Aleksandrovac is a town and municipality located in the Rasina District of central Serbia. As of 2011, the town has a population of 6,476 inhabitants, while the municipality has 26,522 inhabitants. From 1929 to 1941, Aleksandrovac was part of the Morava Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. According to the 2011 census results, the municipality of Aleksandrovac has a population of 26,522 inhabitants; the ethnic composition of the municipality: The most popular event is Župska berba, held annually from 22 September to 25 September. Aleksandrovac is the headquarters of one of the most successful Yugoslav record labels of all time Diskos; the town has several sports teams among which the most popular are basketball and handball team that plays in the top division in Serbia. It is home to FK Župa Aleksandrovac football team; the following table gives a preview of total number of employed people per their core activity: Dimitri Davidovic, former footballer Danijel Gašić, footballer Ivan Lapcevic, handball player Aleksandrovac Official Site
Central Europe is the region comprising the central part of Europe. It is said to occupy continuous territory that are otherwise conventionally Western Europe, Southern Europe, Eastern Europe; the concept of Central Europe is based on a common historical and cultural identity. Central Europe is going through a phase of "strategic awakening", with initiatives such as the CEI, Centrope and the Visegrád Four. While the region's economy shows high disparities with regard to income, all Central European countries are listed by the Human Development Index as highly developed. Elements of unity for Western and Central Europe were Latin; however Eastern Europe, which remained Eastern Orthodox, was the area of Graeco-Byzantine cultural influence. According to Hungarian historian Jenő Szűcs, foundations of Central European history at the first millennium were in close connection with Western European development, he explained that between the 11th and 15th centuries not only Christianization and its cultural consequences were implemented, but well-defined social features emerged in Central Europe based on Western characteristics.
The keyword of Western social development after millennium was the spread of liberties and autonomies in Western Europe. These phenomena appeared in the middle of the 13th century in Central European countries. There were self-governments of towns and parliaments. In 1335, under the rule of the King Charles I of Hungary, the castle of Visegrád, the seat of the Hungarian monarchs was the scene of the royal summit of the Kings of Poland and Hungary, they agreed to cooperate in the field of politics and commerce, inspiring their post-Cold War successors to launch a successful Central European initiative. In the Middle Ages, countries in Central Europe adopted Magdeburg rights. Before 1870, the industrialization that had developed in Western and Central Europe and the United States did not extend in any significant way to the rest of the world. In Eastern Europe, industrialization lagged far behind. Russia, for example, remained rural and agricultural, its autocratic rulers kept the peasants in serfdom.
The concept of Central Europe was known at the beginning of the 19th century, but its real life began in the 20th century and became an object of intensive interest. However, the first concept mixed science and economy – it was connected with intensively growing German economy and its aspirations to dominate a part of European continent called Mitteleuropa; the German term denoting Central Europe was so fashionable that other languages started referring to it when indicating territories from Rhine to Vistula, or Dnieper, from the Baltic Sea to the Balkans. An example of that-time vision of Central Europe may be seen in J. Partsch's book of 1903. On 21 January 1904, Mitteleuropäischer Wirtschaftsverein was established in Berlin with economic integration of Germany and Austria–Hungary as its main aim. Another time, the term Central Europe became connected to the German plans of political and cultural domination; the "bible" of the concept was Friedrich Naumann's book Mitteleuropa in which he called for an economic federation to be established after the war.
Naumann's idea was that the federation would have at its centre Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire but would include all European nations outside the Anglo-French alliance, on one side, Russia, on the other. The concept failed after the German defeat in the dissolution of Austria -- Hungary; the revival of the idea may be observed during the Hitler era. According to Emmanuel de Martonne, in 1927 the Central European countries included: Austria, Germany, Poland and Switzerland; the author use both Human and Physical Geographical features to define Central Europe, but he doesn't care about the legal development, the social, economic, infrastructural developments in these countries. The interwar period brought new geopolitical system and economic and political problems, the concept of Central Europe took a different character; the centre of interest was moved to its eastern part – the countries that have appeared on the map of Europe: Czechoslovakia and Poland. Central Europe ceased to be the area of German aspiration to lead or dominate and became a territory of various integration movements aiming at resolving political and national problems of "new" states, being a way to face German and Soviet pressures.
