The Serbs are a nation and South Slavic ethnic group that formed in the Balkans. The majority of Serbs inhabit the nation state of Serbia, as well as the disputed territory of Kosovo, the neighboring countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, they form significant minorities in North Slovenia. There is a large Serb diaspora in Western Europe, outside Europe there are significant communities in North America and Australia; the Serbs share many cultural traits with the rest of the peoples of Southeast Europe. They are predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christians by religion; the Serbian language is official in Serbia, co-official in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, is spoken by the plurality in Montenegro. The modern identity of Serbs is rooted in traditions. In the 19th century, the Serbian national identity was manifested, with awareness of history and tradition, medieval heritage, cultural unity, despite living under different empires. Three elements, together with the legacy of the Nemanjić dynasty, were crucial in forging identity and preservation during foreign domination: the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Serbian language, Kosovo Myth.
When the Principality of Serbia gained independence from the Ottoman Empire, Orthodoxy became crucial in defining the national identity, instead of language, shared by other South Slavs. The tradition of slava, the family saint feast day, is an important ethnic marker of Serb identity, is regarded their most significant and most solemn feast day; the origin of the ethnonym is unclear. Genetic studies on Serbs show that they have close affinity with the rest of the Balkan peoples, those within former Yugoslavia. Serbia's people are among the tallest in the world, after Montenegro and the Netherlands, with an average male height of 1.82 metres. Slavs settled the Balkans in the 6th and 7th centuries. Up until the late 560s their activity was raiding, crossing from the Danube, though with limited Slavic settlement through Byzantine foederati colonies; the Danube and Sava frontier was overwhelmed by large-scale Slavic settlement in the late 6th and early 7th century. What is today central Serbia was an important geo-strategical province, through which the Via Militaris crossed.
This area was intruded by barbarians in the 5th and 6th centuries. The numerous Slavs assimilated the descendants of the indigenous population; the history of the early medieval Serbian Principality is recorded in the 10th-century work De Administrando Imperio, which describes the Serbs as a people living in Roman Dalmatia, subordinate to the Byzantine Empire. Numerous small Serbian states were created, chiefly under Vlastimorović and Vojislavjević dynasties, located in modern Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. With the decline of the Serbian state of Duklja in the late 11th century, "Raška" separated from it and replaced it as the most powerful Serbian state. Prince Stefan Nemanja conquered the neighbouring territories of Kosovo and Zachlumia; the Nemanjić dynasty ruled over Serbia until the 14th century. Nemanja's older son, Stefan Nemanjić, became Serbia's first recognized king, while his younger son, founded the Serbian Orthodox Church in the year 1219, became known as Saint Sava after his death.
Over the next 140 years, Serbia expanded its borders, from numerous minor principalities, reaching to a unified Serbian Empire. Its cultural model remained Byzantine, despite political ambitions directed against the empire; the medieval power and influence of Serbia culminated in the reign of Stefan Dušan, who ruled the state from 1331 until his death in 1355. Ruling as Emperor from 1346, his territory included Macedonia, northern Greece and all of modern Albania; when Dušan died, his son Stephen Uroš V became Emperor. With Turkish invaders beginning their conquest of the Balkans in the 1350s, a major conflict ensued between them and the Serbs, the first major battle was the Battle of Maritsa, in which the Serbs were defeated. With the death of two important Serb leaders in the battle, with the death of Stephen Uroš that same year, the Serbian Empire broke up into several small Serbian domains; these states were ruled by feudal lords, with Zeta controlled by the Balšić family, Raška, Kosovo and northern Macedonia held by the Branković family and Lazar Hrebeljanović holding today's Central Serbia and a portion of Kosovo.
