Crusaders before the Battle of St. Matthew's Day

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15. September 1217

After the rumors had traveled to Riga that the Estonians were preparing their army, crusaders began to gather their forces.

The most important thing was to anticipate the Russians; Germans, Latgalians and Livonians gathered to a location that Henrik called "a place near Saccalia, where the negotiations were held and the army prayed."
This was about 80 km from Viljandi and the chronicle claims that 3000 men were gathered there. Half of them were German, the other half Livonian and Latgalian.
Partly because lack of time, partly because of the fear of Russians, Germans had not recruited all of the eligible men in Livonia. The official commander of the army was the duke of Orlamünde (Lauenburgi), Albert, but in reality the Master of the Brotherhood of Sword, Folkvin (Volquin) gave the orders.

Source: Sulev Vahtre. Muinasaja loojang Eestis: vabadusvõitlus 1208-1227. Tallinn: Olion. 1990
Evald Tõnisson, Jüri Selirand ja Artur Vassar. Kui Lembitu kutsus... Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1968                             

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/85/LivoniaKnight.jpg/180px-LivoniaKnight.jpg


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