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Encyclopedia > Balts

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Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE. The Eastern Balts are shown in brown hues while the Western Balts are shown in green. The boundaries are approximate.
Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE. The Eastern Balts are shown in brown hues while the Western Balts are shown in green. The boundaries are approximate.

Indo-European topics Image File history File links Baltic_Tribes_c_1200. ... Image File history File links Baltic_Tribes_c_1200. ... Events University of Paris receives charter from Philip II of France The Kanem-Bornu Empire was established in northern Africa around the year 1200 Mongol victory over Northern China — 30,000,000 killed Births Al-Abhari, Persian philosopher and mathematician (died 1265) Ulrich von Liechtenstein, German nobleman and poet (died... The Common Era (CE), sometimes known as the Current Era or as the Christian Era, is the period of measured time beginning with the year 1 on the Gregorian calendar. ...

Indo-European languages
Albanian · Anatolian · Armenian
Baltic · Celtic · Dacian · Germanic
Greek · Indo-Iranian · Italic · Phrygian
Slavic · Thracian · Tocharian
 
Indo-European peoples
Albanians · Anatolians · Armenians
Balts · Celts · Germanic peoples
Greeks · Indo-Aryans · Indo-Iranians
Iranians · Italic peoples · Slavs
Thracians · Tocharians
 
Proto-Indo-Europeans
Language · Society · Religion
 
Urheimat hypotheses
Kurgan hypothesis · Anatolia
Armenia · India · PCT
 
Indo-European studies

The Balts or Baltic peoples (Latvian: balti, Lithuanian: baltai Latgalian: bolti), defined as speakers of one of the Baltic languages, a branch of the Indo-European language family, are descended from a group of Indo-European tribes who settled the area between lower Vistula and upper Daugava and Dnieper rivers on the southeast shore of the Baltic Sea. The Indo-European languages comprise a family of several hundred related languages and dialects [1], including most of the major languages of Europe, the Americas as well as many spoken in the Indian subcontinent (South Asia), the Iranian plateau (Southwest Asia), and Central Asia. ... The Anatolian languages are a group of extinct languages, either Indo-European or (in some classifications) closely related to Indo-European, which were spoken in Asia Minor, including Hittite. ... The Baltic languages are a group of related languages belonging to the Indo-European language family and spoken mainly in areas extending east and southeast of the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe. ... The Celtic languages are the languages descended from Proto-Celtic, or Common Celtic, spoken by ancient and modern Celts alike. ... The Dacian language was an Indo-European language spoken by the ancient people of Dacia. ... The Indo-Iranian language group constitutes the easternmost extant branch of the Indo-European family of languages. ... The Italic subfamily is a member of the Centum branch of the Indo-European language family. ... The Phrygian language was the Indo-European language of the Phrygians, a people who probably migrated from Thrace to Asia Minor in the Bronze Age. ...  Countries where a West Slavic language is the national language  Countries where an East Slavic language is the national language  Countries where a South Slavic language is the national language The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages), a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup... The Thracian language was the Indo-European language spoken in ancient times by the Thracians in South-Eastern Europe. ... Tocharian is one of the most obscure branches of the group of Indo-European languages. ... For the language group see Indo-European languages; for other uses see Indo-European (disambiguation) Indo-Europeans are speakers of Indo-European languages. ... Asia Minor lies east of the Bosporus, between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. ... Celts redirects here. ... Thor, Germanic thunder god. ... The Indo-Aryans who make up around 74% of Indias population (Hindustani: इन्दो-आर्यन, اِندو آریایی) are a wide collection of peoples united by their common status as the ethno-linguistic descendents of the Indic branch of the ancient Indo-Iranians (also known as