Serbs

Serbs

Overview
The Serbs are a South Slavic
South Slavs
The South Slavs are the southern branch of the Slavic peoples and speak South Slavic languages. Geographically, the South Slavs are native to the Balkan peninsula, the southern Pannonian Plain and the eastern Alps...

 ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 of the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

 and southern Central Europe. Serbs are located mainly in Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

, and form a sizable minority in Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, the Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

 and Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

. Likewise, Serbs are an officially recognized minority in both Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 and Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, as well as in Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

, the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 and Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

. There is also a large Serbian diaspora
Serbian diaspora
There are currently more than 3.5 million Serbs in diaspora throughout the world...

 presence in Western Europe, particularly in Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Austria, as well as in France and Italy.
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Encyclopedia
The Serbs are a South Slavic
South Slavs
The South Slavs are the southern branch of the Slavic peoples and speak South Slavic languages. Geographically, the South Slavs are native to the Balkan peninsula, the southern Pannonian Plain and the eastern Alps...

 ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 of the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

 and southern Central Europe. Serbs are located mainly in Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

, and form a sizable minority in Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, the Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

 and Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

. Likewise, Serbs are an officially recognized minority in both Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 and Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, as well as in Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

, the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 and Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

. There is also a large Serbian diaspora
Serbian diaspora
There are currently more than 3.5 million Serbs in diaspora throughout the world...

 presence in Western Europe, particularly in Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Austria, as well as in France and Italy. More than a million people of Serbian origin live in German-speaking countries: Luxembourg (1%), Austria (1,8%), Switzerland (1%), and Germany (~1%).

Ethnology


The Serbs are a Slavic people, specifically of the South Slavic
South Slavs
The South Slavs are the southern branch of the Slavic peoples and speak South Slavic languages. Geographically, the South Slavs are native to the Balkan peninsula, the southern Pannonian Plain and the eastern Alps...

 subgroup, which has its origins in the 6th and 7th century communities developed in Southeastern Europe (see Great Migration). Slav raids on Eastern Roman territory are mentioned in 518, and by the 580s they had conquered large areas referred to as Sclavinia (transl. Slavdom, from Sklavenoi – Σκλαυηνοι, the early South Slavic tribe which is eponymous to the current ethnic and linguistic Indo-European people). In 649, Constantine III relocates conquered Slavs "from the Vardar" to Gordoservon
Gordoservon
In records from Bithynia in the year 680, the city of Gordoservon or Gordoserbon was a Byzantine city inhabited by Serbs. The name is derived from the Serbs that resettled in Asia Minor by Byzantine Emperor Constans II , who came from the areas "around the river Vardar"...

 (Serb habitat). Among communities part in the Serb ethnogenesis are the Romanized Paleo-Balkan tribes of Illyrians
Illyrians
The Illyrians were a group of tribes who inhabited part of the western Balkans in antiquity and the south-eastern coasts of the Italian peninsula...

, Thracians
Thracians
The ancient Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting areas including Thrace in Southeastern Europe. They spoke the Thracian language – a scarcely attested branch of the Indo-European language family...

 and Dacians
Dacians
The Dacians were an Indo-European people, very close or part of the Thracians. Dacians were the ancient inhabitants of Dacia...

, Celts, Greek colonies and Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

.

In 822, the Serbs are mentioned as "inhabiting the larger part of Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

"
(Serbian lands), and Emperor Constantine VII
Constantine VII
Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos or Porphyrogenitus, "the Purple-born" was the fourth Emperor of the Macedonian dynasty of the Byzantine Empire, reigning from 913 to 959...

 (r. 913–959) writes in his work "Administration of the Empire" (De Administrando Imperio
De Administrando Imperio
De Administrando Imperio is the Latin title of a Greek work written by the 10th-century Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VII. The Greek title of the work is...

) about the Serbs, mentioning the White Serbs that "migrated from Βοϊκι" and formed a principality, as well as an early chronological list of Serbian monarchs starting from the 7th century. The Serbs subsequently developed a Byzantine-Slavic culture, like the neighbouring Bulgarians
Bulgarians
The Bulgarians are a South Slavic nation and ethnic group native to Bulgaria and neighbouring regions. Emigration has resulted in immigrant communities in a number of other countries.-History and ethnogenesis:...

 (who derive their ethnonym from the Turkic Bulgars
Bulgars
The Bulgars were a semi-nomadic who flourished in the Pontic Steppe and the Volga basin in the 7th century.The Bulgars emerge after the collapse of the Hunnic Empire in the 5th century....

, founders of their nation). The establishment of Christianity as state-religion took place around 869 AD, during the rule of Emperor Basil I
Basil I
Basil I, called the Macedonian was a Byzantine emperor of probable Armenian descent who reigned from 867 to 886. Born a simple peasant in the Byzantine theme of Macedonia, he rose in the imperial court, and usurped the imperial throne from Emperor Michael III...

 (r. 867–886). The Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church
The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of the autocephalous Orthodox Christian churches, ranking sixth in order of seniority after Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Russia...

 was established in 1219. By the time of the Serbian Empire
Serbian Empire
The Serbian Empire was a short-lived medieval empire in the Balkans that emerged from the Serbian Kingdom. Stephen Uroš IV Dušan was crowned Emperor of Serbs and Greeks on 16 April, 1346, a title signifying a successorship to the Eastern Roman Empire...

, the Serbo-Byzantine cultural sphere had besides the initial territories much of the Macedonia region and Epirus
Epirus
The name Epirus, from the Greek "Ήπειρος" meaning continent may refer to:-Geographical:* Epirus - a historical and geographical region of the southwestern Balkans, straddling modern Greece and Albania...

.

The loss at Battle of Kosovo
Battle of Kosovo
The Battle of Kosovo took place on St. Vitus' Day, June 15, 1389, between the army led by Serbian Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović, and the invading army of the Ottoman Empire under the leadership of Sultan Murad I...

 in 1389 (see Ottoman wars in Europe
Ottoman wars in Europe
The wars of the Ottoman Empire in Europe are also sometimes referred to as the Ottoman Wars or as Turkish Wars, particularly in older, European texts.- Rise :...

) marks the beginning of the fall of the Serbian monarchies, and prompts the migration of Serbs from their lands in the south towards the Christian lands i.e. north of the Ottoman borders, crossing rivers Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 and Sava settling in Central Europe (today's Vojvodina
Vojvodina
Vojvodina, officially called Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is an autonomous province of Serbia. Its capital and largest city is Novi Sad...

, Slavonia
Slavonia
Slavonia is a geographical and historical region in eastern Croatia...

, Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

 and Hungary proper). The Great Serbian Migrations
Great Serbian Migrations
The Great Serb Migrations , also known as the Great Exodus, refers mainly to two large migrations of Serbs from the Ottoman Empire to the Habsburg Monarchy....

 refers to the relocation of peoples in two waves in the 17th century of tens of thousands Serbian families. Apart from the Habsburg Empire, thousands were attracted to Imperial Russia (see Nova Serbia and Slavo-Serbia
Slavo-Serbia
Slavo-Serbia was a territory of Imperial Russia between 1753 and 1764. It was located by the right bank of the Donets River between the Bakhmut and Lugan rivers...

).

Exiled Serb military became mercenaries in European armies; Hussar
Hussar
Hussar refers to a number of types of light cavalry which originated in Hungary in the 14th century, tracing its roots from Serbian medieval cavalry tradition, brought to Hungary in the course of the Serb migrations, which began in the late 14th century....

s (light cavalry in Hungary and Poland), Seimeni
Seimeni
Seimeni designates the group of flintlock-armed infantry mercenaries charged with guarding the hospodar and his Court in 17th and 18th century Wallachia and Moldavia. They were mostly of Serb and other Balkan origin....

 (infantry in Moldavia and Wallachia).
Serbs organized several revolts and guerilla units, planned both inside and outside the Ottoman borders. The Hajduks and Uskoks
Uskoks
The Uskoks were Croatian Habsburg soldiers that inhabited the areas of the eastern Adriatic and the surrounding territories during the Ottoman wars in Europe. Etymologically, the word uskoci itself means "the ones who jumped in" in Croatian...

 were groups of freedom fighters, the Monasterli's Serbs
Jovan Monasterlija
Jovan Monasterlija was a 17th-century Serbian vice-voivode and Austrian imperial officer that led a Serb army against the Ottoman Empire and other enemies of the Austrian Emperor...

was a branch of the Austrian army under Leopold I
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
| style="float:right;" | Leopold I was a Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and King of Bohemia. A member of the Habsburg family, he was the second son of Emperor Ferdinand III and his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain. His maternal grandparents were Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria...

. The Serbian revolution
Serbian revolution
Serbian revolution or Revolutionary Serbia refers to the national and social revolution of the Serbian people taking place between 1804 and 1835, during which this territory evolved from an Ottoman province into a constitutional monarchy and a modern nation-state...

 began in 1804.

Related


Although the Serbs and Bulgarians share Slavic kinship, Orthodox Christianity and cultural traits, the two peoples have been relatively hostile against each other in history and were early on understood as distinct ethnic groups. The two are divided by the Southeastern versus Southwestern dialectal groups, although a large transitional dialectal area covers Southeastern Serbia, Western Bulgaria and Macedonia.

The Croats, who are mentioned in De Administrando as living adjacent to the Serbs, have clear distinctions of predominant sphere of influence; Croats are Roman Catholic, and are historically linked with the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 from the early stage (Western Roman Empire); Italy, Austria and Hungary. A majority of the two ethnic groups have lived together in the Habsburg Empire and Venetian
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 territories throughout centuries, so links between the two nations have been maintained in that respect through common history.

The dialects of Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro are virtually the same language (see Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian or Serbo-Croat, less commonly Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian , is a South Slavic language with multiple standards and the primary language of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro...

).

Genetics


Y-chromosom
Y chromosome
The Y chromosome is one of the two sex-determining chromosomes in most mammals, including humans. In mammals, it contains the gene SRY, which triggers testis development if present. The human Y chromosome is composed of about 60 million base pairs...

al haplogroup
Haplogroup
In the study of molecular evolution, a haplogroup is a group of similar haplotypes that share a common ancestor having the same single nucleotide polymorphism mutation in both haplotypes. Because a haplogroup consists of similar haplotypes, this is what makes it possible to predict a haplogroup...

s identified among the Serbs from Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina are the following: I2a
Haplogroup I2 (Y-DNA)
In human genetics, Haplogroup I2 is a Y-chromosome haplogroup. Until 2008, it was known as Haplogroup I1b. Haplogroup I2 might have originated in Southeastern Europe some 15,000 - 17,000 years ago and developed into three main subgroups : I2*, I2a, and I2b.-Subclades:Note: The systematic subclade...

-P37.2 (with frequencies of 29.20 and 30.90%, respectively), E1b1b1a2
Haplogroup E1b1b1a (Y-DNA)
In human genetics, E1b1b1a , is the name of a major Y chromosome haplogroup found in North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Western Asia and Europe. It is dominated by its longer-known sub-clade E1b1b1a1 , formerly known as E3b1a and E1b1b1a...

-V13 (20.35 and 19.80%), R1a1-M17 (15.93 and 13.60%), R1b1b2-M269 (10.62 and 6.20%), K*
Haplogroup K (Y-DNA)
In human genetics, Haplogroup K is a Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup. This haplogroup is a descendant of Haplogroup IJK. Its major descendant haplogroups are Haplogroup LT and Haplogroup K...

-M9 (7.08 and 7.40%), J2b
Haplogroup J2 (Y-DNA)
In human genetics, Haplogroup J2 is a Y-chromosome haplogroup which is a subdivision of haplogroup J. It is further divided into two complementary clades, J2a-M410 and J2b-M12.-Origins:...

-M102 (4.40 and 6.20%), I1
Haplogroup I1 (Y-DNA)
In human genetics, Haplogroup I1 is a Y chromosome haplogroup occurring at greatest frequency in Scandinavia, associated with the mutations identified as M253, M307, P30, and P40. These are known as single nucleotide polymorphisms . It is a subclade of Haplogroup I. Before a reclassification in...

-M253 (5.31 and 2.5%), F*-M89 (4.9%, only in B-H), J2a1b1
Haplogroup J2 (Y-DNA)
In human genetics, Haplogroup J2 is a Y-chromosome haplogroup which is a subdivision of haplogroup J. It is further divided into two complementary clades, J2a-M410 and J2b-M12.-Origins:...

-M92 (2.70%, only in Serbia), and several other uncommon haplogroups with lesser frequencies.N.B. The haplogroups' names in the section "Genetics" are according to the nomenclature adopted in 2008, as represented in Vincenza Battaglia (2008) Figure 2, so they may differ from the corresponding names in Marijana Peričić (2005).


I2a-P37.2 is the most prevailing haplogroup, accounting for nearly one-third of Serbian Y-chromosomes. Its frequency peaks in Herzegovina
Herzegovina
Herzegovina is the southern region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. While there is no official border distinguishing it from the Bosnian region, it is generally accepted that the borders of the region are Croatia to the west, Montenegro to the south, the canton boundaries of the Herzegovina-Neretva...

 (64%), and its variance peaks over a large geographic area covering B-H, Serbia, Hungaria, Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Geneticists estimate that I2a-P37.2 originated some 10,000 years before present (ybp) in the Balkans, from where it began to expand to Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe about 7000 ybp. It is the second most predominant Y-chromosomal haplogroup in the overall Slavic gene pool. Slavic migrations to the Balkans in the early Middle Ages contributed to the frequency and variance of I2a-P37.2 in the region.


E1b1b1a2-V13 is the second most prevailing haplogroup, accounting for one-fifth of Serbian Y chromosomes. Its frequency peaks in Albania at 24% (among Kosovo Albanians it is 44% due to genetic drift
Genetic drift
Genetic drift or allelic drift is the change in the frequency of a gene variant in a population due to random sampling.The alleles in the offspring are a sample of those in the parents, and chance has a role in determining whether a given individual survives and reproduces...

), and is also high among Greeks, Romanians, Macedonian Slavs, and Bulgarians. It is rare among other Slavs, and moderate frequencies of it are found in southern Italy and Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

. E-V13 probably originated in the southern Balkans about 9000 ybp. Its ancestral haplogroup, E1b1b1a-M78, could be of a northeast African origin.

R1a1-M17 accounts for about one-seventh to one-sixth of Serbian Y-chromosomes. Its frequency peaks in Poland (56.4%) and Ukraine (54.0%), and its variance peaks in northern Bosnia. It originated around 20,000 ybp likely in southern Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

, and some of its bearers migrated to the Balkans 10,000 to 13,000 ybp. About 5000 to 6000 ybp, they began to migrate from the Balkans to the west toward the Atlantic, to the north toward the Baltic Sea and Scandinavia, to the east to the Russian plains and steppes, and to the south to Asia Minor. It became the most predominant haplogroup in the general Slavic paternal gene pool. The variance of R1a1 in the Balkans might have been enhanced by infiltrations of Indo-European
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

 speaking peoples between 2000 and 1000 BC, and by the Slavic migrations to the region in the early Middle Ages. A descendant lineage of R1a1-M17, R1a1a7-M458, which has the highest frequency in central and southern Poland (30%, more than half of total R1a1 there), is also observed among East Slavic and Finno-Ugric peoples
Finno-Ugric peoples
The Finno-Ugric peoples are any of several peoples of Europe who speak languages of the proposed Finno-Ugric language family, such as the Finns, Estonians, Mordvins, and Hungarians...

, but it is very rare among South Slavs, including Serbs.

R1b1b2-M269 is moderately represented among the Serb males (6–10%). It has its frequency peak in Western Europe (90% in Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

), but a high frequency is also found in the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 among the Ossetians
Ossetians
The Ossetians are an Iranic ethnic group of the Caucasus Mountains, eponymous of the region known as Ossetia.They speak Ossetic, an Iranian language of the Eastern branch, with most also fluent in Russian as a second language....

 (43%). It was introduced to Europe by farmers migrating from western Anatolia, probably about 7500 ybp. Serb bearers of this haplogroup are in the same cluster as Central and East European ones, as indicated by the frequency distributions of its sub-haplogroups with respect to total R-M269. The other two clusters comprise, respectively, West Europeans and a group of populations from Greece, Turkey, the Caucasus and the Circum-Uralic region.

