but in 983 they returned to paganism when a great Slavic rebellion reversed the initial German gains. While the burgwards allowed the Saxons to retain control of Meissen, they lost Brandenburg and Havelberg; the Elbe River became the eastern limit of German-Roman control. By the early 12th century, the Archbishoprics of Bremen and Gniezno sought the conversion of the pagan Slavs to Christianity through peaceful means: notable missionaries included Vicelin, Norbert of Xanten, Otto of Bamberg. Lacking support from the Salian dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire, secular Saxon princes seeking Slavic territory found themselves in a military stalemate with their adversaries. Christians Saxons from Holstein, pagans raided each other across the Limes Saxonicus for tribute; the idea of a crusade against the Wends first originated in the Magdeburg Letter sent around 1107 to 1110, in which an anonymous author makes an appeal against the Wends.
The Magdeburg Letter makes the case that the Wends are pagans and that any fight against them is justified and the land that they inhabit is "our Jerusalem". In the letter no formal spiritual indulgence is offered apart from a general salvation of the soul, but an emphasis is put on acquiring land; the author says, "these gentiles are most wicked, but their land is the best, rich in meat, honey and birds. So say those who know it, and so, most renowned Saxon, French and Flemings and conquerors of the world, this is an occasion for you to save your souls and, if you wish it, acquire the best land in which to live." The references made to the wealth of resources in the Slavic lands would have been appealing to those who were motivated by material gain. The Magdeburg letter established the ideas of a northern crusade and land acquisition that would come to play defining roles of the Wendish Crusade. From 1140-43 Holsatian nobles advanced into Wagria to permanently settle in the lands of the pagan Wagri.
Count Adolf II of Holstein and Henry of Badewide took control of Polabian settlements which would become Lübeck and Ratzeburg. Adolf sought peace with the chief of the Obodrite confederacy and encouraged German colonization and missionary activity in Wagria; the fall of Edessa in Syria in 1144 shocked Christendom, causing Pope Eugenius III and St. Bernard of Clairvaux to preach a Second Crusade to reinforce Outremer. While many south Germans volunteered to crusade in the Middle East, the north German Saxons were reluctant, they told Bernard of their desire to campaign against the Slavs at a Reichstag meeting in Frankfurt on 13 March 1147. The Wends were seen as a threat to Christendom as they were apostates, meaning the crusade against them would be justified. Approving of the Saxons' plan, Pope Eugenius III issued a papal bull known as the Divina dispensatione on 11 April 1147; as part of the bull, Eugenius III fulfilled and validated a promise made by Bernard that the same indulgences would be offered to those who crusaded against the Wends as those who went to fight in the Middle East.
These indulgences offered a complete forgiveness of sin, meaning there was to be no difference between the spiritual rewards of the different cru
The Savoyard crusade was born out of the same planning that led to the Alexandrian Crusade. It was the brainchild of Pope Urban V and was led by Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy, against the Ottoman Empire in eastern Europe. Although intended as a collaboration with the Kingdom of Hungary and the Byzantine Empire, the crusade was diverted to attack the Second Bulgarian Empire, where it made small gains that it handed over to the Byzantines, it made small gains against the Ottomans on Gallipoli. Noting the greater attention paid to Bulgaria than to the Turks, historian Nicolae Iorga argued "it was not the same thing as a crusade, this expedition that better resembled an escapade." Yet the taking of Gallipoli, according to Oskar Halecki, was "the first success achieved by the Christians in their struggle for the defense of Europe, at the same time the last great Christian victory during all the fourteenth century." On 31 March 1363, Good Friday, at Papal Avignon, the kings of France and Cyprus, John II and Peter I, took crusading vows to go to the Holy Land and received from Pope Urban V the sign of the cross to sew on their garments as a sign of their vow.
This was the beginning of the Savoyard crusade, although John II would never fulfill his vow and Peter I did not cooperate with the count of Savoy in the venture. The latter did not make his crusading vow before Urban V, until 19 January 1364, when a council of regional magnates was held at Avignon to form a league against the marauding free companies; this was the occasion when the pope bestowed on Amadeus the Golden Rose, the count founded the chivalric Order of the Collar to replace his earlier, defunct, Order of the Black Swan. The original members of the Order of the Collar were devoted followers, relatives, of Amadeus and all were pledged to accompany him on crusade. In the event, all but two who could not go for reasons of health, travelled east; the Order, like the crusade, was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The deadline established for the departure of the crusade was 1 March 1365, although the pope expected both Peter of Cyprus and Amadeus of Savoy to depart earlier; the deadline was met by nobody, although on 27 June the king of Cyprus left Venice on the Alexandrian Crusade.
