Vyachko in Tartu

to map

1223

Vyachko, the prince of Koknese, the area that had once been under the influence of the principality of Polotsk, came to Tartu. Novgorod had promised him the rule over Tartu and all the other areas he would able to conquer. In principle, Vyachko was allowed to create a small principality in Livonia, that would answer to Novgorod. The Ugaunians did not have much choice, and in the name of fight against the Germans, Vyachko and his 200 men were permitted to enter Tartu. Vyachko collected tribute from nearby areas, and raided those which did not agree to pay.

When the Germans reached Tartu in 1224, they persuaded Vyachko to surrender, but the latter refused, hoping the additional forces from Russia to arrive soon. Germans were extra hostile towards Vyachko, and before the assault on the fort began, it was decided that in case of capture, Vyachko will be hung to the highest tree. The fort was taken, and Vyachko killed. Only one vassal of Vladimir-Suzdal was left alive, who was sent to Russia as a messenger. Army that had been on its way and had reached Pihkva turned back. After Tartu was captured, battles seized on mainland Estonia; also Novgorod and Pihkva made peace with the Germans.

Image: location of the Tartu fort, where Tartu observatory stands today

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

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bf/Tartu_Observatory_2008.JPG

 


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