Livonia

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Livonia (Estonian: Liivimaa, Finnish: Liivinmaa, German and Swedish: Livland, Latvian and Lithuanian: Livonija, Livonian: Līvõmō, archaic English Livland,[1] Polish: Inflanty, Liwlandia; Russian: Лифляндия / Liflyandiya) is a historic region along the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea. It was once the land of the Finnic Livonians inhabiting the principal ancient Livonian County Metsepole with its center at Turaida. The most prominent ruler of ancient Livonia was Caupo of Turaida.

During the Livonian Crusade, ancient Livonia was colonized by the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, later called the Livonian Order, and the name Livonia came to designate a much broader territory: Terra Mariana on the eastern coasts of the Baltic Sea, in present-day Latvia and Estonia. Its frontiers are the Gulf of Riga and the Gulf of Finland in the north-west, Lake Peipus and Russia to the east, and Lithuania to the south.

Livonia was inhabited by various Baltic and Finnic peoples, ruled by an upper class of Baltic Germans. Over the course of time, some nobles were polonized into the Polish-Lithuanian nobility (Szlachta) or russified into the Russian nobility (Dvoryanstvo).

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