„Gegen die vermalediden ketzer und affgesneden Ruyssen und ungelovigen Tarteren“. Bedrohungskommunikation im Rahmen der Livländischen Ablasskampagnen (1503–1510)
Threat discourses were only a small part of the official rhetoric during the two indulgence campaigns from 1503 to 1510, organized and carried out by the Livonian branch of the Teutonic Order to finance their troops for the expected continuation of military conflicts with the neighboring states of Pskov and Muscovy. In a time of growing critique against the theological and monetary aspects of the increasing number of campaigns, more efforts were invested in advertising the spiritual advantages of receiving a letter of indulgence. Nevertheless, the indulgence preachers also shared the Livonian view of their Russian adversaries into the Holy Roman Empire. The aim of this article is to evaluate the possible impact of the Livonian campaigns on the Western perspective on Muscovy. The discourse of a Russian threat can be found in almost all media related to the Livonian campaigns, most prominent the Schonne hysthorie of 1508. To different degrees, the instructions, sermons, and propaganda texts described Livonia’s Muscovite and Pskovian enemies as a threat not only to the Order and the Christians in the Baltic, but also to Christianity itself. But the comparison of the sources also shows that the overall communication of a Russian threat failed in establishing an anti-Russian perspective in the Western part of the Holy Roman Empire in the first quarter of the sixteenth century.