However, the conflict of interests was too big and neither Little Entente nor Intermarium ideas succeeded. The interwar period brought new elements to the concept of Central Europe. Before World War I, it embraced German states, non-German territories being an area of intended German penetration and domination – German leadership position was to be the natural result of economic dominance. After the war, the Eastern part of Central Europe was placed at the centre of the concept. At that time the scientists took an interest in the idea: the International Historical Congress in Brussels in 1923 was committed to Central Europe, the 1933 Congress continued the discussions. Hungarian scholar Magda Adam wrote in her study Versailles System and Central Europe: "Today we know that the bane of Central Europe was the Little Entente, military alliance of Czechoslovakia and Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes (later Yu
Duchy of Croatia
The Duchy of Croatia, was a medieval Croatian duchy, established in the former Roman province of Dalmatia. Throughout its time it had several seats – namely, Solin, Bijaći and Nin, it comprised the whole of the littoral – the coastal part of today's Croatia – and included a large part of the mountainous hinterland, as well. The Duchy was in the center of competition between the Carolingian Empire and the Byzantine Empire for rule over the area. Rivalry with Venice emerged in the first decades of the 9th century and was to continue for the following centuries. Croatia waged battles with the Bulgarian Empire, with whom the relations improved afterwards, the Arabs and sought to extend its control over important coastal cities under the rule of Byzantium. Croatia experienced periods of vassalage to the Franks or Byzantines and de facto independence until 879, when Croatian Duke Branimir received recognition from Pope John VIII as an independent realm; the ruling dynasty of Croatia was the House of Trpimirović, with interruptions by the House of Domagojević.
The Duchy existed until around 925. "Dalmatian Croatia" and "Littoral Croatia" are modern appellations amongst historians for the territory of the Duchy. The state is sometimes called a principality, i.e. the "Principality of Croatia". The first recorded name for the Duchy was "Land of the Croats". Croatia was not yet a kingdom at the time and the term regnum is used in terms of a country in general. In Byzantine sources the entity was called just "Croatia"; the first known duke, was named "Duke of Dalmatia" and "Duke of Dalmatia and Liburnia" in the Annales regni Francorum. The Croatian name is recorded in contemporary charters of Croatian dukes from the second half of the 9th century. Trpimir I was named "Duke of the Croats" in a Latin charter issued in 852, while Branimir was defined as "Duke of the Croats" on a preserved inscription from Šopot near Benkovac. Within the area of the Roman province of Dalmatia, various tribal groupings, which were called sclaviniae by the Byzantines, were settled along the Adriatic coast.
Croatia in the early Middle Ages was an area bounded by the Eastern Adriatic hinterland on one side extended to a part of western Herzegovina and central Bosnia into Lika and Krbava, North-West to Vinodol and Labin in the Croatian Littoral area. Several coastal Dalmatian cities were under the rule of the Byzantines, including Split, Zadar and Dubrovnik, as well as islands of Hvar and Krk. To the south Croatia bordered with the land of the Narentines, which stretched from the rivers Cetina to Neretva, had the islands of Brač, Korčula, Mljet and Lastovo in its possession. In the southern part of Dalmatia, there was Zahumlje and Dioclea. North of Croatia there was the Duchy of Pannonia. Croatia, as well as other early medieval states, didn't have a permanent capital and Croatian dukes resided in various places on their courts; the first important center of Croatia was Klis near Split. Other dukes ruled from the towns of Solin, Biaći and Nin. Most of Dalmatia in the 7th century was under the Avar Khaganate, a nomadic confederacy led by the Avars who subjugated surrounding Slavic tribes.
