The knight was the central figure of medieval warfare, evolving from a simple mounted warrior in the tenth century to a member of a hereditary landed class. Knighthood was much like a guild: members were required to possess the proper ancestry, to demonstrate competence in their craft, and to go through an induction ceremony that contained many elements of religious. Charged with keeping the peace locally, defending the Church, and promoting a new standard of civilized behavior, knights came to dominate not only warfare, but high culture as well. They celebrated their special roles through poetry, music, art, and the elaboration of new social codes. They also established chivalric orders intended to strengthen the interlocking relationship between Church, warfare, and manners; and these chivalric orders sometimes left an indelible impression on the secular society of their regions. This was true in northeastern Europe, where knights of the Teutonic Order established the standards of Baltic chivalry that endured there through many centuries


The Historian; Vol 56, #3, 1994, pp. 519-530.


The Teutonic knights and Baltic Chivalry. 

 The knight was the central figure of medieval warfare, evolving from a simple mounted warrior in the tenth century to a member of a hereditary landed class. Knighthood was much like a guild: members were required to possess the proper ancestry, to demonstrate competence in their craft, and to go through an induction ceremony that contained many elements of religious sanction. Charged with keeping peace locally, defending the Church, and promoting a new standard of civilized behavior, knights came to dominate not only warfare, but high culture as well. They celebrated their activities through poetry, music, art, and the elaboration of new social codes. They also established chivalric orders intended to strengthen the interlocking relationship between Church, warfare, and manners; and these chivalric orders sometimes left an indelible impression on the secular society of their regions. This was true in northeastern Europe, where knights of the Teutonic Order established the standards of Baltic chivalry that endured there through many centuries.(1)

The Teutonic Order, or the German Order (Deutsche Orden), arose during the Crusades. It was founded in 1190 at the siege of Acre, to care for German knights whose needs were being ignored by the knights Templar and knights Hospitalers, who were predominantly French and English. In 1197 it was reorganized into a religious-military order, the Order of Saint Mary of the Germans in Jerusalem. Its members promised to defend the Church and took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Although the order maintained many convents, hospitals, and churches, its special calling was warfare in defense of Christendom. The order did not grow rapidly at first, since the most important locations in the Holy Land were already being defended by older orders, and the knights' attempt to defend Transylvania against steppe tribes ended in failure. Successes began to multiply, however, when the order helped the Polish duke of Mazuria defend his provinces against the attacks of Prussian pagans. The duke gave the knights title to the first small territory they conquered. In 1238 the order sent knights farther northeast to the aid of a fellow order in Livonia that had been all but annihilated in battle with pagan Lithuanians. With the help of converted native warriors, Polish princes, and crusaders from the Holy Roman Empire and Scandinavia, the Teutonic Knights conquered all the pagans of the eastern Baltic coastlands by the end of the century. They then made war on the pagans living further inland in Lithuania.(2)

The Teutonic Knights had several advantages over the Lithuanians. With convents scattered across much of Europe and an eye on developments in the Muslim world, the knights possessed more advanced military technology. More important was their superior organization: they had a unified leadership, supervised their subjects closely, and regulated trade and taxation efficiently. Nevertheless, the Lithuanians had a well-deserved military reputation, and their homeland was far from Prussia and Livonia, protected by forests and swamps. Knights knew that important prisoners of war were occasionally sacrificed on flaming grills during pagan ceremonies. The risks of holy war were rewarded, however, by the liberation of captives taken from Poland, Prussia, and Livonia, the destruction of sacred groves dedicated to ancient gods, and the spread of Christianity to the east.(3)

The Lithuanians, of course, did not see the crusades in this light. They were not the "sons of Satan" described by friars who preached the crusade against them. They made war the same way that the knights did: in an era when castles were difficult to attack, their offensive operations were directed against the civilian population, just as crusader raids were aimed at villages and farmsteads. Warfare was both manhood ritual, sport, training for future emergencies, revenue enhancement, and occasionally, serious politics.

