Crusaders attack Western Estonia and Harjumaa (Revalia)

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1216

After christening Southern Estonia, the crusaders started to attack Western Estonia.

Campaign was organized to Läänemaa in 1216, and Soontagana fort was besieged. Despite fierce resistance, which was also noted by Henrik, negotiations begun with the Germans, and Estonians accepted the sacrament of baptizing, and all the other commitments.

Soon, townspeople of Riga, Livonians and Latgalians organized a joint raid to Saaremaa, reaching it across sea ice. Usual looting and killing took place, but the Chronicle leaves the impression that the raid failed. Crusaders were pursued, a number of them died due to exhaustion and severe cold.

Next, the Oeselians made another try to organize a larger campaign against Riga, this time asking help from the prince of Polotsk, Vladimir. Latter was promised that in case of capturing the town of Riga, the prince will be able to reestablish his dominion around Väina River. Vladimir agreed to this, but directly before the campaign begun, he died of unclear reasons. Again, Oeselians' large scale plan failed, the army raided only the areas around Salatsi River and Asti Lake.

In August 1216, the crusaders attacked Harjumaa county. According to the chronicler, Estonian elders held their annual meeting there, in the village of Raikküla. Again, the campaign seemed to have failed and Harjumaa was left to be for four years.

Source: Sulev Vahtre. Muinasaja loojang Eestis: vabadusvõitlus 1208-1227. Tallinn: Olion. 1990
Eesti ajaloo atlas. Tallinn: Avita, 2006.                                                                                                      

Image source: http://www.miksike.ee/docs/elehed/6klass/3linnastumine/images/maak3.jpg


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