Battle of St. Matthew's Day

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Battle of St. Matthew's Day
Part of Northern Crusades

Location of Vanamõisa village. Probable place of battle.
Date21 September 1217
Location58°26′48″N 25°28′57″E / 58.4467°N 25.4825°E / 58.4467; 25.4825Coordinates: 58°26′48″N 25°28′57″E / 58.4467°N 25.4825°E / 58.4467; 25.4825
Result Livonian victory
Counties of Ancient Estonia Sword Brethren
Commanders and leaders
Lembitu of Lehola 
Caupo of Turaida 
Bernard II of Lippe
6000 3000
Casualties and losses
~1000 (Henry of Latvia) ~100

The Battle of Matthew's Day (Estonian: Madisepäeva lahing) was fought near Viljandi (probably in Vanamõisa) on 21 September 1217[1][2] during the Livonian Crusade. The adversaries were the Sword Brethren (a German Crusading order) with their recently converted Livonian and Latgalian allies versus an army of 6000 Estonian men from different counties, led by Lembitu, who had attempted to unify the Estonians. The Germans won, although the converted Livonian chieftain Caupo of Turaida died. Lembitu was also killed, and many other Estonians were forced to convert.


  1. ^ Battle of St. Matthew's Day on September 21, 1217 @ Frucht, Richard (2005). Eastern Europe. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-57607-800-6.
  2. ^ Battle of St. Matthew's Day (September 21) @ Miljan, Toivo (2004). Historical Dictionary of Estonia. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-4904-4.