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"The summer before the great darkness": Christianization, Europeanization, and crusading in early twelfth century Sweden

Brinling, Eric J. (2022) "The summer before the great darkness": Christianization, Europeanization, and crusading in early twelfth century Sweden. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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In 1123, an attack on pagans in the Swedish region of Småland was planned and executed by Danish and Norwegian forces, as told in the narrative of Snorri Sturluson’s Heimskringla. This attack, known as the Kalmar Expedition, has largely been ignored by scholars, and has never been closely analyzed within the larger context of this age of transition in Scandinavia’s history. This thesis does exactly that, looking at Snorri’s episode in the context of his larger literary narrative, as well as analyzing the issue of identifying the underlying historical truth from the perspective of Sweden’s conversion, the process of state-formation, and the early development of crusading theology along the Baltic. The Kalmar Expedition was a manifestation of several different processes which were in constant development throughout Scandinavia from the beginning of the Viking Age to the end of the Middle Ages, processes which were concurrent and inseparable and yet inconsistent, leading sometimes to conflict. The Kalmar Expedition, having both religious and political motivations and ramifications, is best understood within the context of this era of cultural transition in Scandinavia, as it reflects the development in Scandinavia in general and Sweden in particular of the ideas of Christianization, Europeanization, and crusading.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Brinling, Eric J.ejb98@pitt.eduejb98
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairArchibald, Elizabethelizabeth.archibald@pitt.eduelizabeth.archibald
Committee MemberHagerty, Bernardkazuo@pitt.edukazuo
Committee MemberCampbell, Williamwhc7@pitt.eduwhc7
Committee Membervon Weissenberg,
Date: 24 April 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 7 April 2022
Approval Date: 24 April 2022
Submission Date: 24 April 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 58
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: history, medieval, middle ages, scandinavia, kalmar expedition
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2022 23:36
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2022 23:36


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