Aryans). ... Map of the Sintashta-Petrovka culture (red), its expansion into the Andronovo culture during the 2nd millennium BC, showing the overlap with the BMAC in the south. ... Ancient Italic peoples are all those peoples that lived in Italy before the Roman domination. ... The Slavic peoples are the most numerous ethnic and linguistic body of peoples in Europe. ... Thracian peltast, 5th to 4th century BC Thracian Horseman Thracians in an ethnic sense refers to various ancient peoples who spoke Dacian and Thracian, a scarcely attested branch of the Indo-European language family. ... The Tocharians or Tusharas as known in Indian literature were the easternmost speakers of an Indo-European language in antiquity, inhabiting the Tarim basin in what is now Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, northwestern Peoples Republic of China. ... The Proto-Indo-Europeans are the hypothetical speakers of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European language, a prehistoric people of the Chalcolithic and early Bronze Age. ... The Proto-Indo-Europeans (PIE) were a patrilineal society of the Bronze Age (roughly 5th to 4th millennium BC), probably semi-nomadic, relying on animal husbandry. ... Urheimat (German: ur- original, ancient; Heimat home, homeland) is a linguistic term denoting the original homeland of the speakers of a proto-language. ... In 1956 Marija Gimbutas introduced her Kurgan hypothesis combining Kurgan archaeology with linguistics to locate the origins of the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) speaking peoples. ... Map showing the Neolithic expansion from the 7th to 5th millennia. ... The Paleolithic Continuity Theory (PCT) suggests that the Indo-European languages originated in Europe and have existed there since the Paleolithic. ... Indo-European studies is a field of linguistics, dealing with the Indo-European languages. ... Latgalian (a language) can mean one of two things: 1) It was a language spoken by Latgallians in a great part of the area what now is Latvia. ... The Baltic languages are a group of related languages belonging to the Indo-European language family and spoken mainly in areas extending east and southeast of the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe. ... The Indo-European languages comprise a family of several hundred related languages and dialects [1], including most of the major languages of Europe, the Americas as well as many spoken in the Indian subcontinent (South Asia), the Iranian plateau (Southwest Asia), and Central Asia. ... Indo-Europeans are speakers of Indo-European languages. ... The Vistula (Polish: ) is the longest river in Poland. ... River Daugava flowing through Riga city into the Baltic Sea The Daugava or Western Dvina (Latvian: Daugava, German Düna, Belarusan: Заходняя Дзьвіна, Russian: За́падная Двина́, Finnish Väinä) is a river rising in the Valdai Hills, flowing through Russia and Belarus, and then Latvia, draining into the Gulf of Riga, an arm of... The Dnieper River (also: Dnepr, Dniapro, or Dnipro) is a river (2,290 km length) which flows from Russia, through Belarus and Ukraine, ending its flow in the Black Sea. ... The Baltic Sea is located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. ...


Because the thousands of lakes and swamps in this area contributed to the Balts' geographical isolation, the Baltic languages retain a number of conservative or archaic features. Among the Baltic peoples are modern Lithuanians, Latvians and Latgalians -- all Eastern Balts -- as well as the Prussians, Yotvingians and Galindians, whose languages and cultures became extinct in the Middle Ages. The term Latgalians (also spelt Latgallians and sometimes known as Lettigalls, Latgolans, or Lettigallians) can refer to the inhabitants of the Latgale region in eastern Latvia in general, the ethnic Latvians of Latgale (especially those who speak the Latgalian dialect of Latvian), or to the ancient Baltic tribe. ... Prussian tribes settlements. ... Categories: Baltic peoples | Stub ... Galindae, Galindai, or Galindians is an extinct Western Baltic tribe which formerly lived in Galindia: in Masuria, Poland (so-called Western Galindae) and in the basin of the Protva River, near the modern Russian towns of Mozhaysk, Vereya, and Borovsk (so-called Eastern Galindae). ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ...

