A Slavic people related to the Wends living near the southern shores of the Baltic Sea, in northeast Germany and northwest Poland, from the early centuries AD before becoming extinct or being assimilated into other ethnic groups by about 1500.
The Obodrits were involved in wars (800-1200) with Danishkings seeking supremacy in the Baltic area. In the meantime, German missionaries had converted them to Christianity.
The German poet Johann Heinrich Voss (1751-1826) born in Mecklenburg-Strelitz, liked to identify himself as an Obodrit to emphasize his Slavic heritage. Obodrits were sufficiently remote and obscure to appeal to the nascent ethnic identifications of Romanticism.
Relations between the Frankish emperor and the Obodrite leaders were very close in the decades around 800, due to the common Saxo-Danish enemy.
Oldenburg (known as Starigard by the Slavs, and Brandehuse by the Scandinavians) was another trading centre in the territory of the Obodrites.
Hedeby remained a Danish town despite its multinational population; in the same way Reric-Mecklenburg was Obodrite, Wolin a town of the Wolin Slavs; Truso, Prussian; Staraja Ladoga, Slav and Finno-Ugrian; and Novgorod an international mercantile centre of the Ilmen Slavs.
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