Post-classical history


Ugaunia (Est. Ugandi) was a province of medieval Livonia corresponding to the southeastern part of modern Estonia. Its main centers were Odenpāh (mod. Otepāā) and Dorpat (mod. Tartu). During the Baltic Crusades, Ugaunia was one of the first Estonian provinces to confront the crusaders.

The chronicler Henry of Livonia claims that Lettgallian tribes had suffered greatly under the Ugaunians, who had also robbed merchants from the Baltic island of Gotland. The first crusader raid to Ugaunia was undertaken in 1208, when Odenpāh was burned. In the following years, Ugau- nia was raided often by crusaders, Lettgallians, and Russians. The Ugaunians were, however, able to organize counterraids. By 1216 the people of the province had been baptized and the crusaders had started to fortify themselves in Odenpāh, but they were temporarily driven out by Estonian tribes allied with Russians from Pskov, who also had claims over the province.

Another serious drawback in the development of German government in the province was an Estonian uprising in 1223-1224 that was also supported by neighboring Russian principalities. After the final subjection of the province by crusader forces from Riga (1224), Ugaunia formed the core possession of the bishops of Dorpat.

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