In 614 the Avars and Slavs sacked and destroyed the capital of the province of Dalmatia and retained direct control of the region for a few decades until they were driven out by the Croats. The earliest recorded Croatian leader, referred to by the Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, was Porga. After their participation in Samo and Kubrat's 632 defeat of the Avars, White Croats were either invited into Dalmatia by the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius and allowed to settle there, or prevailing the Avars after that lengthy war the Croats migrated across the Sava from Pannonia Savia and settled Dalmatia on their own. In either case, a new wave of Avars retook Pannonia in 677 but only as far as the Danube. By the early 9th century, Croatia emerged as a political entity with a duke as head of the state, territorially in the basins of the rivers Cetina and Zrmanja, it was administered in 11 counties. According to De Administrando Imperio, the Croats in Pannonia were subject to the Franks for several years,"as they had been in their own country", until they rebelled and defeated the Franks after a seven-year war, but it is not known on which specific war and time span this refers to.
From that point on, they were independent, demanded to be baptised from the bishop of Rome, was sent to them to be baptised in the time of Porinos their prince. Their land was divided in eleven zupanias, which are: Hlebiana, Emota, Pesenta, Brebere, Tnena, Sidraga and their ban has Kribasan, Goutzeska. Although the Christianization of Croats began right after their arrival to Dalmatia, in the early 9th century a part of the Croats were still pagan; the Franks gained control of Pannonia and Dalmatia in the 790s and the first decade of the ninth century. In 788 Charlemagne, after conquering Lombardy, turned further east and subjugated Istria. In the 790s Duke Vojnomir of Pannonia accepted the Frankish overlordship, whose land the Franks placed under the March of Friuli and tried to extend their rule over the Croatians of Dalmatia. In 799 the Franks under the leader
Croats or Croatians are a nation and South Slavic ethnic group native to Croatia. Croats live in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, but are recognized minorities in such countries as Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. Due to political and economic reasons, many Croats migrated to North and South America as well as Australia and New Zealand, establishing a diaspora in the aftermath of World War II, with grassroots assistance from earlier communities and the Roman Catholic Church. Croats are Roman Catholics; the Croatian language is official in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as in the European Union, is a recognised minority language within Croatian autochthonous communities and minorities in Montenegro, Italy and Serbia. Evidence is rather scarce for the period between the 7th and 8th centuries, CE. Archaeological evidence shows population continuity in coastal Istria. In contrast, much of the Dinaric hinterland appears to have been depopulated, as all hilltop settlements, from Noricum to Dardania, were abandoned in the early 7th century.
Although the dating of the earliest Slavic settlements is still disputed, there is a hiatus of a century. The origin and nature of the Slavic migrations remain controversial, all available evidence points to the nearby Danubian and Carpathian regions; the ethnonym "Croat" is first attested in the charter of Duke Trpimir. Much uncertainty revolves around the exact circumstances of their appearance given the scarcity of literary sources during the 7th and 8th century "Dark Ages". Traditionally, scholarship has placed the arrival of the Croats in the 7th century on the basis of the Byzantine document De Administrando Imperio; as such, the arrival of the Croats was seen as a second wave of Slavic migrations, which liberated Dalmatia from Avar hegemony. However, as early as the 1970s, scholars questioned the reliability of Porphyrogenitus' work, written as it was in the 10th century. Rather than being an accurate historical account, De Administrando Imperio more reflects the political situation during the 10th century.
It served as Byzantine propaganda praising Emperor Heraclius for repopulating the Balkans with Croats, who were seen by the Byzantines as tributary peoples living on what had always been'Roman land'. Scholars have hypothesized the name Croat may be Iranian, thus suggesting that the Croatians were a Sarmatian tribe from the Pontic region who were part of a larger movement at the same time that the Slavs were moving toward the Adriatic; the major basis for this connection was the perceived similarity between Hrvat and inscriptions from the Tanais dated to the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE, mentioning the name Khoroathos. Similar arguments have been made for an alleged Gothic-Croat link. Whilst there is indeed possible evidence of population continuity between Gothic and Croatian times in parts of Dalmatia, the idea of a Gothic origin of Croats was more rooted in 20th century Ustaše political aspirations than historical reality. Contemporary scholarship views the rise of "Croats" as an autochthonous, Dalmatian response to the demise of the Avar khanate and the encroachment of Frankish and Byzantine Empires into northern Dalmatia.
