This article is about the Baltic ethnicity. For the
Star Wars aliens,
see List of
Star Wars species (P-T).
Selonians (Latvian: Sēļi; Lithuanian: Sėliai) were a tribe of
Baltic peoples. They lived until the 15th century in Selonia, located
Latvia and northeastern Lithuania. They eventually
merged with neighbouring tribes, contributing to the ethnogenesis of
Latvians and Lithuanians. They spoke the Eastern Baltic
Little is known about the Selonians. There is little archaeological
evidence and in historic sources the region is often described as a
"scarcely populated land". In written sources they are mentioned only
Archeological data can trace the
Selonians back to the beginning of
1st millennium AD when they lived on both sides of the Daugava
River. But since the 6th. and 7th centuries their settlements can
be traced only on the left bank of the river.
Selonian culture had a very strong Latgalian influence. Selonian and
Latgalian burial traditions show little difference. Some scholars
speculate that during the late Iron Age the
Selonians were already
partly assimilated by the Latgalians.
Chronicle of Henry of Livonia
Chronicle of Henry of Livonia mentions the
Selonians at the
beginning of the 13th century, when they were conquered and
christened. The author of the chronicle describes the
Lithuanian allies. Their lands were subjects of the principalities
of Jersika and Koknese, which were vassals of the principality of
Polotsk. The Southern lands however were ruled by Lithuanian lords.
In 1207, the German Brothers of Sword together with their Livonian and
Latgalian allies besieged the main Selonian centre at Sēlpils
hillfort. Reason for the attack were German claims that Sēlpils
hillfort was used as main Lithuanian support base for their attacks in
Livonia. After a long siege the
Selonians agreed to baptism and German
rule and the stone
Sēlpils Castle (German: Selburg) was built in
place of the hillfort. The
Selonians were last mentioned in written
sources in the 15th century.
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-20. Retrieved
^ Šnore E., Zariņa A. Senā Sēlpils. Rīga: Zinātne, 1980. 236
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-11-03. Retrieved
^ Indriķa hronika. Ā. Feldhūna tulk., Ē. Mugurēviča
priekšvārds un komentāri. Rīga: Zinātne, 1993. 453 lpp.
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