J2b-M102 and J2a1b1-M92 have low frequencies among the Serbs (6–7% combined). Various other lineages of haplogroup J2-M172 are found throughout the Balkans, all with low frequencies. Haplogroup J
Haplogroup J (Y-DNA)
In human genetics, Haplogroup J is a Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup. It is one of the major male lines of all living men...

 and all its descendants originated in the Middle East. It is proposed that the Balkan Mesolithic
Mesolithic
The Mesolithic is an archaeological concept used to refer to certain groups of archaeological cultures defined as falling between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic....

 foragers, bearers of I-P37.2 and E-V13, adopted farming from the initial J2 agriculturalists who colonized the region about 7000 to 8000 ybp, transmitting the Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 cultural package.

An analysis of molecular variance
Analysis of molecular variance
Analysis of molecular variance , is a statistical model for the molecular variation in a single species, typically biological. The name and model are inspired by ANOVA. The method was developed by Laurent Excoffier, Peter Smouse and Joseph Quattro at Rutgers University in 1992.Since developing...

 based on Y-chromosomal STR
Short tandem repeat
A short tandem repeat in DNA occurs when a pattern of two or more nucleotides are repeated and the repeated sequences are directly adjacent to each other. The pattern can range in length from 2 to 5 base pairs and is typically in the non-coding intron region...

s showed that Slavs can be divided into two distinct groups: one encompassing West Slavs, East Slavs, Slovenes, and western Croats
Croats
Croats are a South Slavic ethnic group mostly living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and nearby countries. There are around 4 million Croats living inside Croatia and up to 4.5 million throughout the rest of the world. Responding to political, social and economic pressure, many Croats have...

, and the other encompassing Macedonian Slavs, Serbs, Bosniaks
Bosniaks
The Bosniaks or Bosniacs are a South Slavic ethnic group, living mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a smaller minority also present in other lands of the Balkan Peninsula especially in Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia...

, and northern Croats (the latter six populations are South Slavic
South Slavic languages
The South Slavic languages comprise one of three branches of the Slavic languages. There are approximately 30 million speakers, mainly in the Balkans. These are separated geographically from speakers of the other two Slavic branches by a belt of German, Hungarian and Romanian speakers...

 speakers). This distinction could be explained by a genetic contribution of pre-Slavic Balkan populations to the genetic heritage of South Slavs belonging to the latter group. Principal component analysis of Y-chromosomal haplogroup frequencies among the three ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbs, Croats, and Bosniacs, showed that Serbs and Bosniacs are genetically closer to each other than either of them is to Croats.

According to Serbian physical anthropologist Živko Mikić, the medieval population of Serbia developed a phenotype
Phenotype
A phenotype is an organism's observable characteristics or traits: such as its morphology, development, biochemical or physiological properties, behavior, and products of behavior...

 that represented a mixture of Slavic and indigenous Balkan Dinaric traits
Dinaric race
The Dinaric race is one of the sub-categories of the Europid race into which it was divided by physical anthropologists in the early 20th century...

. Mikić argues that the Dinaric traits, such as brachycephaly
Cephalic index
Cephalic index is the ratio of the maximum width of the head multiplied by 100 divided by its maximum length ....

 and a bigger average height, have been since then becoming predominant over the Slavic traits among Serbs.

Name and etymologies


The ethnonym Serbs is thought to be first mentioned by Tacitus
Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

 in 50 AD, Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

 in 77 AD (Naturalis Historia) and Ptolemy
Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

 in his Geography 2nd century AD, who mention the Sarmatian
Sarmatians
The Iron Age Sarmatians were an Iranian people in Classical Antiquity, flourishing from about the 5th century BC to the 4th century AD....

 tribe of Serboi
Serboi
Serboi or Serbi is an ethnonym recorded in Greco-Roman ethnography. It designated a tribe dwelling in Asiatic Sarmatia , probably on the Lower Volga River.-Original appearances in Caucasus:...

 of the North Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 and Lower Volga. Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus
Ammianus Marcellinus
Ammianus Marcellinus was a fourth-century Roman historian. He wrote the penultimate major historical account surviving from Antiquity...

 (325–391) referred to the Carpathians
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

 as "Montes Serrorum" in his works, according to some, connected to the Serbs. The works of Vibius Sequester
Vibius Sequester
Vibius Sequester , is the author of an alphabetical list of geographical names occurring in the Roman poets, with special reference to Virgil, Ovid and Lucan...

 also mention the Serbs.
Procopius
Procopius
Procopius of Caesarea was a prominent Byzantine scholar from Palestine. Accompanying the general Belisarius in the wars of the Emperor Justinian I, he became the principal historian of the 6th century, writing the Wars of Justinian, the Buildings of Justinian and the celebrated Secret History...

 uses the name Sporoi as an umbrella term for the Slavic tribes of Antes and Sclaveni, it is however not known whether the Slavs used this designation for themselves or he himself coined the term, it has been theorized however that the name is corruption of the ethnonym Serbs.

The Serb ethnonym is written as Σερβlοι (Servloi), Sorabos, Surbi, Sorabi in early medieval sources. De Administrando Imperio
De Administrando Imperio
De Administrando Imperio is the Latin title of a Greek work written by the 10th-century Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VII. The Greek title of the work is...

 mentions the realm of the Unknown Archont
Unknown Archont
The Unknown Archont is a conventional name given by historians to the Serbian leader who led the White Serbs from their homeland to settle in the Balkans after 610, during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Heraclius ....

 and his descendants (House of Vlastimirović
House of Vlastimirovic
The Vlastimirović Dynasty was the first Serbian royal dynasty, named after Prince Vlastimir , who was recognized by the Byzantine Empire.The dynasty starts with the Unknown Archont, who ruled during Emperor Heraclius ....

) as Servlia. A mythological homeland was written as Boiki
White Serbia
White Serbia or Bojka , is the mythical homeland of the ancestors of the Serbs, of the White Serbs .The area adjacent to White Serbia was known as White Croatia, where the Croats trace their origin...

(derived from Proto-Slavic *bojь. = battle, war, fight), also, the town of Servia received its name from the temporary inhabitants – the Serbs. According to the Tale of Bygone Years, the first Russian
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

 chronicle
Chronicle
Generally a chronicle is a historical account of facts and events ranged in chronological order, as in a time line. Typically, equal weight is given for historically important events and local events, the purpose being the recording of events that occurred, seen from the perspective of the...

, Serbs are among the first five Slav peoples who were enumerated by their names.

(< *serb-) is in the root of the Slavic word for "same" (modern исто - isto) in following languages: сербать - in Russian, Ukrainian, сербаць - in Belarussian, srbati - in Slovak, сърбам - in Bulgarian. серебати in Old Russian. Scholars have suggested that the Indo-European root *ser- 'to watch over, protect', akin to Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 servare 'to keep, guard, protect, preserve, observe', Old English searu 'weapons, armor, skill', Lithuanian
Lithuanian language
Lithuanian is the official state language of Lithuania and is recognized as one of the official languages of the European Union. There are about 2.96 million native Lithuanian speakers in Lithuania and about 170,000 abroad. Lithuanian is a Baltic language, closely related to Latvian, although they...

 sárgas 'watchman', are connected with the ethnonym.

Among other autonyms are Slavs, or the common historical demonyms Rascians (from Rascia
Rascia
Rascia was a medieval region that served as the principal province of the Serbian realm. It was an administrative division under the direct rule of the monarch and sometimes as an appanage. The term has been used to refer to various Serbian states throughout the Middle Ages...

>Ras) or Docleans (from Doclea
Duklja
Doclea or Duklja was a medieval state with hereditary lands roughly encompassing the territories of present-day southeastern Montenegro, from Kotor on the west to the river Bojana on the east and to the sources of Zeta and Morača rivers on the north....

). Historical exonyms include: Triballians and Dalmatians
Dalmatae
The Dalmatae or Delmatae were an ancient people who inhabited the core of what would then become known as Dalmatia after the Roman conquest - now the eastern Adriatic coast in Croatia, between the rivers Krka and Neretva...

used by medieval Byzantine writers, Illyrians
Illyrians
The Illyrians were a group of tribes who inhabited part of the western Balkans in antiquity and the south-eastern coasts of the Italian peninsula...

 in the Austrian Empire
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

 (term for South Slavs
South Slavs
The South Slavs are the southern branch of the Slavic peoples and speak South Slavic languages. Geographically, the South Slavs are native to the Balkan peninsula, the southern Pannonian Plain and the eastern Alps...

). Among deemed derogatory terms are Vlachs
Vlachs
Vlach is a blanket term covering several modern Latin peoples descending from the Latinised population in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. English variations on the name include: Walla, Wlachs, Wallachs, Vlahs, Olahs or Ulahs...

, referring to the Orthodox Serbs in Habsburg
Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

 and Austro-Hungarian proximity.

Famous Serbs


Serbs have played a significant role in the development of the arts and sciences. Prominent individuals include the scientists Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor, mechanical engineer, and electrical engineer...

, Michael I. Pupin, Jovan Cvijić
Jovan Cvijic
Jovan Cvijić was a Serbian geographer, president of the Serbian Royal Academy of Sciences, and rector of the University of Belgrade. A world-renowned scientist, Cvijić is considered the founder of geography in Serbia.-Early life and family:Jovan Cvijić was born on October 11 Jovan Cvijić...

, and Milutin Milanković; the renowned mathematician Mihailo Petrović
Mihailo Petrovic
Mihailo Petrović Alas , was an influential Serbian mathematician and inventor. He was also a distinguished professor at Belgrade University, an academic of the Serbian Royal Academy, and a fisherman. He was a student of Henri Poincaré, Charles Hermite and Charles Émile Picard...

 and controversial co-author of Theory of Relativity Mileva Marić
Mileva Maric
Mileva Marić was one of the first women to study mathematics and physics in Europe...

 (Albert Einstein's first wife); Stevan Mokranjac and Stevan Hristić
Stevan Hristic
Stevan Hristić , , was the most popular Serbian composer of the first half of the 20th century, remembered best for his technically cultivated compositions in the Neoromanticist, veristic, and Romanticist-Impressionist styles.-Biography:He conducted his primary studies in Leipzig, but also in...

; the celebrated authors Borislav Pekić
Borislav Pekic
Borislav Pekić was a Serbian writer. He was born in 1930, to a prominent family in Montenegro, at that time part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. From 1945 until his immigration to London in 1971, he lived in Belgrade...

 and Miloš Crnjanski
Miloš Crnjanski
Miloš Crnjanski was a poet of the expressionist wing of Serbian modernism, author, and a diplomat...

; the prolific inventor Ogneslav Kostović Stepanović
Ogneslav Kostovic Stepanovic
Ognjeslav Kostović Stepanović was an Serbian inventor. He was born in Wiesburg, Austria to a Serbian noble family residing in Pesta, Hungary, but spent most of his life in Saint Petersburg, Russia.He is credited with creating "arbonite" , the first plastic in the world...

; the polymath Đura Jakšić; the famous sports stars like Ana Ivanović
Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanović is a former world no. 1 Serbian tennis player. As of November 7, 2011, she is ranked 22th on the WTA rankings. She beat Dinara Safina to win the 2008 French Open and was the runner-up in singles at the 2007 French Open and the 2008 Australian Open...

, Jelena Janković
Jelena Janković
Jelena Janković is a former world no. 1 professional tennis player from Serbia. She reached the final of the 2008 US Open and won the 2007 Wimbledon Mixed Doubles title. Janković is ranked world no...

, Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic is a Serbian professional tennis player who has been ranked world no. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals since 4 July 2011. He has won four Grand Slam singles titles: the 2008 and 2011 Australian Open, the 2011 Wimbledon Championships, and the 2011 US Open...

, Predrag Stojaković
Predrag Stojakovic
Predrag Stojaković , also known by his nickname Peja , is a Serbian professional basketball player who last played for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association . Standing at 6 ft 10 , Stojaković plays the small forward position...

, Dejan Stanković
Dejan Stankovic
Dejan Stanković is a Serbian association football player who plays for the Italian Serie A side Inter. He captained the Serbian national football team until 2011, when he announced his retirement from international football...

, Nemanja Vidić
Nemanja Vidic
Nemanja Vidić is a Serbian footballer who captains English Premier League club Manchester United. He was part of the Serbia national football team from 2002 to 2011....

, Siniša Mihajlović
Siniša Mihajlovic
Siniša Mihajlović is a Serbian football manager and former player. He was in charge of Serie A club Fiorentina since June 2010 to November 2011....

, Dejan Bodiroga
Dejan Bodiroga
Dejan Bodiroga is a retired Serbian professional basketball player.He is offten considered as one of the best players who did not play in the NBA....

, Vlade Divac
Vlade Divac
Vlade Divac is a retired Yugoslav and Serbian professional basketball player who spent most of his career in the NBA. At , he played center and was known for his passing skills...

; actors Karl Malden
Karl Malden
Karl Malden was an American actor. In a career that spanned more than seven decades, he performed in such classic films as A Streetcar Named Desire, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, On the Waterfront and One-Eyed Jacks...

 (Mladen Sekulovich), Milla Jovovich
Milla Jovovich
Milla Jovovich December 17, 1975)is an American model, actress, musician, and fashion designer. Over her career, she has appeared in a number of science fiction and action-themed films, for which music channel VH1 has referred to her as the "reigning queen of kick-butt".Milla Jovovich began...

, Rade Šerbedžija
Rade Šerbedžija
Rade Šerbedžija , occasionally credited as Rade Sherbedgia in some English-language productions, is a Croatian actor, director and musician of Serb origin. He was one of the most popular Yugoslav actors in the 1970s and 1980s. He is now internationally known mainly for his supporting roles in...

. Famous directors like Dušan Makavejev
Dušan Makavejev
Dušan Makavejev is a Serbian film director and screenwriter, famous for his groundbreaking films of Yugoslav cinema in the late 1960s and early 1970s...

, Peter Bogdanovich
Peter Bogdanovich
Peter Bogdanovich is an American film historian, director, writer, actor, producer, and critic. He was part of the wave of "New Hollywood" directors, which included William Friedkin, Brian De Palma, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Michael Cimino, and Francis Ford Coppola...

 and Emir Kusturica
Emir Kusturica
Emir Nemanja Kusturica , is a Serbian filmmaker, actor and musician, recognized for several internationally acclaimed feature films...

. The Serb ruler during the Middle Ages (see List of Serbian rulers), Stephen Nemanja
Stefan Nemanja
Stefan Nemanja was the Grand Prince of the Grand Principality of Serbia from 1166 to 1196, a heir of the Vukanović dynasty that marked the beginning of a greater Serbian realm .He is remembered for his contributions to Serbian culture and...

, and his son, Saint Sava
Saint Sava
Saint Sava was a Serbian Prince and Orthodox monk, the first Archbishop of the autocephalous Serbian Church, the founder of Serbian law and literature, and a diplomat. Sava was born Rastko Nemanjić , the youngest son of Serbian Grand Župan Stefan Nemanja , and ruled the appanage of Hum briefly in...

, founded the monastery of Hilandar
Hilandar
Hilandar Monastery is a Serbian Orthodox monastery on Mount Athos in Greece. It was founded in 1198 by the first Serbian Archbishop Saint Sava and his father, Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja of the medieval Serbian principality of Raška...

 for the Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church
The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of the autocephalous Orthodox Christian churches, ranking sixth in order of seniority after Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Russia...

, one of the greatest and oldest Orthodox Christian monuments in the world. Famous singers Željko Joksimović
Željko Joksimovic
Željko Joksimović or often credited Zeljko Joksimovic is a popular Serbian singer, songwriter and producer. He is also well known in Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, Germany, Austria and other European countries...

 and Marija Šerifović
Marija Šerifovic
Marija Šerifović is a singer from Serbia. She won the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 with the song "Molitva". Šerifović was born in Kragujevac, Socialist Republic of Serbia, Yugoslavia and is the daughter of Verica Šerifović, also a notable singer...

 are from Serbia.

The mother of the last Byzantine Emperor, Constantine XI Paleologos
Constantine XI
Constantine XI Palaiologos, latinized as Palaeologus , Kōnstantinos XI Dragasēs Palaiologos; February 8, 1404 – May 29, 1453) was the last reigning Byzantine Emperor from 1449 to his death as member of the Palaiologos dynasty...

