Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Capsicum

The Northern Crusades and the Karelian Isthmus

Recommended Posts

During the late 11th century the Catholic Church and the newly christianized Swedish monarchy turned their sights on the Vikings and pagan people of Finland, Estonia and northwestern Russia.  During the next several hundred years, caught in the wake was a trade route of great importance in the Baltics. Karelia is wedged between the Gulf of Finland and the White Sea and is the southernmost area of Scandinavia to touch eastern Europe.

 

This was a rather important turning point in the spread of Christianity and the loss of some of the last strongholds of traditional pagan beliefs in Europe.  If you're interested in reading more about it, I've uploaded a .pdf you might find interesting.

 

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Crusades

 

The politico-religious landscape of medieval Karelia.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest monsnoleedra

Thanks will give it a read later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great topic, I'll comment later though, I'm supposed to sleep right now as I have to be at least presentable tomorrow and my alarm clock wails in less than four hours from now. :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Caps, I think this is one of the most important and (nowadays still mostly ignored) periods in European history. I've read the Wikipedia page before, thanks for sharing the pdf.

 

Conversion of the pagans wasn't even the most important reason for these crusades, it was greed, expansion of territory and control over trade routes that was fueling them. In my history lessons in school, nothing about this was covered, and I think at the time the Baltic lands weren't even being considered European by most people (Cold War influence and all, and their incorporation into the USSR until their independence in1991). 

 

There's this 1972 Lithuanian movie on my "to watch" list called Herkus Mantas, named after (and based on his life) the great leader of the Prussian resistance against the Northern Crusaders and Teutonic Knights. He was heavily being identified with again under Soviet regime, as the people of Lithuania identiefied themselves with the Prussians under the Teutonic Knights. I think I'll watch it tonight:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOZqSH7SDxk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Conversion of the pagans wasn't even the most important reason for these crusades, it was greed, expansion of territory and control over trade routes that was fueling them. In my history lessons in school, nothing about this was covered"

 

That's usually how it goes, look at the spread of Catholicism in the new world by the Spanish.  Were they really interested in saving the souls of all of the natives or were they interested in claiming the land for the resources?  I think the answer is fairly obvious.  It's a rather notable difference between the formation of the Spanish empire and the English colonies, Of course the English were interested in resources as well but the people who decided to come here weren't necessarily spreading their religion, they were seeking a place where they could freely practice it without being persecuted by the Anglican Church or the Catholic Church.  Unfortunately the removal of Native Americans was directly attributed to resource control in the US, they can't particularly use religion as a scapegoat...which might be a little worse...I'm not sure.  Schools and universities rarely teach the entire truth, just the version of the story by the victor...or often not mentioning history at all.  Most Americans could barely tell you what the Crusades to "reclaim" Palestine were about much less the Northern Crusades...most wouldn't even consider that Christianity didn't exist in much of Europe until 1000 years ago...it's not something they think about.  They're more concerned with football and which celebrity is in rehab.

 

 

As much as I'd like to check out that film, I don't have the data allowance to view anything that long with my crappy backwoods internet XD.  Maybe I can find it for cheap with English subtitles on amazon or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...