Although some in Christian Europe argued for a more vigorous prosecution of the holy war, others often criticized the crusaders' strategy and tactics. The Teutonic Knights earned some of the censure they received, but much of the criticism was undeserved. The knights pointed out that many of their critics were rivals for power and land, and that no other army could protect converts against "schismatics" (Russian Orthodox Christians) and pagans. They attempted to impress potential crusaders by living up to elaborate chivalrous ideals. The knights' propaganda was successful: despite grumblings from pious individuals and zealous popes, most ecclesiastics and rulers were unwilling to undermine the strength of an order of knight-brothers dedicated to the defense of Christendom and the advancement of chivalry.(4)

The Teutonic Knights brought a chivalry to the Baltic that most had learned as members of the Ministeriale class. This class had its origins in the so-called serf-knights and still admired burghers who had developed military skills to protect themselves while traveling from city to city with their merchandise. Often almost landless, the Ministeriales traditionally served as administrators and garrison officers. Ministeriales were ambitious, eager to make money, to earn a reputation, and to achieve fame. Most recruits to the Teutonic Order grew up in Ministeriale families in southern and central Germany, and they carried the ideals of their youth to Prussia and Livonia. They learned additional chivalric concepts from British and French crusaders. When it became evident that potential recruits to the Teutonic Order and volunteer crusaders responded more readily to promises of chivalric spectacles than to the traditional call to defend Christendom, the order made chivalry its special raison d'étre.

The German Order was at first unenthusiastic about the holy war in the Baltic. They preferred to concentrate their resources, energy, and enthusiasm on defending the Holy Land and scarcely sent enough knights to Prussia and Livonia to protect their early conquests. However, after Acre had fallen in 1291 and the mass arrest of the Knights Templar had made even Italy unsafe for members of crusading orders, the grandmasters took up residence in Prussia. During the following decades they developed the idea of a perpetual crusade against the Lithuanians, the last pagans in Europe. They built their new campaign on the foundations laid in the thirteenth century: the ease of travel to the Baltic coast, the lure of exotic entertainment, and the prospect of establishing and protecting a new Christian state.

From the beginning of the crusade, the knights appreciated Prussia's nearness to Germany. The crusaders were not exhausted by travel and could afford the expenses of a relatively short stay in the northeast; moreover, the cool climate there contrasted favorably with the discomfort and diseases of the Middle East. There were other lures as well, such as the opportunity to hunt beasts not found in central Europe. The duke of Braunschweig was the first to come to Prussia to chase the aurochs and giant stags. The great hawks of Prussia and Gotland were so coveted by visitors that grandmasters were overwhelmed by requests for them. The grandmasters carefully protected this valuable resource, sending hawks only to important lords whose favor they wished to curry.

The Teutonic Order ultimately became the sole ruler in the region. In the early years Polish dukes had hoped to share in the knights' territorial conquests, and they had provided large contingents for the crusading armies. After 1240, however, civil war and Mongol invasions forced them to abandon hopes of expansion and concentrate on problems at home. Then the Teutonic Order's leaders persuaded a papal legate to eliminate the bishop of Prussia as a rival by dividing his see into four tiny bishoprics, which the knights came to dominate. They later subordinated the ambitious archbishops of Riga in Livonia. Emperor Frederick II had no interest in acquiring lands that far to the east, and he actually granted extensive privileges to the Teutonic Order, including the right to use the imperial eagle on the grandmaster's banner. German nobles presented no threat to the knights; they were engaged so fully in the emperor's struggle with the popes that none could spare the troops and money necessary to establish a foothold in the northeast.

In the mid thirteenth century, when King Ottokar of Bohemia became the most powerful figure in the Holy Roman Empire, he was poised to take control of the crusades against paganism. His huge army overawed Prussian resistance in 1254, and the grateful Teutonic Knights named their new fortress Konigsberg (the king's mountain) in his honor. Ottokar might have become the principal landholder in the region, but he was distracted from his plans for an eastern empire by problems in central Europe, where he met his death in battle. As a result of all these events, the Teutonic Knights were unchallenged in Prussia. They eliminated potential challenges to their hegemony by granting only a handful of fiefs to secular knights who had joined the crusade, and none to relatives of members of the order. Their new state represented an impressive establishment of the Peace of God on the edge of an increasingly unstable east-central Europe.

The knights' conquests in Livonia were governed by a semi-autonomous branch of the order. Livonia was valuable as a base for attacks on Lithuania, but was almost a liability, because of recurring conflicts between the order and the archbishop of Riga. But since recruits for Livonia came from the Low German language areas of Germany, while knights came to Prussia from the Middle High German areas, the grandmasters did not consider the Livonian branch of the order a significant competitor for scarce resources.

