Belgrade is the capital of modern day Serbia and Montenegro. It rests on the hills above the valley where the river Sava and the Danube meet towards the centre-north of Serbia.
The first settler of the territory of present day Belgrade date back to four thousand years B.C. and nearby Vinca is a prehistoric location with remains of prehistoric man (neolithic plastics).
The oldest known name for Belgrade is Singidunum, a compound word probably made of the name of the Dacian tribe called Singi and the Celtic word dunum, which means fortress. This interpretation is based on the belief that the name of the settlement came about when the Celts migrated here and mixed with the indigenous population.
The conquering Romans maintained the name of the settlement. With the division
of the Roman Empire in 395, Singidunum passed over to the Eastern Empire and
In the 6th century, Slavs gradually started settling in the area. The stone built fortress rising above the rivers was dubbed Beli Grad (white city). The name Beograd is officially mentioned for the first time in 878 by Pope John VIII.
Between the 16th and 19th century Belgrade is referred to with various names
in different languages: Alba Graeca, Alba Bulgarica, Bello grado, Nandor Alba,
Griechisch Weissenburg, and Castelbianco. However, all these names are translations
of the Slavic word Beograd.
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