IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 1608: Vikings and Crusaders

Thursday 12 July 2007, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Peter Jensen, Department of History, University of Southern Denmark, Odense
Paper 1608-aLivonia and the Crusades: Before and After
(Language: English)
Eva Eihmane, Faculty of History & Philosophy, University of Latvia, Riga
Index terms: Crusades, Historiography - Medieval, Mentalities
Paper 1608-bThe Invention of the Vikings: The Change of the Concept from the 19th Century until Today
(Language: English)
Tissel Jacobsen, Institut for Historie, Kultur og Samfundsbeskrivelse, Syddansk Universitet, Odense
Paper 1608-cThe Northern Warrior: A Historiographical Approach to the Historian's View on Vikings and Crusaders
(Language: English)
Anne Ida Røkeness, Institutt for arkeologi, konservering og historie, Universitetet i Oslo
Index terms: Crusades, Historiography - Modern Scholarship

Paper a: The Livonian Crusades were a turning point in the development of the present-day Latvia and Estonia and a watershed in the development of local identities. From part of heathendom with no awareness of common identity and constant local-level struggles Livonia became part of Christendom. Crusades launched the slow process of integration of the local populations into European societies. Cities, from their outstart born as Christian citadels and through their Hanseatic ties maintaining constant contacts with older parts of Christendom were in the vanguard of his process. The upcoming paper shall offer a brief look and the Livonian societies before the crusades and the society as it emerged as a result of the crusades with a special emphasis on the christianization of the local societies, the progress of which effort can serve as a certain indicator of the Europeanisation of the local populations. To a certain extent this process also illustrates the internal power-struggles within Livonia and the attitudes between the carriers and recipients of Christianity. The missionary side of the Livonian crusades has generally been presented as a superficial effort. The paper will aspire to analyze also how justified such judgment is, taking into account the relative nature of the Christianity of rural societies and the fact that the crusades served just to plant ‘the God’s vineyard’ and to establish pre-conditions for its cultivation.
Paper b: Using Reinhart Kosellecks theories of conceptual history, this paper concerns the invention of the term ‘Viking age’ in Danish historiography and the development of the concept of the Vikings from about 1800 until the present. It is argued that the concept has been influenced by general changes in the study of history, but also by decisive new archaeological findings or new dating of finds, and it is discussed how changes in general concepts are disseminated within the scholarly milieus and how long time this takes.
Paper c: How have historians understood the early medieval warrior? I will attempt to give an introduction to how the Vikings and the earliest northern crusaders have been portrayed by historians, in the context of the struggle to conform both the state’s (the King’s) and the church’s power.