In May 1363, Urban had made an appeal to Louis I of Hungary for a crusade against the Turks, the king spent the winter of 1364–65 preparing an army for a major offensive designed to push the Turks out of Europe. In January 1365, as reported at Venice, ten galleys were being gathered in Provence for Louis's use, Louis had issued a call for support in Zadar and Dalmatia. In the spring he invaded, not Turkish Europe, but rather the north of Bulgaria ruled by the tsar's second son, Sratsimir, he conquered and occupied Vidin, took Sratsimir captive back to Hungary. His expedition was thus completed in time for him to cooperate with Amadeus in a joint attack on the Turks in the spring of 1366. On 1 April 1364 Urban V made a serious effort to fund Amadeus's expedition with a series of seven bulls granting him various new sources of income. All confiscated "ill-gotten gains" from theft, rapine or usury which could not be restituted were to be used for the next six years for the crusade. Further, "all the hitherto unspent legacies, confiscations and penances, bequeathed, assigned, or levied pro dicto passagio et Terre Sancte subsidio in the county of Savoy and its dependencies for the preceding twelve years and for the next six" were assigned to the count for his expedition.
The church was to pay a tithe of its tithes to the count for the crusade, excepting those priests who had received permission to go on the journey themselves. In early 1366 Amadeus was in Savoy assembling his army. More than half of the army consisted of the hereditary vassals of the count of Savoy, no family in his dominions was unrepresented, his half-brother Ogier and his nephew Humbert, son of his half-brother Humbert, both joined. Aymon, younger brother of James of Piedmont, Amadeus's two illegitimate sons, both named Antoine, participated. Among crusaders were the English knight Richard Musard, the count's cousin Guillaume de Grandson, heir of Amadeus III of Geneva, too ill to fulfill his vow, Louis de Beaujeu, sire d'Alloignet, taking the place of Antoine de Beaujeu. By the time it had reached Venice, this army had been organised into three batailles under the oversight of the marshal Gaspard de Montmayeur: the first was led by Amadeus, Aymard de Clermont, the brothers Guy and Jean de Vienne.
Seeing that the Alexandrian Crusade had harmed its commercial relations with the Islamic powers, the Republic of Venice was disinclined to participate in the projected crusade or to provide it transportation east. A letter from Pope Urban in March 1365 did not convince them otherwise, but an embassy from Amadeus procured a promise of two galleys in light of the count's request for five. Urban, the architect of the crusade, negotiated with Genoa and Marseille to procure ships, but the promise of transportation from the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV was never fulfilled. A large number of mercenaries from the free companies had joined the crusade and assembled at Tournus under Arnaud de Cervole, but when he was assassinated on 25 May
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon was a composite monarchy nowadays referred to as a confederation of individual polities or kingdoms ruled by one king, with a personal and dynastic union of the Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Barcelona. At the height of its power in the 14th and 15th centuries, the Crown of Aragon was a thalassocracy controlling a large portion of present-day eastern Spain, parts of what is now southern France, a Mediterranean "empire" which included the Balearic Islands, Corsica, Malta, Southern Italy and parts of Greece; the component realms of the Crown were not united politically except at the level of the king, who ruled over each autonomous polity according to its own laws, raising funds under each tax structure, dealing separately with each Corts or Cortes. Put in contemporary terms, it has sometimes been considered that the different lands of the Crown of Aragon functioned more as a confederation than as a single kingdom. In this sense, the larger Crown of Aragon must not be confused with one of its constituent parts, the Kingdom of Aragon, from which it takes its name.