Hrebeljanović was subsequently accepted as the titular leader of the Serbs because he was married to a member of the Nemanjić dynasty. In 1389, the Serbs faced the Ottomans at the Battle of Kosovo on the plain of Kosovo Polje, near the town of Pristina. Both Lazar and Sultan Murad; the battle most ended in a stalemate, afterwards Serbia enjoyed a short period of prosperity under despot Stefan Lazarević and resisted failing to the Turks until 1459. The Serbs had taken an active part in the wars fought in the Balkans against the Ottoman Empire, organized uprisings. After allied Christian forces had captured Buda from the Ottoman Empire in 1686 during the Great Turkish War, Serbs from Pannonian Plain joined the troops of the Habsburg Monarchy as separate units known as Serbian Militia. Serbs, as volunteers, massively joined
Serbian culture refers to the culture of Serbia and of ethnic Serbs. The Byzantine Empire had a great influence on the culture; the Serbian Orthodox Church gained autocephaly from Constantinople in 1219, whereas Stefan the First Crowned was declared king by the Pope. The Republic of Venice influenced the maritime regions in the Middle Ages; the Ottoman Empire conquered Serbia in 1459 and ruled the territory for several centuries, the consequences of which suppressed Serbian culture but greatly influenced Serbian Art in the southern regions. Meanwhile, in northern regions Habsburg Monarchy expanded into modern Serbian territory starting from the end of the 17th century, culturally bounding this part of the nation to Central Europe rather than Balkans. Central Serbia was the first to emancipate as the Principality of Serbia in 1815, started to expand into Ottoman and Habsburg-held regions. Following Serbia's autonomy after the Serbian revolution and eventual independence, the culture of Serbia was restrengthened within its people.
Conversion of the South Slavs from Paganism to Christianity began in the early 7th century, long before the Great Schism, the split between the Greek Orthodox East and the Roman Catholic West, the Serbs were first Christinaized during the reign of Heraclius but were Christianized by Eastern Orthodox Missionaries Cyril and Methodius in 869 during Basil I, who sent them after Knez Mutimir, had acknowledged the suzerainty of the Byzantine Empire. After the Schism, those who lived under the Byzantine sphere of influence became Orthodox and those who lived under the Roman sphere of influence became Catholic. With the arrival of the Ottoman Empire, one part of Serbs converted to Islam, their modern descendants are considered to be members of the Bosniak ethnic groups. The Serbian Orthodox Church was the westernmost bastion of the Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Europe, which shaped its historical fate through contacts with Catholicism and Islam. During World War II, the Serbs, living in a wide area, were persecuted by various peoples and organizations.
The Catholic Croats within the Independent State of Croatia recognized the Serbs only as "Croats of the Eastern Greek faith" and had the ideological vision that 1/3 of the Serbs were to be murdered, 1/3 were to be converted and the last third expelled. The outcome of these visions was the death of at least 700,000 people, the religious conversion of 250,000 and the expulsion of 250,000; as with most Western cultures, a child is given a first name chosen by their parents but approved by the godparents of the child. The given name comes first, the surname last, e.g. "Željko Popović", where "Željko" is a first name and "Popović" is a family name. Female names end with - e.g. Dragan - > Dragana. Popular names are of Serbian, Christian and Latin origin. Serbian: Nemanja, Dušan, Uroš, Miloš, Milan and Dragana. Greek: Nikola, Stefan, Đorđe, Jelena, Anđela and Katarina. Biblical: Ana, Lazar, Marko, Pavle, Matija and, Mihajlo. Latin: Srđan, Antonije and Roman. Most Serbian surnames have the surname suffix -ić.
This is transliterated as -ic or -ici. In history, Serbian names have been transcribed with a phonetic ending, -ich or -itch; this form is associated with Serbs from before the early 20th century: hence Milutin Milanković is referred to, for historical reasons, as Milutin Milankovitch. The -ić suffix, with variants "-ović"/"-ević", is a Slavic diminutive and its meaning has been extended to creating patronymics, thus the surname Petrić signifies little Petar, as does, for example, "-sen"/"-son" in Scandinavian and to a lesser extent German and English names or a common prefix Mac in Scottish & Irish, O' in Irish names. It is estimated that some two thirds of all Serbian surnames end in -ić but that some 80% of Serbs carry such a surname with many common names being spread out among tens and hundreds of non-related extended families. Other common surname suffixes are -ov or -in, the Slavic possessive case suffix, thus Nikola's son becomes Nikolin, Petar's son Petrov, Jovan's son Jovanov; those are more typical for Serbs from Vojvodina.
