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Croats

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Croats
Hrvati
Total population
c.7–8 million[1]
Map of the Croatian Diaspora in the World (2022).png
Regions with significant populations
 Croatia
3,550,000 (2021)[2]
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
544,780 (2013)[3]
 United States414,714 (2012)[4]–1,200,000 (est.)[5]
 Germany500,000 (2021)[6][7]
 Chile380,000[8]
 Argentina250,000[9]
 Austria221,719 (2020)[10]
 Australia164,362 (2021)[11]
 Canada133,965 (2016)[12]
 New Zealand100,000[13]
 Switzerland80,000 (2021)[14]
 Brazil70,000[9]
 Italy60,000[15]
 Serbia57,900 (2011)[16]
 Slovenia40,000 (est.)[17]
 France40,000 (est.)[18]
 Sweden35,000 (est.)[19]
 Hungary22,995 (2016)[20]
 Ireland20,000 - 100,000 (est.)[21]
 Netherlands10,000[22]
 South Africa8,000[23]
 United Kingdom6,992[24]
 Romania6,786[25]
 Montenegro6,021 (2020)[26]
 Peru6,000[9]
 Colombia5,800 (est.)[9][27]
 Denmark5,400[28]
 Norway5,272[29]
 Paraguay5,000[9][30]
 Ecuador4,000[31]
 Slovakia2,001[32][33]-2,600[34]
 Czech Republic2,490[35]
 Portugal499[36]
 Russia304[37]
Europec.5,200,000
North Americac.600,000–2,500,000[a]
South Americac.500,000–650,000
Otherc.200,000–250,000
Languages
Croatian
Religion
Majority:
Christian cross.svg Roman Catholicism[38]
Related ethnic groups
Other South Slavs[39]

a References:[40][41][42][43][44][45][46]

The Croats (/ˈkr.æts/;[47] Croatian: Hrvati [xr̩ʋǎːti]) are a South Slavic ethnic group who share a common Croatian ancestry, culture, history and language. They are also a recognized minority in a number of neighboring countries, namely Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Due to political, social and economic reasons, many Croats migrated to North and South America as well as New Zealand and later Australia, establishing a diaspora in the aftermath of World War II, with grassroots assistance from earlier communities and the Roman Catholic Church.[48][49] In Croatia (the nation state), 3.9 million people identify themselves as Croats, and constitute about 90.4% of the population. Another 553,000 live in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where they are one of the three constituent ethnic groups, predominantly living in Western Herzegovina, Central Bosnia and Bosnian Posavina. The minority in Serbia number about 70,000, mostly in Vojvodina.[50][51] The ethnic Tarara people, indigenous to Te Tai Tokerau in New Zealand, are of mixed Croatian and Māori (predominately Ngāpuhi) descent. Tarara Day is celebrated every 15 March to commemorate their "highly regarded place in present-day Māoridom".[52][53]

Croats are mostly Roman Catholics. The Croatian language is official in Croatia, the European Union[54] and Bosnia and Herzegovina.[55] Croatian is a recognised minority language within Croatian autochthonous communities and minorities in Montenegro, Austria (Burgenland), Italy (Molise), Romania (Carașova, Lupac) and Serbia (Vojvodina).

Discover more about Croats related topics

Croatian language

Croatian language

Croatian is the standardized variety of the Serbo-Croatian pluricentric language used by Croats, principally in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbian province of Vojvodina, and other neighboring countries. It is the official and literary standard of Croatia and one of the official languages of the European Union. Croatian is also one of the official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina and a recognized minority language in Serbia and neighboring countries.

Burgenland Croats

Burgenland Croats

Burgenland Croats is the name for ethnic Croats in the Austrian state of Burgenland, along with Croats in neighboring Hungary and Slovakia.

Croats in Germany

Croats in Germany

Croats in Germany refers to persons living in Germany who have total or partial Croatian ancestry. They form the sixth largest ethnic minority in Germany. In 2020, there were 426,485 Croats holding Croatian citizenship and living in Germany. Croatia's State Office for the Croats Abroad, Croatian embassy in Berlin and Croatian Catholic Missions estimated that there are more than 350,000 Croats and their descendants living in Germany.

Croats in Slovakia

Croats in Slovakia

The Croats are an ethnic minority in Slovakia, numbering 850 people according to the 2001 census, although the relatively compact patriotic Croatian community may number as many as 3500 people. The Croatian minority has a member in the Slovak Council for Minorities.

Croatian New Zealanders

Croatian New Zealanders

Croatian New Zealanders refers to New Zealand citizens of Croatian descent. It is estimated that over 100,000 New Zealanders have Croatian ancestry. There are 2,550 people who declared their nationality as Croats in the 2006 New Zealand census. The majority of these are located primarily in and around Auckland and Northland with small numbers in and around Canterbury and Southland.

Australia

Australia

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of 7,617,930 square kilometres (2,941,300 sq mi), Australia is the largest country by area in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country. Australia is the oldest, flattest, and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils. It is a megadiverse country, and its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes and climates, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east, and mountain ranges in the south-east.

Croatian diaspora

Croatian diaspora

The Croatian diaspora consists of communities of ethnic Croats and/or Croatian citizens living outside Croatia. Estimates on its size are only approximate because of incomplete statistical records and naturalization, but (highest) estimates suggest that the Croatian diaspora numbers between a third and a half of the total number of Croats.

Croatia

Croatia

Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia, is a country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe. It shares a coastline along the Adriatic Sea. It borders Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Italy to the west and southwest. Croatia's capital and largest city, Zagreb, forms one of the country's primary subdivisions, with twenty counties. The country spans an area of 56,594 square kilometres, hosting a population of nearly 3.9 million.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country at the crossroads of south and southeast Europe, located in the Balkans. Bosnia and Herzegovina borders Serbia to the east, Montenegro to the southeast, and Croatia to the north and southwest. In the south it has a narrow coast on the Adriatic Sea within the Mediterranean, which is about 20 kilometres long and surrounds the town of Neum. Bosnia, which is the inland region of the country, has a moderate continental climate with hot summers and cold, snowy winters. In the central and eastern regions of the country, the geography is mountainous, in the northwest it is moderately hilly, and in the northeast it is predominantly flat. Herzegovina, which is the smaller, southern region of the country, has a Mediterranean climate and is mostly mountainous. Sarajevo is the capital and the largest city of the country followed by Banja Luka, Tuzla and Zenica.

Central Bosnia

Central Bosnia

Central Bosnia is a central subregion of Bosnia, which consists of a core mountainous area with several basins, valleys and mountains. It is bordered by Bosnian Krajina to the northwest, Tropolje to the west, Herzegovina to the south, Sarajevo to the east, and Tuzla to the northeast. It is a part of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is divided between the Central Bosnia Canton and the Zenica-Doboj Canton with around 800.000 population. The largest city in the region is Zenica, with Sarajevo-Zenica basin being the most densely populated area. Its highest peaks are Vranica, Šćit and Bitovnja.

Burgenland

Burgenland

Burgenland is the easternmost and least populous state of Austria. It consists of two statutory cities and seven rural districts, with a total of 171 municipalities. It is 166 km (103 mi) long from north to south but much narrower from west to east. The region is part of the Centrope Project.

Carașova

Carașova

Carașova is a commune in Caraș-Severin County, Romania. It is known especially for its geographical placement and for the origin of its Croatian inhabitants, the Krashovani. The population of the commune numbered 3,110 people at the 2011 census.

History

Arrival of the Slavs

Early Slavs, especially Sclaveni and Antae, including the White Croats, invaded and settled the Southeastern Europe in the 6th and 7th century.[56]

Middle Ages

Evidence is rather scarce for the period between the 7th and 8th centuries CE. Archaeological evidence shows population continuity in coastal Dalmatia and Istria. In contrast, much of the Dinaric hinterland appears to have been depopulated, as virtually all hilltop settlements, from Noricum to Dardania, were abandoned (only few appear destroyed) in the early 7th century. Although the dating of the earliest Slavic settlements is still disputed, recent archaeological data established that the migration and settlement of the Slavs/Croats have been in late 6th and early 7th century.[57][58][59][60][61] The origin, timing and nature of the Slavic migrations remains widely disputed, however, all available evidence points to the nearby Danubian and Carpathian regions.[62]

Croat ethnogenesis

The range of Slavic ceramics of the Prague-Penkovka culture marked in black, all known ethnonyms of Croats are within this area. Presumable migration routes of Croats are indicated by arrows, per V.V. Sedov (1979).
The range of Slavic ceramics of the Prague-Penkovka culture marked in black, all known ethnonyms of Croats are within this area. Presumable migration routes of Croats are indicated by arrows, per V.V. Sedov (1979).

Much uncertainty revolves around the exact circumstances of their appearance given the scarcity of literary sources during the 7th and 8th century Middle Ages. The ethnonym "Croat" is first attested during the 9th century CE,[63] in the charter of Duke Trpimir; and begins to be widely attested throughout central and eastern Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries.[64]

Traditionally, scholarship has placed the arrival of the White Croats from Great/White Croatia in the 7th century, primarily on the basis of the later Byzantine document De Administrando Imperio. As such, the arrival of the Croats was seen as a second wave of Slavic migrations, which took over Dalmatia from Avar hegemony. However, as early as the 1970s, scholars questioned the reliability of Porphyrogenitus' work, written as it was in the 10th century. Rather than being an accurate historical account, De Administrando Imperio more accurately reflects the political situation during the 10th century. It mainly served as Byzantine propaganda praising Emperor Heraclius for repopulating the Balkans (previously devastated by the Avars) with Croats, who were seen by the Byzantines as tributary peoples living on what had always been 'Roman land'.[65]

Scholars have hypothesized the name Croat (Hrvat) may be Iranian, thus suggesting that the Croatians were possibly a Sarmatian tribe from the Pontic region who were part of a larger movement at the same time that the Slavs were moving toward the Adriatic. The major basis for this connection was the perceived similarity between Hrvat and inscriptions from the Tanais dated to the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE, mentioning the name Khoro(u)athos. Similar arguments have been made for an alleged Gothic-Croat link. Whilst there is possible evidence of population continuity between Gothic and Croatian times in parts of Dalmatia, the idea of a Gothic origin of Croats was more rooted in 20th century Ustaše political aspirations than historical reality.[66]

Other polities in Dalmatia and Pannonia

Arrival of the Croats to the Adriatic Sea
Arrival of the Croats to the Adriatic Sea

