During the Late Iron Age

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At the beginning of Late Iron Age in the IX century the changes took place in the Estonian settlement. Most of the former strongholds were left and new were established. The number of population and area of arable lands increased. The villages mostly merged into the parishes around one focal stronghold which in their turn merged into counties. The Estonian tribes created a county identity.

People called themselves Sakala people, Ugala people, Islanders, Vironians etc. But when looking from outside, the Estonian tribes felt probably quite similar, as for example the Latvian Henrik, the chronicler of Germans used constantly the general name of Estonians. Thereby he clearly differentiated the Estonians and Livonians, but also the Baltic tribes Latgals, Seels and Semgals.
Prior to the beginning of XIII century the Russians tried to settle down in Estonia who participated in several military trip to Estonia. Although in a couple of times Otepää and Tartu strongholds were conquered (the ancient name Tarbatu) did not bring along permanent changes and no areas depending on Pskov or Novgorod were established in Estonia (the South-eastern Estonia was in the hands of the Russians the longest during the years 1030-1061). The expeditions organized by the Estonian had also temporary results.

On the photo: Estonia during the Late Iron Age.

Aivar Kriiska, Andres Tvauri. Eesti muinasaeg. Avita 2002



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