The two suffixes are combined. The most common surnames are Marković, Nikolić, Petrović, Jovanović. Most people in Serbia will have three meals daily, breakfast and dinner, with lunch being the largest and most important meal. However, only lunch and dinner existed, with breakfast being introduced in the second half of the 19th century. Traditional Serbian cuisine is varied and can be said to be a mix of central European and Middle Eastern cuisine. Ćevapčići consisting of grilled seasoned mixed ground meat patties is considered to be the national dish. Other notable dishes include Koljivo used in religious rituals, Serbian salad, Sarma and Moussaka. Česnica is a traditional bread for Christmas Day. A number of foods which are bought into Supermarkets from the West, are made at home in Serbia; these include rakija, jam and pickled foods. The reasons for this range from economical to cultural. Food preparation is a strong part of the Serbi
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers and the crossroads of the Pannonian Plain and the Balkans; the urban area of the City of Belgrade has a population of 1.23 million, while nearly 1.7 million people live within its administrative limits. One of the most important prehistoric cultures of Europe, the Vinča culture, evolved within the Belgrade area in the 6th millennium BC. In antiquity, Thraco–Dacians inhabited the region and, after 279 BC, Celts settled the city, naming it Singidūn, it was conquered by the Romans under the reign of Augustus and awarded Roman city rights in the mid-2nd century. It was settled by the Slavs in the 520s, changed hands several times between the Byzantine Empire, the Frankish Empire, the Bulgarian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary before it became the seat of the Serbian king Stefan Dragutin. In 1521, Belgrade was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and became the seat of the Sanjak of Smederevo.
It passed from Ottoman to Habsburg rule, which saw the destruction of most of the city during the Austro-Ottoman wars. Belgrade was again named the capital of Serbia in 1841. Northern Belgrade remained the southernmost Habsburg post until 1918. In a fatally strategic position, the city was razed 44 times. Belgrade was the capital of Yugoslavia from its creation in 1918 to its dissolution in 2006. Belgrade has special administrative status within Serbia and it is one of the five statistical regions that make up the country, its metropolitan territory is divided into each with its own local council. The city of Belgrade covers 3.6% of Serbia's territory, around 24% of the country's population lives within its administrative limits. It is classified as a Beta-Global City. Chipped stone tools found in Zemun show that the area around Belgrade was inhabited by nomadic foragers in the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic eras; some of these tools are of Mousterian industry—belonging to Neanderthals rather than modern humans.
Aurignacian and Gravettian tools have been discovered near the area, indicating some settlement between 50,000 and 20,000 years ago. The first farming people to settle in the region are associated with the Neolithic Starčevo culture, which flourished between 6200 and 5200 BC. There are several Starčevo sites including the eponymous site of Starčevo; the Starčevo culture was succeeded by the Vinča culture, a more sophisticated farming culture that grew out of the earlier Starčevo settlements and named for a site in the Belgrade region. The Vinča culture is known for its large settlements, one of the earliest settlements by continuous habitation and some of the largest in prehistoric Europe. Associated with the Vinča culture are anthropomorphic figurines such as the Lady of Vinča, the earliest known copper metallurgy in Europe, a proto-writing form developed prior to the Sumerians and Minoans known as the Old European script, which dates back to around 5300 BC. Within the city proper, on Cetinjska Street, a skull of a Paleolithic human was discovered in 1890.
The skull is dated to before 5000 BC. Evidence of early knowledge about Belgrade's geographical location comes from a variety of ancient myths and legends; the ridge overlooking the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, for example, has been identified as one of the places in the story of Jason and the Argonauts. In the time of antiquity, the area was populated by Paleo-Balkan tribes, including the Thracians and the Dacians, who ruled much of Belgrade's surroundings. Belgrade was at one point inhabited by the Thraco-Dacian tribe Singi. In 34–33 BC, the Roman army, led by Silanus, reached Belgrade, it became the romanised Singidunum in the 1st century AD and, by the mid-2nd century, the city was proclaimed a municipium by the Roman authorities, evolving into a full-fledged colonia by the end of the century. While the first Christian Emperor of Rome —Constantine I known as Constantine the Great—was born in the territory of Naissus to the city's south, Roman Christianity's champion, Flavius Iovianus, was born in Singidunum.
Jovian reestablished Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire, ending the brief revival of traditional Roman religions under his predecessor Julian the Apostate. In 395 AD, the site passed to the Eastern Byzantine Empire. Across the Sava from Singidunum was the Celtic city of Taurunum. In 442, the area was ravaged by Attila the Hun. In 471, it was taken by king of the Ostrogoths, who continued into Italy; as the Ostrogoths left, another Germanic tribe, the Gepids, invaded the city. In 539 it was retaken by the Byzantines. In 577, some 100,000 Slavs poured into Thrace and Illyricum, pillaging cities and more permanently settling the region; the Avars, under Bayan I, conquered the whole region and its new Slavic population by 582. Following Byzantine reconquest, the Byzantine chronicle De Administrando Imperio mentions the White Serbs, who had stopped in Belgrade on their way back home, asking the strategos for lands. In 829, Khan Omurtag was able to add its environs to the First Bulgarian Empire.