Other, distinct polities also existed near the Croat duchy. These included the Guduscans (based in Liburnia), Pagania (between the Cetina and Neretva River), Zachlumia (between Neretva and Dubrovnik), Bosnia, and the Sorabi (Serbs) who ruled some other eastern parts of ex-Roman province of "Dalmatia".[67] Also prominent in the territory of future Croatia was the polity of Prince Ljudevit who ruled the territories between the Drava and Sava rivers ("Pannonia Inferior"), centred from his fort at Sisak. Although Duke Liutevid and his people are commonly seen as a "Pannonian Croats", he is, due to the lack of "evidence that they had a sense of Croat identity" referred to as dux Pannoniae Inferioris, or simply a Slav, by contemporary sources.[68][69] A closer reading of the DAI suggests that Constantine VII's consideration about the ethnic origin and identity of the population of Lower Pannonia, Pagania, Zachlumia and other principalities is based on 10th century political rule and does not indicate ethnicity,[70][71][72][73][74][75][76] and although both Croats and Serbs could have been a small military elite which managed to organize other already settled and more numerous Slavs,[77][78][79] it is possible that Narentines, Zachlumians and others also arrived as Croats or with Croatian tribal alliance.[80][81][82]

The Croats became the dominant local power in northern Dalmatia, absorbing Liburnia and expanding their name by conquest and prestige. In the south, while having periods of independence, the Naretines merged with Croats later under control of Croatian Kings.[83] With such expansion, Croatia became the dominant power and absorbed other polities between Frankish, Bulgarian and Byzantine empire. Although the Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja has been dismissed as an unreliable record, the mentioned "Red Croatia" suggests that Croatian clans and families might have settled as far south as Duklja/Zeta[84]

Early medieval age

The lands which constitute modern Croatia fell under three major geographic-politic zones during the Middle Ages, which were influenced by powerful neighbour Empires – notably the Byzantines, the Avars and later Magyars, Franks and Bulgars. Each vied for control of the Northwest Balkan regions. Two independent Slavic dukedoms emerged sometime during the 9th century: the Croat Duchy and Principality of Lower Pannonia.

Pannonian Principality ("Savia")

Having been under Avar control, lower Pannonia became a march of the Carolingian Empire around 800. Aided by Vojnomir in 796, the first named Slavic Duke of Pannonia, the Franks wrested control of the region from the Avars before totally destroying the Avar realm in 803. After the death of Charlemagne in 814, Frankish influence decreased on the region, allowing Prince Ljudevit Posavski to raise a rebellion in 819.[85] The Frankish margraves sent armies in 820, 821 and 822, but each time they failed to crush the rebels.[85] Aided by Borna the Guduscan, the Franks eventually defeated Ljudevit, who withdrew his forces to the Serbs and conquered them, according to the Frankish Annals.

For much of the subsequent period, Savia was probably directly ruled by the Carinthian Duke Arnulf, the future East Frankish King and Emperor. However, Frankish control was far from smooth. The Royal Frankish Annals mention several Bulgar raids, driving up the Sava and Drava rivers, as a result of a border dispute with the Franks, from 827. By a peace treaty in 845, the Franks were confirmed as rulers over Slavonia, whilst Srijem remained under Bulgarian clientage. Later, the expanding power of Great Moravia also threatened Frankish control of the region. In an effort to halt their influence, the Franks sought alliance with the Magyars, and elevated the local Slavic leader Braslav in 892, as a more independent Duke over lower Pannonia.

In 896, his rule stretched from Vienna and Budapest to the southern Croat dutchies, and included almost the whole of ex-Roman Pannonian provinces. He probably died c. 900 fighting against his former allies, the Magyars.[85] The subsequent history of Savia again becomes mirky, and historians are not sure who controlled Savia during much of the 10th century. However, it is likely that the ruler Tomislav, the first crowned King, was able to exert much control over Savia and adjacent areas during his reign. It is at this time that sources first refer to a "Pannonian Croatia", appearing in the 10th century Byzantine work De Administrando Imperio.[85]

Dalmatian Croats

The Dalmatian Croats were recorded to have been subject to the Kingdom of Italy under Lothair I, since 828. The Croatian Prince Mislav (835–845) built up a formidable navy, and in 839 signed a peace treaty with Pietro Tradonico, doge of Venice. The Venetians soon proceeded to battle with the independent Slavic pirates of the Pagania region, but failed to defeat them. The Bulgarian king Boris I (called by the Byzantine Empire Archont of Bulgaria after he made Christianity the official religion of Bulgaria) also waged a lengthy war against the Dalmatian Croats, trying to expand his state to the Adriatic.

The Croatian Prince Trpimir I (845–864) succeeded Mislav. In 854, there was a great battle between Trpimir's forces and the Bulgars. Neither side emerged victorious, and the outcome was the exchange of gifts and the establishment of peace. Trpimir I managed to consolidate power over Dalmatia and much of the inland regions towards Pannonia, while instituting counties as a way of controlling his subordinates (an idea he picked up from the Franks). The first known written mention of the Croats, dates from 4 March 852, in statute by Trpimir. Trpimir is remembered as the initiator of the Trpimirović dynasty, that ruled in Croatia, with interruptions, from 845 until 1091. After his death, an uprising was raised by a powerful nobleman from KninDomagoj, and his son Zdeslav was exiled with his brothers, Petar and Muncimir to Constantinople.[86]

Facing a number of naval threats by Saracens and Byzantine Empire, the Croatian Prince Domagoj (864–876) built up the Croatian navy again and helped the coalition of emperor Louis II and the Byzantine to conquer Bari in 871. During Domagoj's reign piracy was a common practice, and he forced the Venetians to start paying tribute for sailing near the eastern Adriatic coast. After Domagoj's death, Venetian chronicles named him "The worst duke of Slavs", while Pope John VIII referred to Domagoj in letters as "Famous duke". Domagoj's son, of unknown name, ruled shortly between 876 and 878 with his brothers. They continued the rebellion, attacked the western Istrian towns in 876, but were subsequently defeated by the Venetian navy. Their ground forces defeated the Pannonian duke Kocelj (861–874) who was suzerain to the Franks, and thereby shed the Frankish vassal status. Wars of Domagoj and his son liberated Dalmatian Croats from supreme Franks rule. Zdeslav deposed him in 878 with the help of the Byzantines. He acknowledged the supreme rule of Byzantine Emperor Basil I. In 879, the Pope asked for help from prince Zdeslav for an armed escort for his delegates across southern Dalmatia and Zahumlje, but on early May 879, Zdeslav was killed near Knin in an uprising led by Branimir, a relative of Domagoj, instigated by the Pope, fearing Byzantine power.

Branimir's (879–892) own actions were approved from the Holy See to bring the Croats further away from the influence of Byzantium and closer to Rome. Duke Branimir wrote to Pope John VIII affirming this split from Byzantine and commitment to the Roman Papacy. During the solemn divine service in St. Peter's church in Rome in 879, John VIII] gave his blessing to the duke and the Croatian people, about which he informed Branimir in his letters, in which Branimir was recognized as the Duke of the Croats (Dux Chroatorum).[87] During his reign, Croatia retained its sovereignty from both the Holy Roman Empire and Byzantine rule, and became a fully recognized state.[88][89] After Branimir's death, Prince Muncimir (892–910), Zdeslav's brother, took control of Dalmatia and ruled it independently of both Rome and Byzantium as divino munere Croatorum dux (with God's help, duke of Croats). In Dalmatia, duke Tomislav (910–928) succeeded Muncimir. Tomislav successfully repelled Magyar mounted invasions of the Arpads, expelled them over the Sava River, and united (western) Pannonian and Dalmatian Croats into one state.[90][91][92]

Kingdom of Croatia (925–1102)

Coronation of King Tomislav by Oton Iveković.
Coronation of King Tomislav by Oton Iveković.

Tomislav (910–928) became king of Croatia by 925. The chief piece of evidence that Tomislav was crowned king comes in the form of a letter dated 925, surviving only in 16th-century copies, from Pope John X calling Tomislav rex Chroatorum. According to De Administrando Imperio, Tomislav's army and navy could have consisted approximately 100,000 infantry units, 60,000 cavaliers, and 80 larger (sagina) and 100 smaller warships (condura), but generally isn't taken as credible.[93] According to the palaeographic analysis of the original manuscript of De Administrando Imperio, an estimation of the number of inhabitants in medieval Croatia between 440 and 880 thousand people, and military numbers of Franks and Byzantines – the Croatian military force was most probably composed of 20,000–100,000 infantrymen, and 3,000–24,000 horsemen organized in 60 allagions.[94][95] The Croatian Kingdom as an ally of Byzantine Empire was in conflict with the rising Bulgarian Empire ruled by Tsar Simeon I. In 923, due to a deal of Pope John X and a Patriarch of Constantinopole, the sovereignty of Byzantine coastal cities in Dalmatia came under Tomislav's Governancy. The war escalated on 27 May 927, in the battle of the Bosnian Highlands, after Serbs were conquered and some fled to the Croatian Kingdom. There Croats under leadership of their king Tomislav completely defeated the Bulgarian army led by military commander Alogobotur, and stopped Simeon's extension westwards.[96][97][98] The central town in the Duvno field was named Tomislavgrad ("Tomislav's town") in his honour in the 20th century.

Tomislav was succeeded by Trpimir II (928–935), and Krešimir I (935–945), this period, on the whole, however, is obscure. Miroslav (945–949) was killed by his ban Pribina during an internal power struggle, losing part of islands and coastal cities. Krešimir II (949–969) kept particularly good relations with the Dalmatian cities, while his son Stjepan Držislav (969–997) established better relations with the Byzantine Empire and received a formal authority over Dalmatian cities. His three sons, Svetoslav (997–1000), Krešimir III (1000–1030) and Gojslav (1000–1020), opened a violent contest for the throne, weakening the state and further losing control. Krešimir III and his brother Gojslav co-ruled from 1000 until 1020, and attempted to restore control over lost Dalmatian cities now under Venetian control. Krešimir was succeeded by his son Stjepan I (1030–1058), who tried to reinforce the alliance with the Byzantines when he sent a segment of his naval fleet in war against the Arabs in 1032, in favour for their tolerance about conquering Zadar another Byzantine ally, from Venice. He did conquer it, but the circumstances changed later and lost it.

Krešimir IV (1058–1074) managed to get the Byzantine Empire to confirm him as the supreme ruler of the Dalmatian cities.[99] Croatia under Krešimir IV was composed of twelve counties and was slightly larger than in Tomislav's time, and included the closest southern Dalmatian duchy of Pagania. From the outset, he continued the policies of his father, but was immediately commanded by Pope Nicholas II first in 1059 and then in 1060 to reform the Croatian church in accordance with the Roman rite. This was especially significant to the papacy in the aftermath of the Great Schism of 1054.

Baška tablet, which is the oldest evidence of the glagolitic script, mentions king Zvonimir.
Baška tablet, which is the oldest evidence of the glagolitic script, mentions king Zvonimir.

