We’ll examine the history of the Balkans to discover how geography, conquest, religion, and war combined to mold the modern religious and cultural diversities in the countries of southeastern Europe. The lecture will begin with the Roman Latin and Greek influence on the region, move to the Ottoman Empire, through the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the post-WWI formation of the country, WWII, and ultimately to the death of the Dictator Tito and the breakup of Yugoslavia. I will discuss the current post-Balkan War situation and examine the societies, economies and governments of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia/Kosovo. Some questions I want to answer during our studies are: How and why did a region with three distinct religions consisting of Russian Orthodox Christianity, Roman Catholic, and Islam; Multiple ethnicities consisting of Croats, Bosniaks, Serbs, Slovenes, and other minorities; and five different languages become a successful country only to fall into civil war by succumbing to nationalism, ethnic cleansing, and ultimately splinter into six independent countries? Can these countries prosper with their current governments and relations with each other?