They appear to have been based around Klis, down to the Cetina and south of Liburnia. Here, concentrations of the "Old Croat culture" abound, marked by some wealthy warrior burials dating to the 9th century CE. Other, distinct polities existed near the Croat duchy; these included the Guduscans, the Narentines and the Sorabi who ruled some other eastern parts of ex-Roman "Dalmatia". Prominent in the territory of future Croatia was the polity of Prince Liutevid, who ruled the territories between the Drava and Sava rivers, centred from his fort at Sisak. Although Duke Liutevid and his people are seen as a "Pannonian Croats", he is, due to the lack of "evidence that they had a sense of Croat identity" referred to as dux Pannoniae Inferioris, or a Slav, by contemporary sources. However, the Croats became the dominant local power in northern Dalmatia, absorbing Liburnia and expanding their name by conquest and prestige. In the south, while having periods of independence, the Naretines "merged" with Croats under control of Croatian Kings.
With such expansion, Croatia soon became dominant power and absorb other polities between Frankish and Byzantine empire. Although the Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja has been dismissed as an unreliable record, the mentioned "Red Croatia" suggests that Croatian clans and families might have settled as far south as Duklja/Zeta and city of Drač in today's Albania; the lands which constitute modern Croatia fell under three major geographic-politic zones during the Middle Ages, which were influenced by powerful neighbour Empires – notably the Byzantines, the Avars and Magyars and Bulgars. Each vied for control of the Northwest Balkan regions. Two independent Slavic dukedoms emerged sometime during the 9th century: the Croat Duchy and Principality of Lower Pannonia. Having been under Avar control, lower Pannonia became a march of the Carolingian Empire around 800. Aided by Vojnomir in 796, the first named Slavic Duke of Pannonia, the Franks wrested control of
Slovak Republic (1939–1945)
The Slovak Republic, otherwise known as the Slovak State, was a client state of Nazi Germany which existed between 14 March 1939 and 4 April 1945. It controlled the majority of the territory of present-day Slovakia but without its current southern and eastern parts, ceded to Hungary in 1938; the Republic bordered Germany, constituent parts of "Großdeutschland", the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, Poland – and subsequently the General Government – along with independent Hungary. Germany recognized the Slovak State, as did several other states, including Croatia, El Salvador, Italy, Japan, Manchukuo, the Soviet Union, Spain and the Vatican City; the majority of the Allies of World War II never recognized the existence of the Slovak Republic. The Soviet Union nullified its recognition after Slovakia joined the invasion of the USSR in 1941; the official name of the country was the Slovak State from 14 March to 21 July 1939, the Slovak Republic from 21 July 1939 to its end in April 1945. The country is referred to as the First Slovak Republic to distinguish it from the contemporary Slovak Republic, not considered its legal successor state.
The name "Slovak State" was used colloquially, but the term "First Slovak Republic" was used in encyclopaedias written during Communist rule. After the Munich Agreement, Slovakia gained autonomy inside Czecho-Slovakia and lost its southern territories to Hungary under the First Vienna Award; as the Nazi Führer Adolf Hitler was preparing a mobilisation into Czech territory and creation of his Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, he had various plans for Slovakia. German officials were misinformed by the Hungarians that the Slovaks wanted to join Hungary. Germany decided to make Slovakia a separate puppet state under the influence of Germany, a potential strategic base for German attacks on Poland and other regions. On 13 March 1939, Hitler invited Monsignor Jozef Tiso, to Berlin and urged him to proclaim Slovakia's independence. Hitler added that, if Tiso did not consent, he would have no interest in Slovakia's fate and would leave it to the territorial claims of Hungary and Poland. During the meeting, Joachim von Ribbentrop passed on a report claiming that Hungarian troops were approaching the Slovak borders.