He was succeeded by Dmitar Zvonimir, who was of the Svetoslavić branch of the House of Trpimirović, and a Ban of Slavonia (1064–1075). He was crowned on 8 October 1076[100][101] at Solin in the Basilica of Saint Peter and Moses (known today as Hollow Church) by a representative of Pope Gregory VII.[102][103]

He was in conflict with dukes of Istria, while historical records Annales Carinthiæ and Chronica Hungarorum note he invaded Carinthia to aid Hungary in war during 1079/83, but this is disputed. Unlike Petar Krešimir IV, he was also an ally of the Normans, with whom he joined in wars against Byzantium. He married in 1063 Helen of Hungary, the daughter of King Bela I of the Hungarian Árpád dynasty, and the sister of the future King Ladislaus I. As King Zvonimir died in 1089 in unknown circumstances, with no direct heir to succeed him, Stjepan II (r.  1089–1091) last of the main Trpimirović line came to the throne at an old age and reigned for two years.

After his death civil war and unrest broke out shortly afterward as northern nobles decided Ladislaus I for the Croatian King. In 1093, southern nobles elected a new ruler, King Petar Svačić (r.  1093–1097), who managed to unify the Kingdom around his capital of Knin. His army resisted repelling Hungarian assaults, and restored Croatian rule up to the river Sava. He reassembled his forces in Croatia and advanced on Gvozd Mountain, where he met the main Hungarian army led by King Coloman I of Hungary. In 1097, in the Battle of Gvozd Mountain, the last native king Peter was killed and the Croats were decisively defeated (because of this, the mountain was this time renamed to Petrova Gora, "Peter's Mountain"). In 1102, Coloman returned to the Kingdom of Croatia in force, and negotiated with the Croatian feudal lords resulting in joining of Hungarian and Croatian crowns (with the crown of Dalmatia held separate from that of Croatia).

Personal union with Hungary (1102–1918)

Pacta Conventa, is a historical document by which Croatia agreed to enter a personal union with Hungary. Although the validity of the document itself is disputed, Croatia did keep considerable autonomy.
Pacta Conventa, is a historical document by which Croatia agreed to enter a personal union with Hungary. Although the validity of the document itself is disputed, Croatia did keep considerable autonomy.

In the union with Hungary, institutions of separate Croatian statehood were maintained through the Sabor (an assembly of Croatian nobles) and the ban (viceroy). In addition, the Croatian nobles retained their lands and titles.[104] Coloman retained the institution of the Sabor and relieved the Croatians of taxes on their land. Coloman's successors continued to crown themselves as Kings of Croatia separately in Biograd na Moru.[105] The Hungarian king also introduced a variant of the feudal system. Large fiefs were granted to individuals who would defend them against outside incursions thereby creating a system for the defence of the entire state. However, by enabling the nobility to seize more economic and military power, the kingdom itself lost influence to the powerful noble families. In Croatia the Šubić were one of the oldest Croatian noble families and would become particularly influential and important, ruling the area between Zrmanja and the Krka rivers. The local noble family from Krk island (who later took the surname Frankopan) is often considered the second most important medieval family, as ruled over northern Adriatic and is responsible for the adoption of one of oldest European statutes, Law codex of Vinodol (1288). Both families gave many native bans of Croatia. Other powerful families were Nelipić from Dalmatian Zagora (14th–15th centuries); Kačić who ruled over Pagania and were famous for piracy and wars against Venice (12th–13th centuries); Kurjaković family, a branch of the old Croatian noble family Gusić from Krbava (14th–16th centuries); Babonići who ruled from western Kupa to eastern Vrbas and Bosna rivers, and were bans of Slavonia (13th–14th centuries); Iločki family who ruled over Slavonian stronghold-cities, and in the 15th century rose to power. During this period, the Knights Templar and the Knights Hospitaller also acquired considerable property and assets in Croatia.

In the second half of the 13th century, during the Árpád and Anjou dynasty struggle, the Šubić family became hugely powerful under Paul I Šubić of Bribir, who was the longest Croatian Ban (1274–1312), conquering Bosnia and declaring himself "Lord of all of Bosnia" (1299–1312). He appointed his brother Mladen I Šubić as Ban of Bosnia (1299–1304), and helped Charles I from House of Anjou to be the King of Hungary. After his death in 1312, his son Mladen II Šubić was the Ban of Bosnia (1304–1322) and Ban of Croatia (1312–1322). The kings from House of Anjou intended to strengthen the kingdom by uniting their power and control, but to do so they had to diminish the power of the higher nobility. Charles I had already tried to crash the aristocratic privileges, intention finished by his son Louis the Great (1342–1382), relying on the lower nobility and towns. Both kings ruled without the Parliament, and inner nobility struggles only helped them in their intentions. This led to Mladen's defeat at the battle of Bliska in 1322 by a coalition of several Croatian noblemen and Dalmatian coastal towns with support of the King himself, in exchange of Šubić's castle of Ostrovica for Zrin Castle in Central Croatia (thus this branch was named Zrinski) in 1347. Eventually, the Babonić and Nelipić families also succumbed to the king's offensive against nobility, but with the increasing process of power centralization, Louis managed to force Venice by the Treaty of Zadar in 1358 to give up their possessions in Dalmatia. When King Louis died without successor, the question of succession remained open. The kingdom once again entered the time of internal unrest. Besides King Louis's daughter Mary, Charles III of Naples was the closest king male relative with claims to the throne. In February 1386, two months after his coronation, he was assassinated by order of the queen Elizabeth of Bosnia. His supporters, bans John of Palisna, John Horvat and Stjepan Lacković planned a rebellion, and managed to capture and imprison Elizabeth and Mary. By orders of John of Palisna, Elizabeth was strangled. In retaliation, Magyars crowned Mary's husband Sigismund of Luxembourg.

King Sigismund's army was catastrophically defeated at the Battle of Nicopolis (1396) as the Ottoman invasion was getting closer to the borders of the Hungarian-Croatian kingdom. Without news about the king after the battle, the then ruling Croatian ban Stjepan Lacković and nobles invited Charles III's son Ladislaus of Naples to be the new king. This resulted with Bloody Sabor of Križevci in 1397, lose of interest for the crown by Ladislaus and selling of Dalmatia to Venice in 1403, and spreading of Croatian name to the north, while of Slavonia to the east. The dynastic struggle didn't finish, and with the Ottoman invasion on Bosnia started the first short raids in Croatian territory, defended only by local nobles.

Zrínyi's charge on the Turks from the Fortress of Szigetvár, by Simon Hollósy
Zrínyi's charge on the Turks from the Fortress of Szigetvár, by Simon Hollósy

As the Turkish incursion into Europe started, Croatia once again became a border area between two major forces in the Balkans. Croatian military troops fought in many battles under command of Italian Franciscan priest fra John Capistrano, the Hungarian Generalissimo John Hunyadi, and Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus, like in the Hunyadi's long campaign (1443–1444), battle of Varna (1444), second battle of Kosovo (1448), and contributed to the Christian victories over the Ottomans in the siege of Belgrade (1456) and Siege of Jajce (1463). At the time they suffered a major defeat in the battle of Krbava field (Lika, Croatia) in 1493 and gradually lost increasing amounts of territory to the Ottoman Empire. Pope Leo X called Croatia the forefront of Christianity (Antemurale Christianitatis) in 1519, given that several Croatian soldiers made significant contributions to the struggle against the Ottoman Turks. Among them there were ban Petar Berislavić who won a victory at Dubica on the Una river in 1513, the captain of Senj and prince of Klis Petar Kružić, who defended the Klis Fortress for almost 25 years, captain Nikola Jurišić who deterred by a magnitude larger Turkish force on their way to Vienna in 1532, or ban Nikola Šubić Zrinski who helped save Pest from occupation in 1542 and fought in the Battle of Szigetvar in 1566. During the Ottoman conquest tens of thousands of Croats were taken in Turkey, where they became slaves.

The Cetingrad Charter from 1 January 1527, when Croatian Sabor elected the Habsburg monarchy.
The Cetingrad Charter from 1 January 1527, when Croatian Sabor elected the Habsburg monarchy.

The Battle of Mohács (1526) and the death of King Louis II ended the Hungarian-Croatian union. In 1526, the Hungarian parliament elected two separate kings János Szapolyai and Ferdinand I Habsburg, but the choice of the Croatian sabor at Cetin prevailed on the side of Ferdinand I, as they elected him as the new king of Croatia on 1 January 1527,[106] uniting both lands under Habsburg rule. In return they were promised the historic rights, freedoms, laws and defence of Croatian Kingdom.

However, the Hungarian-Croatian Kingdom was not enough well prepared and organized and the Ottoman Empire expanded further in the 16th century to include most of Slavonia, western Bosnia and Lika. For the sake of stopping the Ottoman conquering and possible assault on the capital of Vienna, the large areas of Croatia and Slavonia (even Hungary and Romania) bordering the Ottoman Empire were organized as a Military Frontier which was ruled directly from Vienna military headquarters.[107] The invasion caused migration of Croats, and the area which became deserted was subsequently settled by Serbs, Vlachs, Germans and others. The negative effects of feudalism escalated in 1573 when the peasants in northern Croatia and Slovenia rebelled against their feudal lords due to various injustices. After the fall of Bihać fort in 1592, only small areas of Croatia remained unrecovered. The remaining 16,800 square kilometres (6,487 sq mi) were referred to as the reliquiae reliquiarum of the once great Croatian kingdom.[108]

Croats stopped the Ottoman advance in Croatia at the battle of Sisak in 1593, 100 years after the defeat at Krbava field, and the short Long Turkish War ended with the Peace of Zsitvatorok in 1606, after which Croatian classes tried unsuccessfully to have their territory on the Military Frontier restored to rule by the Croatian Ban, managing only to restore a small area of lost territory but failed to regain large parts of Croatian Kingdom (present-day western Bosnia and Herzegovina), as the present-day border between the two countries is a remnant of this outcome.

Croatian national revival (1593–1918)

In the first half of the 17th century, Croats fought in the Thirty Years' War on the side of Holy Roman Empire, mostly as light cavalry under command of imperial generalissimo Albrecht von Wallenstein. Croatian Ban, Juraj V Zrinski, also fought in the war, but died in a military camp near Bratislava, Slovakia, as he was poisoned by von Wallenstein after a verbal duel. His son, future ban and captain-general of Croatia, Nikola Zrinski, participated during the closing stages of the war.

Peter Zrinyi and Ferenc Frangepán in the Wiener-Neustadt Prison by Viktor Madarász.
Peter Zrinyi and Ferenc Frangepán in the Wiener-Neustadt Prison by Viktor Madarász.

In 1664, the Austrian imperial army was victorious against the Turks, but Emperor Leopold failed to capitalize on the success when he signed the Peace of Vasvár in which Croatia and Hungary were prevented from regaining territory lost to the Ottoman Empire. This caused unrest among the Croatian and Hungarian nobility which plotted against the emperor. Nikola Zrinski participated in launching the conspiracy which later came to be known as the Magnate conspiracy, but he soon died, and the rebellion was continued by his brother, Croatian ban Petar Zrinski, Fran Krsto Frankopan and Ferenc Wesselényi. Petar Zrinski, along the conspirators, went on a wide secret diplomatic negotiations with a number of nations, including Louis XIV of France, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Sweden, the Republic of Venice and even the Ottoman Empire, to free Croatia from the Habsburg sovereignty.

