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Together with Southern Estonia, these conquered areas formed the crusader state that became known as Terra Mariana or Livonia.

In 1282, Riga, and later the cities of Cēsis, Limbaži, Koknese and Valmiera, became part of the Hanseatic League.

For 2014, the country was listed 46th on the Human Development Index and as a high income country on 1 July 2014.

The name Latvija is derived from the name of the ancient Latgalians, one of four Indo-European Baltic tribes (along with Couronians, Selonians and Semigallians), which formed the ethnic core of modern Latvians together with the Finnic Livonians.

Pope Celestine III had called for a crusade against pagans in Northern Europe in 1193.

When peaceful means of conversion failed to produce results, Meinhard plotted to convert Livonians by force of arms.

Henry of Latvia coined the latinisations of the country's name, "Lettigallia" and "Lethia", both derived from the Latgalians.

The terms inspired the variations on the country's name in Romance languages from "Letonia" and in several Germanic languages from "Lettland".

It is bordered by Estonia in the northern region, Lithuania in the southern, to the east is Russia, and Belarus to the southeast, as well as sharing a maritime border with Sweden to the west.

By 900 AD, four distinct Baltic tribes inhabited Latvia: Curonians, Latgalians, Selonians, Semigallians (in Latvian: kurši, latgaļi, sēļi and zemgaļi), as well as the Livonians (lībieši) speaking a Finnic language.

In the 12th century in the territory of Latvia, there were 14 lands with their rulers: Vanema, Ventava, Bandava, Piemare, Duvzare, Ceklis, Megava, Pilsāts, Upmale, Sēlija, Koknese, Jersika, Tālava and Adzele.

German crusaders were sent, or more likely decided to go on their own accord as they were known to do.

Saint Meinhard of Segeberg arrived in Ikšķile, in 1184, traveling with merchants to Livonia, on a Catholic mission to convert the population from their original pagan beliefs.

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