Faculty of Social Sciences

Political Conflict and Memory in Medieval Latvia and Estonia

  • Date: 1/30/2018 at 3:15 PM 4:30 PM
  • Location: IRES Library (3rd Floor), Gamla torget 3, Uppsala
  • Lecturer: Gustavs Strenga, Senior Researcher at the National Library of Latvia
  • Organiser: Uppsala Forum on Democracy, Peace and Justice in cooperation with the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies
  • Contact person: Stella Marceta
  • Föreläsning

Uppsala Forum Guest Lecture with Visiting Fellow Gustavs Strenga, Senior Researcher at the National Library of Latvia. Case focus: Late medieval Livonia (modern day Latvia and Estonia).

Conflicts and Memories: Remembering the past during political conflicts in late medieval Livonia (modern day Latvia and Estonia)


Annual commemorational events of 16 March and 9 May in Riga have made modern-day Latvia a prime example of a clash of memories. The “Latvian” World War II memories clash with the “Russian” ones on the streets of the city. Yet antagonistic perceptions of the past and contradicting collective memories are characteristic of not only post-Soviet Latvia, but also medieval Livonia (modern Latvia and Estonia). It had two power holders – the Teutonic Order and the Church of Riga (the archbishop and his cathedral chapter).

The two groups were in a long-lasting conflict from the late thirteenth century with multiple intensifications. The struggle intensified multiple times during the fifteenth century (in 1431 and 1469) and the conflict influenced memory cultures of the Teutonic Order and the Church of Riga. The two memory cultures focused on remembering and interpreting historical events and commemorating clergymen and brethren of the Order who were killed or persecuted during the conflict.

This presentation will analyse how these conflicting memories were used to create identities of the both groups during the fifteenth century.