Long before the end of the thirteenth century the number of crusaders coming to Prussia and Livonia declined. In contrast to their spectacular early conquests, after 1260 the Teutonic Knights found offensive operations difficult. They could offer recruits and crusaders only boring garrison duty and dangerous but unexciting searches for guerrillas and rebels. In the 1320s, an inspired grandmaster finally conceived of a plan to attract large numbers of knights to Prussia. Ludolf of Braunschweig made the crusades against Lithuania a showplace for western chivalry. Ludolf, a descendant of the first important crusader to the region, wrote and inspired poetry, instituted the celebration of King Arthur's Round Table, and urged squires from across Europe to come to Prussia to be dubbed knights for performing valiant deeds against the enemies of the Cross.(5)

The extravagant entertainment of this era took place in lavishly furnished fortresses. No professional warrior could fall to be impressed by the castles in Prussia, especially by the huge castles at Marienburg and Königsberg. The greatest supporter of the order in this era was King John of Bohemia, the contemporary embodiment of a knight-errant. Although he lost his sight to snow blindness and a severe cold on the last of his four crusades in Prussia, he continued his chivalric quests. He fell at Crecy in a hopeless charge on the English after the main French army had already begun to retreat; the king would not leave the battlefield without striking a blow for honor. The Teutonic Knights expected great things of his son, Charles IV, who had been to Prussia with his father, but Charles did not wish to take up the Cross again. The knights sought out other champions to lead their crusading expeditions.(6)

Duke Albrecht of Austria came to Prussia in 1377 to become a knight, leaving his pregnant wife and setting off laden with gold, gifts, and wines. With him was a gifted poet, Peter von Suchenwirt, who commemorated Albrecht's chivalric deeds. Count William of Holland made two memorable journeys to Prussia. On one trip he gambled successfully against King Louis the Great of Hungary and embarrassed the complaining loser by giving away all his winnings.(7)

Aware that travel to Prussia was too expensive for poor knights, the Teutonic Knights provided subsidies that blurred the line between crusader and mercenary. This practice became so widespread that even the duke of Bavaria, one of the richest lords in the Holy Roman Empire, accepted money in 1422 to serve in Prussia as a crusader. Lulls in the Hundred Years War provided convenient times for French and Burgundian knights, as well as their English counterparts, to set out for the Baltic. The marshal of France, Jean Boucicaut, participated in four campaigns and founded an order to protect the wives and daughters of absent crusaders. Philip the Bold of Burgundy sent professional Genoese gunners to assist in the 1394 siege of Vilnius.

The most famous English warrior to serve in the Baltic was Chaucer's Knight. This fictitious character was probably a composite of several contemporary crusaders, most notably Chaucer's patron, the count of Derby (later Henry IV), who journeyed to Prussia three times. English crusaders were important participants in the expeditions into Lithuania, especially in the 1390 siege of Vilnius, where English longbowmen inflicted heavy losses on their opponents. English participation in this crusade suddenly ceased, however, after their knights insisted on carrying the banner of St. George, an honor traditionally given to the most prominent visitor on hand (usually a German). Moreover, the count of Derby interfered in the internal politics of the crusading order and annoyed the German knights by persistently discussing the rights of English merchants to trade in Prussia. English commoners caused trouble, too, by fighting with Scots wherever they encountered them. All in all, the English caused more problems than their help was worth. In 1394 the grandmaster made a discouraging reply to English inquiries about a future mission, and English knights were rarely mentioned in Prussian records after that date.(8)

French knights were more welcome because they were more numerous and less likely to mix demands for mercantile rights with their duties as Christian warriors. Also, they did most of their quarreling before they reached Prussia. On the other hand, they were sometimes unrealistic about the dangers of crusading. At the 1394 siege of Vilnius French knights saw Polish knights fighting among the ranks of the enemy. Hoping to cross spears with them, they sought permission to stage a joust on the spot. The grandmaster denied their request, explaining that Christians could not enter into honorable exchanges with pagans. (He may also have been concerned about army discipline, morale, and the impact of a truce on his campaign.) Undeterred, the French knights tried to arrange a joust against the Poles the following year in Prague.(9)

The high point of the chivalric crusade came under Grandmaster Winrich von Kniprode (1352-1382). A contemporary poet wrote:

