Promotion and relegation
In sports leagues and relegation is a process where teams are transferred between multiple divisions based on their performance for the completed season. The best-ranked team in the lower division are promoted to the higher division for the next season, the worst-ranked team in the higher division are relegated to the lower division for the next season. In some leagues, playoffs or qualifying rounds are used to determine rankings; this process can continue through several levels of divisions, with teams being exchanged between levels 1 and 2, levels 2 and 3, levels 3 and 4, so on. During the season, teams that are high enough in the league table that they would qualify for promotion are sometimes said to be in the promotion zone, those at the bottom are in the relegation zone. An alternate system of league organisation, used in the US and Canada is a closed model based on licensing or franchises; this maintains the same teams from year to year, with occasional admission of expansion teams and relocation of existing teams, with no team movement between the major league and minor leagues.
The number of teams exchanged between the divisions is always identical. Exceptions occur when the higher division wishes to change the size of its membership, or has lost one or more of its clubs and wishes to restore its previous membership size, in which case fewer teams are relegated from that division, or more teams are accepted for promotion from the division below; such variations cause a "knock-on" effect through the lower divisions. For example, in 1995 the Premier League voted to reduce its numbers by two and achieved the desired change by relegating four teams instead of the usual three, whilst allowing only two promotions from Football League Division One. In the absence of such extraordinary circumstances, the pyramid-like nature of most European sports league systems can still create knock-on effects at the regional level. For example, in a higher league with a large geographical footprint and multiple feeder leagues each representing smaller geographical regions, should most or all of the relegated teams in the higher division come from one particular region the number of teams to be promoted or relegated from each of the feeder leagues may have to be adjusted, or one or more teams playing near the boundary between the feeder leagues may have to transfer from one feeder league to another to maintain numerical balance.
The system is said to be the defining characteristic of the "European" form of professional sports league organization. Promotion and relegation have the effect of allowing the maintenance of a hierarchy of leagues and divisions, according to the relative strength of their teams, they maintain the importance of games played by many low-ranked teams near the end of the season, which may be at risk of relegation. In contrast, a low-ranked US or Canadian team's final games serve little purpose, in fact losing may be beneficial to such teams, yielding a better position in the next year's draft. Although not intrinsic to the system, problems can occur due to the differing monetary payouts and revenue-generating potential that different divisions provide to their clubs. For example, financial hardship has sometimes occurred in leagues where clubs do not reduce their wage bill once relegated; this occurs for one of two reasons: first, the club can't move underperforming players on, or second, the club is gambling on being promoted back straight away and is prepared to take a financial loss for one or two seasons to do so.
Some leagues offer "parachute payments" to its relegated teams for the following year. The payouts are higher than the prize money received by some non-relegated teams and are designed to soften the financial hit that clubs take whilst dropping out of the Premier League. However, in many cases these parachute payments just serve to inflate the costs of competing for promotion among the lower division clubs as newly relegated teams retain a financial advantage. In some countries and at certain levels, teams in line for promotion may have to satisfy certain non-playing conditions in order to be accepted by the higher league, such as financial solvency, stadium capacity, facilities. If these are not satisfied, a lower-ranked team may be promoted in their place, or a team in the league above may be saved from relegation. While the primary purpose of the promotion/relegation system is to maintain competitive balance, it may be used as a disciplinary tool in special cases. On several occasions, the Italian Football Federation has relegated clubs found to have been involved in match-fixing.
This occurred most in 2006, when the season's initial champions Juventus were relegated to Serie B, two other teams were relegated but restored to Serie A after appeal. In some Communist nations several in Europe after World War II, clubs were promoted and relegated for political reasons rather than performance; this was made evident in the late eighties by teams such as Romanian Steaua București and Yugoslav Red Star Belgrade, both winners of the European Champions League despite the rampant level of corruption in their Communist local leagues. Promotion and relegation may be used in international sports tournaments. In tennis, the Davis Cup and Fed Cup have promotion and relegation, with a'World Group' (split into two divisions in the Fe
Kranj is the fourth-largest city in Slovenia, with a population of 37,373. It is located 20 kilometres northwest of Ljubljana; the centre of the City Municipality of Kranj and of the traditional region of Upper Carniola is a industrial city with significant electronics and rubber industries. The nucleus of the city is a well-preserved medieval old town, built at the confluence of the Kokra and Sava rivers; the city is served by the Kranj railway station on the route from Ljubljana to Munich, Germany and a highway. Slovenia's national airport, Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport is very close to Kranj more so than its nominal client, Ljubljana. Kranj was attested in c. 670 as Carnium. The Slovene name is derived from Slavic *Korn’ь, borrowed from Romance Carnium in late antiquity. Like the Latin regional name Carnia, it is derived from the northern Italic tribe known as the Carnī; the name of the tribe is derived from the Celtic root *karno-'peak, pile of stones'. The German name of the town was Krainburg.