 Dragases, was a Serbian princess, Helena Dragash (Jelena Dragaš).
Many Serbian Royal Families have had significant roles in European and Balkan history. Such as the House of Nemanjić
House of Nemanjic
The Nemanjić was the most important dynasty of Serbia in the Middle Ages, and one of the most important in Southeastern Europe. The royal house produced eleven Serbian monarchs between 1166 and 1371. It's progenitor was Stephen Nemanja, who descended from a cadet line of the Vukanović dynasty...

, House of Mrnjavčević
House of Mrnjavcevic
The House of Mrnjavčević was a medieval Serbian noble house that existed during the Serbian Empire, its fall, and the subsequent years when it held a region of present-day Macedonia region. The house ruled a province from its base at Prilep from 1366 to 1395.Vukašin Mrnjavčević was a military...

, House of Lazarević
House of Lazarevic
The House of Lazarević was a noble Serbian medieval dynasty.The dynasty starts with Lazar Hrebeljanović, son of Pribac Hrebeljanović -a noble at the court of Dušan the Mighty and of Princess Jelena Zupan Rascia-Nemanjic of Serbia...

, House of Branković
House of Brankovic
House of Branković or Brankovići was a noble Serbian medieval dynasty. The family descent via female line through marriage from the Royal House of Nemanjić. The families rise to prominence during the time of disintegration of Serbian Empire under the last ruler of House of Nemanjić...

, House of Obrenović
House of Obrenovic
The House of Obrenović was a Serbian dynasty that ruled Serbia from 1815 to 1842, and again from 1858 to 1903. They came to power through the leadership of their progenitor Miloš Obrenović in the Second Serbian uprising against the Ottoman Empire, which led to the formation of the Principality of...

 and House of Karađorđević.
Some of the most venerated royal historical persons are Emperor Dusan, Tsar Lazar, Milos Obilic
Miloš Obilic
Miloš Obilić was a medieval Serbian knight in the service of Prince Lazar, during the invasion of the Ottoman Empire. He is not mentioned in contemporary sources, but he features prominently in later accounts of the Serbian defeat at the Battle of Kosovo as the legendary assassin of the Ottoman...

 and Karageorge.

Vuk Stefanović Karadžić
Vuk Stefanovic Karadžic
Vuk Stefanović Karadžić was a Serbian philolog and linguist, the major reformer of the Serbian language, and deserves, perhaps, for his collections of songs, fairy tales, and riddles to be called the father of the study of Serbian folklore. He was the author of the first Serbian dictionary...

 was a Serbian linguist and major reformer of the Serbian language.
Nadežda Petrović
Nadežda Petrovic
Nadežda Petrović is considered the most important Serbian female painter from the late 19th and early 20th century...

 is considered the most important Serbian female painter from the late 19th and early 20th century.

According to the National Enquirer, author Ian Fleming
Ian Fleming
Ian Lancaster Fleming was a British author, journalist and Naval Intelligence Officer.Fleming is best known for creating the fictional British spy James Bond and for a series of twelve novels and nine short stories about the character, one of the biggest-selling series of fictional books of...

 patterned James Bond
James Bond
James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

 after Duško Popov, a real life Serbian double agent nicknamed "Tricycle".

Gavrilo Princip
Gavrilo Princip
Gavrilo Princip was the Bosnian Serb who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914...

, a Bosnian Serb nationalist, assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
Franz Ferdinand was an Archduke of Austria-Este, Austro-Hungarian and Royal Prince of Hungary and of Bohemia, and from 1889 until his death, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne. His assassination in Sarajevo precipitated Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia...

 on 28 June 1914, precipitating the crisis between Austria-Hungary and Serbia that led to the World War I.

Culture



Serb culture has a wide spectra; besides the main [South] Slavic traits, the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) cultural heritage and Christianity (Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church
The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of the autocephalous Orthodox Christian churches, ranking sixth in order of seniority after Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Russia...

) being prevalent. Western-Central European (Austro-Hungarian) cultural influence is higher in Vojvodina
Vojvodina
Vojvodina, officially called Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is an autonomous province of Serbia. Its capital and largest city is Novi Sad...

, Croatian Serbs and Bosnian Serbs, while the Serbs living in maritime regions (e.g. Bay of Kotor
Bay of Kotor
The Bay of Kotor in south-western Montenegro is a winding bay on the Adriatic Sea. The bay, sometimes called Europe's southernmost fjord, is in fact a submerged river canyon of the disintegrated Bokelj River which used to run from the high mountain plateaus of Mount Orjen...

) have been influenced by Italian culture (Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

). The centuries under Ottoman rule have highly influenced with Oriental elements.

Following autonomy in 1817 and latter formal independence, there was a reawakening of Serbdom
Serbdom
Serbdom is an ambiguous term used by ethnic Serbs to denote a type of patriotism or solidarity of the Serbian people. It is distinguished from Serbian nationalism by lack of a political agenda and absence of antagonistic or aggressive attitudes...

 (Serbian identity/culture) followed by the emerging South-Slavic unity. Prior to that, Habsburg Vojvodina
Vojvodina
Vojvodina, officially called Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is an autonomous province of Serbia. Its capital and largest city is Novi Sad...

 was the cultural bastion of the Serbian national identity. Socialist Realism was predominant in official art during the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia but recent decades have seen a growing influence from the West as well as traditional culture.

Language




Serbs speak the Serbian language
Serbian language
Serbian is a form of Serbo-Croatian, a South Slavic language, spoken by Serbs in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and neighbouring countries....

, a member of the South Slavic
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

 group of languages, specifically in the Southwestern Slavic group, with the Southeastern group containing Bulgarian and Macedonian. It is mutually intelligible with the standard Croatian
Croatian language
Croatian is the collective name for the standard language and dialects spoken by Croats, principally in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbian province of Vojvodina and other neighbouring countries...

 and Bosnian language
Bosnian language
Bosnian is a South Slavic language, spoken by Bosniaks. As a standardized form of the Shtokavian dialect, it is one of the three official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina....

s (see Differences in standard Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian
Differences in standard Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian
Standard Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian are different national literary and official registers of the Serbo-Croatian language.- History :In socialist Yugoslavia, the official policy insisted on one language with two standard varieties – Eastern and Western Standard Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian are...

) and some linguists still consider it a sub-set of the Serbo-Croatian language
Serbo-Croatian language
Serbo-Croatian or Serbo-Croat, less commonly Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian , is a South Slavic language with multiple standards and the primary language of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro...

, as they are all standardized on the Shtokavian dialect
Shtokavian dialect
Shtokavian or Štokavian is the prestige dialect of the Serbo-Croatian language, and the basis of its Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, and Montenegrin standards...

.

It is an official language in Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina (Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska is one of two main political entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

), Montenegro and Romania, and a minority language in Croatia, Macedonia, Hungary and Slovakia.

Older forms of Serbian are Old Serbian
Serbian language
Serbian is a form of Serbo-Croatian, a South Slavic language, spoken by Serbs in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and neighbouring countries....

, the redaction of Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic or Old Church Slavic was the first literary Slavic language, first developed by the 9th century Byzantine Greek missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius who were credited with standardizing the language and using it for translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek...

, and the Russo-Serbian variant, a version of the Church Slavonic language.
Serbian is the only European language with active digraphia
Digraphia
In sociolinguistics, digraphia refers to the use of more than one writing system for the same language. Some scholars differentiate between synchronic digraphia with the coexistence of two or more writing systems for the same language and diachronic digraphia with the replacement of one writing...

, using both Cyrillic and Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 alphabets. Serbian Cyrillic was devised in 1814 by Vuk Karadžić, who created the alphabet on phonemic principles, the Cyrillic itself has its origins in Cyril and Methodius' transformation of the Greek script in the 9th century.

Loanwords in the Serbian language besides common internationalisms are mostly from Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

, German and Italian, words of Hungarian
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

 origin are present mostly in the north and Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 words are predominant in the liturgy.

Two Serbian words that are used in many of the world's languages are "vampire
Vampire
Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person...

" and "paprika
Paprika
Paprika is a spice made from the grinding of dried fruits of Capsicum annuum . In many European languages, the word paprika refers to bell peppers themselves. The seasoning is used in many cuisines to add color and flavor to dishes. Paprika can range from mild to hot...

". Common words of Serbian cuisine
Serbian cuisine
Serbian cuisine is a heterogeneous cuisine, sharing characteristics of the Balkans , the Mediterranean , Turkish, and Central European cuisines....

 are "Slivovitz
Slivovitz
Slivovitz or Slivovitsais a distilled beverage made from Damson plums. It is frequently called plum brandy, and in the Balkans is part of the category of drinks called rakia...

" and "ćevapčići
Cevapcici
Ćevapi or ćevapčići is a grilled dish of minced meat, a type of kebab, found traditionally in the countries of southeastern Europe. They are considered a national dish in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Serbia...

". Paprika
Paprika
Paprika is a spice made from the grinding of dried fruits of Capsicum annuum . In many European languages, the word paprika refers to bell peppers themselves. The seasoning is used in many cuisines to add color and flavor to dishes. Paprika can range from mild to hot...

 and Slivovitz
Slivovitz
Slivovitz or Slivovitsais a distilled beverage made from Damson plums. It is frequently called plum brandy, and in the Balkans is part of the category of drinks called rakia...

 are borrowed via German; paprika itself entered German via Hungarian. Vampire
Vampire
Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person...

 entered most West European languages through German-language texts in the early 18th century.

Naming system




Given names


A child is given a first name chosen by their parents but approved by the godparents of the child (the godparents rarely object to the parents' choice). 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 -a, e.g. Dragan -> Dragana.

Popular names are mostly of Serbian (Slavic), Christian (Biblical), Greek and Latin origin.
  • Serbian: Nenad
    Nenad
    Nenad is a Slavic origin male personal name common in the former Yugoslavia. It is more widespread in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia than in other countries. The name is derrived from the word 'nenadan' which means 'unexpected'...

    , Dragan
    Drăgan
    Drăgan can be:* Drăgan River , tributary of the Crişul Repede River in Romania* Drăgan River , tributary of the Florei River in RomaniaFamily name:* Iosif Constantin Drăgan, Romanian and Italian businessman, writer and historian...

    , Zoran
    Zoran
    Zoran is a common Slavic name, the masculine form of Zora, which means dawn, daybreak.-People with this given name:*Zoran Abadić - Serbian architect*Zoran Bečić - Bosnian Serb actor...

    , Goran
    Goran
    Goran is a Slavic male first name often used in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, the Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia.- Variations :* female Goranka * female Gorana...

     and Slobodan
    Slobodan
    Slobodan is a Serbian given name which means "free" used to other South Slavs as well. It was coined by Serbian liberal politician Vladimir Jovanović who, inspired by John Stuart Mill's essay On Liberty baptised his son Slobodan in 1869 and his daughter Pravda in 1871...

    .
  • Greek: Nikola
    Nikola
    Nikola is a male given name, derived from Greek Nikolaos , common in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Czechia and Slovenia...

    , Dimitrije, Đorđe, Aleksandar and Filip
    Philip (name)
    Philip is a given name, derived from the Greek Philippos , meaning "friend of horses". A common mistake is to translate the name as "lover of horses". From φίλος "lover" and ίππος "horse". While the literal translation, in Ancient Greece, the ownership of horses was available only to those rich...

    .
  • Biblical: Jovan
    Jovan
    Jovan is a Serb male given name equivalent to English "John" or Slavic Ivan, from , and may refer to:*Jovan Vladimir, a Serbian monarch and saint, ruled Duklja ca...

    , Danilo
    Danilo
    Danilo is a male given name of biblical origin, meaning "God is my judge" in Hebrew. It's a very common given name in Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Serbian, and is used as a widespread name in Ukrainian and Russian.May refer to:...

    , Petar
    Peter (given name)
    Peter is a common masculine given name. It is derived, via Latin "petra", from the Greek word πέτρος meaning "stone" or "rock"....

    , Pavle, Mihailo
    Mihailo
    Mihailo is a Slavic masculine given name, a variant of the Hebrew name Michael. Other slavic variants include Mihail, Mihajlo, and Mikhail. Common as a given name among Serbs, it is an uncommon surname...

     and Gavrilo.
  • Latin: Marko
    Marko (given name)
    Marko is a masculine given name. People bearing the name include:*Prince Marko , Serbian feudal lord in Macedonia*Marko Ahtisaari , Finnish businessman and musician*Marko Albert , Estonian triathlete...

    , Srđan, Antonije and Miljan.

Surnames


Most Serbian surnames (like Bosniak, Croatian and Montenegrin) have the surname suffix -ić . This is often transliterated
Transliteration
Transliteration is a subset of the science of hermeneutics. It is a form of translation, and is the practice of converting a text from one script into another...

 as -ic or -ici. In English-speaking countries, Serbian names have often been transcribed with a phonetic ending, -ich or -itch. This form is often associated with Serbs from before the early 20th century: hence Milutin Milanković is usually referred to as Milutin Milankovitch.

The -ić suffix is a Slavic
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

 diminutive
Diminutive
In language structure, a diminutive, or diminutive form , is a formation of a word used to convey a slight degree of the root meaning, smallness of the object or quality named, encapsulation, intimacy, or endearment...

, originally functioning to create patronymic
Patronymic
A patronym, or patronymic, is a component of a personal name based on the name of one's father, grandfather or an even earlier male ancestor. A component of a name based on the name of one's mother or a female ancestor is a matronymic. Each is a means of conveying lineage.In many areas patronyms...

s. Thus the surname Petrić signifies little Petar, similar to Mac ("son of") in Scottish & Irish, and O' (grandson of) in Irish names. It is estimated that some two thirds of all Serbian surnames end in -ić and some 80% of Serbs carry such a surname.

Other common surname suffixes are -ov or -in which is the Slavic possessive case
Possessive case
The possessive case of a language is a grammatical case used to indicate a relationship of possession. It is not the same as the genitive case, which can express a wider range of relationships, though the two have similar meanings in many languages.See Possession for a survey of the different...

 suffix, thus Nikola's son becomes Nikolin, Petar's son Petrov, and Jovan's son Jovanov. Those are more typical for Serbs from Vojvodina
Vojvodina
Vojvodina, officially called Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is an autonomous province of Serbia. Its capital and largest city is Novi Sad...

. The two suffixes are often combined.

The most common surnames are Marković, Nikolić, Petrović, and Jovanović.

Religion


The Serbs are predominantly Orthodox Christian, and before Christianity, they adhered to Slavic paganism. The baptism of Serbs are said to have begun on the initiation of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

, first during the reign of Emperor Heraclius (610–641), however the adoption of state-religion took place during the reign of Mutimir
Mutimir of Serbia
Mutimir of Serbia was Prince of the Serbs from ca 850 until 891. He defeated the Bulgar Army, allied himself with the Byzantine Emperor and ruled the First Serbian Principality when the Christianization of the Serbs took place and the Eparchy of Ras was established.He was the eldest son of Knez...

, who acknowledged suzerainty of Basil I
Basil I
Basil I, called the Macedonian was a Byzantine emperor of probable Armenian descent who reigned from 867 to 886. Born a simple peasant in the Byzantine theme of Macedonia, he rose in the imperial court, and usurped the imperial throne from Emperor Michael III...

 in ca 869. After the Great Schism
East-West Schism
The East–West Schism of 1054, sometimes known as the Great Schism, formally divided the State church of the Roman Empire into Eastern and Western branches, which later became known as the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, respectively...

, which divided the Roman state church roughly in modern Bosnia, the greater parts of Serbian lands remained under Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 (East, i.e. Orthodox Church). In 1219, the Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church
The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of the autocephalous Orthodox Christian churches, ranking sixth in order of seniority after Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Russia...

 was established as the national church by Saint Sava
Saint Sava
Saint Sava was a Serbian Prince and Orthodox monk, the first Archbishop of the autocephalous Serbian Church, the founder of Serbian law and literature, and a diplomat. Sava was born Rastko Nemanjić , the youngest son of Serbian Grand Župan Stefan Nemanja , and ruled the appanage of Hum briefly in...

