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Republic of Serbia
Република Србија
Republika Srbija
Anthem: Боже Правде / Bože Pravde
and largest city
44°48′N 20°28′E / 44.8°N 20.467°E / 44.8; 20.467
Official languages Serbian1
Ethnic groups 83% Serbs, 4% Hungarians, 2% Bosniaks, 11% others[1]
Demonym Serbian
Government Parliamentary republic
 -  First State 768 
 -  First Kingdom 1217 
 -  Serbian Empire 1346 
 -  Independence Lost 1459 
 -  Reestablishment 1804 
 -  Independent republic 2006 
 -  Total 88 361 km2 (113th)
34 116 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 0.13
 -  2010 estimate 7,306,677[2] (excl. Kosovo)
 -  Density 107,46/km2 (94th)
297/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $79.940 billion (75th)
 -  Per capita $10,808 (excluding Kosovo) (74th)
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
 -  Total 38.921 billion (80th)
 -  Per capita $5,262 (excluding Kosovo) (79th)
Gini (2008)26
HDI (2010)0.735
high · 60th
Currency Serbian dinar (RSD)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 -  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on the right
Calling code 381
Internet TLD .rs

The Republic of Serbia (Serbian: Република Србија or Republika Srbija), is a landlocked country in Central and Southeastern Europe, covering the southeastern part of the Pannonian Plain and the central part of the Balkan Peninsula. It is bordered by Hungary on the north; Romania and Bulgaria on the east; Albania and the Republic of Macedonia on the south; Montenegro to the southwest, and Croatia, and Bosnia on the west. The capital city is Belgrade. Its population in April 2022 was 8,674,996.[3]


Early history

Perhaps in the sixth century, groups of Slavs began their migrations south towards the distant Roman province of Illyria.[4]As they continued to arrive in scattered bands, it was no easy task for the now beleagered Romans to deal with them. Bold marauders, they appropriated all moveable property on which they could lay their hands, but their chief purpose was to occupy and maybe cultivate lands which were not in use. The Roman Emperor Heraclius (reigned 610-641AD) virtually gave up trying to drive them out and instead entered into negotiations, and many of the Slav tribes had definite districts assigned to them for residence and cultivation in return for an annual rental or tribute.

However these payments were often not forthcoming, and the Slavs began to spread over more than the stipulated territories. Throughout the seventh century, the Balkan peninsula continued to be agitated with the coming and going of fresh tribes of Slavs, most of whom settled. By 700 AD the process of Slav infiltration and settlement was almost complete.[5]

Serbia is a mountainous country, only relieved by a few plains, as in the Matchva to the north-west, the plain of Kossovo, the valley of the Morava, or the Monastir plain. It is well-wooded.During the earlier disputes with the Roman Empire many Slavs found the mountains and woodlands a safe haven. This, it is argued, became the foundations of the Serbian nation. Gradually Serbia became a powerful Kingdom and, briefly, had an Empire which in late medieval times ruled most of the central Balkans.

The relentless advance of the Ottoman Empire (possibly the most epic battle between the Serbs and the Turks was fought on the plain of Kossovo in 1389) meant that all this was conquered by the Turks by 1459 when Serbian independence came to an end. The fortress of Belgrade, the last Christian stronghold in the Balkans fell in 1521. The Serbian Orthodox Church, however, was permitted a presence, and it was this which kept the spirit of the Serbs alive.

The Dark years

At the opening of the seventeenth century the position of the Serbs appeared hopeless. They were but one of many peoples submerged in the Ottoman Empire and many fled to Venetian Dalmatia or to the southern districts oh the Kingdom of Hungary. In 1690, after the failure of an Austrian invasion of the Balkans, the Serbian Patriarch, Arsen, led an exodus of his people across the Danube into Syrmia, Batchka, and the Banat, and the Emperor Leopold granted them considerable privileges in return for their services guarding the frontier. By 1800 some Serbs, feeling there was insufficient liberty under the Habsburgs, had begun a further exodus to Russia, whither also an increasing number of young Serbs went for their education.

In 1809, there was an uprising in Serbia and Belgrade when the Turks massacred those involved. In 1812 by the Treaty of Bucharest the Russians had extorted from the Sultan a promise that the Serbs should have the administration of their own affairs. However, the following year a large Turkish army swept across Serbia, occupying all the fortresses, and speaking of exterminating the rebellious Serbs. In the neighbourhood of Krushevatz only one in six survived, and at Belgrade 60 prominent Serbs were impaled, amongst whom were priests and monks, their bodies later eaten by the dogs.

The recent centuries

The modern state of Serbia emerged in 1817 following the Second Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Turks. Later, it expanded its territory further south to include the regions of Metohija and Vardar Macedonia (in 1912).

Vojvodina (formerly an autonomous Habsburg crownland named the Voivodship of Serbia and Tamiš Banat) proclaimed itself the autonomous region of Banat, Bačka and Baranja, and united with Serbia on 25 November, 1918, preceded by the Syrmia region a day before.

The current borders of the country were established following the end of World War II, when Serbia became a so-called federal unit within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which they controlled. The wars of liberation following the collapse of communism in the Balkans saw those countries (with the exception of Montenegro) who wished to finally overturn the 1919 "Greater Serbia" and their inclusion in it, engage in open war against Serbia which wished to and fought to retain their regional control.

Finally, Montenegro also seceded from their union with Serbia, becoming an independent state in its own right in 2006.

See also


  • Laffan, R.G.D., Fellow of Queen's College, Cambridge, The Serbs, London, 1917.

External links


  1. Population
  2. Republicki zavod za statistiku. Retrieved on 2010-04-28.
  3. Based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data.
  4. Davies, Norman, Vanished Kingdoms London, 2011, p.242. ISBN: 978-1-846-14338-0
  5. Schevill, Ferdinand, A History of the Balkans - from the Earliest Times, 1922, republished by Barnes & Noble, USA, 1995, p.70-1. ISBN 0-88029-697-6