South Slavs, Serbia

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The South Slavs are a subgroup of Slavic peoples who speak the South Slavic languages. They inhabit a contiguous region in the Balkan Peninsula, southern Pannonian Plain and eastern Alps, and are geographically separated from the body of West Slavic and East Slavic people by the Romanians, Hungarians, and Austrians. They include the Bosniaks, Bulgarians, Croats, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Serbs, and Slovenes. They are the main population of the Central and Southern European countries of Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia


Archaeological evidence suggests that Serbs were part of the 5-6th-centuries wave of Slavs. According to Byzantine sources, White Serbs settled lands of present-day Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina during the rule of Emperor Heraclius (610-641). The Serbs became foederati to the Byzantines and held the frontiers as vassalage (initially Sclaviniae, later Župas), subsequently receiving greater autonomy with Višeslav I (fl. 768-814) and full independence with Vlastimir (836-850). Serbia was a Byzantine ally throughout most of the Middle Ages and secured its independence with great diplomacy with Byzantium. In the 14th century, the Serbian state under Stefan Dušan rose to prominence in the southern Balkans, becoming the Serbian Empire. It declined following the Battle of Kosovo Field in 1389 against the Ottomans.

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