. With the occupation of the Balkans by the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, Islam was introduced, therefore there exist "Muslim Slavs"; Gorani, Bosniaks
Bosniaks
The Bosniaks or Bosniacs are a South Slavic ethnic group, living mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a smaller minority also present in other lands of the Balkan Peninsula especially in Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia...

, Muslims by nationality
Muslims by nationality
Muslims by nationality was a term used in Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as an official designation of nationality of Slavic Muslims. They were one of the constitutive groups of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

 etc, where Serbs traditionally live. Up until the 20th century, there were influential movements of Serb Catholics in Dubrovnik, Muslim Serbs
Islam in Serbia
The Muslims in Serbia are mostly ethnic Bosniaks and Albanians, but also members of the smaller ethnic groups like Muslims by nationality, Ashkali, Egyptians, Gorani, Roma, and Turks.-Number of believers and distribution:...

, as well as Protestants in Vojvodina.

The Serbs have endured persecution at various times in history, mostly due to their religion. For example, the devshirme-system of the Ottoman Empire which saw Christian boys forcibly and permanently taken from their families to be trained and enrolled in Ottoman governmental work, becoming Turkified, Kara Khalil Chendereli, founder of the Janissaries, explained "The conquered are slaves of the conquerors, to whom their goods, their women, and their children belong as lawful possession..". The Ottomans abolished the Serbian Church in 1766. During World War II, the Croatian nationalist movement known as Ustasha seized power in Croatia as an Axis
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 power, Croatia had a notable Serb community which the Ustasha sought to eliminate: In their political programme it was explained that "⅓ of the Serbs were to be killed, ⅓ to be expelled and ⅓ forcibly converted to Catholicism" (see World War II persecution of Serbs
World War II persecution of Serbs
The Serbian Genocide refers to the attempt in extermination made towards ethnic Serbs in 1939-1945 by predominantly ethnic Croat Fascists and Nazi occupational forces....

). Estimates of civilian Serbs killed under the Ustasha regime exceed 500,000 (in the Jasenovac camp alone, at least 300,000).

Geographically, the Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church
The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of the autocephalous Orthodox Christian churches, ranking sixth in order of seniority after Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Russia...

 represents the westernmost bastion of Orthodox Christianity
Orthodox Christianity
The term Orthodox Christianity may refer to:* the Eastern Orthodox Church and its various geographical subdivisions...

 in Europe, which shaped its historical fate through contacts with Catholicism and Islam.

Symbols


  • The red-blue-white tricolour
    Tricolour
    A tricolour is a flag or banner more-or-less equally divided into three bands of differing colours...

     (a Slavic tricolour), is used as the Civil Flag of Serbia
    Flag of Serbia
    The flag of Serbia is a tricolour consisting of three equal horizontal bands, red on the top, blue in the middle and white on the bottom. The same tricolour, in some variations, was the flag of Serbia throughout its history, and is the ethnic flag of the Serbian people.The state flag bears the...

    , as well as the ethnic or national flag of the Serb people. The official state flag has the tricolour with the Coat of Arms
    Coat of arms of Serbia
    The coat of arms of Serbia is based the family arms of the former Obrenović dynasty and features the white bicephalic eagle of the Nemanjić dynasty. An ermine cape of the style once worn by kings is featured in the background. The double-headed eagle has been used since Byzantine era, the Serbian...

    ; the Serb eagle, which in turn has the Serb cross in the shield
    • The Serb eagle, a white two-headed eagle, represents dual power and sovereignty (monarch and church), was the coat of arms
      Coat of arms
      A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

       of the Nemanjić Dynasty
      House of Nemanjic
      The Nemanjić was the most important dynasty of Serbia in the Middle Ages, and one of the most important in Southeastern Europe. The royal house produced eleven Serbian monarchs between 1166 and 1371. It's progenitor was Stephen Nemanja, who descended from a cadet line of the Vukanović dynasty...

      , adopted by the succeeding noble and royal families.
    • The Serbian cross
      Serbian cross
      The Serbian Cross is a national symbol of Serbia, part of the Coat of Arms of Serbia, and the flag of Serbia. It is composed of a cross symbol with four C-shapes on each of its corners, in use as a national emblem since the 14th century....

       is based on the Byzantine cross, but where the Byzantine Cross held 4 Greek letter 'V' (or 'B') meaning King of Kings, ruling over Kings
      Coat of arms of Serbia
      The coat of arms of Serbia is based the family arms of the former Obrenović dynasty and features the white bicephalic eagle of the Nemanjić dynasty. An ermine cape of the style once worn by kings is featured in the background. The double-headed eagle has been used since Byzantine era, the Serbian...

      , the Serbian cross turned the Byzantine "B" into 4 Cyrillic letters of 'S' (C)
      Only Unity Saves the Serbs
      Only Unity Saves the Serbs is an unofficial motto used in Serbia and a popular slogan among Serbs, often used as a rallying call against foreign domination and during times of national crisis....

       with little stylistic modification, for a whole new message. If displayed on a field, traditionally it is on red field, but could be used with no field at all.

Both the eagle and the cross, besides being the basis for various Serbian coats of arms
Coat of arms of Serbia
The coat of arms of Serbia is based the family arms of the former Obrenović dynasty and features the white bicephalic eagle of the Nemanjić dynasty. An ermine cape of the style once worn by kings is featured in the background. The double-headed eagle has been used since Byzantine era, the Serbian...

 throughout history, are bases for the symbols of various Serbian organizations, political parties, institutions and companies.

Serb folk attire varies, mostly because of the very diverse geography
Geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

 and climate
Climate
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods...

 of the territory inhabited by the Serbs. Some parts of it are, however, common:
  • The traditional shoes Opanci (sing. Opanak), are recognizable by the distinctive tips that spiral backward. The Opanci are part of the wider folk clothing of the Balkans.
  • The traditional hat Šajkača
    Šajkaca
    The Šajkača is the Serbian national hat or cap.-History:The Šajkača originated in the 18th century. It was originally worn by the Serbian river fleet as a military headgear in the service of the Habsburg Empire around the Danube and Sava Rivers...

    . It is easily recognizable by its top part that looks like the letter V or like the bottom of a boat (viewed from above), after which it got its name. It originated as military headgear in the 18th-century Serbian river flotilla. It gained wide popularity in the early 20th century as it was used by the Serbian Army in World War I. It is worn on everyday basis by some villagers even today, and it was a common item of headgear among Bosnian Serb
    Republika Srpska
    Republika Srpska is one of two main political entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

     military commanders during the Bosnian War
    Bosnian War
    The Bosnian War or the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between April 1992 and December 1995. The war involved several sides...

     in the 1990s. The "šajkača" is traditionally used in the region of Šumadija
    Šumadija
    Šumadija is a geographical region in Serbia. The area is heavily covered with forests, hence the name...

     (Central Serbia
    Central Serbia
    Central Serbia , also referred to as Serbia proper , was the region of Serbia from 1945 to 2009. It included central parts of Serbia outside of the autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina. The region of Central Serbia was not an administrative division of Serbia as such; it was under the...

    ), while Serbs in other regions naturally have other traditional types of hats.

Cuisine


The Serbian cuisine, just like Serbian culture
Serbian culture
Serbian culture refers to the culture of Serbia and of ethnic Serbs.The Serbian culture starts with that of the South Slavic peoples that lived in the Balkans. Early on, Serbs may have been influenced by the Paleo-Balkan peoples...

, implies not only regional elements connected to Serbia, but other parts of former Yugoslavia
Former Yugoslavia
The former Yugoslavia is a term used to describe the present day states which succeeded the collapse of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia....

 as well. Great influences have been marked on the whole cooking process due to peasantry, which also influenced the folk craft
Serbian folklore
Serbian folklore is the folk traditions among ethnic Serbs. The earliest examples of Serbian folklore are seen in the pre-Christian Slavic customs transformed into Christianity.-Folklore:...

, music and arts.

Traditional dishes made in Serbia today have common roots with the dishes prepared throughout the Balkans. The whole Serbian cuisine is derived from a mixture of influences coming from the Mediterranean (Greek and Italian
Italian cuisine
Italian cuisine has developed through centuries of social and political changes, with roots as far back as the 4th century BCE. Italian cuisine in itself takes heavy influences, including Etruscan, ancient Greek, ancient Roman, Byzantine, Jewish and Arab cuisines...

), Central European (Hungarian and Austrian) and Turkish
Turkish cuisine
Turkish cuisine is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. Turkish cuisine has in turn influenced those and other neighbouring cuisines, including that of western Europe...

 cuisines.

Serbs have great passion for food in general, especially barbecue
Barbecue
Barbecue or barbeque , used chiefly in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of...

, having a rich cuisine and a large diversity of alcohol beverages that accompany these fat-rich dishes. Slivovitz
Slivovitz
Slivovitz or Slivovitsais a distilled beverage made from Damson plums. It is frequently called plum brandy, and in the Balkans is part of the category of drinks called rakia...

, the national drink, is a strong, alcoholic beverage primarily made from distilled fermented plum
Plum
A plum or gage is a stone fruit tree in the genus Prunus, subgenus Prunus. The subgenus is distinguished from other subgenera in the shoots having a terminal bud and solitary side buds , the flowers in groups of one to five together on short stems, and the fruit having a groove running down one...

 juice, tasting similar to brandy (plum brandy in English). Foods include a variety of grilled meats and bread. Desserts range from Turkish-style baklava
Baklava
Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey. It is characteristic of the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire and much of central and southwest Asia....

 to Viennese-style tortes. Local Serbian wine
Serbian wine
There are nearly 70,000 hectares of vineyards in Serbia, producing about 425,000 tons of grapes annually. The majority of production is dedicated to local wineries....

 is highly regarded and popular in respective wine regions. Among most popular dishes are: Pljeskavica
Pljeskavica
Pljeskavica is a Serbian patty dish popular in the Balkan region of Southeastern Europe.Pljeskavica is eaten in Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Croatia, and can be found in Romania, and Bulgaria. Traditional pljeskavica is made from mixture of ground meats...

, Ćevapčići
Cevapcici
Ćevapi or ćevapčići is a grilled dish of minced meat, a type of kebab, found traditionally in the countries of southeastern Europe. They are considered a national dish in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Serbia...

, Ajvar
Ajvar
Ajvar and aijvar is relish, made principally from red bell peppers, with eggplant, garlic and chili pepper. Ajvar originates in the Serbian cuisine, and was therefore long known as "Serbian salad" or "Serbian vegetable caviar"...

, Burek
Burek
Börek is a family of baked or fried filled pastries made of a thin flaky dough known as yufka . It can be filled with cheese, often feta, sirene or kaşar; minced meat, or vegetables...

, Gibanica
Gibanica
Gibanica , pron. gheebanitsa, is a traditional Balkan pastry dish, usually made with white cheese, now popular throughout the Balkans.Gibanica is a traditional dish in parts of Balkan region...

, Karađorđeva šnicla, Musaka
Moussaka
Moussaka is an eggplant based dish of the Balkans, Eastern Mediterranean, and the Middle East. The best known variation outside the region is the Greek one.-Names and etymology:...

, Sarma
Sarma (food)
Sarma is a dish of grape, cabbage or chard leaves rolled around a filling usually based on minced meat. It is found in the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire from the Middle East to the Balkans and Central Europe.-Etymology and names:...

, Kajmak.

Traditions


The traditional dance of Serbs is the kolo
Kolo (dance)
Kolo , is a collective folk dance, danced primarily by people from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. It is performed amongst groups of people holding each other's having their hands around each other's waists...

(in some regions oro), circle dance
Circle dance
"Circle dance" is the most common name for a style of traditional dance usually done in a circle without partners to musical accompaniment.-Description:...

, of which dances are the same and similar to those of other Balkan peoples. It is a collective dance, where a group of people hold each other by the hands, forming a circle (kolo, hence the name), semicircle or spiral
Spiral
In mathematics, a spiral is a curve which emanates from a central point, getting progressively farther away as it revolves around the point.-Spiral or helix:...

.

The Serbs are a highly family-oriented society. A peek into a Serbian dictionary and the richness of their terminology related to kinship
Serbian kinship
The Serbo-Croatian standard languages have one of the more elaborate kinship systems among European languages. Terminology may differ from place to place. Most words are common to other Slavic languages, though some derive from Turkish...

 speaks volumes.

As with many other peoples, there are popular stereotypes on the local level: in popular jokes and stories, inhabitants of Vojvodina
Vojvodina
Vojvodina, officially called Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is an autonomous province of Serbia. Its capital and largest city is Novi Sad...

 (Lale) are perceived as phlegmatic, undisturbed and slow; Montenegrins are lazy and pushy; southern Serbians are miser
Miser
A miser, cheapskate, snipe-snout, penny pincher, piker, scrooge, skinflint or tightwad is a person who is reluctant to spend money, sometimes to the point of forgoing even basic comforts and some necessities...

s; Bosnia
Bosnia (region)
Bosnia is a eponomous region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It lies mainly in the Dinaric Alps, ranging to the southern borders of the Pannonian plain, with the rivers Sava and Drina marking its northern and eastern borders. The other eponomous region, the southern, other half of the country is...

ns are raw and stupid; people from Central Serbia are often portrayed as capricious and malicious, etc.

Another related feature, often lamented by Serbs themselves, is disunity and discord; as Slobodan Naumović puts it, "Disunity and discord have acquired in the Serbian popular imaginary a notorious, quasi-demiurgic status. They are often perceived as being the chief malefactors in Serbian history, causing political or military defeats, and threatening to tear Serbian society completely apart." That disunity is often quoted as the source of Serbian historic tragedies, from the Battle of Kosovo
Battle of Kosovo
The Battle of Kosovo took place on St. Vitus' Day, June 15, 1389, between the army led by Serbian Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović, and the invading army of the Ottoman Empire under the leadership of Sultan Murad I...

 in 1389 to Yugoslav wars
Yugoslav wars
The Yugoslav Wars were a series of wars, fought throughout the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995. The wars were complex: characterized by bitter ethnic conflicts among the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, mostly between Serbs on the one side and Croats and Bosniaks on the other; but also...

 in 1990s. Even the contemporary notion of "two Serbia's"—one supposedly national, liberal and Eurocentric, and the other conservative, nationalist and Euroskeptic—seems to be the extension of the said discord. Popular proverbs "two Serbs, three political parties" and "God save us from Serbs that may unite!", and even the unofficial Serbian motto "only unity saves Serbs" (Samo sloga Srbina spasava) illustrate the national frustration with the inability to unite over important issues.

Christian customs



Of all Slavs and Orthodox Christians, only Serbs have the custom of slava
Slava
The Slava , also called Krsna Slava and Krsno ime , is the Serbian Orthodox tradition of the ritual celebration and veneration of a family's own patron saint. The family celebrates the Slava annually on the patron saint's feast day...

. Slava is the celebration of a family's patron saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

, a protector, which is inherited mostly, though not exclusively, paternally. The custom is believed to have its origin in pagan times, and is known to have been canonically introduced by Saint Sava
Saint Sava
Saint Sava was a Serbian Prince and Orthodox monk, the first Archbishop of the autocephalous Serbian Church, the founder of Serbian law and literature, and a diplomat. Sava was born Rastko Nemanjić , the youngest son of Serbian Grand Župan Stefan Nemanja , and ruled the appanage of Hum briefly in...

, the first Serbian Archbishop (1217–1233). There are a total of 78 feast days, and each family has one patron saint only, which means that the occasion brings all of the family together.

Serbs have their own customs regarding Christmas
Serbian Christmas traditions
The Serbian Orthodox Church uses the traditional Julian Calendar. From 1900 until 2100, the Julian calendar is 13 days behind the Gregorian and therefore Serbian Christmas Day falls on 7 January of the Gregorian calendar...

. The Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church
The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of the autocephalous Orthodox Christian churches, ranking sixth in order of seniority after Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Russia...

 uses the Julian calendar
Julian calendar
The Julian calendar began in 45 BC as a reform of the Roman calendar by Julius Caesar. It was chosen after consultation with the astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria and was probably designed to approximate the tropical year .The Julian calendar has a regular year of 365 days divided into 12 months...

, so Christmas currently falls on 7 January of the Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter...