In 1469, a new dynastic familial union of the Crown of Aragon with the Crown of Castile by the Catholic Monarchs, joining what contemporaries referred to as "the Spains" led to what would become the Kingdom of Spain under King Philip II. The Crown existed until it was abolished by the Nueva Planta decrees issued by King Philip V in 1716 as a consequence of the defeat of Archduke Charles in the War of the Spanish Succession. Formally, the political center of the Crown of Aragon was Zaragoza, where kings were crowned at La Seo Cathedral. The'de facto' capital and leading cultural and economic centre of the Crown of Aragon was Barcelona, followed by Valencia. Palma was an additional important city and seaport; the Crown of Aragon included the Kingdom of Aragon, the Principality of Catalonia, the Kingdom of Valencia, the Kingdom of Majorca, the Kingdom of Sicily, the Kingdom of Naples and Kingdom of Sardinia. For brief periods the Crown of Aragon controlled Montpellier, Provence and the twin Duchy of Athens and Neopatras in Latin Greece.
The countries that are today known as Spain and Portugal spent the Middle Ages after 722 in an intermittent struggle called the Reconquista. This struggle pitted the northern Christian kingdoms against the Islamic taifa petty kingdoms of the South and against each other. In the Late Middle Ages, the expansion of the Aragonese Crown southwards met with the Castilian advance eastward in the region of Murcia. Afterward, the Aragonese Crown focused on the Mediterranean, acting as far as Greece and Barbary, whereas Portugal, which completed its Reconquista in 1249, would focus on the Atlantic Ocean. Mercenaries from the territories in the Crown, known as almogàvers participated in the creation of this Mediterranean "empire", found employment in countries all across southern Europe; the Crown of Aragon has been considered an empire which ruled in the Mediterranean for hundreds of years, with the power to set rules over the entire sea. It was indeed, at its height, one of the major powers in Europe.
However, its different territories were only connected through the person of the monarch, an aspect of empire seen as early as Achaemenid Persia. A modern historian, Juan de Contreras y Lopez de Ayala, Marqués de Lozoya described the Crown of Aragon as being more like a confederacy than a centralised kingdom, let alone an empire. Nor did official documents refer to it as an empire; the Crown of Aragon originated in 1137, when the Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Barcelona merged by dynastic union upon the marriage of Petronilla of Aragon and Raymond Berenguer IV of Barcelona. This union respected the existing parliaments of both territories; the combined state was known as Regno, Dominio et Corona Aragonum et Catalonie, as Corona Regum Aragoniae, Corona Aragonum or Aragon. This was due to the reduction of Catalan influence, the renunciation of the family rights of the counts of Barcelona in Occitania, the extinction of the House of Barcelona in 1410; the monarchs denominated themselves de Aragon, Aragon became prominent as an Iberian kingdom linked to the House of Jiménez which ruled over Navarre, Castile and Galicia and Aragon.
Petronilla's father King Ramiro, "The Monk", raised in the Saint Pons de Thomières Monastery, Viscounty of Béziers as a Benedictine monk was the youngest of three brothers. His brothers Peter I and Alfonso I El Batallador had bravely fought against Castile for hegemony in the Iberian peninsula. After the death of Alfonso I, the Aragonese nobility that campaigned close him feared being overwhelmed by the influence of Castile, and so, Ramiro was forced to proclaim himself King of Aragon. He married Agnes, sister of the Duke of Aquitaine and betrothed his only daughter to Raymond Berengar IV of Barcelona, member of o
Kingdom of Naples
The Kingdom of Naples comprised that part of the Italian Peninsula south of the Papal States between 1282 and 1816. It was created as a result of the War of the Sicilian Vespers, when the island of Sicily revolted and was conquered by the Crown of Aragon, becoming a separate Kingdom of Sicily. Naples continued to be known as the Kingdom of Sicily, the name of the unified kingdom. For much of its existence, the realm was contested between Spanish dynasties. In 1816, it was reunified with the island kingdom of Sicily once again to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies; the name "Kingdom of Naples" was not used officially. Under the Angevins it was still the Kingdom of Sicily; the Peace of Caltabellotta that ended the War of the Vespers provided that the name of the island kingdom would be Trinacria. This usage did not become established. In the late Middle Ages, it was common to distinguish the two kingdoms named Sicily as being on this or that side of the Punta del Faro, i.e. the Strait of Messina.
