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Baltic Crusades

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the fight, led by orders such as the Teutonic Knights and supported by the popes, to convert pagans in what became known as the Baltic Crusades.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Baltic Crusades, the name given to a series of overlapping attempts to convert the pagans of North East Europe to Christianity at the point of the sword. From the 12th Century, Papal Bulls endorsed those who fought on the side of the Church, the best known now being the Teutonic Order which, thwarted in Jerusalem, founded a state on the edge of the Baltic, in Prussia. Some of the peoples in the region disappeared, either killed or assimilated, and the consequences for European history were profound.


Aleks Pluskowski
Associate Professor of Archaeology at the University of Reading

Nora Berend
Fellow of St Catharine's College and Reader in European History at the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge


Martin Palmer
Director of the International Consultancy on Religion, Education, and Culture

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Available now

43 minutes


Aleks Pluskowski at the University of Reading

Nora Berend at the University of Cambridge

Northern Crusades - Wikipedia



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Darius von Güttner-Sporzyński, Poland, Holy War, and the Piast Monarchy 1100-1230 (Brepols, 2014)

Adam Zamoyski, Poland (William Collins, 2015)


Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Aleks Pluskowski
Interviewed Guest Nora Berend
Interviewed Guest Martin Palmer
Producer Simon Tillotson


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