The name of the historical region of Carniola is a Latin diminutive form of Carnia. Archaeological finds show. Discoveries include a bronze ax found in Drulovka, Hallstatt-era graves in the northern part of the town above the bank of the Kokra River, testifying to Illyrian settlement, a burial site in the southern part of the town above the left bank of the Sava River, indicating a Celtic settlement; the Romans founded the settlement of Carnium at the confluence of the Kokra. In the 6th century, a major Germanic settlement stood at the same site, an Ostrogothic cemetery was discovered nearby; the Gothic settlement was continued by the Lombards and existed until c. AD 580, when it was destroyed by invading Slavs. Traces of the old Slavic settlement date from the 10th centuries; as the seat of the margraves of Carniola in the 11th century, it was the most important settlement in the territory. The town itself is believed to have developed in the early 13th century, it was the seat of a court whose jurisdiction extended between that of Kamnik.
In 1414 a decision was issued relieving the citizens of the town from paying tolls. In 1422 an ordinance required houses to be built of stone to prevent fires. A parish school was established in Kranj in 1423, the same year the right was granted to Kranj to elect its own judge. Kranj was laid waste in 1471 in an Ottoman attack. Emperor Frederick III granted Kranj the right to collect tolls in documents from 1488 and 1493, a 1493 document granted the town the right to hold fairs twice a year; the town hospice records date back to the 15th century. Crafts developed in Kranj during the Middle Ages. Mills first developed along the Sava and Kokra rivers, this was followed by butchers, fur merchants and wood processors, weavers of canvas and woolen cloth. Habsburg efforts to maintain Vienna's monopoly on trade with Italy resulted in trade routes bypassing Kranj. Kranj was affected by peasant revolts in the 16th century. In 1668 half of the houses in Kranj were destroyed by a fire, the entire town burned in 1749.
Kranj was affected by plague outbreaks in 1552, 1557, 1625, 1627, 1657. In the mid-16th century, most of the townspeople converted to Protestantism; the Protestant Reformation in Kranj was led by Gašpar Rokavec, succeeded by Jernej Knafel after his death. Knafel was forced to withdraw from Kranj to Brdo Castle during the Counter-Reformation. Economically, teamster services developed in Kranj in the 16th century, with connections to the rest of Upper Carniola and Carinthia. There were several blacksmith workshops and two foundries along the Sava River. Sieve-making developed at this time. Several breweries and leather works operated in the town. Kranj went into an economic decline in the 17th century, when there was much emigration from the town, leaving many houses empty, business did not revive again until the second half of the 18th century. Kranj was affected by plague outbreaks in 1836 and 1855. A Slovene reading room was established in 1863. Artisans' workshops became established in Kranj in the 19th century, with roots going back to a number of painters in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Prominent among these was the workshop of Josip Egartner Jr. who settled in Kranj in 1875. An upper secondary school was established in 1861, a vocational school for textile workers opened in 1930. A water supply system was installed in Kranj in 1901, supplied by Čemšenik Spring on the Kokra River. There was limited industry in Kranj until the late 19th century; until this time, trade in agricultural products and wood was economically most important. The Majdič Mill, which operated from 1874 until the Second World War, was an early industry, producing up to 70,000 kg of milled products per day. A leather factory
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina, known informally as Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe, located within the Balkan Peninsula. Sarajevo is largest city. Bosnia and Herzegovina is an landlocked country – it has a narrow coast at the Adriatic Sea, about 20 kilometres long surrounding the town of Neum, it is bordered by Croatia to the north and south. In the central and eastern interior of the country the geography is mountainous, in the northwest it is moderately hilly, the northeast is predominantly flatland; the inland, Bosnia, is a geographically larger region and has a moderate continental climate, with hot summers and cold and snowy winters. The southern tip, has a Mediterranean climate and plain topography. Bosnia and Herzegovina traces permanent human settlement back to the Neolithic age and after which it was populated by several Illyrian and Celtic civilizations. Culturally and the country has a rich history, having been first settled by the Slavic peoples that populate the area today from the 6th through to the 9th centuries.
