Balthasar Russow biography

Balthasar Russow

Male, Deceased Person

1536 – 1600

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Who was Balthasar Russow?

Balthasar Russow was one of the most important Livonian and Estonian chroniclers.

Russow was born in Reval, Livonia. He was educated at an academy in Stettin, Pomerania. He was the Lutheran pastor of the Estonian congregation at the Holy Spirit Church in Reval from 1566 until his death.

Russow is most famous for his Low German-language chronicle Chronica der Provinz Lyfflandt describing the history of Livonia, especially the decline of the Livonian Order and the period of the Livonian War. The chronicle was first printed in Rostock in Mecklenburg in 1578 and quickly sold out. The revised edition was printed in 1584.

In his work Russow was highly critical of the squander and immorality of the Livonian upper classes. He also complained about the superstitious beliefs and pagan traditions of the Estonian peasants and the venality of mercenary armies during the wars. He praises the rule of the new regional power, Sweden.

Russow is the main character in Between Three Plagues, a four-part historical novel by modern Estonian writer Jaan Kross, the first part published in 1970.

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Born
1536
Tallinn
Profession
Died
Nov 23, 1600
Tallinn

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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