Battle of St. Matthew's Day

For the 20th century battle in Belfast, see Battle of St. Matthews.
Battle of St. Matthew's Day
Part of Northern Crusades
DateSeptember 21, 1217
LocationNear Viljandi, Estonia
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 September 21, 1217 [1][2] during the Livonian Crusade. The adversaries were the German crusading order the Sword Brethren with their recently converted Livonian and Latgalian allies and an army of 6000 Estonian men from different counties, led by Lembitu, who had attempted to unify the Estonians. The Germans won, Lembitu and Caupo of Turaida (converted Livonian chieftain, fought on the order's side) were killed. Also many others 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.

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