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The Balts were various tribes of people who lived on the Baltic Sea in what is modern-day Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The tribes who became known as the Baltic Vikings, for their marauding and raiding, were the Latgalians, Curonians and Estonians. Tribes commonly regarded as more peaceful farmers were the Semgallians and Selonians.

All of these tribes had different customs, clothing styles and traditions.

The start of the 12th century was the beginning of the Baltic Crusades, first the Sword-Brothers of Livonia were the religious knights, until 1236 when they fell to the pagan Lithuanians and the Teutonic Knights took over. At the end of the 12th century, Germans settled in the area, and attempted to convert the pagan native tribes, with varying results. By 1201, the city of Riga was founded (now the capital of modern-day Latvia), and the Livonian nation was founded.

In 1219, Northern Estonia and the city of Talinn was conquered by the Danes, but 29 years later it became a part of the Hanseatic League. By the fourteenth century the Danes had handed over Estonia to the German knights.

In the 16th century, Livonia, and the Teutonic Knights collapsed and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth arose to take its place.


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