Contents

History

Prehistory

The prehistoric cradle of the Baltic peoples according to archaeogenetic research and archaeological studies was the area near the Baltic sea and central Europe at the end of the Ice Age and beginning of the Mesolithic period. They spread in the area from the Baltic sea in the west to the Volga in the east. The Slavic cradle was in the Danubian - Krakowian region close to the Baltic. The Slavs entered the Dniepr region in the 6th century CE after the Avar invasion of Europe, conquering and assimilating most of the Eastern Balts. According to some older theories, the formative region of the Balts was located until the end of the second millennium BC near the upper and middle Dniepr river in modern Ukraine, which is thought to have been settled by a hypothetical Balto-Slavic community; that is, a population ancestral both to the modern Balts and Slavs. In the early 1st millennium BC several groups of people migrated from the area to the shores of the Baltic Sea, where they settled between the Pasłęka and Neman rivers. It is not likely that this migration gave birth to the Baltic tribes. Archaeogenetics, a term coined by Colin Renfrew, refers to the application of the techniques of molecular genetics to the study of the human past. ... Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 400 000 years For the animated movie, see Ice Age (movie). ... The Mesolithic (Greek mesos=middle and lithos=stone or the Middle Stone Age) was a period in the development of human technology between the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods of the Stone Age. ... Dnieper Ukraine (Ukrainian: ), was the territory of Ukraine in the Russian Empire (Little Russia), roughly corresponding to the current territory of Ukraine, with the exceptions of Crimea (made part of Soviet Ukraine in 1954) and Galicia, which was a province of the Austrian Empire. ... The Common Era (CE), sometimes known as the Current Era or as the Christian Era, is the period of measured time beginning with the year 1 on the Gregorian calendar. ... Map showing the location of Avar Khaganate, c. ... The Balto-Slavic language group is a reconstructed hypothethical language group consisting of the Baltic and Slavic language subgroups of the Indo-European family. ... The Slavic peoples are the most numerous ethnic and linguistic body of peoples in Europe. ... (2nd millennium BC – 1st millennium BC – 1st millennium – other millennia) // Events The Iron Age spread to Western Europe Egypt declined as a major power The Tanakh was written Buddhism was founded by Siddharta Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha (6th century BC) Jainism was founded by Mahavira (6th century BC... The Baltic Sea is located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. ... PasÅ‚Ä™ka is a river in northern Poland, a tributary of the Vistula Bay and thus into the Baltic Sea, with a length of 169 kilometres (23rd longest) and the basin area of 2,294 sq. ... The Neman (Belarusian: ; Lithuanian: ; Russian: ; Polish: ; German: ) is a major Eastern European river rising in Belarus and flowing through Lithuania before draining into the Baltic Sea near KlaipÄ—da. ...


Several scholars, such as Būga, Vasmer, Toporov and Trubachov, in conducting etymological studies of eastern European river names, were able to identify in certain regions names of specifically Baltic provenance, which most likely indicate where the Balts lived in prehistoric times. This information is summarized and synthesized by Gimbutas in The Balts (1963) to obtain a likely proto-Baltic homeland. Its borders are approximately: from a line on the Pomeranian coast eastward to include or nearly include the present-day sites of Warsaw, Kiev, and Kursk, northward through Moscow to the River Berzha, westward in an irregular line to the coast of the Gulf of Riga, north of Riga. Kazimieras BÅ«ga (born November 6 1879 at PažiegÄ—, near Dusetos - died December 2 1924 in Königsberg, buried in Kaunas) was a Lithuanian linguist and philologist. ... Max Vasmer (1886 – 1962), German linguist. ... Vladimir Nikolayevich Toporov (5 July 1928 - 5 December 2005) was a leading Russian philologist who presided over the Moscow-Tartu school of semiotics after Yuri Lotmans death. ... Marija Gimbutas by Kerbstone 52, at the back of Newgrange, Co. ... Duchy of Pomerania ruled by the slavic dynasty of Griffits (Polish: Gryfici, German: Greiffen) was a semi-independent state in the 17th century. ... Warsaw (Polish: , , in full The Capital City of Warsaw, Polish: Miasto StoÅ‚eczne Warszawa) is the capital of Poland, its largest city, and a gamma world city. ... Location Map of Ukraine with Kiev highlighted. ... Kursk (Russian: ; pronunciation: koorsk) is a city in Central Russia, the administrative center of Kursk Oblast. ... Location Position of Moscow in Europe Government Country District Subdivision Russia Central Federal District Federal City Mayor Yuriy Luzhkov Geographical characteristics Area  - City 1,081 km² Population  - City (2005)    - Density 10,415,400   8537. ... Map of Latvia Coordinates: Founded 1201 Mayor Aivars Aksenoks Area    - City 307. ...


