In ancient times, Slav tribes from the basin between the Oder and Vistula rivers migrated south and settled in the Balkans. The Romans conquered the Balkans and colonised Serbia. Then the Byzantiness conquered the area. Serbs fought many wars with the Byzantines and finally secured their independence. Serbian ruler (tsar) with highest achievements was Stefan Dusan. He drafted the Serbian law codes and opened new trade markets. Serbia flourished, featuring one of the most evolved countries and cultures in Europe.
The throne eventually passed to Lazar Hrebeljanović. Lazar was confronted by a Turkishish emissary carrying a declaration of war. Lazar marched his army onto the Field of Kosovo and fought for Europe, Christendom, and Serbia (1389). He turned back the invaders, but was killed along with his entire army. The battle ended in a bloody draw. Belgrade finally fell to the Ottomans in the mid-15th century.
In 2002, with the help of the European Union, Serbia and Montenegro agreed to rename Yugoslavia and redefine relationships between them. They will have a parliament and an army in common, and during the three years (till 2005), neither Serbia nor Montenegro will hold a referendum on the break-up of the union. EU's high representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana has said that he is happy with the agreement, because it has stopped the disintegration progress in the former Yugoslav zone.