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New Medieval Books: The Utrecht Chronicle of the Teutonic Order

The Utrecht Chronicle of the Teutonic Order: A History of the Crusades in the Holy Land, Prussia and Livonia

Edited and translated by Rombert Stapel

ISBN: 978-0-367-37328-3

A chronicle written in the second half of the 15th century, which details the history of the Teutonic Knights, a military order that fought in the Near East and Baltic regions. The account came at a time when the order was in decline, but offers insights into how they viewed themselves and their mission.


Whereas earlier well-known texts on the Baltic crusades were written exclusively in Prussia or Livonia, the Utrecht Chronicle of the Teutonic Order was conceived far away in the ‘peripheral’ Low Countries. Thus change of perspective had a profound impact on how the history of the Teutonic Order and the crusades in which the brethren participated – not only in the Baltic but also in the Holy Land – was presented… The new structure of the Croniken gave the author much more freedom to switch back and forth between the narratives of Prussia, Livonia, and – quite importantly – the Holy Land. After all, all these events could be linked to a grand master. This fully transformed the traditional way the order’s history was presented. Basing the structure around a meticulously planned uninterrupted sequence of grand masters also stresses the continuity of the order. Undoubtedly, this aspect became more pressing after the events in the Baltic.


Who is this book for?

While this book is not officially part of Routledge’s Crusade Texts in Translation series, it very easily fit with them. Those interested in the crusades or military orders will find this a good text, although being written at the end of the Middle Ages reveals that it is limited in what new information it could offer historians of events centuries previous.

The editor/translator:

Rombert Stapel is a Senior Researcher at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam. His work focuses on the Low Countries in the Late Middle Ages. You can visit Rombert’s website or follow him on X/Twitter or Bluesky.


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