From latvis (“Latvian, Lett”) + -ija. The word is relatively recent: in older (13th-century) texts, this region is called Lettia, Letthigalia, later on (17th century) Latvisku zeme and (18th century) Latvju zeme, Latviešu zeme. Juris Alunāns (real name Gustavs Georgs Frīdrihs Alunāns, created about 500 words)
1850s the word Latva, which was not adopted; but, under his influence, many country names in Latvian were derived with a suffix -ija, which made several authors spontaneously create and use the word Latvija. It was accepted into the standard language in the following decades.
Imagine: Latva, Litva
-ija and -uva.
Imagine: not Latvija, but Latuva:)
Lituva, Letuva, Lietuva, Latuva...
Nu Lietuva, nu Dauguva!
But - Latvija!
Henrikas Latvis in XII-XIII century A.C. or Henry de Letton or Heinrich von Livland or Enrique de Livonia or, simply, Indrikis?
Baltic Germans in Livonia, not in Lithuania.
Balts - Balts?
...so that Latvian in a narrower sense is the language of Vidzeme.
Vidzeme - center?
Read and learn about the Latvian dialect of Lithuanian in XVII century A.C.
Read in Lithuanian.
„Latgalietis esmu dzimis,
Zemgaliets, puslatvietis –
Trejas latvju, leišu ciltis
Kopā rokās sadevušās.”
By the way:
Latvian press ban?
Lithuanian press ban!