In the 12th century the Banate of Bosnia was established, which evolved into the Kingdom of Bosnia in the 14th century, after which it was annexed into the Ottoman Empire, under whose rule it remained from the mid-15th to the late 19th centuries. The Ottomans brought Islam to the region, altered much of the cultural and social outlook of the country; this was followed by annexation into the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which lasted up until World War I. In the interwar period and Herzegovina was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and after World War II, it was granted full republic status in the newly formed Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Following the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the republic proclaimed independence in 1992, followed by the Bosnian War, lasting until late 1995. Tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina has grown at double digit rates in recent years. Bosnia and Herzegovina is regionally and internationally renowned for its natural environment and cultural heritage inherited from six historical civilizations, its cuisine, winter sports, its eclectic and unique music and its festivals, some of which are the largest and most prominent of their kind in Southeastern Europe.
The country is home to three main ethnic groups or constituent peoples, as specified in the constitution. Bosniaks are the largest group of the three, with Serbs second, Croats third. A native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of ethnicity, is identified in English as a Bosnian. Minorities, defined under the constitutional nomenclature "Others", include Jews, Poles and Turks. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a bicameral legislature and a three-member Presidency composed of a member of each major ethnic group. However, the central government's power is limited, as the country is decentralized and comprises two autonomous entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, with a third unit, the Brčko District, governed under local government; the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of 10 cantons. Bosnia and Herzegovina ranks in terms of human development, has an economy dominated by the industry and agriculture sectors, followed by the tourism and service sectors; the country has a social security and universal healthcare system, primary- and secondary-level education is tuition-free.
It is a member of the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, PfP, CEFTA, a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean upon its establishment in July 2008. The country is a potential candidate for membership to the European Union and has been a candidate for NATO membership since April 2010, when it received a Membership Action Plan; the first preserved acknowledged mention of Bosnia is in De Administrando Imperio, a politico-geographical handbook written by the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII in the mid-10th century describing the "small land" of "Bosona". The name is believed to have derived from the hydronym of the river Bosna coursing through the Bosnian heartland. According to philologist Anton Mayer the name Bosna could derive from Illyrian *"Bass-an-as"), which would derive from the Proto-Indo-European root "bos" or "bogh"—meaning "the running water". According to English medievalist William Miller the Slavic settlers in Bosnia "adapted the Latin designation Basante, to their own idiom by calling the stream Bosna and themselves Bosniaks ".
The name Herzegovina originates from Bosnian magnate Stjepan Vukčić Kosača's title, "Herceg of Hum and the Coast". Hum Zahumlje, was an early medieval principality, conquered by the Bosnian Banate in the first half of the 14th century; the region was administered by the Ottomans as the Sanjak of Herzegovina within the Eyalet of Bosnia up until the formation of the short-lived Herzegovina Eyalet in the 1830s, which remerged in the 1850s, after which the entity became known as Bosnia and Herzegovina. On initial proclamation of independence in 1992, the country's official name was the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina but following the 1995 Dayton Agreement and the new constitution that accompanied it the official name was changed to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia has been inhabited by humans since at least the Neolithic age; the earliest Neolithic population became known in the Antiquity as the Illyrians. Celtic migrations in the 4th century BC were notable. Concrete historical e
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is an American multinational tire manufacturing company founded in 1898 by Frank Seiberling and based in Akron, Ohio. Goodyear manufactures tires for automobiles, commercial trucks, light trucks, motorcycles, SUVs, race cars, farm equipment and heavy earth-mover machinery, it produced bicycle tires from its founding until 1976. As of 2017, Goodyear is one of the top four tire manufacturers along with Bridgestone and Continental; the company was named after inventor of vulcanized rubber. The first Goodyear tires became popular because they were detachable and required little maintenance. Goodyear is known for the Goodyear Blimp. Though Goodyear had been manufacturing airships and balloons since the early 1900s, the first Goodyear advertising blimp flew in 1925. Today it is one of the most recognizable advertising icons in America; the company is the most successful tire supplier in Formula One history, with more starts and constructors' championships than any other tire supplier.