. Early in the morning of Christmas Eve, the head of the family would go to a forest in order to cut badnjak, a young oak
Oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

, which is then brought into the church to be blessed by the priest. The tree is stripped of its branches and combined with wheat and other grain products to be burned in the fireplace. The burning of the badnjak is a ritual which is most certainly of pagan origin, and is considered a sacrifice to God so that the coming year may bring plenty of food, happiness, love, luck and riches. Nowadays, with most Serbs living in towns, most simply go to their church service to be given a small parcel of oak, wheat and other branches tied together to be taken home and set afire. The house floor and church is covered with hay
Hay
Hay is grass, legumes or other herbaceous plants that have been cut, dried, and stored for use as animal fodder, particularly for grazing livestock such as cattle, horses, goats, and sheep. Hay is also fed to pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs...

, reminding worshippers of the stable
Stable
A stable is a building in which livestock, especially horses, are kept. It most commonly means a building that is divided into separate stalls for individual animals...

 in which Jesus was born.

Christmas Day itself is celebrated with a feast, necessarily featuring roasted piglet
Roasted piglet
Roasted piglet or "pečenje" in Serbian is a Serbian national meal. Despite the common translation of "roasted piglet", other varieties of pečenje include sheep , beef, veal, goat and chicken, and unlike roasts in many other cultures, Serbian pečenje is often eaten cold.After the carcass is washed,...

 as the main meal. The most important Christmas meal is česnica
Cesnica
A česnica is the ceremonial, round loaf of bread that is an indispensable part of Christmas dinner in Serbian tradition. The preparation of this bread may be accompanied by various rules and rituals. A coin is often put into the dough during the kneading; other small objects may also be inserted...

, a special kind of bread. The bread contains a coin; during the lunch, the family breaks up the bread and the one who finds the coin is said to be assured of an especially happy year.

Christmas is not associated with presents like in the West, most Serbian families give presents on New Year's Day. Deda Mraz (literally Grandpa Frost, the Santa Claus
Santa Claus
Santa Claus is a folklore figure in various cultures who distributes gifts to children, normally on Christmas Eve. Each name is a variation of Saint Nicholas, but refers to Santa Claus...

) and the Christmas tree (but rather associated with New Year's Day) are also used in Serbia as a result of globalisation. Serbs also celebrate the Old New Year
Old New Year
The Old New Year Нова година) or the Orthodox New Year is an informal traditional Slavic Orthodox holiday, celebrated as the start of the New Year by the Julian calendar...

 (currently on 14 January of the Gregorian Calendar
Gregorian calendar
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter...

).

Origin



The Slavs invaded Balkans during Justinian I
Justinian I
Justinian I ; , ; 483– 13 or 14 November 565), commonly known as Justinian the Great, was Byzantine Emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the Empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the classical Roman Empire.One of the most important figures of...

 rule (527–565), when eventually up to 100,000 Slavs raided Thessalonica. The Western Balkans was settled with "Sclaveni", the east with Antes. Archaeological evidence in Serbia and Macedonia conclude that the White Serbs may have reached the Balkans earlier, between 550–600, as much findings; fibulae and pottery found at Roman forts, point at Serb characteristics. The "White Serbs" mentioned by Porphyrogenitus could thus have been a fraction of these early Slavs.


According to Byzantine tradition, the Serbs (Σερβlοι) are recorded in the Empire with the arrival of the "Unknown Archont
Unknown Archont
The Unknown Archont is a conventional name given by historians to the Serbian leader who led the White Serbs from their homeland to settle in the Balkans after 610, during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Heraclius ....

" and his White Serbs, who most likely hailed from Poland. The archon
Archon
Archon is a Greek word that means "ruler" or "lord", frequently used as the title of a specific public office. It is the masculine present participle of the verb stem ἀρχ-, meaning "to rule", derived from the same root as monarch, hierarchy, and anarchy.- Ancient Greece :In ancient Greece the...

had led half of his people after the death of his father, a King, to the Balkans and asked Emperor Heraclius (r. 610–641) of protection. The Serbs lived briefly in the West Macedonia
West Macedonia
West Macedonia is one of the thirteen regions of Greece, consisting of the western part of Greek Macedonia. It is divided into the regional units of Florina, Grevena, Kastoria, and Kozani.-Geography:...

n town of Servia (which has retained its name from the Serbs), then in Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

 they requested a portion of land and were given the desolate lands of Western Balkans. The mentioned horions of the Serbs were: Rascia, Travunia, Zachlumia, Bosnia, Pagania and Doclea.

The Slavs of the Empire lived in so-called Sklavinia, i.e. Slav lands. The Serbian Sklavinia
Serbian Sklavinia
The Slavs ravaged the Balkans beginning in the 520s, their occupied territories were called Sklavinia and where de facto independent, but were still claimed by the Byzantines. The Serbian Sklavinia refers to the territories of Serbs before the mentioning of a state in primary sources in fl...

 is known to have stretched over modern south Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Herzegovina and a large part of Dalmatia
Political entities inhabited or ruled by Serbs
This is a list of Serb countries and regions throughout history, called Serbian lands by historians . It includes empires, countries, states, provinces, regions and territories that have or had in the past one of the following characteristics:...

. The Slavs were administered into župe, a confederation of village communities headed by the local župan
Zupan
Żupan was a long garment, always lined, worn by almost all males of the noble social class in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, typical male attire from the beginning of the 16th to half of the 18th century, still surviving as a part of the Polishnational dress.- Derivation :The name żupan has...

, a magistrate or governor. The power of the župan would subsequently emerge, and inherit an office similar to that of the strategoi.

The cultural ties with the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 contributed greatly to the Serbian ethnogenesis.

Middle Ages


The first Serbian ruler, the same archon, died long before the Bulgar invasion (680). In 649 or 667, Emperor Constans II
Constans II
Constans II , also called Constantine the Bearded , was Byzantine emperor from 641 to 668. He also was the last emperor to become consul in 642, becoming the last Roman consul in history....

 relocated Serbs from "around river Vardar" to Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

 (see Asia Minor Slavs
Asia Minor Slavs
Asia Minor Slavs refers to the historical South Slav communities relocated to Anatolia by the Byzantine Empire, from the Balkans.After Maurice's Balkan campaigns , and subsequent subduing of Slavs in Balkans, large communities were forcefully relocated to Asia Minor as military, fighting the...

). Some 30,000 soldiers in the city of Gordoservon
Gordoservon
In records from Bithynia in the year 680, the city of Gordoservon or Gordoserbon was a Byzantine city inhabited by Serbs. The name is derived from the Serbs that resettled in Asia Minor by Byzantine Emperor Constans II , who came from the areas "around the river Vardar"...

 (City of the Serbs), were to fight the Umayyad Caliphate, however they deserted the battlefield in 692 due to harsh treatment. There is a gap in rulers until the coming of the first Serbian Prince known by name, Višeslav
Višeslav of Serbia
Višeslav was Prince of the Serbs fl. 768-814. He united various Serb tribes into an unified state.-Life:Višeslav was the great-grandson of the Unknown Archont, the leader of the White Serbs that settled the Balkans after an agreement with the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius .He ruled the Županias of...

, who was a contemporary with Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

 (768–814). Višeslav's son, or grandson, ruled during the uprisings of Ljudevit Posavski
Ljudevit Posavski
Ljudevit Posavski was a Croatian Duke of Pannonian Croatia from 810 to 823. The capital of his realm was in Sisak. As the ruler of the Pannonian Slavs, he led an unsuccessful resistance to Frankish domination. He held close ties with the Carantanian and Carniolan tribes and with the Serbian tribe...

 against the Franks in 819–822. According to the Royal Frankish Annals
Royal Frankish Annals
The Royal Frankish Annals or Annals of the Kingdom of the Franks ,are annals covering the history of early Carolingian monarchs from 741 to 829. Their composition seems to have soon been taken up at court, providing them with markedly official character...

, in 822, Ljudevit went from his seat in Sisak
Sisak
Sisak is a city in central Croatia. The city's population in 2011 was 33,049, with a total of 49,699 in the administrative region and it is also the administrative centre of the Sisak-Moslavina county...

 to the Serbs somewhere in western Bosnia – the Serbs are mentioned as controlling the greater part of Dalmatia
Dalmatia (Roman province)
Dalmatia was an ancient Roman province. Its name is probably derived from the name of an Illyrian tribe called the Dalmatae which lived in the area of the eastern Adriatic coast in Classical antiquity....

 ("Sorabos, quae natio magnam Dalmatiae partem obtinere dicitur").
The Serbs and neighbouring Bulgars are known to have co-existed peacefully until the Bulgaro-Serbian Wars 839–842. The Bulgars had earlier conquered Timok, Braničevo and parts of Macedonia, and this prompted Prince Vlastimir to unite several tribes, which may have in turn prompted the Bulgars to invade. The invasion led to a three-year-war in which Serbia decisively won, the war ended with the death of the Emperor, which released Serbia from its obligations to the Empire. Vlastimir was succeeded by his son, Mutimir
Mutimir of Serbia
Mutimir of Serbia was Prince of the Serbs from ca 850 until 891. He defeated the Bulgar Army, allied himself with the Byzantine Emperor and ruled the First Serbian Principality when the Christianization of the Serbs took place and the Eparchy of Ras was established.He was the eldest son of Knez...

, of which reign is characterized by yet another victory against the Bulgars, and most importantly – the Christianization of Serbs. The Serbian fleet aided Basil I
Basil I
Basil I, called the Macedonian was a Byzantine emperor of probable Armenian descent who reigned from 867 to 886. Born a simple peasant in the Byzantine theme of Macedonia, he rose in the imperial court, and usurped the imperial throne from Emperor Michael III...

 in his operation against the Saracens who sacked Ragusa
Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea coast, positioned at the terminal end of the Isthmus of Dubrovnik. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic, a seaport and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Its total population is 42,641...

 in 869. Mutimir had feuded with his two brothers, and the many succession wars of the throne were to be crucial in Serbia's fate as either a Byzantine or Bulgarian vassal.

In the 960s, Serbia was conquered by the Byzantines, the Catepanate of Serbia
Catepanate of Serbia
Catepanate of Ras or Serbia was a Byzantine province established between 971–976, during the rule of John Tzimiskes...

 was established, ruled by John, protospatharios and katepano of Ras. In 1018, the Theme of Sirmium was established, at the same time, Serbian statehood was continued in Duklja
Duklja
Doclea or Duklja was a medieval state with hereditary lands roughly encompassing the territories of present-day southeastern Montenegro, from Kotor on the west to the river Bojana on the east and to the sources of Zeta and Morača rivers on the north....

.

In the time of the Comnenos, 1081–1180, Serbs served in the Byzantine Army.


Serbia reached its golden age
Golden Age
The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology and legend and refers to the first in a sequence of four or five Ages of Man, in which the Golden Age is first, followed in sequence, by the Silver, Bronze, and Iron Ages, and then the present, a period of decline...

 under the House of Nemanjić
House of Nemanjic
The Nemanjić was the most important dynasty of Serbia in the Middle Ages, and one of the most important in Southeastern Europe. The royal house produced eleven Serbian monarchs between 1166 and 1371. It's progenitor was Stephen Nemanja, who descended from a cadet line of the Vukanović dynasty...

, with the Serbian state reaching its apogee of power in the reign of Tsar Stefan Uroš Dušan. The Serbian Empire lost its powers following Stefan's death and the contemporary incursion of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 into south-eastern Europe frightened the Balkans. With Ottoman expansion into Europe with the fall of Adrianople and Thrace
Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

, Serbs together with Hungarians, Bulgarians, Greeks and others, tried their best for the Balkans integrity. The Turks gained more power, and in 1389, the Serbs fought them in the historical Battle of Kosovo
Battle of Kosovo
The Battle of Kosovo took place on St. Vitus' Day, June 15, 1389, between the army led by Serbian Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović, and the invading army of the Ottoman Empire under the leadership of Sultan Murad I...

, which is regarded as the key event in the loss of Serbia to the Ottoman Empire. By 1459, Serbia was beaten by the Turks, the small Serbian territories of Bosnia and Montenegro were lost by 1496.

Ottoman and Habsburg administration


As Christians, the Serbs were regarded as a "protected people
Dhimmi
A , is a non-Muslim subject of a state governed in accordance with sharia law. Linguistically, the word means "one whose responsibility has been taken". This has to be understood in the context of the definition of state in Islam...

" under Ottoman law, but were however referred to as Giaour
Giaour
Giaour, Gawur or Ghiaour written gâvur in modern Turkish, is an offensive ethnic slur used by Muslims in Turkey and the Balkans to describe all who are non Muslim, with particular reference to Christians like Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians, Serbs and Assyrians...

 . Many converted to Islam in viyalets where Islam was more powerful, notably in the Sandzak
Sandžak
Sandžak also known as Raška is a historical region lying along the border between Serbia and Montenegro...

 and Bosnia
Bosnia (region)
Bosnia is a eponomous region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It lies mainly in the Dinaric Alps, ranging to the southern borders of the Pannonian plain, with the rivers Sava and Drina marking its northern and eastern borders. The other eponomous region, the southern, other half of the country is...

 region, other converted in order to be more successful in the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 society and many were forced as part of Turkification
Turkification
Turkification is a term used to describe a process of cultural or political change in which something or someone who is not a Turk becomes one, voluntarily or involuntarily...

 or Islamisation and avoided persecution. The Janissaries  were infantry units that served directly under the Sultan in the households and bodyguarding the higher people within the Ottoman Turkish government, they were composed of Islamicized Christian boys taken from the conquered countries through the Devşirme (Blood tribute) system, trained and schooled to serve the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. Serbs, together with Greeks
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 and Bulgarians
Bulgarians
The Bulgarians are a South Slavic nation and ethnic group native to Bulgaria and neighbouring regions. Emigration has resulted in immigrant communities in a number of other countries.-History and ethnogenesis:...

 were favored by the Sultans.

After the Siege of Belgrade, Suleiman I settled Serbs in the nearby forest of Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, present day Bahçeköy, called Belgrade forest.

The Serbs opposed the Ottoman yoke, which resulted in several major battles and rebellions against the Turks and de-population of Serbian lands through mass migrations (Known as "Great Serb Migrations"). Serbs in the south migrated to the north and sought refuge in Croatia and Hungary.

The Serbs of Montenegro
Serbs of Montenegro
Montenegrin Serbs is a regional, ethnographic group of ethnic Serbs. They compose the second largest ethnic group in Montenegro after the Montenegrins....

 were disliked because of their bravery and dignity to each other, unsatisfied with the situation in the region, they assassinated many deployed Turks in the mountains, which caused heavy monitoring of the Serb clans
Serb clans
Serb clans is a general term referring to what are known as plemena and bratstva , traditional geo-political units of the Western Balkans that now richly attest social anthropology and family history . The descendants of the clans are divided by regional and lately, national affiliation...

 and hiding from the Turks was necessary, or else, death awaited. Years went on and the Austro-Hungarian Empire
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

 gained control in the north, which also threatened the dreams of a free state of the Serbs.

In Vojvodina, a Serb mercenary named Jovan Nenad proclaimed himself Emperor, defeating many Hungarian armies with his 15,000 men before being ambushed and killed in Szeged.

In Eastern Serbia, Serbs fought in Hajduk formations in the highlands against the Turks, a notable leader in the 16th century was Starina Novak
Starina Novak
Starina Novak was a Serbian Hajduk who distinguished himself in many battles against the Ottoman Empire. He is considered a Serbian national hero and is highly respected in neighboring Romania as a national hero as well.-Life:...

, who fought as a captain of a 2,000 strong unit in the army of Michael the Brave and successfully liberated several Romanian and Bulgarian towns before being executed by Albanian
Albanians
Albanians are a nation and ethnic group native to Albania and neighbouring countries. They speak the Albanian language. More than half of all Albanians live in Albania and Kosovo...

 Giorgio Basta
Giorgio Basta
Giorgio Basta, Count of Huszt was an Italian general of Arbëreshë descent, employed by the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II to command Habsburg forces in the Long War of 1591-1606 and later to administer Transylvania as an Imperial vassal to restore Catholicism as a predominant religion in...

.