Master Winrich was a masterful man in bearing and personality. In his reign the Order in Prussia was filled with many noble and wise brethren, and there was such a flowering of wisdom, counsel, manliness, honor, riches, and handsome brothers that there was no convent in which one could not find one or two brothers whose wisdom and honesty were not appropriate for a grandmaster of the Order. And all pilgrims said that they had never seen so many handsome men of experience and wisdom as were in the Order in Prussia. Consequently, many lords, knights, and squires made the journey to Prussia and stayed in Königsberg at great expense.(10)

The crusade ended shortly after 1396, when a disastrous campaign in the Balkans almost eliminated a generation of French crusaders and the Teutonic Knights achieved their territorial goals by occupying Samogitia (lowland Lithuania). With Vytautas the Great, an ally and a Christian, ruling in Lithuania, the grandmasters did not see a need to call more armies for several years. The grandmasters were more worried about Poland, whose ruler, the former Lithuanian grand duke Jagiello, had married the Polish queen in 1386. Although Jagiello introduced Christianity into Lithuania, the knights did not trust him.

The knights' relations with Poland worsened every year after the death of the Polish queen in 1399. Jagiello refused to release knights who had been taken captive by Samogitians during rebellions he encouraged. Worse still, the Teutonic Order was undergoing an identity crisis - if Lithuania had been Christianized, what justified the order's existence? Jagiello also threatened to make good on promises he had made to the Polish knighthood to "recover" Prussia. The order's defeat at the battle of Tannenberg (Grunwald) in 1410 essentially settled its fate: within a few years the Teutonic Knights had become a minor military power, and they employed what resources they could spare against the Hussites and Turks with little success.(11)

in 1525 the grandmaster secularized Prussia and made it into a Protestant duchy. Many of the few remaining knights were aged, and some were so dedicated to their vows that they left for convents in Germany. Consequently, few German knights married and established families. The German Master, whose seat was at Bad Mergentheim, took the title of grandmaster and reorganized those convents in the Holy Roman Empire that had survived the Reformation. His successors provided funds and troops for wars against the Turks in the Balkans. Ultimately, they moved their headquarters to Vienna and became a military and chivalric extension of the house of Hapsburg, celebrating ancient traditions and German patriotism in baroque splendor.(12)

In Livonia, the Teutonic Knights lasted longer and enjoyed a separate history, in which chivalry was less important. The exploits of Robin von Eltz bestowed fame on the semi-autonomous order, but his successors squandered their reputation in petty quarrels and schisms. Engelbert, the count of the Mark, visited Livonia, but he was more interested in traveling to Jerusalem via Russia than in establishing a tradition of crusading in the north. The last great Landmeister, Walter von Plettenberg, won a victory over the overwhelming forces of Ivan the Great in 1500, but it came too late to rescue his order from the changes in military technology and the unification of great kingdoms. In the future small states fighting a defensive war stood little chance of success. Moreover, as peace settled over the Baltic, the Livonian public, which was increasingly Protestant, lost interest in an order of Roman Catholic warriors. When war came, the crusader forces succumbed easily to the armies of Ivan the Terrible. In 1561 the last Landmeister became the Protestant duke of Courland.(13)

The Teutonic Knights have not been regarded favorably by historians, partly because of the sad picture they presented in their declining years. They were unpopular among Estonians and Latvians, who were conquered by crusaders and remained under German domination into the present century. They were hated even more fiercely by Lithuanians and Poles, especially in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when der Deutsche Orden came to symbolize all things German. Soviet propagandists, and even American novelists and textbook writers, erroneously identified the order with Wilhelmine nationalism and Nazi crimes. None of this, however, should obscure the Teutonic Order's influence on art and architecture, on economic growth and education, on orderly government, and on noble mores and manners.(14)

The almost exclusively male form that chivalric ideas took in this part of Europe had a permanent effect on society there. The knight-brothers' vows of celibacy presented certain difficulties in entertaining secular visitors. Because prominent crusaders expected to meet handsome women, the grandmaster arranged for balls and banquets to be hosted by burghers and secular nobles. Afterward, however, throughout the extensive pageantry surrounding the order, and at the feasts held in the pagan heartland, the company was exclusively masculine. Since the Teutonic Knights had to exclude women from court life, banquets, and even literature, their chivalry was King Arthur without Gwenivere; they substituted hunting, drinking, talk about war, and complaints about the changing times for female companionship.