Naples was citra Farum or al di qua del Faro and Sicily was ultra Farum or di la del Faro. When both kingdoms came under the rule of Alfonso the Magnanimous in 1442, this usage became official, although Ferdinand I preferred the simple title King of Sicily. In regular speech and in unofficial documents narrative histories, the Kingdom of Sicily citra Farum was called the Kingdom of Naples by the late Middle Ages, it was sometimes called the regno di Puglia, kingdom of Apulia. In the 18th century, the Neapolitan intellectual Giuseppe Maria Galanti argued that the latter was the true "national" name of the kingdom. By the time of Alfonso the Magnanimous, the two kingdoms were sufficiently distinct that they were no longer seen as divisions of a single kingdom, they remained administratively separate, despite being in personal union, until 1816. The term "Kingdom of Naples" is in near universal use among historians. Following the rebellion in 1282, King Charles I of Sicily was forced to leave the island of Sicily by Peter III of Aragon's troops.
Charles, maintained his possessions on the mainland, customarily known as the "Kingdom of Naples", after its capital city. Charles and his Angevin successors maintained a claim to Sicily, warring against the Aragonese until 1373, when Queen Joan I of Naples formally renounced the claim by the Treaty of Villeneuve. Joan's reign was contested by Louis the Great, the Angevin King of Hungary, who captured the kingdom several times. Queen Joan I played a part in the ultimate demise of the first Kingdom of Naples; as she was childless, she adopted Louis I, Duke of Anjou, as her heir, in spite of the claims of her cousin, the Prince of Durazzo setting up a junior Angevin line in competition with the senior line. This led to Joan I's murder at the hands of the Prince of Durazzo in 1382, his seizing the throne as Charles III of Naples; the two competing Angevin lines contested each other for the possession of the Kingdom of Naples over the following decades. Charles III's daughter Joan II adopted Alfonso V of Aragon and Louis III of Anjou as heirs alternately settling succession on Louis' brother René of Anjou of the junior Angevin line, he succeeded her in 1435.
René of Anjou temporarily united the claims of senior Angevin lines. In 1442, Alfonso V conquered the Kingdom of Naples and unified Sicily and Naples once again as dependencies of Aragon. At his death in 1458, the kingdom was again separated and Naples was inherited by Ferrante, Alfonso's illegitimate son; when Ferrante died in 1494, Charles VIII of France invaded Italy, using as a pretext the Angevin claim to the throne of Naples, which his father had inherited on the death of King René's nephew in 1481. This began the Italian Wars. Charles VIII expelled Alfonso II of Naples from Naples in 1495, but was soon forced to withdraw due to the support of Ferdinand II of Aragon for his cousin, Alfonso II's son Ferrantino. Ferrantino was restored to the throne, but died in 1496, was succeeded by his uncle, Frederick IV. Charles VIII's successor, Louis XII reiterated the French claim. In 1501, he occupied Naples and partitioned the kingdom with Ferdinand of Aragon, who abandoned his cousin King Frederick.
The deal soon fell through and Aragon and France resumed their war over the kingdom resulting in an Aragonese victory leaving Ferdinand in control of the kingdom by 1504. The Spanish troops occupying Calabria and Apulia, led by Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordova did not respect the new agreement, expelled all Frenchmen from the area; the peace treaties that continued were never definitive, but they established at least that the title of King of Naples was reserved for Ferdinand's grandson, the future Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Ferdinand continued in possession of the kingdom, being considered as the legitimate heir of his uncle Alfonso I of Naples and to the former Kingdom of Sicily; the kingdom continued as a focus of dispute between France and Spain for the next several decades, but French efforts to gain control of it became feebler as the decades went on, never genuinely endangered Spanish control. The French abandoned their claims to Naples by the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis in 1559. In the Treaty of London, five cities on coast of Tuscany were designated the Stato dei Presidi, part o
The Northern Crusades or Baltic Crusades were religious wars undertaken by Catholic Christian military orders and kingdoms against the pagan Baltic and West Slavic peoples around the southern and eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, to a lesser extent against Orthodox Christian Slavs. The crusades took place in the 12th and 13th centuries and resulted in the subjugation and forced baptism of indigenous peoples; the most notable campaigns were Prussian crusades. Some of these wars were called crusades during the Middle Ages, but others, including most of the Swedish ones, were first dubbed crusades by 19th-century romantic nationalist historians. However, crusades against northern pagans were authorized by Pope Alexander III in the bull Non parum animus noster, in 1171 or 1172; the official starting point for the Northern Crusades was Pope Celestine III's call in 1195, but the Catholic kingdoms of Scandinavia and the Holy Roman Empire had begun moving to subjugate their pagan neighbors earlier.