Serbian Revolution and First World War


The Serbs and Croats rebelled in Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

 and Slavonia
Slavonia
Slavonia is a geographical and historical region in eastern Croatia...

 in guerilla formations of Uskoks
Uskoks
The Uskoks were Croatian Habsburg soldiers that inhabited the areas of the eastern Adriatic and the surrounding territories during the Ottoman wars in Europe. Etymologically, the word uskoci itself means "the ones who jumped in" in Croatian...

 and Hajduk
Hajduk
Hajduk is a term most commonly referring to outlaws, highwaymen or freedom fighters in the Balkans, Central- and Eastern Europe....

s during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries (prior to Independence). The Serbian revolution took place 1804–1835. The first part of the period, from 1804 to 1815, was marked by a violent struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire, with two armed uprisings taking place. The later period (1815–1835) witnessed a peaceful consolidation of political power of the newly autonomous Serbia, culminating in the recognition of the right to hereditary rule by Serbian princes in 1830 and 1833 and the adoption of the first written constitution in 1835. These events marked the foundation of Modern Serbia. In 1852, the Principality of Montenegro
Principality of Montenegro
The Principality of Montenegro was a former realm in Southeastern Europe. It existed from 13 March 1852 to 28 August 1910. It was then proclaimed a kingdom by Knjaz Nikola, who then became king....

 was proclaimed, a nation-state of the Serbs.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the First Serbian Uprising
First Serbian Uprising
The First Serbian Uprising was the first stage of the Serbian Revolution , the successful wars of independence that lasted for 9 years and approximately 9 months , during which Serbia perceived itself as an independent state for the first time after more than three centuries of Ottoman rule and...

 succeeded in liberating at least some Serbs for a limited time. The Second Serbian Uprising
Second Serbian Uprising
The Second Serbian Uprising was a second phase of the Serbian revolution against the Ottoman Empire, which erupted shortly after the re-annexation of the country to the Ottoman Empire, in 1813. The occupation was enforced following the defeat of the First Serbian Uprising , during which Serbia...

 was much more successful, resulting in Ottoman recognition of Serbia as autonomous principality
Principality
A principality is a monarchical feudatory or sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a monarch with the title of prince or princess, or by a monarch with another title within the generic use of the term prince....

 within the Empire. Serbia acquired international recognition as an independent kingdom at the Congress of Berlin
Congress of Berlin
The Congress of Berlin was a meeting of the European Great Powers' and the Ottoman Empire's leading statesmen in Berlin in 1878. In the wake of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, the meeting's aim was to reorganize the countries of the Balkans...

 in 1878. However, many Serbs remained under foreign rule– that of the Ottomans in the south, and of the Habsburgs in the north and west. The southern Serbs were liberated in the First Balkan War
First Balkan War
The First Balkan War, which lasted from October 1912 to May 1913, pitted the Balkan League against the Ottoman Empire. The combined armies of the Balkan states overcame the numerically inferior and strategically disadvantaged Ottoman armies and achieved rapid success...

 of 1912, while the question of the Habsburg Serbs' independence was the spark that lit World War I two years later. During the war, the Serbian army fought fiercely, eventually retreating through Albania to regroup in Greece, and launched a counter-offensive through Macedonia
Macedonia (region)
Macedonia is a geographical and historical region of the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe. Its boundaries have changed considerably over time, but nowadays the region is considered to include parts of five Balkan countries: Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, as...

. Though they were eventually victorious, the war devastated Serbia and killed a huge proportion of its population– by some estimates, over half of the male Serbian population died in the conflict, influencing the region's demographics
Demographics
Demographics are the most recent statistical characteristics of a population. These types of data are used widely in sociology , public policy, and marketing. Commonly examined demographics include gender, race, age, disabilities, mobility, home ownership, employment status, and even location...

 to this day.


Yugoslavia


After the war, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later called Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

) was created. Almost all Serbs finally lived in one state, in majority. The Kingdom had its capital in Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

 and was ruled by a Serbian king; it was, however, unstable and prone to ethnic tensions.

During the Second World War, the Axis Powers
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 occupied Yugoslavia and the German puppet states of Nedić's Serbia
Nedic's Serbia
Serbia under German occupation refers to an administrative area in occupied Yugoslavia established by Nazi Germany following the invasion and dismantling of Yugoslavia in April of 1941...

 and the Independent State of Croatia
Independent State of Croatia
The Independent State of Croatia was a World War II puppet state of Nazi Germany, established on a part of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia. The NDH was founded on 10 April 1941, after the invasion of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers. All of Bosnia and Herzegovina was annexed to NDH, together with some parts...

 were established. Serbs and Jews were subjected to systematic genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

 in the territory of the Independent State of Croatia with 307,000 Serb deaths and 35–36,000 deaths of Jews. In addition, an estimated 120,000 Serbs were deported from the Independent State of Croatia into Nedić's Serbia while an estimated 300,000 fled in 1943. In Kosovo, between 70,000 and 100,00 Serbs were sent to concentration camps in an effort to Albanize
Albanisation
Albanisation is a term used to describe a linguistic or cultural assimilation to the Albanian language and Albanian culture.- In Kosovo :The term is used in reference to Kosovo....

 the area. Serbs largely fought in the resistance movements of the royalist Chetnik movement and the communist Yugoslav Partisan movement. The Chetniks, which increasingly collaborated with the Germans and Italians throughout the war, carried out massacres against the Croat and Muslim population of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

 and Sandžak
Sandžak
Sandžak also known as Raška is a historical region lying along the border between Serbia and Montenegro...

. The Yugoslav Partisans established a multi-ethnic army that managed to seize control of Yugoslavia and create the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

. In the entirety of the war the Partisans in Bosnia were 64.1 percent Serb. Overall, from 1941 to 1945, the Partisans in Croatia were 28% Serb. It is estimated that a total of between 487,000 and 530,000 Serbs were killed in the war.

After the war, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

 was formed. As with pre-war Yugoslavia, the country's capital was at Belgrade. Serbia was the largest republic and the Serbs were the largest ethnic group, existent in all republics. There were also two established autonomous provinces within Serbia – Kosovo
Kosovo
Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

 (with an Albanian majority) and Vojvodina
Vojvodina
Vojvodina, officially called Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is an autonomous province of Serbia. Its capital and largest city is Novi Sad...

 (with an Hungarian minority). Besides Serbia, the large Serb populations were concentrated in Bosnia and Herzegovina (where they were the largest ethnic group until 1971) and Croatia, as well as Montenegro (where they were majority until World War II).

Socialist Yugoslavia collapsed in the early 1990s, with four of its six republics becoming independent states. This led to several bloody civil wars
Yugoslav wars
The Yugoslav Wars were a series of wars, fought throughout the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995. The wars were complex: characterized by bitter ethnic conflicts among the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, mostly between Serbs on the one side and Croats and Bosniaks on the other; but also...

, as the large Serbian communities in Croatia and Bosnia attempted to remain within Yugoslavia, then consisting of only Serbia and Montenegro. Serbs in Croatia formed the Republic of Serbian Krajina
Republic of Serbian Krajina
The Republic of Serbian Krajina was a self-proclaimed Serb entity within Croatia. Established in 1991, it was not recognized internationally. It formally existed from 1991 to 1995, having been initiated a year earlier via smaller separatist regions. The name Krajina means "frontier"...

 (RSK) in 1991, and Bosnian Serbs formed Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska is one of two main political entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

 in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992, subsequently expelling and killing the Croats and Muslims who lived within the self-declared borders and destroying Catholic Churches and mosques. In 1995 the wars ended, with the Croatian army successfully launched two offensives to retake parts of the RSK resulting in a mass exodus of an estimated 150,000–200,000 Serbs, and the Bosnian army working with NATO to capture territory in Republika Srpska, resulting in the Dayton Peace Accords.

Another war broke out in Kosovo
Kosovo
Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

 (see Kosovo War
Kosovo War
The term Kosovo War or Kosovo conflict was two sequential, and at times parallel, armed conflicts in Kosovo province, then part of FR Yugoslav Republic of Serbia; from early 1998 to 1999, there was an armed conflict initiated by the ethnic Albanian "Kosovo Liberation Army" , who sought independence...

) after years of tensions between Serbs and Albanians. Up to 250,000 Serbs fled from Croatia during the "Operation Storm
Operation Storm
Operation Storm is the code name given to a large-scale military operation carried out by Croatian Armed Forces, in conjunction with the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to gain back control of parts of Croatia which had been claimed by separatist ethnic Serbs, since early...

" in 1995, and 300,000 left until 1993, and another 200,000 were expelled from Kosovo after the Kosovo War, and settled mostly in Central Serbia
Central Serbia
Central Serbia , also referred to as Serbia proper , was the region of Serbia from 1945 to 2009. It included central parts of Serbia outside of the autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina. The region of Central Serbia was not an administrative division of Serbia as such; it was under the...

 and Vojvodina
Vojvodina
Vojvodina, officially called Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is an autonomous province of Serbia. Its capital and largest city is Novi Sad...

 as refugees.

Communities



In Serbia (the nation-state
Nation-state
The nation state is a state that self-identifies as deriving its political legitimacy from serving as a sovereign entity for a nation as a sovereign territorial unit. The state is a political and geopolitical entity; the nation is a cultural and/or ethnic entity...

), 6.2 million Serbs constitute about 62% of the population (83% excluding Kosovo, see Status of Kosovo). Another 1,6 million live in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where they are a constituent nation, predominantly living in Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska is one of two main political entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

. In Montenegro (former nation-state
Principality of Montenegro
The Principality of Montenegro was a former realm in Southeastern Europe. It existed from 13 March 1852 to 28 August 1910. It was then proclaimed a kingdom by Knjaz Nikola, who then became king....

), the minority numbers 201,892. The minority in Croatia numbers some 200,000 people (580,000 prior to the war, when they were a constituent nation). In the 1991 census Serbs consisted 39% of the overall population of former Yugoslavia; there were around 8.5 million Serbs in the entire country. Much smaller Serb autochthonous minorities exist in the Republic of Macedonia (mainly in Kumanovo
Kumanovo
Kumanovo is a city in the Republic of Macedonia and is the seat of Kumanovo Municipality which is the largest municipality in the country. Municipal institutions include a city council, mayor and other administrative bodies.-Name:...

 and Skopje
Skopje
Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia with about a third of the total population. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre...

), Slovenia (Bela Krajina), Romania (Banat), Hungary (Szentendre
Szentendre
Szentendre is a riverside town in Pest county, Hungary, near the capital city Budapest. It is known for its museums , galleries, and artists. Due to its picturesque appearance and easy rail and river access, it has become a popular destination for tourists staying in Budapest...

, Pécs
Pécs
Pécs is the fifth largest city of Hungary, located on the slopes of the Mecsek mountains in the south-west of the country, close to its border with Croatia. It is the administrative and economical centre of Baranya county...

, Szeged
Szeged
' is the third largest city of Hungary, the largest city and regional centre of the Southern Great Plain and the county town of Csongrád county. The University of Szeged is one of the most distinguished universities in Hungary....

) and Italy (Trieste
Trieste
Trieste is a city and seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of land lying between the Adriatic Sea and Italy's border with Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city...

 – home to about 6,000 Serbs).

The largest urban populations of Serbs in the former Yugoslavia are to be found in Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

 (c. 1,700,000), Novi Sad
Novi Sad
Novi Sad is the capital of the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina, and the administrative centre of the South Bačka District. The city is located in the southern part of Pannonian Plain on the Danube river....

 (c. 300,000), Niš
Niš
Niš is the largest city of southern Serbia and third-largest city in Serbia . According to the data from 2011, the city of Niš has a population of 177,972 inhabitants, while the city municipality has a population of 257,867. The city covers an area of about 597 km2, including the urban area,...

 (c. 250,000), Banja Luka
Banja Luka
-History:The name "Banja Luka" was first mentioned in a document dated February 6, 1494, but Banja Luka's history dates back to ancient times. There is a substantial evidence of the Roman presence in the region during the first few centuries A.D., including an old fort "Kastel" in the centre of...

 (in Bosnia and Herzegovina) (c. 220,000), Kragujevac
Kragujevac
Kragujevac is the fourth largest city in Serbia, the main city of the Šumadija region and the administrative centre of Šumadija District. It is situated on the banks of the Lepenica River...

 (c. 175,000), East Sarajevo and Prijedor
Prijedor
Prijedor is a city and municipality in the north-western part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is situated in the Bosanska Krajina region....

 (in Bosnia and Herzegovina) (c. 130,000). All the capitals of the former Yugoslavia contain a strong historical Serbian minority – 10,000 strong and over (taking up anywhere between 2%- 3% of the population – Zagreb
Zagreb
Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia. It is in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately above sea level. According to the last official census, Zagreb's city...

, Skopje
Skopje
Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia with about a third of the total population. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre...

 – through Ljubljana
Ljubljana
Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and its largest city. It is the centre of the City Municipality of Ljubljana. It is located in the centre of the country in the Ljubljana Basin, and is a mid-sized city of some 270,000 inhabitants...

 and Sarajevo
Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

, and finally, Podgorica
Podgorica
Podgorica , is the capital and largest city of Montenegro.Podgorica's favourable position at the confluence of the Ribnica and Morača rivers and the meeting point of the fertile Zeta Plain and Bjelopavlići Valley has encouraged settlement...

 – over 26%).

The subgroups of Serbs are commonly based on regional affiliation. Some of the major regional groups include: Šumadinci
Šumadija
Šumadija is a geographical region in Serbia. The area is heavily covered with forests, hence the name...

, Ere
Zlatibor
Zlatibor is a mountain region situated in the western part of Serbia, a part of the Dinaric Alps.The mountain range spreads over an area of 300 km², 27 miles in length, southeast to northwest, and up to 23 miles in width. The highest peak is Tornik at 1496 m...

, Vojvođani, Crnogorci, Kosovci, Bačvani
Backa
Bačka is a geographical area within the Pannonian plain bordered by the river Danube to the west and south, and by the river Tisza to the east of which confluence is located near Titel...

, Banaćani
Banat
The Banat is a geographical and historical region in Central Europe currently divided between three countries: the eastern part lies in western Romania , the western part in northeastern Serbia , and a small...

, Bokelji, Bosanci
Bosnians
Bosnians are people who reside in, or come from, Bosnia and Herzegovina. By the modern state definition a Bosnian can be anyone who holds citizenship of the state. This includes, but is not limited to, members of the constituent ethnic groups of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bosniaks, Bosnian Serbs and...

, Sremci
Syrmia
Syrmia is a fertile region of the Pannonian Plain in Europe, between the Danube and Sava rivers. It is divided between Serbia in the east and Croatia in the west....

, Semberci
Semberija
Semberija is a geographical region in north-eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. The main city in the region is Bijeljina. Semberija is located between Drina and Sava rivers and Majevica mountain...

, Krajišnici, Hercegovci
Herzegovina
Herzegovina is the southern region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. While there is no official border distinguishing it from the Bosnian region, it is generally accepted that the borders of the region are Croatia to the west, Montenegro to the south, the canton boundaries of the Herzegovina-Neretva...

, Shopi
Shopi
Shopi is a regional term referring to people that speak a transitional dialect group of South Slavic, self-identifying as Bulgarians, Macedonians and Serbs. The areas traditionally inhabited by the Shopi is called Shopluk Shopi (scientific transliteration of Bulgarian, Macedonian, ; Serbian latin...

, etc (These also refer to any native inhabitant of the regions in question, regardless of ethnicity, i.e. to Magyar Vojvodinians
Hungarians in Vojvodina
Hungarians are the second largest ethnic group in the Vojvodina province in northern Serbia. According to the 2002 census, there are 290,207 ethnic Hungarians in Vojvodina who compose 14.28% of the provincial population. The number of ethnic Hungarians in the whole of Serbia is 293,299, and their...

 or Croat Herzegovinians.). Serbs inhabiting Montenegro and Herzegovina are organized into clan
Serb clans
Serb clans is a general term referring to what are known as plemena and bratstva , traditional geo-political units of the Western Balkans that now richly attest social anthropology and family history . The descendants of the clans are divided by regional and lately, national affiliation...

s.

Many Serbs also live in the diaspora
Serbian diaspora
There are currently more than 3.5 million Serbs in diaspora throughout the world...

