Estonia: Identity and Independence

By Jean-Jacques Subrenat; David Cousins et al. | Go to book overview

Tiina Kala


Estonia from the 13th to the 16th Centuries
On map [legend]:Tartu piiskopkond = Bishopric of Tartu
Saare-Lääne Piiskopkond = Bishopric of Saare-
Lääne
Riia piiskopkond = Bishopric of Riga
Liivi laht = Gulf of Riga
Liivi Ordu maad = Lands of Livonian Order
Riia linna alad = Lands of City of Riga
Riia peapiiskopi valdused = Possessions of
Archbishop of Riga
Tartu piiskopi valdused = Possessions of Bishop of
Tartu
Saare-Lääne piiskopi valdused = Possessions of
Bishop of Saare-Lääne
linn = city
ordulinnus = fortress of Teutonic Order
piiskopilinnus = Bishop's fortress
Vana-Liivimaa XIV-XVI sajand = Ancient Livonia from the 14th to the 16th centuries

The Middle Ages in Estonia is a period characterised by power politics, religious life and conditions of the indigenous population that differ from those of both antiquity and the modern era. This is the period from the appropriation of Estonia by the Germano-Scandinavian colonists at the beginning of the 13th century to the spread of the reformation and the division of the above-mentioned territory during the Livonian War at the end of the 16th century. During the Middle Ages cities in the Western European sense developed, due primarily to the Hanseatic League, Estonia became a part of the Europe-wide trading system, and the Catholic Church tied it into the European cultural and educational world.

The formation and nature of the Estonian people's contemporary selfdefinition has to a large degree been determined by the written word. For decades the primary attention of Estonian historiography has been focused on the narrower topic of the history of the Estonians, instead of the history of the whole of Estonia as a country. The power structures built in Estonia by these

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