By Andrejs Pumpurs
“Lāčplēsis is an epic poem by Andrejs Pumpurs, a Latvian poet, who wrote it between 1872-1887 based on local legends. Lāčplēsis is regarded as the Latvian national epic. The poem recounts the life of the legendary hero Lāčplēsis, chosen by the gods to become a hero of his people. His name means “Bear-slayer”.”
Andrejs Pumpurs (22 September [O.S. 10 September] 1841 on the Courland side of the former Lieljumprava civil parish, now Birzgale parish – 6 July [O.S. 23 June] 1902 in Riga) was a poet who penned the Latvian epic Lāčplēsis (The Bear Slayer, first published in 1888) and a prominent figure in the Young Latvia movement. Working in the land before volunteering to fight in Serbia against the Ottoman Empire in 1876, he became a loyal officer in the Russian army and also a staunch promoter of the Latvian culture.