Tiso refused to make such a decision himself, after which he was allowed by Hitler to organise a meeting of the Slovak parliament which would approve Slovakia's independence. On 14 March, the Slovak parliament convened and heard Tiso's report on his discussion with Hitler as well as on a possible declaration of independence; some of the deputies were skeptical of making such a move, among other reasons due to the fact that some worried that the Slovak state would be too small and with a strong Hungarian minority. The debate was brought to a head when Franz Karmasin, leader of the German minority in Slovakia, said that any delay in declaring independence would result in Slovakia being divided between Hungary and Germany. Under these circumstances, Parliament unanimously declared Slovak independence, thus creating the first Slovak state in history. Jozef Tiso was appointed the first Prime Minister of the new republic; the next day, Tiso sent a telegram asking the Reich to take over the protection of the newly minted state.
The request was accepted. On 23 March 1939, having occupied Carpatho-Ukraine, attacked from there, the newly established Slovak Republic was forced to cede 1,697 square kilometres of territory with about 70,000 people to Hungary before the onset of World War II. Slovakia was the only Axis nation other than Germany to take part in the Polish Campaign. With the impending German invasion of Poland planned for September 1939, the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht requested the assistance of Slovakia. Although the Slovak military was only six months old, it formed a small mobile combat group consisting of a number of infantry and artillery battalions. Two combat groups were created for the campaign in Poland for use alongside the Germans; the first group was a brigade-sized formation that consisted of six infantry battalions, two artillery battalions, a company of combat engineers, all commanded by Antonín Pulanich. The second group was a mobile formation that consisted of two battalions of combined cavalry and motorcycle recon troops along with nine motorised artillery batteries, all commanded by Gustav Malár.
The two groups reported to the headquarters of the 3rd Slovak Infantry Divisions. The two combat groups fought while pushing through the Nowy Sącz and Dukla Mountain Passes, advancing towards Dębica and Tarnów in the region of southern Poland; the Slovak military participated in the war on the Eastern Front against the Soviet Union. The Slovak Expeditionary Army Group of about 45,000 entered the Soviet Union shortly after the German attack; this army lacked logistic and transportation support, so a much smaller unit, the Slovak Mobile Command, was formed from units selected from this force. The Slovak Mobile Command was attached to the German 17th Army and shortly thereafter given over to direct German command, the Slovaks lacking the command infra
Grand Principality of Serbia
Serbia known as Raška was a Serb medieval state that comprised parts of what is today Serbia, Montenegro and Herzegovina, southern Dalmatia, being centred in the region of Raška. The state was formed in ca. 1091 out of a vassal principality of Duklja, a Serb state which had itself emerged from the early medieval Serbian Principality, centred in Raška until 960, when it was left in obscurity in sources after the Byzantine–Bulgarian wars. Its founder, took the title of Grand Prince when his uncle and overlord Constantine Bodin ended up in Byzantine prison after decades of revolt. While Duklja was struck with civil wars, Raška continued the fight against the Byzantines, it was ruled by the Vukanović dynasty, who managed to put most of the former Serbian state under their rule, as well as expanding to the south and east. Through diplomatic ties with Hungary it managed to retain its independence past the mid-12th century. After a dynastic civil war in 1166, Stefan Nemanja emerged victorious. Nemanja's son Stefan was crowned king in 1217, while his younger son Rastko was ordinated the first Archbishop of Serbs in 1219.
