Russians and the Battle of St. Matthew's Day

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21. September 1217

After the events in Otepää, Estonians decided to continue to develop their relationship with the Russians. To do this, Estonians sent their ambassadors to Novgorod, bearing gifts. Latter promised help, but in reality, Novgorodians were busy with their domestic affairs.

Prince Mstislav Udaoly had left Novgorod for good, and the prince called to replace him, the son of Kiev's Mstislav-Boriss Romanovich, was a man named Svjatoslav Mstislavich-Borissovitch from Smolensk, who kept his position for only a year, and never gained the support of the boyars. This is why the Russian army reached Estonia with a delay.

Estonians, lead by Lembitu, began to rally their forces. As by that time almost all of Estonia had suffered under German assaults, Saccalians, Harriens, Wironians, Revalians, people from Ridala and Järvamaa gathered near Lembitu's village at Navesti River (prehistoric name Paala). This force stood put to wait for the Russians, but the Germans got there first.

Image: monument to the defenders of Saccalia in Lõhavere.

Source: Ain Mäesalu, Tõnis Lukas, Mati Laur, Tõnu Tannberg. Eesti ajalugu I. Avita: Tallinn 1995;

Sulev Vahtre. Muinasaja loojang Eestis. Vabadusvõitlus 1208-1227. Olion: Tallinn 1990

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