The first record of the name Belograd appeared on April, 16th, 878, in
Serbia the Republic of Serbia, is a country situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe in the southern Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans. The sovereign state borders Hungary to the north, Romania to the northeast, Bulgaria to the southeast, North Macedonia to the south and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west, Montenegro to the southwest; the country claims a border with Albania through the disputed territory of Kosovo. Serbia's population is about seven million, its capital, ranks among the oldest and largest citiеs in southeastern Europe. Inhabited since the Paleolithic Age, the territory of modern-day Serbia faced Slavic migrations to the Balkans in the 6th century, establishing several sovereign states in the early Middle Ages at times recognized as tributaries to the Byzantine and Hungarian kingdoms; the Serbian Kingdom obtained recognition by the Vatican and Constantinople in 1217, reaching its territorial apex in 1346 as the short-lived Serbian Empire. By the mid-16th century, the entirety of modern-day Serbia was annexed by the Ottomans, their rule was at times interrupted by the Habsburg Empire, which started expanding towards Central Serbia from the end of the 17th century while maintaining a foothold in the north of the country.
In the early 19th century, the Serbian Revolution established the nation-state as the region's first constitutional monarchy, which subsequently expanded its territory. Following disastrous casualties in World War I, the subsequent unification of the former Habsburg crownland of Vojvodina with Serbia, the country co-founded Yugoslavia with other South Slavic peoples, which would exist in various political formations until the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s. During the breakup of Yugoslavia, Serbia formed a union with Montenegro, peacefully dissolved in 2006. In 2008, the parliament of the province of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence, with mixed responses from the international community. Serbia is a member of the UN, CoE, CERN, OSCE, PfP, BSEC, CEFTA, is acceding to the WTO. Since 2014 the country has been negotiating its EU accession with perspective of joining the European Union by 2025. Serbia dropped in ranking from Free to Partly Free in the 2019 Freedom House report. Since 2007, Serbia formally adheres to the policy of military neutrality.
An upper-middle income economy with a dominant service sector followed by the industrial sector and agriculture, the country ranks high on the Human Development Index, Social Progress Index as well as the Global Peace Index. The origin of the name, "Serbia" is unclear. Various authors mentioned names of Serbs and Sorbs in different variants: Surbii, Serbloi, Sorabi, Sarbi, Serboi, Surbi, etc; these authors used these names to refer to Serbs and Sorbs in areas where their historical presence was/is not disputed, but there are sources that mention same or similar names in other parts of the World. Theoretically, the root *sъrbъ has been variously connected with Russian paserb, Ukrainian pryserbytysia, Old Indic sarbh-, Latin sero, Greek siro. However, Polish linguist Stanisław Rospond derived the denomination of Srb from srbati. Sorbian scholar H. Schuster-Šewc suggested a connection with the Proto-Slavic verb for "to slurp" *sьrb-, with cognates such as сёрбать, сьорбати, сёрбаць, srbati, сърбам and серебати.
From 1945 to 1963, the official name for Serbia was the People's Republic of Serbia, which became the Socialist Republic of Serbia from 1963 to 1990. Since 1990, the official name of the country is the "Republic of Serbia". However, between the period from 1992 to 2006, the official names of the country were the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. Archeological evidence of Paleolithic settlements on the territory of present-day Serbia are scarce. A fragment of a human jaw was believed to be up to 525,000 -- 397,000 years old. Around 6,500 years BC, during the Neolithic, the Starčevo and Vinča cultures existed in or near modern-day Belgrade and dominated much of Southeastern Europe. Two important local archeological sites from this era, Lepenski Vir and Vinča-Belo Brdo, still exist near the banks of the Danube. During the Iron Age, Thracians and Illyrians were encountered by the Ancient Greeks during their expansion into the south of modern Serbia in the 4th century BC.
