The ordaining of Bishop Albert of Livonia.

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1186 can be considered the starting point of the process of christening one of the last pagan areas in Europe, and of founding a German colony. This was the year, when the archbishop of Bremen, Hartwin II, ordained Meinhard, an Augustine preacher and missioner, to the position of bishop of Livonia, (Üksküla/Ikškile). The old man recruited a young Citercian named Teoderich (Dietrich), who started to work in Toreida (Turaida), in Livonia, in 1187. The latter became an important figure of the Livonian crusade: he received the Crusade-supporting bull from the pope; probably christened Kaupo, the Livonian elder, and was his ideological counsel; and also established the Brotherhood of the Sword.

According to the Chronicle of Henry of Livonia, Teoderich visited Estonia in 1191, and instantly, a confrontation rose between him and the locals. Apparently, on June 23 a solar eclipse began and the locals accused the strange monk of eating away the Sun. Teoderich barely escaped with his life.

After the second bishop of Livonia, Berthold, had fallen in battles against the Livonians, a new stage of the conquest begun. Archbishop Hartwig II ordained the son of his step sister, a Bremen canon - Albert von Buxhoeveden (see image) to the position of bishop of Livonia. On October 5 same year, pope Innocentius III released the bull, that invited German Christians to participate in the Livonian Crusade. Thus, the pope had given his blessing and permission to the further activities of the Germans on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea.



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

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