Imperial spies uncovered the conspiracy and on 30 April 1671 executed four esteemed Croatian and Hungarian noblemen involved in it, including Zrinski and Frankopan in Wiener Neustadt. The large estates of two most powerful Croatian noble houses were confiscated and their families relocated, soon after extinguished. Between 1670 and the revolution of 1848, there would be only 2 bans of Croatian nationality. The period from 1670 to the Croatian cultural revival in the 19th century was Croatia's political Dark Age. Meanwhile, with the victories over Turks, Habsburgs all the more insistent they spent centralization and germanization, new regained lands in liberated Slavonia started giving to foreign families as feudal goods, at the expense of domestic element. Because of this the Croatian Sabor was losing its significance, and the nobility less attended it, yet went only to the one in Hungary.

The Croatian Sabor (Parliament) in 1848, by Dragutin Weingärtner
The Croatian Sabor (Parliament) in 1848, by Dragutin Weingärtner

In the 18th century, Croatia was one of the crown lands that supported Emperor Charles's Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 and supported Empress Maria Theresa in the War of the Austrian Succession of 1741–48. Subsequently, the empress made significant contributions to Croatian matters, by making several changes in the feudal and tax system, administrative control of the Military Frontier, in 1745 administratively united Slavonia with Croatia and in 1767 organized Croatian royal council with the ban on head, however, she ignored and eventually disbanded it in 1779, and Croatia was relegated to just one seat in the governing council of Hungary, held by the ban of Croatia. To fight the Austrian centralization and absolutism, Croats passed their rights to the united government in Hungary, thus to together resist the intentions from Vienna. But the connection with Hungary soon adversely affected the position of Croats, because Magyars in the spring of their nationalism tried to Magyarize Croats, and make Croatia a part of a united Hungary. Because of this pretensions, the constant struggles between Croats and Magyars emerged, and lasted until 1918. Croats were fighting in unfavorable conditions, against both Vienna and Budapest, while divided on Banska Hrvatska, Dalmatia and Military Frontier. In such a time, with the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797, its possessions in eastern Adriatic mostly came under the authority of France which passed its rights to Austria the same year. Eight years later they were restored to France as the Illyrian Provinces, but won back to the Austrian crown 1815. Though now part of the same empire, Dalmatia and Istria were part of Cisleithania while Croatia and Slavonia were in Hungarian part of the Monarchy.

The national revival began with the Illyrian movement in 1830.
The national revival began with the Illyrian movement in 1830.

In the 19th century Croatian romantic nationalism emerged to counteract the non-violent but apparent Germanization and Magyarization. The Croatian national revival began in the 1830s with the Illyrian movement. The movement attracted a number of influential figures and produced some important advances in the Croatian language and culture. The champion of the Illyrian movement was Ljudevit Gaj who also reformed and standardized Croatian. The official language in Croatia had been Latin until 1847, when it became Croatian. The movement relied on a South Slavic and Panslavistic conception, and its national, political and social ideas were advanced at the time.

By the 1840s, the movement had moved from cultural goals to resisting Hungarian political demands. By the royal order of 11 January 1843, originating from the chancellor Metternich, the use of the Illyrian name and insignia in public was forbidden.

Modern political history of the Balkans from 1796 onwards.
Modern political history of the Balkans from 1796 onwards.

This deterred the movement's progress but it couldn't stop the changes in the society that had already started. On 25 March 1848, was conducted a political petition "Zahtijevanja naroda", which program included thirty national, social and liberal principles, like Croatian national independence, annexation of Dalmatia and Military Frontier, independence from Hungary as far as finance, language, education, freedom of speech and writing, religion, nullification of serfdom etc. In the revolutions of 1848 in the Austrian Empire, the Croatian Ban Jelačić cooperated with the Austrians in quenching the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 by leading a military campaign into Hungary, successful until the Battle of Pákozd.

Croatia was later subject to Hungarian hegemony under ban Levin Rauch when the Empire was transformed into a dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary in 1867. Nevertheless, Ban Jelačić had succeeded in the abolition of serfdom in Croatia, which eventually brought about massive changes in society: the power of the major landowners was reduced and arable land became increasingly subdivided, to the extent of risking famine. Many Croatians began emigrating to the New World countries in this period, a trend that would continue over the next century, creating a large Croatian diaspora.

Modern history (1918–present)

After the First World War and dissolution of Austria-Hungary, most Croats were united within the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, created by unification of the short-lived State of SHS with the Kingdom of Serbia. Croats became one of the constituent nations of the new kingdom. The state was transformed into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929 and the Croats were united in the new nation with their neighbors – the South Slavs-Yugoslavs.

In 1939, the Croats received a high degree of autonomy when the Banovina of Croatia was created, which united almost all ethnic Croatian territories within the Kingdom. In the Second World War, the Axis forces created the Independent State of Croatia led by the Ustaše movement which sought to create an ethnically pure Croatian state on the territory corresponding to present-day countries of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Post-WWII Yugoslavia became a federation consisting of 6 republics, and Croats became one of two constituent peoples of two – Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Croats in the Serbian autonomous province of Vojvodina are one of six main ethnic groups composing this region.[109]

Following the democratization of society, accompanied with ethnic tensions that emerged ten years after the death of Josip Broz Tito, the Republic of Croatia declared independence, which was followed by war. In the first years of the war, over 200,000 Croats were displaced from their homes as a result of the military actions. In the peak of the fighting, around 550,000 ethnic Croats were displaced altogether during the Yugoslav wars.

Post-war government's policy of easing the immigration of ethnic Croats from abroad encouraged a number of Croatian descendants to return to Croatia. The influx was increased by the arrival of Croatian refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the war's end in 1995, most Croatian refugees returned to their previous homes, while some (mostly Croat refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Janjevci from Kosovo) moved into the formerly-held Serbian housing.

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History of Croatia

History of Croatia

At the time of the Roman Empire, the area of modern Croatia comprised two Roman provinces, Pannonia and Dalmatia. After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century, the area was subjugated by the Ostrogoths for 50 years, before being incorporated into the Byzantine Empire.

Origin hypotheses of the Croats

Origin hypotheses of the Croats

The Croats trace their history to the 6th and 7th-century southwards migration of the Slavs, which is supported by anthropological, genetical, and ethnological studies. However, the archaeological and other historic evidence on the migration of the Slavic settlers, the character of the native population on the present-day territory of Croatia, and their mutual relationship show diverse historical and cultural influences.

Early Slavs

Early Slavs

The early Slavs were a diverse group of tribal societies who lived during the Migration Period and the Early Middle Ages in Central and Eastern Europe and established the foundations for the Slavic nations through the Slavic states of the High Middle Ages. The Slavs' original homeland is still a matter of debate due to a lack of historical records; however, scholars believe that it was in Eastern Europe, with Polesia being the most commonly accepted location.

Dalmatia

Dalmatia

Dalmatia is now one of the four historical regions of Croatia, alongside Croatia proper, Slavonia, and Istria. Between 1420 and 1797 most of it was part of Venice.

Istria

Istria

Istria is the largest peninsula within the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Kvarner Gulf. It is shared by three countries: Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy. Croatia encapsulates most of the Istrian peninsula with its Istria County.

Dinaric Alps

Dinaric Alps

The Dinaric Alps, also Dinarides, are a mountain range in Southern and Southcentral Europe, separating the continental Balkan Peninsula from the Adriatic Sea. They stretch from Italy in the northwest through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo to Albania in the southeast.

Noricum

Noricum

Noricum is the Latin name for the Celtic kingdom or federation of tribes that included most of modern Austria and part of Slovenia. In the first century AD, it became a province of the Roman Empire. Its borders were the Danube to the north, Raetia and Vindelici to the west, Pannonia to the east and southeast, and Italia to the south. The kingdom was founded around 400 BC, and had its capital at the royal residence at Virunum on the Magdalensberg.

Dardania (Roman province)

Dardania (Roman province)

Dardania was a Roman province in the Central Balkans, initially an unofficial region in Moesia (87–284), and then a province administratively part of the Diocese of Moesia (293–337). It was named after the tribe of the Dardani who inhabited the region in classical antiquity prior to the Roman conquest.

Danube

Danube

The Danube is a river that was once a long-standing frontier of the Roman Empire and today connects 10 European countries, running through their territories or being a border. Originating in Germany, the Danube flows southeast for 2,850 km (1,770 mi), passing through or bordering Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Ukraine before draining into the Black Sea. Its drainage basin extends into nine more countries. The largest cities on the river are Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade and Bratislava, all of which are the capitals of their respective countries. The Danube passes through four capital cities, more than any other river in the world. Five more capital cities lie in the Danube's basin: Bucharest, Sofia, Zagreb, Ljubljana and Sarajevo. The fourth-largest city in its basin is Munich, the capital of Bavaria, standing on the Isar River.

Carpathian Mountains

Carpathian Mountains

The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc across Central Europe. Roughly 1,500 km (930 mi) long, it is the third-longest European mountain range after the Urals at 2,500 km (1,600 mi) and the Scandinavian Mountains at 1,700 km (1,100 mi). The range stretches from the far eastern Czech Republic (3%) and Austria (1%) in the northwest through Slovakia (21%), Poland (10%), Ukraine (10%), Romania (50%) to Serbia (5%) in the south. The highest range within the Carpathians is known as the Tatra mountains in Slovakia and Poland, where the highest peaks exceed 2,600 m (8,500 ft). The second-highest range is the Southern Carpathians in Romania, where the highest peaks range between 2,500 m (8,200 ft) and 2,550 m (8,370 ft).

Penkovka culture

Penkovka culture

The Penkovka culture is an archaeological culture in Ukraine spanning Moldova and reaching into Romania. Its western boundary is usually taken to at the middle Prut and Dniester rivers, where contact with the Korchak culture occurs. Its bearers are commonly identified as the Antes people of 6th-century Byzantine historiography.

