Post-classical history

Fulco

Missionary bishop of Estonia (1171-1180).

Fulco was a Benedictine monk at the abbey of La Celle who before 1171 expressed a desire to work among pagans.

He was consecrated as missionary bishop for the Estonians by Eskil, archbishop of Lund (who was then in exile), at the instigation of Peter, the previous abbot of La Celle, who had been abbot of Saint-Remi at Rheims since 1162. During 1171-1172 Fulco visited Pope Alexander III and procured a number of bulls in support of the mission. An Estonian monk in Norway was asked to join him, and the pope urged Scandinavian kings and their peoples to undertake a crusade against the Estonians.

Whether this crusade actually took place and whether Fulco ever reached Estonia are unknown. He was in Denmark in the late 1170s before going back to France and once more visiting Pope Alexander, seemingly on behalf of Absalon, the new Danish archbishop. Peter now tried to involve Absalon in Estonia, but there were apparently no Danish or Norwegian campaigns to Estonia until the 1180s and 1190s. No further information on Fulco exists from those decades, however, although some scholars have identified him with one Folquinus, who is mentioned in a fifteenth-century chronicle (Catalogus et ordinaria successio episcoporum Finlandensium) as the third bishop of the Finns around the year 1200.

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