They pulled out of the sport after the 1998 season. It is the sole tire supplier for NASCAR series. Goodyear is a former component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average; the company opened a new global headquarters building in Akron in 2013. The first Goodyear factory opened in Akron, Ohio, in 1898; the thirteen original employees manufactured bicycle and carriage tires, rubber horseshoe pads, poker chips. The company grew with the advent of the automobile. In 1901 Frank Seiberling provided Henry Ford with racing tires. In 1903, Paul Weeks Litchfield was granted a patent for the first tubeless automobile tire. By 1908 Ford was outfitting his Model T with Goodyear tires. In 1909 Goodyear manufactured its first aircraft tire. In 1916, Litchfield found land in the Phoenix area suitable for growing long-staple cotton, needed for reinforcing rubber in tires; the 36,000 acres purchased were controlled by the Southwest Cotton Company, formed with Litchfield as president. In 1924, Litchfield, as Goodyear Vice President, forged a joint venture with the German Luftschiffbau Zeppelin Company to form the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation.
In the late 1920s to 1940, the company worked with Goodyear to build two Zeppelins in the United States and the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation was created to facilitate the relationship. The partnership continued when Zeppelin was under Nazi control and only ended after World War II began. By 1926 Goodyear was the largest rubber company in the world. Only four years earlier it was forced to temporarily halt production of racing tires due to heavy competition; the popularity of the Goodyear tire on the racing circuit led to a popular demand for the return of the brand. On August 5, 1927, Goodyear had its initial public offering and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. By 1930 Goodyear had pioneered what would become known as "tundra tires" for smaller aircraft — their so-called low inflation pressure "airwheel" aviation wheel-rim/tire sets were available in sizes up to 46 inches in diameter. For the next sixty years Goodyear grew to become a multinational corporation with multibillion-dollar earnings.
It acquired their rival Kelly-Springfield Tire in 1935. During World War II Goodyear manufactured F4U Corsair fighter planes for the U. S. Military. Goodyear ranked 30th among United States corporations in the value of wartime production contracts. WWII forced the dissolution of the Goodyear-Zeppelin partnership in December 1940. By 1956 they operated a nuclear processing plant in Ohio. In 1944, Goodyear created a subsidiary in Mexico in a joint venture with Compañía Hulera, S. A. de C. V. Compañía Hulera Goodyear-Oxo, S. A. de C. V. or Goodyear-Oxo. Of the five biggest U. S. tire firms in 1970, today only Goodyear remains independent, due to the challenge posed by radial tire technology, the varied responses. At the time, the entire U. S. tire industry produced the older bias-ply technology. Estimates to fit the factories with a new set of machinery and tools for making this new product were between $600 million and $900 million; this was a substantial amount in a low margin business with sales revenue in the low billions.
The U. S. market was shifting towards the radial tire, as had been the case in Europe and Asia. In 1968, Consumer Reports, an influential American magazine, acknowledged the superiority of radial construction, first developed in 1946 by Michelin; when Charles J. Pilliod Jr. became CEO in 1974, he faced a major investment decision regarding the radial tire, which today has a market share of nearly 100%. Despite heavy criticism at the time, Pilliod invested in new factories and tooling to build the radial tire. Sam Gibara, who headed Goodyear from 1996 to 2003, has noted that without the action of Pilliod, Goodyear "wouldn't be around today."Sales for 1969 topped $3 billion, five years sales topped $5 billion and it boasted operations in thirty-four countries. In 1978 the original Akron plant was converted into a Technical Center for design. By 1985 worldwide sales exceeded $10 billion. Goodyear Aerospace, a holding that developed from the Goodyear Aircraft Company after World War II designed a supercomputer for NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center in 1979, the MPP.
