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Since 1990, the official name of the country is the "Republic of Serbia".Archeological evidence of Paleolithic settlements on the territory of present-day Serbia are scarce.It was said in 822 that the Serbs inhabited the greater part of Roman Dalmatia, their territory spanning what is today southwestern Serbia and parts of neighbouring countries.Meanwhile, the Byzantine Empire and Bulgarian Empire held other parts of the territory.The Ottoman threat and eventual conquest saw large migrations of Serbs to the west and north.After the loss of independence to the Kingdom of Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, Serbia briefly regained sovereignty under Jovan Nenad in the 16th century.It borders Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east; Macedonia to the south; Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro to the west and claims a border with Albania through the disputed territory of Kosovo. The Serbian Kingdom obtained recognition by Rome and the Byzantine Empire in 1217, reaching its peak in 1346 as a relatively short-lived Serbian Empire.

In the early 19th century, the Serbian Revolution established the nation-state as the region's first constitutional monarchy, which subsequently expanded its territory.Between 11 Serbia was ruled by the Nemanjić dynasty (which legacy is especially cherished), under whom the state was elevated to a kingdom (and briefly an empire) and Serbian bishopric to an autocephalous archbishopric (through the effort of Sava, the country's patron saint).Monuments of the Nemanjić period survives in many monasteries (several being World Heritage) and fortifications.During these centuries the Serbian state (and influence) expanded significantly.The northern part, Vojvodina, was ruled by the Kingdom of Hungary.