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(called the kors’ in Russian chronicles), an ancient Latvian people who lived along the southwestern coast of the Baltic Sea, primarily on the territory of modern West Latvia.
The Curonians were first mentioned in written sources at the end of the ninth century. The primitive communal structure of their society broke down, and feudal relations appeared during the eighth through tenth centuries. The Curonians’ principal occupations were agriculture and animal husbandry, but they also engaged in fishing, hunting, crafts, and trade.
During the seventh and eighth centuries, they struggled against the Scandinavians, who had seized part of the coastal strip of their territory. They liberated the territory and began their own attacks on Sweden and Denmark. Despite their heroic struggle, which lasted from 1210 to 1267, the Curonians were subdued by German conquerors. By the beginning of the 17th century, they were merged with the Latgallians and Zemgalians into a single Latvian people.