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Counties were independent entities and engaged only in a loose co-operation against foreign threats.

Ancient Scandinavian sagas refer to a land called Eistland, as the country is still called in Icelandic, and close to the Danish, German, Dutch, Swedish and Norwegian term Estland for the country.

Early Latin and other ancient versions of the name are Estia and Hestia.

(re Fill documentation), is a sovereign state in Northern Europe.

It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland with Finland on the other side, to the west by the Baltic Sea with Sweden to the west, to the south by Latvia (343 km), and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia (338.6 km).

(16,366 sq mi), and is influenced by a humid continental climate.

Ethnic Estonians – the largest ethnic group in the country – are a Finnic people.

At that time the country was covered with forests, and people lived in semi-nomadic communities near bodies of water.

Subsistence activities consisted of hunting, gathering and fishing.

After the loss of its de facto independence, Estonia's de jure state continuity was preserved by diplomats and government in exile.

In 1987 the peaceful Singing Revolution against Soviet rule began, culminating with restoration of its de facto independence on 20 August 1991.

After democratic rule from 1918 to 1934, Estonia became autocratic during the Era of Silence.

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