The non-Christian people who were objects of the campaigns at various dates included: the Polabian Wends and Obotrites between the Elbe and Oder rivers the Finns proper in 1150s in the First Crusade by the Swedes. Livonians, Latgallians and Estonians. Semigallians and Curonians. Old Prussians. Lithuanians and Samogitians. Armed conflict between the Baltic Finns and Slavs who dwelt by the Baltic shores and their Saxon and Danish neighbors to the north and south had been common for several centuries before the crusade; the previous battles had been caused by attempts to destroy castles and sea trade routes and gain economic advantage in the region, the crusade continued this pattern of conflict, albeit now inspired and prescribed by the Pope and undertaken by Papal knights and armed monks. The campaigns started with the 1147 Wendish Crusade against the Polabian Slavs of what is now northern and eastern Germany; the crusade occurred parallel to the Second Crusade to the Holy Land, continued irregularly until the 16th century.
The Swedish crusades were campaigns by Sweden against Finns and Karelians during period from 1150 to 1293. The Danes are known to have made two crusades to Finland in 1191 and in 1202; the latter one was led by the Bishop of Lund Anders Sunesen with his brother. By the 12th century, the peoples inhabiting the lands now known as Estonia and Lithuania formed a pagan wedge between powerful rival Christian states – the Orthodox Church to their east and the Catholic Church to their west; the difference in creeds was one of the reasons they had not yet been converted. During a period of more than 150 years leading up to the arrival of German crusaders in the region, Estonia was attacked thirteen times by Russian principalities, by Denmark and Sweden as well. Estonians for their part made raids upon Sweden. There were peaceful attempts by some Catholics to convert the Estonians, starting with missions dispatched by Adalbert, Archbishop of Bremen in 1045-1072. However, these peaceful efforts seem to have had only limited success.
Moving in the wake of German merchants who were now following the old trading routes of the Vikings, a monk named Meinhard landed at the mouth of the Daugava river in present-day Latvia in 1180 and was made bishop in 1186. Pope Celestine III proclaimed a crusade against the Baltic heathens in 1195, reiterated by Pope Innocent III and a crusading expedition led by Meinhard's successor, Bishop Berthold of Hanover, landed in Livonia in 1198. Although the crusaders won their first battle, Bishop Berthold was mortally wounded and the crusaders were repulsed. In 1199, Albert of Buxhoeveden was appointed by the Archbishop Hartwig II of Bremen to Christianise the Baltic countries. By the time Albert died 30 years the conquest and formal Christianisation of present-day Estonia and northern Latvia was complete. Albert began his task by touring the Empire, preaching a Crusade against the Baltic countries, was assisted in this by a Papal Bull which declared that fighting against the Baltic heathens was of the same rank as participating in a crusade to the Holy Land.
Although he landed in the mouth of the Daugava in 1200 with only 23 ships and 500 soldiers, the bishop's efforts ensured that a constant flow of recruits followed. The first crusaders arrived to fight during the spring and returned to their homes in the autumn. To ensure a permanent military presence, the Livonian Brothers of the Sword were founded in 1202; the founding by Bishop Albert of the market at Riga in 1201 attracted citizens from the Empire and economic prosperity ensued. At Albert's request, Pope Innocent III dedicated the Baltic countries to the Virgin Mary to popularize recruitment to his army and the name "Mary's Land" has survived up to modern times; this is noticeable in one of the names given to Livonia at Terra Mariana. In 1206, the crusaders subdued the Livonian stronghold in Turaida on the right bank of Gauja River, the ancient trading route to the Northwestern Rus. In order to gain control over the left bank of Gauja, the stone castle was built in Sigulda before 1210. By 1211, the Livonian province of Metsepole and the mixed Livonian-Latgallian inhabited county of Idumea was converted
Battle on the Ice
The Battle on the Ice was fought between the Republic of Novgorod led by prince Alexander Nevsky and the forces of Livonian Order and Bishopric of Dorpat led by bishop Hermann of Dorpat on April 5, 1242, at Lake Peipus. The battle is notable for having been fought on the frozen lake, this gave the battle its name; the battle was a significant defeat sustained by the crusaders during the Northern Crusades, which were directed against pagans and Eastern Orthodox Christians rather than Muslims in the Holy Land. The Crusaders' defeat in the battle marked the end of their campaigns against the Orthodox Novgorod Republic and other Slavic territories for the next century; the event was glorified in Sergei Eisenstein's historical drama film Alexander Nevsky, released in 1938, which created a popular image of the battle mistaken for the real events. Sergei Prokofiev turned his score for the film into a concert cantata of the same title, with "The Battle on the Ice" being its longest movement. Hoping to exploit Novgorod's weakness in the wake of the Mongol and Swedish invasions, the Teutonic Knights attacked the neighboring Novgorod Republic and occupied Pskov and Koporye in autumn 1240.
