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Feelings during Sieges: Fear, Trust, and Emotional Bonding on the Missionary and Crusader Baltic Rim, 12th – 13th Centuries

Journal article
Authors Wojtek Jezierski
Published in Frühmittelalterliche Studien
Volume 52
Issue 1
Pages 253-281
ISSN 0071-9706
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Historical Studies
Pages 253-281
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1515/fmst-2018-0...
Subject categories History

Abstract

Drawing on studies of the history of emotions, trust- and community-formation, and on medieval as well as modern religious violence, this study re-evaluates the predominantly military view of medieval sieges. Instead, this article examines sieges as extreme, often purposefully histrionic, and emotionally ambivalent social events, based on the descriptions of sieges in two Baltic missionary chronicles: Helmold of Bosau’s ‘Chronica Slavorum’ (12th c.) and Henry of Livonia’s ‘Chronicon Livoniae’ (13th c.). By focusing on the means of emotional bonding during sieges in the Baltic Rim, this article argues that emotions expressed and accentuated the social, political, and religious predicaments of missioning and crusading. Frequently, emotions in sieges were actively deployed and navigated as means of warfare or as the performative fuel of the theatre of war. Often employed as a motivational force, emotions could also serve as a paradoxical method of socialisation within groups of faith and across religious divides.

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