Throughout the past seven hundred years Bosnia-Herzegovina has been
ruled by many different empires who have conquered the Balkan Peninsula. Prior to the invasion of the the Ottoman Turks Bosnia
was ruled off and on by the Croats, Serbs, Romans and the the Byzantines.
Each of these groups influenced the people of Bosnia in what type
of religion Bosnians should practice. The Romans and Croats created Catholic monasteries and churches throughout Bosnia.
The Serbs and the Byzantines created Orthodox temples along the countryside.
In order to understand the Bosnian people you must realize there
is no true Bosnian ethnicity. From its existence Bosnia has been a land where invaders have moved in and claimed this
land as their own. Bosnia has been heavily influenced by Serbs, Croats, Romans, Byzantines, Germans, Hungarians,
etc. It is land of multiple ethnicity's.
From 620 A.D. to 1180 A.D. the leaders of Bosnia chose
to aligned themselves closer with Croats than with Serbs. The leaders of Bosnia took the title of Ban instead
of Grand Zupan, which was the title Serb leaders took. Also the majority of the population was Catholic at
this time instead of Orthodox. Serbs moved into Bosnia, but were a minority compared to the number of Croats living
in Bosnia. Yet, they did convert many people people living in Bosnia into becoming Orthodox Christians.
The only conclusion that we can make about the people of Bosnia
during the Middle Ages (1000 A.D. to 1400 A.D.) was that they were Slavic in origin and their ethnic make up was
mixed with Serb blood and Croat blood. Between the fourteenth century and the the 20th
century Bosnia would be ruled by two invading empires and would become part of a newly formed independent Yugoslavia in the
The introduction of Islam to Bosnia by the Ottoman Turks
would create a new culture in Bosnia. Croats and Serbs living in Bosnia who converted to Islam would be identified
as Bosniaks or Bosnian Muslims. To the Serbs those who converted to Islam would be known as traitors
to the Slaivc race since Serbia was an Orthodox Christian country.