Sosols attack Pihkva

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1061

In spring 1061, chronicles tell us, that Sosols rose up against Kiev tax collectors. They gathered a great army and initially attacked Yuryev, which was burnt to the ground. This ended the 30-year long period of Russian rule in South-Eastern Estonia. But the Sosols did not stop there, they moved on to one of the most important towns in Old-Russia, Pihkva. It is possible, that other Estonian tribes participated in the campaign initiated by yhe presumable Northern Estonians, among those South-Western Estonians who had just become free.
The prince, however, had managed to gather a relatively strong army, and went to face the Estonians. The outcome of the battle is still unclear: chronicles only note, that about 1000 Russians perished, but uncountable amount of Sosols died. Therefore it is possible, that actually the latter won. Loosing Yuryev seemed to have been a rather great blow to the rulers Kiev-Russia, as during the following 50 years, the are no accounts of Russian campaigns to Estonia. Lack of inner unity inside the Old-Russia, the situation that became very apparent especially after Izjaslav, seems to have played a part here.

Source: Aivar Kriiska, Andres Tvauri. Eesti muinasaeg. Tallinn: Avita, 2002.


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