, notably in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Sweden, Canada, the US and Australia. Abroad, Vienna is said to be home to the largest Serb population followed by Chicago (and its surrounding area) with Toronto and southern Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

 coming in third. Los Angeles and Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...

 are known to have a sizable Serbian community, but so do Berlin, Paris, Moscow, Istanbul and Sydney. The number of Serbs in the diaspora is unknown but it is estimated to be up to 5.5 million. Smaller numbers of Serbs live in New Zealand, and Serbian communities in South America (Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Bolivia, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 and Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

) are reported to grow and exist to this day.

According to official figures, 5000 Serbs live in Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

 but the unofficial figure is estimated to be around 15,000. Serbian immigrants went to the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 states to find employment opportunities in the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

, Bahrain, Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

 and Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 in the 1990s and 2000s.

The recent research of the Ministry of Diaspora, showed that more than two thirds of Serbs abroad have plans of returning to Serbia, and almost one third is ready to do it immediately should they be given a good employment offer. The same research shows that more than 25% of the Serb Diaspora has some specialization, i.e. master or PhD titles, while 45% of them have university degrees.

Autochthonous communities:
  • Serbia is the nation-state
    Nation-state
    The nation state is a state that self-identifies as deriving its political legitimacy from serving as a sovereign entity for a nation as a sovereign territorial unit. The state is a political and geopolitical entity; the nation is a cultural and/or ethnic entity...

     of the Serbs.
  • In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbs are one of the three constitutive ethnic groups, the entity of Republika Srpska
    Republika Srpska
    Republika Srpska is one of two main political entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

     is home to the supermajority of Bosnian Serbs.
  • In Montenegro, 32% of the population is Serb
    Serbs of Montenegro
    Montenegrin Serbs is a regional, ethnographic group of ethnic Serbs. They compose the second largest ethnic group in Montenegro after the Montenegrins....

     according to the 2003 census, they are a national minority, however in the 19th century Montenegro was a nation-state
    Nation-state
    The nation state is a state that self-identifies as deriving its political legitimacy from serving as a sovereign entity for a nation as a sovereign territorial unit. The state is a political and geopolitical entity; the nation is a cultural and/or ethnic entity...

     of the Serbs and they were the majority (~90%)
    Demographic History of Montenegro
    This article presents the demographic history of Montenegro through census results and official documents which mention demographic composition...

     until World War II.


Autochthonous communities with minority status:
  • In Croatia, Serbs
    Serbs of Croatia
    Višeslav of Serbia, a contemporary of Charlemagne , ruled the Županias of Neretva, Tara, Piva, Lim, his ancestral lands. According to the Royal Frankish Annals , Duke of Pannonia Ljudevit Posavski fled, during the Frankish invasion, from his seat in Sisak to the Serbs in western Bosnia, who...

     are the largest national minority, scattered across the country. According to the 2001 Census, there were 201,631 Serbs in Croatia, down from the pre-war figure of 581,663, a result of the Operation Oluja; the Croatian War. They were stripped of their constitutional status in 1990.
  • In Macedonia, Serbs are a minority present in 16 municipalities, the largest being the Čučer-Sandevo Municipality
    Cucer-Sandevo municipality
    Čučer-Sandevo is a municipality in northern Republic of Macedonia. Čučer-Sandevo is also the name of the village where the municipal seat is found...

     (close to 28%) and Staro Nagoričane Municipality
    Staro Nagoricane municipality
    Staro Nagoričane is a municipality in northern Republic of Macedonia. Staro Nagoričane is also the name of the village where the municipal seat is found...

    . They are found in the cities of Kumanovo
    Kumanovo
    Kumanovo is a city in the Republic of Macedonia and is the seat of Kumanovo Municipality which is the largest municipality in the country. Municipal institutions include a city council, mayor and other administrative bodies.-Name:...

     and Skopje
    Skopje
    Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia with about a third of the total population. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre...

    .


Serbian minorities exist in the following regions:
  • In Hungary, Serbs
    Serbs in Hungary
    The Serbs in Hungary are recognized as an ethnic minority, numbering 7,350 people or 0.1% of the total population . The number of Serbs in Hungary has drastically diminished; in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries large Serbian communities existed throughout Hungary, notably in Buda , Baja,...

     are an officially recognized ethnic minority, numbering 7,350 people or 0.1% of population. They are scattered in the southern part of the country. There are also some Serbs who live in the central part of the country – in bigger towns like Budapest
    Budapest
    Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

    , Szentendre
    Szentendre
    Szentendre is a riverside town in Pest county, Hungary, near the capital city Budapest. It is known for its museums , galleries, and artists. Due to its picturesque appearance and easy rail and river access, it has become a popular destination for tourists staying in Budapest...

    , etc. The only settlement with an ethnic Serb majority in Hungary is Lórév
    Lórév
    Lórév is a village on Csepel Island in Hungary. It is situated in Pest County.-Demographics:Lórév is the only settlement in Hungary with an ethnic Serb majority. This small village of 307 people had 180 Serb inhabitants in 2001...

     on Csepel Island
    Csepel Island
    Csepel Island is the largest island of the River Danube in Hungary. It is 48 km long; its width is 6–8 km. Its area comprises 257 km². The word Csepel is pronounced CHE-pel....

    .
  • In Romania, Serbs
    Serbs in Romania
    The Romanian Serbs are an ethnic minority in Romania. According to the 2002 census, there were 22,518 Serbs in Romania or 0.1% of the population...

     are located mostly within the Caraş-Severin County
    Caras-Severin County
    Caraș-Severin is a county of Romania, in the historical region of Banat and few villages in Transylvania, with the county seat at Reșița.-Demographics:The county is part of the Danube-Kris-Mureș-Tisza euroregion....

    , where they constitute absolute majority in the commune of Pojejena
    Pojejena
    Pojejena is a commune in Caraş-Severin County, Romania. Тhe commune is located in the geographical area known as Clisura Dunării . In 2002, its population numbered 3,300 people, of whom the majority are ethnic Serbs...

     (52.09%) and a plurality in the commune of Socol
    Socol
    Socol is a commune in Caraş-Severin County, Romania . In 2002, the population of the commune numbered 2,301 people and its population was ethnically mixed. It is composed of five villages: Baziaş, Câmpia, Pârneaura, Socol and Zlatiţa.Sokol means "hawk" in Serbian...

     (49.54%) Serbs also constitute an absolute majority in the municipality of Sviniţa
    Svinita
    Sviniţa is a commune in Mehedinţi County, Romania, located on the Danube . It is composed of a single village, Sviniţa. In 2002, its population numbered 1,132 people and was mostly composed of Serbs...

     (87.27%) in the Mehedinţi County
    Mehedinti County
    Mehedinţi is a county of Romania. It is mostly located in the historical province of Oltenia, with one municipality and three communes located in the Banat...

    . The region where these three municipalities are located is known as Clisura Dunării
    Clisura Dunarii
    Defileul Dunării, locally known also as Clisura Dunării is a geographical region in Romania. It is located in southern Banat, along the northern bank of the river Danube...

    in Romanian
    Romanian language
    Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

     or Banatska Klisura (Банатска Клисура) in Serbian
    Serbian language
    Serbian is a form of Serbo-Croatian, a South Slavic language, spoken by Serbs in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and neighbouring countries....

    . Officially recognized minority in Romania numbers 22,518 or 0.1% of the population (Census 2002).
  • In Albania, Serbs
    Serbs in Albania
    Albanian Serbs constitute an ethnic minority in Albania, officially as the Serbo-Montenegrin minority. According to the latest national minority census in Albania , there were around 2,000 Serbs and Montenegrins in the country...

     are not officially recognized as a minority. According to the latest national minority census in Albania (2000), there were around 2000 Serbs and Montenegrins (they are listed together as one ethnic group) in the country. Domestic Serb-Montenegrin community claims the figure is around 25,000, while independent sources placed the figure at 10,000 in 1994. Serbian sources estimate up to 30,000.
  • Serbian community in Italy's city of Trieste
    Trieste
    Trieste is a city and seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of land lying between the Adriatic Sea and Italy's border with Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city...

     dates back to the 18th century. Local Serbs have erected one of the most prominent monuments in central Trieste: the Serbian Orthodox Church
    Serbian Orthodox Church
    The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of the autocephalous Orthodox Christian churches, ranking sixth in order of seniority after Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Russia...

     of Saint Spyridon (1854).
  • There is a small number of Serbs in Slovakia, mostly located in the southern town of Komárno
    Komárno
    Komárno is a town in Slovakia at the confluence of the Danube and the Váh rivers. Komárno was formed from part of a historical town in Hungary situated on both banks of the Danube. Following World War I, the border of the newly created Czechoslovakia cut the historical, unified town in half,...

    , where they have been living since the 17th century. There has also been a historic minority in Bratislava (Požun), where many Habsburg Serbs studied in the university. Their present number today is unknown but they are nevertheless recognized as an official minority.

Bosnia and Herzegovina


Serbs are one of the three constitutive nations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, predominantly concentrated in the Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska is one of two main political entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

 entity, although many also live in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the two political entities that compose the sovereign country of Bosnia and Herzegovina . The two entities are delineated by the Inter-Entity Boundary Line...

 entity.

Bosnian War



The Government of BiH declared independence which was not accepted by the federal Serb controlled government of Yugoslavia, and what followed was the forming of the Serbian Autonomous Area of the Bosnian Frontier
SAO Bosanska Krajina
Serbian Autonomous Oblast of Bosanska Krajina was a self-proclaimed Serbian autonomous region within today's Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was sometimes called the Autonomous Region of Krajina . SAO Bosanska Krajina was located in the geographical region named Bosanska Krajina. Its capital was...

 in the western Bosnian Frontier
Bosanska Krajina
Bosanska Krajina or Bosnian Frontier is a geographical region, a subregion of Bosnia, in western Bosnia and Herzegovina enclosed by three rivers - Sava, Una and Vrbas. It is also a historic, economic and cultural entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina....

 region of Bosnia and Herzegovina with its capital in Banja Luka
Banja Luka
-History:The name "Banja Luka" was first mentioned in a document dated February 6, 1494, but Banja Luka's history dates back to ancient times. There is a substantial evidence of the Roman presence in the region during the first few centuries A.D., including an old fort "Kastel" in the centre of...

, which was not recognised by the central government. SAO Bosnian Frontier made attempts to unite with the Autonomous Region of the Serbian Frontier
SAO Krajina
Serbian Autonomous Oblast of Krajina or SAO Krajina was a self proclaimed Serbian autonomous region within modern-day Croatia . It existed between 1990 and 1991 and was subsequently included into Republic of Serbian Krajina...

 in Croatia. The Serb political leadership martialled its own force assisted by the Yugoslav People's Army
Yugoslav People's Army
The Yugoslav People's Army , also referred to as the Yugoslav National Army , was the military of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.-Origins:The origins of the JNA can...

 and declared independence from Bosnia and Herzegovina in late 1992. During this period there was notable support for the idea of a Greater Serbia
Greater Serbia
The term Greater Serbia or Great Serbia applies to the Serbian nationalist and irredentist ideology directed towards the creation of a Serbian land which would incorporate all regions of traditional significance to the Serbian nation...

 being made reality, both within Bosnia and in Serbia proper. This ideology advocated the joining of Serb-poulated regions into a contiguous territory. BiH's Bosniak and Bosnian Croat dominated government did not recognize the new Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska is one of two main political entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

, whose president was Radovan Karadžić
Radovan Karadžic
Radovan Karadžić is a former Bosnian Serb politician. He is detained in the United Nations Detention Unit of Scheveningen, accused of war crimes committed against Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats during the Siege of Sarajevo, as well as ordering the Srebrenica massacre.Educated as a...

 seated in Banja Luka
Banja Luka
-History:The name "Banja Luka" was first mentioned in a document dated February 6, 1494, but Banja Luka's history dates back to ancient times. There is a substantial evidence of the Roman presence in the region during the first few centuries A.D., including an old fort "Kastel" in the centre of...

. The Serb side accepted the proposed ethnic cantonization of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Carrington-Cutileiro peace plan), as did the Bosniak and Bosnian Croat sides in Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

 in 1992, in the hope that war would not break out. The Bosniak political leadership under President Alija Izetbegović
Alija Izetbegovic
Alija Izetbegović was a Bosniak activist, lawyer, author, philosopher and politician, who, in 1990, became the first president of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He served in this role until 1996, when he became a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, serving until 2000...

 of Bosnia and Herzegovina subsequently revoked the agreement refusing to decentralize the newly created country based on ethnic lines. The Bosnian War
Bosnian War
The Bosnian War or the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between April 1992 and December 1995. The war involved several sides...

 began.

Throughout most of the war the Serb side fought against both the Bosniak side and the Bosnian Croat side. During Bosniak-Croat hostilities the Serbs co-operated largely with the Croats. There were exceptions to this as well, as Serb forces were also allied with the pro-Yugoslav
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

 Bosniaks of the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia
Western Bosnia
The Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia was a small unrecognized entity in the northwest of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

 under Fikret Abdić
Fikret Abdic
Fikret Abdić is a politician and businessman from Bosnia and Herzegovina, convicted of war crimes against Bosniaks in the region of Velika Kladuša....

. During most of the war, the Serb Republic
Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska is one of two main political entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

 comprised around 70% of Bosnia and Herzegovina's soil. During the entire length of war the Army of the Serb Republic
Army of Republika Srpska
The Army of Republika Srpska ; Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian Vojska Republike Srpske ) also referred to as the Bosnian Serb Army, was the military of today's Republika Srpska which was then the "Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina", a self-proclaimed state within the internationally recognized...

 maintained the Siege of Sarajevo
Siege of Sarajevo
The Siege of Sarajevo is the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare. Serb forces of the Republika Srpska and the Yugoslav People's Army besieged Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from 5 April 1992 to 29 February 1996 during the Bosnian War.After Bosnia...

, allegedly in order to tie down the Bosnian Muslim (Bosniak) forces and resources in what was the capital of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian state. Serb Republic
Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska is one of two main political entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

 maintained close ties with the Republic of the Serb Frontier and received volunteers and supplies from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the war. The Serb Republic received a large number of Serb refugees from other Yugoslav
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

 hotzones, particularly non-Serb held areas in Sarajevo
Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

, Herzeg-Bosnia and Croatia. In 1993, the Owen-Stoltenberg peace treaty was suggested that would give 52% of BiH to the Serb side. It was refused by the Bosniak side as too large of a concession. In 1994, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia imposed sanctions after the National Assembly of the Serb Republic refused the Vance-Owen peace plan
Peace plans offered before and during the Bosnian War
Four major peace plans were offered before and during the Bosnian-Herzegovina War, commonly known as the Bosnian War, by European Community and United Nations diplomats before the conflict was settled by the Dayton Agreement in 1995....

. In 1995, Operation Storm
Operation Storm
Operation Storm is the code name given to a large-scale military operation carried out by Croatian Armed Forces, in conjunction with the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to gain back control of parts of Croatia which had been claimed by separatist ethnic Serbs, since early...

, eliminated the Republic of the Serb Frontier. The Croatian Army continued the offensive into the Serb Republic under General Ante Gotovina
Ante Gotovina
Ante Gotovina is a former Senior Corporal of the French Foreign Legion and former Lieutenant General of the Croatian Army who served in the Croatian War for Independence...

 (currently on trial for war crimes at the ICTY). Some 250,000 Serbs fled to the Serb Republic
Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska is one of two main political entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

 and Serbia from Croatia, as the Serb side continued a full retreat of Serbs from the Una to the Sana river
Sana river
Sana is a river in the north-western part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a tributary of the Una, into which it flows near Novi Grad. It is longest of the nine rivers that flows through Sanski Most....

. The Croatian Army, supported by the forces of the Muslim-Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina came within 20 km of the de facto Bosnian Serb capital, Banja Luka
Banja Luka
-History:The name "Banja Luka" was first mentioned in a document dated February 6, 1494, but Banja Luka's history dates back to ancient times. There is a substantial evidence of the Roman presence in the region during the first few centuries A.D., including an old fort "Kastel" in the centre of...

. The war was halted with the Dayton Peace Agreement which recognized Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska is one of two main political entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

, comprising 49% of the soil of BiH, as one of the two territorial entities of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Serb side suffered a total 30,700 victims – 16,700 civilians and 14,000 military personnel, according to the Demographic Unit at the ICTY. Although exact number are somewhat disputed, mostly by Bosniaks
Bosniaks
The Bosniaks or Bosniacs are a South Slavic ethnic group, living mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a smaller minority also present in other lands of the Balkan Peninsula especially in Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia...