According to the De Administrando Imperio, the Serbs settled the Balkans under the protection of Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, were ruled by a dynasty known in historiography as the Vlastimirović dynasty. Slavs had begun settling the region in the early 6th century, after raiding deep into the Empire, they settled "baptized Serbia", which included Bosnia, the maritime lands of Travunija and Paganija, while maritime Duklja was held by the Byzantines, it was settled with Serbs as well. All of the maritime lands bordered "baptized Serbia" to the north. In the mid-9th century, the hitherto peaceful neighbour of Bulgaria was defeated in war. Serbia was Christianized. 870, although missions had been made during Heraclius' reign. In the following decades, members of the dynasty fought succession wars, Serbia became a matter of Byzantine-Bulgarian rivalry; the written information regarding the dynasty ends with the DAI and Prince Časlav's death, after which the realm crumbled into pieces. The Byzantines established a short-lived catepanate at Ras, with military governorship ending soon thereafter with the Byzantine conquest of Bulgaria, was re-established only ca. 1018 with the short-lived Theme of Sirmium, which however did not extend much into Raška.
Meanwhile, Duklja emerged as the dominant Serbian principality, as the renewed state, including Raška, Travunija and Zahumlje. A vassal of the Byzantine Empire, Stefan Vojislav rose up and managed to take over the territories of the earlier Serbian principality, founding the Vojislavljević dynasty. Between 1043 and 1080, under Mihailo Vojislavljević, his son, Constantine Bodin, Duklja saw its apogee. Mihailo was given the nominal title King of Slavs by the Pope after having left the Byzantine camp and supported a Slavic uprising in the Balkans, in which his son Bodin played a central part. Having incorporated the Serbian hinterland and installed vassal rulers there, it emerged as the most powerful Serb polity, seen in the titles used by its rulers. However, its rise was short-lived, as Bodin was imprisoned. In 1091 or 1092, Vukan became independent, his state was centered around present-day Novi Pazar. Subordinate to him were local counts, who seem to have been more or less autonomous in the internal affairs of their counties, but who obliged loyalty, support in warfare.
It seems. Vukan began. 1090, the Byzantines being unable to take counter-measures as they faced invading Pechenegs. After defeating the Pechenegs, Alexios I Komnenos sent an army with the strategos of Dyrrhachium, defeated by Vukan in 1092. Alexios mobilized a much larger army, led by himself, marched onto Raška. After the Emperor's departure, Vukan broke the treaty, began to expand along the Vardar, obtaining much booty and taking the cities of Vranje and Tetovo. In 1094 or 1095, Alexios marched out and met Vukan, who offered peace and gave twenty hostages including his cousin Uroš and son Stefan. At this time, Vukan acted on his own, no longer a vassal of Duklja, which because of its civil war did not involve itself in the conflicts. Following Bodin's death in 1101, Vukan took advantage of the dynastic civil wars in Duklja, forged an alliance with Kočapar, with whom he invaded Duklja in 1102. Kočapar's reign was short-lived. Upon spreading his influence in Duklja, Vukan invaded Byzantium once more in the spring of 1106, taking advantage of the Norman campaign, defeating co-emperor John II Komnenos, but sent hostages in return for peace in November.
There is no written record of Vukan after this war, he is believ
First Bulgarian Empire
The First Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state that existed in Southeastern Europe between the 7th and 11th centuries AD. It was founded in 681. There they secured Byzantine recognition of their right to settle south of the Danube by defeating – with the help of local South Slavic tribes – the Byzantine army led by Constantine IV. At the height of its power, Bulgaria spread from the Danube Bend to the Black Sea and from the Dnieper River to the Adriatic Sea; as the state solidified its position in the Balkans, it entered into a centuries-long interaction, sometimes friendly and sometimes hostile, with the Byzantine Empire. Bulgaria emerged as Byzantium's chief antagonist to its north; the two powers enjoyed periods of peace and alliance, most notably during the Second Arab siege of Constantinople, where the Bulgarian army broke the siege and destroyed the Arab army, thus preventing an Arab invasion of Southeastern Europe. Byzantium had a strong cultural influence on Bulgaria, which led to the eventual adoption of Christianity in 864.
