Serbia was by no means a great European power, however, unfolding events placed her at the epicentre of European tensions and the road to World War I.
Sandwiched between Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and several other Balkan states, Serbia occupied a position of some strategic importance. The Serbian people had a long and rich history but, like Germany and Italy, they did not become an independent nation until the late 19th century.
For centuries, Serbia’s proximity to both Europe and Asia made it a target for invaders. The Romans occupied the region in the 2nd century BC and occupied it for centuries. No less than 17 Roman emperors, including Constantine the Great, were born on Serbian soil.