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Papal impact on peripheral areas in the Middle Ages depended on the means of and possibilities for communication. This case study of the Livonian crusade and mission in the first half of the thirteenth century demonstrates the difficulties of implementing a central leadership in an area that lacked established communication patterns with the papal curia. Traveling was expensive and depended completely on the seasonal rhythm of navigation. To receive a papal letter presupposed personal attendance at the curia; in addition, the papal legates in the Baltic did not establish a regular system for exchange of information. Another important reason leading to this situation was the absence of personal networks that could connect Rome and the Baltic region.