Balts

(redirected from Baltic peoples)

Balts

(bôlts), peoples of the east coast of the Baltic Sea. They include the Latvians, the Lithuanians, and the now extinct Old Prussians. Their original home was farther east, but from the 6th cent. they were pushed westward by the SlavsSlavs
, the largest ethnic and linguistic group of peoples in Europe belonging to the Indo-European linguistic family. It is estimated that the Slavs number over 300 million in the world. They are usually classified in three main divisions.
..... Click the link for more information.
. In the 13th cent. the Teutonic KnightsTeutonic Knights
or Teutonic Order
, German military religious order founded (1190–91) during the siege of Acre in the Third Crusade. It was originally known as the Order of the Knights of the Hospital of St. Mary of the Teutons in Jerusalem.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and the Livonian Brothers of the SwordLivonian Brothers of the Sword
or Livonian Knights
, German military and religious order, founded in 1202 by Bishop Albert of Livonia for the purpose of conquest and Christianization in the Baltic lands.
..... Click the link for more information.
 conquered the region later comprising Estonia and Latvia and forced Christianity on the inhabitants. Pressed by the Teutonic Order, the Lithuanians formed (13th cent.) a unified state of LithuaniaLithuania
, Lithuanian Lietuva, officially Republic of Lithuania, republic (2005 est. pop. 3,597,000), 25,174 sq mi (65,201 sq km), N central Europe. Lithuania borders on the Baltic Sea in the west, Latvia in the north, Belarus in the east and southeast, Poland in the
..... Click the link for more information.
, which successfully resisted annexation and became one of the largest states of medieval Europe. In 1387, under Grand Duke Jagiello (King Ladislaus II of Poland), Lithuania officially adopted Christianity. The Teutonic Order lost (15th cent.) all but East Prussia, but descendants of the German knights and settlers continued to control land and commerce in Latvia and Estonia until the 20th cent. After the union (1569) of Lithuania with Poland, the Lithuanian nobility became thoroughly Polish in language and politics. The Estonians, a Finnic rather than a Baltic people, came under Swedish rule in 1561 and in 1721 passed to Russia, which by 1795 acquired all the Baltic lands. The incorporation of the Baltic nations of Lithuania, LatviaLatvia
, Latvian Latvija, officially Republic of Latvia, republic (2011 provisional pop. 2,067,887), 24,590 sq mi (63,688 sq km), north central Europe. It borders on Estonia in the north, Lithuania in the south, the Baltic Sea with the Gulf of Riga in the west, Russia in
..... Click the link for more information.
, and EstoniaEstonia
, Estonian Eesti, officially Republic of Estonia, republic (2005 est. pop. 1,333,000), 17,505 sq mi (45,339 sq km). It borders on the Baltic Sea in the west; the gulfs of Riga and Finland (both arms of the Baltic) in the southwest and north, respectively; Latvia
..... Click the link for more information.
 into the Soviet Union (1940) became a source of political disputes. All three countries gained independence in 1991. For earliest history to the 13th cent. see Marija Gimbutas, The Balts (1963).
References in periodicals archive ?
The origin of the engine was God--the creator of the world and the lesser gods--who was recognised by all the Baltic peoples, including the Old Prussians.
In Kantors analysis, the Soviet operations in the Baltic states were as disastrous politically as they were criminal toward the regions inhabitants: the traumatic year of Soviet rule turned the Baltic peoples into potential assistants to the German army, whereas in another scenario the Baltic might have served as a buffer zone between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union (99).
This sad scenario of security issues justifying any level of even gratuitous violence repeated itself during the Great Patriotic War, when hundreds of thousands of Baltic peoples, Poles again, Chechen, Ingush, and Crimean Tatars were forcibly uprooted and either executed or deported to Siberia, Central Asia, or the Far North.
But it was only with the collapse of the German and Russian Empires at the end of the First World War that all three Baltic peoples established independent nation-states.
The Armenians and the Baltic peoples both believed that a dragon dines during an eclipse, and the notion of an eclipse dragon persists in astronomical terminology.
The opening survey of the history of the lands inhabited by the Baltic peoples is reasonably accurate and balanced, which is perhaps not surprising in that O'Conner published a history of the Baltic states in 2003.
As with the tens of millions other peoples of the captive nations who fell behind the Iron Curtain, the Baltic peoples were subjected to a "Russification" program, aimed at wiping out their national and spiritual identity.
Since their accession to the EU in 2004, the Czechs, like the British, the Polish and the Baltic peoples, have been fighting for a liberal Europe based on competition and enlargement, rather than the smaller, more political Europe defended by Germany, France and Italy.
In this ambitious work, Alan Palmer redresses the balance, interweaving the complex saga of the Baltic peoples from the last ice age to European union.
Veljo Tormis of Estonia - Kyr describes him as "a national hero for his work; he has endeavored to preserve the ancient song traditions of the Estonians and many of the Baltic peoples through his compositions.
Like other Ukrainians, Russian Ukrainians are notably more positive toward the Baltic peoples (54-55%) than are Russian Russians (36%), as well as toward peoples of the Caucasus (37-39% vs.