Christianization of the Baltic 1199–1329


Map Code: Ax00682

In 1199 Albert of Boxhoeveden was sent by the Archbishop of Bremen and Hamburg to convert the Livs to Christianity. Founding Riga, he became its bishop, and created the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, to supplement his German crusaders. By 1212, the Livs were subdued, and in 1217, the Estonians were crushingly defeated at Fellin. By the 1220s only the north of Estonia and Osel held out: after repeated attempts they were conquered by a separate Danish invasion force. The crusaders now turned their attentions to the Curonians, Semigallians and Samogitians. In a series of campaigns spearheaded by the Livonian and Teutonic Knights, their territories were subjugated finally in 1290. Neighbouring Prussia was conquered in the 1220s, but a massive Pagan uprising (1260–74) expelled the Teutonic Knights, and control was not re-established until the end of the century. Sweden captured and converted south Finland over three crusades (1240–93).

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