The subsidiary was sold in 1987 to the Loral Corp. as a result of restructuring. In 1987, Goodyear formed a business partnership with Canadian tire retailer Fountain Tire. In October 1986, Goodyear was a victim of a Greenmail attack. British financier James Goldsmith in conjunction with the investment group Hanson purchased 11.5% of Goodyear's outstanding common stock. They threatened to take the company over
FIBA Europe is a zone within the International Basketball Federation which includes all 50 national European basketball federations. FIBA Europe is one of five Regions of FIBA and is responsible for controlling and developing the sport of basketball in Europe. Among many tasks, this includes promoting and directing international competition at the club and national team levels, as well as governing and appointing European international referees. FIBA Europe is an international federation whose membership consists of the national basketball federations of Europe, of which there are 50 members; the highest decision making body is the Board of FIBA Europe which consists of 25 persons elected by the National Federations. The Board of FIBA Europe meets twice a year and is the executive body which represents all 50 Federations that make up the membership of FIBA Europe. All 50 federations meet once a year at the General Assembly of FIBA Europe; the current Board members are: Until January 1, 2015, the position was titled as a Secretary General.
FIBA EuroBasket, the continental championship played every four years and biennially. Men's Women's FIBA European Championship for Small Countries FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship, the continental championship for players aged fewer than 20 years played annually FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship, the continental championship for players aged fewer than 18 years played annually FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship, the continental championship for players aged fewer than 16 years played annually FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship for Women, the continental championship for women aged fewer than 20 years played annually FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship for Women, the continental championship for women aged fewer than 18 years played annually FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship for Women, the continental championship for women aged fewer than 16 years played annually FIBA Europe 3x3 Championships, the continental championship for men and women in 3x3 FIBA Europe Under-18 3x3 Championships, the continental championship for men and women aged fewer than 18 years in 3x3 Men's Basketball Champions League FIBA Europe CupWomen's EuroLeague Women, first-tier women's professional league EuroCup Women, second-tier women's professional league FIBA Europe SuperCup Women, contested between the winners of the two aforementioned women's leaguesNote: The men's EuroLeague and EuroCup are not operated by FIBA Europe, but rather by Euroleague Basketball.
Both competitions play under FIBA rules. EuroChallenge EuroCup Challenge Korać Cup Ronchetti Cup Saporta Cup SuproLeague This section shows the position of the men's national team of the FIBA Europe members, as of 26 February 2019. Monaco is the only member, not ranked as they did not play any FIBA competition in the last eight years. FIBA Europe Men's Player of the Year Award FIBA Europe Young Men's Player of the Year Award FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year Award FIBA Europe Young Women's Player of the Year Award European national basketball league rankings FIBA Europe official website
Israel the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west and Egypt to the southwest; the country contains geographically diverse features within its small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition. Israel has evidence of the earliest migration of hominids out of Africa. Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age, while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age; the Neo-Assyrian Empire destroyed Israel around 720 BCE. Judah was conquered by the Babylonian and Hellenistic empires and had existed as Jewish autonomous provinces.
The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE, which in 63 BCE however became a client state of the Roman Republic that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE, in 6 CE created the Roman province of Judea. Judea lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction, expulsion of Jewish population and the renaming of the region from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina. Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. In the 7th century CE, the Levant was taken from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs and remained in Muslim control until the First Crusade of 1099, followed by the Ayyubid conquest of 1187; the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt extended its control over the Levant in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement in the diaspora followed by waves of immigration to Ottoman Syria and British Mandate Palestine.
In 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency, rejected by Arab leaders; the following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel's establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states. Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries, since the Six-Day War in 1967 held occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip, it extended its laws to the Golan East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank. Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is the world's longest military occupation in modern times. Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement. However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have been signed.
In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a democratic state. The country has a liberal democracy, with a parliamentary system, proportional representation, universal suffrage; the prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature. Israel is a developed country and an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member, with the 32nd-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2017; the country benefits from a skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. Israel has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Furthermore, Israel ranked 11th in the UN's 2018 World Happiness Report. Upon independence in 1948, the country formally adopted the name "State of Israel" after other proposed historical and religious names including Eretz Israel and Judea, were considered but rejected.
In the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term "Israeli" to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett. The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have been used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel and the entire Jewish people respectively; the name "Israel" in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was given the name after he wrestled with the angel of the Lord. Jacob's twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations, lasting 430 years, until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob, led the Israelites back into Canaan during the "Exodus"; the earliest known archaeological artifact to mention the word "Israel" as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt. The area is known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity and the Bahá'í Faith.