After the disintegration of the Avar Khaganate, the country expanded its territory northwest to the Pannonian Plain. The Bulgarians confronted the advance of the Pechenegs and Cumans, achieved a decisive victory over the Magyars, forcing them to establish themselves permanently in Pannonia. During the late 9th and early 10th centuries, Simeon I achieved a string of victories over the Byzantines. Thereafter, he was recognized with the title of Emperor, proceeded to expand the state to its greatest extent. After the annihilation of the Byzantine army in the battle of Anchialus in 917, the Bulgarians laid siege to Constantinople in 923 and 924; the Byzantines, however recovered, in 1014, under Basil II, inflicted a crushing defeat on the Bulgarians at the Battle of Kleidion. By 1018, the last Bulgarian strongholds had surrendered to the Byzantine Empire, the First Bulgarian Empire had ceased to exist, it was succeeded by the Second Bulgarian Empire in 1185. After the adoption of Christianity, Bulgaria became the cultural center of Slavic Europe.
Its leading cultural position was further consolidated with the invention of the Glagolitic and Early Cyrillic alphabets shortly after in the capital Preslav, literature produced in Old Bulgarian soon began spreading north. Old Bulgarian became the lingua franca of much of Eastern Europe and it came to be known as Old Church Slavonic. In 927, the independent Bulgarian Patriarchate was recognized; the ruling Bulgars and other non-Slavic tribes in the empire mixed and adopted the prevailing Slavic language, thus forming the Bulgarian nation from the 7th century to the 9th century. Since the late 9th century, the names Bulgarians and Bulgarian gained prevalence and became permanent designations for the local population, both in literature and in common parlance; the development of Old Church Slavonic literacy had the effect of preventing the assimilation of the South Slavs into neighbouring cultures, while stimulating the formation of a distinct Bulgarian identity. The First Bulgarian Empire became known as Bulgaria since its recognition by the Byzantine Empire in 681.
Some historians use the terms First Bulgarian State, or First Bulgarian Tsardom. Between 681 and 864 the country was known as the Bulgarian Khanate, Danube Bulgarian Khanate, or Danube Bulgar Khanate in order to differentiate it from Volga Bulgaria, which emerged from another Bulgar group. During its early existence, the country was called the Bulgar state or Bulgar Khaghanate. Between 864 and 917/927, the country was known as the Principality of Bulgaria or Knyazhestvo Bulgaria. In English language sources, the country is known as the Bulgarian Empire. Parts of the eastern Balkan Peninsula were in antiquity inhabited by the Thracians who were a group of Indo-European tribes; the whole region as far north as the Danube River was incorporated into the Roman Empire by the 1st century AD. The decline of the Roman Empire after the 3rd century AD and the continuous invasions of Goths and Huns left much of the region devastated, depopulated and in economic decline by the 5th century; the surviving eastern half of the Roman Empire, called by historians the Byzantine Empire, could not exercise effective control in these territories other than in the coastal areas and certain cities in the interior.
Nonetheless, it never relinquished the claim to the whole region up to the Danube. A series of administrative, legislative and economic reforms somewhat improved the situation but despite these reforms disorder continued in much of the Balkans; the reign of Emperor Justinian I saw temporary recovery of control and reconstruction of a number of fortresses but after his death the empire was unable to face the threat of the Slavs due to the significant reduction of revenue and manpower. The Slavs, of Indo-European origin, were first mentioned in written sources to inhabit the territories to the north of the Danube in the 5th century AD but most historians agree that they had arrived earlier; the group of Slavs that came to be known as the South Slavs was divided into Antes and Sclaveni who spoke the same language. The Slavic incursions in the Balkans increased during the second half of Justinian I's reign and while these were pillaging raids, large-scale settlement began in the 570s and 580s; this migration is associated with the arrival of the Avars who settled in the plains of Pannonia between the rivers Danube and Tisza in the 560s subjugating various Bulgar and Slavic tribes in the process.
Consumed in bitter wars with th