Book Series Outremer. Studies in the Crusades and the Latin East, vol. 15

The Defence of the Faith

Crusading on the Frontiers of Latin Christendom in the Late Middle Ages

Paul Srodecki, Norbert Kersken (eds)

  • Pages: 407 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:26 b/w, 3 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English, German
  • Publication Year:2024

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-58882-7
  • Hardback
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  • ISBN: 978-2-503-58883-4
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Research on the medieval crusades, their historical concepts, their course, and their social and regional range.


Paul Srodecki is a medievalist who has been working as an assistant and visiting professor, research fellow and lecturer at the universities of Giessen, Kiel and Flensburg (all three Germany), Ostrava (Czechia), Poznań (Poland) and Sønderborg (Denmark). He has published several treatises on alterity and alienity discourses, crusading on the frontiers of Latin Christendom as well as historical deconstruction.

Norbert Kersken holds a PhD from the University of Münster with a dissertation on medieval national historiography. He has been working as a Research and Teaching Fellow at the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe in Marburg and at the University of Gießen, both Germany, as well as at the German Historical Institute in Warsaw, Poland. Together with Przemysław Wiszewski, he has published the monograph Neue Nachbarn in der Mitte Europas: Polen und das Reich im Mittelalter (2020).


This volume focuses on the complex and often overlooked topic of crusading activities and the crusade movement on the fringes of Latin Christendom in the time frame from approximately 1300 to the beginning of the sixteenth century. It covers a period widely considered as a time of significant political, cultural and religious changes in Europe. A period in which Western Christianity was on the one hand still expanding (vide Lithuania and the western Rus and later the Spanish, Portuguese, French and English expansion in the Americas, Africa and South-East Asia) and on the other hand facing two mighty opponents: the Ottoman Empire and Muscovy. On its eastern and southeastern frontiers, Latin Christian expansion came to a gradual halt — here, the West was now largely under siege! Alone the political, logistical and ultimately also military feasibility of a large-scale crusade to liberate Jerusalem had now receded into a purely theoretical and practically almost unenforceable far distance. Ranging in scope from the Baltic Sea region to the Balkans and Iberia, this book’s nineteen papers explore how these developments influenced the continuation and adaptation of crusading ideas and activities during this later period of crusades.


Introduction. Crusading on the Periphery in the Later Middle Ages: Key Research Issues and Debates
Paul Srodecki

Part I: Campaigning and Recruiting 

Communication between Centre and Periphery in Fifteenth-Century Crusading
Norman Housley

Crusade Campaigning by Friars of the Observant Franciscan Establishment in the Holy Land
Marianne P. Ritsema Van Eck

Crusading and Military Orders in the Crowns of Aragon and Castile in the Late Middle Ages
Maria Bonet Donato 

Army Inspection and Crusade. Wallachia and the Crusade Plans of Pope Leo X
Mihai-D. Grigore

Part II: Chivalry and Nobility

The Bohemo-Moravian Nobility and the Baltic Crusades of the Bohemian Kings Ottokar II Premislas and John of Luxemburg in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries
Dalibor Janiš

How to Uphold a Dying Institution. English Support for the Teutonic Order’s Baltic Crusades in the Early Fifteenth Century
Benjámin Borbás

Lithuanian Participation in the Crusading Movement in the Long Fifteenth Century
Darius Baronas

Part III: From Expansion to Defence

The Crusade of Nicopolis and its Significance for the Western Image of the Ottoman Turks around 1400
Paul Srodecki

Hungary and the passagium particulare after Nicopolis (1396–1437)
Attila Bárany

The Last Crusades in the Balkans from 1443– 44 or the Union between Central and South- Eastern Europe against the Ottoman Invasion
Nevyan Mitev

Converting Heretics into Crusaders on the Fringes of Latin Christendom. Shifting Crusading Paradigms in Medieval Bosnia
Emir O. Filipović

Ziel oder Ausgangsort? Das Großfürstentum Litauen als verlängerter Arm der Kreuzzugsbewegung vom Ende des 14. bis zum Beginn des 16. Jahrhunderts
Rimvydas Petrauskas

Fighting Pagans and Relations between Poland and the Teutonic Order after 1466
Adam Szweda

Part IV: Legitimation and Propaganda

Infideles et perfidi schismatici. Crusades and Christianisation as Political Tools of the Polish Kings in the Fourteenth Century
Andrzej Marzec

Against Tartari, Rutheni et Litfani, hostes fidei. The Role and Ambivalence of the Crusading Idea in the Integration of Ruthenia into the Polish Crown in the Second Half of the Fourteenth Century
Sven Jaros

Playing the Crusade Card. Rhetorical References to Outremer and Iberian Crusades in the Conflict between the Teutonic Order and the Crown of Poland in the Early Fifteenth Century
Paul Srodecki

Zwischen Kreuzzugsrhetorik und Bündnissen. Die Ostpolitik des Großfürsten Witold von Litauen (1392– 1430)
Sergey V. Polekhov

Legitimising the Hussite Wars. Anti-Heretical Crusading in the Fifteenth Century
Pavel Soukup