During the early medieval period, a large part of Fenno-Scandia was inhabited by the Sámi. With written sources such as Historia Norwegiæ and Heimskringla referring to Sámi settlements in the medieval period reaching as far south into Norway as Hadeland, close contact between the Sámi and Norse cultural groups is not surprising. By discussing spatial awareness related to Sámi cultural groups, perceived [Norse] borders, geo-political and socio-cultural borderlands, [liminal] identities, meeting places and shared communities as presented by medieval Scandinavian writers, this paper aims to explore Norse-Sámi relations and present a more multi-cultural society than previously accounted for.
Over the course of the 13th century, the region known as medieval Livonia – roughly the territories of Estonia and Latvia today – was conquered and Christianised by North German and Danish crusaders. As a result of these holy wars, the local pagan peoples of ethnically Baltic and Finno-Ugric origin were subjugated and converted. Although many perished, some native magnates were integrated as vassals or regional authorities into the newly formed Catholic lordships ruled by the Teutonic Order, German prince-bishops and the Danish king. This paper explores how institutions like hostageship and vassalage were employed to tie culturally and socially different neophyte elites with the political structures of feudal Christian domains.
While the Prussian and Livonian chroniclers of the 13th-14th centuries describe extensively the military activity of the Teutonic Order in these lands during Baltic Crusades, they have also made attempts to explain these activities by depicting the Order as the guardian of Christian borders. The chronicles mark subtly the opposition between the Christian West and the rest of the world as unbelievers or heretics. They have implied the mission of Teutonic Order was to guard and administer their dominions and to safeguard the divine course there. The present paper will look at the image of the Teutonic Order in these chronicles and demonstrate the chroniclers’ interpretation of the landlord’s role in setting and guarding the borders of his dominion.
This proposed paper is about the possible female warriors in the countries around the Baltic – Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania (nowadays). It is intent of author to examine both archaeological evidence (women buried with weapons), as well as written sources and a little bit of folklore materials, while trying to clarify to what extent we can speak about female warriors. The paper is intended as a general overview of the matter, and it is expected to be divided into several parts, each focusing on specific aspect. Sources – archaeological materials, chronicles, sagas and some pinch of folklore. As a main source I am intending to use archaeological evidence.