The Celtic tribe of Scordisci settled throughout the area in the 3rd century BC and formed a tribal state, building several fortifications, including their capital at Singidunum and Naissos. The Romans conquered much of the territory in the 2nd century BC. In 167 BC the Roman province of Illyricum was established; as a result of this, contemporary Serbia extends or over several former Roman provinces, including Moesia, Praevalitana, Dalmatia and Macedoni
Novi Sad is the second largest city in Serbia, the capital of the autonomous province of Vojvodina and the administrative centre of the South Bačka District. It is located in the southern portion of the Pannonian Plain on the border of the Bačka and Srem geographical regions. Lying on the banks of the Danube river, the city faces the northern slopes of Fruška Gora. According to the 2011 census, Novi Sad proper has a population of 250,439, while the entire urban area of Novi Sad comprises 277,522 inhabitants; the population of the administrative area of the city, which includes its suburbs, totals 341,625 people. Novi Sad was founded in 1694 when Serb merchants formed a colony across the Danube from the Petrovaradin fortress, a strategic Habsburg military post. In the following centuries, it transformed into an important trading and manufacturing centre as well as a centre of Serbian culture, earning it the nickname Serbian Athens; the city was devastated in the 1848 Revolution, but was subsequently rebuilt and restored.
Today, along with the Serbian capital city of Belgrade, Novi Sad is an industrial and financial centre important to the Serbian economy. Novi Sad was selected to be a European Capital of Culture for the year 2021; the name Novi Sad means'new orchard' in Serbian. Its Latin name, stemming from the establishment of city rights, is'Neoplanta'; the official names of Novi Sad used by the local administration are: In both Croatian and Romanian, which are used in the provincial administration, the city is called'Novi Sad'. It was called'Neusatz' in German. In its wider meaning, the name Grad Novi Sad refers to the'City of Novi Sad', one of the city-level administrative units of Serbia. Novi Sad could refer to the urban areas of the City of Novi Sad, as well as only to the historical core located on the left Danube bank, i.e.'Novi Sad proper'. Human habitation in the territory of present-day Novi Sad has been traced as far back as the Stone Age. Several settlements and necropolises dating to 5000 BC were unearthed during the construction of a new boulevard in Avijatičarsko Naselje.
A settlement was identified on the right bank of the river Danube in present-day Petrovaradin. In antiquity, the region was inhabited by Celtic tribes, most notably the Scordisci. Celts were present in the area since the 4th century BC and founded the first fortress on the right bank of the Danube. In the 1st century BC, the region was conquered by the Romans. During Roman rule, a larger fortress was built in the 1st century, with the name Cusum, was included in the Roman province of Pannonia. In the 5th century, Cusum was devastated by Hunnic invasions. By the end of the same century, the Byzantines had reconstructed the town and called it by the names Petrikon or Petrikov after Saint Peter. Slavic tribes such as the Severians, the Obotrites and the Serbs settled today's region around Novi Sad in the 6th and 7th centuries; the Serbs absorbed the aforementioned Slavic groups as well as the Paleo-Balkanic peoples of the region. In the Middle Ages, the area was subsequently controlled by the Ostrogoths, Avars, West Slavic groups, again by the Byzantines, by the Hungarians.
It became a part of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary between the 12th centuries. Hungarians began to settle in the area, which before that time was populated by Slavs, the place was first mentioned under the Hungarian variant Peturwarad or Pétervárad, which derived from the Byzantine variant, found in documents from 1237; that same year, several other settlements were mentioned as existing in the territory of modern-day urban Novi Sad. From the 13th century to the 16th century, the following settlements existed within the territory of the urban areas of modern-day Novi Sad: on the right bank of the Danube: Pétervárad and Kamanc. on the left bank of the Danube: Baksa or Baksafalva, Kűszentmárton, Bivalyos or Bivalo, Vásárosvárad or Várad, Zajol I, Zajol II, Bistritz. Some other settlements existed in the suburbs of Novi Sad: Mortályos, Keménd, Rév. An etymology of settlement names reveals that some designations are of Slavic origin, which indicates that the areas were inhabited by Slavs the West Slavs.
For example, Bivalo was a large Slavic settlement dating from the 5th–6th centuries. Other names are of Hungarian origin, indicating that the settlements were inhabited by Hungarians before the Ottoman invasion in the 16th century; some settlement names are of uncertain origin. Tax records from 1522 show a mix of Hungarian and Slavic names among the inhabitants of these villages, including Slavic names like Bozso, Radonya, etc. Following the Ottoman invasion in the 16th–17th centuries, some of these settlements were destroyed. Most of the surviving Hungarian inhabitants retreated from this area; some of the settlements were populated by ethnic Serbs. Between 1526 and