Middle Ages

Middle Ages

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and transitioned into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Genetics

Genetically, on the Y-chromosome DNA line, a majority (75%) of male Croats from Croatia belongs to haplogroups I (38%–43%), R1a (22%–25%) and R1b (8%–9%), while a minority (25%) mostly belongs to haplogroup E (10%), and others to haplogroups J (7%–10%), G (2%–4%), H (0.3–1.8%), and N ([110][111] The distribution, variance and frequency of the I2 and R1a subclades (>60%) among Croats are related to the medieval Slavic expansion, most probably from the territory of present-day Ukraine and Southeastern Poland.[112][113][114][115][116] Genetically, on the maternal mitochondrial DNA line, a majority (>65%) of Croats from Croatia (mainland and coast) belong to three of the eleven major European mtDNA haplogroups – H (45%), U (17.8–20.8%), J (3–11%), while a large minority (>35%) belongs to many other smaller haplogroups.[117] Based on autosomal IBD survey the speakers of Croatian share a very high number of common ancestors dated to the migration period approximately 1,500 years ago with Poland and Romania-Bulgaria clusters among others in Eastern Europe. It was caused by the Slavic expansion, a small population which expanded into vast regions of "low population density beginning in the sixth century".[118] Other IBD and admixture studies also found even patterns of admixture events among South, East and West Slavs at the time and area of Slavic expansion, and that the shared ancestral Balto-Slavic component among South Slavs is between 55 and 70%.[119][120]

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Genetic studies on Croats

Genetic studies on Croats

Population genetics is a scientific discipline which contributes to the examination of the human evolutionary and historical migrations. Particularly useful information is provided by the research of two uniparental markers within our genome, the Y-chromosome (Y-DNA) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), as well as autosomal DNA. The data from Y-DNA and autosomal DNA suggests that the Croats mostly are descendants of the Slavs from medieval migration period, according to mtDNA have genetic diversity which fits within a broader European maternal genetic landscape, and overall have a uniformity with other South Slavs from the territory of former Yugoslavia.

Genetics

Genetics

Genetics is the study of genes, genetic variation, and heredity in organisms. It is an important branch in biology because heredity is vital to organisms' evolution. Gregor Mendel, a Moravian Augustinian friar working in the 19th century in Brno, was the first to study genetics scientifically. Mendel studied "trait inheritance", patterns in the way traits are handed down from parents to offspring over time. He observed that organisms inherit traits by way of discrete "units of inheritance". This term, still used today, is a somewhat ambiguous definition of what is referred to as a gene.

Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup

Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup

In human genetics, a human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup is a haplogroup defined by mutations in the non-recombining portions of DNA from the male-specific Y chromosome. Many people within a haplogroup share similar numbers of short tandem repeats (STRs) and types of mutations called single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

Haplogroup J (Y-DNA)

Haplogroup J (Y-DNA)

Haplogroup J-M304, also known as J, is a human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup. It is believed to have evolved in Western Asia. The clade spread from there during the Neolithic, primarily into North Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Socotra Archipelago, the Caucasus, Europe, Western Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Haplogroup H (Y-DNA)

Haplogroup H (Y-DNA)

Haplogroup H (Y-DNA), also known as H-L901/M2939 is a Y-chromosome haplogroup.

Poland

Poland

Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces called voivodeships, covering an area of 312,696 km2 (120,733 sq mi). Poland has a population of over 38 million and is the fifth-most populous member state of the European Union. Warsaw is the nation's capital and largest metropolis. Other major cities include Kraków, Wrocław, Łódź, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Szczecin.

Human mitochondrial DNA haplogroup

Human mitochondrial DNA haplogroup

In human genetics, a human mitochondrial DNA haplogroup is a haplogroup defined by differences in human mitochondrial DNA. Haplogroups are used to represent the major branch points on the mitochondrial phylogenetic tree. Understanding the evolutionary path of the female lineage has helped population geneticists trace the matrilineal inheritance of modern humans back to human origins in Africa and the subsequent spread around the globe.

Haplogroup H (mtDNA)

Haplogroup H (mtDNA)

Haplogroup H is a human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup. The clade is believed to have originated in Southwest Asia, near present day Syria, around 20,000 to 25,000 years ago. Mitochondrial haplogroup H is today predominantly found in Europe, and is believed to have evolved before the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). It first expanded in the northern Near East and Southern Caucasus soon, and later migrations from Iberia suggest that the clade reached Europe before the Last Glacial Maximum. The haplogroup has also spread to parts of Africa, Siberia and inner Asia. Today, around 40% of all maternal lineages in Europe belong to haplogroup H.

Haplogroup U (mtDNA)

Haplogroup U (mtDNA)

Haplogroup U is a human mitochondrial DNA haplogroup (mtDNA). The clade arose from haplogroup R, likely during the early Upper Paleolithic. Its various subclades are found widely distributed across Northern and Eastern Europe, Central, Western and South Asia, as well as North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and the Canary Islands.

Haplogroup J (mtDNA)

Haplogroup J (mtDNA)

Haplogroup J is a human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup. The clade derives from the haplogroup JT, which also gave rise to haplogroup T. In his book The Seven Daughters of Eve, Bryan Sykes named the originator of this mtDNA haplogroup Jasmine. Within the field of medical genetics, certain polymorphisms specific to haplogroup J have been associated with Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy.

Autosome

Autosome

An autosome is any chromosome that is not a sex chromosome. The members of an autosome pair in a diploid cell have the same morphology, unlike those in allosomal pairs, which may have different structures. The DNA in autosomes is collectively known as atDNA or auDNA.

Identity by descent

Identity by descent

A DNA segment is identical by state (IBS) in two or more individuals if they have identical nucleotide sequences in this segment. An IBS segment is identical by descent (IBD) in two or more individuals if they have inherited it from a common ancestor without recombination, that is, the segment has the same ancestral origin in these individuals. DNA segments that are IBD are IBS per definition, but segments that are not IBD can still be IBS due to the same mutations in different individuals or recombinations that do not alter the segment.

Language

Location map of Croatian dialects.
Location map of Croatian dialects.
Map of Shtokavian dialects
Map of Shtokavian dialects

Croats speak Croatian, a South Slavic lect of the Western South Slavic subgroup. Standard Croatian is considered a normative variety of Serbo-Croatian,[121][122][123] and is mutually intelligible with the other three national standards, Serbian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin (see Comparison of standard Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian) which are all based on the Shtokavian dialect.

Besides Shtokavian, Croats from the Adriatic coastline speak the Chakavian dialect, while Croats from the continental northwestern part of Croatia speak the Kajkavian dialect. Vernacular texts in the Chakavian dialect first appeared in the 13th century, and Shtokavian texts appeared a century later. Standardization began in the period sometimes called "Baroque Slavism" in the first half of the 17th century,[124] while some authors date it back to the end of the 15th century.[125] The modern Neo-Shtokavian standard that appeared in the mid 18th century was the first unified standard Croatian.[126] Croatian is written in Gaj's Latin alphabet.[127]

The beginning of written Croatian can be traced to the 9th century, when Old Church Slavonic was adopted as the language of the Divine liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil. This language was gradually adapted to non-liturgical purposes and became known as the Croatian version of Old Slavonic. The two variants of the language, liturgical and non-liturgical, continued to be a part of the Glagolitic service as late as the middle of the 19th century. The earliest known Croatian Church Slavonic Glagolitic are Vienna Folios from the late 11th/early 12th century.[128] Until the end of the 11th century Croatian medieval texts were written in three scripts: Latin, Glagolitic, and Croatian Cyrillic (bosančica/bosanica),[129] and also in three languages: Croatian, Latin, and Old Slavonic. The latter developed into what is referred to as the Croatian variant of Church Slavonic between the 12th and 16th centuries.

The most important early monument of Croatian literacy is the Baška tablet from the late 11th century.[130] It is a large stone tablet found in the small Church of St. Lucy, Jurandvor on the Croatian island of Krk which contains text written mostly in Chakavian, today a dialect of Croatian, and in Shtokavian angular Glagolitic script. It mentions Zvonimir, the king of Croatia at the time. However, the luxurious and ornate representative texts of Croatian Church Slavonic belong to the later era, when they coexisted with the Croatian vernacular literature. The most notable are the "Missal of Duke Novak" from the Lika region in northwestern Croatia (1368), "Evangel from Reims" (1395, named after the town of its final destination), Hrvoje's Missal from Bosnia and Split in Dalmatia (1404).[131] and the first printed book in Croatian, the Glagolitic Missale Romanum Glagolitice (1483).[128]

During the 13th century Croatian vernacular texts began to appear, the most important among them being the "Istrian Land Survey" of 1275 and the "Vinodol Codex" of 1288, both written in the Chakavian dialect.[132][133]

The Shtokavian dialect literature, based almost exclusively on Chakavian original texts of religious provenance (missals, breviaries, prayer books) appeared almost a century later. The most important purely Shtokavian dialect vernacular text is the Vatican Croatian Prayer Book (ca. 1400).[134]

Bunjevac dialect

The Bunjevac dialect (bunjevački dijalekt)[135][136][137] or Bunjevac speech (bunjevački govor)[138] is a Shtokavian–Younger Ikavian dialect of the Serbo-Croatian pluricentric language, used by members of the Bunjevac community. It is an integral part of the cultural heritage of the Bunjevac Croats in northern Serbia (Vojvodina) and parts of southern Hungary. Their accent is purely Ikavian, with /i/ for the Common Slavic vowels yat.[139] Its speakers largely use the Latin alphabet. In Serbia, it is officially recognized as a standardized minority dialect since 2018. There have been three meritorious people who preserved the Bunjevac dialect in two separate dictionaries: Grgo Bačlija [140] and Marko Peić[141] with "Ričnik bački Bunjevaca"[142] (editions 1990, 2018), and Ante Sekulić[143] with "Rječnik govora bačkih Hrvata" (2005).

Popularly, the Bunjevac dialect is often referred to as "Bunjevac language" or Bunjevac mother tongue. At the political level, depending on goal and content of the political lobby, the general confusion concerning the definition of the terms language, dialect, speech, mother tongue, is cleverly exploited, resulting in an inconsistent use of the terms.[144][145][146]

The Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics launched a proposal, in March 2021, to the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, to add Bunjevac dialect to the List of Protected Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Croatia.[147]

Discover more about Language related topics

Croatian language

Croatian language

Croatian is the standardized variety of the Serbo-Croatian pluricentric language used by Croats, principally in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbian province of Vojvodina, and other neighboring countries. It is the official and literary standard of Croatia and one of the official languages of the European Union. Croatian is also one of the official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina and a recognized minority language in Serbia and neighboring countries.

Shtokavian

Shtokavian

Shtokavian or Štokavian is the prestige dialect of the pluricentric Serbo-Croatian language and the basis of its Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin standards. It is a part of the South Slavic dialect continuum. Its name comes from the form for the interrogatory pronoun for "what" in Western Shtokavian, što. This is in contrast to Kajkavian and Chakavian.

South Slavic languages

South Slavic languages

The South Slavic languages are 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.

Serbian language

Serbian language

Serbian is the standardized variety of the Serbo-Croatian language mainly used by Serbs. It is the official and national language of Serbia, one of the three official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina and co-official in Montenegro and Kosovo. It is a recognized minority language in Croatia, North Macedonia, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.

Bosnian language

Bosnian language

Bosnian is the standardized variety of the Serbo-Croatian pluricentric language mainly used by ethnic Bosniaks. Bosnian is one of three such varieties considered official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with Croatian and Serbian. It is also an officially recognized minority language in Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Kosovo.