This homeland includes all historical Balts and every location where Balts have been said or implied to have been at different periods of time. The Baltic occupation of Western Russia, for instance, may be dated to the 4th century AD. Galindae, Galindai, or Galindians is an extinct Western Baltic tribe which formerly lived in Galindia (today Masuria, Poland (so-called Western Galindae) and in the basin of the Protva River, near the modern Russian towns of Mozhaysk, Vereya, and Borovsk (so-called Eastern Galindae). ...


In the first centuries of the 1st millennium AD, the Baltic tribes settled the area between the Vistula and the Daugava. Their culture is easily recognizable and most probably they were the ancestors of the tribes of Western Balts (Old Prussians, Yotvingians and Galindians), as well as Eastern Balts (Lithuanians, Semigallians, Curonians and Latgalians/Latvians). In the Gregorian calendar, the 1st millennium is the period of one thousand years that commenced with the year 1 Anno Domini. ... Prussian tribes settlements. ... Categories: Baltic peoples | Stub ... Galindae, Galindai, or Galindians is an extinct Western Baltic tribe which formerly lived in Galindia: in Masuria, Poland (so-called Western Galindae) and in the basin of the Protva River, near the modern Russian towns of Mozhaysk, Vereya, and Borovsk (so-called Eastern Galindae). ... The Semigallians (Latvian Zemgaļi, also Zemgalians, Semigalls, Semigalians) are one of the Baltic tribes that lived in the southern middle part of Latvia, Zemgale. ... The Curonians (also called Kursi, Latvian Kurši) are one of the extinct Baltic tribes that later formed the Latvian nation. ... The term Latgalians (also spelt Latgallians and sometimes known as Lettigalls, Latgolans, or Lettigallians) can refer to the inhabitants of the Latgale region in eastern Latvia in general, the ethnic Latvians of Latgale (especially those who speak the Latgalian dialect of Latvian), or to the ancient Baltic tribe. ...


In 98 AD Tacitus described one of the tribes leaving near the Baltic Sea (Mare Svebicum) as Aestiorum gentes, or amber gatherers. It is believed that these peoples were inhabitants of the Sambian peninsula, although no other contemporary sources exist. Events Roman emperor Nerva succeeded by Trajan Tacitus finished his Germania (approximate date) Births Deaths January 27: Nerva, Roman emperor Apollonius of Tyana, Greek/Roman philosopher and mathematician (b. ... Gaius Cornelius Tacitus Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus (c. ... For other uses, see Amber (disambiguation). ... Samland or Sambia (Russian: semlyandskiy poluostrov, Polish: Sambia) is the name of a peninsula on the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea. ...


The proto-Baltic culture that remained in the Dnieper area, however, bore a significant resemblance to its Baltic counterpart, and was also similar to the culture of other peoples inhabitating the forests of Eastern Europe, which became almost completely Slavicised between the 7th and the 10th centuries CE. Regions of Europe as delineated by the United Nations (UN definition of Eastern Europe marked salmon):  Northern Europe  Western Europe  Eastern Europe  Southern Europe Pre-1989 division between the West (grey) and Eastern Bloc (orange) superimposed on current national boundaries: Russia (dark orange), other countries of the former USSR (medium... Distribution of Slavic people by language The Slavic peoples are a linguistic and ethnic branch of Indo-European peoples. ... The 7th century is the period from 601 - 700 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 10th century was that century which lasted from 901 to 1000. ... The Common Era (CE), sometimes known as the Current Era or as the Christian Era, is the period of measured time beginning with the year 1 on the Gregorian calendar. ...


