Alexander Nevsky
#1
I know he's recognized as a saint by the Russian Orthodox for nearly a millenium now, and he's placed near the top on some greatest ever Russians polls in the 21st century,and I've seen seem  highly praised on a few Eastern Christian forums, but frankly it amazes me that such a man could be made a saint. I think to call him a Quisling would be unfair to Quisling. Even if you were one of the those extreme Russian Orthodox who believe the Roman Church is diabolical, how could anyone rationalize Nevsky's making common cause and paying tribute to the Mongol Hordes who had absolutely devastated the lands of the Rus, killing perhaps half a million people and destroying countless churches and monasteries only a few years earlier. Nevsky was so loyal to the Mongols, he even supressed rebellions of his own people against them. And this man is considered a saint !

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#2
Nearly a millennium? 
Seems they canonized him in the 1540s, at least on Prof. Wiki.
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#3
I'm sorry, I could have sworn I wrote half a millenium. He hadn't even been born a millenium ago.
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#4
In Russia many people don't even think the Mongol hordes were asiatic. Dr. Matthew Raphael Johnson has an article on the issue in his site www.rusjournal.org. It's never been a big issue for me but I remember being intrigued by it when I first read it. 

 Even if the Mongols were asiatic hordes they didn't require Orthodox to change their faith; going under the papacy would have required it.  "Better the devil you know" as they say.
Walk before God in simplicity, and not in subtleties of the mind. Simplicity brings faith; but subtle and intricate speculations bring conceit; and conceit brings withdrawal from God. -Saint Isaac of Syria, Directions on Spiritual Training


"It is impossible in human terms to exaggerate the importance of being in a church or chapel before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. I very seldom repeat what I say. Let me repeat this sentence. It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. That sentence is the talisman of the highest sanctity. "Father John Hardon
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#5
(02-22-2020, 03:59 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: In Russia many people don't even think the Mongol hordes were asiatic. Dr. Matthew Raphael Johnson has an article on the issue in his site www.rusjournal.org. It's never been a big issue for me but I remember being intrigued by it when I first read it. 

 Even if the Mongols were asiatic hordes they didn't require Orthodox to change their faith; going under the papacy would have required it.  "Better the devil you know" as they say.

Exactly. The Horde had not yet been Islamicised, so the choice was- 1) Golden Horde=lots of death and depredation but we stay Orthodox, 2) Teutonic Knights=lots of death and depredation and we have to become Latins. From the Orthodox view point, it looks like a no brainer to me.
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#6
Nothing the Teutonic Knights ever did, or were accused of, even remotely compares with the Mongols genocidal campaigns against the Rus, just a few years before Nevsky became their willing vassal.  The conflict between the Teutonic Knights and Novgorod came about after the Bishop of Finland appealed to Pope for aid against Novgorod. In 1257, about 15 years after the defeat of the Teutonic Knights, Nevsky ordered some of his own subjects to have their noses cut off and eyes put out, for opposing higher taxes to pay the Mongols.
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#7
The Teutonic Knights, like the Inquisition, have been viewed pretty negatively, particularly since WW2, but Traditional Catholic historian, Desmond Seward has written favorably about them in his book The Monks Of War.  In Russia, Lithuania and Poland it's not uncommon to see the Order described as if it was some Medieval version of the Totenkopf SS, but the reality as Seward has said, was that the Teutonic Knights were Catholics first and Germans second. In fact, they welcomed Slav and Balt Catholics into their Order.
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#8
(02-26-2020, 02:18 PM)Eric F Wrote: The Teutonic Knights, like the Inquisition, have been viewed pretty negatively, particularly since WW2, but Traditional Catholic historian, Desmond Seward has written favorably about them in his book The Monks Of War.  In Russia, Lithuania and Poland it's not uncommon to see the Order described as if it was some Medieval version of the Totenkopf SS, but the reality as Seward has said, was that the Teutonic Knights were Catholics first and Germans second. In fact, they welcomed Slav and Balt Catholics into their Order.
I would be interested in reading that book.  The only one I've ever read is Christiansons "The Northern Crusades" which is good but old and likely uses dated scholarship, not to mention its more a very short topical introduction to the Northern Crusades and not on the Teutonic Knights per se. Looks interesting.
Walk before God in simplicity, and not in subtleties of the mind. Simplicity brings faith; but subtle and intricate speculations bring conceit; and conceit brings withdrawal from God. -Saint Isaac of Syria, Directions on Spiritual Training


"It is impossible in human terms to exaggerate the importance of being in a church or chapel before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. I very seldom repeat what I say. Let me repeat this sentence. It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. That sentence is the talisman of the highest sanctity. "Father John Hardon
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#9
(02-26-2020, 06:16 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote:
(02-26-2020, 02:18 PM)Eric F Wrote: The Teutonic Knights, like the Inquisition, have been viewed pretty negatively, particularly since WW2, but Traditional Catholic historian, Desmond Seward has written favorably about them in his book The Monks Of War.  In Russia, Lithuania and Poland it's not uncommon to see the Order described as if it was some Medieval version of the Totenkopf SS, but the reality as Seward has said, was that the Teutonic Knights were Catholics first and Germans second. In fact, they welcomed Slav and Balt Catholics into their Order.
I would be interested in reading that book.  The only one I've ever read is Christiansons "The Northern Crusades" which is good but old and likely uses dated scholarship, not to mention its more a very short topical introduction to the Northern Crusades and not on the Teutonic Knights per se. Looks interesting.

                                                                   I seem to remember reading a book called The Northern Crusades, close to 40 years ago, but I don't see it on Amazon.  Did the book you read begin with a Crusade against the Wends ?
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#10
(02-26-2020, 07:11 PM)Eric F Wrote:
(02-26-2020, 06:16 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote:
(02-26-2020, 02:18 PM)Eric F Wrote: The Teutonic Knights, like the Inquisition, have been viewed pretty negatively, particularly since WW2, but Traditional Catholic historian, Desmond Seward has written favorably about them in his book The Monks Of War.  In Russia, Lithuania and Poland it's not uncommon to see the Order described as if it was some Medieval version of the Totenkopf SS, but the reality as Seward has said, was that the Teutonic Knights were Catholics first and Germans second. In fact, they welcomed Slav and Balt Catholics into their Order.
I would be interested in reading that book.  The only one I've ever read is Christiansons "The Northern Crusades" which is good but old and likely uses dated scholarship, not to mention its more a very short topical introduction to the Northern Crusades and not on the Teutonic Knights per se. Looks interesting.

                                                                   I seem to remember reading a book called The Northern Crusades, close to 40 years ago, but I don't see it on Amazon.  Did the book you read begin with a Crusade against the Wends ?
That's the book. "The Northern Crusades" Yes, the Wendish crusade was the first mentioned in the book.  I have it in front of me.  It's by Eric Christiansen. I remember loving the topic but having trouble finding much else about it.  It's a short one volume book.  I didn't know it was no longer on Amazon.
Walk before God in simplicity, and not in subtleties of the mind. Simplicity brings faith; but subtle and intricate speculations bring conceit; and conceit brings withdrawal from God. -Saint Isaac of Syria, Directions on Spiritual Training


"It is impossible in human terms to exaggerate the importance of being in a church or chapel before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. I very seldom repeat what I say. Let me repeat this sentence. It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. That sentence is the talisman of the highest sanctity. "Father John Hardon
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