, it is generally agreed that the Bosnian War claimed the lives of about 100,000 people – Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks. See: Casualties of the Bosnian War

The demographics of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Republika Srpska were tremendously affected by the war. Current estimates indicate that some 400,000 Serbs no longer live in the Federation of BiH, the other entity in Bosnia which makes up 51% of its territory.

In Montenegro


The term Montenegrin has traditionally been a geographical name for Serbs of Montenegro
Serbs of Montenegro
Montenegrin Serbs is a regional, ethnographic group of ethnic Serbs. They compose the second largest ethnic group in Montenegro after the Montenegrins....

.

Serbs are native to Montenegro, where they have constituted a supermajority up until World War I (1909 census: 95%). The Principality of Montenegro
Principality of Montenegro
The Principality of Montenegro was a former realm in Southeastern Europe. It existed from 13 March 1852 to 28 August 1910. It was then proclaimed a kingdom by Knjaz Nikola, who then became king....

 was a declared nation-state
Nation-state
The nation state is a state that self-identifies as deriving its political legitimacy from serving as a sovereign entity for a nation as a sovereign territorial unit. The state is a political and geopolitical entity; the nation is a cultural and/or ethnic entity...

 of Serbs. The number of Serbs have since changed due to shifts in national identity during the Yugoslav monarchy and federation, and since the dissolution and independence in 2006. In 1948, after the forming of Socialist Yugoslavia and the Montenegrin nationality, the percentage of declared Serbs was 1.78%, In 1991, it was 9.35%, and in 2003 it reached 32%. The 2011 census show less fluctuations than previous polls, with a slight change to 29%.

In Croatia


The Serbs settled Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

 in the first decades of the 7th century, with the Neretva
Neretva
Neretva is the largest river of the eastern part of the Adriatic basin. It has been harnessed and controlled to a large extent by four HE power-plants with large dams and their storage lakes, but it is still recognized for its natural beauty, diversity of its landscape and visual...

 becoming a natural border of the two nations of Serbia and Croatia. In the 9th and 10th centuries, several Serbian royal members took refuge in Croatia after several succession wars (among Petar Gojniković), and a large wave of people entered Croatia after the Bulgarian annexation of Serbia in 924–927. Three medieval Serbian principalities held territories of present-day Croatia: Narentia, Zachumlia and Travunia
Travunia
Travunia was a medieval region, administrative unit and principality, which was part of Medieval Serbia , and in its last years, the Bosnian Kingdom . The county became hereditary in a number of noble houses, often kin to the ruling dynasty. The region came under Ottoman rule in 1482...

. Beloš Vukanović
Beloš Vukanović
Beloš , a member of the Vukanović dynasty of Serbia, was the Regent of Hungary 1141-1146 alongside his sister Helen, who was married to Béla II with whom she had a son, Géza II, still an infant. He held the title of dux, and was the viceregal of Croatia 1142-1158 and 1163. Beloš, as a member of...

 was the Ban of Croatia 1142–1158 and 1163, in which time both Serbia and Croatia was in Hungarian alignment, although Croatia served as a vassal.

Several Serbian monasteries have been built in Croatia since the 12th century: Krka
Krka monastery
Krka Monastery is a Serbian Orthodox monastery dedicated to the Archangel Michael, located near the river Krka, 3 km east of Kistanje, in central Dalmatia, Croatia...

, Krupa
Krupa monastery
Krupa monastery is a Serb Orthodox monastery on Krupa River in Dalmatia, Croatia.The Monastery was built in 1317 by monks from Bosnia. It is located at the southern slopes of the Velebit mountain, halfway between the towns of Obrovac and Knin. It is the oldest Orthodox monastery in Croatia.The...

, Dragović
Dragovic Monastery
Monastery Dragović is a Serbian Orthodox monastery situated on a hill downstream the Cetina River not far from Vrlika in Croatia. Unfortunately, when the artificial Peruća Lake was created, the original monastery sank due to land movement...

, Lepavina
Lepavina Monastery
Lepavina is a monastery of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the village of Lepavina, near the town of Koprivnica in the Republic of Croatia...

 and Gomirje
Gomirje Monastery
Gomirje is Serbian Orthodox monastery in Croatia. It is the westernmost Serb Orthodox monastery, located in the western part of Croatia near the village of Gomirje, near the town of Ogulin.The monastery is thought to have been founded in the year 1600...

.

A large number of ethnic Serbs migrated in 1530s when Habsburg
Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

 Ferdinand I
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

 offered sanctuary and permanent settlement to displaced Serbs from Old Serbia region (Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, southern Serbia) fleeing from the Turks, placing them under Austrian military administration. The newly established military region was called Militärgrenze or Vojna Krajina. The Krajina Serbs joined the Austrian army, established the hajduk
Hajduk
Hajduk is a term most commonly referring to outlaws, highwaymen or freedom fighters in the Balkans, Central- and Eastern Europe....

 and uskok
USKOK
USKOK is a Croatian government institution. It is a State Attorney office specialized in corruption and organized crime.USKOK started work in December 2001...

 units that raided and pillaged Turkish settlements across the border into Ottoman Serbia.

After the First World War, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (renamed Yugoslavia) was created. Almost all Serbs finally lived in one state, in majority. The Kingdom had its capital in Belgrade and was ruled by the Serbian king.

During the Second World War, the Serbs suffered greatly in Croatia after the Axis Fascist Ustasha regime came into power.
The Ustaše aimed at an ethnically "pure" Croatia, and saw the Serbs that lived in Croatia, Bosnia
Bosnia (region)
Bosnia is a eponomous region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It lies mainly in the Dinaric Alps, ranging to the southern borders of the Pannonian plain, with the rivers Sava and Drina marking its northern and eastern borders. The other eponomous region, the southern, other half of the country is...

 and Herzegovina
Herzegovina
Herzegovina is the southern region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. While there is no official border distinguishing it from the Bosnian region, it is generally accepted that the borders of the region are Croatia to the west, Montenegro to the south, the canton boundaries of the Herzegovina-Neretva...

 as the their biggest obstacle. Thus, Ustaše ministers Mile Budak
Mile Budak
Mile Budak was a Croatian Ustaše and writer, best known as one of the chief ideologists of the Croatian clerofascist Ustaše movement, which ruled the Independent State of Croatia, or NDH, from 1941-45 and waged a genocidal campaign against its Serb, Roma and Jewish minorities, and against Croatian...

, Mirko Puk, and Milovan Žanić declared in May 1941 that the goal of the new Ustaše policy was an ethnically clean Croatia. They also publicly announced the strategy to achieve their goal:
  1. One third of the Serbs (in the Independent State of Croatia) were to be forcibly converted to Catholicism.
  2. One third of the Serbs were to be expelled (ethnically cleansed).
  3. One third of the Serbs were to be killed (in extermination camps).


The Ustaše persecuted the Serbs who were mostly Orthodox Christians in several concentration camps, mass killings in Serb populated town and forced conversion was systematically enacted, race laws
Nuremberg Laws
The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 were antisemitic laws in Nazi Germany introduced at the annual Nuremberg Rally of the Nazi Party. After the takeover of power in 1933 by Hitler, Nazism became an official ideology incorporating scientific racism and antisemitism...

 patterned after those of the Third Reich were officially adopted, which were aimed against Jews, also the Roma and Serbs, who were collectively declared enemies of the Croatian people.

Estimates of the number of Serbian victims of genocide in Croatia are placed at least 500,000 people, The estimated number of Serbs killed in the Jasenovac concentration camp
Jasenovac concentration camp
Jasenovac concentration camp was the largest extermination camp in the Independent State of Croatia and occupied Yugoslavia during World War II...

 ranges from 300,000 to 700,000.

The people of Yugoslavia that opposed the Fascists and Nazis were the Partizan and Chetnik forces, the Partizans were led by Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito
Marshal Josip Broz Tito – 4 May 1980) was a Yugoslav revolutionary and statesman. While his presidency has been criticized as authoritarian, Tito was a popular public figure both in Yugoslavia and abroad, viewed as a unifying symbol for the nations of the Yugoslav federation...

 (later life-long President of Yugoslavia) composed of any ethnic people wanting to liberate the Balkans and the Chetniks who were a royalist
Royalist
A royalist supports a particular monarch as head of state for a particular kingdom, or of a particular dynastic claim. In the abstract, this position is royalism. It is distinct from monarchism, which advocates a monarchical system of government, but not necessarily a particular monarch...

 unit composed of Serbs.
  • 1931–633,000 Serbs out of 3,430,270 people in Croatia (18.45%)

War in Croatia


The War in Croatia
Croatian War of Independence
The Croatian War of Independence was fought from 1991 to 1995 between forces loyal to the government of Croatia—which had declared independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia —and the Serb-controlled Yugoslav People's Army and local Serb forces, with the JNA ending its combat...

, began when Serbs in Croatia who were opposed to Croatian independence announced their secession from Croatia in June 1991. Fighting in this region had actually begun weeks prior to the Ten-Day War in Slovenia. The move was in part triggered by a provision in the new Croatian Constitution that replaced the explicit reference to Serbs or "Croats of the Serbian Orthodox faith" in Croatia as a "constituent nation" with a generic reference to all other nations, and was interpreted by Serbs as being reclassified as a "national minority". The Serbian community of Krajina
Krajina
-Etymology:In old-Croatian, this earliest geographical term appeared at least from 10th century within the Glagolitic inscriptions in Chakavian dialect, e.g. in Baška tablet about 1105, and also in some subsequent Glagolitic texts as krayna in the original medieval meaning of inlands or mainlands...

 whom outnumbered Croats there 5 to 1 was an independent republic from July 1991 to Oct. 1995 when they finally fell to the Croatian army.

In Kosovo


Serbs are the second largest ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 in Kosovo. By the 12th century, the cultural, diplomatic and religious core of the Serbian Kingdom was located in Kosovo. This became essential to the Serbian Empire of the 14th century.

During the 20th century Serbian population constantly decreased. Their share in the overall population of the region is currently estimated at 7% by the CIA. Serbs today mostly populate the enclaves across Kosovo
Kosovo
Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

, North Kosovo
North Kosovo
North or Northern Kosovo refers to a region in the northern part of Kosovo with an ethnic Serb majority that functions largely autonomously from the remainder of the disputed territory, which has an ethnic Albanian majority. Ibarian Kolashin , a toponym that pre-dates the political partition, is...

 being the largest one.

Large-scale emigration of ethnic Serbs, especially since 1999 onwards, makes them the only major ethnic group in Kosovo to have a negative natural growth rate with deaths exceeding births. BBC reports that less than 100,000, 5% Serbs remained in Kosovo following a post-war exodus of non-Albanians. The Serbian minority live in separate areas watched over by NATO peacekeepers. International diplomats have voiced concern over slow progress on their rights. Human Rights Watch points out discrimination against Serbs and Roma in Kosovo.

Diaspora


There are currently 3.5 million Serbs in diaspora
Diaspora
A diaspora is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of...

 throughout the world (those that are not constitutional peoples; like in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina in this case). The Serb diaspora was the consequence of either voluntary departure, coercion and/or forced migration
Forced migration
Forced migration refers to the coerced movement of a person or persons away from their home or home region...

s or expulsions
Deportation
Deportation means the expulsion of a person or group of people from a place or country. Today it often refers to the expulsion of foreign nationals whereas the expulsion of nationals is called banishment, exile, or penal transportation...

 that occurred in six big waves:
  1. To the west and north, caused mostly by the Ottoman Turks
    Ottoman Turks
    The Ottoman Turks were the Turkish-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire who formed the base of the state's military and ruling classes. Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks is scarce, but they take their Turkish name, Osmanlı , from the house of Osman I The Ottoman...

    .
  2. To the east (Czechoslovakia
    Czechoslovakia
    Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

    , Russia, Ukraine
    Ukraine
    Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

     and across the former USSR from World War I and World War II, to until the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe by the early 1990s).
  3. To the USA for economic reasons, but Serbians also migrated to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South America.
  4. During wartime, particularly World War II and post-war political migration, predominantly into overseas countries (large waves of Serbians and other Yugoslavians into the USA, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand).
  5. Going abroad for temporary work as "guest workers" and "resident aliens" who stayed in their new homelands during the turbulent 1960s and 1970s (to Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom), however some Serbians returned to Yugoslavia in the 1980s.
  6. Escaping from the uncertain situation (1991–1995) caused by the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the renewal of vicious ethnic conflicts and civil war, as well as by the disastrous economic crises, which largely affected the educated or skilled labor forces (i.e. "brain drain
    Brain drain
    Human capital flight, more commonly referred to as "brain drain", is the large-scale emigration of a large group of individuals with technical skills or knowledge. The reasons usually include two aspects which respectively come from countries and individuals...

    "), increasingly migrated to Western Europe, North America and Australia/New Zealand.


The existence of the centuries-old Serb or Serbian diaspora in countries such as Austria, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Russia, Poland, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine, is the result of historical circumstances – the migrations to the North and the East, due to the Turkish
Ottoman Turks
The Ottoman Turks were the Turkish-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire who formed the base of the state's military and ruling classes. Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks is scarce, but they take their Turkish name, Osmanlı , from the house of Osman I The Ottoman...

 conquests of the Balkans and as a result of politics, especially when the Communist Party came into power, but even more when the communist state of Yugoslavia collapsed into inter-ethnic conflict, resulting in mass expulsions of people from certain regions as refugees of war. Although some members of the Serbian diaspora do not speak the Serbian language
Serbian language
Serbian is a form of Serbo-Croatian, a South Slavic language, spoken by Serbs in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and neighbouring countries....

 nor observe Christianity (some Serbians are Jews, Slavic Muslims, Protestants, Roman Catholics, Eastern Rite Catholics, or atheists) or members of the overseas dioceses of the Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church
The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of the autocephalous Orthodox Christian churches, ranking sixth in order of seniority after Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Russia...

, they are still traditionally regarded as Serbs or Serbians other than Yugoslavians or Yugoslavs.

See also



  • Serbia
    Serbia
    Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

    , nation-state
    Nation-state
    The nation state is a state that self-identifies as deriving its political legitimacy from serving as a sovereign entity for a nation as a sovereign territorial unit. The state is a political and geopolitical entity; the nation is a cultural and/or ethnic entity...

     of Serbs
  • List of notable Serbs
  • states, regions, territories of Serbs
  • Serb clans
    Serb clans
    Serb clans is a general term referring to what are known as plemena and bratstva , traditional geo-political units of the Western Balkans that now richly attest social anthropology and family history . The descendants of the clans are divided by regional and lately, national affiliation...

    , former feudal organizations of Montenegro and Herzegovina
    Herzegovina
    Herzegovina is the southern region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. While there is no official border distinguishing it from the Bosnian region, it is generally accepted that the borders of the region are Croatia to the west, Montenegro to the south, the canton boundaries of the Herzegovina-Neretva...

  • Yugoslavs
    Yugoslavs
    Yugoslavs is a national designation used by a minority of South Slavs across the countries of the former Yugoslavia and in the diaspora...

    , national demonym and umbrella term of the peoples of the Yugoslav federation
  • Slavs; Medieval Slav tribes; South Slavs
    South Slavs
    The South Slavs are the southern branch of the Slavic peoples and speak South Slavic languages. Geographically, the South Slavs are native to the Balkan peninsula, the southern Pannonian Plain and the eastern Alps...


Sources


Overall:

Medieval history:
  • Constantine Porphyrogenitus
    Constantine VII
    Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos or Porphyrogenitus, "the Purple-born" was the fourth Emperor of the Macedonian dynasty of the Byzantine Empire, reigning from 913 to 959...

    , De Administrando Imperio
    De Administrando Imperio
    De Administrando Imperio is the Latin title of a Greek work written by the 10th-century Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VII. The Greek title of the work is...

    , edited by Gy. Moravcsik and translated by R. J. H. Jenkins, Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies, Washington D. C., 1993
  • Tibor Živković, Portreti srpskih vladara (IX—XII), Beograd, 2006 (ISBN 86-17-13754-1)

External links