The Livonian resistance and Battle of Holm.

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04. June 1206

After the Order had been founded, a systematic vanquishing of the Livonians began.

The prince of Polotsk protected the Livonians that had settled around the Väina River, and were also part of his sphere of influence. Germans found strong support from Kaupo, leader of the Toreida Livonians, who had been previously christened.

However, majority of the Livonian nobility, defied the conquering forces. They were lead by Ako, the elder of Holm. The freedom fight of the Livonians was decided with the battle under the fort of Holm, on June 4, 1206, where the locals were defeated.
Ako was killed, and Germans captured the fort. After the defeat, Livonians underwent baptizing in 1206-1207, and the land was subdued to the Germans. In 1207, the Brotherhood of the Sword began building the fort of Võnnu (Cēsis), an extremely important stronghold in the fight against Estonians.

In 1208, Germans captured the fort of Sēlpils, the most important fort of Selonians - Latvian ethnic group that had settled on the shores of the Livonian Strait. The nation was baptized. On the same year, Latgalians of Ümera (see image) were converted without much resistance. Latter hoped German's support against Estonians, whom they often fought. Also Latgalians of Tolova (Tālava), who had earlier been baptized by Russians, joined in against Estonians.

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


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