Montenegrin language

Montenegrin language

Montenegrin is a normative variety of the Serbo-Croatian language mainly used by Montenegrins and is the official language of Montenegro. Montenegrin is based on the most widespread dialect of Serbo-Croatian, Shtokavian, more specifically on Eastern Herzegovinian, which is also the basis of Standard Croatian, Serbian, and Bosnian.

Comparison of standard Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian

Comparison of standard Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian

Standard Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian are different national variants and official registers of the pluricentric Serbo-Croatian language.

Gaj's Latin alphabet

Gaj's Latin alphabet

Gaj's Latin alphabet, also known as abeceda or gajica, is the form of the Latin script used for writing Serbo-Croatian and all of its standard varieties: Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian.

Old Church Slavonic

Old Church Slavonic

Old Church Slavonic or Old Slavonic was the first Slavic literary language.

Liturgy

Liturgy

Liturgy is the customary public ritual of worship performed by a religious group. Liturgy can also be used to refer specifically to public worship by Christians. As a religious phenomenon, liturgy represents a communal response to and participation in the sacred through activities reflecting praise, thanksgiving, remembrance, supplication, or repentance. It forms a basis for establishing a relationship with God.

Latin script

Latin script

The Latin script, also known as Roman script, is an alphabetic writing system based on the letters of the classical Latin alphabet, derived from a form of the Greek alphabet which was in use in the ancient Greek city of Cumae, in southern Italy. It was adopted by the Etruscans and subsequently by the Romans. Several Latin-script alphabets exist, which differ in graphemes, collation and phonetic values from the classical Latin alphabet.

Cyrillic script

Cyrillic script

The Cyrillic script, Slavonic script or the Slavic script, is a writing system used for various languages across Eurasia. It is the designated national script in various Slavic, Turkic, Mongolic, Uralic, Caucasian and Iranic-speaking countries in Southeastern Europe, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, North Asia, and East Asia.

Religion

Croats are predominantly Roman Catholic, and before Christianity they adhered to Slavic paganism or Roman paganism. The earliest record of contact between the Pope and the Croats dates from a mid-7th century entry in the Liber Pontificalis. Pope John IV (John the Dalmatian, 640–642) sent an abbot named Martin to Dalmatia and Istria in order to pay ransom for some prisoners and for the remains of old Christian martyrs. This abbot is recorded to have travelled through Dalmatia with the help of the Croatian leaders, and he established the foundation for the future relations between the Pope and the Croats.

The beginnings of the Christianization are also disputed in the historical texts: the Byzantine texts talk of duke Porin who started this at the incentive of emperor Heraclius (610–641), then of Duke Porga who mainly Christianized his people after the influence of missionaries from Rome, while the national tradition recalls Christianization during the rule of Dalmatian Duke Borna (810–821). It is possible that these are all renditions of the same ruler's name. The earliest known Croatian autographs from the 8th century are found in the Latin Gospel of Cividale.

Croats were never obliged to use Latin—rather, they held masses in their own language and used the Glagolitic alphabet.[148] In 1886 it arrived to the Principality of Montenegro, followed by the Kingdom of Serbia in 1914, and the Republic of Czechoslovakia in 1920, but only for feast days of the main patron saints. The 1935 concordat with the Kingdom of Yugoslavia anticipated the introduction of the Church Slavonic for all Croatian regions and throughout the entire state.[149]

Smaller groups of Croats adhere to other religions, like Eastern Orthodoxy, Protestantism and Islam. According to an official population census of Croatia by ethnicity and religion, roughly 16,600 ethnic Croats adhered to Orthodoxy, roughly 8,000 were Protestants, roughly 10,500 described themselves as "other" Christians, and roughly 9,600 were followers of Islam.[150]

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Aloysius Stepinac

Aloysius Stepinac

Aloysius Viktor Cardinal Stepinac was a senior-ranking Yugoslav Croat prelate of the Catholic Church. A cardinal, Stepinac served as Archbishop of Zagreb from 1937 until his death, a period which included the fascist rule of the Ustaše over the Axis puppet state the Independent State of Croatia from 1941 to 1945 during World War II. He was tried by the communist Yugoslav government after the war and convicted of treason and collaboration with the Ustaše regime. The trial was depicted in the West as a typical communist "show trial", and was described by The New York Times as biased against the Archbishop. However, Professor John Van Antwerp Fine Jr. is of the opinion that the trial was "carried out with proper legal procedure". In a verdict that polarized public opinion both in Yugoslavia and beyond, the Yugoslav authorities found him guilty on the charge of high treason, as well as complicity in the forced conversions of Orthodox Serbs to Catholicism. Stepinac advised individual priests to admit Orthodox believers to the Catholic Church if their lives were in danger, such that this conversion had no validity, allowing them to return to their faith once the danger passed. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison, but served only five at Lepoglava before being transferred to house arrest with his movements confined to his home parish of Krašić.

Pope

Pope

The pope, also known as supreme pontiff, Roman pontiff or sovereign pontiff, is the bishop of Rome, head of the worldwide Catholic Church, and has also served as the head of state or sovereign of the Papal States and later the Vatican City State since the eighth century. From a Catholic viewpoint, the primacy of the bishop of Rome is largely derived from his role as the apostolic successor to Saint Peter, to whom primacy was conferred by Jesus, who gave Peter the Keys of Heaven and the powers of "binding and loosing", naming him as the "rock" upon which the Church would be built. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013.

Liber Pontificalis

Liber Pontificalis

The Liber Pontificalis is a book of biographies of popes from Saint Peter until the 15th century. The original publication of the Liber Pontificalis stopped with Pope Adrian II (867–872) or Pope Stephen V (885–891), but it was later supplemented in a different style until Pope Eugene IV (1431–1447) and then Pope Pius II (1458–1464). Although quoted virtually uncritically from the 8th to 18th centuries, the Liber Pontificalis has undergone intense modern scholarly scrutiny. The work of the French priest Louis Duchesne, and of others has highlighted some of the underlying redactional motivations of different sections, though such interests are so disparate and varied as to render improbable one popularizer's claim that it is an "unofficial instrument of pontifical propaganda."

Pope John IV

Pope John IV

Pope John IV was the bishop of Rome from 24 December 640 to his death. His election followed a four-month vacancy. He wrote to the clergy of Ireland and Scotland to tell them of the mistakes they were making with regard to the time of keeping Easter and condemned Monothelitism as heresy. According to sacred tradition, he created the Catholic Church in Croatia with Abbot Martin.

Dalmatia

Dalmatia

Dalmatia is now one of the four historical regions of Croatia, alongside Croatia proper, Slavonia, and Istria. Between 1420 and 1797 most of it was part of Venice.

Istria

Istria

Istria is the largest peninsula within the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Kvarner Gulf. It is shared by three countries: Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy. Croatia encapsulates most of the Istrian peninsula with its Istria County.

Christianization

Christianization

Christianization is to make Christian; to imbue with Christian principles; to become Christian. It can apply to the conversion of an individual, a practice, a place or a whole society. It began in the Roman Empire, continued through the Middle Ages in Europe, and in the twenty-first century has spread around the globe.

Heraclius

Heraclius

Heraclius, was Eastern Roman emperor from 610 to 641. His rise to power began in 608, when he and his father, Heraclius the Elder, the exarch of Africa, led a revolt against the unpopular usurper Phocas.

Gospel of Cividale

Gospel of Cividale

The Gospel of Cividale, at first named the Codex of Aquileia, is a medieval Latin transcript of the Gospel of Mark, written on parchment. It is named after Cividale del Friuli, a town in Friuli-Venezia Giulia where it is kept. It contains about 1500 Slavic and German names of pilgrims to the monastery of San Giovanni di Duino, written in the second half of the 9th and the first half of the 10th century. The monastery was a property of the Patriarchate of Aquileia.

Mass (liturgy)

Mass (liturgy)

Mass is the main Eucharistic liturgical service in many forms of Western Christianity. The term Mass is commonly used in the Catholic Church, in the Western Rite Orthodox, in Old Catholic, and in Independent Catholic churches. The term is used in some Lutheran churches, as well as in some Anglican churches. The term is also used, on rare occasion, by other Protestant churches.

Principality of Montenegro

Principality of Montenegro

The Principality of Montenegro was a principality in Southeastern Europe that existed from 13 March 1852 to 28 August 1910. It was then proclaimed a kingdom by Nikola I, who then became King of Montenegro.

Eastern Orthodoxy in Croatia

Eastern Orthodoxy in Croatia

Eastern Orthodoxy in Croatia refers to adherents, religious communities, institutions and organizations of Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Croatia. It is the second-largest religious denomination in Croatia, behind the Roman Catholic Church. Over 128 000 people, forming 3.32% of the total Croatian population, are Eastern Orthodox Christians (2021).

Culture

Tradition

Alka is a traditional knights' competition.
Alka is a traditional knights' competition.
Istrian scale in Schubert's Symphony No. 8 in B minor (1922), 1st mvt., bars 13–20 (Play (help·info)); flat fifth marked with asterisk[151]
Istrian scale in Schubert's Symphony No. 8 in B minor (1922), 1st mvt., bars 13–20 (Istrian scale in Schubert's Symphony No. 8 in B minor (1922), 1st mvt., bars 13–20 (Play (help·info)); flat fifth marked with asterisk[151]Play ); flat fifth marked with asterisk[151]

The area settled by Croats has a large diversity of historical and cultural influences, as well as diversity of terrain and geography. The coastland areas of Dalmatia and Istria were subject to Roman Empire, Venetian and Italian rule; central regions like Lika and western Herzegovina were a scene of battlefield against the Ottoman Empire, and have strong epic traditions. In the northern plains, Austro-Hungarian rule has left its marks. The most distinctive features of Croatian folklore include klapa ensembles of Dalmatia, tamburitza orchestras of Slavonia. Folk arts are performed at special events and festivals, perhaps the most distinctive being Alka of Senj, a traditional knights' competition celebrating the victory against Ottoman Turks. The epic tradition is also preserved in epic songs sung with gusle. Various types of kolo circular dance are also encountered throughout Croatia.

