SerbianLatinEnglish (UK)
Monday, 23 October 2017

History

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Serbs are a very old nation.

During the Neolithic period, Vinča culture was spread over a large porion of Serbia's territorty.

Krunisanje Cara Dusana Paja Jovanovic

Serbia's strategic location between two continents has subjected it to invasions by various peoples. Greeks colonized its south in the 11th century BC, while the northernmost point of the empire of Alexander the Great was the town of Kale-Krsevica. Belgrade is believed to have been torn by 140 wars since Roman times.

Early historical mentions of a "Serb" ethnonym:

Pliny the Younger in his work Plinii Caecilii Secundi Historia naturalis from the first century AD (69-75) mentioned people named Serbi, who lived near the Cimmerians, presumably on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. In the 2nd century (around 175 AD), the Egyptian scientist Claudius Ptolemy in his Geography mentioned people named Serboi, who presumably lived behind the Caucasus, in the hinterland of the Caspian Sea.

After the great migrations in the early middle ages, Serbian medieval state was formed on territories previously under direct Roman; Byzantine rule.

One of the first acknowledged Serbian principalities, Raška, was founded in the early 9th century by the House of Vlastimirović; it evolved into a Serbian Kingdom in the 12th century and later into the Serbian Empire in the 14th century under the House of Nemanjić.

There were also Serbian states of Zeta and Duklja in present day Montenegro and northern Albania,  Zahumlje and Travunia in Dalmatia and several princpalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina ruled and populated by Serbs.

This was the time of great Serbian knights, constant development and construction of world famous Christian churches and monasteries. Many of them are today part of UNESCO world’s cultural heritage, like Gračanica, Visoki Dečani on Kosovo and Metohija, or Sopoćani, Studenica, Žiča in central part of the country.

Great kings ruled rich and prosperous states; many of nobles were members of Order of the Dragon, most prestigious chivalric order in XV century Europe. Art and literature were developing under patronage of the Church, state and nobility. Serbian queens came from Hungarian, French, Byzantine, Bulgarian courts, because it was kind of prestigious thing to get married into Serbia, and foreign rulers wanted  good relation with Serbian state.

Zenidba cara Dusana Paja Jovanovic

Great ruler Dushan the emperor was one of the mightiest crown heads in Europe in 14th century, who made first law in Europe that made courts independent of the imperial rule, so ordinary people were able to sue emperor in disputes, for the first time.

The Serbian realms disappeared by the mid-15th century, torn by domestic feuds  after collapse of Empire and conquered by the Ottomans. After centuries of struggle, the success of the Serbian revolution against Ottoman rule in 1817 marked the birth of modern Principality of Serbia, which achieved de facto independence in 1867 and was finally recognized in the Berlin Congress of 1878.

As a victor in the Balkan Wars in 1913, Serbia regained Vardar Macedonia, Kosovo and Raška (Old Serbia).

WWI was heroic but sad episode in Serbian history. One fourth of population, and more than half of male population lost their lives for freedom. Atrocities and war crimes commited by Austro-Hungarian,  German and Bulgarian army stunned Europe at that time. This was described in a report by Swiss professor and criminology pioneer Archibald Reiss Report upon the atrocities committed by the Austro-Hungarian army during the first invasion of Serbia.Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co. Ltd., London 1916.

 In 1918, the region of Vojvodina proclaimed their secession from Austria-Hungary to unite with the the Kingdom of Serbia. After joining with shortly lived State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, on 1 December 1918, and the country was named Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.

WWII was again very hard for Serbs, as the Germans, but especially Croats(Ustashi) made savage atrocities on Serbian people (just the Croat quisling state killed more than 700.000 Serbs). To underline the tragedy, the Serbs had two rebel movements, royalist and communist , who on frequent occasion fought against each other.

Serbia settled its current borders after World War II, when it became a federal unit within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. After its dissolution in a series of wars in the 1990s, Serbia once again became an independent state on June 5, 2006, following the breakup of a short-lived union with Montenegro.

Today Serbia is modern democracy with people ready to provide hospitality to all guests who are eager to see it natural beauties, and two millennia heritage of history and culture.