Under British Mandate, the whole region was known as Palestine (Hebre
Bulgaria the Republic of Bulgaria, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north and North Macedonia to the west and Turkey to the south, the Black Sea to the east; the capital and largest city is Sofia. With a territory of 110,994 square kilometres, Bulgaria is Europe's 16th-largest country. One of the earliest societies in the lands of modern-day Bulgaria was the Neolithic Karanovo culture, which dates back to 6,500 BC. In the 6th to 3rd century BC the region was a battleground for Thracians, Persians and ancient Macedonians; the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine, Empire lost some of these territories to an invading Bulgar horde in the late 7th century. The Bulgars founded the First Bulgarian Empire in AD 681, which dominated most of the Balkans and influenced Slavic cultures by developing the Cyrillic script; this state lasted until the early 11th century, when Byzantine emperor Basil II conquered and dismantled it. A successful Bulgarian revolt in 1185 established a Second Bulgarian Empire, which reached its apex under Ivan Asen II.
After numerous exhausting wars and feudal strife, the Second Bulgarian Empire disintegrated in 1396 and its territories fell under Ottoman rule for nearly five centuries. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 resulted in the formation of the current Third Bulgarian State. Many ethnic Bulgarian populations were left outside its borders, which led to several conflicts with its neighbours and an alliance with Germany in both world wars. In 1946 Bulgaria became part of the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc; the ruling Communist Party gave up its monopoly on power after the revolutions of 1989 and allowed multi-party elections. Bulgaria transitioned into a democracy and a market-based economy. Since adopting a democratic constitution in 1991, the sovereign state has been a unitary parliamentary republic with a high degree of political and economic centralisation; the population of seven million lives in Sofia and the capital cities of the 27 provinces, the country has suffered significant demographic decline since the late 1980s.
Bulgaria is a member of the European Union, NATO, the Council of Europe. Its market economy is part of the European Single Market and relies on services, followed by industry—especially machine building and mining—and agriculture. Widespread corruption is a major socioeconomic issue; the name Bulgaria is derived from a tribe of Turkic origin that founded the country. Their name is not understood and difficult to trace back earlier than the 4th century AD, but it is derived from the Proto-Turkic word bulģha and its derivative bulgak; the meaning may be further extended to "rebel", "incite" or "produce a state of disorder", i.e. the "disturbers". Ethnic groups in Inner Asia with phonologically similar names were described in similar terms: during the 4th century, the Buluoji, a component of the "Five Barbarian" groups in Ancient China, were portrayed as both a "mixed race" and "troublemakers". Neanderthal remains dating to around 150,000 years ago, or the Middle Paleolithic, are some of the earliest traces of human activity in the lands of modern Bulgaria.
The Karanovo culture arose circa 6,500 BC and was one of several Neolithic societies in the region that thrived on agriculture. The Copper Age Varna culture is credited with inventing gold metallurgy; the associated Varna Necropolis treasure contains the oldest golden jewellery in the world with an approximate age of over 6,000 years. The treasure has been valuable for understanding social hierarchy and stratification in the earliest European societies; the Thracians, one of the three primary ancestral groups of modern Bulgarians, appeared on the Balkan Peninsula some time before the 12th century BC. The Thracians excelled in metallurgy and gave the Greeks the Orphean and Dionysian cults, but remained tribal and stateless; the Persian Achaemenid Empire conquered most of present-day Bulgaria in the 6th century BC and retained control over the region until 479 BC. The invasion became a catalyst for Thracian unity, the bulk of their tribes united under king Teres to form the Odrysian kingdom in the 470s BC.
It was weakened and vassalized by Philip II of Macedon in 341 BC, attacked by Celts in the 3rd century, became a province of the Roman Empire in AD 45. By the end of the 1st century AD, Roman governance was established over the entire Balkan Peninsula and Christianity began spreading in the region around the 4th century; the Gothic Bible—the first Germanic language book—was created by Gothic bishop Ulfilas in what is today northern Bulgaria around 381. The region came under Byzantine control after the fall of Rome in 476; the Byzantines were engaged in prolonged warfare against Persia and could not defend their Balkan territories from barbarian incursions. This enabled the Slavs to enter the Balkan Peninsula as marauders through an area between the Danube River and the Balkan Mountains known as Moesia; the interior of the peninsula became a country of the South Slavs, who lived under a democracy. The Slavs assimilated the Hellenized and Gothicized Thracians in the rural areas. Not l