Turaida castle in Livonia

Livonia, Rus’ and the Baltic Crusades in the Thirteenth Century

The Medieval History of the Baltic See is marred by the fact that it was (and is) surrounded by at least four different “nationalities” or “language” groups: the Scandinavians, the Russians, the Slavic people and the Germans. To master these different historiographical traditions is of course complicated. A new book focus on the Baltic Crusades in this wider context.

Livonia Rus and the Baltic Crusades in the Thirteenth Century coverLivonia, Rus’ and the Baltic Crusades in the Thirteenth Century
By Anti Selart
ISBN13: 9789004284746
E-ISBN: 9789004284753

This monograph by Anti Selart is the first comprehensive study available in English on the relations between northern crusaders and Rus’. Selart re-examines the central issues of this crucial period of establishing the medieval relations of the Catholic and Orthodox worlds like the Battle on the Ice (1242) and the role of Alexander Nevsky using the relevant source material of both “sides”. He also considers the wide context of the history of crusading and the whole Eastern and Northern Europe from Hungary and Poland to Denmark, Finland, and Sweden in 1180-1330. This monograph contests the existence of the constitutive religious conflict and extensive aggressive strategies in the region – the ideas which had played a central role in modern historiography and ideology.

This volume is number 29 in the series, East Central and Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 450-1450 published by Brill.


  • Introduction
  • The Religious Frontier in Eastern Europe in the Twelfth Century
  • The Beginning of the Crusades in Livonia and their Impact on Rus’
  • Livonia and Rus’ in the 1230s and 1240s
  • Rus’ in the Catholic Sources from the First Half of the Thirteenth Century
  • Relations between Rus’ and Livonia under Archbishop Albert Suerbeer (1245–73)
  • Livonia and Rus’, 1260–1330
  • Russian Principalities in the Eastern European Sources, 1250–1350
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix
  • Bibliography
  • Index


Anti Selart, Ph.D. (2002) is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Tartu, Estonia. He has published on the Baltic Crusades and the mediaeval and 16th-century history of the Baltic region and Russia.