Sakala County

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county of Ancient Estonia
9th Century–1224
Location of Sakala
Capital Viljandi
 •  c.1200–1217 Lembitu
 •  Established 9th Century
 •  Disestablished 1224
Today part of  Estonia

Sakala County (Estonian: Sakala, Latin: Saccalia)[1] was an ancient Estonian county [2] first mentioned in print by Henry of Latvia in the beginning of the 13th Century.[3]


Sakala County is situated in north-western Livonia, covering approximately the present territories of Viljandi, the southern half of Pärnu, and a western third of Valga maakond. It was the southernmost of the ancient Estonian counties.


Kievan rule of Ugaunia, the country directly east from Sakala, may have lasted until 1061, when, according to Old East Slavic chronicles, the town of Tharbata/Yuryev (Tartu) was burned down by "Sosols", who were probably either Sackalians or the people of Soopoolitse.

After the Livonian Crusade the county became a part of the Livonian Confederation.

In Sackalian folklore, the neighbouring Ugaunians (ugalased) were enemy warriors and robbers. For instance, a folk song from Viljandi (the capital of Sackalia) calls for speeding up the harvest work because Ugaunians might attack.[citation needed]

See also[edit]