The ideals of Baltic chivalry had a lasting impact on subsequent generations of secular nobles. Service as officers and administrators came to be considered honorable; abstinence and dedication to completing the job were emphasized above class privilege or individual pleasure. Yet, this set of customs and conventions had its drawbacks: praising nobility implied denigrating commoners, crusading bred religious fanaticism, worshipping military deeds fostered atrocities, and defending every Christian action against pagans led to the deadening of moral sensibilities. Even contemporary literature recognized that chivalry had its faults.

Chivalry did not die of moral failure, however: it priced itself out of existence. The exorbitant expenses of chivalric displays combined with changing military needs to limit membership, and the order soon became a sinecure for the younger sons of minor nobility, who served as officers of mercenary units. Later, following the Reformation, the order was transformed to provide a living for a handful of younger sons of high nobility. It emphasized baroque pageantry, war against the Turks, and dynastic politics.(15)

This Counter-Reformation Order succeeded in the Holy Roman Empire largely because the public there still believed in its usefulness. In Reformation-era Prussia and Livonia, however, the order lacked public support. In 1518 the last grandmaster in Prussia authorized a tournament, hoping to reestablish the chivalric tradition. The master in Livonia quickly followed suit, limiting participation to secular combatants. In 1536, however, when a burgher defeated all noble contenders, a riot broke out at the banquet. In vain the master shouted and threw bread at the rioters in an attempt to restore order. The spectacle was a metaphor for the order's existence: what had begun as honorable service and self-sacrifice ended in satire and burlesque.(16)

During the order's heyday, however, it was respected by European knights. Nobles came to Prussia to experience pomp and pageantry, and squires who could not afford to become knights at home could achieve that honor in Prussia. All participants could boast of their exploits in Lithuania. Minor counts of little importance in Germany had a chance of being seated at the Table of Honor in Königsberg. They could visit magnificent castles, dine at splendid banquets, listen to fine music, meet famous men, and enjoy the best hunting in Europe. The military expeditions were relatively short and risk-free, but the discomforts and dangers were sufficient to justify the pride the knights took in having participated.

Crusaders also performed a pilgrimage in honor of the Virgin Mary. Veneration of Mary was not unique to the Baltic, but her cult was especially prominent among crusaders. The poetry of the Teutonic Order was primarily historical epics, except for that inspired by Mary. She was the pivotal point around which religious observances in Prussia and Livonia revolved.(17)

Military chivalry did not extend fully to the crusaders' opponents. Pagans could not be knights; they were not involved in the familiar feudal relationships and courtly life that underlay the chivalric code. Yet, the Lithuanian grand dukes still came to rule the largest state in Europe. They did this partly with the aid of crusaders, and partly in the course of defending themselves against crusader aggression. However, they built their power primarily by expanding east and south into Russia to fight the Tatars, where they came into conflict with the kings of Poland and Hungary. A three-sided conflict ensued: although the monarchs of Poland and Hungary conducted a crusade parallel to that of the Teutonic Order, they rarely cooperated with the order. More often they supported the pagans against the knights, and from time to time the knights found it necessary to ally with the Lithuanian dukes against Poland. Promises of imminent conversions to Christianity abounded in this atmosphere, and accusations of deception and betrayal were common. As a result, the knights continually warned visiting crusaders not to expect any pagan to behave like a western opponent. The crusaders hoped to dominate Samogitia, whose inhabitants did not recognize the suzerainty of the Lithuanian grand dukes. As rebels without a lord, the Samogitians were doubly dangerous to western values.(18)

The Teutonic Knights were utterly practical - even hard-headed - in politics and warfare. Their Realpolitik made them many enemies, but it also ensured their survival when threatened by powerful and capable foes.

They were equally practical in their financial affairs, which they entrusted to brothers from middle-class burgher families; and they were rigorous in their diplomacy, for which they employed scholars trained in Italian universities. They managed their properties carefully, helped merchants to expand into new markets, and protected commerce; they also permitted burghers to assemble periodically to offer advice and pass legislation. The knights' administrative skill may be due in part to the elastic nature of the knightly class in Germany: the Ministeriales were non-noble in their origin. Moreover, as an international corporation, the knights had opportunities to observe and copy successful administrators and institutions.(19)