UNESCO | Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in Croatia

Arts

Grgur Ninski statue by Ivan Meštrović, with a tower of the Diocletian's Palace in the background
Grgur Ninski statue by Ivan Meštrović, with a tower of the Diocletian's Palace in the background

Architecture in Croatia reflects influences of bordering nations. Austrian and Hungarian influence is visible in public spaces and buildings in the north and in the central regions, architecture found along coasts of Dalmatia and Istria exhibits Venetian influence.[156] Large squares named after culture heroes, well-groomed parks, and pedestrian-only zones, are features of these orderly towns and cities, especially where large scale Baroque urban planning took place, for instance in Varaždin and Karlovac.[157] Subsequent influence of the Art Nouveau was reflected in contemporary architecture.[158] Along the coast, the architecture is Mediterranean with a strong Venetian and Renaissance influence in major urban areas exemplified in works of Giorgio da Sebenico and Niccolò Fiorentino such as the Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik. The oldest preserved examples of Croatian architecture are the 9th-century churches, with the largest and the most representative among them being the Church of St. Donatus.[159][160]

Besides the architecture encompassing the oldest artworks in Croatia, there is a long history of artists in Croatia reaching to the Middle Ages. In that period the stone portal of the Trogir Cathedral was made by Radovan, representing the most important monument of Romanesque sculpture in Croatia. The Renaissance had the greatest impact on the Adriatic Sea coast since the remainder of Croatia was embroiled in the Hundred Years' Croatian–Ottoman War. With the waning of the Ottoman Empire, art flourished during the Baroque and Rococo. The 19th and the 20th centuries brought about affirmation of numerous Croatian artisans, helped by several patrons of the arts such as bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer.[161] Croatian artists of the period achieving worldwide renown were Vlaho Bukovac and Ivan Meštrović.[159]

The Baška tablet, a stone inscribed with the Glagolitic alphabet found on the Krk island which is dated to 1100, is considered to be the oldest surviving prose in Croatian.[162] The beginning of more vigorous development of Croatian literature is marked by the Renaissance and Marko Marulić. Besides Marulić, Renaissance playwright Marin Držić, Baroque poet Ivan Gundulić, Croatian national revival poet Ivan Mažuranić, novelist, playwright and poet August Šenoa, poet and writer Antun Gustav Matoš, poet Antun Branko Šimić, expressionist and realist writer Miroslav Krleža, poet Tin Ujević and novelist and short story writer Ivo Andrić are often cited as the greatest figures in Croatian literature.[163][164]

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Culture of Croatia

Culture of Croatia

The culture of Croatia has roots in a long history: the Croatian people have been inhabiting the area for fourteen centuries, but there are important remnants of the earlier periods still preserved in the country with long continuity of urban settlements especially in Dalmatia. Because of its geographic position, Croatia represents a blend of different cultural circles that meet, intertwine and complement, a crossroad of influences of the western culture and the east—ever since division of the Western Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire—as well as of the Mitteleuropa and the Mediterranean culture with more cities than in any other parts.

Istria

Istria

Istria is the largest peninsula within the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Kvarner Gulf. It is shared by three countries: Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy. Croatia encapsulates most of the Istrian peninsula with its Istria County.

Roman Empire

Roman Empire

The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity, it included large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia, and was ruled by emperors. From the accession of Caesar Augustus as the first Roman emperor to the military anarchy of the 3rd century, it was a principate with Italia as the metropole of its provinces and the city of Rome as its sole capital. The Empire was later ruled by multiple emperors who shared control over the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire. The city of Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until AD 476 when the imperial insignia were sent to Constantinople following the capture of the Western capital of Ravenna by the Germanic barbarians. The adoption of Christianity as the state church of the Roman Empire in AD 380 and the fall of the Western Roman Empire to Germanic kings conventionally marks the end of classical antiquity and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Because of these events, along with the gradual Hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire, historians distinguish the medieval Roman Empire that remained in the Eastern provinces as the Byzantine Empire.

Lika

Lika

Lika is a traditional region of Croatia proper, roughly bound by the Velebit mountain from the southwest and the Plješevica mountain from the northeast. On the north-west end Lika is bounded by Ogulin-Plaški basin, and on the south-east by the Malovan pass. Today most of the territory of Lika is part of Lika-Senj County. Josipdol, Plaški and Saborsko are part of Karlovac County and Gračac is part of Zadar County.

Herzegovina

Herzegovina

Herzegovina is the southern and smaller of two main geographical regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being Bosnia. It has never had strictly defined geographical or cultural-historical borders, nor has it ever been defined as an administrative whole in the geopolitical and economic subdivision of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Folklore

Folklore

Folklore is shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. This includes oral traditions such as tales, legends, proverbs and jokes. They include material culture, ranging from traditional building styles common to the group. Folklore also includes customary lore, taking actions for folk beliefs, the forms and rituals of celebrations such as Christmas and weddings, folk dances and initiation rites. Each one of these, either singly or in combination, is considered a folklore artifact or traditional cultural expression. Just as essential as the form, folklore also encompasses the transmission of these artifacts from one region to another or from one generation to the next. Folklore is not something one can typically gain in a formal school curriculum or study in the fine arts. Instead, these traditions are passed along informally from one individual to another either through verbal instruction or demonstration. The academic study of folklore is called folklore studies or folkloristics, and it can be explored at undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. levels.

Klapa

Klapa

Klapa music is a form of traditional a cappella singing with origins in Dalmatia, Croatia. The word klapa translates as "a group of friends" and traces its roots to littoral church singing. The motifs in general celebrate love, wine (grapes), country (homeland) and sea. Main elements of the music are harmony and melody, with rhythm very rarely being very important. In 2012 klapa was inscribed in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Gusle

Gusle

The gusle or lahuta is a single-stringed musical instrument traditionally used in the Dinarides region of Southeastern Europe. The instrument is always accompanied by singing; musical folklore, specifically epic poetry. The gusle player holds the instrument vertically between his knees, with the left hand fingers on the strings. The strings are never pressed to the neck, giving a harmonic and unique sound.

Kolo (dance)

Kolo (dance)

Kolo is a South Slavic circle dance, found under this name in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia.

Bećarac

Bećarac

Bećarac is a humorous form of folk song, originally from rural Slavonia, Croatia and eventually spreading into southern Hungary and the Vojvodina region of Serbia. The root of the word comes from bećar, meaning "bachelor", "reveler" or "carouser". Bećarci are always teasing, mocking and/or lascivious, and are usually sung by a male company at village parties.

Festivity of Saint Blaise, the patron of Dubrovnik

Festivity of Saint Blaise, the patron of Dubrovnik

Festivity of Saint Blaise, the patron of Dubrovnik is a festivity organized on February 3 continuously since the year 972 AD in the City of Dubrovnik, Croatia on the occasion of the celebration of Saint Blaise's day. The festivity is based on the legend of the appearance of St. Blaise, who helped the people of Dubrovnik in defending their town against the Republic of Venice. It is attended by many people, including residents of the city, surrounding areas, other parts of Croatia, and neighboring countries, tourists, and representatives of state and local authorities of the Roman Catholic Church. It was recognized as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2009.

Lacemaking in Croatia

Lacemaking in Croatia

Lacemaking in Croatia is a tradition dating back to the Renaissance when lacemaking began spreading throughout the Mediterranean and continental Europe. Throughout the years, Croatian lace has become notable for its unique patterns and designs. In 2009, UNESCO recognised lacemaking in Croatia as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Symbols

The current flag of Croatia, including the current coat of arms.
The current flag of Croatia, including the current coat of arms.
The current coat of arms shows, in order, the symbols of Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Istria, and Slavonia.
The current coat of arms shows, in order, the symbols of Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Istria, and Slavonia.

The flag of Croatia consists of a red-white-blue tricolor with the Coat of Arms of Croatia in the middle. The red-white-blue tricolor was chosen as those were the colours of Pan-Slavism, popular in the 19th century.

Flag of the Croat National Council in Serbia
Flag of the Croat National Council in Serbia

The coat-of-arms consists of the traditional red and white squares or grb, which simply means 'coat-of-arms'. It has been used to symbolise the Croats for centuries; some speculate that it was derived from Red and White Croatia, historic lands of the Croatian tribe but there is no generally accepted proof for this theory. The current design added the five crowning shields, which represent the historical regions from which Croatia originated. The red and white checkerboard has been a symbol of Croatian kings since at least the 10th century, ranging in number from 3×3 to 8×8, but most commonly 5×5, like the current coat. The oldest source confirming the coat-of-arms as an official symbol is a genealogy of the Habsburgs dating during 1512–18. In 1525 it was used on a votive medal. The oldest known example of the šahovnica (chessboard in Croatian) in Croatia is to be found on the wings of four falcons on a baptismal font donated by king Peter Krešimir IV of Croatia (1058–1074) to the Archbishop of Split.

Unlike in many countries, Croatian design more commonly uses symbolism from the coat of arms, rather than from the Croatian flag. This is partly due to the geometric design of the shield which makes it appropriate for use in many graphic contexts (e.g. the insignia of Croatia Airlines or the design of the shirt for the Croatia national football team), and partly because neighbouring countries like Slovenia and Serbia use the same Pan-Slavic colours on their flags as Croatia. The Croatian interlace (pleter or troplet) is also a commonly used symbol which originally comes from monasteries built between the 9th and 12th century. The interlace can be seen in various emblems and is also featured in modern Croatian military ranks and Croatian police ranks insignia.

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Flag of Croatia

Flag of Croatia

The national flag of Croatia or The Tricolour is one of the state symbols of Croatia. It consists of three equal size, horizontal stripes in colours red, white and blue. In the middle is the coat of arms of Croatia.

Coat of arms of Croatia

Coat of arms of Croatia

The coat of arms of the Republic of Croatia consists of one main shield and five smaller shields which form a crown over the main shield. The main coat of arms is a checkerboard (chequy) that consists of 13 red and 12 white fields. It is also informally known in Croatian as šahovnica. The five smaller shields represent five different historical regions within Croatia.

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, historically known as Ragusa, is a city on the Adriatic Sea in the region of Dalmatia, in the southeastern semi-exclave of Croatia. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean, a seaport and the centre of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. Its total population is 42,615. In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in recognition of its outstanding medieval architecture and fortified old town.

Dalmatia

Dalmatia

Dalmatia is now one of the four historical regions of Croatia, alongside Croatia proper, Slavonia, and Istria. Between 1420 and 1797 most of it was part of Venice.

Istria

Istria

Istria is the largest peninsula within the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Kvarner Gulf. It is shared by three countries: Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy. Croatia encapsulates most of the Istrian peninsula with its Istria County.

Slavonia

Slavonia

Slavonia is, with Dalmatia, Croatia proper, and Istria, one of the four historical regions of Croatia. Taking up the east of the country, it roughly corresponds with five Croatian counties: Brod-Posavina, Osijek-Baranja, Požega-Slavonia, Virovitica-Podravina, and Vukovar-Syrmia, although the territory of the counties includes Baranya, and the definition of the western extent of Slavonia as a region varies. The counties cover 12,556 square kilometres or 22.2% of Croatia, inhabited by 806,192—18.8% of Croatia's population. The largest city in the region is Osijek, followed by Slavonski Brod and Vinkovci.

Croat National Council

Croat National Council

Croatian National Council of the Republic of Serbia is the representative body of Croats in Serbia, established for the protection of the rights and the minority self-government of Croats in Serbia.

Red Croatia

Red Croatia

Red Croatia is a historical term used for the southeastern parts of Roman Dalmatia and some other territories, including parts of present-day Montenegro, Albania, the Herzegovina region of Bosnia and Herzegovina and southeastern Croatia, stretching along the Adriatic Sea.

