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The historical settlement area of ​​the Selons.

Sēlija (Latin Selonia ), also Augšzeme (German Upper Latvia ) is a historical area in southern Latvia between the Daugava and the Lithuanian border. It was the settlement area of ​​the Selonen ( Selen ) and later became part of the Duchy of Semgallia .

The focus was the Sēlpils Castle . Today Jakobstadt (Latvian: Jēkabpils ) is the unofficial capital .


In Latin sources, the country is called Selonia . In the Livonian rhyming chronicle it is called Selenium .

According to Eckert et al. a river Fluvius Sellianus is mentioned in the Peutinger table , which is identical to the Daugava .


The Lutheran Church in Laši, Sēlija.
Settlement area of ​​the Selons around 1200

Selija was the settlement area of ​​the Baltic tribe of the Selons . The center was Sēlpils on the Daugava .

After 1180 proselytizing attempts as with the cures , Lives and Semgallians are handed down.

In 1208 the area was subjected to the Order of the Brothers of the Swords under Albert von Buxhoeveden . 1218-1226 it was the area of ​​a separate diocese. Later it came under the rule of the Livonian Order . It became part of the Duchy of Zemgale .

After the Reformation , different faiths influenced the area. The German pastors had a major influence on the education of the local residents.

In the 19th century the area had a large percentage of the Jewish population.

Selenium was not officially recognized in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic . Since the restoration of Latvia's independence , the descendants of the tribe have intensified their efforts to maintain their ethnic identity. You will research and cultivate the local language, culture and lore.

See also


  • August Bielenstein : The Limits of the Latvian Tribe and the Latvian Language in the Present and in the 13th Century. Verlag v. Hirschheydt, Hanover-Döhren 1973; Reprint of the St. Petersburg edition: Eggers, 1892 ISBN 3-7777-0983-2
  • Rainer Eckert, Elvira-Julia Bukevičiūtė, Friedhelm Hinze : The Baltic languages. An introduction. Langenscheidt Verlag, Enzyklopädie Verlag, Leipzig, Berlin, Munich 1994. ISBN 3-324-00605-8