DHWTY via Ancient Origins:
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The Crusades are best known as a series of military campaigns launched by Western European states, and sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church, aimed at reclaiming the Holy Land from the Muslims. Less well-known, perhaps, are the other wars sanctioned by the papacy, such as the Spanish Reconquista, the Albigensian Crusade and the Northern Crusades. It was during the Northern Crusades that a rather horrific episode in Lithuanian history occurred – the mass suicide at Pilenai, which is the largest known mass suicide in history.
The Northern Crusades (also known as the Baltic Crusades) were carried out between the 11th to the 15th centuries. On one side of the conflict were the Christian powers, including Denmark, Poland, Sweden, the Livonian Brothers of the Sword and the Teutonic Order. On the other side were the pagans of Northern Europe, including the Livonians, Estonians, Wends, Lithuanians and Samogitians.