Peter Krešimir IV of Croatia

Peter Krešimir IV of Croatia

Peter Krešimir IV, called the Great was King of Dalmatia and Croatia from 1059 until his death in 1074 or 1075. He was the last great ruler of the Krešimirović branch of the Trpimirović dynasty.

Split, Croatia

Split, Croatia

Split is the second-largest city of Croatia, the largest city in Dalmatia and the largest city on the Croatian coast. It lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea and is spread over a central peninsula and its surroundings. An intraregional transport hub and popular tourist destination, the city is linked to the Adriatic islands and the Apennine Peninsula.

Croatia Airlines

Croatia Airlines

Croatia Airlines Ltd. is the state-owned flag carrier airline of Croatia. Its headquarters are in Buzin near Zagreb and operates domestic and international services mainly to European destinations. Its main hub is Zagreb International Airport with focus cities being Dubrovnik, Split, and Zadar. Since November 2004, the airline has been a member of Star Alliance.

Croatia national football team

Croatia national football team

The Croatia national football team represents Croatia in international football matches and is controlled by the Croatian Football Federation (HNS). The team was recognised by both FIFA and UEFA following the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Sides were active during period of political upheaval, representing sovereign entities such as the Banovina of Croatia from 1939 to 1941 or the Independent State of Croatia from 1941 to 1944.

Communities

In Croatia (the nation state), 3.9 million people identify themselves as Croats, and constitute about 90.4% of the population. Another 553,000 live in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where they are one of the three constituent ethnic groups, predominantly living in Western Herzegovina, Central Bosnia and Bosnian Posavina. The minority in Serbia number about 70,000, mostly in Vojvodina,[50][51] where also vast majority of the Šokci consider themselves Croats, as well as many Bunjevci (the latter, as well as other nationalities, settled the vast, abandoned area after the Ottoman retreat; this Croat subgroup originates from the south, mostly from the region of Bačka). Smaller Croat autochthonous minorities exist in Slovenia (mainly in Slovene Littoral, Prekmurje and in the Metlika area in Lower Carniola regions – 35,000 Croats), Montenegro (mostly in the Bay of Kotor – 6,800 Croats), and a regional community in Kosovo called Janjevci who nationally identify as Croats. In the 1991 census, Croats consisted 19.8% of the overall population of Yugoslavia; there were around 4.6 million Croats in the entire country.

The subgroups of Croats are commonly based on regional affiliation, like Dalmatians, Slavonians, Zagorci, Istrians etc., while outside Croatia there exist several ethnic groups: Šokci (Croatia, Serbia, Hungary), Bunjevci (Serbia, Hungary), Burgenland Croats (Austria), Molise Croats (Italy), Bokelji (Montenegro), Raci (Hungary), Krashovani (Romania), Janjevci (Kosovo).

Autochthonous communities

Croatian communities with minority status

Croatian minorities exist in the following regions

  • In Bulgaria, there exists a small Croatian community, a branch of Janjevci, Croats from Kosovo.
  • In New Zealand, the mixed Croatian and Māori Tarara people have their own culture, traditions and customs, and live in Te Tai Tokerau, New Zealand's northernmost region. March 15 is Tarara Day to celebrate their heritage.
  • In Kosovo, Croats or Janjevci (Letničani), as they inhabited mostly the town of Janjevo, before 1991 numbered 8,062 people, but after the war many fled, and as of 2011 number only 270 people.
  • In North Macedonia, Croats number 2,686 people or 0.1% of population, mostly living in the capital city of Skopje, the city of Bitola and around the Lake Ohrid.

Diaspora

Croatian Embassy in Canberra, Australia
Croatian Embassy in Canberra, Australia

There are currently 4–4.5 million Croats in diaspora throughout the world. The Croat diaspora was the consequence of either mostly economic or political (coercion or expulsions) reasons:

  • To other European countries (Slovenia, Italy, Austria, Slovakia, Germany, Hungary), caused by the conquering of Ottoman Turks, when Croats as Roman Catholics were oppressed.
  • To the Americas (largely to Canada, the United States of America, Chile, and Argentina, with smaller communities in Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador) in the end of 19th and early 20th century, large numbers of Croats emigrated particularly for economic reasons.
  • To New Zealand, predominately Te Tai Tokerau, to work on Kauri gum plantations.[167]
  • A further, larger wave of emigration, this time for political reasons, took place after the end of the World War II in Yugoslavia. At this time, both collaborators of the Ustasha regime and those who did not want to live under a communist regime fled the country, to the Americas and Oceania once more.
  • As immigrant workers, particularly to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in the 1960s and 1970s. In addition, some emigrants left for political reasons. This migration made it possible for communist Yugoslavia to achieve lower unemployment and at the same time the money sent home by emigrants to their families provided an enormous source of foreign exchange income.
  • The last large wave of Croat emigration occurred during and after the Yugoslav Wars (1991–1995). Migrant communities already established in the Americas, Oceania, and across Europe grew as a result.

The count for diaspora is approximate because of incomplete statistical records and naturalization. Overseas, the United States contains the largest Croatian emigrant group (414,714 according to the 2010 census), mostly in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois and California, with a sizable community in Alaska, followed by Australia (133,268 according to the 2016 census, with concentrations in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth) and Canada (133,965 according to the 2016 census, mainly in Southern Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta).

Various estimations put the total number of Americans and Canadians with at least some Croatian ancestry at 2 million, many of whom do not identify as such in the countries' censuses.[40][41][42][43][44][168][46][169]

Croats have also emigrated in several waves to Latin America, mostly to South America: chiefly Chile, Argentina, and Brazil; estimates of their number vary wildly, from 150,000 up to 500,000.[170][171]

There are also smaller groups of Croatian descendants in the Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, South Africa, Mexico, and South Korea. The most important organisations of the Croatian diaspora are the Croatian Fraternal Union, Croatian Heritage Foundation and the Croatian World Congress.

Croatian ancestry or citizenship by country
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  More than 100,000
  More than 10,000
  More than 1,000
Croatian ancestry or citizenship by country
  Croatia
  More than 100,000
  More than 10,000
  More than 1,000

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Nation state

Nation state

A nation state is a political unit where the state and nation are congruent. It is a more precise concept than "country", since a country does not need to have a predominant ethnic group.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country at the crossroads of south and southeast Europe, located in the Balkans. Bosnia and Herzegovina borders Serbia to the east, Montenegro to the southeast, and Croatia to the north and southwest. In the south it has a narrow coast on the Adriatic Sea within the Mediterranean, which is about 20 kilometres long and surrounds the town of Neum. Bosnia, which is the inland region of the country, has a moderate continental climate with hot summers and cold, snowy winters. In the central and eastern regions of the country, the geography is mountainous, in the northwest it is moderately hilly, and in the northeast it is predominantly flat. Herzegovina, which is the smaller, southern region of the country, has a Mediterranean climate and is mostly mountainous. Sarajevo is the capital and the largest city of the country followed by Banja Luka, Tuzla and Zenica.

Herzegovina

Herzegovina

Herzegovina is the southern and smaller of two main geographical regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being Bosnia. It has never had strictly defined geographical or cultural-historical borders, nor has it ever been defined as an administrative whole in the geopolitical and economic subdivision of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Central Bosnia

Central Bosnia

Central Bosnia is a central subregion of Bosnia, which consists of a core mountainous area with several basins, valleys and mountains. It is bordered by Bosnian Krajina to the northwest, Tropolje to the west, Herzegovina to the south, Sarajevo to the east, and Tuzla to the northeast. It is a part of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is divided between the Central Bosnia Canton and the Zenica-Doboj Canton with around 800.000 population. The largest city in the region is Zenica, with Sarajevo-Zenica basin being the most densely populated area. Its highest peaks are Vranica, Šćit and Bitovnja.

Bunjevci

Bunjevci

Bunjevci are a South Slavic sub-ethnic group living mostly in the Bačka region of northern Serbia and southern Hungary, particularly in Baja and surroundings, in Croatia, and in Bosnia-Herzegovina. They presumably originate from western Herzegovina. As a result of the Ottoman conquest, some of them migrated to Dalmatia, from there to Lika and the Croatian Littoral, and in the 17th century to the Bácska region of Hungary.

Bačka

Bačka

Bačka or Bácska is a geographical and historical area within the Pannonian Plain bordered by the river Danube to the west and south, and by the river Tisza to the east. It is divided between Serbia and Hungary. Most of the area is located within the Vojvodina region in Serbia and Novi Sad, the capital of Vojvodina, lies on the border between Bačka and Syrmia. The smaller northern part of the geographical area is located within Bács-Kiskun County in Hungary.

Metlika

Metlika

Metlika is a town in southeastern Slovenia. It is the seat of the Municipality of Metlika. It lies on the left bank of the Kolpa River on the border with Croatia. It is in the heart of the area of White Carniola, the southeastern part of the traditional region of Lower Carniola. It is now included in the Southeast Slovenia Statistical Region.

Lower Carniola

Lower Carniola

Lower Carniola is a traditional region in Slovenia, the southeastern part of the historical Carniola region.

Croats of Slovenia

Croats of Slovenia

The Croats are an ethnic group in Slovenia. In the 2002 census 35,642 citizens of Slovenia identified themselves as Croats.

Montenegro

Montenegro

Montenegro is a country in Southeastern Europe. It is located a part of the Balkans and is bordered by Serbia to the northeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the north, Kosovo to the east, Albania to the southeast, Croatia to the northwest, and the Adriatic Sea to the west with a coastline of 293.5 km. Podgorica, the capital and largest city, covers 10.4% of Montenegro's territory of 13,812 square kilometres (5,333 sq mi), and is home to roughly 30% of its total population of 621,000.

Bay of Kotor

Bay of Kotor

The Bay of Kotor, also known as the Boka, is a winding bay of the Adriatic Sea in southwestern Montenegro and the region of Montenegro concentrated around the bay. It is also the southernmost part of the historical region of Dalmatia. The bay has been inhabited since antiquity. Its well-preserved medieval towns of Kotor, Risan, Tivat, Perast, Prčanj and Herceg Novi, along with their natural surroundings, are major tourist attractions. The Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Its numerous Orthodox and Catholic churches and monasteries attract numerous religious pilgrims and other visitors.

Croats of Montenegro

Croats of Montenegro

The Croats have a minority in Boka Kotorska, a coastal region in Montenegro, the largest of their kind in Tivat. The three municipalities making up the Bay of Kotor include 4,519 Croats or 6.70%. They are also known as Bokelji, a common name for all inhabitants for of Boka Kotorska. Tivat is home to the minority political party Croatian Civic Initiative, and to the National Council of Croats in Montenegro. Kotor is home to Croatian Civic Society of Montenegro.

Maps

Historiography

Source: "Croats", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 29th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croats.

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See also
References
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