Invasions

In the 12th and the 13th centuries, internal struggles, as well as invasions by Ruthenians and Poles and later the expansion of the Teutonic Order resulted in an almost complete annihilation of the Galindians, Curonians, and Yotvingians. The last of the Prussians became Germanized some time in the 16th century, after the Reformation in Prussia. The cultures of the Lithuanians and Latgalians/Latvians survived and became the ancestors of the populations of the modern countries of Latvia and Lithuania. (11th century - 12th century - 13th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 12th century was that century which lasted from 1101 to 1200. ... (12th century - 13th century - 14th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 13th century was that century which lasted from 1201 to 1300. ... Ruthenians is a name that has been applied to different ethnic groups at different times; for an explanation of the reasons for this, see Ruthenia. ... Teutonic Knights, charging into battle. ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... The Protestant Reformation was a movement which began in the 16th century as a series of attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church, but ended in division and the establishment of new institutions, most importantly Lutheranism, Reformed churches, and Anabaptists. ... Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Prussia, 1701-1918 Prussia (German: ; Latin: Borussia, Prutenia; Lithuanian: ; Polish: ; Old Prussian: Prūsa) was, most recently, a historic state originating in East Prussia, an area which for centuries had substantial influence on German and European history. ...


Genetic research and a possible Finnio-Ugric origin

In addition, and to a great extent in contradiction to research on the basis of linguistic analysis, genetics-related data has started to emerge in recent years. According to Finnish research (Laitinen et al, 2001) and Richard Villems (2001, Estonia) who have carried out principal component analysis of some major genetic lines, the closest genetic relatives of modern Balts (Lithuanians and Latvians) appear to be modern Estonians and Mari people (autonomous republic of Mari-El in Russia) while Russians and Poles have considerably less genetic similarity. This has led some scientists to believe that the people known today as Balts were initially largely of Finno-Ugric origin (or in turn, modern day Finns were initially of east Baltic origin) - thus, the languages spoken today by these groups would have become established through language replacement. Geographical distribution of Finno-Ugric (Finno-Permic in blue, Ugric in green). ...


Baltic peoples and tribes

Map of the Baltic Sea
Map of the Baltic Sea

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1500x1606, 803 KB) Map of the Baltic Sea. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1500x1606, 803 KB) Map of the Baltic Sea. ... The Baltic Sea is located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. ... The term Latgalians (also spelt Latgallians and sometimes known as Lettigalls, Latgolans, or Lettigallians) can refer to the inhabitants of the Latgale region in eastern Latvia in general, the ethnic Latvians of Latgale (especially those who speak the Latgalian dialect of Latvian), or to the ancient Baltic tribe. ... The Curonians (also called Kursi, Latvian Kurši) are one of the extinct Baltic tribes that later formed the Latvian nation. ... Curonian living area in 1649 Curonian house Pennant of curonian ship from Nida The Curonians (self-designation kursenieki) (German Kuren, Lithuanian Kuršininkai) are an ethnic group living in Curonian spit and speaking in a Latvian language dialect. ... The Prussians kill Adalbert The Prussian people, or (old) Prussians, inhabited the area around the Curonian and Vistula Lagoons, (in what is now northern Poland), in the region roughly occupied by the Mazurian Lakes. ... Samogitia (Lithuanian: , literally lowlands) is one of the five ethnographic regions of Lithuania. ... The Semigallians (Latvian Zemgaļi, also Zemgalians, Semigalls, Semigalians) are one of the Baltic tribes that lived in the southern middle part of Latvia, Zemgale. ... Categories: Baltic peoples | Stub ... Selonians were a tribe of Baltic peoples that are now extinct. ... Nadruvia or Nadruva was the homeland of a pagan Prussian tribe in the first few centuries of the 2nd millenium AD. It was the location of the sacred center of Baltic pagan religion, Romuva, according to Peter of Dusburg, writing in 1326. ... Skalvians, (Scalvians Scalowians) is an extinct tribe of Prussians which according the Chronicon terrae Prussiae of Peter of Dusburg, inhabited the land of Skalvi (Scalwia, Schalowia) to the south of Curonians, by the lower Nemunas river in the times around 1240. ... Galindae, Galindai, or Galindians is an extinct Western Baltic tribe which formerly lived in Galindia: in Masuria, Poland (so-called Western Galindae) and in the basin of the Protva River, near the modern Russian towns of Mozhaysk, Vereya, and Borovsk (so-called Eastern Galindae). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

