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Niš (/ˈniːʃ/; Serbian Cyrillic: Ниш, pronounced [nîːʃ] ( listen); names in other languages) is the third

largest city in Serbia and the administrative center of the Nišava District. According to the 2011 census,
the city proper has a population of 183,164, while its administrative area (City of Niš) has a population
of 260,237 inhabitants.[3]
Niš is the city of three Roman emperors: Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor and the
founder of Constantinople; Constantius III; and Justin I. Later playing a prominent role in the history of
the Byzantine Empire, the city's past would earn it the nickname The Emperor's City.[5][6]
After about 400 years of Ottoman rule, the city was liberated in 1878 and became part of the
Principality of Serbia, though not without great bloodshed—remnants of which can be found
throughout the city. Today, Niš is one of the most important economic centers in Serbia, especially in
the electronics, mechanical engineering, textile, and tobacco industries. Constantine the Great Airport is
Niš's international airport.
In 2013, the city was host to the celebration of 1700 years of Constantine's Edict of Milan.[7]

Early history

Remains of the luxurious residence palace of Mediana, erected by Constantine I near his birth town of
Naissus.
Archaeological evidence shows Neolithic settlements in the city and its surroundings dating from 5,000
to 2,000 BC.[9][better  source  needed] A notable archaeological site is Humska Čuka, in the nearby
settlement of Hum. In the Iron Age, the Thracians dominated the region, with one of their chief
settlements being the nearby Aiadava; specifically, the Triballi are mentioned as inhabiting this region
as early as 424 BC. In 279 BC, during the Gallic invasion of the Balkans, the Celtic Scordisci defeated
the Triballi and founded the city as Navissos.[10] During the Roman conquest of the Balkans between
168 and 75 BC, the city, known as Naissus in Latin, was used as a base of operations. Naissus was first
mentioned in Roman documents near the beginning of the 2nd century CE, and was considered a place
worthy of note in the Geography of Ptolemy of Alexandria.
The Romans occupied the town during the Dardanian campaign (75-73 BC), and set up a legionary
camp in the city.[11] The city, called refugia and vici in pre-Roman relation, as a result of its strategic
position (the Thracians were based to the south[11]) developed as an important garrison and market
town in the province of Moesia Superior.[12] In 272 AD, the future Emperor Constantine the Great was
born in Naissus. Constantine created the Dacia Mediterranea province, of which Naissus was the
capital, which also included Remesiana on the Via Militaris and the towns of Pautalia and Germania.
He lived in Naissus briefly from 316 to 322.[13]
In 364 AD, the imperial Villa Mediana 3 km (2 mi) was the site where emperors Valentinian and Valens
met and divided the Roman Empire into halves which they would rule as co-emperors[14]
It was besieged by the Huns in 441 and devastated in 448, and again in 480 when the partially-rebuilt
town was demolished by the Barbarians. Byzantine Emperor Justinian I restored the town but it was
destroyed by the Avars once again. The Slavs, in their campaign against Byzantium, conquered Niš and
settled here in 540.