Book Series Early European Research, vol. 17

Risk, Emotions, and Hospitality in the Christianization of the Baltic Rim, 1000-1300

Wojtek Jezierski

  • Pages: 356 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:6 b/w, 2 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2022

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60039-0
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60099-4
  • E-book
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This book explores emotional bonding and hospitality as uncertain means of conversion, interaction, and socialization within and across cultural divides, particularly between the local populations and missionary communities as well as crusader frontier societies on the Baltic Rim, c. 1000-1300.


Risk, Emotions, and Hospitality in the Christianization of the Baltic Rim is a must-read for any scholar interested in the wide variety of topics discussed in this work. Jezierski not only makes convincing arguments, but continuously lays out new methodologies for future research. (…) Whether such works explore this question in the Baltic or in other locations such as Iberia or the Latin-East, they will be heavily indebted to Jezierski’s highly innovative book.” (Patrick Eickman, in DE RE MILITARI, 23/05/2023)

‘In conclusion, Wojtek Jezierski delivers a though-provoking study of the Christianization of the Baltic Sea area.’ (Mihkel Mäesalu, in Journal of Baltic Studies, 11/10/2023)

“Für die Bewertung der Ereignisse, die zu Beginn des zweiten Millenniums christlicher Zeitrechnung die Ausweitung europäischer Zivilisation auf den gesamten Ostseeraum bewirkten, bildet sie eine wertvolle Ergänzung.” (Christian Lübke, in H-SOZ-KULT, 14/02/2024)

“Insgesamt liegt ein Buch vor, das auch über die Mediävistik hinaus Anknüpfungspunkte bietet” (Christina Antenhofern, in in der Historischen Zeitschrift, 318/2, 2024, p. 442)


Wojtek Jezierski (PhD) is Associate Professor at the School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, Södertörn University and at the Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg. His research includes historiography, history and semantics of emotions and hospitality in the Middle Ages, early medieval continental monasticism, Christianization and crusading on the Baltic Rim, cults of saints in Scandinavia and East-Central Europe, and emergence of political elites in Scandinavia.


What anxieties did medieval missionaries and crusaders face and what role did the sense of risk play in their community-building? To what extent did crusaders and Christian colonists empathize with the local populations they set out to conquer? Who were the hosts and who were the guests during the confrontations with the pagan societies on the Baltic Rim? And how were the uncertainties of the conversion process addressed in concrete encounters and in the accounts of Christian authors?

This book explores emotional bonding as well as practices and discourses of hospitality as uncertain means of evangelization, interaction, and socialization across cultural divides on the Baltic Rim, c. 1000–1300. It focuses on interactions between local populations and missionary communities, as well as crusader frontier societies. By applying tools of historical anthropology to the study of host-guest relations, spaces of hospitality, emotional communities, and empathy on the fronts of Christianization, this book offers fresh insights and approaches to the manner in which missionaries and crusaders reflexively engaged with the groups targeted by Christianization in terms of practice, ethics, and identity.


Preface, Acknowledgments, List of Figures and Tables

Chapter One. Introduction

Chapter Two. Baltic Frontier Societies, Peripheral Visions, and Emotional Palimpsests

Chapter Three. Fear in Missionary and Crusader Risk Societies, 10th-13th Centuries

Chapter Four. Pagan Hosts, Missionary Guests, Spaces of Hospitality, 10th-12th Centuries

Chapter Five. Hospitality and Its Discontents in Helmold of Bosau’s Chronica Slavorum, 12th Century

Chapter Six. Emotional Bonding and Trust during Sieges, 12th-13th Centuries

Chapter Seven.
Politics of Emotions and Empathy Walls in Livonia, 13th Century

Chapter Eight. Hospitality and Formation of Identities in the Livonian Rhymed Chronicle, 13th Century

Chapter Nine. Epilogue