Archaeology indicates the existence of man in the area from the Middle Palaeolithic Era (200,000 - 35,000 BC). The Slovaks are one of the oldest nations of Central Europe. During the migrations of nations, they settled in the very centre of Europe, between the Carpathians and the Danube River.
In the Bronze Age the area of Slovakia was a significant European centre of bronze production.
The Celts entered the region in the 5th century BC.
Shortly before the birth of Christ, the Roman Empire spread to the Danube.
In the era of the migration of peoples (the 5th - 6th centuries AD.) the Gaels and the Longobards passed through Slovakia on their way to northern Italy
The Slavs came to the territory of Slovakia during the 5th century.
The first important state organisation among the western Slavs, the Empire of Samo, was established in the 7th century.
In the 9th century Christianity first emerged in the territory of Slovakia by Great Moravian Empire. This empire encompassed the lands of modern Slovakia and Moravia as well as parts of Hungary, Austria, Bohemia and the southern part of Poland. In 862, during the reign of Prince Pribina, the first Christian Church in Central Europe was built in Nitra, the ancient home of the Slovak princes.
In 863, the brothers Constantin and Method headed a mission to Great Moravia at the invitation of Prince Rastislav. They devised the oldest Slavonic alphabet - Glagolitic - and translated liturgical books into Old Church Slavonic, which they codified. At the beginning of the 10th century, Great Moravia fell to the onslaught of the Magyars. They had created a new state of Hungary in the Carpathian basin. By the end of the 11th century, Slovakia had become an integral and the most developed part of old Hungary, a relationship which was to last for almost one thousand years. Between the 11th and 15th centuries, the region experienced a period of great economic growth and cultural advancement. At the end of the 15th century, this favourable trend was weakened by the expansion of the Ottoman Empire. The Hapsburgs sat upon the Hungarian throne and incorporated Hungary into their multi-national central European empire. In 1536, Bratislava became the capital city of old Hungary, and for three centuries the Hungarian kings were crowned there.
The reforms of Marie Theresa and her son Joseph II formed the basis of a modern state administration, tax and transportation system, army and schools.
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