Secular nobles resented the Teutonic Knights, who limited the nobles' rights within the knights' domains. When nobles attempted to exploit native labor, the Teutonic Knights protected the "converts" to ensure a contented and effective native militia: unhappy infantry would he neither enthusiastic in war nor trustworthy in peace. This policy was unpopular among German vassals, who wanted freedom from military service, lower taxes, and a greater voice in matters of war and peace. They looked longingly at neighboring Poland, which was becoming a republic of nobles run for the benefit of a large ruling class. They saw the Teutonic Knights as an obstacle to their ambitions, and they later welcomed Polish rule in Prussia and formed knightly corporations in Livonia to protect their rights.(20)

Lithuania's conversion to Christianity and the knights' hopeless war against Poland ultimately undermined the order's strength. By the mid fifteenth century the tax-burdened German knights and burghers in Prussia called on the king of Poland to come to their rescue; a few years later the order's branch in Livonia was engaged in civil war and conflict with the archbishop, the nobles, and the burghers. The Teutonic Order was disbanded in Prussia and Livonia, and the local gentry and immigrant mercenaries acquired more power. One lasting legacy of the Teutonic Knights, however, was the Junker nobility of Brandenburg-Prussia, the state that became the nucleus of a united Germany in the nineteenth century.

1 Philippe Contamine, War in the Middle Ages, trans. Michael Jones (Oxford, 1986), 270-278, 303; Richard Barber, The Knight and Chivalry (New York, 1982), 26-31; Alan Forey, The Military Orders from the Twelfth to the Early Fourteenth Century (Toronto, 1992), 1-5, 241; Peter Dembowski, "Reflets chevaleresque du Nord-Est dans l'oeuvre de Jean Froissart," in Homages Jerzy Kloczowski (Dublin, 1986).

2 Eric Christiansen, The Northern Crusades: The Baltic and the Catholic Frontier 1100-1525 (Minneapolis, 1980), 215-217; William Urban, The Baltic Crusade (DeKalb, Ill., 1975; 2nd edition Chicago, 1994); Idem, The Prussian Crusade (Washington, D.C., 1980; 2nd edition Chicago 2001); Idem, The Samogitian Crusade. (Chicago, 1989; 2nd edition, Chicago 2006); Marian Biskup and Gerard Labuda, Dzieje Zakonu Krzyzackiego w Prusach (Gdansk, 1986).

3 Summaries of recent scholarship can be found in La cristianizzazione della lituania. Atti del Colloquio Internazionale di Storia Ecclesiastica (1387-1987) (Rome, 1990); Gli Inizi del cristianesimo in Livonia-Lettonia. Atti del Colloquio Internazionale di Storia Ecclesiastic in occasione dell VIII Centenario della Chiesa in Livonia (1186-1198) (Rome, 1989).

4 Many people opposed the crusades. See Terry Jones, Chaucer's Knight: The Portrait of a Medieval Mercenary (London, 1980); William Urban, "Roger Bacon and the Teutonic Knights," Journal of Baltic Studies 19, no. 4 (1988): 363-370.

5 See the analysis of Huizinga's ideas about chivalry in Malcolme Vale, War and Chivalry (Athens, Ga., 1981). Jonathan Riley-Smith commented, "Were it not for the brutality and the very real hardships that were part of them, one is tempted to write of the reysen as packaged crusading for the European nobility, and their popularity demonstrated bow attractive this package could be when wrapped in the trappings of chivalry." See Jonathan Riley-Smith, The Crusades, A Short History (New Haven, 1987), 214.

6 Heinrich Knapp, Das Schloss Marienburg in Preussen. Quellen und Materialien zur Baugeschichte nach 1456 (Lineburg, 1990).

7 Franz Meltzer, Die Ostraumpolitik Konig Johanns trim Bohmen (Jena, 1940); Wilhelm Rautenberg, "Einwirkung Bohmen auf die Geschichte des Ordenslandes Preussen im spaten Mittelalter," Zeitschrift fur Ostforschung 22 (1973): 626-634; Jerry Smith and William Urban, "Peter von Suchenwirt," Lituanus 31, no. 2 (1985): 5-26; Georg Cuny, "Die beiden Preussenfahrten Herzog Heinrich des Reichen von Bayern und Bartholomaeus Boreschau," Zeitschrift des Westpreussischen Geschichtsverein 51, no. 1 (1909): 53-71; Werner Paravicini, "Die Preussenreisen des europaischen Adels," Historiche Zeitschrift 232 (1981): 25-38; Idem, "Edelleute, Hansen, Brugger Burger: die Finanzerung der westeuropaischen Preussenreisen im 14. Jahrhundert," Hansischen Geschichtsblatter 104 (1986): 5-20.

