Heinrici Chronicon Livoniae

  • Country in which the text is set
    Livonia, territory of Latvia and Estonia
  • Featured locations
    Livonia / Livland
  • Impact

    Originally set in latin, the Chronicle of Henry of Livonia is a document describing historic events in Livonia and surrounding areas from 1180 to 1227. It depicts the early stages of the "holy war" – Crusades to Baltic surroundings and christianization of people from the Baltic. It is believed that the author of the chronicle is a catholic priest (Henricus de Lettis), but there is no agreed opinion on his nationality. The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia provides eyewitness accounts of the events and provides insight not only into military operations in the East during the period, but also into the conflicted attitudes of an eyewitness; it reveals the complexities of religious motives enmeshed with political aims.

    It is the oldest known written document about the history of Latvia and Estonia. Thanks to its abundant fact material the Chronicle is highly valued by historians and archaeologists and has basic influence on what is today known about the most ancient history of the territory. It provides evidence about different archaeological objects, culture and spread of individual tribes.

  • Balticness

    Although the primary purpose of the Chronicle was depicting the acts of German bishops in a favourable manner, it provides credible historical, geographical and cultural evidence on inhabitants of current territories of Latvia and Estonia. The chronicles consist of four books that reveal the arrival of the first three bishops and baptizing of Livonians on the shores of Daugava river, Baltic Sea and Estonia. There is no other source so colourfully depicting the political, economical and cultural issues of those times and the poem included in this database is also of high literary value and reflects both the religious motivation of ancient crusaders and tells us about author's attitudes towards the events described further.

     Agnese Krivade

  • Bibliographic information
    Rīga: Zinātne, 1993
  • Translations
    Language Year Translator
    English 1961 James Brundage
    Estonian 1881-83 Jaan Jung
    Estonian 1962 Julius Mägiste
    Estonian 1982 Richard Kleis
    Finnish 2003 Majastina Kahlos & Raija Sarasti-Wilenius
    German 1747 Johann Gottfried Arndt
    German 1853 August Hansen
    German 1867 Eduard Pabst
    German 1955 / 1959 Albert Bauer
    Latvian 1883 Matīss Siliņš
    Latvian 1936 Jānis Krīpēns
    Latvian 1938 Arveds Švābe
    Latvian 1993 Ābrams Feldhūns
    Lithuanian 1991 Juozas Jurginis
    Russian 1854 Arist Kunyik
    Russian 1938 Sergey Anninskiy


     Russian  1854  Arist Kunyik
  • Year of first publication
  • Place of first publication

Baltic Sea Library. All rights Reserved.