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English-Language Companion to Chronicle of Henry of Livonia Published

Cover detail of the Estonian edition of the Chronicle of Henry of Livonia
Cover detail of the Estonian edition of the Chronicle of Henry of Livonia Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The nearly 500-page volume, “Crusading and Chronicle Writing on the Medieval Baltic Frontier," comprises materials from a conference held at the Tallinn University's Center of Medieval Studies in 2008 and aims to become a solid reference source on the 13th century chronicle of Henry of Livonia.

The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia, or Henricus Lettus, written by a missionary priest to record the history of the German crusades to Livonia and Estonia around 1186-1227, has become known as one of the most vivid literary examples of early 13th century crusading ideology.

Produced by Ashgate Publishing in the UK and edited by Tallinn University historians Marek Tamm and Linda Kaljundi, as well as Carsten Selch Jensen of the University of Copenhagen, the volume contains essays by 10 authors from Estonia and 10 from six other countries, with a foreword by the chronicle's English translator, renowned US medieval specialist James A. Brundage.

The three parts of the volume focus, respectively, on the images created by missionary ideology and the frontier experience, the chronicle's reflections of the diplomatic, religious, and military practices of the colonisation of medieval Livonia, and the history of the chronicle's reception.

With new approaches and key concepts brought along by recent developments in medieval studies in various countries, the key objective of the volume, according to its publisher, is to synthesize the current state of research on the crusades for the international scholarly audience.


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