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Europa Sacra (ES 14)
D. von Güttner-Sporzyński
Poland, Holy War, and the Piast Monarchy, 1100-1230

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XIV+294 p., 7 b/w ill., 9 b/w line art, 156 x 234 mm, 2014
ISBN: 978-2-503-54794-7
Languages: English, Latin, German
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Retail price: EUR 80,00 excl. tax
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Online content: http://www.brepolsonline.net/action/showBook?doi=10.1484%2FM.ES-EB.5.106017
The twelfth-century rulers of Poland took an active role in holy wars in the Baltic, the last bastion of paganism in Europe, by adapting the idea of Christian holy war to suit local conditions.

This study charts the evolution of the ideology of holy war and crusading in medieval Poland through Polish incursions into the Baltic, the last bastion of paganism in Europe. It traces the transmission of the idea of holy war and crusade to north central Europe, explaining its impact on political and religious life in Poland, and Polish missionary and crusading activity in Prussia, Pomerelia, and Pomerania. Holy war and crusade helped influence state formation, politics, and dynastic succession. Key mechanisms by which the idea of holy war was transmitted to Poland are examined and compelling evidence is provided that the Polish elites were highly familiar with, and receptive to, the idea of crusade. The Polish elites were deliberate participants in Christian holy wars and undertook various crusading activities during the twelfth century. The influence of the idea of holy war on the actions of the Polish dynasts and the central role of women in the establishment of family traditions of participating in crusading are examined in some detail. Furthermore, this book explores the conditions that enabled the cause of the Christianization of Prussia to be taken up by the Teutonic Order by tracing the divergence of the idea of holy war in the Piast realm away from the norms of Latin Christendom in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. This work offers new perspectives for international studies of warfare sanctioned by religion.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1. The Expansion of the Piast Realm, 960–1100

Chapter 2. The Evolving Idea of Holy War and Crusade

Chapter 3. Conquest of Pomerania: Bolesław III and Holy War

Chapter 4. Mission and Crusade: Władysław II and the Piast Juniors

Chapter 5. A Piast in the Holy Land: Henry of Sandomierz

Chapter 6. The Piasts and the Holy War Against the Prussians

Chapter 7. Missions to the Prussians and the Beginning of the Prussian Crusade

Conclusion

Appendix 1. The Main Representatives of the Piast Dynasty (966–1230)

Appendix 2. The Chronology of Polish History c. 920–1230

Bibliography

Index

Review

"This book is a solid contribution to the history of the crusades, investigating Polish participation in and ideas about crusading in its early period. (...) Güttner-Sporzynski's meticulous research unearthed new pieces of evidence, and he provides a detailed account of events relating to Polish crusades, while offering new hypotheses." (Nora Berend, in: The Medieval Review, 15.06.25)

"This is an important addition to the new literature. It is unlikely to be the last word, but it will not be easily surpassed." (William Urban, in: The Mediaeval Journal 5: 2, 2015, p. 141-143)

"Die Darlegung ist übersichtlich und klar strukturiert, jedes Kapitel enthält eine einleitende Fragestellung und eine Zusammenfassung. Zusätzlich enthält die Arbeit eine Reihe von genealogischen Übersichten und Karten sowie als Anhang eine Übersicht über die wichtigsten piastischen Akteure mit Angaben zu ihren genealogischen Bezügen sowie eine chronologische Tabelle über die polnische Geschichte bis 1230, die zugleich vom Bemühen des Autors zeugen, Historikern ohne Spezialkenntnisse der polnischen Geschichte einen leichten Zugang zum Thema zu ermöglichen. Die Arbeit vermittelt zudem einen guten Einblick in den Stand der polnischen Forschung, der ausgezeichnet erfasst ist; (...)" (Norbert Kersken, in: Mitteilungen des Instituts für Österreichischen Geschichtsforschung 124/1, 2016, p. 193-195)

“This book represents an important contribution to the subject of the holy war and the growth of Piast rule in this period. It builds on the best of current scholarship (…) it is a valuable contribution to the study of Polish history (…)” (Paul W. Knoll, in The Polish Review, 61/3, 2016, p. 123)

“G.-S.’s monograph essentially complements research into the crusades around the Baltic Sea. It makes it possible to formulate new questions for subsequent research and increases our understanding of the phenomenon of holy war and its reception in the Baltic region.” (Marius Ščavinskas, in Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa, 65, 2016, p. 612)

“Güttner-Sporzyński's monograph essentially complements research into the crusades around the Baltic Sea. It makes it possible to formulate new questions for subsequent research and increases our understanding of the phenomenon of holy war and its reception in the Baltic region.” (Marius Ščavinskas, in Sehepunkte, 2, 2017)

Interest Classification:
Religion (including History of Religion) & Theology
Christian devotion & forms of religious expression
Mission, conversion & baptism
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)
Medieval European history (400-1500) : genres & specific topics
Crusades
Medieval European history (400-1500) : local & regional history
East-Central & Eastern Europe
Scandinavian & Baltic lands

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