External links

  • Marija Gimbutas' "The Balts" e-book
  • Pages and Forums on the Lithuanian History
  • Who were the Balts?
  • Indo-Europeans in the Eastern Baltic in the view of an archaelogist? An article by Ilze Loze.
  • "The world outlook of the ancient Balts" The English summary of book by Norbertas Vėlius.
  • "We, the Balts" The article by Algirdas Sabaliauskas.
  • "The Cosmology of ancient Balts" The article by Vytautas Straižys and Libertas Klimka.

Norbertas Vėlius (born January 1, 1938 in Gulbės, near Šilalė — died June 23, 1996 in Vilnius) was a Lithuanian folklorist specializing in Baltic mythology. ... Vytautas Straižys (born August 20, 1936) is a Lithuanian astronomer. ...

References

  • (Polish) Bałtowie. Encyklopedia Internetowa PWN. Retrieved on May 25, 2005.
  • (Polish) Antoniewicz, Jerzy; Aleksander Gieysztor (1979). Bałtowie zachodni w V w. p. n. e. - V w. n. e. : terytorium, podstawy gospodarcze i społeczne plemion prusko-jaćwieskich i letto-litewskich. Olsztyn-Białystok: Pojezierze. ISBN 83-7002-001-1. 
  • (Polish) Gimbutas, Marija (1963). The Balts. London: Thames & Hudson. 
  • (Polish) Kosman, Marceli (1981). Zmierzch Perkuna czyli ostatni poganie nad Bałtykiem. Warsaw: Książka i Wiedza. 
  • Čepiene, Irena (2000). Historia litewskiej kultury etnicznej. Kaunas, "Šviesa". ISBN 5-430-02902-5. 
  • (Polish) Okulicz-Kozaryn, Łucja (1983). Życie codzienne Prusów i Jaćwięgów w wiekach średnich. Warsaw: Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy. 
  • "Lithuanians". 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica (1). (1911).
  • (Polish) "Bałtowie". Wielka Encyklopedia PWN (1). (2001).

  Results from FactBites:
 
Relict Forms of Balts' National Costume - Alicje Bednarczuk (4321 words)
This style began to dominate in the Polish territory throughout the period of Lusatian Culture, penetrating also to the culture of the Balts, for whom it was for centuries a creative inspiration from the Iron Age till the early Middle Ages.
With the Balts in the beginning of the Iron Age and in the early Middle Ages the diadem underwent various transformations and assumed very rich external form.
Thus the bells in the finery of the Balts were inspired both by the late Roman Empire and the steppe zone of the East.
Spartanburg SC | GoUpstate.com | Spartanburg Herald-Journal (843 words)
The Balts or Baltic peoples (; ; Latgalian: bolti), defined as speakers of one of the Baltic languages, a branch of the Indo-European language family, are descended from a group of Indo-European tribes who settled the area between lower Vistula and upper Daugava and Dnieper rivers on the southeast shore of the Baltic Sea.
The prehistoric cradle of the Baltic peoples according to archaeogenetic research and archaeological studies was the area near the Baltic sea and central Europe at the end of the Ice Age and beginning of the Mesolithic period.
According to some older theories, the formative region of the Balts was located until the end of the second millennium BC near the upper and middle Dniepr river in modern Ukraine, which is thought to have been settled by a hypothetical Balto-Slavic community; that is, a population ancestral both to the modern Balts and Slavs.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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