The idea of Christian chivalry in the chronicles of the Teutonic Order

By Mary Christie Fischer

PhD Dissertation, University of St Andrews, 1984

Abstract: This thesis has as its subject matter the chronicles written by members of the Teutonic Order to describe and justify the crusades undertaken by the Order in Prussia and Lithuania in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. It argues that the full importance of this material has been largely ignored or misunderstood by historians and literary historians and hence that its contribution to crusading ideology has not been fully appreciated. It is then argued that the Kronike von Pruzinlant, the most widely disseminated and influential of the chronicles, was written in response to widespread criticism of the crusades and the military orders at the end of the thirteenth and beginning, of the fourteenth centuries, and played an important part in re-establishing the crusading ideal at a time of crisis for the crusading movement.