When they approached Novgorod itself, the local citizens recalled to the city 20-year-old Prince Alexander Nevsky, whom they had banished to Pereslavl earlier that year. During the campaign of 1241, Alexander managed to retake Koporye from the crusaders. In the spring of 1242, the Teutonic Knights defeated a detachment of Novgorodians about 20 km south of the fortress of Dorpat. Led by Prince-Bishop Hermann of Dorpat, the knights and their auxiliary troops of local Ugaunian Estonians met with Alexander's forces by the narrow strait that connects the north and south parts of Lake Peipus. On April 5, 1242. Alexander, intending to fight in a place of his own choosing, retreated in an attempt to draw the over-confident Crusaders onto the frozen lake. Estimates on the number of troops in the opposing armies vary among scholars. A more conservative estimation has it that the crusader forces numbered around 2,600, including 800 Danish and German knights, 100 Teutonic knights, 300 Danes, 400 Germans and 1,000 Estonian infantry.
The Russians fielded around 5,000 men: Alexander and his brother Andrei's bodyguards, totalling around 1,000, plus 2000 militia of Novgorod, 1400 Finno-Ugrian tribesman and 600 horse archers. The Teutonic knights and crusaders charged across the lake and reached the enemy, but were held up by the infantry of the Novgorod militia; this caused the momentum of the crusader attack to slow. The battle was fierce, with the allied Russians fighting the Teutonic and crusader troops on the frozen surface of the lake. After a little more than two hours of close quarters fighting, Alexander ordered the left and right wings of his army to enter the battle; the Teutonic and crusader troops by that time were exhausted from the constant struggle on the slippery surface of the frozen lake. The Crusaders started to retreat in disarray deeper onto the ice, the appearance of the fresh Novgorod cavalry made them retreat in panic, it is said that "the Teutonic knights and crusaders attempted to rally and regroup at the far side of the lake, the thin ice began to give way and cracked under the weight of their heavy armour, many knights and crusaders drowned".
He cites a large number of scholars who have written about the battle, Solovev, Khitrov, Grekov, Razin, Pashuto and Kirpichnikov, none of whom mention the ice breaking up or anyone drowning when discussing the battle on the ice. After analysing all the sources Ostrowski concludes that the part about ice breaking and drowning appeared first in the 1938 film Alexander Nevsky by Sergei Eisenstein. According to the Livonian Order's Livonian Rhymed Chronicle, written in the late 1340s, The had many archers, the battle began with their bold assault on the king's men; the brothers' banners were soon flying in the midst of the archers, swords were heard cutting helmets apart. Many from both sides fell dead on the grass; the Brothers' army was surrounded, for the Russians had so many troops that there were sixty men for every one German knight. The Brothers fought well enough; some of those from Dorpat escaped from the battle, it was their salvation that they fled. Twenty brothers lay dead and six were captured.
According to the Novgorod First Chronicle, Prince Alexander and all the men of Novgorod drew up their forces by the lake, at Uzmen, by the Raven's Rock. And there was a great slaughter of Germans and Estonians... they fought with them during the pursuit on the ice seven versts short of the Subol shore. And there fell a countless number of Estonians, 400 of the Germans, they took fifty with their hands and they took them to Novgorod; the legacy of the battle, its decisiveness, came because it halted the eastward expansion of the Teutonic Order and established a permanent border line through the Narva River and Lake Peipus dividing Eastern Orthodoxy from Western Catholicism. The knights' defeat at the hands of Alexander's forces prevented th