8 Albert Cook, The Historical Background of Chaucer's Knight (New York, 1966); Richard Kyngeston, Expeditions to Prussia and the Holy Land made by Henry Earl of Derby, 1390-1391, ed. Lucy Tomlin Smith (New York, 1965; reprint of 1894); William Urban, "When Was Chaucer's Knight in 'Ruce'?" Chaucer Review 18 (1984): 347-358; Albert Cook, "Beginning the Board in Prussia," Journal of English and German Philology 14 (1915): 378-87. See also James Schutz, The Shape of the Round Table: Structures of Middle High German Arthurian Prose (Toronto, 1983), though it does not discuss Prussia.

9 Wigand von Marburg, Scriptores 2:660.

10 "Die altere Hochmeisterchronik," in Scriptores 2:559; Bernhart Jahnig, "Winrich von Kniprode, Hochmeister des Deutschen Ordens 1352-1382," Jahrbuch Preussischer Kulturbesitz 19 (1982): 249-276.

11 Sven Ekdahl, Die Schlacht bei Tannenberg 1410 (Berlin, 1982); Stefan Kuczynski, Wielka Wojna z Zakonim Krzyzackim w latach 1409-1411 (Warsaw, 1987); Sven Ekdahl, "Tannenberg/Grunwald - ein politisches Symbol in Deutschland und Polen," Journal of Baltic Studies 22, no. 4 (1991): 271-324.

12 800 Jahre Deutscher Orden [catalog of the 1990 international exhibition at the Germanisches National Museum in Nuremberg] (Gutersloh-Munich, 1990); Marian Tumler and Udo Arnold, Der Deutsche Orden von seinem Ursprung bis zur Gegenwart, 4th ed. (Bad Munstereifel, 1986); and Friedrich Benninghoven, Unter Kreuz und Adler: Der Deutsche Orden ira Mittelalter [catalog to the permanent exhibition of the Teutonic Order at Bad Mergentheim] (Berlin, 1990).

13 William Urban, The Livonian Crusade (Washington, D.C., 1981; 2nd edition Chicago, 2004), 238f; Udo Arnold, "Engelbert III, Graf von der Mark, seine Kreuzfahrten in das Heilige Land, nach Livland und nach Preussen," Acta Prussica (Wurzburg, 1968); Manfred Hellmann, "Der Deutsche Orden in Livland," Die Rolle der Ritterorden in der Mittelalterlichen Kultur (Torun, 1985), 111-115; Norbert Angermann, ed., Wolter von Plettenberg: der grosste Ordensmeister Livlands (Luneburg, 1985).

14 William Urban, "Der Deutsche Orden in amerikanischen Schulbucher," Beitrage zur Geschichte des Deutschen Ordens (Marburg, 1986): 111-122.

15 Michael Burleigh, Prussian Society and the German Order: An Aristocratic Corporation in Crisis c. 1410-1466 (Cambridge, 1984).

16 The Chronicle of Balthasar Russow, trans. Jerry C. Smith, Juergen Eichhoff, and William Urban (Madison, 1988), 45.

17 Mary Ellen Goenner, The Mary Verse of the Teutonic Order (New York, 1944).

18 Harmut Boockmann, Der Deutsche Orden: Zwolf Kapitel aus seiner Geschichte (Munich, 1981), 168.

19 Cf. Charles Wood, The Quest for Eternity: Medieval Manners and Morals (Garden City, NJ., 1971), 195: "nobility and rulers alike moved in a world that preferred the chivalrous gesture to sensible policy"; Klaus Neitmann, Die Staatsvertrage des Deutschen Ordens in Preussen 1230-1449, vol. 6 of Neue Forschungen zur brandenburg-preussischen Geschichte (Koln, 1986); William Urban, "The Diplomacy of the Teutonic Knights at the Curia," Journal of Baltic Studies 9, no. 2 (1978): 116-128; and the series on humanism in Prussia, Journal of Baltic Studies 22, nos. 1-3 (1991): 5-72, 95-122, 195-232.

20 William Urban, "Characteristics of Medieval Warfare in the Baltic," Geschichte des Deutschen Ordens in Livland (in press).

William Urban is professor of history and holder of the Lee L. Morgan Chair in History and International Studies at Monmouth College (Illinois).

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